This week, a busy MLB Draft Report as College Baseball begins Regional play this weekend, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel updated his Top 100 prospects, which shifts players up and down on the 2021 MLB Average Draft Rankings database, and a fan question about Colson Montgomery. Let’s get to it.
Updated Top 100 Rankings
McDaniel updated his rankings on ESPN, which you can view here, and in a somewhat surprising fashion, he added new names to the database. Prospects that don’t even make Baseball America’s Top 400 list. Below is the updated Top 100 Average Rankings Prospects, which combines ESPN, MLBPipeline, Baseball America, and The Athletic’s lists. We are still waiting on FanGraphs to update their rankings.
|Rank||Player Name||Pvs. Rank||Position||School|
|1||Jordan Lawler||1||SS||Jesuit Prep (TX)|
|2||Marcelo Mayer||3||SS||Eastlake (CA)|
|6||Brady House||6||SS||Winder-Barrow (GA)|
|7||Kahlil Watson||8||SS||Wake Forest (NC)|
|8||Sal Frelick||7||OF||Boston College|
|9||Jackson Jobe||10||RHP||Heritage Hall (OK)|
|11||Colton Cowser||19||OF||Sam Houston State|
|12||Harry Ford||13||C||North Cobb (GA)|
|14||Jordan Wicks||14||LHP||Kansas State|
|15||Gunnar Hoglund||15||RHP||Ole Miss|
|16||Sam Bachman||12||RHP||Miami (OH)|
|17||Bubba Chandler||18||RHP||North Oconee (GA)|
|18||Andrew Painter||17||RHP||Calvary Christian (FL)|
|19||Benny Montgomery||21||OF||Red Land (PA)|
|20||Will Taylor||22||OF||Dutch Fork (SC)|
|21||Adrian Del Castillo||16||C||Miami|
|22||Ryan Cusick||20||RHP||Wake Forest|
|23||Joshua Baez||24||OF||Dexter Southfield (MA)|
|24||Joe Mack||23||C||Williamsville East (NY)|
|26||Michael McGreevy||30||RHP||UC Santa Barbara|
|28||Chase Petty||26||RHP||Mainland (NJ)|
|29||Will Bednar||32||RHP||Mississippi State|
|30||Ethan Wilson||33||OF||South Alabama|
|31||Anthony Solometo||36||LHP||Bishop Eustace (NJ)|
|32||Izaac Pacheco||27||3B||Friendswood (TX)|
|33||Josh Hartle||28||LHP||Reagan (NC)|
|35||Lonnie White||37||OF||Malvern Prep (PA)|
|36||Jay Allen||34||OF||John Carroll Catholic (FL)|
|37||Ben Kudrna||40||RHP||Blue Valley Southwest (KS)|
|38||Peyton Stovall||41||2B||Haughton (LA)|
|39||Braden Montgomery||35||RHP||Madison Central (MS)|
|40||James Wood||38||OF||IMG Academy (FL)|
|42||Thatcher Hurd||39||RHP||Mira Costa (CA)|
|44||Chase Burns||45||RHP||Beech (TN)|
|45||Gavin Williams||56||RHP||East Carolina|
|46||Michael Morales||48||RHP||East Pennsboro (PA)|
|47||Maddux Bruns||43||LHP||UMS-Wright (AL)|
|50||Gage Jump||51||LHP||JSerra (CA)|
|52||Luca Tresh||44||C||NC State|
|53||Tyler Black||57||2B||Wright State|
|54||Max Muncy||59||SS||Thousand Oaks (CA)|
|56||Matheu Nelson||66||C||Florida State|
|58||Alex Mooney||46||SS||St. Mary’s Prep (MI)|
|59||Noah Miller||68||SS||Ozaukee (WI)|
|60||Colson Montgomery||71||3B||Southridge (IN)|
|61||Wes Kath||60||3B||Desert Mountain (AZ)|
|63||Tyler Whitaker||64||OF||Bishop Gorman (NY)|
|64||Jackson Baumeister||52||RHP||Bolles (FL)|
|66||Edwin Arroyo||62||SS||Central Pointe Christian (FL)|
|67||Trey Sweeney||75||SS||Eastern Illinois|
|68||Michael Robertson||79||OF||Venice HS (FL)|
|69||Daylen Lile||85||OF||Trinity (KY)|
|70||Cody Schrier||72||SS||JSerra (CA)|
|71||Carson Williams||105||SS||Torrey Pines (CA)|
|72||Frank Mozzicato||98||LHP||East Catholic HS (CT)|
|74||Carter Jensen||76||C||Park Hill (MO)|
|75||Connor Norby||106||2B||East Carolina|
|76||Ricky Tiedemann||82||LHP||Golden West JC|
|77||Cody Morissette||74||SS||Boston College|
|81||Jac Caglianone||69||LHP||Plant (FL)|
|83||Peter Heubeck||88||RHP||Gilman (MD)|
|84||Malakhi Knight||61||OF||Marysville-Getchell (WA)|
|85||Doug Nikhazy||90||LHP||Ole Miss|
|88||Irving Carter||100||RHP||Calvary Christian (FL)|
|89||Christian MacLeod||73||LHP||Mississippi State|
|92||Eric Hammond||89||RHP||Keller (TX)|
|93||Jose Torres||80||SS||NC State|
|94||Davis Diaz||101||SS||Acalanes (CA)|
|95||Justice Thompson||93||OF||North Carolina|
|96||Troy Melton||87||RHP||San Diego State|
|98||Dominic Hamel||114||RHP||Dallas Baptist|
|100||Eric Silva||99||RHP||JSerra (CA)|
One of the big risers in the updated Top 100 is Indiana prep SS, Colson Montgomery. I wrote about Montgomery a couple of weeks ago as a prospect to follow as rumors consistently tagged the White Sox as an interested party in drafting him. In ESPN’s updated rankings, Montgomery shot up to the 17th ranked prospect in this draft class. There is helium in Montgomery’s draft stock.
This draft ranking update for Montgomery leads to the question we had in the comments section in last week’s MLB Draft Report from caseywsox:
Hi Josh! Callis, Law, and James Fox all had new mocks this week. They all mentioned the Sox interest in Indiana prep SS, but probably future 3rd baseman, Colson Montgomery. Looking at your draft average rankings, Montgomery is ranked #71. Taking Colson Montgomery at 22 seems really aggressive. If the Sox were to go that route, could they go under slot and push pool money back picks? I’ve read this draft is light on elite talent at the top yet is deeper than normal for what would be rounds 3-5. What would you think of taking Montgomery and then spreading their extra pool space and picking up several prep players with their early selections?
To answer the hypothetical details first – yes, the White Sox could very well attempt to sign Montgomery under slot at Pick 22 to spread out the draft bonus pool money. Pick 22 has a bonus slot of $3,027,000, so if the White Sox could get Montgomery at $2.5 million, that’ll be an extra $500K they could use to pump up the Round 2 bonus slot (currently $1,243,600).
What I’m curious about is if ESPN’s rankings are a shift of the industry’s thinking of Montgomery. We should be getting updated rankings from everyone at least one more time in a couple of weeks. Does Montgomery rise to the Top 30 prospects in the average rankings? If so, I’m a bit doubtful the White Sox could get Montgomery under slot because other teams might be interested in the late first-round who could offer close to $3 million.
At this juncture, caseywsox, I’m still working with the idea that the White Sox are going in a different direction with Pick 22 selecting a player they will sign at slot value and then borrow from Rounds 4 – 10 to sign players over the slot in Rounds 2 and 3. That’s where Montgomery comes into the White Sox picture with the second-round pick. A similar strategy they used to add Jared Kelley into the fold last year.
Jonathan Mayo Mock: Jud Fabian to White Sox at Pick 22
Naturally, this leads to a follow-up question, “Who is most likely the White Sox first-round pick today?” Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com released another mock draft, and he had the White Sox taking University of Florida outfielder Jud Fabian. Maybe the most polarizing prospect in this draft class. With enormous power and ability to stick in center field, Fabian was a preseason Top-5 pick whose stock dropped considerably as the strikeouts piled up. His regular-season K% finished at 29.37%, more than 7% from last year.
I’m a firm believer that if you strike out at a high clip in college, that will carry over to the minors. Fabian striking out close to 30% has me worried about his future ability to make enough contact to take advantage of his power. This draft profile was a similar situation when the White Sox entertained the idea of selecting Jeren Kendall in the 2017 draft. Kendall struck out at a 25% clip his Junior year at Vanderbilt, and since the Dodgers drafted him:
2018: 31.98% K
2019: 35.68% K
2021: 38.04% K
Kendall’s strikeout rate continues to get worse. Honestly, if we revisit Fabian’s progression in three years, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s striking out more than 35% of the time. I think there’s a pitch recognition issue with Fabian and his approach is all or nothing. Hence why he strikes out a lot, but also why he’s one of eight college hitters to bash 20 home runs in 2021.
Fabian is one of the players that I think can help himself the most with a solid postseason performance with the Regionals starting this weekend. MLBPipeline has a good list of each school’s top draft prospect in Regionals that I recommend checking out.
Josh’s College World Series Picks
Regionals is always a fun time to watch college baseball with non-stop action going on. If you’re a baseball junkie, the first set of games start at 11:00 am CT, and the last group starts at 9:00 pm CT. Add in the White Sox game at 7:00 pm CT, and one could watch baseball for 12 straight hours. I can’t think of a better way of spending my time.
Here are my picks who will win each Regional, Super Regionals, and the College World Series.
Fayetteville: (1) Arkansas
Ruston: (3) Alabama
Stanford: (3) Nevada
Lubbock: (1) Texas Tech
Tucson: (3) UC Santa Barbara
Oxford: (1) Ole Miss
Greenville: (1) East Carolina
Nashville: (1) Vanderbilt
Knoxville: (1) Tennessee
Eugene: (1) Oregon
Columbia: (3) Virginia
Fort Worth: (2) Oregon State
Starkville: (1) Mississippi State
South Bend: (1) Notre Dame
Gainesville: (1) Florida
Austin: (1) Texas
College World Series Picks:
Bracket 1: Arkansas, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt
Bracket 2: Florida, Mississippi State, Virginia, Tennessee
College World Series Championship: Arkansas over Mississippi State
Next week: Mock Draft 2.0 for Sox Machine Patreon supporters. Join at patreon.com/soxmachine with monthly plans starting at just $2.Become a Patron!
That Fabian mock pick has me scared. Those strikeout numbers are frightening.
Based on your first paragraph description of Fabian, I also thought of Kendall as a comp so it was funny to then read that in the next paragaph.
Interesting that the power spike and strikeout spike are in the same season, though. I wonder if there’s a middle ground where he gets back down to a 22ish% K rate but maintains some of the power gains. Seems like a risky profile, but that’s what you get drafting in the 20’s instead of the top 5.
Are the White Sox still contracting with Voros McCracken? Wondering what statistical models say about Fabian. Hard for me to imagine that they’re favorable.
Thanks so much for the detailed response to my question Josh! I hope the Sox target high upside prep position players in the upcoming draft. Although Fabian is young for the college class, and is tooled up, the K rate is frightening, and I hope the Sox pass on him.