The 2021 Major League Baseball Draft will be held from July 11-13. The Miami Marlins will have the 16th overall pick in the draft after finishing with a 31-29 record last season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduction of affiliated minor league teams, this year’s MLB Draft will be shorter than usual but longer than last draft.
Coming off a postseason berth, the Marlins do not pick as close to the top of the draft as usual, but they do benefit from having the first pick in Competitive Balance Round A. For this mock draft, we will focus on the first five rounds which includes that Comp A pick. As we get closer to the draft, we may expand this exercise to go even deeper.
Here is the Miami Marlins 2021 Mock Draft 1.0.
First Round (16th Overall) – James Wood, OF, IMG Academy (FL)
With the 3rd pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Miami Marlins select outfielder James Wood. The Marlins make a slash as they landed one of the top high school prospects in the country.
Wood is a 6’6” 240 pound outfielder that has incredible upside and tons of power potential. He comes from an athletic background as his dad played professional basketball in Europe and his sister is also a basketball player at Northwestern University.
Wood has arguably the loudest tools out of all high school prospect in this draft. The Maryland native has plenty of raw power and could still add 15-20 solid pounds to transfer his raw power into game power.
I present, James Wood, destroyer of baseballs.— Ian Smith (@FlaSmitty) February 26, 2021
No doubt HR tonight on a 0-2 count at Globe life Field. The IMG Academy slugger is firmly placing himself into top 15 discussions. #MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/CFlZ58nFbe
On Perfect Game, Wood is the fourth-ranked prospect and the top-ranked outfield prospect in the country. MLB Pipeline has him as the 14th-ranked draft prospect and Baseball America has him as the 11th-ranked draft prospect.
The Marlins have a ton of top outfield prospects but Wood might be the best tools out of all of them. There’s a lot to like about him as a player especially if he fills in that very large frame. This would be a slam dunk first round pick for the Marlins if he’s still on the board. James Wood is signed to play college baseball at Mississippi State University.
Competitive Balance A Round (31st Overall) – Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest
With their Competitive Balance A Round pick, the Miami Marlins select right-handed pitcher Ryan Cusick. The Fish added another talented arm to their farm system with the selection of a top right-handed pitcher in college baseball.
Cusick is a 6’6”, 235 pound flame throwing right-handed pitcher that has looked good so far this season. As a sophomore, Cusick posted a 3.22 ERA with a 17.3 K/9 and .277 opponent batting average.
One thing Cusick needed to improve on from last season was his control as he had a high walk rate and 7.3 BB/9. The Wake Forest had done just that as he’s walked seven batters in 17.1 innings pitched which equals a 3.6 BB/9. His K/9 is still very high at 16.1 but he’s not a finished product.
Cusick’s best pitch is his fastball. His fastball sits 94-97 mph and tops out at 99 with a high spin rate. His curveball has looked good this season and the control has improved. If the Marlins select Cusick with the 31st pick, they’ll need to work on command and also develop his secondary pitches to make a well-rounded pitcher.
Second Round (52nd Overall) – Max Muncy, SS, Thousand Oaks HS (CA)
With their competitive balance round B pick, the Miami Marlins select shortstop Max Muncy. The Marlins go to the west coast to grab one of the top high school middle infielders in this draft class.
Max Muncy is a 6’1”, 180 pound shortstop that projects to be a shortstop at the next level. Muncy plays with a ton of energy and is a good leader to go along with his tools. While he might not have any tools that stand out, Muncy is a well-rounded ball player that could develop some of his tools as he matures physically.
He’s an average hitter with some power potential but needs some work on his approach at the plate. Muncy can drive the ball to all fields and he’s also a very solid defender.
On Perfect Game, Muncy is the 59th-ranked prospect and the fifteenth-ranked infield in the country. Baseball America has the west coast infielder as the 51st-ranked draft prospect and MLB Pipeline has Muncy as the 59th-ranked draft prospect. Max Muncy is signed to play college baseball at the University of Arkansas.
Third Round (88th Overall) – Rene Lastres, C, Calvary Christian Academy (FL)
With their third round pick, the Miami Marlins select catcher Rene Lastres. The Marlins answer a huge need with the selection of Miami native catcher Rene Lastres.
The Miami Marlins are in dire need of add a catcher to their farm system and use their third round pick to grab the top local catcher in Rene Lastres. Their major league production at the position was very poor in 2020 and Will Banfield is the only catcher that’s considered a top prospect in the Marlins farm system.
Rene Lastres is one of the top catchers in the draft class and is a local product for the Fish. At 6’3”, 205 pounds, Lastres has the tools to be a very good catcher at the next level. His hit tools has room for improvement but Lastres also has lots of power at the plate.
Behind the plate, Lastres is one of the best defensive catchers with an incredibly strong arm. Lastres does a good job of framing and is one of the best receiving catchers in this draft class.
On Perfect Game, Lastres is the 26th-ranked prospect and the fourth-ranked catcher in the country. MLB Pipeline has Lastres has the 88th-ranked prospect in the 2021 MLB Draft. Rene Lastres is signed to play college baseball at the University of Florida.
Fourth Round (118th Overall) – Luke Waddell, SS, Georgia Tech
With their fourth round pick, the Miami Marlins select shortstop Luke Waddell. The Marlins grab a senior middle infielder in hopes of signing him under slot value.
With two top high school prospect selected in the first three rounds, the Marlins might need to grab a cheaper option. Waddle is a quality player that plays good defense and can be a solid leadoff hitter.
In the 2021 season, Waddell is slashing .341/.427/.549 with 27 hits, five doubles, four home runs, 14 RBIs and has a .976 OPS. Waddell does a great job of putting the ball in play as he has 53 strikeouts compared to his 72 walks in 135 collegiate games.
Due to Waddell being 22 years old, the Marlins might be able to get him a little bit lower than slot value. College prospects usually don’t like to wait until their senior season before they take off for the minor leagues. This could be a good value pick for the Marlins.
Fifth Round (149th Overall) – Trenton Wallace, LHP, Iowa
With their fifth round pick, the Miami Marlins select left-handed pitcher Trenton Wallace. The Marlins end this mock draft with the selection of one of the top southpaw pitchers in the Big Ten.
Trenton Wallace is a 6’1”, 200 pound pitcher that has a four-pitch mix with the Iowa Hawkeyes. During the 2021 season, Wallace has appeared and started in three games. Wallace has a 2-0 record with a 1.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 13 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9.
The Marlins added two left-handers last draft with the selections of Dax Fulton and Jake Eder. Wallace could be another solid pickup with some good pitches. His fastball sits 88-91 mph and tops out at 92. Curveball is his best secondary pitch as he uses it as his strikeout pitch. He also a changeup and slider to round out his pitch mix.