The 2021 Major League Baseball Draft will begin on Sunday. The Miami Marlins hold the 16th overall pick in the draft after finishing last season with a 31-29 record. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s MLB Draft will be shorter than usual but longer than last draft.
The draft is usually 40 rounds but it will only be 20 rounds. Last draft, there were only five rounds and a total of 160 picks. The Marlins will have 21 picks in this draft which includes the first Competitive Balance A pick.
Here is the 2021 Miami Marlins Mock Draft 5.0, projecting the first eight rounds (nine total picks).
First Round (16th Overall) – Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS (GA)
With the 16th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Miami Marlins select catcher Harry Ford. The Marlins get one of the top high school prospects in the draft with their first pick and answer their biggest draft need.
Everybody knows that the Marlins are in dire need of drafting a quality catcher in this draft class. Louisville’s Henry Davis won’t fall to the Marlins at 16 but Harry Ford is the next-best option. Ford is a 5’10”, 200 pound catcher with plus hit tools and elite speed.
His bat speed is one of the best in this draft class and has a track record of success against top pitching. Ford does have some power in his swing but he’s also the fastest catcher in the draft. Ford was clocked running a 6.42 60-yard dash at the East Coast Pro Showcase. He’s also very sound behind the plate with a strong arm. Harry Ford is signed to play college baseball at Georgia Tech.
Ford would be a terrific pickup for the Marlins at 16. If he is already off the board, I think they’ll look at other prep bats such as Will Taylor, Peyton Stovall and Joe Mack. They might also consider some college bats like Colton Cowser, Trey Sweeney and Sal Frelick depending who’s available.
Competitive Balance A Round (31st Overall) – Connor Norby, 2B, East Carolina
With their Competitive Balance A Round pick, the Miami Marlins select second baseman Connor Norby. The Miami Marlins continue to draft bats with one of the best contact hitters in this draft class.
East Carolina second baseman Connor Norby has an incredible hit tool and it translated to big-time production with the Pirates. During his ECU career, Norby slashed .392/.458/.596 with a 1.054 OPS. As a junior, Norby had a monster season as he slashed .415/.484/.659 with 102 hits, 15 doubles, 15 home runs, 51 RBIs, 18 stolen bases and a 1.143 OPS.
While Norby looks very good at the plate, he’s limited to second base defensively. He doesn’t possess great arm strength but plays very well at second and could be an everyday player at the next level.
Second Round (52nd Overall) – Izaac Pacheco, 3B, Friendswood HS (TX)
With their second round pick, the Miami Marlins select third baseman Izaac Pacheco. The Fish swim into the Lone Star State to draft one of their top high school prospects with a very high ceiling.
Izaac Pacheco is a 6’4”, 225 pound third baseman with some of the best raw power in this draft class. The left-handed hitting infielder has great power due to his bat speed and plus strength. However, he had a lot of swing-and-miss during the summer circuit as he got too pull-happy and sold out for home runs.
Pacheco played shortstop at his high school but will surely move to third base in the pros considering his size. If the Marlins do draft Pacheco, they will need to work on his approach and teach him how to use the whole field. There’s a lot of potential here, but he’ll need some time in the minors to fix his approach at the plate. Pacheco is signed to play college baseball at Texas A&M.
Third Round (88th Overall) – McCade Brown RHP, Indiana
With their third round pick, the Miami Marlins select right-handed pitcher McCade Brown, one of the best arms in the Big Ten.
McCade Brown is a 6’6”, 225 pound right-handed pitcher out of Indiana University. Brown was the ace pitcher for the Hoosiers and was named Second Team All-Big Ten last season. During the 2021 season, Brown posted a 5-4 record with a 3.39 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 14.3 K/9.
Brown has a four-pitch mix that consists of a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. His best pitch is his fastball that sits 92-95 mph and tops out at 97 with good metrics—he has late life on it. His curveball is his best secondary with a high spin rate and gets plenty of swing and miss. The slider looked pretty solid this past season but his changeup
The biggest issue with Brown is his lack of control. The Indiana ace walked 43 batters in 61 innings pitched (6.3 BB/9). Whichever team drafts Brown will need to be prepared to make mechanical adjustments in order for him to be successful at the next level.
Fourth Round (118th Overall) – Tanner Allen, OF, Mississippi State
With their fourth round pick, the Miami Marlins select outfielder Tanner Allen. One of the best players on Mississippi State’s national championship team was their fifth-year senior outfielder.
With the Marlins having less signing bonus money than usual ($9,949,800), the Fish might try to draft a senior college bat early in the draft in order to save some money. Tanner Allen would be an excellent selection for the Fish with their fourth pick and should sign for under slot value at this spot.
During his final season at MSU, Allen slashed .383/.456/.621 with 100 hits, 19 doubles, 11 home runs, 66 RBIs and a 1.076 OPS. Allen is a left-handed hitter with a line drive approach with some power but is mostly a gap-to-gap hitter. If the Marlins do draft Allen, he’ll likely start off in High-A since he’s already 23 years old.
Fifth Round (149th Overall) – Luke Albright, RHP, Kent State
With their fifth round pick, the Miami Marlins select right-handed pitcher Luke Albright. The Fish draft another collegiate arm from the Midwest with the selection of Kent State’s top arm.
Luke Albright is a 6’4” 215 pound right-handed pitcher. During his collegiate career with the Golden Flashes, Albright posted a 12-7 record with a 2.98 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 10.2 K/9. In his final season, Albright had a 6-4 record with a 3.40 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9 and an 11.2 K.9.
Albright has a four-pitch mix that includes a fastball, two breaking pitches and a changeup. His best two pitches are his curveball and slider. His curveball sits in the upper-70s and has a high spin rate with plenty of swing-and-miss. Some scouts actually like his slider more, which has a ton of bite and sits in the low-80s.
Albright’s fastball has low-90s velocity that tops out at 94 mph with some sink. His changeup isn’t as good as his other three pitches and will need to be further developed during his time in the minor leagues.
Sixth Round (179th Overall) – Kevin Kopps, RHP, Arkansas
With their sixth round pick, the Miami Marlins select right-handed pitcher Kevin Kopps. The Fish get the 2021 Dick Howser Award winner with their sixth round draft pick. The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher out of Arkansas is also one of the three finalists to win the Golden Spikes Award.
Kopps had an unreal 2021 season for the Razorbacks and put up video type numbers. He made 33 appearances including one start. He also threw 89 2⁄3 innings which is more than any other pitcher on Arkansas’s roster. Kopps posted a 12-1 record with a 0.90 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 13.1 K/9 and .162 opponent batting average.
The main reason why Kopps could actually be available with the Marlins’ sixth round pick is because of his age. He’s a very old draft prospect and will likely not sign for a lot of money since he has exhausted his college eligibility. Kopps has a good fastball/slider combo with great command and should be an successful relief pitcher at the next level.
Seventh Round (209th Overall) – Dru Baker, OF, Texas Tech
With their seventh round pick, the Miami Marlins select outfielder Dru Baker. The Marlins get another outfield prospect from one of the top college baseball programs in the country.
Dru Baker is a 5’11”, 205 pound outfielder out of Texas Tech. During his time with the Red Raiders, Baker was a three-year starter including his freshman season. As a junior, Baker slashed .343/.406/.484 with 73 hits, 14 doubles, four home runs, 32 RBIs, 18 stolen bases, 22 walks and a .889 OPS.
Baker has a plus hit tool with below average power but makes up for it with his best tool: speed. Baker is one of the fastest prospects in this draft class and could develop into a center fielder in the future. However, he will need to work on his arm strength.
Eighth Round (239th Overall) – Travis Garnett, LHP, Indian Creek School (MD)
With their eighth round pick, the Miami Marlins select left-handed Travis Garnett. I end this exercise with a top high school southpaw.
Travis Garnett is a 6’6”, 230 pound left-handed pitcher out of Indian Creek School in Pasadena, Maryland. One thing scouts are very high on with Garnett is his spin rate. He possesses a four-pitch mix: his fastball sits in the low-90s and tops out at 94 mph with around 2600 RPM spin; he also has two breaking pitches with a slider and curveball, both averaging approximately 2800-3000 RPM.
Garrett is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and his command was an issue even prior to that. On Perfect Game, Garnett is the 115th-ranked prospect and the 14th-ranked left-handed pitcher in the country. He’s also signed to play college baseball for the Maryland Terrapins.