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2021 MLB Draft Profile: Will Bednar

Mississippi State Bulldogs pitcher Will Bednar (24) throws against the Texas Longhorns at TD Ameritrade Park Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

Position: RHP

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 230 pounds

School: Mississippi State

Will Bednar is a right-handed pitcher from Valencia, Pennsylvania and plays for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Bednar has done a terrific job of improving his draft stock especially after his lights-out performance in the College World Series.

During his time at MSU, Bednar has been one of Mississippi State’s most valuable arms on their pitching staff. As a freshman, Bednar only pitched in four games and started one due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Bednar still had a great season as he posted a 1.76 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9 and a 13.5 K/9.

As a sophomore, Bednar got a lot more innings as he made seventeen appearances including fourteen starts. He posted an 8-1 record with a 3.26 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and struck out 128 batters in 80 innings pitched.

At 6’2”, 230 pounds, Bednar is a pretty strong pitcher with good size and arm strength. Bednar has a four-pitch mix but two or three of his pitches are considered to be plus pitches. His fastball and slider are definitely 60-grade pitches but his curveball has also received a 55 or 60 grade pitch.

Bednar’s fastball sits 93-95 mph and tops out at 97 with lots of spin. His slider was his most consistent secondary pitch that sits in the mid-80s and misses plenty of bats. Bednar’s curveball is usually in the upper-70s while also creating a lot of depth. His fourth pitch is his changeup which is considered to be a pretty average pitch. Another thing scouts like about the Mississippi State ace is his command on all four of his pitches.

Strengths

  • At least two plus pitches
  • Four-pitch mix
  • 14.4 K/9 in 80 innings pitched while also having a 2.4 BB/9
  • Frontline starter potential
  • Good durability
  • High spin rate
  • High pitching IQ

Weaknesses

  • Complex delivery
  • Pitching mechanics need some work
  • Does have some issues of giving up home runs

Pro Comparison: Justin Dunn

Projection: First Round Draft pick


Bottom Line

Will Bednar could be the next top pitching prospect for the Marlins to groom in their deep farm system. The Fish are more inclined to add amateur hitting in this draft but some of the top position players in this draft class will already be gone by the time the 16th overall pick comes around. That area could be addressed with their remaining pick and bonus pool.

If that’s the case, I expect the Marlins to take the best player available on their draft board. Will Bednar could be in that conversation after two great seasons with the Bulldogs and an electric performance in the College World Series.

Bednar seems to have a pretty high floor and could develop into a frontline or middle of the rotation type arm. The Pennsylvania native is a smart player who knows how the pitch and possess three quality pitches with very high spin rates. This could be one of the most underrated players in the 2021 draft class.