Mock Drafts are in a flurry now that we are about a month out from the 2021 MLB Draft. MLB Pipeline published their latest mock draft with some interesting notes about what the Braves may be looking to do. Much can still change in the lead up to the big event and is going to be a particularly unpredictable given just how closely packed the talent pool is after the top few picks and how the COVID layoffs have affected evaluations.
In their previous mock, Pipeline projected two-way prep player Bubba Chandler to the Braves, but in this one they have him getting scooped up a few picks earlier and the Braves taking UC Santa Barbara right handed starting pitcher Michael McGreevy. McGreevy was a sensation out of the bullpen for the Gauchos as a freshman back in 2019, making the freshman All American team while posting a 1.94 ERA over 60 1⁄3 innings of work. He was dominant in four starts as a sophomore before the layoff and has come back just as strong as a Junior to put himself in contention to be a first round pick. In 101 2⁄3 innings this season he has a 2.92 ERA, with insane peripherals of 115 strikeouts to only 11 walks. Now, he has also hit 10 batters with pitches this season and seen an uptick in hits against him, but not a jump in home runs.
McGreevy could be a four pitch starter with command, and his fastball has continued to take significant leaps in college and now can consistently get into the mid 90s. His slider is another above average pitch and his curveball provides a different look breaking ball that could be an MLB quality option. Mix in a changeup that has the makings of an average MLB pitch and fantastic command of his pitches and there is a lot of reason to like McGreevy. Pipeline ranks him as their 20th best draft prospect this season, while Baseball America is a little more conservative putting him at No. 34.
The above was more just a taste of what McGreevy is so you have a taste in case the Braves do end up taking him. Right now more important than specific names is organizational strategy. Again, much could change and the Anthopolous-led Braves are not known to spill many secrets, but Pipeline indicated that the Braves have been heavily connected to pitchers this season. Chandler, if they chose him as a pitcher and not shortstop, is one, and they also mentioned Mississippi State’s Will Bednar, two way player Spencer Schwellenbach from Nebraska, and the left handed Ky Bush from Saint Mary’s. With not a ton of premium talent likely to be available at that position in this season’s draft the Braves will have a lot of options available to them in regards to their approach to the draft and we could see them go a bit out in left field for a guy.