MLB Draft 2021: Best Baseball Prospects Available After Day 2 Results

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    Rebecca S. Gratz/Associated Press

    Identifying the top remaining prospects in the MLB draft after the first two days can be a bit of a daunting task, as a number of high school prospects bypass going pro to keep their college commitments, whether in baseball or another sport.

    We know Will Taylor, for instance—a potential first-round pick—is sticking with Clemson to play both football and baseball. Or Peyton Stovall, another first-round talent, who is keeping his commitment to Arkansas.

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    Other prep talents likely will require a huge over-slot payday to be convinced to forgo their college commitments at this point in the draft. So keeping that in mind, we’ll split up the top remaining prospects between two prep talents and three college players still on the board, as teams continue the MLB draft on Tuesday.

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    Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    It seems likely that teams have caught wind that Gage Jump will stick with his UCLA commitment. Thus far, he’s maintained his plans to play with the Bruins.

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    “I’m excited to go to UCLA,” he told Steve Fryer of the Orange County Register on July 1. “It’s a good winning program. Coach [John] Savage, I think, has a lot in store for me. Right now I’m going to UCLA and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

    Perhaps a team will convince him on Day 3 with a big over-slot offer. There’s no doubt he’s a pristine talent, registering a 9-0 record in his senior year with a 0.63 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 56 innings. But the fact that he slipped 10 rounds makes it seem likely he’ll stick with college.

    He did say his plan was to stick with UCLA right now earlier in the month, however. So perhaps a team will roll the dice.

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    Like Gage, it seems likely that Tommy DiLandri is sticking with college, in his case TCU. He’s talented enough that he would have been off the board by now if teams thought he’d sign. That doesn’t appear to be official, however, and a team might be saving up extra slot money to add him later.

    For MLB teams that still have their eye on him, he’s an intriguing prospect. As Keith Law of The Athletic wrote, “DiLandri can show plus speed and power and his wrists are quick, but his swing path can be inconsistent and thus so is his ability to make contact, giving him above-average upside but perhaps a longer development path.”

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    He was the 2021 Class 5A Desert League Player of the Year in Las Vegas, so he made his mark at the high school level. TCU will be hoping he honors his commitment, however.

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    Rebecca S. Gratz/Associated Press

    Law noted that Vanderbilt outfielder Isaiah Thomas has “far too many strikeouts but some big tools” and “is athletic and has real power, with hard contact when he squares it up.”

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    He’s already been drafted, with the Colorado Rockies selecting him in the 39th round of the 2018 draft. He chose college instead, and it worked out pretty well, as he won a national championship with the Commodores in the 2019 season. 

    For teams looking to add a prospect with plus power potential in the later rounds, Thomas would be a solid addition.

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    Rebecca S. Gratz/Associated Press

    Luca Tresh obviously isn’t a catching prospect on the level of top overall pick Henry Davis, but it’s still surprising he fell this far nonetheless.

    He showed solid power in the 2021 season, blasting 15 home runs to go along with 43 RBI, though a .310 on-base percentage this season and .786 OPS may give teams pause. He’s not an elite defensive prospect, either, though he’s serviceable behind the plate and has a solid throwing arm.

    If Tresh had come off the board in the early rounds, it would have been because of his power potential. That should be what gets him selected at some point Tuesday.

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    Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

    Troy Melton’s fall is perhaps less surprising than the other players listed above. He went 4-5 in 2021 with a 6.14 ERA, 1.59 WHIP and 83 strikeouts in 73.1 innings (15 starts).

    Melton’s intrigue is that he misses bats, with 114 strikeouts in 98.1 college innings (three seasons). He’s also just 20, and his limited experience—injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic limited him to 25 innings in total in his first two years—makes him a raw prospect with upside.

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    At this point, it’s a possibility that he simply returns to school, barring a team saving up its slot money on him. He easily has the potential to be a much higher pick and is one of the best players available for teams heading into Tuesday.

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