What will the Colorado Rockies do with the eighth pick in the 2021 MLB Draft? That’s one of the questions we asked ESPN MLB insider Kiley McDaniel on a pre-draft Zoom call.
With McDaniel set to be a signature part of ESPN’s national telecast of the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft on Sunday, July 11 (held in Denver as part of All-Star Game festivities), we wanted to get his take on not only this year’s draft class, but also how previous drafts could impact Colorado’s choices this year and beyond.
Here is what Kiley McDaniel told us about the Colorado Rockies having the eighth pick in the 2021 MLB Draft.
On the Zoom call, McDaniel said that there are four high school shortstops who factor into the top 10 on most draft boards. Marcelo Mayer could be the number one overall pick, while Brady House and Kahlil Watson have moved up on several draft boards in recent weeks. Could that mean that Jordan Lawlar out of Jesuit High School in Texas would be available for the Rockies at number eight? It’s possible, McDaniel said.
“There are increasing odds that Jordan Lawlar is the one of those four high school shortstops that slides. I don’t think he has a natural landing spot until six or eight,” McDaniel said. “It’s probably still like a 5 or 10 percent chance, but could happen.”
McDaniel also mentioned that, of the four shortstops, Colorado has been most tied to Brady House “if he gets there.”
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If Lawlar isn’t available, McDaniel won’t be surprised to see the Rockies go after pitching. And if Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker would happen to still be on the board, McDaniel believes the Rockies might pass over him “because he’s not exactly the kind of pitcher they prefer,” meaning he’s more of a power pitcher rather than a pitcher that throws sinkers and induces ground balls, a notion that McDaniel told us in a recent podcast Colorado leans strongly toward when looking at potential draft picks.
So who then might the Rockies prefer on the mound? McDaniel says don’t be surprised if they go after college pitching, with University of Texas right-hander Ty Madden a possibility.
College pitching? So does McDaniel think the retirements by former Rockies first-round picks Mike Nikorak and Riley Pint (both high school pitchers when selected by the Rockies) keep Colorado from drafting another high school pitcher with a high pick?
“They would say no. I think the answer is probably yes. We just don’t know how much,” McDaniel said. “It would be hard to have those level of mistakes happen and completely ignore it. It would be — wow, I couldn’t believe somebody would do that. But I think they would tell you that they’re ignoring it, that every pick is unique. “