Davis, Leiter, Jobe lead top 10 picks at MLB draft

MLB Baseball

DENVER (AP)Major League Baseball’s amateur draft began Sunday night as part of All-Star weekend festitivies. Here’s a capsule look at the first 10 players selected:

No. 1 – PITTSBURGH PIRATES

HENRY DAVIS, C, LOUISVILLE (6-foot-2, 210 pounds, 21 years old)

Davis has big power and an even bigger arm, throwing out 46% of would-be basestealers to become a finalist for the Buster Posey Award as college baseball’s best defensive catcher. He was also one of the most feared hitters in college baseball, batting .370 and leading the Cardinals with 15 homers. His .482 on-base percentage was best in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

No. 2 – TEXAS RANGERS

JACK LEITER, RHP, VANDERBILT (6-1, 205, 21)

The son of former big league All-Star Al Leiter is a right-hander with a mid-90s fastball and two overpowering breaking pitches, a repertoire that could play near the top of a big league rotation. He was 11-4 with a 2.13 ERA with the Commodores, including a no-hitter against South Carolina. He struck out 179 in 110 innings. This was the first pick made under Rangers first-year general manager Chris Young, a longtime big league pitcher who came to the organization determined to help the farm system better develop pitching.

No. 3 – DETROIT TIGERS

JACKSON JOBE, RHP, HERITAGE HALL H.S. (OKLAHOMA) (6-2, 190, 18)

Jobe was the favorite to be the first high school pitcher drafted, and Detroit made that happen. He also was an outstanding shortstop with good hitting abilities, but his future in the pros is on the mound. Jobe tossed two no-hitters – yes, two – as a senior, cementing his spot near the top of teams’ draft boards. His wicked slider is his best pitch, but a mid-90s fastball, tough changeup and knee-buckling curve give him an impressive repertoire.

No. 4 – BOSTON RED SOX

MARCELO MAYER, SS, EASTLAKE H.S. (CALIFORNIA) (6-3, 188, 18)

The slick-fielding shortstop has been pegged a likely top-3 pick for the last several weeks leading up to the draft and was a late favorite to go first. Mayer finished his senior season with 14 homers, one shy of Adrian Gonzalez’s school record in 2000, and batted .392 with 45 RBIs and 46 runs scored. Because of his skillset, left-handed swing and physical build, Mayer has drawn comparisons to Dodgers star shortstop Corey Seager.

No. 5 – BALTIMORE ORIOLES

COLTON COWSER, OF, SAM HOUSTON (6-3, 195, 21)

Outstanding all-around hitter with a smooth lefty stroke and quick hands was selected the Southland Conference player of the year after batting .374 with 16 home runs, 52 RBIs and 61 runs scored. Cowser is the highest-drafted player in Sam Houston history after Glenn Wilson went 18th overall in 1980. He has the defensive instincts and speed to potentially remain in center field in the pros, and he was graded highly by data analysts despite playing at a smaller college.

No. 6 – ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

JORDAN LAWLAR, SS, JESUIT PREP (TEXAS) (6-2, 190, 18)

Lawlar has hit throughout high school and was considered a possible top-3 selection. He hit .412 with six HRs and 37 RBIs this season, and also stole 32 bases. Lawlar has excellent range with a combination of a strong arm and quick hands, making it likely he’ll stick at shortstop in the pros.

No. 7 – KANSAS CITY ROYALS

FRANK MOZZICATO, LHP, EAST CATHOLIC H.S. (CONNECTICUT) (6-3, 175, 18)

Mozzicato was the first true surprise pick of the draft. The 18-year-old left-hander threw four consecutive no-hitters this spring but was projected by most experts as a fit for early in the second round. His velocity jumped this spring to 91-93 mph, and his best pitch is a high-spin curveball. He had been committed to UConn but is unlikely to make it to campus.

No. 8 – COLORADO ROCKIES

BENNY MONTGOMERY, OF, RED LAND H.S. (PENNSYLVANIA) (6-4, 200, 18)

Montgomery has some of the best speed in this year’s class and could add a lot of strength to his 6-foot-4 frame. There’s already pop there, which he showed off while winning the Perfect Game All-American Classic Home Run Derby last year. With some stiffness in his swing, he elicits comparisons to Hunter Pence and Jayson Werth.

No. 9 – LOS ANGELES ANGELS

SAM BACHMAN, RHP, MIAMI (OHIO) (6-1, 235, 21)

Can reach 101 mph after adding velocity this spring, although he usually works 94-97 mph as a starter. His slider and changeup also look like big league pitches, and he’s made strides improving his command, too. He was 4-4 with a 1.81 ERA as a junior, and his 0.77 WHIP ranked second in Division I.

No. 10 – NEW YORK METS

KUMAR ROCKER, RHP, VANDERBILT, (6-5, 245, 21)

Rocker pitched himself into contention to go No. 1 overall when he tossed a no-hitter as a freshman against Duke in the 2019 super regionals, then led Vanderbilt to a College World Series title and was selected the Most Outstanding Player. The son of former Washington defensive lineman (and current Philadelphia Eagles D-line coach) Tracy Rocker is a physical presence on the mound with a mid- to upper-90s fastball, terrific slider and solid curveball. An inconsistent spring took him out of the running to go first overall. He was 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA and 179 strikeouts and just 39 walks in 122 innings this season.

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