We are still six months away from the 2021 MLB Draft, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start looking at potential picks for the Dodgers, who have the 29th and final pick in the first round.
On Monday, Carlos Collazo at Baseball America unveiled the first BA mock draft of this year, and took time to note, “this is more of a guessing game for entertainment purposes and to see how the class is shaping up right now.”
But for our purposes, it gives us a chance to profile players who could at least be available when the Dodgers select at the end of the first round. Perhaps a patter will emerge, or perhaps not. Last year we tracked 25 different mock drafts leading up to the MLB Draft, and only one projected the Dodgers to take Bobby Miller, the right-handed pitcher out of Louisville who was their first-round selection. On the bright side, at least we had at least some knowledge of Miller before the draft.
With that in mind, Baseball America in this mock draft has the Dodgers drafting pitcher Chase Petty, a right-hander out of Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey.
BA compares the 6-foot Petty to J.T. Ginn, the right-hander drafted by the Dodgers in the first round in 2018 but did not sign.
“Petty has the best fastball in the 2021 prep class, a beast of an offering that has been up to 100 mph with exceptional running life,” Collazo wrote. “He has also shown a slider and changeup that have above-average potential, but like Ginn will need to overcome some skepticism about his reliever risk.”
Baseball America split their 2021 draft rankings between high school and college players, with Petty checking in as the 17th-best high school prospect, and the seventh-best prep pitcher.
Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com was even higher on Petty, ranking him the fifth-best high school prospect in the 2021 draft.
“Some scouts felt Petty, who isn’t the biggest guy in the world, reminded them of Walker Buehler in terms of his combination of slighter build and electric stuff,” Mayo wrote. “With some effort in his delivery, there is a little reliever risk here, but most feel the Florida recruit is athletic enough to start.”
The right-hander has a college commitment to the University of Florida, which wouldn’t make him the first Petty with a connection to Gainesville. Petty made a name for himself at the Area Code Games in August, and was named the top prospect at the event. From Jim Callis of MLB.com:
Petty opened the Area Code Games on Friday morning by throwing a 99-mph fastball and following it up with 100-mph heater, setting a standard no one would match. He sat around 96-97 mph with sink for three hitless innings, backed up his fastball with an upper-80s slider and showed promising depth on a couple of changeups. His command wavered a little, but he struck out six without issuing a walk.
Or perhaps maybe there’s something to getting better through osmosis by knowing Mike Trout?
Chase Petty, RHP, Linwood, NJ, originally from Milville(yeah, knows the Trouts), @ Area Code Games started game at 8 a.m., 1st 2 P's 99 and 100. Florida commit, long before draft. Wisely sought out Jack Leiter to throw and learn— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) August 11, 2020
Counting supplemental picks, the Dodgers have drafted eight pitchers in the first round in their last 10 drafts. Two were high school picks — Ginn, and 2014 selection Grant Holmes.