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MLB Draft 2021: RHP Sam Bachman, potential Dodgers pick in first round

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Dodgers pick 29th overall. Tonight!

Miami of Ohio right-hander Sam Bachman is among the many players who could be available when the Dodgers pick in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft, No. 29 overall on Sunday night.
From MLB.com

The 2021 MLB Draft is tonight. Coverage starts at 4 p.m. PT on both ESPN and MLB Network. But that’s still several hours away, which means more time for final mock drafts to trickle in.

Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein at FanGraphs unveiled a mock draft on Sunday morning, which gives us a new name linked to the Dodgers. They project the Dodgers to draft Miami of Ohio pitcher Sam Bachman in the first round, at 29th overall.

“Sam Bachman’s hip and shoulder issues have some teams off him, and he also presents considerable reliever risk,” says FanGraphs. “The Dodgers have taken pitchers with both these issues before, including several last year.”

The 6’1 right-hander had a 1.81 ERA in 12 starts as a junior, with 93 strikeouts and 17 walks in 59⅔ innings. Bachman saw a jump in his strikeout rate from 21.7 percent in his first two college seasons to 41 percent in 2021. Bachman was first team All-MAC as both a freshman and a junior at Miami.

MLB.com rates Bachman as the 14th-best prospect in the draft, and rates his fastball a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale:

After working at 91-94 mph for much of his first two college seasons, Bachman now sits at 94-97 and hits 101 with plenty of armside run and sink. His slider also has gained more power, operating in the mid-80s with nastier bite and destroys left-handers and right-handers alike. His deceptive, heavy changeup in the mid-80s gives him at least a solid third offering.

Bachman improved that fastball with offseason training at PRP Baseball in Nashville in between his sophomore and junior years. His college coach, Danny Hayden, raved about Bahcman’s repertoire to Akeem Glaspie at the Indianapolis Star:

“Best I’ve ever seen by a wide gap. Sam’s stuff is the best I’ve ever seen in my life,” Hayden said. “In a lot of ways he’s different than anybody I’ve ever seen. And it’s not just because he’s so talented, but from a stuff standpoint I haven’t seen anything this good before.”

In other late Saturday and early Sunday mock drafts, the players linked to Dodgers were familiar. Baseball America has Wake Forest right-hander Ryan Cusick going at No. 29, while both Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com have the Dodgers selecting Florida State catcher Matheu Nelson.

We have previously profiled both Cusick and Nelson. You can see all the players mocked to the Dodgers here, which includes the national prospect rankings for these 15 players.

Bachman has the highest average prospect rankings among the various players mocked to the Dodgers, rated as high as ninth (by Keith Law at The Athletic) and in the top 18 at Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com, Baseball America, and FanGraphs.

The Dodgers have only drafted four players from Miami of Ohio, and only signed one of those picks. That was John Shoemaker, an infielder (who was also drafted in the NBA) who played four years in the minors before embarking on a coaching journey that has lasted over 40 years. Shoemaker, who is managing in Low-A Rancho Cucamonga this season, is the Dodgers captain of player development.