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MLB Draft 2021: A profile of Florida State catcher Matheu Nelson, potential Dodgers 1st-round target

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Dodgers pick 29th overall in the first round

Syndication: Nashville George Walker IV / The Tennessean, George Walker IV / The Tennessean

We’re getting closer and closer to the MLB Draft, and it appears the Dodgers are attached to a brand new name with every mock draft that comes out. Though the players are changing, there does seem to be one constant with every mock involving the Dodgers.

“Take the best player available.”

Whether that’s a hitter or pitcher, most mocks say the Dodgers will take whoever they believe the best player available is. The latest mock draft from the MLB website has them taking Matheu Nelson, a catcher from Florida State.

The Dodgers likely will take the best bat on the board, be it college or high school. That could be a whole host of hitters, with Nelson and his power from behind the plate certainly on the list.

Based on prospect rankings, this would be quite the reach for the Dodgers. MLB.com has Nelson listed as their No. 40 prospect, with Baseball America having him listed as their No. 50 overall prospect.

Here’s his scouting report, per Baseball America.

Nelson ranked squarely in the middle of the BA 500 in the 2020 class, at No. 250, thanks to an all-around profile with a compact swing and solid arm strength, but no obvious carrying tools. A year later, Nelson has dramatically shifted his profile and improved his draft stock, thanks to one of the better offensive seasons of any Power 5 Conference player. Through 52 games, Nelson was tied for the Division I lead with 23 home runs, while putting up a .330/.436/.773 slash line. Nelson has a compact and strong frame, listed at 5-foot-11, 209 pounds, and his homers this season have been scattered from the left-field line to the right-center gap, with a majority of them coming off of fastballs. There is some swing and miss to Nelson’s game, and he also struggled with pitches on the inner third and with spin, but when he’s able to get his hands extended he has shown an ability to do plenty of damage. He has the defensive tools to stick behind the plate, with some scouts saying he is one of the better catch-and-throw backstops in the country in a class where most of the top college backstops are bat-first types. He has easy, plus arm strength and has shown an ability to throw quickly and with good carry from his knees, with solid blocking and receiving ability as well. Nelson is old for the class but has a chance to be an everyday catcher with some power.

Nelson is one of the best power hitters in this draft class, especially at the catcher position. But with how deep the Dodgers currently are at catcher already, would it make sense to add another one to the mix? Especially one who will already be 23 years old at the start of next season.