Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

2021 Draft Coverage: Final Mock Draft Wrap-up and Nats Prediction


Here’s this year’s Mock Draft collection.  We usually see the first crazy-early mock just after the 2020 drafts, then again after the end of the 2020 season when the draft order is more or less determined, then it really starts to heat up in May.

I’ll keep adding to this list as Mocks come in; they’re generated all the way up to the day of the draft by the major pundits.  If i’m missing a ranking here, please let me know.

Here’s the Mock draft collection.  I’ve generally listed their top-5 and then who they project the Nats to take at #22 (if they project out that far).  this year i’m ordering them Chronologically as rec’d instead of grouping by pundit…. this should let us see kind of an evolution of the top of the draft.  Players are bolded the first time they’re mentioned, not again afterwards.

  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Way too Early 2021 Mock, 6/12/20: Kumar Rocker, Jack Leiter, Brady House, Adrian Del Castillo, Matt McLain
  • BA (Collazo) v1.0 Draft 1/4/21: (missed it)
  • BA (Collazo) v2.0 draft 3/29/21Jordan Lawlar, Rocker, Leiter, Marcello Mayer, Del Castillo.  Nats take House.
  • Prospects365 (Mason McRae) 2021 Mock draft v1.0 6/25/20: Rocker, Leiter, Jud FabianLuke Leto, McLain
  • Prospects365 (Mason McRae) 2021 Mock draft v2.0 9/4/20: Rocker, Fabian, Leiter, Del Castillo, Jaden Hill
  • Prospects365 (Ian Smith) 2021 Mock Draft 1.0 11/9/20: Rocker, Leiter, Jordan Lawlar, Hill, Fabian.  Nats take James Wood, prep OF from IMG Academy in Fla. Not sure this is really credible.
  • MLBPipeline (Callis/Mayo) Apr 2021 mock draft 4/26/21: Leiter, Lawlar, Rocker, Mayer, House.  Nats take Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (Okla.).
  • BA (Collazo) v3.0 Mock draft 4/28/21: Leiter, Lawlar, Mayer, Rocker, House.  Nats also take Jobe.
  • MLBpipeline (Callis): May 2021 mock 5/6/21: Lawlar, Leiter, Mayer, Rocker, House.  Nats at 11 take Jobe.
  • ESPN (Kiley McDaniel) May 11 2021 Mock 1.0: Lawlar, Leiter, Mayer, Rocker, Davis. Nats at 11 take Jobe.
  • CollegeBaseballDaily May 2021 mock 5/12/21: Rocker, Leiter, Lawlar, Kahlil Wilson, Mayer. (only a top 5)
  • MLBpipeline (Mayo) May 2021 mock 5/20/21: Mayer, Lawlar, Davis, House, Leiter.  Nats take Ty Madden, RHP Friday night starter from UTexas.
  • BA (Collazo): v4.0 Mock Draft 5/24/21: Lawlar, Mayer, House, Leiter, Davis.  Nats take Jobe.
  • ESPN/McDaniel Mock 1.0 5/25/21: Lawlar, Leiter, Mayer, Rocker, Davis.  Nats take Jobe.
  • Athletic (Keith Law) Mock draft v1.0 5/27/21: Davis, Lawlar, Mayer, Rocker, Harry Ford prep C from GA (cost savings move). Nats take Bachman.
  • MLBpipeline (Callis) 6/10/21 mock: Mayer, Leiter, Jobe (!), Davis,
    Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College (in a cost-saving move). Nats at #11 take Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio)
  • ProspectsLive 6/8/21 mock draft: Davis, Watson, Mayer, Leiter,
    Harry Ford, C/2B/OF, North Cobb HS (cost saving move). Has Rocker falling to Nats at #11 … not a credible mock.
  • CBSsports (Mike Axisa) 6/11/21 mock: Davis, Lawlar, Mayer, Leiter,
    Frelick. Nats get Jobe.
  • Fangraphs (Longenhagen & Goldstein) 6/14/21 mock: Mayer, Lawlar, House, Leiter, Davis. Nats get Frelick, though mention that this is likely Rocker’s floor if he slips, and don’t count out Gunnar Hogeland (a top 10 guy who had TJ and has slipped).
  • MLBpipeline (Mayo) 6/16/21 mock draft: Mayer, Watson, Jobe, Leiter, Lawlar. Nats get Bachman.
  • CalltothePen (David Mullen): top 5 mock 6/17/21: Rocker, Leiter, Davis, Lawlar, Mayer. This mock is ridiculous; most pundits have Rocker closer to the Nats at #11 than #1 overall.
  • ESPN (McDaniel) Mock 2.0 6/18/21: Mayer, Davis, House, Leiter, Watson. Nats get Madden, who they take over Bachman, who he doesn’t have in the 1st round. Interesting.
  • MLBpipeline (Callis) 6/23/21 mock: Mayer, Leiter, Jobe, Lawlar, Davis. Nats get Bachman.
  • Athletic (Law): 6/24/21 mock draft v2.0: Mayer, Lawlar, Leiter, Davis, Colton Cowser, OF from Sam Houston State (on a discount). Nats take Jobe.
  • Baseball America (Collazzo): Mock draft v5.0 6/25/21: Mayer, Lawlar, Jobe, Leiter, Watson. Nats take Madden (over Bachman).
  • CBSsports (Axisa) 6/25/21 mock: Mayer, Lawlar, Jobe, Leiter, Davis. Nats take Bachman (though he mentions Hogeland)
  • BleacherReport (Joel Reuter) 6/25/21 mock draft: Lawlar, Mayer, Leiter, Davis, McLain (cost saving move). Nats take Madden over Bachman.
  • MLBPipeline (Mayo) 7/1/21 mock draft: Mayer, Leiter, Jobe, Davis, Watson. Nats take Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State. This is a pure reaction to Bednar’s admittedly great CWS performance, but is a massive over-draft based on where Bednar was ranked just a week ago on most boards (early 2nd rounder). Mayo notes that he thinks really they’ll take Bachman, b/c in this scenario Madden already off the board.
  • ProspectsLive Staff Mock draft v6.0: Mayer, Leiter, Jobe, Davis, Watson. Nats take Madden, over Bachman or Bednar.
  • Fangraphs (Longenhagen/Goldstein) Mock draft v2.0 7/6/21: Mayer, Leiter, House, Davis, Cowser (deal-cutting move). Nats take Bachman over Madden/Bednar, also noting this is Rocker’s floor.
  • Atlantic (Keith Law) Mock 3.0 7/9/21: Mayer, Rocker, Leiter, Davis, Watson. Nats land Jobe, likely because of the mock of Rocker so high. Oddly, no Bachman in the 1st round.
  • CBSsports (Axisa) Mock 7/9/21: Mayer, Lawlar, House, Leiter, Davis. Nats take Jobe, and then Bachman goes 2 picks later … and then no Madden in the entire 1st round.
  • Baseball America (Collazzo): Mock draft v6.0 7/9/21: Mayer, Lawlar, Jobe, Leiter, Watson. Nats take Madden over Bachman.
  • MLBPipeline (Callis) Dueling/Final Mock draft 7/10/21: Mayer, Leiter, Jobe, Davis, Watson. Nats take Bednar.
  • MLBPipeline (Mayo) Dueling/Final Mock draft 7/10/21: Mayer, Leiter, House, Davis, Watson. Nats take Madden.
  • Baseball America v7.0 day of: Mayer, Watson, Jobe, Leiter, Lawlar. Nats take Madden, Bachman slides to #18, Bednar to #19.
  • Bleacher Report (Joel Reuter) day of mock draft 7/11/21: Meyer, Lawlar, Jobe, Leiter, Cowser. Nats take Madden. Bednar goes #14, Bachman goes #21.
  • Fangraphs day-of Mock 3.0: Mayer, Leiter, Jobe, DAvis, Lawlar. Nats go Madden. Bednar goes 21, Bachman goes 29 (wow).

Draft Rankings: these are prospect ranking lists, NOT mock drafts.

Todd Boss’ Mock draft top-5 prediction?

My top 5 prediction: Mayer, Leiter, House, Davis, Watson.

Who are the Nats going to take in the 1st round?

Ty Madden. More and More we’re seeing Bachman falling and Madden staying put. If Madden is not there for some reason, I see the Nats taking either Bachman or Bednar. Draft Tracker

ACTUAL TOP 5 DRAFT Results (added after the draft): Davis, Leiter, Jobe, Mayer, Cowser.

Pirates go way off script and pick the college Catcher Davis 1-1. Its probably the safest possible pick for Pittsburgh, which has picked 1-1 in the past and… well their track record is not great. Leiter goes #2 as frequently predicted, and the Tigers indeed take Jobe. Mayer, who is pretty much considered the #1 player in the draft, drops to an ecstatic Boston team at #4, while the Baltimore Orioles indeed go for the “draft deal” with Cowser, meaning they’ll pursue overslot prep players in the supplimental first and early second round.

It also means that there will be talent available that perhaps wouldn’t have been there later on.

Actual Nats 1st round Pick (added after the draft): Brady House!

Written by Todd Boss

July 11th, 2021 at 7:57 am

Posted in Nats in General

37 Responses to '2021 Draft Coverage: Final Mock Draft Wrap-up and Nats Prediction'

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  1. Hitter, hitter, hitter! A man’s gotta dream . . .


    11 Jul 21 at 9:07 am

  2. If I were constructing a board for the Nats, it would look something like this:


    If you truly claim to pick the “best player,” then pick from ALL players. Well, except high school players, which is why I didn’t put Jobe on there. This franchise is in a precarious position talent-wise, and they’re too in need of an infusion of talent to wait for a high schooler.

    I have spelled out in other posts the DESPERATE need the Nats have for positional talent, but all draft projections have them continuing to ignore those needs. If you enjoy trying to stay in contention with guys completely off the scrap heap like Parra and Escobar, then keep picking pitchers. That’s how we got here.


    11 Jul 21 at 9:14 am

  3. Since I had to look it up, the draft starts at 7 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT on Monday, and noon on Tuesday.


    11 Jul 21 at 9:18 am

  4. Now Fangraphs in their day-of mock says Madden’s ceiling might be #11. Bachman plunges to #29 as apparently teams don’t like his injury history or reliever risk. The Nats are also speculatively linked to Jaden Hill in the second round.


    11 Jul 21 at 11:02 am

  5. Baseball America sticks with Madden in its morning update, although Jobe, Rocker, Bachman, and Bednar are mentioned as well. “It consistently sounds like power arms for the Nationals,” Carlos Collazo writes.

    Collazo cites some interesting rumors, including: The Rangers could pick Kumar Rocker at #2 after all. The Orioles are still consistently being linked to underslot deals with the second tier of college hitters at #5. Benny Montgomery seems to be the late hot name for the Rockies at #8. The Angels at #9 look poised to snap up whomever between Jackson Jobe and Brady House the Tigers pass on, as they appear to share their top preferences with the team selecting at #3, but Ty Madden could be a fallback option. There’s some late smoke around the Mets cutting an underslot deal with Colson Montgomery at #10.


    11 Jul 21 at 12:14 pm

  6. Bleacher Report’s final mock also has the Nats snapping up Madden at #11, but it also mentions Bachman, Bednar, and Painter. Rocker slides all the way to #9 here, and #11 is his floor, according to Joel Reuter:


    11 Jul 21 at 12:26 pm

  7. I’ll keep updating this post as they come in last minute.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 12:39 pm

  8. KW; its pretty clear to me they’re not drafting a hitter.

    I think the Nats board looks like this: Leiter, Rocker, Jobe, Madden, Bachman, Bednar.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 12:46 pm

  9. Axisa is sticking with Jackson Jobe at #11 today:

    Also this tidbit: “The Nationals are all about upside and power stuff, and Jobe fits. Jobe is likely the only high school player Washington would take (barring something crazy like Lawlar or Mayer falling here), so it’s college guys otherwise.”

    Ty Madden falls all the way out of the first round in his mock for CBS Sports; in fact, his name isn’t even mentioned. Axisa has consistently bucked the C.W. in not tying anyone firmly to Madden at all; it’s as if he isn’t even a factor. Very strange.


    11 Jul 21 at 2:13 pm

  10. So the draft starts … and immediately we get a pick at 1-1 in Davis that hadn’t been really mentioned as a possibility since late May.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 7:28 pm

  11. Boston gets the consensus #1 player in the draft at #4. good for them. Jobe off the board, meaning we don’t have to worry about picking a prep player.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 7:44 pm

  12. Holy cow, Mozzicato goes #7 to Kansas City, who had been linked to Rocker in practically every draft. Could he possibly now slip to us??

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 7:55 pm

  13. Holy sh*t. Bachman #9 to the Angels!! So much for those mockers who literally didn’t have him in the first round. WTF. Bachman ahead of Rocker. something is amiss.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 8:07 pm

  14. Holy smokes, Bachmann @ 9 ?!?!


    11 Jul 21 at 8:08 pm

  15. damn. Mets get Rocker. Seems like a lock we’re picking Madden.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 8:09 pm

  16. Khalil Watson still available … was a top 5 projected possible pick at some points during this season. Would the team possibly go with Watson?

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 8:14 pm

  17. It’s Brady House. What a stunner. Bizarro draft so far.


    11 Jul 21 at 8:18 pm

  18. So much for the mocks! Brady frigging House.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 8:24 pm

  19. House has light-tower power and ought to be our third baseman of the future…but of course, prep stars are risky. I still like the gamble by Rizzo. I like Ty Madden, but I’m not in love with him, and the draft has been anything but chalk.


    11 Jul 21 at 8:28 pm

  20. KW will be ecstatic; its a hitter.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 8:28 pm

  21. A year ago House was the 1-1 projected pick. Like Rocker, he was almost “too famous” for the draft, and pundits spent more time finding fault than finding value. Ironic that both Rocker and House fall so far after being projected literally to go 1-2 or close to it.

    Nats get a heck of a player. Bravo.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 8:31 pm

  22. Hitter, hitter, hitter, hitter! But a high schooler. But possibly the player with the highest ceiling at the plate in this draft. But a guy who swings and misses a lot, making him somewhat high risk. I do really like that he just turned 18, so he’s young for the grade. The time clock won’t start ticking so fast on him.


    11 Jul 21 at 8:44 pm

  23. And yes, I agree — on pure high-ceiling talent, Rocker and House were probably 1-2 . . . and they went 10-11.


    11 Jul 21 at 8:45 pm

  24. What a weird, weird draft thus far, but that’s good. But Madden, McLain, and Frelik all falling. What worries me about that — as if the Mets getting friggin’ Rocker doesn’t worry me enough — is that contenders are going to get higher-level, nearly ready talent that they shouldn’t be getting.

    There must be concerns about Watson’s asking price. I wonder whether House is a Boras client.


    11 Jul 21 at 8:50 pm

  25. Yeah, that: Watson to the Fish. So the other two teams in our division to pick have gotten two of the top five talents in the draft.


    11 Jul 21 at 9:00 pm

  26. Here’s an older Perfect Game profile showing House with a 1/1 ranking:


    11 Jul 21 at 9:04 pm

  27. Of course when I Google “Brady House,” I also get a bunch of images from the Brady Bunch!


    11 Jul 21 at 9:05 pm

  28. It’s exciting. I’m interested to see how the rest of the draft plays out tomorrow and Tuesday.


    11 Jul 21 at 9:06 pm

  29. Dang, what’s the story with Madden? He’s dropping like a rock.


    11 Jul 21 at 9:21 pm

  30. Madden must either have some unknown injury or be a Boras client with Wilcox-like demands last draft. But he’s a college junior and has no leverage.


    11 Jul 21 at 9:49 pm

  31. 9th ranked player who as of this writing has fallen past 25 in the draft. Interesting. Nobody had any reports of an injury.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 21 at 9:59 pm

  32. The Tigers end up with both Jobe and Madden, the two most highly ranked pitchers regularly linked to the Nats. Might be a money crunch with trying to sign both if Madden wants top-10 money. He doesn’t have a lot of leverage as a college junior, though, even with the potential extra year from COVID.


    11 Jul 21 at 10:46 pm

  33. One would think the the Nats likely have to take a college junior at #47 to stay around slot and have the scratch to sign House. A couple of interesting hitters are falling in OFs Jud Fabian and Ethan Wilson. There’s also catcher Adrian Del Castillo, who was once projected mid-1st-round. The Nats drafted 3B/1B Alex Binelas out of high school, but since they just took a 3B plus already have Kieboom, one would think that Binelas is not really a “need” pick. He’s also not as high on some boards as he is on others.

    The curious way the draft has fallen has made something we’ve discussed more of a possibility: wounded RHP Jaden Hill dropping to #47. He’s a great physical specimen, once thought of at least in the top 10-15 picks, who has been injured nearly every year in college. Less heralded but more refined is Tommy Mace out of FLA. The Nats took an LSU starter in 2020 and FLA ones in 2019 and 2016, so they’re quite familiar with those programs.


    11 Jul 21 at 11:10 pm

  34. Mace is a good name. Another is Matt Mikulski out of Fordham.


    11 Jul 21 at 11:15 pm

  35. MLB’s Jim Callis says the Nats were stunned and thrilled that House was available at #11.
    I’ll second that as I thought the Nats were incapable of drafting a hitter in the 1st round. Shocker!

    Mark L

    12 Jul 21 at 5:09 am

  36. MLB increasingly is a power game. House has the most power in this draft, perhaps by far. But it sounds like he’s got a lot of Schwarber/Bell in him, a lot of swing and miss. So it may be a roller coaster getting him established.

    I understand and appreciate that the Nats took this chance. It makes a ton more sense to me than taking another strapping RHP. But even the best high school players can’t be counting on to help the big club for at least four years. Kieboom had much better contact and plate-discipline skills than House, and we’re now five years out from his draft and still don’t know what we’ve got. Reetz (3d round) just made the majors this weekend seven years after being drafted, albeit with little likely in his future other than being a AAA shuttle guy. Taylor and Souza also took many years, and ups and downs, to make the majors. But Souza did ultimately become the pivot point for arguably the greatest trade in Nats’ history . . . after seven years in the Nats’ system.

    So we’ll see how it goes. At least short-suffering FredNat fans should have something to look forward to next year . . . if House is deemed ready for full-season ball.


    12 Jul 21 at 8:31 am

  37. Todd Boss

    12 Jul 21 at 9:10 am

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