A Look Back: The 2021 Draft

Discussion in 'The Dugout - OOTP Online League' started by Timpegoose, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Timpegoose

    Timpegoose Walk On

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    Here's part 2 of a feature that we hope to start doing annually. This one was worked on by a variety of people, and the panel included:

    HAL9100
    Drifterbub
    I Peench
    Timpegoose
    ty5oke

    If anybody would be willing to help out with next year's that would be awesome, hopefully we can get it started sometime around next year's spring training.

    1. SP Eduardo Banda - San Diego Padres

    #1 Overall Picks don't always pan out....especially in baseball. When a High Schooler projects to be a #1 overall pick, it's even more challenging because there's a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure that they can make an impact at the MLB level. NeuroticTruth was able to see the forest for the trees though and picked the 18 year old Banda. Banda had great stats but nothing extremely out there from what we normally see from top 10 HS SPs. Banda though has panned out in his development and nearly matched his potential. He doesn't have the career VORP or WAR that some other guys in this draft have but that's due more to his late start than his performance. He'd be the ace for nearly every team in the league right now. He's not really seen that way though since he's just entering his prime and is stuck behind a Cy Young winner in Dave Taylor. That's right, like many of his picks, NT shipped Banda away to Tampa Bay where he is now part of their amazing staff.

    Grade: A- (would be higher if not for the Padres trading him for Gabriel Iampos)

    Graded By: HAL9100

    2. SP Jim Hickey - Chicago White Sox

    Unlikely Banda, Hickey came out of college(Chabut) and had the stats that made him look like a future All Star. Unfortunately for the White Sox, Hickey has a personality that would rival Ryan Leaf. Dumb as rocks with no work ethic. People looking for an explanation will probably point to that being why Hickey turned out to be a huge bust. He did at least make it to the MLB and pitched in 7 career games but he posted a -1.2 VORP and a 5.79 ERA. He's now back in obscurity playing for the AAA Charlotte Knights with little hope of ever making it back to the show(unless he owns a PS4). His bust is surely hidden behind the success of the White Sox in the 2020s but they would've been so much better had he panned out.

    Grade: D

    Graded By: HAL9100

    3. SP Andy Tofts - Texas Rangers

    Tofts came out of college baseball powerhouse Cal State Fullerton and former GM Drunkensoldier made him the 3rd pick of the 2021 draft. Drunken didn't have a lot of success in Arlington but this pick is probably the best thing he ever did. Tofts didn't have as impressive of stats as Hickey, but he faced better competition and had a great WHIP. He also has a much better personality than Hickey. After 3 short years in the minors, Tofts found quick success in the majors and has been the ace for the Rangers staff for the last 5-6 years. His numbers have been really impressive considering that he's pitched in a hitters park his whole career. He's still just 28 years old and has plenty of years left to go down as one of the Rangers' best pitchers ever.

    Grade: A

    Graded By: HAL9100

    4. SP Mike Parker - Los Angeles Dodgers

    Parker was the first 4 year college player of the 2021 draft coming out of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Looking back, I'm almost surprised that Parker wasn't taken #2 in this draft behind Banda. He was great in college and was well enough developed that he was able to make it up to the Dodgers after just 2 years in the minors. He was a very important part of that rotation for 5 solid years. Then in late september 2028, Parker was injured while pitching and required elbow ligament reconstruction surgery. He hasn't seen any action since that injury and looks like a shell of his former self. Along with Ken Endacott, Dodgers can't help but wonder where'd the be today if those 2 hadn't suffered the injuries they did.

    Grade: B+

    Graded By: HAL9100

    5. SP Owen Bourns - Chicago Cubs

    Despite having 2 years of college under his belt and some really good stats at Long Beach State, Bourns was a guy that needed some time to develop. He didn't see any MLB action before he was 25 years old so he's a guy whose career MLB stats don't match up to guys like Tofts. He's 29 now and still hasn't quite reached his full potential, but he's been a really good arm for the Cubs the last 4-5 years. Now that he's seemingly peaked though, I wonder how long he can hang on. He's still a quality front line arm now though and there's nothing to dislike about that.

    Grade: B

    Graded By: HAL9100

    6. SP Zak Gordon - Philadelphia Phillies

    Zak Gordon has followed a really similar path to the MLB as Banda. They were the top 2 arms coming out of High School in 2021, they were both drafted by a struggling NL team, and they were both traded to an AL East team. He was traded to the Orioles for CF Cade Patton and SP Jorge Lopez. Patton had a lot of solid years for the Phillies. Lopez though was eventually claimed off of waivers after just 2 years by the Brewers and went on to have a lot of good years for them. Back to Gordon though, he's now the ace of the rotation for the Orioles and looks like a really good pitcher at just 26 years old. Barring any injuries, he's going to be really good for a long time too.

    Grade: A-

    Graded By: HAL9100

    7. SS Jorge Lozano - Colorado Rockies

    This was my pick so I happen to have some good insight into what the GM was thinking at the draft and through the development of the player. Lozano looked like the top bat in the draft. He had the versatility to play pretty much anywhere except catcher. A year earlier in 2020 though, I had taken SS Don McMillan. Taking power bats at SS in back to back years probably didn't make a lot of sense but I really felt he was BAP at the time. He was coming out of Southern Mississippi and had a 1.072 OPS at SS. With his defensive versatility and McMillan being better rated at 2B and 3B, I figured that it would eventually pan out and I'd have 2 big power bats at positions you normally don't get that from....and at Coors. I was desperate to try and win though. I needed that power asap and rushed him through the minors allowing him to see his first MLB action just a little over a year from this 2021 draft and that probably hurt his development. He's been in the MLB for most of his career though so I wouldn't call him a bust. He's just never lived up to potential in this draft and has become an ok bat and utility player of the bench. He was eventually traded to the Cardinals last year in order to cut salary.

    Grade: C+

    Graded By: HAL9100

    8. OF Jose Leon Jr. - Cleveland Indians

    Leon was the 2nd hitter taken in the draft and blazed through the minors, moving up at least once a year in his first 3 years after getting drafted. An OBP machine, Leon has been traded twice since hitting the bigs. Once from Cleveland to LA for 3 players who never panned out for JFace907 and his Indians, and then just a couple of weeks ago for a solid looking 1B in Ron Johnston. "Tap Tap" has made 2 all star games in his career and looks to be producing well currently for the Yankees.

    Grade: B+

    Graded By: Timpegoose

    9. Ken Jones - St. Louis Cardinals

    In yet another draft loaded with pitchers Jones came out as a high schooler who was actually pretty well polished for an 18 year old. He rated as the #31 prospect in his first professional season, and was traded early on to the Nationals for a trio of solid players including 2 time all star Cade Mack. Jones is on his 4th major league team after being claimed off waivers by Minnesota in 2025, then was promptly traded to the Dodgers 3 months later where he got his first Major League action in 2027. "Wolf" has had a pretty average ML career so far with a career ERA of 4.31 and 306 K's in 459.1 innings.

    Grade: C+

    Graded By: Timpegoose

    10. OF Greg Jordan - Oakland Athletics

    Jordan has been a pretty average player in his 6 big league seasons thus far split between Oakland and Milwaukee. 2 years ago he put together an all star year in CF for the Brewers, but even with that 3.5 WAR season he has totaled only a 5.6 WAR in his ML career. He's shown flashes of hitting for huge amounts of power, but outside of his 45 HR outburst when he was traded to Milwaukee he struggled to live up to the lofty expectations only eclipsing 30 HR once.

    Grade: C+

    Graded By: Timpegoose

    11. Scott McCall - Tampa Bay Rays

    McCall has been a mainstay in the Tampa Bay rotation for 6.5 seasons now, but outside of big years in 2027 and 2028 has been mostly mediocre. Tabbed as a guy with nasty movement on his pitches, teams seem to make solid contact off him and he has a career .316 BABIP. His best season came in 2028 when he was really able to keep his walk numbers down and gave up well below his career average in HR.

    Grade: C

    Graded By: Timpegoose

    12. SP Shawn Fitzgerald - Kansas City Royals

    Fitzgerald was drafted as one of those players who was borderline between a starter and reliever, and the KC owner at the time actually used him as a starter in his first couple of seasons with minimal success (I don't remember if it was Brandon or Bondzai at the time). Since moving to the bullpen he has been a lockdown closer, and enjoyed an all star year in 2024. "The Reverend" is entering his 8th big league season and won a title with TB a couple years back. He sports a career 3.63 ERA which we can only assume would be lower without 230 IP of throwing as a starter in his first 2 years in the league.

    Grade: B-

    Graded By: Timpegoose

    13. SS Thomas Smith - New York Mets

    I can't quite figure out what happened to Smith. Either he had a precipitous decline or a career ending injury. Either way, he never contributed on the Major League level, therefore this pick is a fail.
    Grade: F

    Graded By: I Peench

    14. Chris Smith - New York Yankees

    "Smokey Joe," who was taken by the Yankees 14th overall, projected to be a middle of the rotation arm with a superb command of the strike zone. He never quite lived up to the hype, and was taken by Arizona in the rule 5 draft (2025), where he anchored an otherwise solid rotation. After two 3.6 WAR seasons and 19 total wins, Arizona let him go. He subsequently found his way back to the big apple, this time for the Mets, where he's settled into a bullpen role and been mediocre at best.

    Grade: C

    Graded By: I Peench

    15. SP Mike MacColman - Toronto Blue Jays

    "Merlin" has had himself a very solid major league career, amassing 51 wins and a 4.00 ERA in 5 seasons. Drafted out of a Brooklyn high school by Toronto, MacColman soon found himself part of a classic OOTP trade flip, as Chicago acquired him from Toronto for OF Joseph Wright, then quickly flipped him to Tampa in exchange for 2B Roberto Casillas. MacColman really looks like he's come together the last few seasons, as all have included sub 4.00 ERAs.

    Grade: A-

    Graded By: I Peench

    16. SP Edmund Hunt - Milwaukee Brewers

    Hunt only has about 50 innings thrown in the Majors so far so he's hard to judge, but he had a solid minor league career split between the Milwaukee and Kansas City farm systems. Since getting the callup in 2027 he has struggled quite a bit, but seems to be having a fairly nice season so far in KC posting a 2.00 ERA in 27 innings.

    Grade: C-

    Graded By: Timpegoose

    17. 2B Pedro Camacho - Atlanta Braves

    Camacho is one of the most exciting young players in the NL, but despite some solid numbers has never quite been able to get over the hump for an All Star Game selection. "Wild Thing" came up as a switch hitter who really struggled against lefties but would hit for some solid power and sprinkle in some stolen bases. His best year to date was his sophomore year where he hit .287 with a .921 OPS and 25 HR. He's on pace to best that this year, currently hitting .296 with 12 HR and 6 SB through 71 games.

    Grade: B

    18. SS Michael Reed - Seattle Mariners

    At the age of 26, Reed is still a fairly young player in the MLB but definitely has some experience. He was called up in 2026 at the age of 23, and has been a pretty average player since. "The Globetrotter" has really struggled to hit for average, and has a career OPS just over .700. He still has the potential to be one of the top shortstops in the game, but with his advanced age scouts are beginning to wonder if he'll ever reach his ceiling.

    Grade: C+

    Graded By: Timpegoose

    19. SP Zalfa Williams - Cincinnati Reds

    Williams was drafted as a starter, but always projected to be a reliever for the Reds. He had just enough of a changeup to make some scouts think he might develop it a little further, but it just never came around. Zalfa was solid in his first two seasons in Cincinnati splitting time between starting and coming out of relief, but has really struggled the last two years. His overall MLB numbers have him with a 4.27 ERA in 42 starts and 123 relief appearances.

    Grade: C+

    Graded By: Timpegoose

    20. OF Mike Rheaume - Pittsburgh Pirates

    Rheaume was one of the few busts in this first round. He only played 2 major league seasons in Pittsburgh, and posted negative WAR seasons in both. He is now in Boston's minor league system with AA Portland, and isn't doing any better there.

    Grade: D-

    Graded By: Timpegoose

    21. OF Doug 'Shooter' Hill - Washington Nationals

    For a guy who never really projected to be anything more than a standard role player in the bigs, 'Shooter' has done okay for himself. After being a contributor in the minors, Hill got his call up in 2024 with the Nationals and played in 167 games. After mustering subpar stats for a few seasons (some would say over-performing), Hill found himself in a platoon role between the 4/5th OF spot and AAA. This year he is back garnering a decent amount of playing time for Washington and could break his career ceiling in the majors with a > 1.0 WAR season.

    Grade: C

    Graded By: Drifterbub

    22. MR Lou Henson - Miami Marlins

    A lot of scouts thought Henson had the stuff to make the bigs and be a anchor for a bullpen for a long time. Henson may have suffered from some mismanagement in the minors. The promising lefty from Champaign, Illinois garnered several minor league awards on the shoulder of his ++ fastball. After souring through the bottom ranks of the Marlins farm system, Henson was likely cast into the AA and AAA world just before he was ready, likely ruining his confidence. Or maybe the more likely scenario is that hitters keyed on his fastball that grew flat and a pitcher that most of the time tried to over throw his repertoire.

    Grade: D+

    Graded By: Drifterbub

    23. Joe Unknown -

    One of the most famous names in Dugout history. I can only assume that Colemanchu didn’t sign a pick at this slot or some disciple of his also followed suit.

    Grade: F

    Graded By: ty5oke

    24. SP Steve Reed - Houston Astros

    Mr. Reed had a solid 14 year career for 7 different teams as a solid righty BP arm. He managed a 3.63 ERA with a career 6.5 K/9 and 2.21 K/BB ratio.Finished 10th in NL WAR for pitchers in 1995…..wait..1995 WAR but drafted in 2021..ahh yes, the wrong Steve Reed. The real Steve Reed was a first round pick by the Astros who had hoped he would become a lefty arm in the rotation for many years. After a full year in the organization his control potential had dropped to 35 and was never heard of again. Pretty sure he now sells insurance in Temecula, CA.

    Grade: F

    Graded By: ty5oke

    25. C Ian ‘EE-Yah’ Kinney - San Francisco Giants

    abolishthefed selected Kinney to hopefully fill the needs with the aging Posey needing replacement in the future. Ian came into the draft with 55/60/55 potential and a strong catching arm. Now 29 years old, he has maxed out his ratings to 50/50/45 and doesn’t appear to have enough to be a regular in the Bigs. Most likely a 3rd/4th C option that remains in AAA unless injuries happen. He’s got in 65 big league games so far with a .264/.291/.373 slash

    Grade: D

    Graded By: ty5oke

    26. Joe Unknown -


    One of the most famous names in Dugout history. I can only assume that Colemanchu didn’t sign a pick at this slot or some disciple of his also followed suit.

    Grade: F

    Graded By: ty5oke

    27. P Tony ‘The Human Rain Delay’ Galindo - Arizona Diamondbacks

    Maybe I’ve been wrongfully blaming Colemanchu for the non-signed 1st rounders, but who can blame me. Galindo was someone that Cole actually ended up signing and has had himself a good career. Local kid, Tony, was taken straight out of high school and make a quick ascent up the organization making his debut in 2024. Scouts pegged him with 55/60/65 potentials in the draft but with 10 stamina he had the potential to be a starter. Turns out he could never develop a 3rd pitch and ended up in the BP, where he has thrived. A career 3.32 FIP, 8.76 K/9 and a year topping out with 3.2 WAR has ‘THRD’ becoming a main BP contributor in the future.

    Grade: B-

    Graded By: ty5oke
     
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  2. Roggie

    Roggie Back 2 Back

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    Owen Bourns with a B? A bit harsh for a guy who won a Cy Young 2 seasons ago.

    (Sorry, had to be that guy who argues with a grade for his own dude, although someone will surely correct me that it's not my guy but Shaun's).
     
  3. NeuroticTruth

    NeuroticTruth dont know , dont care

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    I totally regret trading Banda now, especially now that I've taken over the Yankees. If only I could convince Dru50 to trade him to me! :D

    Great stuff though, excellent work all around. Its interesting to see how few of these guys have actually made a significant impact yet.
     
  4. Timpegoose

    Timpegoose Walk On

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    What was also really interesting to me is how few players from the first round this year were absolute busts. It lacks the real stud to headline the class, but there are a lot of people who have contributed.
     
  5. ty5oke

    ty5oke Walk On

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    Pretty much all mine busted but I did end up with some late gems in this draft.

    upload_2014-4-17_8-56-46.png
    upload_2014-4-17_8-53-54.png upload_2014-4-17_8-54-13.png upload_2014-4-17_8-54-29.png upload_2014-4-17_8-54-44.png upload_2014-4-17_8-55-4.png upload_2014-4-17_8-56-27.png
     
  6. HAL9100

    HAL9100 TSO's Resident Antagonist

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    You could probably argue that he deserved to be higher. To me, a B was a very good starter while A's were for elite players and potential HOF players. I downgraded him mainly because he seemed to have a short window to play at that Cy Young level. Outside of 2027, his career ERA is around 4.00. That combined with his late start and that he's already started regressing at 28 years old put him in the B territory for me.
     
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  7. KnightNoles

    KnightNoles Learn to Compete

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    Very nice fellas!

    I'm sure Drifterbub is going to do it, but front page this ish!
     
  8. sawemoff

    sawemoff #FearTheBeard

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    You are definitely right about Parker HAL9100 , nice work!
     
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  9. soxandgators

    soxandgators The Gator Nation

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    Great read and well put together
     
  10. Dru50

    Dru50 Still Chicago's #1 son

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    Very interesting read.....although I don't know who 90% of the guys are.
     
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  11. kdpnutter

    kdpnutter Walk On

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    Hmm Boston didn't have a first round pick in 2021?
     
  12. HAL9100

    HAL9100 TSO's Resident Antagonist

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    Boston probably signed a comp eligible player that year.
     
  13. JFace907

    JFace907 Ron F'n Swanson

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    Miss you Tap.
     
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  14. abolishthefed

    abolishthefed Specializing in mediocrity

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    Nice work gentlemen.
     
  15. abolishthefed

    abolishthefed Specializing in mediocrity

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  16. ty5oke

    ty5oke Walk On

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    Any interest in sending Alex 'Butterball' Byrne back on the cheap? ;)
     
  17. Confucius Rex

    Confucius Rex Walk On

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    Oh Greg Jordan. Why didn't you ever live up to your potential?
     

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