Everything Giants, A's fans need to know before 2021 draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
It's time for us all to play the guessing game and put on our pseudo general manager hats again.
The 2021 MLB Draft begins Sunday, July 11, and the annual event very well might be the biggest crapshoot of all the major sports. This year's version also will be different than last year's.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the draft was shortened to just five rounds in 2020. This year, it'll be a 20-round draft.
Now that we're finally almost here, below is everything Giants and Athletics fans need to know about the 2021 draft.
Day 1 begins at 4:07 p.m. PT. Day 2 starts at 10 a.m. PT, and Day 3 starts at 9 a.m. PT.
MLB Network (ESPN will hold Day 1). Live Stream on MLB.com
Day 1 will be all 29 first-round picks -- the Houston Astros do not have a first-rounder -- as well as Compensation Balance A picks, totaling 36 picks for Sunday. The second day will consist of rounds two through 10, and Compensation Balance B picks. The third and final day is rounds 11 through 20.
Unlike last year when there was a consensus No. 1 overall pick in Spencer Torkelson, as well as the previous two years (Adley Rutschman in 2019 and Casey Mize in 2018), there isn't one name guaranteed to go to the Pittsburgh Pirates with the top pick.
High School shortstops Marcelo Mayer and Jordan Lawler appear to be the frontrunners to hear their name called first. Vanderbilt star Jack Leiter could be in the mix, with the slight chance a third high school shortstop, Brady House, could be the pick.
Giants Top Pick
In his first two drafts with the Giants, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has taken two college bats with his top pick: Hunter Bishop and Patrick Bailey. If they stay that course, outfielders Colton Cowser and Sal Frelick, as well as shortstop Matt McClain, could be strong options.
San Francisco hasn't used its first pick on a pitcher since 2015. But they might be in prime position to do so. College arms like Ty Madden, Jordan Wicks, Will Bednar, Sam Bachman and Michael McGreevy are names to watch.
If they go the high school route, outfielder Benny Montgomery, catcher/third baseman/second baseman/center fielder Harry Ford and pitcher/shortstop Bubba Chandler could all be worth the risk. The same goes with outfielder Colson Montgomery and shortstop Will Taylor.
A's Top Pick
The A's have the No. 25 overall pick, and they have a pretty good history there. The last time they owned that selection, they took third baseman Matt Chapman out of Cal State Fullerton in 2014.
Oakland also took shortstop Bobby Crosby with the same draft slot in 2001. Three years later, he was named AL Rookie of the Year.
As they are consistently successful, the A's usually pick near the end of the first round. They have leaned slightly more on the college side, but went with a high school bat who looks like a future star last year. Tyler Soderstrom was the No. 26 overall pick, and he was selected to the Futures Game this year.
The A's have been more tied to high school bats this year. Taylor could be the pick as a plus-plus runner and big performer against top talent, but like Chandler, he's committed to play football and baseball at Clemson. Oakland also has been connected to Las Vegas prep prospects Tyler Whitaker and Wes Kath.