I don't know if resident prospect guru Kyle Reis is going to write up any analysis of the 2021 MLB Draft picks for the St. Louis Cardinals. I've been busy hanging out with my children this week and have lazily not asked him. So here is simply a dump of information about each of them, mostly from Prospects Live, MLB Pipeline, and Fangraphs among other information I have found online as well. Use this how you will.
At #18, the #STLFLY St. Louis Cardinals select RHP Michael McGreevy out of UC Santa Barbara.
He was ranked #62 on Prospects Live's board:
"Starting pitcher through and through. Throws four pitches for strikes. Fastball is a sinker with a little run 91 to 94, touching 96. Curveball is best secondary with some good depth. Slider and changeup can both be thrown for strikes, though neither are out-pitches just yet. High floor should make for a high draft pick."
He was ranked #28 on MLB Pipeline's board:
"Undrafted out of high school, McGreevy pitched out of the UC Santa Barbara bullpen as a freshman in 2019, earning First Team All-Big West honors in the process. He made a successful transition to the rotation in 2020, only to have that move cut short after just four starts. He picked up where he left off in 2021 as the Gauchos’ Friday night starter, raising his Draft stock considerably with a mix of improved stuff and advanced pitchability.
The 6-foot-4 McGreevy has always thrown a lot of strikes, walking just over two batters per nine innings in 2019-2020 combined. That continued this year, and he became even more interesting with harder and sharper stuff. His fastball is now up to 96 mph consistently, sitting around 93 mph and thrown with good sinking movement. He has two distinct breaking pitches, with his solid slider a touch ahead of his developing curveball. He knows how to mix in an average changeup as well.
McGreevy’s uptick in stuff has not come at the expense of his control, with his stuff playing up even more because of his ability to command all four pitches. That’s allowed him to move into top two round consideration, which would make him the earliest-drafted Gaucho since All-Star Shane Bieber was a fourth-rounder in 2016."
He was ranked #47 on Fangraphs' board:
"A converted infielder with a huge frame, McGreevy has added significant velocity over the last year. He sat 90-92 throughout most of 2020 but was into the mid-90s during the Fall and for most of 2021. He works with four pitches and has feel for spinning both breaking balls, though the two of them come out of very different arm slots. Mostly, this is an athletic, young strike-thrower who teams think can and will throw harder. It's a sinker/changeup mix with the two breaking balls that need polish so they're not easy to tell apart out of hand. McGreevy's velocity was way down in his final start of 2021 and he sat 90-92 as opposed to the mid-90s. That plus the sinker profile slid him here, though his draft homes start in the middle of round one. There are obvious late-bloomer traits here."
Another scouting report I see on McGreevy:
"REPORT: Starter profile. Throws a ton of strikes and has plus command. Has a four-seamer that has average VB from a high release (close to a vertical look), and a two-seam that he throws 30 minutes laterally with good bit of HB. He's 90-94, and the four-seamer is average, the two-seamer is average too, though closer to a 45 than the four-seam look. He also has two breaking balls, though unlike the fastballs, both are good. The better is a gyro-heavy SL at 83-84. He throws it for strikes and gets good whiffs. It's a plus pitch. The CB is an above average pitch, though his shape isn't consistent. He throws it primarily around 6:30 though can throw it clockwise at 5:30, and an hour vertical at 7:00. If he could keep it around 6:00 (in either direction), he'd benefit greatly. The fact that he throws it around 78 mph helps it a ton. He has a CH, though he doesn't really need to use it much and struggles to glove-strike it when it does. His arm is < 90 degrees at foot strike and he should have far more VB given the slot, so I think he's in for a relatively large release change once he gets into pro ball as there's a ton of upside if his middle finger could get more on top of his fastball at release as opposed to getting more to the side, it's why his axis is extremely lateral relative to generic vertical-arm slot four-seamers."
Stats at UCSB:
3 year career
49 games, 20 starts (16 games, 16 starts this year)
16-3 record (9-2 this year)
2.33 ERA (2.92 ERA this year)
189 1/3 innings (101 2/3 innings this year)
1.114 WHIP (1.180 WHIP this year)
25.1% K% (27.1% K% this year)
4.0% BB% (2.6% BB% this year)
6.26 K:BB (10.45 K:BB this year)
For posterity's sake, I was hoping for one of:
College RHP Ty Madden
College LHP Jordan Wicks
HS C Joe Mack
HS RHP/SS Bubba Chandler
Being the first round pick, Kyle and I did talk about McGreevy a little bit. I told him that statistically (please remember that word when reading this), this pick reminds me of the Seattle Mariners taking George Kirby out of Elon University in the 2019 draft at 20th overall. Less so when the Kansas City Royals took Brady Singer at #18 in the 2018 draft out of the University of Florida or Tanner Houck out of Mizzou to the Boston Red Sox at #24 in the 2017 draft.
He agreed that maybe this was a George Kirby light type of pick and then came back to me later and said maybe a lesser draft prospect version of Mike Leake.
#STLFLY 2nd pick - at #54 overall - high school OF Joshua Baez
"Sublime athlete with next-level strength. Baez is as tooled up as they come on the field. At the plate, it's 60 raw power present, maybe 70, and he gets into it in-game. Big, strong, wide, long frame. There's definitive swing and miss concerns, especially on breaking balls, and inconsistent timing triggers and balance issues at times in the overall hit tool. Very good runner right now, but will likely age into fringe average to average speed. Very green talent, but maybe the best athlete in the entire draft alongside Benny Montgomery. Also reaches 97 on the mound. It's a comfortable plus arm in any corner spot. Needs to hit and control the strikezone/battle deeper into counts to rise."
"Massachusetts high school baseball doesn’t tend to produce a ton of early-round talent. The last time a prep talent from the state went in the top three rounds was when the D-backs took right-hander Matt Tabor in 2017 and Isan Diaz is the most recent position player taken that high, a second rounder -- also by Arizona -- in 2014. Baez, who had his raw power on display at a number of summer showcase circuit events and showed off his tools enough to be named the Gatorade state high school player of the year, has a very good chance to join them in July.
There might not be a player in the Draft class with more raw pop than Baez. It shows up in games against good competition, like when he crushed a home run with an exit velocity well over 100 mph at the Area Code Games. With that power comes a lot of swing and miss, especially when he gets too home run happy. He doesn’t take bad swings or get fooled, but just swings through pitches while trying to hit the ball 600 feet every time. There is hope that when he learns to trust his strength and tone down his swing, he’ll make more contact and find his power is naturally there.
While not a burner, Baez is a solid runner who knows how to steal a base and could stick in center field for a while. If the Vanderbilt recruit needs to move to a corner, he should profile very well in right, with a hose for an arm that fires fastballs up to 97 mph off the mound."
"Baez is a prototypical right field prospect with big present power as well as frame-based projection, a big arm, and strikeouts that threaten to torpedo his profile. Those strikeouts were worse than the industry hoped during his 2021 varsity season. Baez has a long-levered swing that cuts through the middle of the zone. He plays both ways and is from the Northeast, so it's possible the feel for contact is still coming, but that demographic of player is also extremely risky. He is a prospect of extreme variance."
One more report I've seen:
"REPORT: There's lots of bat whip and raw power in Joshua's swing and you can put easy 5's, or better, on both the hit and power tool's. He's a dominating player in games, making plays with the glove and arm in the corner outfield with the athleticism to play CF, but the arm (easy plus grade) that makes him best suited in RF where he's a 6 defender. He can even come in a pump 97 on the mound in late-game situations, and he'll even command his two pitches (60 FB/60 CB). The upside is through the roof on Baez, and there's lots of above average or better (55+) tools. Baez even throws a CB with upwards of 2,750 rpm, something that'll have organizations debate whether he's a hitter or pitcher. I think the power/defense combination of upside are intriguing, so I'm projecting him as an outfielder."
For posterity's sake, he was one of 18 people left on my board at #54.
#STLFLY select collegiate OF Ryan Holgate, out of University of Arizona, at #70 overall in the competitive balance B round.
Here is what Prospects Live thinks of him:
"Holgate is one of the better, more complete hitters from the college side in this draft. It's a strong, lefty cut that has easy plus pull-side power and LCF gap power the other way. Holgate gets a ton of leverage from his lower half in his swing, and there's likely a better power package here as a pro, possibly a plus game power grade. Holgate is an average runner with good instincts, so he may stick in a corner as a pro, though there is a slight chance he ends up at first base. Some similarities to Trevor Larnach's draft profile."
MLB Pipeline says this:
"Holgate started in all but 10 games as a freshman at the University of Arizona in 2019, but really started to get some attention when he led the Northwoods League in home runs that summer. That carried over to a very good start to his sophomore season, when he hit .377/.459/.547 over 15 games before the shutdown in 2020. He was slated to play in the Cape Cod League this past summer, but when that was cancelled he did manage to get at-bats with the Santa Barbara Foresters, a team in the also-cancelled California Collegiate League that cobbled together a schedule against local opponents and then went on to win the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kansas. Teams that like left-handed power, and who doesn't, especially from a college bat, will be following Holgate's progress this spring. He has tremendous raw pop that shows up all the time in batting practice and he has shown the ability to get to it in games as well. While he might end up being a bit power over hit, he has the kind of plate discipline that should help him get to that power at the next level. Having re-worked his body since high school, Holgate has become more athletic and has the agility to play an outfield corner, though he might be suited best for left field with a fringy arm. He is capable at first base as well, but it's that power bat that teams will be buying in the top three rounds in a class that isn't deep in terms of college hitters with pop."
Elsewhere on the web:
"REPORT: Makes a ton of flush contact. Holgate has some ridiculous power and posts unnaturally high EV's at rare flights. Not only is he a better player than Austin Wells from a draft prospect point-of-view but he's also a better hitter in my opinion at this stage. You could say he's a corner bat and has to hit but in 2021, everybody has to hit. Holgate has some impressive hitability traits and I'm impressed with his ability to hit his mishits with authority. The three root factors in exit velocity are bat speed, acceleration, and release speed; so posting high exit velocities on lower release speed pitches like curveballs, and slurves isn't impossible by any means but far more difficult. Which is why Holgate's high EV's against curveballs are another positive in a notably impressive profile. Seth Beer profile."
At Arizona, his stats were this:
Career: 550 PA
.314/.409/.523/.932 (hitter's league/ball park)
95 runs, 101 RBI
34 doubles, 3 triples, 19 homers
In 2021: 280 PA
49 runs, 56 RBI
20 doubles, 1 triples, 11 homers
He was also on my list of guys remaining that I wanted to see picked at that spot. 2 out of 3 so far and 2 in a row!
At #90 overall, #STLFLY takes collegiate RHP Austin Love out of UNC.
Prospects Live says:
"Big, strong body. Bulldog build. Lengthy leg lift with some pause. Shorter arm action from a fairly vertical release. Works down the mound well. Fastball is a mid 90s heater, comfortably 92-93 touching 95. Above average spin rates and shows good control of the pitch. Low 80s slider is usually averavge though Love also has a solid average changeup in the mid-80s, that is commanded well and can be tough on righties."
MLB Pipeline says:
"A fourth-year sophomore, Love redshirted in 2018 and didn't crack North Carolina's rotation until this spring. He finished strong with complete-game victories in his final two regular-season starts, including a career-high 15-strikeout effort against Georgia Tech, and wins in both of his postseason outings. Love's best weapon is a plus mid-80s changeup with plenty of fade and sink, and he should probably use it against right-handers more often. While he can run his fastball up to 98 mph and operates at 91-95, it tends to straighten out and get hit at higher velocities. He has made some progress with his mid-80s slider/cutter but it's an average pitch at best. Love has a strong 6-foot-3, 232-pound frame that allows him to hold his velocity and maintain his delivery deep into games. He throws strikes but runs into trouble when he doesn't locate his fastball and slider as well. He'll get a chance to remain a starter in pro ball, but most evaluators see him as a long-term reliever."
Elsewhere on the web:
"REPORT: Has weird delivery, and abstract arm action but makes it work. Performed as an underclassmen and on the cape, but had some control issues. They have improved in his third-year, and he's touching 98 while sitting in the 93-96 range. Has gyro-heater, somewhat high release and slightly above average VB make it a fringy above average pitch. He does command it up in the zone though, so it's performed better than the raw movement would suggest with regards to whiffs. His best pitch is a breaking ball, which is typically a 83-86 mph SL that has low efficiency. He's also thrown a slightly different version of a breaking ball in upper-70s, low-80s that has sweep with no VB. Though I'm not sure if it's an actual pitch he's tried to throw or just miss thrown sliders that happened to be effective sweepers. The SL is a plus-pitch, and the sweeper would be an above average pitch in the case it's real. His CH is around average, it's shape is just okay and the results are similarly underwhelming due to his lack of feel for it."
For posterity's sake, my list consisted of:
RHP Burns, OF Franklin, RHP Heubeck, LHP Jump, SP/SS Montgomery, SS Mooney, OF Robertson, SS Schrier, 2B/SS Stovall, OF Taylor
At #120 overall, #STLFLY selected Zane Mills, collegiate RHP out of Washington State.
"Heavy, sinking low 90s fastball up to 95. Average secondary stuff with a slider than can flash above average at times. Control has been a bugaboo for Mills in the past but appears improved in 2021. If he can avoid free passes in 2021, Mills can work his way into the top-third of the draft."
His college stats - Career (2021):
45 games, 17 starts (13 games, 13 starts)
141 1/3 innings (80 1/3 innings)
1.358 WHIP (1.344 WHIP)
2.92 K:BB (3.77 K:BB)
24.3% K% (23.0% K%)
8.3% BB% (6.1% BB%)
3.95 ERA (4.15 ERA)
5.22 runs per game (5.60 runs per game)
The only player that I had listed above taken between 90 and 120 was RHP Heubeck.
***Note: At this point, my list is made up of 9 high school players not likely to be signing, instead going to school at whichever place they have committed.***
At #151, #STLFLY selected collegiate RHP Gordon Graceffo out of Villanova.
"Villanova might be more known for its basketball program, but it has had more than 60 baseball players drafted in the program's history, though none since 2017 and the last big leaguer to come from the school was outfielder Matt Szczur, a 2010 draftee. Graceffo, who worked his way into the Wildcats' weekend rotation as a freshman in 2019, had taken a nice step forward as a starting pitcher prospect before the shutdown in 2020 and carried that over to 2021, where his dominance as the school's Friday night starter gives him the chance to be just the second Villanova product to go in the top seven rounds since Szczur was selected in the fifth. After a big winter workout regimen, Graceffo showed up this spring throwing harder than he had previously, with his fastball now up to 95 mph. He throws it with good sink and that, plus a changeup that could be a plus pitch in the future, elicits a lot of weak contact on the ground. He has an average slider that averages around 81 mph and he can subtract from it to give it more of a mid-70s curve type feel. With the uptick in velocity, the 6-foot-4 Graceffo has actually become a better strike-thrower this spring while missing more bats. He won't get out-worked in the weight room and gets high marks for his competitive nature on the mound, ingredients teams love in a college performer."
Elsewhere on the web:
"REPORT: Relief profile. Works in low-90s, touching 93 with a sinker and high release. Has somewhat steep approach angle from difficult slot. Some low hanging fruit in the delivery, lead leg opens up early. Mixes in a gyro-heavy SL in the 77-80 range that get's a ton of whiffs. His CH is 74--78 and also gets whiffs with some fade, flashes above average, the SL is plus and he also throws a slower SL in the 74-78 range that they also call a SL, but it's clearly a different pitch as he has much less VB. It's an average pitch that he'd be better off dumping. He throws his three true pitches for strikes and gets whiffs/outs at a decent rate on all three. He's an intriguing option to grab affiliate ball innings in relief."
His stats in college - Career (2021)
32 games, 28 starts (11 games, 11 starts this year)
179 1/3 innings (82 innings this year)
2.86 ERA (1.54 ERA this year)
3.86 runs allowed per 9 (2.63 this year)
1.193 WHIP (0.963 this year)
3.22 K:BB (6.62 this year)
With pick #181 in the MLB Draft, #STLFLY took Alfredo Ruiz, collegiate LHP out of Long Beach State.
"Strong, bulldog build with starter traits in repeatable operation and feel for pitching. Fastball is an extremely heavy 90-92 with armside run. Mixes in a slider and a changeup. The changeup is deceptive and commanded well in the low 80s. Slider is slurvy with big depth and solid sweep."
Stats in college (2021 in parenthesis)
35 games, 20 starts (11 games, 1