The MLB amateur draft does not get anywhere near the attention that the NFL or NBA drafts get—and it is not hard to understand why. Teams look to get some kind of contribution from the early-round players sooner rather than later.
With the MLB draft, even the best players spend some time in the minor leagues before they play in the big leagues. So, it is kind of hard to get excited about a prospect when he may not even see the field for another two or three years.
But that does not stop baseball fans from getting excited about the draft. Yes, it would be nice for that ace pitcher or power hitter to contribute right away. It is also nice to know that he can fine-tune his game in the minors and be an even bigger contributor when his time does come.
The 2021 MLB amateur draft got underway Sunday night and continued on Monday with rounds 2-10. It will conclude Tuesday with the remaining rounds (11-20). So far, Dallas-area talent has been well represented:
- Jordan Lawler, SS, Dallas Jesuit HS: Lawler was the first local player taken in the draft going to the Arizona Diamondbacks with the No. 6 pick in the first round; the eighth high school player from the Dallas area to go inside the top ten. But the question now will be whether he signs with the D-backs or plays college ball at Vanderbilt.
- Jordan Viars, OF, Frisco Reedy: If the Philadelphia Phillies are looking to improve their offensive production in the future, then Viars could be a big help. Last season he had the 12th highest batting average in the Dallas area: .468.
- AJ Smith-Shawver, P, Colleyville Heritage: The former quarterback and state baseball title winner (2019) was taken in the seventh round by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 217th pick of the draft. He will have to decide between signing or moving on to play for Texas Tech.
Several players who played their high school baseball in the Dallas area were selected after establishing themselves as top talents at the collegiate level.
- TCU pitcher Russell Smith (Milwaukee Brewers; second round, 51st pick) played at Midlothian.
- Jackson Glenn was a star player at Ovilla Christian in Cedar Hills before eventually landing at Dallas Baptist. The Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the fifth round with the 133rd pick of the draft.
- Carlos Tavera was a star pitcher for Keller Fossil Ridge in 2017. He went on to play his college ball for Weatherford College and UT-Arlington. The Baltimore Orioles took him in the fifth round with the 137th pick.
- Will Frizzell, a former Rockwall high school standout, played his college ball at Texas A&M, where he played well enough for the Washington Nationals to take him in the eighth round with the 233rd pick.