It's mostly been the same few names associated with the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft.
With the fourth overall pick, many expect Boston will have its eye on Vanderbilt aces Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker, Louisville catcher Henry Davis, or high school shortstops Jordan Lawlar and Khalil Watson. According to a new rumor, however, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom may have other plans.
Hours ahead of Round 1, Baseball America linked the Red Sox to a player most predict to be taken outside the top 10:
"It sounds like UCLA shortstop Matt McLain could wind up being a bit of a wild card here and Boston might be a fit depending on who's available for them."
McLain is ranked as the 12th-best prospect in this year's draft class, per MLB.com. The 21-year-old was drafted 25th overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018, but he opted for UCLA instead.
In 47 games with the Bruins this year, McLain hit .333/.434/.579 with nine homers and 36 RBI. While he's a bit undersized at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, he's considered one of the top hitters in the draft with an above-average arm at short.
Boston taking McLain at No. 4 would be a surprise, especially if Leiter and/or Davis is available. In our most recent mock draft, we have McLain landing with the New York Mets at No. 10. Leiter and Davis are the two most prevalent names connected to the Red Sox by draft experts and for what it's worth, Baseball America has them selecting Leiter if he's there.
The 2021 MLB Draft is scheduled to begin Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.