2021 State Farm College Baseball Showdown

The Top 10 MLB Prospects At The State Farm College Baseball Showdown

The Top 10 MLB Prospects At The State Farm College Baseball Showdown

The 2021 State Farm College Baseball Showdown is loaded with top teams — and also top MLB prospects. Here are 10 to watch.

Feb 3, 2021 by Brady Vernon
The Top 10 MLB Prospects At The State Farm College Baseball Showdown

The 2021 State Farm College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field will host six of the most talented teams in college baseball. The round-robin tournament includes Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas, and these teams bring a ton of MLB-level arms and a handful of bats to Arlington, Texas. 

Watch the 2021 State Farm College Baseball Showdown LIVE on FloBaseball

Here are the top 10 MLB prospects to watch February 20-22 right here on FloBaseball.

Will Bednar

Mississippi State | So. | RHP

Bednar dazzled last season as a freshman. His four appearances were just a taste of his potential on the mound as he only allowed three earned runs over 15.1 innings. Bednar’s fastball comes out so easily off his hand around the 95 mph range and he pairs it with a curveball, changeup and slider. He does only have one collegiate start under his belt; this season will be about bolstering his experience and resume. 

Micah Dallas

Texas Tech | So. | RHP

Dallas will most likely be slated back as a starter for the Red Raiders in 2021 after coming out of the bullpen last season despite 13 starts in 2019. A three-pitch mix and solid command has been able to keep hitters off balanced the past two seasons. In two seasons at Texas Tech, Dallas has walked just 29 batters in 91.2 innings while he racked up 107 strikeouts. His slider has served him up as a wipe out pitch. 

Christian Franklin

Arkansas | So. | OF

Franklin has the ability to be the next Razorback outfielder like Andrew Benintendi and Heston Kjerstad to be a top draft pick. The center fielder truly has all five tools. He’ll be very good defensively with his natural speed and strong arm. The bat still needs improvement, but the progress in his time at Arkansas has shown he’s capable of that. His batting average jump from .274 to .381 is an indication of that. 

Pete Hansen

Texas | R-Fr. | LHP 

MLB Draft’s movement from June to July allows Hansen to be eligible for the 2021 selection process. A slider tops the lefty’s best pitches that generally comes in at the low 80s. His fastball speed has also jumped up since high school and he spots it with excellent command. The youth and upside are there for Hansen to form into a top prospect. 

Gunnar Hoglund

Ole Miss | Jr. | RHP

Hoglund is a former first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2018. The 6-foot-4 frame and solid mechanics are easy for any organization to like. None of his pitches stand out more than the other. He’ll bring a mid-90s fastball, mid-80s slider and a low-80s changeup to the table. There was also a ton of improvement from his 2019 season to 2020, and scouts will hope to see more of that in 2021. 

Kamren James

Mississippi State | So. | INF

James has natural tools at the plate and in the field. He’ll need to sharpen them in 2021 to really raise his draft stock. The Mississippi State infielder hit for average in his freshman season; now he’ll need to unlock the power that he possesses. He also has a strong enough arm and athletic abilities to play shortstop. James is one of the best position players at Globe Life Field College Classic. 

Austin Krob

TCU | So. | LHP

Krob has a chance to be another top lefty arm from TCU like Nick Lodolo and Brandon Finnegan. After a stop at Kirkwood Community College, Krob didn’t allow a run in 11.2 innings in his first season at the Division I level last season. He uses a full set of pitches that includes a sinker and a slider. 

“If you watched our team and said which guy on this club could be a first-rounder, it’s Krob,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle told D1Baseball. “He’s one of those guys you watch and say, ‘Yeah he’s going to be in the big leagues the longest out of these guys.’”

Christian MacLeod

Mississippi State | Jr. | LHP

Similar to his teammate, MacLeod has seen limited action in his career as a Bulldog. In four appearances at the college level last season, he struck out 35 batters and allowed two runs in 21 innings. The fastball isn't as eclectic as some others on this list, but MacLeod does his damage with control and offspeed such as his dynamic curveball. 

Ty Madden

Texas | R-So. | RHP

Madden is the headliner of this group. He has the best chance to find himself selected in the top 10 picks come draft time. The fastball clocked in at nearly 100 mph in the fall, he has a very good slider, and he can pair those two with a useful changeup and curveball. The performance jump from freshman and sophomore year has a lot to do with improvement to attack hitters and be the aggressor. He should be one of the top college arms in 2021. 

Johnny Ray

TCU | R-So. | RHP

TCU’s Friday night starter returns to help the Horned Frogs rotation with his power arm. The charged arm has reportedly reached mid- to high-90s on his fastball. To get a feel for his potential, Ray’s complete game outing against Minnesota was incredible with seven strikeouts and only four baserunners. He has battled injury issues, a thing to watch in his 2021 progression.

Brady Vernon has covered various collegiate sports for the past five years. His work has been seen in SBNation, Baseball and Softball America.