Sam Houston State. South Alabama. Miami (OH). Just a short list of all the top Division I programs that you typically find first-round talent at, right? Either every premier Power Five program completely whiffed on these guys, or head coaches are scurrying around the recruiting grounds like a bunch of half-blind moles trying to find their own siblings. As I unveil college prospects 6-10 in my rankings for the 2021 MLB Draft, you’ll find players from each of the above mid-major programs entrenched in the top 10. We all know young players develop significantly while playing the college game, but it’s downright incredible to see this many top prospects coming from such schools. Last year, the top pitcher in the draft came out of the University of Minnesota and the No. 7 overall pick came out of New Mexico State — further evidence that you can’t live and die by the blue blood programs when assembling your prospect pool in dynasty leagues. In this edition, we’ll go in-depth on players 6-10 on my list while providing plenty of links to previous college prospect coverage to assist you in putting together the best first-year player draft board as possible. So take a seat in the optometrist’s chair, make like a cartoon mole with bifocals and check out the rest of this year’s top ten.

Top Five College Prospects for the 2021 Draft | Preseason Top 50 College MLB Draft Prospects

Prospect Watch: Robby Martin (April 29) | Collegiate Corner: May 13

Collegiate Corner: Feb. 25 Collegiate Corner: March 18 | Collegiate Corner: April 15

2021 Draft Noise: Jan. 21 | Way-Too-Early College Top 25: July 16

Top Five Underclass Prospects: May 14 | Top 10 Underclass Prospects: May 21

1. Jack Leiter | RHP | Vanderbilt | 6-4 | 225 | R/R

Already went over him in the Top Five College Prospects for the 2021 Draft.

2. Kumar Rocker | RHP | Vanderbilt | 6-3 | 210 | R/R

Already went over him in the Top Five College Prospects for the 2021 Draft.

3. Sal Frelick | OF | Boston College | 5-10 | 175 | L/R

Already went over him in the Top Five College Prospects for the 2021 Draft.

4. Jud Fabian | OF | Florida | 6-1 | 180 | R/L

Already went over him in the Top Five College Prospects for the 2021 Draft.

5. Henry Davis | C | Louisville | 6-2 | 195 | R/R

Already went over him in the Top Five College Prospects for the 2021 Draft.

6. Colton Cowser | OF | Sam Houston St. | 6-3 | 195 | L/R

Back on May 13, I comped Cowser to Christian Yelich in the sense that the former is being labeled as a hit tool-first prospect with roughly 15-20 home run power as a future big leaguer. Similar thoughts were common in scouting circles as it related to Yelich while he was progressing through the Marlins’ Minor League system, and I expect Cowser’s swing to develop similarly from the left side of the plate. As a third-year player in the Southland Conference in 2021, Cowser slashed .374/.490/.680 with a career-high 16 home runs, two triples, 10 doubles, 61 runs, 52 RBI, 17 steals, a 12.6 K% and 16.6 BB%. That’s 10 more walks than strikeouts while posting a .680 SLG. Yes, Cowser didn’t face the same level of competition as some of the other prospects on this lists, but we can’t fault a guy for the elite college programs all whiffing on him. Cowser finished this past season on a particularly torrid run, ending his career with an 18-game hitting streak that featured six multi-hit performances in his last 12 games of the year. Cowser currently sits at No. 10 overall on MLB’s list — one spot ahead of Frelick and two ahead of Matt McClain — and selecting Cowser ahead of the latter would be a wise choice in your own upcoming first-year player drafts.

7. Ethan Wilson | OF | South Alabama | 6-2 | 210 | L/L

Ethan Wilson is going to be an everyday MLB corner outfielder. It’s as simple as that. Is he a top-15 pick? Based off what I’m hearing and reading in scouting circles, likely not. But whoever drafts Wilson anywhere from 20-30 overall and beyond will be getting a steal, and this is a player that should go much higher in first-year player drafts than where he’s being ranked (Example: No. 32 at MLB.com). In my own personal opinion, this is the best raw left-handed power bat in the 2021 college class. What makes him even better is that Wilson regularly works left field in at-bats against both left-handed and right-handed pitching and he boasts an 8.2 K% to go with a 13.5 BB%. 8.2 K%! What is he, Juan Pierre? When you add in his .317/.422/.537 slash line in 2021 after his .282/.329/.465 clip last year, the biscuits get so buttery they put Red Lobster to shame. Factor in the 17-homer campaign he put together as a freshman in 2019 and we’re all screaming “WILSON!” louder than Tom Hanks in Castaway. I’ve written about Wilson’s plus-raw power in the past, referencing his two-homer game at Arkansas in 2020 in which he put a ball over the Baum-Walker scoreboard in right-center. That alone is enough to put him at No. 7 on this list when paired with the aforementioned numbers, as it’s evidence Wilson can compete against high-caliber Division I pitching. Long story short, be sure to boost Wilson significantly in your first-year player draft rankings. After you do, order the Ultimate Feast with crab legs and shrimp scampi to polish off the meal.

8. Matt McLain | OF | UCLA | 5-11 | 175 | R/R

After going No. 25 overall to the Diamondbacks in 2018, McClain elected to turn down the first-round money and take his talents to UCLA to further develop. Although undersized, the move has worked well for McLain, who entered May 6 of the current season slashing .330/.431/.574 with nine home runs, two triples, 12 doubles, 45 runs, 33 RBI and nine steals. McLain has walked and struck out an equal 32 times, good for a 14.8 K% and BB%. This comes on the heels of a .397/.422/.621 line in 2020, which has effectively made McLain a unanimous top-15 overall prospect for the 2021 Draft, peaking inside the top 10 in certain circles. Clearly, I am not quite as bullish, but McLain is a surefire top-10 college prospect from what we’ve seen on the field. Don’t listen to anyone comping McLain to Alex Bregman, but snag McClain in first-year player drafts if the college bats ahead of him on this list as well as the top-ranked college bats (Marcelo Mayer, Jordan Lawlar, Brady House and Kahlil Watson) are all off the board.

9. Sam Bachman | RHP | Miami (OH) | 6-1 | 235 | R/R

*In my highest-pitched singing voice* He’s so hiiiiigggghhhh, high above where, I thought he would be, he’s so lovely… It’s the year of the mid-major program with the 2021 MLB Draft, or so it seems. Bachman didn’t appear in my Way-Too-Early Top 25 from last summer and sat at No. 34 in my preseason rankings, so this arm has risen drastically over the past calendar year — just like my cholesterol. After pitching to a 3.93 ERA/.229 BAA and 3.42 ERA/.263 BAA in his freshman and sophomore seasons at Miami (OH), Bachman dominated as a junior in 2021: 1.81 ERA, 59.2 IP, .147 BAA, 14.0 K/9, 2.6 BB/9. While certain prospects struggled to find reps and develop adequately during the 2020 shutdown, Bachman got plenty of simulated game action in and even enhanced his mechanics through the usage of the core velocity belt and Edgertronic high speed video. After sitting 91-94 MPH through his first two college seasons, Bachman came out firing 95-97 MPH as a junior, frequently working 98-100 MPH in early innings and topping out at 101 MPH. That fastball is graded out at 70 on the 20-80, which he pairs roughly 50-50 in terms of pitch usage with his 65-grade slider that sits in the upper-80s and can reach the low 90s. Then, take into account Bachman’s slightly above-average changeup and it doesn’t matter what conference he pitches in — he’s a top-15 and likely top-10 pick this July. When you hear Bachman talk about mechanics and the modern-day analytics of pitching, it provides further optimism that this is a guy with not only the stuff to excel as a professional, but also the intellect to adapt and be consistently successful at the next level. Plus, his repertoire lends to a high floor as he could contribute significantly to a Major League bullpen today. Using that line of thinking in lockstep with his rapid ascent up draft boards due to a breakout draft year, look no further than Max Meyer as a significantly less-athletic comp in terms of how organizations may be evaluating him.

10. Ty Madden | RHP | Texas | 6-3 | 215 | R/R

We last checked in with Madden in the March 18 Collegiate Corner, following consecutive strong starts against BYU, Houston and South Carolina (23 IP, 0.39 ERA, 6 H, 30 K, 6 BB). Overall on the year, Madden has pitched to a 2.81 ERA across eight starts/48 innings to the tune of a .199 BAA, 10.3 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9. Not quite the dominance we saw in 2020 (1.80 ERA, 25 IP, 1.96 BAA, 9.4 K/9, 1.4 BB/9), but then again, Madden actually got to pitch to a Big 12 schedule this season. Most scouts believe Madden to profile as the top future frontline starter in the 2021 college class after the likes of Leiter and Rocker, thanks to his arsenal of a 60-heater, 60-slider, 50-curve and 55-change. The fastball typically works around 93-97 MPH with sinking life, while his mid 80s slider is his best secondary offering. I’ve shared some concerns about Madden in the past, such as his fastball sometimes lacking that sinking action and being a pretty straight, hittable pitch even in the college game. In some starts this year, the spin rate and induced vertical break necessary dominate at the next level simply hasn’t been there. The Longhorn right-hander will still go around the back-end of the top 10 picks in the draft or somewhere in the early teens, but if any dynasty leaguers out there select Sam Bachman, Jordan Wicks or even Gunnar Hoglund over Madden in first-year player drafts, I think that’s a perfectly reasonable and respectable course of action.

That’s all for this week! As always, I’m happy to take this conversation into the comments section or on Twitter, where you can find me @WorldOfHobbs.