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2021 MLB Draft Prep: Do you believe in baseball lineage?

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A current MLB player’s brother is a top draft prospect.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

A decent chunk of my efforts for Draft Prep remains to display that the draft isn’t an accidental way to occasionally locate talent. A look at recent Dodgers first round choices shows how it can be done from late in the first round. Mimic that, or the likelihood of catching up fades away. However, top-round names aren’t the total extent of the draft. Finding logical and understandable reasons to buy into players outside the top 30 names provide the figurative bouquet of the importance of player selection through the sixth round and beyond. Players who can play should be added, and those that develop improve an organization, regardless the port of call.

Over college ball’s opening weekend, I ran into a familiar name following a tourney in Texas. Dylan Neuse is the center fielder for Texas Tech. Yes, Dylan is MLB infielder Sheldon Neuse’s younger brother. The elder Neuse was recently acquired by the Dodgers. Meanwhile, the younger brother was voted the Pre-Season Big 12 Player Of The Year. He’s also on the prestigious Golden Spikes Award watch list.

Second-round draft picks generally have about a 30 percent chance of getting an MLB look. Do you think Dylan Neuse, whose brother is already in The Show, might be one-in-three or better to reach MLB? If so, toss him on your own personal second-round acceptable list. He might. He might not. The logic, though, seems sound. Give him three years of development as a pro athlete, he might be as good or better than his brother. The Cubs draft 21st and 56th. All you need is 56 names that are easily defended, and the Cubs should be good in Round 2. They’d need 93 for the 3rd Round. I’d take Neuse in Round 2.

With as many players who 'should have been drafted' last year, except for the five round draft in 2020, mid-majors are loaded with really good talent this cycle. The fiction of teams only having access to two or three rounds of good talent is even more erroneous this time. Teams that don't miss, and are successful at meshing player abilities with organizational strengths will be greatly rewarded.

What am I looking for? Someone to do something, hinting they might have pro upside. Preferably against quality opposition, giving me a hunch he might be able to perform "to and through" Double-A Ball. Speed? Defense? Power? How's this, from a Tar Heel that is draft-eligible against #2 Virginia?

I had him to the fourth round after the catch. The third round after the homer into the forest. And, well, could you cheer for this guy in the Cubs system?

Miami (Ohio) right-hander Sam Bachman is on my first-rounders list. They host Northern Illinois in late March, so he's not likely to pitch in the state until the draft.

Down the ticket draft choices are a bit guess-pending, but here's video from a no-hitter. Joe Rock, from the Mid-American Conference's Ohio University, pitched on The Cape in 2019. He's not an unknown, and no-hitters are cool. Plus, “Joe Rock” is a great baseball name.

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Last Friday’s college slate saw Vanderbilt lose to Georgia State, Ole Miss lose to Central Florida, Louisville to Western Illinois, and Mississippi State lost to Tulane. Baseball will get you if you don't play well. Here’s a wrap with some of the details.

Here are the top draft prospects per MLB.com.

This is my Cubs list of potential draft picks, per round. It's not done. It's early March.