It was a pretty wild first round of the 2021 MLB Draft, and the Dodgers came away with a new prospect (provided he signs). They selected prep left-handed pitcher Maddux Bruns out of UMS-Wright Prep HS in Alabama, with the 29th overall pick to end the first round. And yes, he’s named after all-time Dodger great Greg Maddux.
Bruns, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, is a guy who made the tail end of my Big Board a couple times, but he wasn’t a surefire 1st-round selection by any means. The 19-year-old has not just one of the best left-handed fastballs in the class, but one of the best fastballs, period. He can top out in the high-90s, but seems to be more effective when he takes a little bit off. He has trouble commanding the higher velocity fastball, but the arm talent is apparent. He pairs his heater with two breaking pitches that have flashed plus — a curveball and slider. His curveball is a mid-70s 12-6 downer, while his slider is a late-biting slider in the 83-85 MPH range. Sound like anyone you might have watched for the last 14 years? Yes, it sounds similar to Clayton Kershaw (whom he models his game after), but this is in no way a comparison. He said he also looks up to the Braves’ Max Fried.
Public rankings differ greatly from internal, team rankings, so don’t put a ton of stock into these. The general consensus is that he was overdrafted. Of course, the Dodgers don’t have a 2nd-round pick this year and there was almost no chance of him making it to the end of the third round, so Billy Gasparino liked him well enough to pull the trigger here.
Here’s what those in the know are saying about him and the selection.
And some video.
Bruns is committed to Mississippi State University — the reigning NCAA champions. The last time they drafted an older prep pitcher committed to the Bulldogs, it was J.T. Ginn, and we all know how that ended. I’m not saying it’s going to happen again, but it’s probably going to take almost all of the $2,424,600 of the slot-recommended amount to get him to forego that commitment.
Overall, I like the selection. He definitely has a higher ceiling than some of the other guys I had on my board.