Detroit Tigers: A look at #3 ranked draft prospect Matt McLain

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The current draft rankings have the Detroit Tigers selecting Matt McLain in the 2021 MLB Draft.

Early rankings for the 2021 MLB First-Year Amateur Player Draft are available on the prospect area of the site. The current rankings have the Detroit Tigers selecting shortstop Matt McLain who plays for UCLA at the collegiate level.

These rankings could fluctuate a million times between the first of the year and draft day in 2021. McLain is just one of the many names to be linked to the Tigers in very early draft conversations. It may change over time, but this is another early look into the 2021 MLB Draft.

The Tigers possess the third overall selection in the 2021 MLB Draft; they will get to add another top talent to their organization whether it is a pitcher or position player is the mystery. The Tigers could really do whatever with this selection as long as they ensure they are getting another premium talent.

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Since McLain is the current third-ranked prospect on the MLB Top 100 list, let’s dive into the shortstop a little bit.

Take a look at who McLain is and what the Tigers would be adding to the organization if somehow nothing changes and McLain ends up being the name called.

McLain is a 21-year old shortstop who was drafted in the first round of the 2018 draft but chose to honor his commitment to play college ball for the UCLA Bruins.

McLain is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame, who had his sophomore campaign cut short last spring due to the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He is a California native, hailing from Irvine, California, and now playing for the Bruins, as was just mentioned.

He is a toolsy defender who has cleaned up his defense since his high school days, proving that he could stick at multiple positions around the infield. At the collegiate level, he has been a shortstop but has worked to develop his defense to be versatile and have the ability to play multiple positions.

In his freshman campaign at UCLA, McLain played in 61 games where he hit .203/.276/.355 with 19 extra-base hits and 30 RBI on the season. He would spend the 2019 summer in the Cape Cod summer league, where he played in 34 games for Wareham of the CCBL, hitting .274/.394/.425 with 11 extra-base hits and 23 RBI.

The summer of 2019 is where McLain really made some strides and was able to show improvements, which draw his name higher up on draft rankings. Though his 2020 season was cut short, he played in 13 games like most college starters, hitting .397/.422/.621 with three home runs, seven extra-base hits, and 19 RBI for the Bruins.

It was a heck of a start for McLain, who showed plenty of improvement in his sophomore season. He will now get a chance to prove he can maintain that development and hone in his skills during his 2021 Junior season with the Bruins.

While there is plenty of upside to McLain, and there is a lot of time for this to fall apart or things to change, his size is negative. The biggest knock on McLain is his frame, which may not be the most ideal.

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If not McLain, there is a lot of talent near the top of this list that the Tigers will be able to choose between. So, expect the name the Tigers are slated to pick to change a bunch of times between now and then, but this is just another look into a player the Detroit Tigers could be considering come draft time.