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The Cincinnati Reds select Matheu Nelson 35th overall in the 2021 MLB Draft

Nelson made a monumental leap from 2020 to 2021, adding tremendous value to his draft stock

Syndication: Tallahassee Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee Democrat via Imagn Content Services, LLC

With the 35th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Reds have selected Matheu Nelson, a talented catcher hailing from Florida State.

The 22-year-old Nelson, who was drafted by the Phillies in the 39th round of the 2018 draft, checks in at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds. He bats and throws right-handed.

Not long ago, Nelson was viewed as someone who would be picked beyond the first five rounds. Fast forward to today and we’re talking about Nelson as a top-50 prospect in the draft and one of the class’ top catchers. The Florida State product put up an incredible performance in 2021, slashing .330/.436/.773 with 23 homers and 66 RBI. Evidently, he has made tremendous strides offensively. Nelson is most successful when he can extend his hands and truly get a hold of a pitch, launching the ball to all parts of the field.

Defensively, Nelson has shown potential, too. In fact, the backstop’s powerful arm is his biggest strength. He also has impressive pop time. His receiving and blocking haven’t been extremely consistent, but they’re still solid parts of his game and provide value to his overall defensive profile.

Ultimately, there is a lot to like about Nelson. His power outburst came at the right time, as did his stabilization behind the plate. Now, fans will hope that Nelson can continue to perform at his 2021 level of play.