With the 31st overall selection in the 2021 MLB Draft (the first pick of Competitive Balance Round A), the Marlins selected catcher Joe Mack from Williamsville East High School in East Amherst, New York.
High school catchers are always risky picks, as teams tend to value plus hitters and hope their defense comes along — an interesting strategy at the one position where front offices still consistently value defense over offense. Mack is somewhat of an exception, however. While he likely wouldn’t be valued as highly if he wasn’t the ultra-rare left-handed hitting catcher, Mack is a solid defender with a strong arm and looks to have enough skill to stick behind the plate as a pro.
He’s a good contact hitter with a polished offensive approach, and while he hasn’t fully tapped into his power yet, he looks to have the size and strength to slug at an average level as a pro. While he’s still even more of a gamble than your average first-round pick, Mack is actually a pretty safe selection as far as high school catchers go.