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NC State in the 2021 MLB Draft: Which Wolfpack player goes first?

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It should be a busy few days for the Pack.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-NC State v Vanderbilt Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 MLB Draft gets underway on Sunday evening, and it figures to be an eventful one for NC State, as the Wolfpack will be saying farewell to pretty much its entire lineup over the next few days.

Who will be first off the board? The general consensus is that shortstop Jose Torres is NC State’s best pro prospect. He’s ranked as the No. 69 overall prospect by MLB.com, which is to say that he’s likely going in the second or third round. Not far behind Torres are Luca Tresh (No. 101) and Tyler McDonough (No. 112).

The slot value of pick No. 69 is $929,800 and considering the leverage that Torres has, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a deal above that number. Tresh and McDonough will be looking at bonuses north of $500k is they go in the 100-115 range.

The first round begins at 7 p.m. ET tonight, and while State may not have a player taken in the opening round, it definitely will see a recruit selected: shortstop Kahlil Watson is one of the top talents available, and probably will be a top-10 pick. He committed to NC State in 2019 but will never make it to campus.

Day two of the draft, which includes rounds two through 10, starts at 1 p.m. ET on Monday and concludes with rounds 11-20 on Tuesday.

A thing to bear in mind with the MLB Draft is that while the majority of the NC State players who get selected will have eligibility left, none are likely to return, especially the juniors, because your leverage to negotiate a decent bonus evaporates once you are a senior. It is very rarely a good idea for any legitimate prospect to come back for their senior season.

Juniors Jonny Butler, Austin Murr, Terrell Tatum, and Devonte Brown might not be elite prospects, but they’re not going to get a better deal out of the draft than they will this year (assuming they’re all selected, of course). I wish this were not the case, but MLB teams are cheap as hell and this is how the draft game is played.

They’ll be dearly missed, but I’m excited for all of these guys. A group like this doesn’t come around often, and it was a lot of fun watching them rake over the last few months. Their next stops, deservedly, lie in the pros.