With the 14th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, the San Francisco Giants selected RHP Will Bednar out of Mississippi State. At 6’2″, 229-pounds, Bednar came into the draft as the #32 ranked prospect according to mlb.com. Will Bednar features a four-pitch mix, including a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup. His fastball and slider rank as a 60 on the 20-80 scale. His curve ranks 55 and the changeup 50. The selection of Will Bednar marks the first time the Giants have selected a pitcher in the first round since they chose Phil Bickford in 2015.
The 21-year-old and younger brother to Pittsburgh Pirates reliever David Bednar enjoyed a 9-1 record in 2021. He had a 3.12 ERA with 139 strikeouts in 92 1/3 innings. Throughout his career at Mississippi State, he averaged 13.7 K/9. He did this with a mid to upper 90’s fastball and mid 80’s slider with huge bend. Bednar figures to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the majors. Although, the Giants surely have higher expectations.
A College World Series Champion
Will Bednar led his Mississippi State Bulldogs to a College World Series title this year. The right-hander made three starts in the tournament. In his three starts, Bednar surrendered only three runs in 18 1/3 innings. He allowed just five hits and punched out 26. Bednar set a Mississippi State record for most strikeouts in a World Series tournament game with 15. He was awarded the 2021 College World Series Most Outstanding Player Award for his outstanding performance.
The win by Bednar and the Mississippi State Bulldogs spoiled Vanderbilts’ attempt at repeating as national champs. The 2-3 series victory also notched the program’s first National Championship in any major sport. Will Bednar battled it out in the deciding game three with top-ten draft pick Kumar Rocker, who went tenth overall to the New York Mets.
Special Moment for Will Bednar
In what was surely a special moment for everyone involved, Mississippi State alum and San Franciso Giants legend Will Clark handed in the team’s selection. However, instead of handing the card over to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, He instead turned the selection over to an extraordinary young man, Logan Howard.
Logan is a native of Colorado and was a special guest at this year’s draft. Logan, who is a big Giants fan, suffered a major stroke at the age of 13. The stroke left Logan paralyzed on the left side of his body. Following his stroke, Logan was told that he might never play baseball again. Through heroic determination and remarkable drive, Logan made his way back onto a baseball field five years later for his senior year of high school.
Logan Howard took to the same podium Commissioner Manfred had hovered over as he announced the prior 13 selections. Visibly nervous and struggling for words, Logan was met with something Manfred hadn’t received on this special day. Logan was showered with applause. Everyone in attendance was on their feet as cheers roared through the venue. Logan Howard announced the Giants draft pick and gifted everyone watching around the world with his magnificent smile.
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