It didn’t take long for Will Bednar to get picked up in the 2021 MLB Draft.
Bednar, a star for the Mississippi State Bulldogs who helped lead MSU to its first national championship ever, was drafted 14th overall by the San Francisco Giants.
Through a remarkable season for the Bulldogs, Bednar was Mississippi State’s best starting pitcher in 2021. On the season, Bednar compiled a 3.12 ERA, earned a 9-1 win-loss record, and struck out 139 batters in 92.1 innings. Opposing batters were only able to muster a meager .214 batting average when facing Bednar.
While he was good throughout the entire year, Bednar proved to be phenomenal during Mississippi State’s run through the College World Series.
During his first outing in Omaha, Bednar struck out an absurd amount of Texas Longhorns. Through 6.0 innings, he sat 15 batters down while only giving up a walk and a hit. In his second meeting with UT, Bednar struck out 7 in 6.1 innings, helping Mississippi State earn a shot at the College World Series finals.
In that finals series, Bednar out dueled Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker. While Rocker was unable to stop Mississippi State’s bats in Game 3, Bednar kept Vandy quiet on just three days of rest.
He struck out 4 in 6.0 innings of work and set State up to claim a national championship.
It seems like the San Francisco Giants think that someone who can have that sort of performance in the postseason is worth having on their team. Bednar’s strong showings in the College World Series helped Mississippi State when it mattered most and now he’s got a great chance to go play for a MLB organization.
It’ll be fascinating to see where his career takes him.
It’s also worth noting that those dominant outings against Texas and Vanderbilt that propelled Bednar up the MLB draft will likely also help Mississippi State down the line as well. Chris Lemonis and Scott Foxhall will be able to use Bednar’s remarkable success as a recruiting pitch to future pitchers who might need some more time to develop before going pro.
Seeing Bednar get drafted in the first round certainly can’t hurt with that.