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CBS Sports

Major League Baseball wrapped up its 2021 amateur draft on Tuesday. It wouldn't be accurate to describe the event as a return to normalcy. For one, it remained shorter (20 rounds) than its standard length (40); for another, this was the first time MLB scheduled the draft to coincide with the All-Star Game festivities, right down to hosting the event in Denver, Colorado. 

What next year's draft will look like is to be determined at a future date and by a future Collective Bargaining Agreement. Working off the assumption that there will be a 2022 MLB draft, we decided to devote this week's Prospect Watch to previewing the top of next year's class.

This exercise, naturally, falls closer to guesswork than lab work. Last year's preview did identify five players who ranked within CBS Sports' pre-draft top 50: Jack Leiter, Kumar Rocker, Matt McLain, Adrian Del Castillo, and Jaden Hill. With any luck, the same will be true of this year's crop. Let's get to it. 

Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy

Green, the early odds-on favorite to go No. 1 next summer, has elite upside. He's a well-built outfielder with an array of loud tools, including top-notch speed; light-tower power potential; and an arm that has clocked into the 90s on the mound. Green has a commitment to Miami, but it would come as a surprise if he ever suits up for the Hurricanes.

Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays HS (GA)

Green gets the most attention among prep position players, but Johnson is no slouch himself. He has a strong build, a fast bat, soft hands, and an accurate arm. Johnson is yet to commit to a college; it may not matter if he goes as high in next year's draft as it seems possible.

Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech

Parada, who will be a draft-eligible sophomore, hit .318/.379/.550 with nine home runs and a 17 percent strikeout rate in 243 plate appearances as a freshman. He's an athletic backstop with a good arm and a quick release, and he's well-positioned to stake out a spot near the top of the board.

Craving even more coverage of the draft and all things baseball? Listen below to Nothing Personal with David Samson where we give you an honest take and decode the endless musings of players, owners and others in a concise, articulate and entertaining manner.

Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS (GA)

Lesko has a starter's frame and starter traits, including a feel for the strike zone and for three distinct pitches (fastball, sweeping slider, and changeup). He also has a very fast arm with which he's been able to generate upper-90s velocity. Lesko is committed to Vanderbilt, because of course he is.