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Taking a closer look at prep prospects for the 2021 MLB draft

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Why baseball fans should keep an eye on Bubba Chandler (1:06)

Kiley McDaniel breaks down Clemson commit and multisport star Bubba Chandler, whom McDaniel considers a fringe first-round MLB talent. (1:06)

This is a tough time for the scouting industry. There have been furloughs, pay cuts and some outright firings. There's still a limit, instituted last month by MLB, of three scouts per club per amateur event, when teams would typically send as many as 10 scouts to some of the biggest events of the year.

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country, college summer leagues and staple prep events aren't happening. Many notable players who would have competed in multiple events or a full college summer league aren't participating in scout-worthy events, after just going through a drastically shortened spring. Clubs have to operate as though any look they get of a player could be the last. Keeping people healthy, of course, is the priority, but continued furloughs and firings among scouts are likely as long as there are few games to see.

In the Southeast, most of the high school showcase and tournament schedule is still happening, but it's much more sparse around the rest of the country. I went to the Perfect Game National showcase last month in Hoover, Alabama, featuring roughly 300 of the best prep players in the country. That event typically kicks off the summer scouting season, but it felt different with less than a third of the usual crowd of scouts. Hopefully, we'll be able to contain the virus and get help for the many people impacted financially by the pandemic as soon as possible.

The updates to these rankings are 99% based on the PG National, with other observations of players who were at PGN and have been playing in travel ballgames, largely in the Atlanta or Birmingham areas. Essentially, no collegiate draft prospect for 2021 appears to have greatly changed their stock so far, but a couple of midround names have stirred a little buzz, spread across a half dozen or so minor collegiate summer leagues that I'll keep tabs on. None of the leagues seem to have more than one or two players who would be a top-50-pick talent in 2021, so the scouts can't focus in on any individual league.