Former Mars Area High School Alum and Mississippi State standout, Will Bednar, capped an exceptional college career by guiding Bulldogs baseball to their first national title and in the process, inched his way further up draft boards in the process. After dominating the College World Series last month, Bednar finally saw his performances pay personal dividends during the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft on Sunday.
Bednar, a native of Valencia, Pennsylvania was picked in the first round — fourteenth overall — by the San Francisco Giants. Bednar is the fifth former WPIAL player to be taken in the first round in the last seven years. (Ian Happ (Mt. Lebanon)/Cubs, Brendan McKay (Blackhawk)/Tampa Bay, Alex Kirlloff (Plum)/Twins, Austin Hendrick (West Allegheny)/Reds). At No.14 Bednar’s slot value is $4036,800.
Bednar was considered earlier in the spring to be a mid-to-late 20’s pick, but climbed steadily over the course of his college season, with some outlets predicting that he would go as high as No. 11 overall to the Washington Nationals at the beginning of July.
At Mississippi State, Bednar grew into one of the best pitchers in the country. He transferred from Wright State in 2019 and showed flashes of the pitcher he would become. Before the season was cut short Bednar posted a 1.76 ERA in 15 ⅓ innings over four appearances on the way to Freshman All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) July 12, 2021
In 2021, he lived up to the hype created for himself during the shortened 2020 season, cementing himself as the Bulldog ace with a 9-1 record, 3.12 ERA, .214 opponent batting average and a 5.34 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
He wrapped up his brief college career by throwing 18 ⅓ innings and surrendering just three earned runs against elite competition at the College World Series. Bednar started the decisive third game of the final series and delivered six innings of no-hit baseball against Vanderbilt.
Bednar is the second major leaguer in his family. His brother David is in his second year in the MLB with the Pittsburgh Pirates.