2013 MLB Mock Draft 4.0: New draft rules already taking effect
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There are quite a few changes to the MLB amateur draft this year. Aside from the lottery selections at the end of the first round, there were changes to compensation picks. When the Atlanta Braves signed B.J. Upton this week, they forfeited their first-round pick in the 2013 draft. Unlike in year’s past when the previous owner of the Type-A free agent, in this case the Rays, would be awarded the pick, no one gets it, everybody just moves up a spot. The Rays still get a compensatory pick after the first round. Patrick Ebert from Perfect Game does a great job explaining it all in this article.
Here is my latest 2013 MLB Mock Draft:
1. Houston Astros — Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson County HS (GA)
The Astros have built themselves up a farm system full of exciting young prospects over the last couple of seasons. They can continue that trend by selecting the player with arguably the highest upside in the draft. There isn’t much not to like about the 6’-4” left-hander with all five tools. At 200 pounds, he already has a major league body and will only get stronger as he matures. He has great bat speed which allows him to generate a ton of power from the left side and also makes consistent contact that projects to a high-average hitter. He has plus speed, a plus arm and should be able to stick at center field. He showed the world just how special a player he is as a member of the 2011 U16 Team USA squad, earning MVP honors by hitting an absurd .537 (22-for-41) over eight games with nine extra-base hits, six stolen bases, and he set a Team USA record by knocking in 28 runs as Team USA won the gold in Mexico. He is one of the youngest players in the draft (he won’t turn 18 until May 3), and he has one of the highest ceilings in this draft.
2. Chicago Cubs — Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Personally, this wouldn’t be my pick as I would rather see the Cubs take Clint Frazier, but all signs seem to point to Appel here as of now. The Cubs are in dire need of pitching in their system, and the 6’-5” senior is, dare I say, the safest pick in the draft as he should be no worse than a third starter at the major league level. His size (6’-5”, 220 pounds), stuff and mound presence separate him from the rest, and after averaging 7.7 innings per start as a junior, he also shows the stamina to be a workhorse. Went 10-2 as a junior with a 2.56 ERA and 130 K/30 BB over 123 innings. His pitch selection can be frustrating at times, but his stuff is great. He features a mid-90s fastball along with a swing-and-miss slider, a change-up with late fade and he also mixes in a cutter. I wouldn’t be upset at all if the Cubs ended up with Appel.
3. Colorado Rockies — Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
Give me a kid with tremendous bat speed, plus speed, power to all fields and a great make up. A kid who has a lot of Mike Trout in him. Now, I am not comparing the two (I know the dangers of that), I’m just saying their games are similar. At 6’-1” and 190 pounds, the right-hander generates a lot of power to all fields and is only going to get stronger as he matures. He has been timed at 6.4 in the 60, showing the speed that should allow him to stick at center field, as well as being a threat on the base paths. As a junior, he hit .424 with 24 home runs and stole 14 bases over 118 at-bats. Lifelong friends, he and Meadows will battle it out this season for Player of the Year honors in the state of Georgia.
4. Minnesota Twins — Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
The 6’-4” right-hander arguably has better stuff, and a higher ceiling, than Appel. He has three quality pitches and all three have the potential to be plus. His fastball touches 97 mph, his curveball sits in the low 80s and his change-up in the mid 80s with good deception. He went 7-4 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 80 K/33 BB over 86.2 innings as a sophomore. Very easily could end up being the first pitcher off the board when all is said and done. For now, however, he is still behind Appel … slightly.
5. Cleveland Indians — Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
The best southpaw in the draft, the 6’-5” Manaea wowed everybody at the Cape Cod League over the summer. Over 52.2 innings for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, he went 5-1 with a 1.20 ERA and 87 K/7 BB. He had four double-digit strikeout games including 15 over seven shutout innings on July 19, allowing just two hits to no walks. His fastball sat in the 93-96 mph range and his slider was filthy, sitting around 80-83 mph with hard downward action. As a sophomore, he went 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA and 115 K/37 BB over 105 innings without getting a whole lot of attention.
6. Miami Marlins — Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford
After blowing up the major league roster, the Marlins are, once again, looking to rebuild through the draft. Wilson is a 6’-5” right-hander with power to all fields, speed and a solid approach at the plate. Over 59 games as a sophomore last season, he hit .285 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs, 56 RBI and stole nine bases. Played his high school ball at Harvard-Westlake HS in California, the powerhouse that had two first-round selections in last year’s draft in Max Fried (seventh-overall to the Padres) and Lucas Giolito (16th-overall to the Nationals). A huge year is expected.
7. Boston Red Sox — Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)
A power righty, Stewart opened eyes by hitting 97 mph with his fastball over the summer. His fastball has nice tailing action to it and should be a plus pitch at the next level. The 6’-3” right-hander also has an above-average slider that sits in the 85-88 mph range and a developing change-up, and once he starts using his legs more, he should add even more velocity. Aside from his huge potential on the mound, he is also a blue-chip quarterback prospect and has a commitment to play the position at Texas A&M. Could be a tough sign, but with high risk comes high reward.
8. Kansas City Royals — Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
In Kyle Zimmer and Sam Selman, the Royals added some serious talent on the mound in last year’s draft. They could opt for one of the best bats in the draft in Bryant, a 6’-5”, 215-pound right-hander with tremendous power, as well as a strong approach at the plate. Over 57 games as a sophomore, he hit .366 with 17 doubles, 14 home runs, 56 RBI, nine stolen bases and had 39 walks for a slash line of .483/.671/1.154. His strong arm should play well at third base, but he could also transition over to first. A big bat with a great approach at the plate should land him in the upper half of the draft.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates* — Bobby Wahl, RHP, Ole Miss
The Pirates get this pick as compensation for not signing Appel last year. With stud pitchers Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon rising quickly through the system, Wahl would add more depth to a future rotation that could scare NL Central teams. Wahl is a 6’-3”, 215-pound right-hander whose fastball can reach the upper 90s. His slider has plus potential and his change-up sits in the low 80s with late fade. He went 7-4 with a 2.55 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 104 K/32 BB over 99 innings as a sophomore last season.
10. Toronto Blue Jays — Jeremy Martinez, C, Mater Dei HS (CA)
After a busy off season loading up on major league talent, the Jays can add one of the premiere prep players in the country, who also plays a premiere position. Fresh off his second consecutive gold medal for U18 Team USA, Martinez enters his senior season as arguably the most polished player in his class. With his strong arm, footwork and understanding of the game, he should stick at a premium position and be an above-average to plus defender at the next level. Offensively, his bat speed allows him to make consistent contact and spray the ball to all fields. At 5’-11” and 200 pounds, more power will come as he matures, and he should be a middle-of-the-order type hitter. He hit .344 with eight RBI and a .463 OBP over nine games for Team USA over the summer and hit .388 over 29 games as a junior for Mater Dei, a perennial powerhouse. High character and high understanding of the game.
11. New York Mets — Ian Clarkin, LHP, James Madison HS (TX)
Clarkin is a kid I feel is going to shoot up draft boards this season and find himself in the upper half of the draft come June. A 6’-2” power lefty who can zip his fastball up to the mid 90s, he also has a big, looping curveball that sits in the low-70s with a lot of deception in his delivery. Went 8-2 as a junior with a 0.62 ERA and 106 K/27 BB over 68 innings, allowing just 27 hits. A big-game pitcher who played in the 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic, as well as the gold-medal winning U18 Team USA squad this summer.
12. Seattle Mariners — Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Florida
Crawford gave Gator fans a reason to be excited about the upcoming season when he tossed a no-hitter in an NCAA Regional game last year. He has one of the best sliders in the draft, as well as a fastball that sits in the low 90s with movement. The 6’-1”, 200-pound right-hander went 6-2 as a sophomore with a 3.13 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 70 K/24 BB over 74.2 innings. A player on the rise who should have a monster junior season.
13. San Diego Padres — Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (WA)
A player who saw his stock rise by putting on a show in Seoul, South Korea, playing for gold-medal winning U18 Team USA. Over nine games, he hit .462 (12-for-26) with four doubles, 11 RBI, eight walks and a .583 OBP. He is a left-handed hitting catcher who is aggressive at the plate and uses good bat speed to make consistent contact. Hit .388 his junior season with four home runs, 34 RBI and a .675 SLG. He is a catcher now, but could find himself in the outfield due to his strong arm and hitting abilities, although he is good enough defensively to stick behind the plate.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates — Colin Moran, 3B/1B, North Carolina
After adding one of the better college arms, the Pirates can add one of the better college bats in Moran, a 6’-3”, 200-pound right-hander whose power is coming fast. He hit .365 with 11 doubles, three home runs and had 35 RBI his sophomore season. His 21 walks to just 24 strikeouts also show his great approach at the plate. At the Cape Cod League, he hit .314 over 39 games with eight doubles, six home runs and led the league with 42 RBI.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks — Clinton Hollon, RHP, Woodford County HS (KY)
Hollon had a bout of tendonitis in the flexor tendon in his forearm/elbow over the summer. Healthy now, the 6’-1”, 185-pound right-hander has four quality pitches and commands all of them well. His fastball has touched 97 mph but sits more comfortable in the 92-94 mph range, and both his curveball and change-up project to plus. He has great mound presence and a great feel for pitching. A strong, injury-free senior season could boost him back to the top of the draft.
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