2013 MLB mock draft 7.0: First round plus lottery
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The 2013 MLB draft is a little less than three months away. With the college season in full swing, and the high school season just starting out for most teams, the first round is starting to become more clear. Of course, this will all change by my next 2013 MLB mock draft. Here are the top-38 picks as I see them today:
1. Houston Astros — Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Over his last three starts, Appel has stamped himself as the best pitcher in the draft … for now. After striking out a career-high 15 batters against UNLV on Friday, the 6’-5”, right-hander now has 40 K/3 BB over his last 25 innings, allowing just two runs on 10 hits. He has toyed with his opponents and has been able to locate all of his pitches with ease. The Astros seem like a lock for the first-overall pick again next year, and getting Appel and North Carolina State stud Carlos Rodon in consecutive years would be quite a coup.
2. Chicago Cubs — Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
In my opinion, Manaea is the best pitcher in the draft. The 6’-5” left-hander has two plus pitches in a mid-90s fastball and a low-80s slider with filthy movement. Over three starts this year, he is 1-1 with 24 K/7 BB over 16 innings, allowing just three runs on eight hits. His size, stuff and composure are everything you want in an ace.
3. Colorado Rockies — Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
Four home runs in his first four games of the season. That’s what Frazier has done so far for Loganville. The 6’-1”, 190-pound right-hander continues to show that he is a very special player with that “it” factor. He has plus speed, a plus arm and the best bat speed in the draft. A future outfield of Frazier and David Dahl could be something special. Even if he doesn’t stick at center field, his bat and arm would play extremely well in right.
4. Minnesota Twins — Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
The 6’-4”, 200-pound right-hander is a true five-tool player with a very high ceiling. His size, plus speed, arm and power ability have drawn comparisons to Josh Hamilton, but those aren’t fair expectations for a 17-year-old. His March 12 game against Clint Frazier and Loganville should draw scouts from at least a dozen teams.5. Cleveland Indians — Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, San Diego
The best college bat in the draft, the 6’-5” right-hander has been an absolute monster as of late. Over his last nine games, he is hitting .500 (16-for-32) with three doubles, eight home runs, 15 RBI and has drawn 11 walks. For the season, he is hitting .396 with a .549 OBP and .943 SLG. He has been splitting time between third base and right field and seems like more of a corner outfielder at the next level than a third baseman. The bat is what teams are salivating after.
6. Miami Marlins — Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma
When you hit triple-digits on the radar gun, people are going to go crazy. Maybe I am jumping the gun on putting him this high in my 2013 MLB mock draft, but the 6’-4”, 240-pound right-hander seems to have really turned the corner this year, and his potential is sky high. After abusing UCLA on Saturday (7 IP 0 ER 5 H 8 K 1 BB) many were throwing out the Gerrit Cole comparisons. Aside from his plus fastball, he also features a plus slider and solid change-up. For the season, he is 3-1 with 27 K/8 BB over 26 innings, allowing six runs on 17 hits.
7. Boston Red Sox — Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
Stanek has been a disappointment so far this season. He has only managed to go past five innings in one of his four starts and his 1.53 WHIP shows how hittable he has been, as well as how off his control has been. For the season, the 6’-4” right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.71 ERA and 16 K/10 BB over 17 innings. The stuff is still ace material, but he needs to start showing he can go late in games and dominate to remain a high pick.
8. Kansas City Royals — Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS (OK)
Over his first two games of the season, Denney went 5-for-5 with three doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and two intentional walks. The 6’-2”, 205-pound right-hander has tremendous power to all fields and a good approach at the plate. He has a very strong arm and, combined with his footwork, should be able to stick behind the plate, making him a highly sought after player at a premium position.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates* — Dominic Smith, 1B/OF, Serra HS (CA)
I think Smith is the best pure hitter in the draft, and he has done nothing to prove me wrong this season. Over six games, he is 9-for-16 (.562) with three doubles, two home runs, 13 RBI and has drawn five walks to one strikeout for a .682 OBP. Coming into this year, the 6’-1” left-hander was hitting .568 over 77 games with 14 home runs, 126 RBI, 29 stolen bases and had struck out just 13 times. His arm has been clocked at 94 mph. If major league teams believe he can stick in the outfield, he could go higher.
10. Toronto Blue Jays — Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville
The 6’-4”, 225-pound power righty has been brilliant this season and has double-digit strikeouts in three of his four starts. On the season, he has an 0.87 ERA and has 45 K/5 BB over 31 innings, allowing just 16 hits. He features a 90-93 mph fastball, a plus slider, plus change-up and a good curveball. He is a workhorse pitcher who has great command of his power arsenal.
11. New York Mets — J.P. Crawford, SS, Lakewood HS, (CA)
Maybe the best overall shortstop in the draft, Crawford is a 6’-2”, 185-pound right-hander with good range, soft hands and a strong arm. He has above-average bat speed and can spray the ball to all fields. Not a burner, he has the ability to be a threat on the base paths with great instincts. Clocked at 6.77 in the 60. Over his 99 career high school games, he has hit .408 with 28 doubles, 12 triples, one home run, 68 RBI and has struck out just 25 times. He also has gone 56-for-61 in stolen base attempts.
12. Seattle Mariners — Colin Moran, 3B/1B, North Carolina
One of the best hitters in the draft, the one knock on Moran has been his inability to hit for power. Considering the left-hander is 6’-3” and 200 pounds, many were hoping he would break out this year in that department. Over his first 12 games, he had one double and zero home runs. On Saturday against Wake Forest, he finally broke out, going 3-for-5 with two home runs , six RBI and drew two walks. On the season, he is now hitting .340 with 18 RBI and has shown a great approach at the plate by drawing 16 walks to just three strikeouts for a .500 OBP.
13. San Diego Padres — Oscar Mercado, SS, Gaither HS
Perhaps the best defensive shortstop in the draft, Mercado will remain at a premium position due to his glove, strong arm and instincts in the field. At the plate, he has good bat speed and an advanced approach at the plate. Over nine games this season, he is hitting .304 with two doubles, a triple, seven RBI and has drawn seven walks to just one strikeout for a .484 OBP. He is also 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates — Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (WA)
The best defensive catcher in the draft regardless of class, McGuire is a great athlete who can also handle the bat. He hits from the left side, which is a rarity for catchers. At 6’-1” and 190 pounds, he generates a lot of power due to his excellent bat speed and will only develop more pop as he matures. He put on a clinic for U18 Team USA over the summer, hitting .462 (12-for-26) with four doubles, 11 RBI, eight walks and a .583 OBP over nine games as Team USA won the gold in Seoul, South Korea. Hit .388 his junior season with four home runs, 34 RBI and a .675 SLG.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks — Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford
One of the more exciting players in college, Ervin is a 5’-10”, 200-pound right-hander built like a running back with a very good glove in center field. He put on a show at the Cape Cod League this past summer, hitting .323 with 10 stolen bases and led the league in home runs with 11. Over 16 games this year, he is hitting .333 with four doubles, six home runs, two stolen bases and has a slash line of .455/.741/1.196. The power/speed combo, mixed with the glove, place him high on many lists.
16. Philadelphia Phillies — Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)
Maybe the best prep pitcher in the draft, Stewart was held back from pitching to start the season due to some soreness in his arm. He made his debut on Saturday, tossing two scoreless innings, striking out two to one walk. The 6’-3” right-hander can dial his fastball up to 97 mph with tailing action and he also adds a plus slider in the 85-88 range. The injury isn’t a concern, and he should be back to a starter role very soon. A commitment to play quarterback at Texas A&M could make him a tough sign.
17. Milwaukee Brewers — Bobby Wahl, RHP, Ole Miss
The 6’-3”, 215-pound right-hander bounced back from a couple of starts where his command got the best of him. After walking nine batters over 10.1 innings across two starts, he allowed three hits over six shutout innings against Lipscomb on Friday, striking out six to no walks. On the season, he has 18 K/11 BB over 22.2 innings, allowing five runs on 19 hits. He features a plus fastball that can touch 96 mph and his slider is a wipeout pitch. His change-up is solid, and he has also added a split-finger to the mix this year. Great mound presence.
18. Chicago White Sox — Dustin Driver, RHP, Wenatchee HS (WA)
A 6’-2”, 210-pound power righty, Driver can dial his fastball up to the mid 90s and still has room for improved velocity. His curveball looks plus at times, and he commands both pitches well. His change-up is still developing, and he is reportedly also working on a cutter. A bulldog mentality on the mound, some think he could be an outstanding closer down the line if he wanted to.
19. Los Angeles Dodgers — Jonah Wesely, LHP, Tracy HS (CA)
One of the top lefties in the draft, Wesely is a workhorse pitcher with a power arm. He couples a mid-90s fastball with a low-70s hammer curve to overpower batters. On the year, he is 1-1 with 29 K/6 BB over 19 innings, allowing just three runs on 10 hits. Since his sophomore year, he has 213 K/56 BB over 125.2 innings, allowing just 37 hits.
20. St. Louis Cardinals — Andy McGuire, INF, James Madison HS (VA)
A toolsy player who could play just about anywhere on the field, McGuire is a 6’-1”, 190-pound right-hander with excellent bat speed that allows him to spray the ball to all fields. Was extremely impressive at summer tournaments and for U18 Team USA, while only playing at about 70-80 percent to due a partially torn labrum in his left hip and bone spurs that limited his speed and range. Should shine this year now that he is fully recovered.
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