Well, after 10 mocks throughout the past year, this is it. I feel like I know more about these guys than my own family. Without much else left to say, here is my final first-round mock for the 2013 MLB draft which will take place in two days starting on June 6. Thanks for reading!
1. Houston Astros — Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma
Although it seems very likely the Astros could take Colin Moran here, I’m just not buying it. Give me the 6’-4”, 240-pound horse who can maintain a 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning. He also adds a plus slider and his change-up is solid right now.
2. Chicago Cubs — Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
As a Cubs fan, I would rather see them select Kris Bryant. I imagine a future lineup of Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora to go along with Bryant, and I see a lot of souvenirs landing on Waveland avenue. Appel is a stud, however. He won’t come cheap, but he has ace stuff and is the most polished pitcher available.
3. Colorado Rockies — Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
The best bat in the draft goes to a place where his power should make him a home-run champ contender for years. Over 62 games this season, the 6’-5” right-hander hit .329 and is leading the nation in home runs (31), walks (66) and SLG (.820).
4. Minnesota Twins — Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)
The 6’-3” right-hander has four quality pitches, including a plus slider and a fastball that can touch 97 mph. Both his curveball and change-up are solid and have plus potential. He could be a tough sign, but he may have the highest upside in the 2013 MLB draft.
5. Cleveland Indians — Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
Arguably the most exciting player in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-1” right-hander has the best bat speed in the draft and easy power. His above-average speed and strong arm will play well in a corner spot and not many can match his intensity for the game.6. Miami Marlins — Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
The 6’-3” left-hander has somehow turned into a wild card in this draft. He has all five tools, including plus speed and bat speed, but some question his intensity. I don’t buy any of it, and he could turn out to be the steal of the draft if he slips past here.
7. Boston Red Sox — Braden Shipley, RHP, Nevada
The 6’-3” right-hander is this year’s Kyle Zimmer — an extremely athletic power arm with an easy delivery who is relatively new to pitching. He can dial his fastball up to 99 mph but his mid-80s change-up is his best pitch with late fade. The Red Sox want high-upside and Shipley fits the mold.
8. Kansas City Royals — D.J. Peterson, 3B, New Mexico
The 6’-1” right-hander is one of the better bats in the draft and the power is legit. He may not be a 30+ home-run hitter at the next level, but he should hit for a high average with 20+ long balls. He also may end up at first, but he is one of the safer picks in the draft.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates — Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (WA)
The 6’-1” left-handed hitting catcher has all the tools to be a gold-glove caliber defender behind the plate, including a strong, accurate arm and great footwork. He improved his approach at the plate greatly this season and the power should come as he matures. A very polished player who has played against the best competition having been a member of U18 Team USA Baseball.
10. Toronto Blue Jays — Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina
The 6’-3” left-handed hitter has an advanced bat and should hit for a high average at the next level. The question has always been if he will hit for enough power to justify a corner infield position. He did show much improved power this season, however, quieting his critics for the moment.
11. New York Mets — Dominic Smith, 1B/OF, Serra HS (CA)
The 6’-1” left-hander finished his prep career by posting an .805 OBP over his last 11 games en route to winning a state championship. His bat is the most advanced in the prep ranks, and he showed more power this season. His value goes up if he can maintain a corner outfield spot, but even if he ends up at first, most believe he can be a plus defender and the bat will play well.
12. Seattle Mariners — J.P. Crawford, SS, Lakewood HS (CA)
The best all-around shortstop in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-2” left-handed hitter has excellent bat speed, above-average speed and a solid approach at the plate. On defense, his strong arm, range and instincts will allow him to stick at the premium position, and he has some flash to his game.
13. San Diego Padres — Trey Ball, LHP/OF, New Castle HS (IN)
This would be a steal for the Padres who seem to be looking at a bat here. With the 6’-6” Ball, they could have their option as he has excellent upside as both a hitter and pitcher. On the mound, he has a clean, easy delivery and features a plus low/mid-90s fastball and a solid breaking ball. At the plate, his plus bat speed projects to a ton of power, and he also is a plus runner. A little raw in both areas due to split-time focus, I believe the mound is where he belongs.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates — Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State
While he doesn’t have the track record of guys like Bryant, Peterson and Moran, the 6’-1” right-hander is the most athletic, and he has some serious power. Over 52 games, he hit .352 with 15 doubles, 15 home runs, 58 RBI and had a .440 OBP/.634 SLG. He also added nine stolen bases and will be able to hold down a corner outfield spot.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks — Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
Even though the year didn’t go as planned for the 6’-4” right-hander as far as numbers go, his stuff is what will get him drafted high. He features a mid-90s plus fastball and a hard slider. His curveball is also a solid pitch but his command can get the best of him at times. The Diamondbacks are excellent at developing young pitching and Stanek could benefit greatly being selected here.
16. Philadelphia Phillies — Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State
Only Aaron Judge could make Domonic Brown look short. At 6’-7” the right-hander towers over the 6’-5” breakout outfielder. The power potential is obviously huge with Judge and, over his last 27 games, he hit .429 with 18 extra-base hits, eight stolen bases and a .548 OBP/.813 SLG, showing that he brings much more than sheer power to the field.
17. Chicago White Sox — Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Oral Roberts
The 6’-3” right-hander mixes his pitches well and has a great feel for the mound. His fastball sits in the low/mid-90s and he also mixes in a cutter and slider. He posted a 1.83 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and had 126 K/27 BB over 113.1 innings this season. May not have the upside as others available, but he is less risky.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers — Phil Bickford, RHP, Oaks Christian HS (CA)
At 6’-4” and a fastball that can touch the upper-90s with room for more, Bickford has a ton of upside and could go in the top-10. He tossed a one-hit shutout in his last high school game, striking out 18 to no walks. He still needs work on his secondary offerings, however.
19. St. Louis Cardinals — Tim Anderson, SS, East Central CC
The best JUCO prospect in the draft, the 6’-1’ right-hander has plus speed and makes consistent contact with a short, compact swing. He’ll need to stick at shortstop to justify this high of a pick as he won’t hit for much power.
20. Detroit Tigers — Kyle Serrano, RHP, Farragut HS (TN)
The 6’-0” right-hander has three quality offerings including a plus curveball, a low/mid-90s fastball and a solid change-up. That alone will get you drafted high. Throw in his easy delivery and poise on the mound, and you have a very high upside kid.
21. Tampa Bay Rays — Nick Ciuffo, C, Lexington HS (SC)
Maybe the best defensive catcher in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-1” left-handed hitter also can handle the bat. He is more of a line-drive hitter right now, but the power should come as he matures and adjusts on his swing. A very high character and a leader on and off the field.
22. Baltimore Orioles — Travis Demeritte, 3B, Winder-Barrow HS (GA)
A plus defender with a strong arm, the 6’-1’ right-hander also has excellent bat speed and an advanced approach at the plate. Over 24 games this season, he hit .404 with 12 home runs and drew 33 walks to 11 strikeouts for a .563 OBP/.910 SLG. A high-character kid with a high baseball IQ.
23. Texas Rangers — Eric Jagielo, 3B, Notre Dame
The 6’-3”, 200-pound left-hander has a ton of power and a good approach at the plate. Over 56 games, he hit .388 with 19 doubles, nine home runs and a .502 OBP/.633 SLG. Many believe he will be able to stick at the hot corner and, combined with his power potential from the left side, makes him one of the more desirable college bats in a draft not very deep on them.
24. Oakland Athletics — Rob Kaminsky, LHP, St. Joseph HS (NJ)
With a plus/plus curveball, a mid-90s plus fastball and a ever improving change-up that projects to plus, the 6’-1” southpaw has three outstanding pitches and controls them with ease. He had 107 K/4 BB over 51 innings, allowing just 21 hits. A bulldog on the mound.
25. San Francisco Giants — Alex Balog, RHP, San Francisco
While his stats don’t jump out at you as someone considered first-round material, his size and stuff do. At 6’-6”, the right-hander has the ideal size for a frontline starter. His fastball sits in the low/mid-90s with sink and both his curveball and change-up are solid offerings. Boom or bust, in my opinion.
26. New York Yankees — Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS (OK)
The best offensive catching prospect in a deep class, the 6’-2” right-hander punishes baseballs to all fields and his approach at the plate suggests he should hit for a good average, as well. He has a very strong and accurate arm but some have said his footwork needs work. Another player who could be a steal at this selection in the 2013 MLB draft.
27. Cincinnati Reds — Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford
The 5’-11” right-hander may not have a lot of upside left, but he brings a little of everything to the field. His speed, range and instincts could allow him to stick at center field making his value go up. At the plate, he could be a 20 /20 type player with a solid batting average. Over 54 games, he hit .337 with 11 home runs, 21 stolen bases and a .459 OBP/.597 SLG.
28. St. Louis Cardinals — Billy McKinney, OF, Plano West HS (TX)
The 6’-2” left-hander has excellent bat speed and is one of the most advanced prep bats in the 2013 MLB draft. Over 37 games, he hit .372 and drew 36 walks to just six strikeouts for a .604 OBP. He doesn’t have a lot of speed, and his arm is average, but his bat will play well in left field and the cardinals always get the most out of their players.
29. Tampa Bay Rays — Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville
At 6’-4” and 225 pounds, the right-hander has the size and stamina to be a workhorse at the next level, although his stuff hasn’t been as sharp as it was at the beginning of the year. Over 14 starts, he has a 2.49 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 101 K/27 BB over 104.2 innings. His fastball sits in the 91-94 mph range, and he also has shown a slider and change-up that have looked plus at times.
30. Texas Rangers — Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandys HS (NC)
The 6’-3” right-hander features a fastball that can touch 96 mph, as well as an above-average curveball in the upper-70s. Over 54.2 innings this season, he has 116 K/17 BB and has shown very good command of his offerings. The son of former big-league closer Bryan Harvey, Hunter has the same kind of power arm but projects to a starter if he can develop a third pitch.
31. Atlanta Braves — Josh Hart, OF, Parkview HS (GA)
The 6’-1” left-hander has plus bat speed, above-average speed and is athletic enough to hold down center field. Over 36 games this season, he hit .434 with 17 extra-base hits and stole 21 bases. He has a solid approach at the plate and more power should develop as he matures.
32. New York Yankees — Ian Clarkin, LHP, Madison HS (CA)
There is an abundance of prep lefties in the 2013 MLB draft, and the 6’-2” Clarkin is among the best. He features a plus curveball and a low-90s fastball with a lot of deception in his delivery. Over 73.1 innings this year, he has 133 K/24 BB, allowing 41 hits. A polished pitcher with great mound presence, he was also a member of U18 Team USA Baseball.
33. New York Yankees — Devin Williams, RHP, Hazelwood HS (MO)
The 6’-3” right-hander is all about projection. He is very athletic and has an easy delivery but he secondary stuff still needs work. His fastball sits in the low/mid-90s and there is still room in the tank for more. A bit risky but a huge upside.
As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter @DanMKirby for 2013 (and soon to be 2014) MLB draft updates, prospect news and Chicago Cubs ramblings.