With the 2013 MiLB regular season officially in the books, it’s a good time to look back on how players selected in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft fared. The competitive balance lottery round is not included.
1. Houston Astros — Mark Appel, RHP
Being a workhorse starter for four months, then shutting it down for a month, then having to start it up again is a lot to ask for from a young, hard-throwing starter. Because of this, expectations are tempered for one’s first taste of pro ball. Having said that, I think it’s fair to say some expected a little more dominance from Appel. Over 38 innings, the 6’-5” right-hander posted a 3.79 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and had 33 K/9 BB split between Short-Season Tri-City and Class-A Quad Cities. Still, Appel is going to be a good one and Astros fans should be happy with this pick.
2. Chicago Cubs — Kris Bryant, 3B
The 6’-5” right-hander got to knock some rust off in the Arizona League for two games before making a dubious debut for Short-Season Boise. In his first game, he went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts earning himself a platinum sombrero. He struggled to adjust over his first seven games, going 4-for-26 (.153) with a home run and two walks. Then, he had his Wheaties and finished the season on an absolute tear. Over his last 29 games, he posted a .382/.443/.775 slash line with eight home runs split between Boise and Class-A Advanced Daytona. Cubs fans should be screaming on the inside with Bryant, Javier Baez, Albert Almora and others advancing through the system.
3. Colorado Rockies — Jonathan Gray, RHP
Like Appel, the 6’-4” right-hander logged a lot of innings as a junior for Oklahoma. Unlike Appel, Gray was extremely dominant in his first pro season. Over 37.1 innings, he posted a 1.93 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and had 51 K/8 BB split between Grand Junction of the Pioneer League and Class-A Modesto. He was at his best against better competition as he posted a 0.75 ERA, 0.67 WHIP with 36 K/6 BB over 24 innings with Modesto. His fastball was clocked at 100 mph several times and he showed off his plus slider.
4. Minnesota Twins — Kohl Stewart, RHP
The best available prep pitcher in the 2013 MLB draft proved just that as he overpowered his competition during his first go around. He posted a 1.35 ERA, 0.85 WHIP with 24 K/4 BB over 20 innings, including striking out eight to one walk over four shutout innings in his lone start for Elizabethton of the Appy League, allowing just one hit. Many believed Stewart had the highest ceiling in the 2013 MLB draft due to his four-pitch mix which includes a plus fastball that can touch 97 mph and a plus slider.
5. Cleveland Indians — Clint Frazier, OF
The most exciting prep player in the 2013 MLB draft, Frazier made good on that reputation by hitting his first pro home run in his first pro at-bat with the AZL Indians. He then added a triple later in the game. Over 42 games, he hit .297/.362/.506 with 11 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR and stole three bases. He stuck with his ultra-aggressive approach as he drew 17 walks to 61 strikeouts and made the AZL All-Star team. With some of the craziest bat speed you will ever see, Frazier is going to hit a lot of home runs. Whether he can hit for a high average is the biggest question mark.
6. Miami Marlins — Colin Moran, 3B
Like Frazier, Moran hit a home run in his first pro at-bat for Class-A Greensboro. Over 42 games, he hit .299/.354/.442 and drew 15 walks to 25 strikeouts, showing a good understanding of the strike zone as he did throughout his college career at North Carolina. He may end up at first base, and if his power doesn’t come around, it will put added pressure on the rest of the lineup. He could contend for a batting title, though.
7. Boston Red Sox — Trey Ball, LHP
The 6’-6” southpaw didn’t get a whole lot of work in — as is the case with most prep pitchers. Over seven innings, he allowed five runs on 10 hits, striking out five to six walks for the GCL Red Sox. I still feel like Ball will end up as a position player where his plus arm, speed and power would play well in the outfield, but the Red Sox will definitely try to see if he can develop on the mound since lefties with his size don’t come around often.
8. Kansas City Royals — Hunter Dozier, SS
Dozier silenced critics who scoffed when the Royals took him this high — part of a strategy to be able to select and sign LHP Sean Manaea in the lottery round. Over 68 games, mostly in the Pioneer League, he hit .309/.399/.498 with 30 2B, 7 HR and knocked in 51 RBI. He also showed a great approach at the plate by drawing 38 walks to 36 strikeouts. At 6’-4” and 220 pounds, it’s not likely he remains at short and a move to second seems likely.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates — Austin Meadows, OF
Not being able to come to terms with Appel in the 2012 MLB draft allowed the Pirates to grab Meadows with the ninth pick. It may end up being one of the best things that ever happened to the Bucs. Over 48 games split between the GCL and the New York-Penn League, he hit .316/.424/.554 with 11 2B, 5 3B, 7 HR and stole three bases. He played his best with Jamestown, going 9-for-17 with a 1.519 OPS over five games to help them reach the playoffs. A lefty with all five tools, Pirates fans should be drooling over his potential.
10. Toronto Blue Jays — Phil Bickford, RHP
Bickford opted to forego the draft and make good on his commitment to Cal-State Fullerton where he will join sophomores, Thomas Eshelman (1.48 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 83 K/3 BB over 115.2 IP) and Justin Garza (2.03 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 95 K/17 BB over 115 IP) to form a ridiculous trio for the next couple of years. The 6’-4” right-hander had 146 K/11 BB over 84.2 innings as a senior, allowing just 38 hits. He threw a first-pitch strike to 226 of the 254 batters he faced.
11. New York Mets — Dominic Smith, 1B
The 6’-1” left-handed hitter and, arguably the best pure prep bat in the draft, started off a little rusty hitting just .259/.359/.348 over his first 40 games for the GCL Mets. He then finished the year on a ridiculous tear, hitting .447/.512/.658 over his final 11 games, including going 4-for-6 with four doubles over three games for Kingsport of the Appy League. He has excellent bat speed, an advanced approach at the plate and should be a high-average hitter with good power numbers. This is a kid who hit .551 with a .643 OBP and struck out just 21 times over 105 games in his prep career.
12. Seattle Mariners — D.J. Peterson, 3B/1B
The 6’-1” right-hander split his time evenly between Short-Season Everett and Class-A Clinton and posted nearly identical numbers at both stops. Over 55 games, he hit .303/.365/.553 and led all fellow draft mates with 13 home runs. He was regarded as one of the best bats available in the 2013 MLB draft after hitting .408 with 18 home runs and led the nation with a 1.327 OPS and, for the most part, lived up to expectations.
13. San Diego Padres — Hunter Renfroe, OF
After hitting .308/.333/.510 over 25 games at Short-Season Eugene, Renfroe struggled to adjust at Class-A Fort Wayne. Over 18 games, he hit just .212/.268/.379 with four walks to 23 strikeouts. A 6’-1” right-hander who hit .352 with 15 doubles, 15 home runs and had a .440 OBP/.634 SLG over 59 games playing in the SEC, Padres fans shouldn’t get worried about his slow start.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates — Reese McGuire, C
McGuire performed exactly the way I expected he would. He hit for a high average, showed a great approach at the plate, showed off his base-stealing abilities and showed off his defense behind the plate. Over 50 games, mostly for the GCL Pirates, he hit .323/.380/.380 with 11 doubles and drew 16 walks to just 19 strikeouts. He also stole six bases. He didn’t hit a home run, but at 6’-1” and 185 pounds, the left-hander should develop more home run power as he matures.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks — Braden Shipley, RHP
The 6’-3” athletic right-hander rocketed up draft boards as he flashed a mid-90s fastball to go along with a plus slider as a junior for Nevada. He split his debut evenly between Short-Season Hillsboro and Class-A South Bend with interesting results. Over 19 innings with Hillsboro, he allowed 16 runs on 30 hits but had 24 K/6 BB, showing great command while overpowering hitters with his stuff. With South Bend, he allowed just six runs on 14 hits over 20.2 innings with 16 K/8 BB. He was more of a pitcher than thrower and allowed his defense to do work behind him.
16. Philadelphia Phillies — J.P. Crawford, SS
The best all-around shortstop available in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-2” left-hander was brilliant during his time with the GCL Phillies. Over 39 games, he hit .345/.443/.465 with 25 walks to 25 strikeouts and stole 12 bases. He struggled a bit with his promotion to Class-A Lakewood, hitting just .208/.300/.226 over 14 games but that was to be expected for an 18-year old. With exceptional bat speed, an advanced approach at the plate and above-average speed, Phillies fans are looking at the heir to Jimmy Rollins.
17. Chicago White Sox — Tim Anderson, SS
The best available JUCO player in the 2013 MLB draft, Anderson showed off his plus speed during his pro debut. Over 68 games for Class-A Kannapolis, the 6’-1” right-hander hit .277/.348/.363 with 10 2B, 5 3B, 21 RBI and stole 24 bases. He should be able to stick at short due his soft hands, range and instincts in the field and he could be a top of the order hitter if he works on his approach at the plate.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers — Chris Anderson, RHP
A 6’-4”, 220-pound right-hander known for his power arm and command, Anderson racked up high strikeout totals in his debut, but also struggled with his command a bit. Again, you can’t put too much into college pitchers who had to start it up again a month after tossing over 100 innings in college. Over 46 innings for Class-A Great lakes, he posted a 1.96 ERA, 1.22 WHIP with 50 K/24 BB. Anderson has the stuff and size to join Clayton Kershaw among the top of the Dodgers rotation soon.
19. St. Louis Cardinals — Marco Gonzales, LHP
The Cardinals, known for drafting players with high baseball IQ’s and instincts for the game, chose the 6’-1” southpaw out of Gonzaga because, while he may not have a great upside, he is a smart, athletic pitcher who could be a mid-rotation starter at the next level. Gonzales knocked some rust off with a couple of starts with the GCL Cards then posted a 1.62 ERA, 0.90 WHIP over 16.2 innings with Class-A Advanced Palm Beach with 13 K/5 BB. He features a plus change-up and a low-90s fastball with movement and has great command of his stuff. He also can hit.
20. Detroit Tigers — Jonathon Crawford, RHP
The 6’-2” right-hander started his junior season ranked in the top 10 by many. A subpar season caused him to slip, and the Tigers were the lucky beneficiaries. Armed with a plus slider and a fastball that can touch 98 mph, Crawford posted a 1.89 ERA, 1.26 WHIP with 21 K/9 BB over 19 innings for Short-Season Connecticut. From everything I read, his stuff was filthy.
21. Tampa Bay Rays — Nick Ciuffo, C
Arguably the best defensive catcher in the 2013 MLB draft, Ciuffo struggled a bit with the bat in his debut. Over 43 games with the GCL Rays, he hit .258/.296/.308 with nine walks to 40 strikeouts, although he did turn it on at the end going 6-for-15 (.400) over his last four games. Blessed with a canon arm and ridiculously quick release, Ciuffo is a left-handed hitter with good bat speed, a solid approach and you would be hard-pressed to find a better leader on the field.
22. Baltimore Orioles — Hunter Harvey, RHP
The third Hunter drafted in the first round, Harvey may have enjoyed the best debut. The son of former major league closer Bryan Harvey, Hunter wowed scouts in high school with an explosive fastball that touches 97 mph. He had 222 K/32 BB over 108.2 innings his last two years of high school. Splitting his time evenly between the GCL Orioles and Short-Season Aberdeen, the 6’-3” right-hander posted a 1.78 ERA, 1.07 WHIP with 33 K/6 BB over 25.1 innings, showing off his power arm.
23. Texas Rangers — Alex ‘Chi Chi’ Gonzalez, RHP
The 6’-3” right-hander shot up draft boards all year thanks to a quality three-pitch mix that includes a low/mid-90s fastball with movement. While he doesn’t have ace potential, most view him as a solid mid-rotation starter at the next level. Splitting his time evenly between Short-Season Spokane and Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach, he posted a 3.80 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 35 K/16 BB over 42.2 innings. He has very good command of his stuff and has good mound presence.
24. Oakland Athletics — Billy McKinney, OF
One of the best pure prep hitters in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-1”, 200-pound left-hander is the prototypical “Moneyball” player. Over his last three years in high school, he hit .403 with a .583 OBP and drew 73 walks to just 19 strikeouts over 83 games. Playing mostly for the AZL A’s before a short stint with Short-Season Vermont, he hit .326/.387/.437 over 43 games and drew 20 walks to 33 strikeouts. Not a very athletic player, he did steal eight bases, showing great instincts on the base paths.
25. San Francisco Giants — Christian Arroyo, SS
Some scoffed when the Giants selected Arroyo this high as many had him pegged for the late-second, early-third round. The 6’-1”, 180-pound right-hander made believers out of Giants fans as he wound up winning the AZL MVP award after hitting .326/.388/.511 over 45 games with 18 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR and 39 RBI. He’s a good bet to stick at short and has great instincts for the game. He is also an alumni of Team USA Baseball.
26. New York Yankees — Eric Jagielo, 3B
With three picks in the first round, the Yankees took a guy who could replace the much-maligned Alex Rodriguez at third base. As a junior at Notre Dame, the 6’-3” right-hander hit .388/.502/.633 over 56 games with nine home runs. Playing mostly for Short-Season Staten Island, he hit .264/.374/.451 over 55 games with 16 2B, 6 HR, 27 RBI and drew 27 walks, showing his advanced approach at the plate. He should hit for more power down the line and has a good shot to stick at the hot corner.
27. Cincinnati Reds — Phillip Ervin, OF
One of the more exciting players in the 2013 MLB draft, Ervin’s power/speed combo, along with his ability to play all three outfield spots, made him one of the more sought after players available. He was one of the more impressive players in his pro debut as he hit .331/.425/.564 split between Billings of the Pioneer League and Short-Season Dayton. He added 11 2B, 9 HR, 35 RBI and stole 14 bases in 15 chances. He also drew 24 walks to 34 strikeouts showing a good approach at the plate. The 5’-11” right-hander could be a quick rise to the show.
28. St. Louis Cardinals — Rob Kaminsky, LHP
Owner of arguably the best curveball in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-1’ southpaw also adds a low/mid-90s fastball and a change-up that has developed into a consistent offering. Over his first five outings for the GCL Cards, he had 15 K/3 BB over 11 shutout innings. Some fatigue may have settled in as he gave up eight runs over his final 11 innings but he still wound up with 28 strikeouts over 22 innings (11.5 K/9). A very intense player, he tossed seven no-hitters in high school.
29. Tampa Bay Rays — Ryne Stanek, RHP
When Stanek fell to the Rays, it might end up being the best thing that ever happened to him. Word is the Rays shut him down for the year, deciding it better to work on his mechanics and command than having him pitch in live games. The stuff is there, headlined by a mid-90s fastball with movement and a plus slider. At 6’-4” and 190 pounds, he also has the size you look for in an ace. The Rays are one of the best in the business at developing young pitching and could have a monster on their hands in Stanek.
30. Texas Rangers — Travis Demeritte, 3B
Known for his excellent bat speed, raw power and advanced approach at the plate, he hit .285/.411/.444 with four home runs over 39 games for the AZL Rangers, drawing 29 walks and stealing five bases. A gifted defender, Demeritte’s plus arm and instincts will keep him at the hot corner and more power will develop as he does.
31. Atlanta Braves — Jason Hursh, RHP
The 6’-3” right-hander is the kind of pitcher who can move through the system quickly and help the major-league club sooner rather than later. While he doesn’t have a ton of upside, he has a solid three-pitch mix and can run his fastball up to 94 mph. He is also a Tommy John survivor. Pitching for Class-A Rome, he posted a 0.67 ERA, 1.11 WHIP with 15 K/10 BB over 27 innings.
32. New York Yankees — Aaron Judge, OF
One of the last first-round picks to sign, Judge was put on the disabled list with an unknown injury in August and never got in any game action. At 6’-7”, the right-hander is an intriguing prospect due to his enormous power potential and athletic abilities. Over his final 27 games at Fresno State, he hit .429/.548/.814 with eight stolen bases.
33. New York Yankees — Ian Clarkin, LHP
Like Judge, Clarkin was put on the disabled list shortly after signing. He suffered a sprained ankle and saw limited playing time. Over five innings for the GCL Yankees, he allowed six runs on five hits while striking out four to four walks. The 6’-2” southpaw features a plus curveball and a low-90s fastball with a lot of deception in his delivery. After a heavy workload his senior season that saw him log 133 K/24 BB over 73.1 innings, he probably wasn’t going to get much work in anyway.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DanMKirby for 2014 MLB draft updates, prospect news and Chicago Cubs ramblings.