The first round of the 2013 MLB draft is shrinking. When the Los Angeles Angels signed free agent Josh Hamilton a couple of weeks ago, they lost their first-round pick. They became the second team to lose their first-round pick, joining the Atlanta Braves, who lost theirs when they signed B.J. Upton in November. I have decided to include the compensation picks, as well as the first-round of the Competitive Lottery round in my latest 2013 MLB mock draft. Enjoy!
1. Houston Astros — Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
I see a lot of other mock drafts have Mark Appel going as first pick. The Astros passed on him last year, however, so why wouldn’t they do it again? Some say because Carlos Correa was too special of a talent to pass up. Well, so is Meadows. At 6’-4” and 200 pounds, the left-hander already has a major league body and he is one of the youngest players in the draft. He has a plus arm, plus speed and great bat speed. A five-tool player with as much potential as anyone in this draft.
2. Chicago Cubs — Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
I keep going back and forth with this pick. While you don’t draft based on need when it comes to the MLB draft, the Cubs need pitching. They have put together a starting five through free agency, but let’s be honest, Scott Feldman, Scott Baker, Edwin Jackson and Carlos Villanueva aren’t frontline starters. They need an ace for the future and Manaea has all the makings of one. The 6’-5” southpaw was extremely impressive at the Cape Cod League this 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 at Indiana State last season, he went 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA and 115 K/37 BB over 105 innings without getting a whole lot of attention.
3. Colorado Rockies — Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
I recently did an interview with Frazier, and let me tell you, this kid lives and breathes baseball. Like his friend, and in-state rival Meadows, he is a five-tool player with a ton of upside. The 6’-1”, 190-pound right-hander has ridiculous bat speed that generates power to all fields. He also has plus speed and a plus arm. He put on a show at nearly every major summer event and is at the top of everyone’s draft list. As a junior, he hit .424 with 24 home runs and stole 14 bases over 118 at-bats.
4. Minnesota Twins — Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
Appel could go here, but I think Stanek has better stuff and a higher ceiling. The 6’-4” right-hander 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.
5. Cleveland Indians — Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Appel could reach the majors faster than anyone in this draft. He is also the most polished pitcher and arguably the safest pick as he should be no worse than a number-three starter in any rotation. 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.
6. Miami Marlins — Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, San Diego
Bryant is the best college bat in the draft, and at 6’-5” and 215 pounds, he has tremendous power. 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 strong understanding of the strike zone makes him one of the top prospects available.
7. Boston Red Sox — Bobby Wahl, RHP, Ole Miss
The Red Sox are in a transition phase, and Wahl could give them a top-of-the-rotation stud for the next decade. The 6’-3”, 215-pound right-hander can dial his fastball up to 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.
8. Kansas City Royals — Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford
The Royals added some premium arms in the 2012 draft with Kyle Zimmer and Sam Selman and can add a player who is a little raw but has a lot of potential. Wilson has some work to do with his approach at the plate, but he is an athlete who can run and hit for power. The 6’-5” right-hander hit .285 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs, 56 RBI and stole nine bases over 59 games as a sophomore last season. A big year is expected, and if he really breaks out, he could go even higher.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates* — Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)
The Pirates get this pick for failing to sign Appel last year. They currently have a couple of studs in Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon working their way up to the majors, and Stewart would give them a formidable trio at the top of their rotation. The 6’-3” right-hander has a plus fastball that touches 97 mph with tailing action. He 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. A commitment to play football at Texas A&M could make him a tough sign.
10. Toronto Blue Jays — 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.
11. New York Mets — Colin Moran, 3B/1B, North Carolina
Moran is one of the better college bats in the draft and was impressive at the Cape Cod League, hitting .314 over 39 games with eight doubles, six home runs and led the league with 42 RBI. As a sophomore at UNC, he hit .365 with 11 doubles, three home runs, 35 RBI and struck out just 24 times, showing a solid approach at the plate. At 6’-3” and 200 pounds, the power is going to come fast.
12. Seattle Mariners — Ian Clarkin, LHP, James Madison HS (TX)
I really like this kid and think he will explode this year. 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.
13. San Diego Padres — Trey Ball, LHP, New Castle Chrysler HS (TX)
Still raw in some areas, Ball is a 6’-6” left-hander with a lot of projectability as both a pitcher and hitter. A great athlete, he can run his fastball up to 94 mph on the mound with an easy delivery. He also adds a slider and change-up, both sitting in the low 80s but is still inconsistent with both. He has above-average speed, coupled with his strong arm, projects to a corner outfield spot. Whichever he decides, he should remain first-round talent.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates — Dominic Smith, 1B/OF, Serra HS (CA)
At 6’-1” and 200 pounds, the left-hander is one of the most impressive prep hitters in the draft. Over 25 games as a junior, Smith hit .551 with nine home runs, 49 RBI, stole 14 bases and only struck out twice. Over his 77 career high school games, he is hitting .568 with 14 home runs, 126 RBI, 29 stolen bases and has fanned a miniscule 13 times. That type of plate discipline, along with developing power, makes him a highly sought after prospect. He also has a canon arm that can touch 94 mph.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks — Andy McGuire, IF/OF, James Madison HS (VA)
McGuire is the player I will keep an eye on most this season. He was named MVP at the 2011 Perfect Game National Showcase by going 4-for-4 and reaching base all eight of his plate appearances. He then went out and led the Tournament of Stars in every offensive category except RBI, which he finished second. He posted better offensive totals than Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Francisco Lindor did when they competed at the event. He topped off his incredible summer by helping U18 Team USA to a gold medal in Seoul, South Korea. What’s even more impressive about his play at those events was the fact he was only playing at about 80 percent. He had a partially torn labrum in his left hip and bone spurs that limited his speed and range. Fully healthy now, the 6’-2″, 190-pound right-hander should really open eyes with his play this season. He has excellent bat speed which allows him to spray the ball to all fields, and more power will come as he matures. A strong arm and above-average speed will allow him to play multiple positions at the next level.
16. Philadelphia Phillies — Oscar Mercado, SS, Gaither HS (FL)
More defense than offense, Mercado is a great defender in a class weak on up-the-middle talent. He does have good bat speed and should be a high-average hitter, just not much pop in his bat. As a junior, he hit .370 over 29 games with eight extra-base hits, 29 RBI and was 11-for-11 in stolen bases. With teams putting an emphasis on catchers, shortstops and center fielders in recent drafts, Mercado is the top shortstop in his class and should be a high draft pick come June.
17. Milwaukee Brewers — 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.
18. Chicago White Sox — Justin Williams, Terrebone HS (LA)
With Williams, it is all about the power potential. The 6’-2”, 200-pound left-hander won both the Perfect Game Classic and Under Armour All-American Game home run derbys over the summer, establishing himself as one of the top power prospects in the draft. The bat speed is there, and he is also a great athlete with a strong arm. He just needs to refine his approach at the plate and his upside is sky high.
19. Los Angeles Dodgers — Clinton Hollon, RHP, Woodford County HS (KY)
The Dodgers, having spent about $600MM on contracts over the past couple of years, can afford to be patient with their farm system. 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.
20. St. Louis Cardinals — Jeremy Martinez, Mater Dei HS (CA)
J-Mart is the prototypical Cardinal. He is a smart player with a high character who does just about everything right on the baseball field. One of the more polished prep players in the country, he has played on the game’s highest stages. A two-time gold medal winner for U18 Team USA, he hit .344 with eight RBI and a .463 OBP over nine games for Team USA over the summer in Seoul. A plus defender behind the plate, he brings leadership and an above-average bat. As a junior for Mater Dei last season, he hit .388 over 29 games.
21. Detroit Tigers — Rob Kaminsky, LHP, St. Joseph HS (NJ)
One of the top southpaws in the draft, Kaminsky is a player who keeps climbing the draft boards. His fastball can touch 96 mph, and he also adds a hammer curve that sits in the mid 70s. His change-up is still developing but it is already a solid pitch. He has great control and can be un-hittable at times. Went 8-2 as a junior with 103 K/20 BB over 53 innings, allowing just 12 hits including three no-hitters. Another strong season could propel him into the upper half of the draft.
22. Tampa Bay Rays — Ryan Boldt, OF, Red Wing HS (MN)
The Rays have a history of taking speedy outfielders in the draft. Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Rocco Baldelli and Desmond Jennings are just some examples. Boldt fits the mold and he showed off his base stealing abilities for U18 Team USA over the summer by going 12-for-12 in stolen base attempts over nine games. He also drew seven walks and scored 11 runs as Team USA won the gold in Seoul. The 6’-1” left-hander has a smooth, compact swing and could add more power as he matures. His speed and glove should allow him to stick at center field, and he projects to a top-of-the-order hitter who will wreak havoc on the base paths once he gets on.
23. Baltimore Orioles — Brett Morales, RHP, King HS (FL)
Morales made a name for himself over the summer by being one of the best pitchers at some of the biggest events. His fastball can reach 94 mph with good sink to it and he has one of the best change-ups among prep players, sitting in the upper 70s with late fade and deception. He adds a developing 12-6, mid-70s curveball and knows how to mix his pitches well. His mechanics need a little work as he tends to throw across his body.
24. Texas Rangers — Chris Oakley, RHP, St. Augustine HS (NJ)
A 6’-8”, 230-pound right-hander, Oakley has a lot of projection. And like Kohl Stewart, once he starts using his legs more, will add even more velocity. He has an easy delivery and can get his fastball up to the mid 90s. He adds a mid-70s curveball that has plus potential and also mixes in a developing split-finger fastball. A big-time talent who could go higher with a strong senior season.
25. Oakland Athletics — Jonah Wesely, LHP, Tracy HS (CA)
One of the better southpaws in the draft, Wesely was extremely impressive over the summer, showing the ability to be a future workhorse at the next level. He is a power lefty who uses his strong lower half to get his fastball up to the mid 90s. He also has the makings of a plus curve that sits in the mid 70s. His change-up is developing and he has command of all three. Over 37 innings as a junior, he only allowed six hits, while striking out 79 batters to just 13 walks. He tossed two no-hitters and struck out 17 over seven innings in a game against Bear Creek on May 3, allowing two hits on no walks. He has a lot of projection with a lot of room still to grow. He had 105 strikeouts over 59.2 innings as a sophomore, allowing just 21 hits. You can also check out the interview I recently did with Jonah here.
26. San Francisco Giants — J.P. Crawford, SS, Lakewood HS (CA)
Crawford is a player who could skyrocket up draft boards if he refines his overall game this year. Already a very good defender, his soft hands, range and strong arm will allow him to stick at his current position and be above-average defensively. Offensively, he has above-average bat speed and can spray the ball to all fields. At 6’-2” and 185 pounds, he has the size to develop more power as he matures. A tick below Mercado on defense but a bunch of ticks higher on offense. 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.
27. New York Yankees — Chris Okey, C, Eustis HS (FL)
Okey excels on both sides of the field. The 6’-0”, 185-pound catcher is a great athlete whose strong arm, quick release and footwork will allow him to stick at his position at the next level. He hit .386 his junior year with three home runs, 21 RBI and just four strikeouts over 57 at-bats. As a sophomore, he hit .519 with seven doubles, three home runs and 25 RBI. Offensively, he generates extremely quick bat speed from his strong wrists and projects to a high-average hitter with pop. Like Jeremy Martinez, Okey is a two-time gold medal winner for U18 team USA.
28. Cincinnati Reds — Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS (CA)
Starring for U18 Team USA, the 6’-5” left-hander went 2-0 in Seoul with 12 strikeouts, four walks and a 0.88 ERA over 16 innings. He has a sinking fastball that can touch 94 mph and also adds a mid-70s curveball that is still developing. As a junior, he had a 1.91 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 79 K/20 BB over 66 innings. He led his team to a second straight state title last season by tossing a three-hitter with eight strikeouts in the championship game. High ceiling with a lot of projection due to his frame.
29. Washington Nationals — Nick Ciuffo, C, Lexington HS (SC)
Like Reese McGuire, Ciuffo is a left-handed hitting catcher who will be able to stick behind the plate due to his defensive abilities. His above-average bat speed allows him to hit line drives all over the park and the power is developing. He has as much overall talent as any catcher in the draft, however, with his commitment to powerhouse South Carolina at the age of 14, he could be a difficult sign.
30. Tampa Bay Rays (Upton) — Willie Abreu, OF, Mater HS (FL)
I’m high on this kid even if others aren’t. Abreu is a 6’-4”, 200-pound left-hander with quick wrists and an advanced feel at the plate. More of a line-drive hitter right now, his size suggests a whole bunch more power will come as he matures. He was also a member of the U16 Team USA team that won the gold, and he hit .423 (11-for-26) over seven games. A strong arm and a strong bat make him a perfect fit for right field, and a strong senior season could see him land in the first round. Plays for the same school as Albert Almora, the sixth-overall pick by the Cubs in the 2012 draft, and like Almora, has a very high understanding of the game, as well as a high character.
31. Texas Rangers (Hamilton) — Karsten Whitson, RHP, Florida
Whitson is a bit of a wild card in this draft. The potential is there, it’s just erratic at times. There are also injury concerns. He was a first-round (ninth-overall) draft pick by the San Diego Padres in 2010 but chose to attend Florida instead. After an impressive freshman campaign, going 8-1 with a 2.40 ERA and 92 K/28 BB over 97.1 innings, he suffered a sophomore slump. Over 33.1 innings, he had a 3.51 ERA and 20 K/18 BB as he struggled through a groin injury for most of the year. He is fully healthy now, and blessed with an upper-90s fastball and a plus curveball, he could go much higher if he puts it all together this season.
Competitive Balance Lottery Draft RD A
32. Kansas City Royals — Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Tullahoma HS (TN)
Sheffield is a two-sport star whose commitment to Vanderbilt might make him a tough sign. The 6’-1”, 185-pound right-hander can touch 97 mph with his fastball, and it has late life. He also has a power curve to go along with a slider that projects to plus. Over 49.2 innings last season, he had a 0.99 ERA and 73 K/24 BB while only allowing 21 hits. He was really impressive over the summer and quieted concerns about his size. Tons of upside, and has been really impressive lately, but again, Vanderbilt.
33. Miami Marlins (from Pirates) — Travis Demeritte, 3B, Winder Barrow HS (GA)
An extremely gifted defensive third baseman, Demeritte also has the bat to justify a corner position. At 6’-1” and 190 pounds, the right-hander has plus bat speed and uses a short, compact swing to drive the ball to all fields. The ball jumps off his bat and he can hit them out with ease. A high understanding of the game, along with a high character, could see him shoot up draft boards with another impressive season.
34. Arizona Diamondbacks — Cavan Biggio, 2B, St. Thomas HS (TX)
The son of former 20-year major league veteran, Craig Biggio, who is also the coach at St. Thomas, Cavan is a great athlete whose potential is sky high. As a sophomore, the 6’-1” left-hander hit .402 over 34 games with seven home runs, 48 RBI and a .750 SLG. He also drew 36 walks for a .570 OBP. Last season, he hit .420 with two home runs, 26 RBI and a .488 OBP over 24 games as he hardly got a pitch to hit. He is a great defensive second baseman with a strong arm and quick feet. At the dish, he projects to a high-average hitter with a great approach at the plate, as well as developing power from the left side. He was also a member of U18 Team USA.
35. Baltimore Orioles — Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU
While his numbers aren’t eye-popping, Eades stuff is. The 6’-3” right-hander has a low-90s fastball to go along with a potential plus curveball, a change-up and slider. He commands all four pitches and has an easy delivery. Over 12 starts as a sophomore, he went 5-3 with a 3.83 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 63 K/28 BB over 94 innings. A breakout year is expected.
36. Cincinnati Reds — Keegan Thompson, RHP, Cullman HS (AL)
The 6’-3”, 185-pound right-hander had a dominant junior season going 7-2 with a 0.94 ERA and 119 K/5 BB over 67.1 innings. Features a mid-90s fastball, plus curve, a developing change-up and superb command of all three. Was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Alabama as a sophomore and also starred for 2011 U16 Team USA, going 2-0 with 18 strikeouts and only six hits allowed over 14 innings, including tossing a complete game shutout against Cuba in the gold medal game, striking out 12 while also going 4-for-5 at the plate with two RBI. Had seven strikeouts over six innings, allowing one run for 2012 U18 Team USA.
37. Detroit Tigers (from Marlins) — Marco Gonzales, LHP, Gonzaga
A 6’-1” southpaw, Gonzales is one of the better athletes in the draft and could get drafted high as a hitter if he wants to go that route. The mound, however, is where he belongs as he is one of the best left-handers in the country. After a stellar freshman season, going 11-2 with a 2.57 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 90 K/21 BB over 105 innings, he had a monster sophomore campaign. Over 12 starts, he went 8-2 with a 1.55 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 92 K/23 BB over 92.2 innings. His change-up is a plus offering and his fastball sits in the low 90s.
Last five out: Dylan Covey, Trevor Williams, Dominic Ficociello, Thomas Hatch, Aaron Judge
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