In my latest 2013 MLB mock draft, I’ve decided to be ambitious and include the second round, as well as the compensation and competitive balance lottery picks. Here we go …
1. Houston Astros — Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
Mark Appel is the logical choice given the team that drafts him has the leverage in negotiations since he is a senior and can’t return to school. He also is a very talented pitcher — more on that later. Still, I think Meadows is too good to pass on. A true five-tool talent, the 6’-4”, 200-pound left-hander has a plus arm, plus speed and uses the whole field with his bat. A great makeup and understanding of the game; one of those players that makes it look easy out there.
2. Chicago Cubs — Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
I’m sticking with Manaea here because, well, I just like him more than the other college pitchers. The Cubs are going to start loading up on pitching through the draft, and Manaea could be their ace of the future. At 6’-5” and 215 pounds, the southpaw isn’t as refined as Ryne Stanek or Mark Appel, but his ceiling may be higher. After posting a 5-3 record with a 3.34 ERA and 115 K/37 BB over 105 innings as a sophomore, he completely dominated the Cape Cod League. 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.
3. Colorado Rockies — Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
I don’t think anyone enjoys playing the game of baseball more than Frazier does. His style of play is reminiscent of Mike Trout, and a future outfield of David Dahl and Frazier in Coors would be highly entertaining. The 6’-1”, 190-pound right-hander has some of the best bat speed in the draft and the power potential is huge. As a junior, he hit .424 with 24 home runs and stole 14 bases over 118 at-bats. His arm has been clocked at 98 mph from the outfield and, coupled with his plus speed, makes him a legitimate center field option.
4. Minnesota Twins — Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
The 6’-4”, right-hander owns arguably the best slider in the draft and he complements it with a sizzling fastball that sits in the mid-90s. His change-up sits in the mid-80s and has nice fade, and he controls all three, although he can be inconsistent at times. He went 7-4 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 80 K/33 BB over 86.2 innings as a sophomore. At 180 pounds, there is still room for projection if he adds 15-20 pounds. Great poise and mound presence.
5. Cleveland Indians — Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Arguably the most polished and major-league ready pitcher in the draft, Appel is a 6’-5” right-hander who has three above-average pitches and very good command of all of them. His fastball can touch 99 mph, his change-up is mid-80s and his slider is a true swing-and-miss pitch. The only issue is he often stays within the strike zone too much, leaving his pitches vulnerable to good hitters. He went 10-2 as a junior with a 2.56 ERA and 130 K/30 BB over 123 innings, averaging 7.7 innings-per-start. His mound presence separates him from most and his ability to go deep into games makes him a likely frontline starter at the next level.
6. Miami Marlins — Kris Bryant, 3B/1B, San Diego
The best college bat in the draft, Bryant has tremendous power to all fields and a great understanding of the strike zone. Over 57 games as a sophomore, the 6’-5” right-hander 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. He most likely will end up at either first base or a corner outfield spot where his strong arm would play well. His offensive potential alone will land him in the upper half of the draft.
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 up his fastball into 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* — Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Florida
The Pirates receive this pick as compensation for failing to sign their first-round pick (Appel) last season. 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. With stud prospects Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon rising fast to the majors, Crawford could help form a formidable trio in Pittsburgh.
10. Toronto Blue Jays — Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)
Kohl could be a tough sign as he is committed to play football at Texas A&M as a quarterback. Although, the emergence of Johnny Manziel could actually sway him to sign as he would most likely have to sit behind the Heisman trophy winner for at least two seasons. 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.
11. New York Mets — 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.
12. Seattle Mariners — Dominic Smith, OF/1B, Serra HS (CA)
The object of this crazy game we all love is to hit the baseball — at least for hitters. Few do it as effortlessly as Smith at the high school level. He recently went 10-for-13 with four walks and two stolen bases at the MLK Tournament sponsored by Perfect Game, garnering MVP honors. The 6’-1”, 200-pound left-hander has an incredible batting eye, striking out just twice over 25 games as a junior. He also hit .551 with nine home runs, 49 RBI and stole 14 bases. Over his 77-game high school career, he is hitting .568 with 14 home runs, 126 RBI, 29 stolen bases and has fanned a miniscule 13 times. He also has an arm that has been clocked at 94 mph, making him a good fit for the outfield if he can refine his defense.
13. San Diego Padres — 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.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates — 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.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks — Jonathan Denney, Yukon HS (OK)
No one has seen their stock soar higher over the last couple of months than Denney. The 6’-2”, 205-pound right-hander impressed at the Perfect Game World Championships held in Jupiter, Florida, showing great power, as well as the defensive abilities to stick behind the plate. In a class with outstanding talent at the catcher position, Denney has few holes on either side of the plate.
16. Philadelphia Phillies — Trey Ball, LHP/OF, 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 he 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.
17. Milwaukee Brewers — Andy McGuire, INF, James Madison HS (VA)
McGuire should be in for a big year now that he is fully healthy after dealing with a partially torn labrum in his left hip and bone spurs that limited his speed and range. He was named MVP at the 2011 Perfect Game National Showcase after going 4-for-4 and reaching base in 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. 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.
18. Chicago White Sox — Ian Clarkin, LHP, James Madison HS (TX)
The White Sox need some pitching in their farm system and Clarkin is one of the best lefties in the draft 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.
19. Los Angeles Dodgers — Clinton Hollon, RHP, Woodford County HS (KY)
Hollon had a bout of tendonitis in the flexor tendon in his forearm/elbow over the summer but has been hitting 96 mph at recent Perfect Game showcases. 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, C, 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 — 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.
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 — Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Tullahoma HS (TN)
Sheffield is a two-sport star whose commitment to Vanderbilt might make him a tough sign. The 6’-2”, 195-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.
24. Texas Rangers — Justin Williams, OF, Terrebone HS (LA)
With Williams, it is all about the power potential. The 6’-3”, 215-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.
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.
26. San Francisco Giants — J.P. Crawford, SS, Lakewood HS (CA)
Crawford 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 — 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 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.
28. Cincinnati Reds — Willie Abreu, OF, Mater HS (FL)
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.
29. New York Yankees — Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State
It’s easy to spot Judge on the field. At 6’-7” and 240 pounds, the junior outfielder obviously has a ton of power potential. He also has a good approach at the plate and is very athletic for his size. Over 58 games last year, he hit .308 with 14 doubles, four home runs, 27 RBI and drew 48 walks to 46 strikeouts for a .453 OBP. He added 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts. His swing can get long at times and his power hasn’t shown up at the college level yet, but it should, and a big year could propel him to the top of the draft.
30. Tampa Bay Rays — 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, as well as developing power from the left side. He was also a member of U18 Team USA.
31. Texas Rangers — Bret 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.
32. New York Yankees — 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.
Competitive Balance Lottery Round A
33. Kansas City Royals — 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.
34. Miami Marlins — Carlos Salazar, RHP, Kerman HS (CA)
Salazar has been making noise thanks to a fastball that can reach 97 mph. His change-up is a solid pitch, sitting in the low-80s and his curveball still needs some refining. His delivery is smooth and the ball jumps out of his hand, but he has command issues. As a junior, he went 11-1 over 17 starts with a 1.27 ERA and 159 K/55 BB over 77.1 innings, allowing just 30 hits. Over a four-game stretch, he went 4-0 with 59 strikeouts over 27 innings, allowing just eight hits. He did, however, walk 19 over that span. The raw stuff is there, he just needs to harness it.
35. Arizona Diamondbacks — 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.
36. Baltimore Orioles — Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Elk Grove HS (CA)
Light-tower power. Cut from the same cloth as Cubs prospect Daniel Vogelbach, Tellez is also an advanced hitter for his age, and the ball just explodes off his bat with ease. At 6’-4” and 225 pounds, Tellez is taller and built better than Vogelbach and should be able to maintain first base at the next level. Over 57 games between his sophomore and junior seasons, he hit .535 with 19 doubles, 15 home runs, 96 RBI and struck out just 11 times. At the WWBA tournament held in Jupiter last October, he went 5-for 12 over six games with three doubles, a triple and drew nine walks to no strikeouts using wood bats.
37. Cincinnati Reds — 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.
38. Detroit Tigers — Derik Beauprez, RHP, Cherry Creek HS (CO)
At 6’-5” and 220 pounds, Beauprez is a right-hander with a lot of projection on the mound. Mostly a hitter throughout his high school career, he went 3-1 last season with a 2.62 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 30 K/12 BB over 24 innings. He took the mound in the state title game against Legend HS and tossed a one-hitter over seven shutout innings, striking out nine while maintaining 90+ mph on his fastball late in the game. He also has solid offspeed stuff. Still raw on the mound, a full season as a senior could open eyes and propel him into the first round.
39. Houston Astros — Marco Gonzalez, 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.
40. Chicago Cubs — Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Vanderbilt
Ziomek, a 6’3”, 200-pound southpaw, went 5-6 with a 5.22 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and 79K/39 BB over 79.1 innings for Vandy as a sophomore. He then dominated the Cape Cod League, going 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 36 K/6 BB over 28.1 innings. His fastball sits in the low 90s with late life, his change-up looks plus at times and sits in the low 80s, and his curveball is still developing but has promise. A strong junior season will likely land him in the first round.
41. Colorado Rockies — A.J. Vanegas, RHP, Stanford
A power arm who reached 97 mph with his fastballl over the summer, Vanegas has been used primarily out of the pen for the Cardinal his first two years. He went 4-0 with a 2.62 ERA and 53 K/37 BB over 65.1 innings as a sophomore. His slider is an above-average pitch and he is working on a cutter but his command is all over the place. At 6’-3” and 215 pounds, there is projection left, but he’ll have to refine some areas of his game to maintain his draft status.
42. Minnesota Twins — 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.
43. Cleveland Indians — Trevor Williams, RHP, Arizona State
Williams is an excellent control pitcher who throws strikes and stays around the plate. His fastball sits in the 88-91 mph range with late action and he also features a slider, curveball and change-up. Over 16 starts for the Sun Devils last year, he went 12-2 with a 2.05 ERA and 59 K/13 BB over 109.2 innings.
44. Miami Marlins — Michael Lorenzen, OF, Cal State Fullerton
At 6’-3” and 195 pounds, Lorenzen is one of the best defensive center fielders in the draft, thanks to a canon arm that can reach 95 mph and enough speed to cover anything hit to him. He also can drive the ball to all fields. Over 57 games last season, he hit .297 with 20 doubles, two home runs and drove in 43 runs. He is also the closer for the Titans and can hit 98 mph with his fastball on the mound. He posted a 1.23 ERA over 22 innings, striking out 17 to five walks, registering 16 saves. An electric player who could be drafted as a hitter or pitcher.
45. Boston Red Sox — 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.
46. Kansas City Royals — Chris Rivera, SS, El Dorado HS (CA)
Rivera is a smooth-fielding, slick defender who makes the game look easy. At 6’-1”and 175 pounds, the right-hander also shows the ability to be a high-average hitter at the next level with his short, compact swing and ability to drive the ball to all fields. The 2012 draft showed the importance teams put on up-the-middle players, and Rivera has a chance to be a very good major league shortstop on both sides of the field.
47. Toronto Blue Jays — Adam Plutko, RHP, UCLA
Plutko put his name out there as one to watch after a freshman season in which he posted a 2.01 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and had 92 K/24 BB over 107.2 innings. As a sophomore, he went 12-3 with a 2.48 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 99 K/47 BB over a team-high 119.2 innings. His 6.7 innings-per-start show very good stamina, but he had some command issues that need to be addressed. The 6’-3”, 195-pound right-hander features an 88-92 mph fastball, a low-80s change that looks plus at times and an upper-70s curveball with nice tailing action. The stuff is there, he just needs to harness it and refine his pitches.
48. New York Mets — 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.
49. Seattle Mariners — Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford
At 5’-10” and 200 pounds, Ervin has a compact body reminiscent of a running back. Extremely athletic, 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 64 games for Samford last year, he hit .327 with 18 doubles, 10 home runs, 52 RBI and stole 16 bases. He also drew 23 walks to 39 strikeouts, showing a good understanding of the strike zone. He reminds me of last year’s first-round pick Barrett Barnes.
50. San Diego Padres — Garrett Williams, LHP, Cavalry Baptist Academy (LA)
A former Little League World Series star, the 6’-2”, 200-pound southpaw is one of the top prep pitchers in the country. A two-way player, his future seems brighter on the mound, as he features a low-90s fastball and a plus curveball. He helped U18 Team USA to a gold medal at the World Championships held in Seoul, South Korea, posting a 1.26 ERA and a team-leading 18 strikeouts over 16.2 innings.
51. Pittsburgh Pirates — A.J. Puk, 1B/LHP, Washington HS (IA)
At 6’-6” and 205 pounds, Puk has a ton of potential as both a hitter and pitcher. He generates a ton of power from the left side and has been extremely impressive in showcases. On the mound, he features a low-90s fastball and an above-average breaking ball. With his size, there is a ton of room for improvements on the mound, especially considering he hasn’t committed full time to it. A strong commitment to Florida could make him a tough sign.
52. Arizona Diamondbacks — Casey Shane, RHP, Centennial HS (TX)
Shane is a 6’-4”, 200-pound right-hander with a nasty, sinking fastball that sits in the low 90s. He also features a mid-80s change-up and low-80s curveball that both project to above-average. His mechanics need some work as his hip turn in his delivery may account for his command issues. A lot of projection due to his size and already above-average arsenal.
53. Philadelphia Phillies — Zack Collins, C/1B, American heritage HS (FL)
Collins is a 6’-3”, 205 pound left-hander who will most likely end up at first base at the next level. Like Tellez, he has enormous power from the left side and a good understanding of the strike zone, as well as good bat speed. He was also a member of U16 Team USA, hitting .500 (16-for-32) with three home runs and 16 RBI over eight games.
54. Milwaukee Brewers — Andrew Mitchell, RHP, TCU
The 6’-3”, 225-pound right-hander went 5-3 as a sophomore with a 3.74 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 101 K/46 BB over 77 innings for the Horned Frogs. His 11.8K/9 ranked among the nation’s leaders for starters, and opponents hit just .198 against him. His fastball sits in the 90-93 range, and his curveball flashes plus potential but still needs more consistency. His change-up is a solid offering. Can get wild at times and will need to improve his control, but he has a great mental makeup and feel for the game, which bodes well for improvements.
55. Chicago White Sox — Tom Windle, LHP, Minnesota
The White Sox drafted Windle out of high school, so they are quite familiar with the 6’-4”, 215-pound southpaw. Used mostly out of the pen his first two seasons with the Gophers, he posted a 3.27 ERA with 37 K/17 BB over 41.1 innings last year. He dazzled at the Cape Cod League over the summer, posting a 2.35 ERA with 47 K/7 BB over 38 innings, showing great strides in his command. His fastball touches 94 mph, and he also adds solid offerings in a slider, curveball and change-up. If he can maintain his command, as well as show he can be a starter at the next level, he could be first round material come June.
56. Los Angeles Dodgers — Jan Hernandez, SS/3B, Carlos Beltran BB Academy (PR)
At 6’-3” and 200 pounds, Hernandez has big time offensive potential. Where he will play in the field remains to be seen. He does have a strong arm and good instincts in the field, but his size may force him to third base where his bat would play well. He has great bat speed, an easy swing and the ball jumps off his bat. A big year could land him in the first round.
57. St. Louis Cardinals — Hunter Green, LHP, Warren East HS (TX)
Green is a left-handed pitcher with a lot of projection. At 6’-4” and 170 pounds, he already gets his fastball up to 92 mph and will add more velocity once he matures. He adds a deceptive change-up and a power curveball with nice depth. He locates his pitches well and has a good feel for his pitches.
58. Detroit Tigers — John Simms, RHP, Rice
Simms starred for 2010 U18 Team USA, going 4-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 37 strikeouts over 28 innings. He dominated the Cape Cod League in 2011, striking out 37 batters to just six walks over 24.2 scoreless innings, allowing just nine hits and recording 10 saves in the process. As a sophomore last season, he went 6-0 with a 2.56 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 59 K/22 BB over 63.1 innings, working mostly out of the pen. The 6’-3”, 210-pound right-hander has a deceptive delivery and his best pitch is an 88-92 mph sinker. His curveball and change-up are both developing, but his curve looks to be the better offering.
59. Los Angeles Angels — Colby Suggs, RHP, Arkansas
A 6’-0”, 225-pound power righty, Suggs features a mid-90 fastball with heavy sink to go along with a nasty breaking ball. Was dominant in relief at the Cape Cod League, posting a 1.38 ERA with 30 K/8 BB over 19.2 innings, allowing just nine hits. Posted a 1.37 ERA over 30 appearances for the Razorbacks last season, going 7-1 with 36 K/19 BB over 39 innings. A bulldog with two great pitches, he could end up a lights-out closer at the next level.
60. Tampa Bay Rays — Trevor Clifton, RHP, Heritage HS (TN)
Clifton is a 6’-4”, 180-pound right-hander with three above-average pitches already. His fastball sits in the low 90s with movement, and he also adds a mid-70s slider/curve and an upper-80s change-up. He struck out 57 batters over 33.2 innings this season, allowing just 17 hits. There is a lot of upside with Clifton as his size suggests more velocity will come as he fills out. Struck out eight over 5.1 innings, allowing just one run for U16 Team USA.
61. Baltimore Orioles — Brian Ragira, OF, Stanford
With Mark Appel and Austin Wilson, Stanford will have their share of scouts in the stands at every game this season. Ragira, a 6’-2”, 200-pound right-hander will have many an eye on him, as well. He may not have the power Wilson does but he a better hitter. A James Loney-type offensively, he should hit for a high average and extra-base hits, just not a lot of home run power. Plays mostly first base now but his plus arm would play well in a corner outfield spot.
62. Texas Rangers — Aaron Blair, RHP, Marshall
Blair is a 6’-5”, 220-pound right-hander who is solid across-the-board in his offerings. He features an 88-92 mph fastball with good sink, a mid-70s curveball and a mid-80s change-up. Both his curve and change-up are average to above-average pitches, and he controls all three nicely. Over 14 starts for the Herd last season, he posted a 3.98 ERA, 1.24 WHIP with 82 K/28 BB over 83.2 innings, holding opponents to a .238 batting average. He lead the Cape Cod League with a 1.05 ERA and went 8-0 with 60 K/21 BB over 51.1 innings, allowing just 34 hits.
63. Oakland Athletics — Cord Sandberg, OF, Manatee County private (FL)
A two-sport star, Sandberg is a 6’-3”, 215-pound left-hander with a very high ceiling. He has good speed, a strong arm and can mash the ball to all fields. Has the instincts to play third base at the next level, as well as the arm. He has said he will not decide on whether he will attend Mississippi State to play quarterback or stick with baseball until a couple of days after the draft, something that could seriously effect his draft standing. If he changes his mind, and decides on baseball before the draft, he could be a high draft pick.
64. San Francisco Giants — Konner Wade, RHP, Arizona
Wade is a 6’-3”, 190-pound right-hander whose fastball sits in the 89-94 mph range with great movement. He also features a mid-80s change-up that has plus potential and a developing slider. He went 11-3 last season with a 3.96 ERA and 105 K/37 BB over 136.1 innings, ranking third in the nation in innings. He has great mound presence and knows how to pitch — changing speeds and not afraid to throw any pitch in any count. Added work on his slider and command could propel him much higher in the draft.
65. Atlanta Braves — Kent Emanuel, LHP, North Carolina
A two-year starter for the Tar Heels, the 6’-4” left-hander went 9-1 as a freshman with a 2.33 ERA and 89 K/23 BB over 104.1 innings. He followed that up by going 8-4 last season with a 1.96 ERA and 100 K/23 BB over 110 innings. A workhorse who can go late in games, he features a low-90s fastball with deception, an above-average change-up and an ever-improving breaking ball. An excellent control pitcher with great poise on the mound.
66. New York Yankees — Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP, Seminole State (JC)
The 6’-4” right-hander was selected by the Mets in the second-round of the 2012 draft but opted to attend junior college when negotiations broke down. He is known for his great mound presence and superb command. His fastball can touch 94 mph and he also adds three other solid offerings with his slider being the best. At 195 pounds, there is still some projection for added velocity if he adds weight.
67. Cincinnati Reds — Austin Kubitza, RHP, Rice
A 6’-5”, 205-pound right-hander, Kubitza has two pitches that grade out to plus. His sinking fastball has great movement and sits in the 88-92 mph range. His slider has sharp break and is a true out-pitch. His change-up is still developing but looks to be a solid offering. He went 6-5 as a sophomore with a 2.69 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 73 K/38 BB over 80.1 innings, allowing just 60 hits. His control can get the best of him at times and, if he makes great strides in that area, he could go a lot higher.
68. Washington Nationals — Scott Frazier, RHP, Pepperdine
A 6’-7”, 230-pound right-hander, Frazier is an intriguing prospect based on his size alone. He features a fastball that sits in the 91-94 mph range, as well as a solid curveball and change-up. He went 7-5 last season with a 3.93 ERA and 69 K/31 BB over 103 innings. A big year could land him a lot higher in the draft.
Competitive Balance Lottery RD B
69. San Diego Padres — Jacoby Jones, 2B, LSU
Jones is a 6’-3”, 200-pound right-hander with good potential as a power-hitting second baseman with speed. He has very good bat speed, above-average power and has been clocked at 6.59 in the 60. He hit .259 over 64 games last season with 13 doubles, four home runs, 29 RBI and stole 11 bases. He drew just 15 walks to 47 strikeouts, showing needed improvement on his approach at the plate. Most are expecting a breakout season.
70. Cleveland Indians — Matt McPhearson, OF, Riverdale Baptist HS, (MD)
Maybe the fastest player in the draft, The 5’-10”, 180-pound left-hander has been clocked at 6.21 in the 60. Over 96 at-bats as a junior, he hit .354 and stole 68 bases in 72 attempts. He also drew 30 walks to just 12 strikeouts for a .512 OBP, showing a great approach at the plate. He has above-average bat speed, as well as an above-average arm that plays well in center field to go along with his plus/plus speed. Has been very impressive in showcases.
71. Colorado Rockies — Corey Littrell, LHP, Kentucky
A 6’-3” left-hander, Littrell went 9-2 as a sophomore with a 2.74 ERA, 1.31 ERA and 87 K/25 BB over 98.2 innings for the Wildcats. In the Cape Cod League, he had 45K/11 BB over 32 innings playing for the Harwich Mariners. He features an 89-92 mph fastball that is deceptively fast and a consistent 80-82 mph change-up with nice fade, but both his slider and curveball need some refining. He also won the Rawlings Gold Glove for his position in 2012.
72. Oakland Athletics — Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma
A power righty who can dial up his fastball to 97 mph, Gray went 8-4 as a sophomore with a 3.16 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 104 K/42 BB over 102.2 innings for the Sooners. He also features an above-average slider and a developing change-up. He is very inconsistent with his command, but when he is on, he looks like a top-of-the-rotation starter.
73. Milwaukee Brewers — Kyle Finnegan, RHP, Texas State
A 6’-2”, 185-pound right-hander, Finnegan has an explosive, two-seam sinker that is one of the best in the country. He also features a mid-80s slider that has plus potential and a developing change-up. He has great command of all three and can dial his four-seamer up to 95 mph, but loses some of his command with it. Posted a 3.28 ERA last season with 75 K/26 BB over 93.1 innings. Had some control issues at the Cape Cod League, walking 18 over 35.2 innings, but he also struck out 44.
74. Detroit Tigers — Chris Kohler, LHP, Los Osos HS, (CA)
Kohler is a 6’-3”, 195-pound southpaw who is still relatively new to the mound. His fastball can reach 90 mph, but it sits comfortable in the 86-88 range with nice sink. There is a lot of room for added velocity once he works on his mechanics and fills out more. His curveball is his best pitch, a mid-70s looper that he can locate for strikes or use as a chase pitch. His change-up has nice tailing action and sits in the upper 70s. He has a great feel for pitching and commands his pitches well.
As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter @DanMKirby for draft updates and prospect news.