The 2013 MLB draft is a little less than three months away. With the college season in full swing, and the high school season just starting out for most teams, the first round is starting to become more clear. Of course, this will all change by my next 2013 MLB mock draft. Here are the top-38 picks as I see them today:
1. Houston Astros — Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Over his last three starts, Appel has stamped himself as the best pitcher in the draft … for now. After striking out a career-high 15 batters against UNLV on Friday, the 6’-5”, right-hander now has 40 K/3 BB over his last 25 innings, allowing just two runs on 10 hits. He has toyed with his opponents and has been able to locate all of his pitches with ease. The Astros seem like a lock for the first-overall pick again next year, and getting Appel and North Carolina State stud Carlos Rodon in consecutive years would be quite a coup.
2. Chicago Cubs — Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
In my opinion, Manaea is the best pitcher in the draft. The 6’-5” left-hander has two plus pitches in a mid-90s fastball and a low-80s slider with filthy movement. Over three starts this year, he is 1-1 with 24 K/7 BB over 16 innings, allowing just three runs on eight hits. His size, stuff and composure are everything you want in an ace.
3. Colorado Rockies — Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
Four home runs in his first four games of the season. That’s what Frazier has done so far for Loganville. The 6’-1”, 190-pound right-hander continues to show that he is a very special player with that “it” factor. He has plus speed, a plus arm and the best bat speed in the draft. A future outfield of Frazier and David Dahl could be something special. Even if he doesn’t stick at center field, his bat and arm would play extremely well in right.
4. Minnesota Twins — Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
The 6’-4”, 200-pound right-hander is a true five-tool player with a very high ceiling. His size, plus speed, arm and power ability have drawn comparisons to Josh Hamilton, but those aren’t fair expectations for a 17-year-old. His March 12 game against Clint Frazier and Loganville should draw scouts from at least a dozen teams.
5. Cleveland Indians — Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, San Diego
The best college bat in the draft, the 6’-5” right-hander has been an absolute monster as of late. Over his last nine games, he is hitting .500 (16-for-32) with three doubles, eight home runs, 15 RBI and has drawn 11 walks. For the season, he is hitting .396 with a .549 OBP and .943 SLG. He has been splitting time between third base and right field and seems like more of a corner outfielder at the next level than a third baseman. The bat is what teams are salivating after.
6. Miami Marlins — Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma
When you hit triple-digits on the radar gun, people are going to go crazy. Maybe I am jumping the gun on putting him this high in my 2013 MLB mock draft, but the 6’-4”, 240-pound right-hander seems to have really turned the corner this year, and his potential is sky high. After abusing UCLA on Saturday (7 IP 0 ER 5 H 8 K 1 BB) many were throwing out the Gerrit Cole comparisons. Aside from his plus fastball, he also features a plus slider and solid change-up. For the season, he is 3-1 with 27 K/8 BB over 26 innings, allowing six runs on 17 hits.
7. Boston Red Sox — Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
Stanek has been a disappointment so far this season. He has only managed to go past five innings in one of his four starts and his 1.53 WHIP shows how hittable he has been, as well as how off his control has been. For the season, the 6’-4” right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.71 ERA and 16 K/10 BB over 17 innings. The stuff is still ace material, but he needs to start showing he can go late in games and dominate to remain a high pick.
8. Kansas City Royals — Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS (OK)
Over his first two games of the season, Denney went 5-for-5 with three doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and two intentional walks. The 6’-2”, 205-pound right-hander has tremendous power to all fields and a good approach at the plate. He has a very strong arm and, combined with his footwork, should be able to stick behind the plate, making him a highly sought after player at a premium position.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates* — Dominic Smith, 1B/OF, Serra HS (CA)
I think Smith is the best pure hitter in the draft, and he has done nothing to prove me wrong this season. Over six games, he is 9-for-16 (.562) with three doubles, two home runs, 13 RBI and has drawn five walks to one strikeout for a .682 OBP. Coming into this year, the 6’-1” left-hander was hitting .568 over 77 games with 14 home runs, 126 RBI, 29 stolen bases and had struck out just 13 times. His arm has been clocked at 94 mph. If major league teams believe he can stick in the outfield, he could go higher.
10. Toronto Blue Jays — Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville
The 6’-4”, 225-pound power righty has been brilliant this season and has double-digit strikeouts in three of his four starts. On the season, he has an 0.87 ERA and has 45 K/5 BB over 31 innings, allowing just 16 hits. He features a 90-93 mph fastball, a plus slider, plus change-up and a good curveball. He is a workhorse pitcher who has great command of his power arsenal.
11. New York Mets — J.P. Crawford, SS, Lakewood HS, (CA)
Maybe the best overall shortstop in the draft, Crawford is a 6’-2”, 185-pound right-hander with good range, soft hands and a strong arm. He has above-average bat speed and can spray the ball to all fields. Not a burner, he has the ability to be a threat on the base paths with great instincts. Clocked at 6.77 in the 60. Over his 99 career high school games, he has hit .408 with 28 doubles, 12 triples, one home run, 68 RBI and has struck out just 25 times. He also has gone 56-for-61 in stolen base attempts.
12. Seattle Mariners — Colin Moran, 3B/1B, North Carolina
One of the best hitters in the draft, the one knock on Moran has been his inability to hit for power. Considering the left-hander is 6’-3” and 200 pounds, many were hoping he would break out this year in that department. Over his first 12 games, he had one double and zero home runs. On Saturday against Wake Forest, he finally broke out, going 3-for-5 with two home runs , six RBI and drew two walks. On the season, he is now hitting .340 with 18 RBI and has shown a great approach at the plate by drawing 16 walks to just three strikeouts for a .500 OBP.
13. San Diego Padres — Oscar Mercado, SS, Gaither HS
Perhaps the best defensive shortstop in the draft, Mercado will remain at a premium position due to his glove, strong arm and instincts in the field. At the plate, he has good bat speed and an advanced approach at the plate. Over nine games this season, he is hitting .304 with two doubles, a triple, seven RBI and has drawn seven walks to just one strikeout for a .484 OBP. He is also 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates — Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (WA)
The best defensive catcher in the draft regardless of class, McGuire is a great athlete who can also handle the bat. He hits from the left side, which is a rarity for catchers. At 6’-1” and 190 pounds, he generates a lot of power due to his excellent bat speed and will only develop more pop as he matures. He put on a clinic for U18 Team USA over the summer, hitting .462 (12-for-26) with four doubles, 11 RBI, eight walks and a .583 OBP over nine games as Team USA won the gold in Seoul, South Korea. Hit .388 his junior season with four home runs, 34 RBI and a .675 SLG.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks — Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford
One of the more exciting players in college, Ervin is a 5’-10”, 200-pound right-hander built like a running back with a very good glove in center field. He put on a show at the Cape Cod League this past summer, hitting .323 with 10 stolen bases and led the league in home runs with 11. Over 16 games this year, he is hitting .333 with four doubles, six home runs, two stolen bases and has a slash line of .455/.741/1.196. The power/speed combo, mixed with the glove, place him high on many lists.
16. Philadelphia Phillies — Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)
Maybe the best prep pitcher in the draft, Stewart was held back from pitching to start the season due to some soreness in his arm. He made his debut on Saturday, tossing two scoreless innings, striking out two to one walk. The 6’-3” right-hander can dial his fastball up to 97 mph with tailing action and he also adds a plus slider in the 85-88 range. The injury isn’t a concern, and he should be back to a starter role very soon. A commitment to play quarterback at Texas A&M could make him a tough sign.
17. Milwaukee Brewers — Bobby Wahl, RHP, Ole Miss
The 6’-3”, 215-pound right-hander bounced back from a couple of starts where his command got the best of him. After walking nine batters over 10.1 innings across two starts, he allowed three hits over six shutout innings against Lipscomb on Friday, striking out six to no walks. On the season, he has 18 K/11 BB over 22.2 innings, allowing five runs on 19 hits. He features a plus fastball that can touch 96 mph and his slider is a wipeout pitch. His change-up is solid, and he has also added a split-finger to the mix this year. Great mound presence.
18. Chicago White Sox — Dustin Driver, RHP, Wenatchee HS (WA)
A 6’-2”, 210-pound power righty, Driver can dial his fastball up to the mid 90s and still has room for improved velocity. His curveball looks plus at times, and he commands both pitches well. His change-up is still developing, and he is reportedly also working on a cutter. A bulldog mentality on the mound, some think he could be an outstanding closer down the line if he wanted to.
19. Los Angeles Dodgers — Jonah Wesely, LHP, Tracy HS (CA)
One of the top lefties in the draft, Wesely is a workhorse pitcher with a power arm. He couples a mid-90s fastball with a low-70s hammer curve to overpower batters. On the year, he is 1-1 with 29 K/6 BB over 19 innings, allowing just three runs on 10 hits. Since his sophomore year, he has 213 K/56 BB over 125.2 innings, allowing just 37 hits.
20. St. Louis Cardinals — Andy McGuire, INF, James Madison HS (VA)
A toolsy player who could play just about anywhere on the field, McGuire is a 6’-1”, 190-pound right-hander with excellent bat speed that allows him to spray the ball to all fields. Was extremely impressive at summer tournaments and for U18 Team USA, while only playing at about 70-80 percent to due a partially torn labrum in his left hip and bone spurs that limited his speed and range. Should shine this year now that he is fully recovered.
21. Detroit Tigers — 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 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.
22. Tampa Bay Rays — Ryan Boldt, OF, Red Wing HS (MN)
A speedy outfielder who projects to a high-average, top-of-the-order player, the 6’-1” left-hander fits the mold of the type of player the Rays like. His smooth, compact swing projects to more power as he matures, and he can flat out fly on the base paths. Went 12-for-12 in stolen base attempts for U18 Team USA and also drew seven walks over nine games for the gold medal winners.
23. Baltimore Orioles — Ian Clarkin, LHP, James Madison HS (TX)
The 6’-2” left-hander has a plus curveball to go with a low-90s fastball 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. In his debut this season, he struck out 10 to just one walk over five shutout innings, allowing two hits. A big-game pitcher who shined for U18 Team USA over the summer.
24. Texas Rangers — Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS (CA)
At 6’-5”, the left-hander has the size and stuff to be a frontline starter at the next level. 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. In his season debut this week, he tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four to one walk.
25. Oakland Athletics — Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Vanderbilt
After a dominating performance at the Cape Cod League, going 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 36 K/6 BB over 28.1 innings, expectations were high for the 6’-3”, 200-pound southpaw. He has more than lived up to them as he has gone 4-0 over four starts with an 0.87 ERA, 0.61 WHIP and 46 K/7 BB over 31 innings. His fastball sits in the low 90s with late life, his change-up is a plus pitch sitting in the low 80s and his breaking ball has been sharp this year.
26. San Francisco Giants — Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford
Wilson went down with a stress fracture near the tip of his elbow in the first game of the season. It is considered a minor injury, and he should be back in about a week or so. Very toolsy, but still raw in many areas, 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. He has top-10 potential but will have to prove it once he gets back from injury.
27. New York Yankees — 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.
28. Cincinnati Reds — Braden Shipley, RHP, Nevada
A 6’-2”, 180-pound right-hander, Shipley features a low-90s plus fastball to go with two solid secondary offerings in a low-70s curveball and a low-80s change-up. As a sophomore, he went 9-4 with a 2.20 ERA and 88 K/40 BB over 98 innings. Over four starts this year, he has a 2.94 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 33 K/9 BB over 27.2 innings for the Wolfpack.
29. Tampa Bay Rays — 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.
30. Texas Rangers — 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.
31. Atlanta Braves — D.J. Peterson, 3B, New Mexico
Over his last five games, the 6’-1”, 205-pound right-hander has gone 16-for-22 (.727) with three doubles, five home runs, 10 RBI, six walks and a slash line of .786/1.546/2.332. After going 5-for-5 with two home runs against UC Riverside in the first game of a double-header, he hit another home run in his first at-bat in the second game. He then was walked five straight times. On the year, he is now hitting .500 over 13 games with six doubles, eight home runs, 21 RBI with a .597 OBP and 1.056 SLG. Whether he can stick at third base remains to be seen, and he ultimately might end up at first base. But his bat is for real.
32. New York Yankees — Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Florida
Crawford has been a bit of a disappointment this year after a stellar sophomore campaign that included a no-hitter in the regionals last year. Over four starts, he is 0-2 with a 4.29 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 17 K/7 BB over 21.1 innings. He has one of the best sliders in the draft and a fastball in the mid 90s. Will need to show more to remain a high draft pick.
33. New York Yankees — Nick Ciuffo, C, Lexington HS (SC)
A left-handed hitting catcher, Ciuffo uses excellent bat speed to drive the ball to all fields and he has a lot of power in his swing. Defensively, his strong arm, footwork and instincts will allow him to stick at a premium position. A leader on the field, he is among the elite in a deep class of prep catchers.
Competitive Balance Lottery Round A
34. Kansas City Royals — Brett Morales, RHP, King HS (FL)
The 6’-2”, 200-pound right-hander can touch 95 mph with his fastball, 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. He tossed a five-inning perfect game last week, striking out 11. On the season, he is now 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA and 27 K/6 BB over 20 innings, allowing ten hits.
35. Miami Marlins — Trevor Williams, RHP, Arizona State
An excellent control pitcher with a four-pitch mix that includes a low-90s fastball, the 6’-3”, 230-pound right-hander went 12-2 with a 2.05 ERA and 59 K/13 BB over 109.2 innings as a sophomore last season. Over four starts this year, he is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and 26 K/4 BB over 30 innings.
36. Arizona Diamondbacks — Marco Gonzales, LHP, Gonzaga
After giving up five runs on eight hits over six innings in a loss to Oregon State in his season debut, the 6’-1” southpaw has been brilliant. Over his last three starts, he is 3-0 with 22 K/2 BB over 24 innings, allowing two runs on 18 hits. His change-up is a filthy plus pitch, and his fastball sits in the low 90s.
37. Baltimore Orioles — 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. This year, he is hitting .333 over 15 games with four doubles, two triples, two home runs, 12 RBI and has stolen four bases. He is also the closer for Cal State and can dial his fastball up to 98 mph.
38. Cincinnati Reds — Tom Windle, LHP, Minnesota
The 6’-4”, 215-pound southpaw 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. He tossed a no-hitter against Western Illinois on Friday, striking out eight to one walk. On the season, he is now 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 19 K/7 BB over 23 innings.
39. Detroit Tigers — 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. Over 14 games this year, he is hitting .333 with four doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI. His swing can get a little long at times.
Last 10 out of my 2013 MLB mock draft:
- Ben Lively, RHP, UCF
- Clinton Hollon, RHP, Woodford County HS (KY)
- Kent Emanuel, LHP, North Carolina
- Hunter Green, LHP, Warren East HS (TX)
- Trey Masek, RHP, Texas Tech
- Jeremy Martinez, C, Mater Dei HS (CA)
- Justin Williams, OF, Terrebone HS (LA)
- Chris Okey, C, Eustis HS (FL)
- Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU
- A.J. Puk, 1B/LHP, Washington HS (IA)
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DanMKirby for 2013 MLB mock draft updates and prospect news.