With just about 40 days left until the 2013 MLB draft, the list of potential first-rounders seems to be getting longer and longer. Here is my latest attempt at doing the impossible and trying to predict the top 39 picks:
1. Houston Astros — Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma
The 6’-4” right-hander, whose fastball can reach triple-digits, also features a plus slider and solid change-up. He has been the best pitcher in college this season, showing the stuff and stamina to be an ace at the next level. Over his last eight starts, he has a 0.58 ERA, 0.61 WHIP and 79 K/8 BB over 62 innings.
2. Chicago Cubs — Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
The 6’-5” right-hander hasn’t been as dominant of late as he had been earlier in the season, but he still can get by on his pure stuff alone. Over his last nine starts, he has a 1.35 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 90 K/12 BB over 73.2 innings. He features a mid-90s fastball, and both his slider and change-up are plus pitches.
3. Colorado Rockies — Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
The 6’-5” right-hander leads the nation in home runs (21) and walks (50), showing a great power/patience combo that would be something to watch in Coors. Over his last eight games, he has hit seven home runs and has drawn 11 walks. He is the best college bat in the 2013 MLB draft and, with his athleticism, has a good shot at remaining at third base.
4. Minnesota Twins — Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
Maybe the most exciting player to watch in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-1” right-hander is built like a linebacker and plays the game as aggressive as Ray Lewis played football. He has the best bat speed in the 2013 MLB draft and some of the best power. Over 26 games, he has 14 home runs and 17 stolen bases.
5. Cleveland Indians — Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
The 6’-5” left-hander hasn’t been as dominant as many expected after abusing hitters at the Cape Cod League over the summer, striking out 87 to seven walks over 52.2 innings. Still, a 1.57 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over nine starts is pretty dominant. He has also added 72 K/20 BB over 57.1 innings for a 11.3 K/9 ratio. He has one of the best sliders in the 2013 MLB draft and can dial his fastball up to 96 mph. A recent hip injury could cause him to slip if it turns out serious, but we’ll hold off on that for now.
6. Miami Marlins — Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)
The 6’-3” right-hander is back to flashing his mid-90s fastball and mid-80s, plus slider that made him the top prep pitcher in the country before an arm injury prolonged his start to the season. He also adds a solid change-up and curveball, giving him four quality pitches. He could have the most upside of any pitcher in the 2013 MLB draft.
7. Boston Red Sox — Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
The 6’-3” left-hander has the talent to go first overall in the 2013 MLB draft, including plus speed, excellent bat speed and power to all fields from the left side. This is a very difficult draft to figure out, but I can’t see him dropping any farther than here. Over 24 games, he is hitting .557 with 12 doubles, four home runs, 18 stolen bases and a .662 OBP/.984 SLG. All four of his home runs have gone to center field.
8. Kansas City Royals — Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
The 6’-4” right-hander has been dealing over his last five games, thrusting himself right back in talks for the top 5-10 picks in the 2013 MLB draft. The stuff has been there all season, he just had issues commanding his stuff and he also had to deal with having his start days messed around with. Over his last six starts, he has a 0.67 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 35 K/11 BB over 40.1 innings. His mid-90s fastball and plus slider shouldn’t last past the Royals.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates* — Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS (OK)
The best hitting catcher in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-2” right-hander also has the defensive tools to stick behind the plate at the next level. He has tremendous power to all fields and a good approach at the plate, showing the ability to wait for a pitch to crush. Over 32 games, he is hitting .548 with 11 doubles, five triples, 11 home runs, 51 RBI and has drawn 36 walks for a .694 OBP/1.191 SLG.
10. Toronto Blue Jays — J.P. Crawford, SS, Lakewood HS (CA)
The strong-armed, slick-fielding shortstop projects to a high-average hitter with above-average speed at the next level. Over his last seven games, he is 14-for-23 (.609) with three doubles, three walks and six stolen bases. He has a great approach at the plate and is one of the few true shortstops in the 2013 MLB draft.
11. New York Mets — Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (WA)
A polished player who is a two-time gold medal winner for U18 Team USA, McGuire is a left-handed hitting catcher with great instincts behind the plate. His strong arm and footwork will allow him to remain at his current position. Over 19 games, he is hitting .450 with nine doubles, four triples, two home runs and has stolen nine bases. He has also drawn 15 walks to just two strikeouts, showing an advanced approach at the plate. A terrific athlete with a high baseball IQ.
12. Seattle Mariners — Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina
Over his last 31 games, the 6’-3” left-hander is hitting .444 with seven doubles, 11 home runs, 58 RBI and has drawn 24 walks for a .555 OBP/.784 SLG. Always a great hitter, he is finally showing the power potential people have been waiting for since he stepped foot on campus. The only knock on him now is if he will be able to handle the hot corner at the next level.
13. San Diego Padres — Trey Ball, LHP, New Castle HS (IN)
The 6’-5” left-hander has been sitting 91-93 mph with his fastball this spring and scouts have said his secondary stuff projects well. In his last start, he struck out 11 to no walks in a two-hit shutout. A great athlete who is a two-way talent, his future is on the mound.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates — Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford
The 6’-5”, 240-pound right-hander has gone 17-for-39 (.436) over his last 11 games since returning from an elbow injury he suffered in the first game of the season. He has added five doubles, three home runs, 12 RBI and has drawn six walks to two strikeouts for a .542 OBP/.795 SLG. He is showing the potential he has to be a power hitting corner outfielder with speed who can hit in the middle of the lineup. Could go higher in the 2013 MLB draft if he maintains his obliteration of the baseball.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks — Ryan Boldt, OF, Red Wing HS (MN)
The 6’-1” left-hander is a speedy outfielder who projects to a high-average, top-of-the-order player. 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.
16. Philadelphia Phillies — Braden Shipley, RHP, Nevada
A converted shortstop, the 6’-3” right-hander is an athletic player with a loose arm and easy delivery. He has flashed a plus slider to go with a fastball that has touched 97 mph this season. Over 11 starts, he has a 2.70 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 76 K/24 BB over 80 innings.
17. Chicago White Sox — Ian Clarkin, LHP, Madison HS (CA)
The 6’-2” left-hander has a plus curveball to go with a low-90s fastball with a lot of deception in his delivery. He struck out 14 to two walks on April 25 and now has 87 K/17 BB over 44.2 innings. He is a big game pitcher who starred for U18 Team USA last summer.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers — Jacob Brentz, LHP (MO)
A fast-rising southpaw who has reportedly touched triple-digits this season, the 6’-2” Brentz is pitching in the Iowa Spring League, a league that uses wooden bats. Over four innings, he has 12 strikeouts to two walks. A two-way prospect, he is still raw on the mound, but the potential is sky high with the velocity from the left side.
19. St. Louis Cardinals — Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State
The 6’-1”, 215-pound right-hander is an athletic player who gets high grades with his bat. Over 39 games, he is hitting .409 with 12 doubles, 14 home runs, 45 RBI and a .489 OBP/.817 SLG. Kris Bryant and Colin Moran have been the consensus best two bats in the 2013 MLB draft, but Renfroe is right there with them.
20. Detroit Tigers — Andy McGuire, SS, Madison HS (VA)
A great athlete with excellent bat speed, the 6’-1” right-hander is a line drive hitter with projected power to come as he matures. He has above-average tools across-the-board and can play multiple positions on the field.
21. Tampa Bay Rays — Nick Ciuffo, C, Lexington HS (SC)
A great defensive catcher with a strong arm, the left-handed hitting Ciuffo uses excellent bat speed to drive the ball to all fields, and the power is coming. He is a leader on the field and has been very impressive in front of scouts this season.
22. Baltimore Orioles — Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville
The 6’-4”, 225-pound right-hander has shown a plus slider, a plus change-up and a fastball that sits in the 91-94 mph range this year. He has had control problems as of late but still has a 2.82 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 86 K/19 BB over 79.2 innings.
23. Texas Rangers — Dominic Smith, OF/1B, Serra HS (CA)
One of the better prep bats available in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-1” left-hander has a sweet swing and great bat speed. He also has an advanced approach at the plate, posting a .591 OBP over 19 games. His strong arm would play well in a corner outfield spot if he can improve on his defense.
24. Oakland Athletics — Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State
Over his last 17 games, the 6’-7” right-hander has gone 28-for-66 (.424) with seven doubles, a triple, four home runs and has stolen five bases. He has also drawn 10 walks for a .500 OBP/.742 SLG. He is now hitting .347/.434/.597 over 37 games. His long swing leads to a lot of strikeouts but the power potential is scary with his size.
25. San Francisco Giants — Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU
The 6’-3”, 200-pound right-hander has been displaying a plus fastball that has touched 96 mph this year with improved movement and late life. His slurve has looked plus at times, and the same can be said about his change-up. Over 10 starts, he has a 2.56 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 59 K/16 BB over 63.1 innings.
26. New York Yankees — Rob Kaminsky, LHP, St. Joseph HS (NJ)
Owner of maybe the best curveball in the draft, the 6’-1” southpaw can also dial his fastball up to 94 mph. He adds an above-average change-up, giving him three very good offerings. Over five starts, he is 5-0 with 63 K/4 BB over 33 scoreless innings.
27. Cincinnati Reds — Andrew Thurman, RHP, TCU
At 6’-3” and 205 pounds, Thurman has a live arm and his fastball can hit the mid/upper-90s. He adds a plus change-up and has very good command of his pitches. Over 10 starts, he has a 2.64 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 62 K/14 BB over 71.2 innings.
28. St. Louis Cardinals — Jonah Wesely, LHP, Tracy HS (CA)
I don’t see the 6’-2” southpaw on many first-round mocks for the 2013 MLB draft, but this kid can flat-out pitch. He fired a no-hitter on April 17, striking out a career-high 18 batters. Over his last three starts, he has allowed one run on five hits over 18 innings, striking out 43 to six walks. He features a low/mid-90s fastball and a big, looping curveball that projects to plus.
29. Tampa Bay Rays — Phil Bickford, RHP, Oaks Christian HS (CA)
A 6’-4” right-hander whose fastball can touch 97 mph, Bickford is a fast riser who also has excellent command of his pitches. Over his last six starts, he has a 0.46 ERA, 0.49 WHIP and 63 K/3 BB over 39 innings. His curveball and change-up are both solid offerings and he has a lot of potential due to his size.
30. Texas Rangers — Carlos Salazar, RHP, Kerman HS (CA)
The 6’-3” right-hander has touched 97 mph with his fastball and he also adds a solid, low-80s change-up. Over 48.2 innings, he has 91 K/18 BB while allowing just one earned run. He has dramatically improved his control since his junior year, cutting his BB/9 down from 6.4 to 3.3 this season.
31. Atlanta Braves — Connor Jones, RHP, Great Bridge HS (VA)
The 6’-3”, 200-pound right-hander has been extremely impressive over the past year, increasing his velocity almost 10 mph and is now up to 90-93 mph on his sinking fastball. Also adds an above-average breaking ball and has a good feel for pitching. Went 7-1 as a junior with a 1.93 ERA and 59 K/17 BB over 54.1 innings.
32. New York Yankees — Billy McKinney, OF, Plano West HS (TX)
One of the more advanced prep bats available in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-1” left-hander has drawn 27 walks to just three strikeouts over 25 games for a .608 OBP. He has a quick, easy swing and should hit for decent power at the next level, justifying a corner outfield spot.
33. New York Yankees — Casey Shane, RHP, Centennial HS (TX)
A power righty with a nasty, sinking low-90s fastball, the 6’-4” Shane also has a mid-80s change-up and low-80s curveball that both project to be at least above-average offerings. He had consecutive starts in which he struck out 17 batters and, for the season, now has 67 K/6 BB over 32.1 innings, allowing just 17 hits.
34. Kansas City Royals — Ryan McMahon, 3B, Mater Dei HS (CA)
A gifted defender with a strong arm and great footwork, the 6’-3” left-handed hitting McMahon has a lot of upside as a power-hitting third baseman. Over 19 games, he is hitting .452 with eight doubles, three home runs, 26 RBI and a .514 OBP/.790 SLG.
35. Miami Marlins — 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. Over 58 innings, he has 83 K/18 BB and has allowed just 27 hits.
36. Arizona Diamondbacks — Matthew Krook, LHP, St. Ignatius HS (CA)
Krook has been inconsistent this season but has a lot of upside thanks to a low-90s fastball and a developing plus curveball. Over 21 innings, he has 36 K/12 BB, allowing 12 hits. The stuff is there, he just needs to harness it.
37. Baltimore Orioles — Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandys HS (NC)
The 6’-3” right-hander has touched 97 mph with his fastball this year and he also adds a solid curveball. Over 41.2 innings, he has 90 K/15 BB while allowing just 22 hits. He is the son of former major league pitcher, Bryan Harvey. A very good athlete whose live arm has him shooting up 2013 MLB draft boards.
38. Cincinnati Reds — Eric Jagielo, 3B, Notre Dame
The 6’-3”, 200-pound left-hander has a ton of power and a good approach at the plate. Over 40 games, he is hitting .406 with 12 doubles, eight home runs and a .511 OBP/.681 SLG. Many believe he will be able to stick at the hot corner and, combined with his power potential from the left side, makes him one of the more desirable college bats in a draft not very deep on them.
39. Detroit Tigers — Aaron Blair, RHP, Marshall
A 6’-5” right-hander whose fastball has touched 95 mph this year, Blair has a big frame and could be a workhorse pitcher at the next level. He adds an above-average change-up, a mid-70s curveball and he has good command of all three. He has a 2.59 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 60 K/20 BB over 55.2 innings this season.
Last five out: Marco Gonzales, LHP, Gonzaga, Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Vanderbilt, Dustin Driver, RHP, Wenatchee HS (WA), Bobby Wahl, RHP, Ole Miss, Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Oral Roberts.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DanMKirby for 2013 MLB draft updates, prospect news and Chicago Cubs ramblings.