The 2013 MLB draft is now just over two weeks away with the first round to be held on June 6. Based on everything I’ve seen, read and heard, here is my latest attempt at trying to predict the impossible — the first two rounds. I have commented on the top 39 picks:
1. Houston Astros — Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
I’m sticking with Appel here as the 6’-5” right-hander has proven to be the most complete pitcher in the 2013 MLB draft and arguably the safest pick on the mound. Over 12 starts, he is 8-4 with a 1.97 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 110 K/20 BB over 91.1 innings. His 7.6 innings-per-start show the kind of stamina he has, and he maintains his velocity late in games.
2. Chicago Cubs — Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma
All signs point to the Cubs taking either Appel or Gray — whoever is still available, or Appel if the Astros opt to go with a bat such as Kris Bryant. The 6’-4”, 240-pound right-hander can touch triple-digits with his fastball to go along with a plus slider and above-average change-up. He doesn’t have the track record Appel does, but the stuff might be better. Over 13 starts, he is 8-2 with a 1.43 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 112 K/19 BB over 94.2 innings. He is holding opponents to a .175 batting average.
3. Colorado Rockies — Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
No doubt the best bat in the 2013 MLB draft, the 6’-5” right-hander has enormous power and a great approach at the plate. He leads the nation in home runs with 28, as well as walks with 56. Over 52 games, he is hitting .346/.506/.880. The big question is can he remain at the hot corner, and more and more people are thinking he can. If not, he is athletic enough to hold down a corner outfield spot, and his bat will more than play well in Coors Field.
4. Minnesota Twins — Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
The quickest bat in the 2013 MLB draft, Frazier is an aggressive player who hits the ball with such authority, his raw power is disturbing at times. The 6’-1” right-hander is hitting .505 over 30 games with 16 home runs and a .571 OBP/1.165 SLG. His arm and speed are both above-average, and you aren’t going to find a more exciting player to watch.
5. Cleveland Indians — Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)
With his low mid-90s fastball, as well as three other quality pitches, the 6’-3” right-hander simply overpowered prep batters this season, allowing just 13 hits over 40 innings, striking out 59. His slider looks like a plus pitch, and both his curveball and change-up are following suit. He may have the highest upside in the 2013 MLB draft.
6. Miami Marlins — Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina
Maybe the best pure hitter among college bats, the 6’-3” left-hander is hitting .385 over 51 games while drawing 50 walks to just 13 strikeouts. The power has shown up this season, as well. He has hit 13 home runs and driven in 78 runs with a .516 OBP/.646 SLG. Like Bryant, some question his ability to remain at third, but he could be a great defender at first if he ends up there.
7. Boston Red Sox — Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
At 6’-3” and 200 pounds, the left-hander has a lot of upside with his size alone. Add in plus speed, a plus arm and an advanced bat, well now, you’ve got something special. The home-run power hasn’t shown up as many expected, but it will. He is more of a line-drive hitter right now and hits the gaps with ease. A high-character kid who has the talent to go first overall.
8. Kansas City Royals — Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
The best college southpaw in the draft, Manaea is 6’-5” and his slider is among the best when it’s on. Over 14 starts, he has a 2.65 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 88 K/21 BB over 95 innings. He has battled this season through minor hip discomfort but looked sharp in his last start, striking out 11 to one walk over seven innings. When on, not many are better.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates — Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (WA)
Extremely strong-armed catcher who hits from the left side. The 6’-1” McGuire is one of the more polished prep players in the 2013 MLB draft, having won two gold medals for U18 Team USA Baseball, as well as being a regular on the summer circuit events. He has an advanced approach at the plate and should be a high-average hitter with pop at the next level with great defensive abilities behind the plate.
10. Toronto Blue Jays — J.P. Crawford, SS, Lakewood HS (CA)
The best overall shortstop in a 2013 MLB draft class weak on them, the 6’-2” left-handed hitter has been showing the kind of offensive potential he has to go with all the defense he brings to the table. Over his last 13 games, he has gone 23-for-38 (.605) with 10 stolen bases and has drawn nine walks to zero strikeouts for a .688 OBP. His strong arm, speed and instincts will allow him to remain at a premium position and he projects to a top-of-the-order hitter.
11. New York Mets — Dominic Smith, OF/1B, Serra HS (CA)
Maybe the best pure hitter in the prep ranks, the 6’-1” left-hander can flat-out stroke it and he has a great approach at the plate. Over his last 18 plate appearances, he has reached base 15 times, including a double, triple, three home runs and three HBP. He has only struck out 14 times over his last 272 plate appearances. He also has a plus arm as he has been clocked at 94 mph on the mound. If he can’t handle a corner outfield position, he could be a plus defender at first.
12. Seattle Mariners — Braden Shipley, RHP, Nevada
A converted shortstop, the 6’-3” right-hander is a very athletic player whose fastball can touch 97 mph. he has received mixed reviews as of late, but remember, he is still relatively new to pitching. On the season, he has a 3.03 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 84 K/31 BB over 92.1 innings. He has a loose arm, an easy delivery and has flashed a plus change-up this year.
13. San Diego Padres — Trey Ball, LHP, New Castle HS (IN)
The Padres appear to be seeking a bat with this pick. With Ball, they could have a great one on their hands if they decided to make him a full time position player. At 6’-6” the left-hander has more upside on the mound where he flashes a plus low/mid-90s fastball with solid secondary stuff. He is a very good hitter, as well, with raw power and the athletic abilities to hold down a corner outfield spot where his arm would obviously play well.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates — Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State
With all of the young pitching the Pirates have in their system, they could add some offense to help out Andrew McCutchen. The 6’-2”, 215-pound Renfroe has been one of the best college bats this season, despite not having the track record of Bryant, Moran or D.J. Peterson. Over 47 games, he is hitting .390 with 13 doubles, 15 home runs and has drawn 31 walks to 29 strikeouts for a .484 OBP/.750 SLG. He has also stolen 11 bases and is the best athlete of the four.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks — Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS (OK)
Like McGuire, Denney is a strong-armed catcher with very good defensive abilities. Not as polished as McGuire, but he has more pop in his bat. The 6’-2” right-hander has tremendous power to all fields and is patient at the plate. This could end up being a huge steal for Arizona if he lands here.
16. Philadelphia Phillies — Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford
The 6’-5” right-hander has been displaying the power/speed combo scouts have been waiting for since his return from an elbow injury he suffered in the first game of the season. Over 23 games, he is hitting .333 with seven doubles, five home runs and has drawn nine walks for a .426 OBP/.586 SLG. He has added five stolen bases. Some still view him as raw, but the potential is scary due to his size and power.
17. Chicago White Sox — D.J. Peterson, 3B, New Mexico
The White Sox have one of the worst farm systems in baseball, and Peterson is a guy who could help them sooner than later. The 6’-1” right-hander is a premium bat who is hitting .408 over 46 games with 22 doubles, 16 home runs and has drawn 40 walks for a .522 OBP/.832 SLG. The numbers are a little inflated due to the park he plays in, but he can and will hit at the next level. His position is still a question mark, but he could be a solid first baseman where the bat would play well.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers — Ian Clarkin, LHP, Madison HS (CA)
There is an abundance of prep lefties in the 2013 MLB draft, and the 6’-2” Clarkin is among the best. He features a plus curveball and a low-90s fastball with a lot of deception in his delivery. Over 58.2 innings this year, he has 105 K/20 BB, allowing 33 hits. A polished pitcher with great mound presence, he was also a member of U18 Team USA Baseball.
19. St. Louis Cardinals — Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Oral Roberts
The 6’-3”, 200-pound right-hander has been shooting up 2013 MLB draft boards thanks to a plus fastball that sits in the 91-94 mph range, as well as three other solid offerings including an upper-80s cutter. He is second in the nation in strikeouts with 112 over 99.1 innings and has allowed just 22 walks, showing great command of his stuff. He has a 1.90 ERA and 0.96 WHIP over 13 starts.
20. Detroit Tigers — Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
The 6’-4” right-hander may be the most difficult player to slot this year. The stuff is there, including a mid-90s heater to go with a plus slider, but he has been very inconsistent this season, especially with his command. Over 13 starts, he has a 1.70 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 68 K/28 BB over 74.1 innings. He could go in the top-10 picks, or as low as here.
21. Tampa Bay Rays — Matthew Krook, LHP, St. Ignatius Prep (CA)
A projectable southpaw, the 6’-2” Krook has a low-90s fastball to go with a developing plus curveball. He has been inconsistent with his command this season, but the stuff is there. The Rays are one of the best at developing young pitching, and Krook could benefit greatly being selected here.
22. Baltimore Orioles — Phil Bickford, RHP, Oaks Christian HS (CA)
At 6’-4”, Bickford is a power righty who can dial his fastball up to 97 mph. His curveball and change-up are both solid offerings, and he has shown great command of his pitches this year. Over 59 innings, he has 92 K/11 BB and has allowed just 27 hits. He has been rising fast and could go higher than here.
23. Texas Rangers — Nick Ciuffo, C, Lexington HS (SC)
Maybe the best defensive catcher in the draft, the 6’-1” left-handed hitter also can handle the bat. He is more of a line-drive hitter right now, but the power should come as he matures and adjusts on his swing. Over 27 games, he is hitting .474 with 12 extra-base hits and has drawn 17 walks to just four strikeouts for a .556 OBP/.744 SLG. A very high character and a leader on and off the field.
24. Oakland Athletics — Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State
At 6’-7”, the power potential is scary with Judge. Despite his size, he is very athletic and will be able to hold down a corner outfield position. Over 49 games, he is hitting .374 with 14 doubles, four triples, nine home runs and has drawn 30 walks for a .463 OBP/.643 SLG. He has also added 11 stolen bases.
25. San Francisco Giants — Marco Gonzales, LHP, Gonzaga
The 6’-1” southpaw has one of the best change-ups in the 2013 MLB draft and a curveball that can look plus at times. His fastball sits in the 88-91 mph range but he has a great feel for pitching and mixes his pitches well. Over 14 starts, he has a 2.65 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 88 K/21 BB over 95 innings. He has great command, as well. He also leads the team in hitting (.322) and is very good athlete.
26. New York Yankees — 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 48 games, he is hitting .386 with 16 doubles, eight home runs and a .502 OBP/.639 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.
27. Cincinnati Reds — Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandys HS (NC)
The 6’-3” right-hander features a fastball that can touch 96 mph, as well as an above-average curveball in the upper-70s. Over 54.2 innings this season, he has 116 K/17 BB and has shown very good command of his offerings. The son of former big-league closer Bryan Harvey, Hunter has the same kind of power arm but projects to a starter if he can develop a third pitch.
28. St. Louis Cardinals — Philip Ervin, OF, Samford
The 5’-11” right-hander may not have a lot of upside, but the Cardinals always get the most out of their players and Ervin does bring a lot of abilities to the field. A very good defender, his speed, arm and instincts allow him to play all three outfield positions. At the plate, his power/speed combo makes him one of the more exciting players to watch in college. Over 50 games, he is hitting .348 with 14 doubles, 11 home runs and has drawn 36 walks to 23 strikeouts for a .471 OBP/.635 SLG. He has added 15 stolen bases.
29. Tampa Bay Rays — Dustin Peterson, SS, Gilbert HS (AZ)
The younger brother of D.J. Peterson, Dustin is a 6’-2” right-hander who may have more upside as he should be able to stick in the infield, either at shortstop or second base. He has an advanced bat and has shown raw power that should only get better as he matures. Over 30 games this season, he is hitting .549 with 11 doubles, six triples, 10 home runs with a .579 OBP/1.195 SLG.
30. Texas Rangers — Carlos Salazar, RHP, Kerman HS (CA)
The 6’-3” right-hander features a plus fastball that can touch 97 mph and he also adds a solid, low-80s change-up. Over 68 innings this season, he yet to allow an earned run and has 136 K/22 BB, allowing just 20 hits. His work on his command has been very impressive, cutting his BB/9 down from 6.4 as a junior to 2.9 this year.
31. Atlanta Braves — Billy McKinney, OF, Plano West HS (TX)
The 6’-2” left-hander has excellent bat speed and is one of the most advanced prep bats in the 2013 MLB draft. Over 33 games, he is hitting .400 and has drawn 33 walks to just four strikeouts for a .612 OBP/.720 SLG. He doesn’t have a lot of speed, and his arm is average, but his bat will play well in left field.
32. New York Yankees — Rob Kaminsky, LHP, St. Joseph HS (NJ)
Owner of maybe the best curveball in the 2013 MLB 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 his first five starts, he was 5-0 with 63 K/4 BB over 33 scoreless innings. He mixes his pitches well and has a great feel for the mound. Very competitive.
33. New York Yankees — Kyle Serrano, RHP, Farragut HS (TN)
The 6’-1” right-hander has three quality pitches including a low-90s fastball, a plus, hammer curve and an above-average change-up with plus potential. Over 51.1 innings this year, he has 96 K/21 BB, allowing 23 hits. His dad is the coach at Tennessee, where he is committed, but if he lands in the first round, he shouldn’t be a tough sign.
Supplemental Round 1
34. Kansas City Royals — 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 2.28 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 83 K/31 BB over 79 innings this season, holding opponents to a .184 average.
35. Miami Marlins — Jacob Brentz, LHP, South HS (MO)
A 6’-2” southpaw whose fastball has reportedly touch triple-digits this year, Brentz obviously has a lot of potential based on his velocity alone. Still raw in areas, he has a clean, easy delivery and both his change-up and curveball are solid offerings that will only get better as he gets pro instruction. He currently pitches in the Iowa Spring League that uses wooden bats and is overpowering opposing hitters.
36. Arizona Diamondbacks — Andy McGuire, SS, Madison HS (VA)
A terrific athlete who can play anywhere on the field, the 6’-2” right-hander has excellent bat speed and the power will come as he matures. He has above-average tools across the board and is a former member of U18 Team USA Baseball.
37. Baltimore Orioles — 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 13 starts, he has a 2.29 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 69 K/23 BB over 82.2 innings.
38. Cincinnati Reds — Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville
At 6’-4” and 225 pounds, the right-hander has the size and stamina to be a workhorse at the next level, although his stuff hasn’t been as sharp as it was at the beginning of the year. Over 13 starts, he has a 2.76 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 92 K/26 BB over 94.2 innings. His fastball sits in the 91-94 mph range, and he also has shown a slider and change-up that have looked plus at times.
39. Detroit Tigers — Hunter Green, LHP, Warren East HS (KY)
At 6’-4” and 170 pounds, Green has reportedly touch 95 mph this season 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. Over 51.2 innings this season, he has allowed one earned run and has 110 K/37 BB, allowing just 16 hits.
40. Houston Astros — Devin Williams, RHP, Hazelwood West HS (MO)
41. Chicago Cubs — Casey Shane, RHP, Centennial HS (TX)
42. Colorado Rockies — Tim Anderson, SS, East Central CC
43. Minnesota Twins — Andrew Thurman, RHP, UC Irvine
44. Miami Marlins — Matt McPhearson, OF, Riverdale Baptist HS (MD)
45. Boston Red Sox — Brett Morales, RHP, King HS (FL)
46. Kansas City Royals — Ryan McMahon, 3B, Mater Dei HS (CA)
47. Toronto Blue Jays — Ryan Boldt, OF, Red Wing HS (MN)
48. New York Mets — Trevor Williams, RHP, Arizona State
49. Seattle Mariners — Jonah Wesely, LHP, Tracy HS (CA)
50. San Diego Padres — Rowdy Tellez, Elk Grove HS (CA)
51. Pittsburgh Pirates — Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Vanderbilt
52. Arizona Diamondbacks — Tom Windle, LHP, Minnesota
53. Philadelphis Phillies — Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Florida
54. Milwaukee Brewers — Michael Lorenzen, OF/RHP, Cal State Fullerton
55. Chicago White Sox — Andrew Mitchell, RHP, TCU
56. Los Angeles Dodgers — Josh Hart, OF, Parkview HS (GA)
57. St. Louis Cardinals — Chris Okey, C, Eustis HS (FL)
58. Detroit Tigers — Dustin Driver, RHP, Wenatchee HS (WA)
59. Los Angeles Angels — Blake Taylor, LHP, Mission Viejo HS (CA)
60. Tampa Bay Rays — Bobby Wahl, RHP, Ole Miss
61. Baltimore Orioles — Travis Demeritte, 3B, Winder-Barrow HS (GA)
62. Texas Rangers — Garrett Williams, LHP, Cavalry Baptist HS (LA)
63. Oakland Athletics — Jordan Paroubeck, OF, Serra HS (CA)
64. San Francisco Giants — Alex Balog, RHP, San Francisco
65. Atlanta Braves — Terry McClure, OF, Riverwood HS (GA)
66. New York Yankees — Ivan Wilson, OF, Ruston HS (LA)
67. Cincinnati Reds — Cody Reed, LHP, Northwest Miss. CC
68. Washington Nationals — Hunter Dozier, SS, Stephen F. Austin
Supplemental Round 2
69. San Diego Padres — Jan Hernandez, SS/3B, Carlos Beltran BB Academy (PR)
70. Colorado Rockies — Thomas Milone, Masuk HS (CT)
71. Oakland Athletics — Chad Pinder, 3B, Virginia Tech
72. Milwaukee Brewers — Clinton Hollon, RHP, Woodford County HS (KY)
73. Miami Marlins — Tyler Danish, RHP, Durant HS (FL)
74. Houston Astros — Riley Unroe, SS, Desert Ridge HS (AZ)
75. Chicago Cubs — Andrew Knapp, C, California
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DanMKirby for 2013 MLB draft updates, prospect news and Chicago Cubs ramblings.