With 16 high school players selected in the first round, the 2012 MLB draft will forever be remembered for teams thinking about their long-term future.
But that wasn’t the case for every team.
There are a handful of collegiate players capable of stepping onto a major league diamond right now, but who would settle for a September call-up or a serious shot at cracking the 2013 roster.
Here are the three most MLB-ready players of the first round, and by no coincidence, all of them are pitchers.
No. 8 Pittsburgh Pirates: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Many believed he would be the top pick, but his “signabilty” scared teams off.
It remains to be seen if the Pirates will be able to agree on a deal, but if they do, Pittsburgh should consider calling him up soon.
Appel has reached 99 mph on the radar gun, and throws three pitches that have outstanding movement. His slider is MLB-ready, and he has three years of experience in a strong conference.
At 6'5", he has the length scouts love, and a smooth delivery thtat suggests injuries won’t be an issue.
No. 9 Miami Marlins: Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State
He has superb mechanics, a delivery that is hard to pick up on and can throw three pitches for strikes. This past season for the Cowboys he registered an absurd 120 strikeouts and only 19 walks.
The southpaw is very relaxed on the mound and his steady delivery reflects as much. He is very mature and should be a strong contender to reach the big leagues in 2013.
No. 19 St. Louis Cardinals: Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M
His 6'6" frame allows him to have a solid downward plane toward the plate, combined with a fastball that’s been clocked in the mid-90s.
While he has outstanding arm speed, he does need a bit of work on his secondary pitches. Good thing he is going to the Cardinals, a franchise that is outstanding in developing pitchers.
With a few tweaks, expect Wacha in the big leagues at some point next season.
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