MLB Draft 2012: Prospects Who Will Live Up to Lofty Expectations

Justin WeltonAnalyst IIJune 6, 2012

Courtesy of ESPN
Courtesy of ESPN

The greats can do it and average players can't. 

Living up to expectations in baseball is one of the most difficult things to achieve in sports. Most can't do it, but these three future stars from the 2012 MLB draft will be able to live up to the hype.  


Byron Buxton

Minnesota landed themselves a star with No. 2 overall pick Byron Buxton. Baseball fans hear the phrase "five-tool player" thrown around too often in terms of defining prospects, but Buxton is truly one of those players.

He can spray it to all parts of the field with power and average, he has speed to burn and his defense is outstanding.

Buxton reminds scouts of Andrew McCutchen with his superb athleticism and speed. Also, both have slimmer figures but provide pop at the plate. The comparisons are legitimate. 

It will be a while before we see Buxton in the big leagues, but it sure will be fun when he arrives. 


Mark Appel

Thought of as the top prospect in the 2012 MLB draft, Mark Appel fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates with the No. 8 selection. General Manager Neal Huntington decided to roll the dice to try to get him to sign a deal knowing he would want top-end money.

Huntington has been great in two areas: spending money in the draft, and finding pitching prospects. He decided to roll the dice, and it will pay off if they can get him to sign.

Appel provides several quality pitches, including a mid-90s fastball, sharp slider and a promising circle-change.

If—and it's a big if—the Pirates can sign Appel, their pitching staff for 2015 or 2016 is going to be loaded. Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon were both selected in the two years prior, with Cole being the No.1 overall selection in 2011.

Cole has the pressure to become No. 1 great, while Appel has the pressure of being a first-round selection. The difference is much more than people think.

Appel will benefit from that situation if he is able to sign. 


Carlos Correa

Being a No. 1 overall draft pick brings a lot of pressure. Most can't handle it, but some can. Carlos Correa is one of those who can.

Shortstops who can play exceptional defense and hit around the Mendoza Line are a dime a dozen in baseball. Correa can play great defense, but also provides raw power to all parts of the field.

Houston couldn't pass up on a potential Alex Rodriguez-type of shortstop. Instead of taking Appel and building around the next few seasons, Houston proved that they are in a long rebuilding mode with the drafting of Correa. 

Correa will take a while to get to the major leagues, but boy will he be worth the wait.