2013 MLB Mock Draft: Early First Round Projections for All 30 Teams
Now that the 2012 regular season is complete and the 2013 draft order more or less finalized, it’s time for an update on some of the top prospects in the class.
So, based on each organization’s deficiencies and previous draft strategies, I’ve composed a mock draft for 2013. Remember, so much can and will change between now and June. If fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if only half of the players on this list are ultimately first-rounders.
1. Houston Astros: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Drafted No. 8 overall by the Pirates last June, it will be hard for Appel not to be the No. 1 pick in 2013. He opted to return to Stanford for his senior season and still has room to improve.
If the right-hander is anywhere near the pitcher he was last season, he should be the top player in the country.
2. Chicago Cubs: Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
The definition of a pop-up prospect, Manaea burst onto the scene this past summer in the Cape Cod League where he captured honors as the top pitcher. He possesses easy, mid-90s velocity and a sharp slider, and should attract droves of scouts at every start.
3. Colorado Rockies: Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (Ga.)
The top prep prospect in the 2013 draft class, Meadows is a highly athletic and toolsy outfielder with a 6’3”, 200-pound frame. A left-handed hitter, he drives the ball to all fields with impressive raw power and bat speed.
4. Minnesota Twins: Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
With a fastball that reaches 95-96 mph and a wipeout, plus slider, Stanek is without a doubt one of the top pitchers in the 2013 draft class. As was the case with Chris Stratton last year, the right-hander needs to do a better job establishing his fastball this spring.
5. Cleveland Indians: Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford
A highly regarded prospect out of high school, Wilson opted to attend Stanford, where he’s developed above-average power and emerged as one of the top position prospects in the 2013 draft class.
A physical specimen who plays excellent defense, expect Wilson to be one of the first players off the board next June.
6. Miami Marlins: Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
In a draft class where power is hard to come by, even more so than last year, Bryant reigns supreme as the top slugger on board. At 6'5", the right-handed hitter has enough pop to play either third or first base, though the preference is for him to remain at the hot corner.
7. Boston Red Sox: Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (Texas)
An excellent athlete who’s committed to play quarterback at Texas A&M, Stewart will be offered big money in the first round to begin his professional career.
He has a projectable frame and a low- to mid-90s fastball, as well as the makings of an above-average slider and changeup.
8. Kansas City Royals: Trey Ball, OF/LHP, New Castle HS (Ind.)
Arguably the top two-way player in the draft class, I personally prefer Ball as an outfielder. He’s incredibly athletic at 6’6” with a projectable frame, plus speed and a strong arm. He has a smooth left-handed swing with easy power, and is comfortable driving the ball to all fields.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates*: Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (Ga.)
Although he may not last this long, Frazier has ridiculously good bat speed and power that’s just beginning to develop. He may be able to stay in center field, but should hit enough to handle either corner outfield position.
*Awarded pick after failing to sign Mark Appel in 2012.
10. Toronto Blue Jays: Bobby Wahl, RHP, Ole Miss
Coming off an excellent season at Ole Miss, Wahl possesses an above-average fastball/breaking ball mix that should continue to improve.
11. New York Mets: Jonathan Denney, C, Yukon HS (Okla.)
Perhaps this may be a slight overdraft, but in a draft class with excess prep catchers, Denney has the most potential. A right-handed hitter, he has loads of raw power and a chance to remain at the position.
12. Seattle Mariners: Justin Williams, OF/3B, Terrebonne HS (La.)
A left-handed hitter, Williams has loads of power but is raw as an overall player. It’s hard to say which position he'll be best at, but my early guess would be as a corner outfielder.
13. San Diego Padres: Trevor Williams, RHP, Arizona State
Williams figures to be Arizona State’s Friday night starter this season, which could significantly boost his draft stock. At the moment, he’s nothing more than an above-average fastball.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates: A.J. Vanegas, RHP, Stanford
Although Vanegas has worked primarily as a reliever at Stanford, he has the size, durability and arsenal to profile as a starter in the major leagues.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks: Ian Clarkin, LHP, James Madison HS (Calif.)
It’s hard to say who the Diamondbacks will target in 2013 after drafting a catcher, Stryker Trahan, with their first selection last June. My initial guess would be Clarkin, who possesses the best fastball among prep southpaws.
16. Philadelphia Phillies: Andy McGuire, IF, James Madison HS (Va.)
McGuire has a smooth, balanced swing with raw power to all fields, though it’s likely he’ll have to move off shortstop.
17. Milwaukee Brewers: Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU
His freshman season at LSU in 2011 had him at the top of most 2013 draft lists. However, the right-hander regressed during his sophomore campaign and opted not to compete this past summer.
There’s still a lot to like about Eades—he’s still considered a first-rounder, clearly—but there will be a lot to prove this spring.
18. Chicago White Sox: Colin Moran, IF, North Carolina
Moran is a safe bet to be a major leaguer, as he already possesses an above-average hit tool. However, his power is suspect.
19. Los Angeles Dodgers: Matt McPhearson, OF, Riverdale Baptist HS (Md.)
McPhearson is a 6'0", left-handed hitting outfielder with a projectable body but present strength. He’s definitely a player to follow closely next spring.
20. St. Louis Cardinals: Ryan Boldt, OF, Red Wing HS (Minn.)
There’s a lot of upside with Boldt, though his swing lacks sufficient loft to generate power. However, he’s a plus runner and excellent defender who should be able to play center field.
21. Detroit Tigers: Karsten Whitson, RHP, Florida
Whitson turned down over $2 million in 2010 after the Padres made him the No. 9 overall draft pick. Instead, the right-hander honored his commitment to Florida, where he’s been hampered by injuries and generally unimpressive.
22. Los Angeles Angels: Brett Morales, RHP, King HS (Fla.)
Morales is one of the more intriguing prep pitchers, as he registers in the low-90s and shows a decent feel for three pitches. There are some kinks in his mechanics and delivery to iron out, but nothing concerning.
23. Tampa Bay Rays: Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Cathederal Catholic HS (Calif.)
A lanky, 6’5” left-hander with a low-90s fastball and advanced breaking ball, but still very much a raw product.
24. Baltimore Orioles: A.J. Puk, LHP, Washington HS (Iowa)
An imposing presence on the mound, the 6’6” left-hander has the potential to be the first ever first-round draft pick from the state of Iowa.
His fastball only scrapes the low-90s at the moment, but with his size there’s reason to believe there’s more in the tank.
25. Texas Rangers: Clinton Hollon, RHP, Woodford County HS (Ky.)
Hollon is more of a thrower than a pitcher at the moment, but he has a lightning-quick arm that yields mid-90s fastballs.
26. Oakland Athletics: Marco Gonzales, LHP, Gonzaga
Prototypical command-oriented college left-hander who’s actually a pretty decent two-way player. Not an overly impressive prospect or projectable pitcher, but has at least three average pitches.
27. San Francisco Giants: Oscar Mercado, IF, Gaither HS (Fla.)
Depending on how much a team believes Mercado will hit, he may not last until the end of the first round. He’ll never flash much power, but should post a decent average to complement his excellent defense.
28. Atlanta Braves: Phil Ervin, OF, Samford
The 5’11” outfielder has shot up draft boards after garnering Cape Cod League MVP honors this past summer. He’s a solid all-around hitter with underrated power, and knows how to work a count at the plate.
29. New York Yankees: Robert Kaminsky, LHP, St. Joseph Regional HS (N.J.)
A local product hailing from a New Jersey high school, Kaminsky is highly polished for his age. He's got a three-pitch mix, each of which he commands well throughout the strike zone, but he lacks the projectability of other left-handers in the draft class.
30. Cincinnati Reds: Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State
Judge is a big, physical outfielder at 6’7”, 230 pounds, but has only offered glimpses of his power. It’s there, definitely; it’s just a matter of how soon he taps into it.
31. Washington Nationals: Dustin Driver, RHP, Wenatchee HS (Wash.)
Driver is essentially a two-pitch guy at the moment, with a 90-92 mph fastball and slightly above-average changeup. He works from a high arm slot and has an athletic frame, and should move up draft boards with a good spring.