MLB Draft 2013: Underrated Players Who Will Take the League by Storm
As it is in every major sport, being selected as a top pick doesn't equate to greatness.
Mark Appel, Jonathan Gray, Kris Bryant and Chris Frazier are all expected to be among the first players selected in the 2013 MLB draft, but that doesn't mean they'll be the best of this year's class.
There are some underrated prospects who have just as good a chance as these guys to make an instant impact in the league.
These players are ready to explode onto the MLB scene even though they aren't likely to be drafted early in Round 1.
D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B, New Mexico
One of the best pure hitters in the nation, Peterson is flying under the radar right now and isn't expected to be drafted until the mid- to late-first round.
Peterson won't likely win any Gold Gloves in the MLB, but his ability to hit with power and for a high average will earn him a starting gig sooner rather than later.
Last year at New Mexico, Peterson put together a season that made him a Louisville Slugger First-Team All-American. He's having another sensational year at the plate in 2013, hitting .408 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI.
While Peterson has played both third base and first base in college, he projects as a pure first baseman in the big leagues due to his lack of polished footwork and quickness. That said, he has the ability to come in and make an immediate impact with his bat.
Dan Slania, P, Notre Dame
Closers are a rare breed. Guys who have consistent success in the MLB tend to have an almost gimmicky schtick, and Slania is a man who fits this bill.
A huge man at 6'5" and 275 pounds, Slania is an intimidating presence on the mound. He towers over batters, and his big-time fastball helps complete his beastly persona.
In 21 appearances this year, spanning 46 innings, Slania has only given up six runs for an ERA of 0.75 and has struck out 37 batters.
Slania won't likely be drafted until the second or third round because he doesn't have a well-rounded repertoire of pitches or the stamina to make it in the big leagues as a starter.
That said, his two-pitch combo of fastball and phenomenal slider makes him a perfect candidate to become a dominant closer in the MLB.
Michael Lorenzen, P/OF, Cal State Fullerton
At this point, it's not yet known whether Lorenzen will try to make it in the majors as a pitcher or as an outfielder. He'd be smart to forgo a pitching career and focus on what he does best, which is make incredible plays in the outfield.
While it's true that Lorenzen has been an excellent relief pitcher for Cal State Fullerton, his exceptional arm talent is better served in the outfield.
Not only is he adept at throwing out baserunners, but his fielding is such that he'll likely win a Gold Glove or three by the time his big-league career comes to an end.
A decent hitter who displays a bit of power, Lorenzen is capable of driving in plenty of runs. This season, he's batting .328 and has hit seven home runs with 43 RBI.
Lorenzen's ability to contribute with his bat, combined with his exceptional fielding prowess, will make him a valuable player in the MLB.
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