The 2013 MLB draft will take place over the course of three days starting Thursday. A total of 40 rounds will be completed. Coverage for the opening night will take place on the MLB Network and the league's website before shifting to stream-only for the final two days.
Popularity of drafts has soared in recent years, mostly fueled by the success of the NFL's annual prospect showcase.
Which player should be the top overall pick?
These MLB prospects are the building blocks of the future for franchises around the league. Let's take a look at all the key information for the three-day event, followed by a full schedule and a preview of the main storylines.
Where: Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J.
When: Thursday, June 6 to Saturday, June 8
Watch: MLB Network (Thursday)
Live Stream: MLB.com (All days)
|June 6||7 p.m.||1-2|
|June 7||1 p.m.||3-10|
|June 8||1 p.m.||11-40|
Stanford starting pitcher Mark Appel is the most intriguing player in the draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates thought highly enough of the right-hander to select him eighth overall last year. He didn't sign, opting instead for another season with the Cardinal.
Appel did nothing to negatively impact his stock. He features a power fastball, and the extra year in college allowed for the further development of his slider and changeup. Once he puts all of the raw skills into a refined pitching package, he will reach the big leagues.
The other collegiate pitcher generating a lot of buzz is Jonathan Gray from Oklahoma. He's posted a 1.59 ERA in 16 starts this season and sports a fastball that can reach 100 mph. Paired with improved command, he could become a legitimate ace within a handful of years.
Other pitchers to keep an eye on include Trey Ball and Kohl Stewart. Both possess immense talent but have question marks. Ball is also a solid hitter, and it's unclear whether he will fully excel at one position. Stewart also plays football, which means he could spurn the team that drafts him for college football at Texas A&M.
On the hitting side of the class, Kris Bryant has the look of a future middle-of-the-order slugger. The corner infielder—who could shift to the outfield moving forward—smacked 31 home runs in 62 games for San Diego this season.
Where do you think the class' strength lies?
There are certainly some concerns, such as a middling contact rate, but it's all overshadowed by the natural power he's shown. A couple seasons in the minors to improve his approach at the plate should do wonders for him.
While North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran doesn't have the pop of Bryant, he's a more well-rounded prospect that should move through a system quickly. The Tar Heels star has shown the ability to get on base at a high rate and is also a solid defender.
Finally, a couple of other hitters teams will be happy to grab are Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier. The two Georgia natives are each five-tool players with bright futures. Considering both are coming out of high school, the majors are still well off on the horizon, though.