2013 MLB Draft: Breaking Down Sluggers Who Will Make Fastest Moves to the Majors
Most years, the MLB draft is highlighted by college pitchers and high school hitters.
There's nothing wrong with that. The top collegiate hurlers not only have elite potential, but also the ability to make it to the majors quicker than most.
High school hitters, meanwhile, tend to represent the five-tool prospects—the guys who might not make it to the majors within a couple of years, but will make you drool with their skill set.
For now though, let's focus on the third group of players: collegiate sluggers who can help inject some power into a franchise's major league club in the near future.
Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, San Diego
You likely aren't going to find a better power hitter in this year's class than Kris Bryant, whose numbers this season were so good they bordered on comedic, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman:
In addition to those 31 homers, which led all of Division I by 10, Bryant hit .329 with 62 RBI and slugged a ridiculous .820 as a junior at San Diego University.
Bryant, who was described by Scott Miller of CBS Sports as a "more athletic Troy Glaus," has a gaudy mix of size (6'5", 215 pounds), strength, pitch recognition and bat speed to destroy any number of pitches and hit to every part of the ballpark.
There are some questions about his defense and ability to hit for average at the next level, but his brute power will more than make up for those potential deficiencies during his ascent to the majors.
D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B, New Mexico
While Peterson doesn't quite approach Bryant on the scale of raw power, his ability as an all-around hitter will help him move through the minors at a quick pace.
Arguably the best pure hitter in the draft, Peterson hit .408 with 18 homers, 25 doubles, 72 RBI and a slugging percentage of .807, which was second in the nation behind Bryant this season.
The New Mexico stud has a bit of a stocky frame at 6'1" and 205 pounds while his defense may force him to first base. He's a hitter, however, with a tremendously smooth and mechanically solid swing, an ability to find the gaps and the potential to develop into a legitimate home run hitter.
Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State
In the immortal words of Franklin on the TV show Arrested Development, "My name is Judge."
Judge is not a normal baseball prospect. At 6'7" and 255 pounds, the Fresno State product looks more like a NFL tight end or NBA power forward rather than a corner outfielder.
Who will have the quickest path to the majors?
Nevertheless, that's what makes him so enticing.
He undoubtedly needs to work on his plate discipline—in 206 at bats this season, he struck out 53 times. Even during what turned out to be a slightly inconsistent year, he managed to hit .369 with 12 homers and 36 RBI in 56 games.
There will continue to be many who are scared off by the unique prospect, but he is a physical specimen with the ability to crush the ball. Even if his home runs are accompanied by a lot of strikeouts, he will still make for a valuable player in the majors.
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