2013 MLB Draft Prospects: Ranking the Top Sleepers from Day 1
Now that the first day of the 2013 MLB draft is in the books, it's a chance to sit back and take a look at the overall picture.
Many of the top 100 prospects—according to resident draft expert Mike Rosenbaum—will have been taken off the board, with the rest likely to be taken on Day 2. However, the first day will also have seen selections teams made that were unexpected.
In addition, several in the top 100 were selected much earlier than anticipated.
Here, then, is a list of sleepers from Day 1 of the 2013 MLB draft.
6. Jonathon Crawford: No. 20 Overall Pick, Detroit Tigers
Directly following the St. Louis Cardinals with the 20th overall pick in Thursday's draft, the Detroit Tigers also targeted someone who was a bit of a surprise.
The Tigers selected Jonathon Crawford out of the University of Florida. What made the pick a surprise to many was Crawford's inconsistency during his junior year, as he posted a 3-6 record and 3.74 ERA in 15 starts.
Crawford did throw a no-hitter last year in the NCAA regionals and was solid for Team USA over the summer as well.
In this case, the Tigers didn't look at Crawford's record—they clearly considered potential, an outstanding fastball and overall makeup in making their decision.
5. Travis Demeritte: No. 30 Overall Pick, Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers went after a third baseman with their second pick in the first round on Thursday.
The selection of Georgia high school prospect Travis Demeritte wasn't a complete shock, but according to B/R draft expert Mike Rosenbaum, Demeritte was not a likely first-round pick.
Rosenbaum had Demeritte ranked No. 56 overall. But on this night with teams clamoring for shortstops (Demeritte was the fifth shortstop selected), he came off the board quickly.
It also helped that Demeritte posted a .404/.563/.910 slash line with 12 home runs, 37 RBI and 11/33 K/BB in 126 plate appearances this spring.
4. Marco Gonzales: No. 19 Overall Pick, St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals have the best farm system in baseball according to ESPN, and they've done an especially good job in developing pitchers in recent years (see Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha).
With their first-round pick on Thursday, the Cardinals took a little bit of a chance with the selection of Gonzaga University southpaw Marco Gonzales.
It wasn't a complete surprise, but according to our own resident draft expert Mike Rosenbaum, Gonzales was the No. 31 pick on his top 100 list.
Gonzales opened eyes last summer with his outstanding performance in the Cape Cod League, followed by a stint with Team USA. He backed up his performance last year with a solid junior campaign, posting a 7-3 record and 2.80 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 96 batters in 106 innings.
With the uncertainty surrounding southpaw Jaime Garcia, it made sense for the Cardinals to target a southpaw. But Gonzales was a bit of a sleeper nonetheless.
3. Corey Knebel: No. 39 Overall Pick, Detroit Tigers
University of Texas right-hander Corey Knebel was the last player selected in the Competitive Balance Round following the first round, and he would qualify as a sleeper as well.
According to B/R draft expert Mike Rosenbaum, Knebel was the No. 77 prospect overall.
Knebel fell just four saves short of Huston Street's all-time career saves mark for the Longhorns, posting a 3.38 ERA in his junior year with an 11.5 K/9 rate. He was at times inconsistent, however, and had issues with command in posting a 4.1 BB/9 rate.
Still, the Tigers like the bulldog mentality and the mid-90s fastball with a sharp 12-6 curveball. Considering the many Texas pitchers who have excelled in the majors (Street, Roger Clemens, Dennis Cook, Greg Swindell), the Tigers are hoping that Knebel can join that group as well.
2. Hunter Dozier: No. 8 Overall Pick, Kansas City Royals
Stephen F. Austin shortstop Hunter Dozier was the fourth-highest-rated middle infielder in the draft, according to B/R's own Mike Rosenbaum.
The Kansas City Royals disagreed, taking him off the board as the top shortstop drafted with their eighth overall selection in the first round.
It was certainly a shock—Dozier was ranked No. 39 overall by Rosenbaum. It was also a major surprise to ESPN's Keith Law:
I had Hunter Dozier ranked 38th in this draft class. The Royals just took him 8th.— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 6, 2013
The folks over at MLB Network Radio agreed:
It could have been Dozier's performance this spring that had the Royals sold. Dozier posted a .396/.482/.755 slash line with 25 doubles, 17 home runs, 12 stolen bases and 35/34 K/BB in 55 games.
Certainly impressive, but still a shock to many that Dozier went this high on Day 1.
1. Christian Arroyo: No. 25 Overall Pick, San Francisco Giants
This was without question the sleeper of the night.
The San Francisco Giants selected shortstop Christian Arroyo with the 25th overall pick in the first round.
Arroyo wasn't even listed in Mike Rosenbaum's top 100, and he was ranked out of the top 100 by MLB.com as well:
The Giants obviously liked what they saw in a youngster they believe can help out in the middle of the infield sometime in the future.
Still, Arroyo was a big surprise to many fans. In fact, one Giants fan admitted he knew nothing about Arroyo, but also threw the Giants under the bus with their selection:
I know nothing about Christian Arroyo, but I'm pretty sure the Giants made a huge mistake.
— Edreese (@CountEdreese) June 7, 2013
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Feel free to talk baseball with Doug anytime on Twitter.