MLB Draft 2013: Best Value Picks in First Round of Draft

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2013

June 18, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks pitcher Ryne Stanek (55) throws against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the second inning of game eight of the 2012 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

In the MLB draft, it is important to pick the best player available. Not everyone did that in the first round of the 2013 version.

Considering it often takes years before prospects make an impact at the major league level, it makes little sense to choose players based on current need. This leads to overdrafting, like the Kansas City Royals did with Hunter Dozier at No. 8.

It also is not all that impressive that the Houston Astros were able to get the best overall player with the first pick in Mark Appel. Most top prospects in the top 10 were selected right around where they should have been taken.

Instead, the best picks were those that represented good value when they were selected. These selections fit into that category.


No. 11, New York Mets: Dominic Smith

The Mets had a lot of options with the No. 11 pick, but it seems like they made a smart one in selecting Dominic Smith. The first baseman is known for his hitting ability, which projects really well into the next level.

Jim Bowden of ESPN thought highly of this selection:

Additionally, Peter Gammons of MLB Network reported that the player is more than just his physical tools:

Teams usually avoid players that only play first base because it limits their long-term value. However, his ability to play at the spot at a high level, combined with his bat, should make him solid pick.


No. 14, Pittsburgh Pirates: Reese McGuire

While organizations do not like drafting first basemen early in the first round, catcher is a premium position that always has a high amount of value. If you can find a player who can stick at the position and possibly hit, he is worth an early selection.

Reese McGuire not only will stay at catcher, but he also has the potential to be a Gold Glove winner in the majors someday. He has an outstanding arm and is a good receiver behind the plate.

This led the young player to be projected into the top 10 and possibly one of the first five. 

However, teams continued to pass on the talented player until the Pirates were able to grab him with the second of their first-round picks at No. 14. This is a steal, especially considering the team was able to also get a high-upside player in Austin Meadows with the No. 9 pick.

McGuire has arguably the highest floor of any high school player due to his defensive ability alone. He could end up being a strong hitter as well, which makes this a great selection.


No. 29, Tampa Bay Rays: Ryne Stanek

At one point, Ryne Stanek was considered one of the top players in the entire class. Jim Callis of Baseball America points out that inconsistency caused him to fall a bit:

Still, stuff should trump all with a young player. Usually, a pitcher takes a few years before really getting a handle on taking command of their full arsenal.

As a result, the Tampa Bay Rays should be thrilled to get Stanek with the No. 29 pick at the end of the first round.

To give some reference on how big of a fall this was, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported that the Mets thought he would be off the board before No. 11:

With an organization that knows how to develop young pitching, this is a good fit for everyone.


Rob Goldberg is a member of Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates.

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