As it happens every year, the 2013 MLB draft featured a few head-scratching selections nobody saw coming.
To nobody's surprise, Mark Appel was picked No. 1 overall by the Houston Astros, as noted by MLB on Twitter:
He's the most pro-ready player in this year's draft class, and if anyone has the chops to make a surprise appearance with his new club this season, it's Appel.
After Appel, however, the draft was far from predictable.
Here's a look at the entire first round, courtesy of MLB.com:
|1||Houston Astros||Mark Appel||Stanford||RHP|
|2||Chicago Cubs||Kris Bryant||University of San Diego||3B|
|3||Colorado Rockies||Jonathan Gray||Oklahoma||RHP|
|4||Minnesota Twins||Kohl Stewart||Pius X HS (TX)||RHP|
|5||Cleveland Indians||Clint Frazier||Logansville HS (GA)||3B|
|6||Miami Marlins||Colin Moran||North Carolina||3B|
|7||Boston Red Sox||Trey Ball||New Castle HS (IN)||LHP/OF|
|8||Kansas City Royals||Hunter Dozier ||Stephen F. Austin||SS|
|9||Pittsburgh Pirates||Austin Meadows||Grayson HS (GA)||CF|
|10||Toronto Blue Jays||Phillip Bickford||Oaks Christian HS (CA)||RHP|
|11||New York Mets||Dominic Smith||Sierra HS (CA)||1B|
|12||Seattle Mariners||DJ Peterson ||New Mexico||3B|
|13||San Diego Padres||Hunter Renfroe||Mississippi State||OF|
|14||Pittsburgh Pirates||Reese McGuire||Kentwood HS (WA)||C|
|15||Arizona Diamondbacks||Braden Shipley||Nevada||RHP|
|16||Philadelphia Phillies||JP Crawford||Lakewood HS (CA)||SS|
|17||Chicago White Sox||Tim Anderson||East Central CC (MS)||SS|
|18||Los Angeles Dodgers||Chris Anderson||Jacksonville||RHP|
|19||St. Louis Cardinals||Marco Gonzalez||Gonzaga||LHP|
|20||Detroit Tigers||Jonathon Crawford||Florida||RHP|
|21||Tampa Bay Rays||Nick Ciuffo||Lexington HS (SC)||C|
|22||Baltimore Orioles||Hunter Harvey||Bandys HS (NC)||RHP|
|23||Texas Rangers||Alex Gonzalez||Oral Roberts||RHP|
|24||Oakland A's||Billy McKinney||Plano West HS (TX)||OF|
|25||San Francisco Giants||Christian Arroyo||Hernando HS (FL)||SS|
|26||New York Yankees||Eric Jagielo||Notre Dame||3B|
|27||Cincinnati Reds||Phillip Ervin||Samford||OF|
|2013 MLB Draft Supplemental First Round|
|28||St. Louis Cardinals||Rob Kaminsky ||St. Joseph Regional HS (NJ) ||LHP|
|29||Tampa Bay Rays||Ryne Stanek||Arkansas||RHP|
|30||Texas Rangers||Travis DeMeritte||Winder-Barrow HS (GA)||SS|
|31||Atlanta Braves||Jason Hursh||Oklahoma State||RHP|
|32||New York Yankees||Aaron Judge||Fresno State||OF|
|33||New York Yankees||Ian Clarkin ||James Madison HS (CA)||LHP|
|2013 MLB Draft Competitive Balance Round A|
|34||Kansas City Royals||Sean Manaea||Indiana State||LHP|
|35||Miami Marlins||Matt Krook||St. Ignatius HS (CA) ||LHP|
|36||Arizona Diamondbacks||Aaron Blair||Marshall||RHP|
|37||Baltimore Orioles||Josh Hart||Parkview HS (GA)||OF|
|38||Cincinnati Reds||Michael Lorenzen||Cal State Fullerton||RHP|
|39||Detroit Tigers||Corey Knebel||Texas||RHP|
Here's a look at the most jaw-dropping selections from Round 1.
Kansas City Royals Select Hunter Dozier (No. 8 Overall)
Mike Axisa of CBS Sports summed up the Royals' decision to pick Dozier with the No. 8 overall pick with one word that aptly described the overriding perception around the nation:
Most analysts didn't have Dozier going until late in the first round—at the earliest. ESPN's Keith Law was just as shocked as everyone else, as he had Dozier as his 38th-ranked player in the draft:
Yeah, this was a head-scratcher by any measure.
Dozier was a productive player at Stephen F. Austin this past year, hitting .396 with 17 home runs and 12 stolen bases, and nobody's saying he'll be a bust as an MLB prospect. That said, it's safe to say the perception around the league is that the Royals reached in a major way with this selection.
San Francisco Giants Select Christian Arroyo (No. 25 Overall)
If the Royals reached for Dozier, then we need to make up a new word for what the Giants did picking Arroyo in the first round.
Most experts didn't have Arroyo anywhere near the first round in pre-draft projections. ESPN's Law had him as his 99th-ranked player (Insider protected), and Bleacher Report didn't even include him in its top 100:
Needless to say, this was a shocker.
Given the fact that Arroyo has committed to Florida, it will be interesting to see if he even ends up with the Giants.
Tampa Bay Rays Select Ryne Stanek (No. 29 Overall)
While the first two selections in this column focused on players who were drafted well ahead of their perceived values by most experts, there's a different story to be told here.
Stanek was a highly rated player who somehow nearly fell out of the first round. ESPN's Law had him as his 13th-ranked player (Insider protected) and had the Dodgers taking him with the No. 18 overall pick in his final mock draft.
A phenomenal pitcher with one of this year's top arms, Stanek regularly throws his fastball in the mid-90s and features excellent movement with that pitch. He also throws a solid curveball and a wicked slider, which will likely be his go-to pitch at the next level.
The Rays landed one of the best players in the draft at a bargain rate, as noted by JJ Cooper of Baseball America:
Tampa Bay will certainly get the most out of this young man, who will be playing with a huge chip on his shoulder for years to come after getting snubbed by most of the teams in the league.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78