MLB Draft 2013: 7 Best Players Still on the Board After Day 1
Even though the first two rounds and 73 picks are in the books, a number of highly-touted players remain in the 2013 Major League Baseball draft who figure to hear their names called at some point on Day 2.
There are a number of reasons that players fall, but the most common will usually involve an injury or poor performance during the season, as well as concerns about signability. With the new CBA rules, teams have to be strict with their picks to allocate the money to get their talent signed.
With that out of the way, here are the biggest names remaining on the board as we move into the second day of the draft.
7. Matt McPhearson. OF, Riverdale Baptist HS (Md.)
It is always dangerous to bet on a prospect whose only plus tool is speed, which is why Matt McPhearson finds himself still on the board after 73 picks. But he is better than your typical runner, as there is arm strength and polish to his defensive game and little doubt he will stick in center field.
Offensively, McPhearson has a very nice swing with some bat speed. He is likely to swing and miss at better velocity thanks to a lot of movement with his hands during the load, but as long as he is putting the ball in play enough to let his legs do some work, he should be able to keep his average up enough. There isn't going to be much power with him, though he could sneak into 10-12 homers.
6. Jacob Brentz, LHP, Parkway South HS (Mo.)
Jacob Brentz has an incredible arm with great arm speed and a plus-plus fastball already. He doesn't have any physical projection left, but he is left-handed and can touch the mid-90s with his fastball. He also backs it up with a solid-average changeup.
His delivery is problematic, as he comes from the side and the fastball can flatten out. I can still see a very good starter because the fastball is so good, and there is a curveball somewhere in there that can at least flash average.
5. Dustin Driver, RHP, Wenatchee HS (Wash.)
Dustin Driver is a pitcher who may not offer a ton of physical projection, as he is already 6'2", 210 pounds, and his fastball is just average. However, he could have good feel for a three-pitch mix and develop into a good mid-rotation starter who keeps hitters off balance.
Perhaps the right move for Driver would be college to prove that his off-speed stuff will catch up to his fastball and to improve his command. The upside isn't huge, but the floor is pretty good and worthy of a third-round selection.
4. Cord Sandberg, OF, Manatee HS (Fla.)
Another player with a firm college commitment and not enough baseball polish to break into the first two rounds, Cord Sandberg is a very good athlete with speed and arm strength. He has some power projection in a swing that can get through the zone quickly.
At this point, Sandberg seems likely to go to Mississippi State to play football and baseball before returning to the draft in three years.
3. Ryan Boldt, OF, Red Wing HS (Minn.)
Ryan Boldt was always going to slide, though there was some doubt just how far. He suffered a knee injury just as his high school season started, which prevented scouts from getting a look at him.
That undoubtedly scared teams off and likely pushed Boldt to the University of Nebraska and a return trip to the draft in three years. He is a very polished high school hitter and projects to be an above-average defender in center with plus speed and range.
2. Kyle Serrano, RHP, Farragut HS (Tenn.)
It's not a surprise that Kyle Serrano wasn't taken, as he is a bit undersized at 6'1" and is committed to the University of Tennessee, where his father is the baseball coach. But how many high school pitchers can touch the mid-90s with an advanced curveball?
Teams had to be concerned about Serrano's signability, because there is no reason for him to still be sitting out there at this point, even if he doesn't have a ton of physical projection.
1. Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS (Okla.)
While there were five catchers taken in the first two rounds, Jon Denney is much better than the sixth-best player at the position in this class. In fact, I had him rated as the top catcher available, though I understand why he wasn't taken that high.
There are concerns about Denney's defense behind the plate, as his footwork and receiving skills are fringy right now. But he has a really good hit tool with a very simple swing that starts with a toe tap, and his hands explode through the zone. He projects to hit for plus power and a .260-.270 average.
Even with fringe defense behind the plate, Denney would be a star because of his offensive potential.
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