2013 MLB Draft: First-Round Prospects Ready to Take Big Leagues by Storm

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2013 MLB Draft: First-Round Prospects Ready to Take Big Leagues by Storm
Image courtesy of San Diego University athletics.

Teams won’t know what they have in their 2013 MLB draft picks until seasons from now.

The long process of shaping and developing young talent will ensure most of these prospects don’t see a major league field for at least two seasons—much longer in some cases, if at all.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some MLB-ready talents among the crop selected during the first round of the league’s first-year draft.

Below we’ll take a look at three of these first-round prospects who are likely to make their mark on the big leagues sooner rather than later.

 

Pick No. 1: RHP Mark Appel, Houston Astros

Depending on who you ask, Mark Appel, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, will be ready to hit the big leagues in late 2013 or in the early to mid-stages of the 2014 season.

The polished right-hander has a solid three-pitch repertoire to use as a platform to expedite his inclusion into the Astros' rotation.

While his ceiling may not be as high as Jonathan Gray, the strong-armed third pick in the draft, he will likely make an impact sooner for a team that desperately needs front-of-the-rotation help.

 

Pick No. 2: 3B/OF Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

Chicago opted to add the best hitting prospect in the draft by taking Kris Bryant with the second pick. However, the powerful third baseman may take some time to solidify a big-league position.

That doesn’t change the fact that the powerful and polished hitter is ready to step in right away and make an impact in the middle of the Cubs lineup. In 2013, Bryant led the nation with 31 home runs, 80 runs scored and a .820 slugging percentage.

Bryant is confident he could step in immediately.

"I obviously think I could play in the big leagues now," Bryant said, according to MLB.com writer Carrie Muskat. "I have that type of confidence in myself, but, like I said, that's not my decision. I'll leave that up to the guys in charge."

 

Pick No. 15: RHP Braden Shipley, Arizona Diamondbacks

Right-hander Braden Shipley may have heard his name called sooner, if not for recently making the conversion to the mound two years ago. Heading into the draft he was ranked as the 11th-best prospect by CBS’ Jon Heyman despite his perceived inexperience at the position.

The junior pitcher may not have the experience other top prospects typically do, but he has excelled everywhere he has pitched during his two seasons on the rubber.

He does have a competent three-pitch repertoire, but could use some work on his curveball, according to ESPN’s scouting report on the pitcher (ESPN Insider required):

He's hit 99 mph but pitches more at 92-95, throwing strikes with an easy, low-effort delivery. His best pitch is his changeup, a plus offering at 83-86 mph with great arm speed and heavy late action on it.

In 2013 he solidified his draft status with a 7-3 record and 2.77 ERA. In the process, he struck out 102 batters.

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