In the MLB Draft, not all first rounders are treated equal from here on out.
Most prospects possess high ceilings and will work their way up for at least two seasons. Going that route, many will never play in a Major League game.
There is a minority, though, that can make an major league impact a year or so after they are drafted. Whether it’s a top prospect or a college standout, those few players have the polish and intangibles to get an early call-up.
Let’s examine the top three players drafted into situations where they could get called up early.
Mark Appel, SP, Houston Astros
The Astros brought up Bus Norris and Lucas Harrell a bit earlier than they would’ve liked, and they will likely do the same for Appel.
In the No. 1 pick’s case, however, he actually has the stuff to be pitching significant innings in 2014. Appel has been regarded as one of the more polished pitchers to get drafted in several years. That’s probably because he stayed in school for his senior season after failing to agree with Pittsburgh last year.
Expect this year’s No. 1 pick to come to terms and to get called up to the majors quicker than others in the past.
Colin Moran, 3B, Miami Marlins
The Marlins must've been looking at their abysmal 2013 hitting numbers when they decided to draft Moran.
Sure, the Fish were expected to be in the NL East cellar, but not to be a Major League-worst in all major hitting categories. They are the only team yet to reach 30 home runs this season.
Miami’s hitting woes make Moran an easy first-round selection. The North Carolina star’s ability to get contact and to hit with power make him a no-brainer amongst other hitting prospects who may be a little more raw.
Moran will be the long-term answer at third base, with stopgap option Placido Polanco holding the position merely by default.
Ryne Stanek, Tampa Bay Rays
Stanek fell much further in the draft than anyone could have predicted, but lands in one of the best systems to get his name called early.
The Arkansas righthander has been praised for his effortless delivery and a fastball that reaches as high as 96 mph consistently.
The Rays like to develop their players, sure, but they call up their pitcher prospects for major league starts if needed. Just this season both Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer have gotten called up for spot starts.
With David Price’s departure imminent in the next couple years and some young starters' stuff in flux (Jeremy Hellickson for one), Stanek could be in an opportunistic situation soon.