MLB Draft Picks 2013: Mid-Round Players That Will Become Superstars
Unlike other drafts throughout sports, the MLB draft churns out future All-Stars throughout every round. The best scouting departments not only find stars in the first round, but can uncover the future stars available in every round.
Stars like Albert Pujols (12th round) and Ian Kinsler (17th round) have been chosen well after the first round and have found incredible success in the big leagues.
These players may not be the most heralded prospects in their current class, but they have the tools and potential to become household names when all is said and done.
Draft results taken from MLB.com.
Oakland Athletics (No. 221 overall): Dustin Driver, RHP, Wenatchee HS (Wash.)
Billy Beane has shown a penchant for discovering dynamos on the mound throughout his career—Dustin Driver might be the next in line. According to Conor Glassey of Baseball America, Driver entered the draft with the stuff to be considered a third-round prospect.
#Athletics 7th rounder Dustin Driver has some good stuff and was considered a third rounder. Was considered signable out of UCLA.— Conor Glassey (@conorglassey) June 7, 2013
However, his commitment to UCLA may have been what dropped him all the way to the seventh round.
Regardless of signability issues, Driver has what it takes to develop into a star one day. His fastball can already touch 94 on the gun, but what is most impressive is that he already has four pitches in his repertoire that all show some promise.
According to MLB.com, Driver has incredible mound presence for a high school prospect already:
Driver has some good stuff, with a fastball that's already touching 93-94 mph and a power breaking ball to go along with it. He threw very well at the Area Code Games, showing a good feel for mixing his fastball, breaking stuff and even a changeup. And while some feel he may be a reliever when all is said and done, there's plenty to like about this young right arm. As good as his raw stuff is, he gets equally strong, if not better, marks for his mound presence, instincts and competitiveness, all of which add up to a very bright future.
Driver doesn't have the elite power to garner headlines in the draft process, but a few years to develop his command should turn him into a crafty star on the mound.
Pittsburgh Pirates (87th Overall): JaCoby Jones, 2B/OF, LSU
If you confuse the Pittsburgh Pirates' third-round selection JaCoby Jones with NFL receiver Jacoby Jones, it would be understandable. At 6'3" and 205 pounds, the LSU second baseman is built like an NFL receiver and has the athleticism to match.
He played second base for the Tigers but projects as an outfielder in the big leagues. Once moved to the outfield he should be an asset with his athleticism. According to MLB.com, he's been timed at 4.1 seconds to first base.
The issue with Jones at LSU has been consistency. In his final regular season with LSU, he hit just .253 but led the team in steals (11) and hit 13 doubles on the season.
With a few years under the tutelage of a professional coaching staff, Jones should be able to truly capitalize on his raw talent. If that happens, watch out—he could be the next great defensive center fielder and a threat on the basepaths for years to come.
New York Mets (84th Overall): Casey Meisner, RHP, Cypress Woods HS (Texas)
Picked just ahead of Jones, the third round may wind up churning out two superstars. Casey Meisner is a raw pitcher coming out of high school, but the potential is definitely there for him to be excellent.
He's tall and wiry at 6'7" and 185 pounds, which means he has the right frame to develop more velocity as he moves through the minors. According to Todd Gold of Perfect Game his off-speed stuff is also intriguing.
6' 7" 2013 RHP Casey Meisner (Cypress, TX) up to 92 w good downhill plane, deep CB & deceptive CH. Dominant 1st IP #AreaCodeGames— Todd Gold (@TGold_PG) August 6, 2012
Meisner will take longer to develop than some of the highly touted prospects in this draft, but all of the physical tools are there for him to be an ace one day.
The New York Mets got a steal by snagging a player with that kind of potential on Day 2.
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