MLB Draft 2013: Teams That Struck Gold

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistJune 9, 2013

The Colorado Rockies were fortunate to find Jonathan Gray still available at pick No. 3.
The Colorado Rockies were fortunate to find Jonathan Gray still available at pick No. 3.Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Finding gems in the MLB draft can often be a nearly impossible task.

Every team is vigorously digging through the pool of talent, hoping to find a golden nugget somewhere. Although years must pass before anyone can truly know for sure, a select few squads should feel proud of having a nice little weekend at Secaucus, N.J.

Hitting the lottery on draft day is a great way for a team to build a contender, or at least find one guy to excite the fans. As of now, these three squads are primed to cash in on their savvy picks in later years. 


Pittsburgh Pirates

With an inordinate amount of rounds and the added concern of signing issues, it's rare to see much uniformity among MLB mock drafts. Yet most agreed that the Pittsburgh Pirates would walk away with high school catcher Reese McGuire at pick No. 9.

They got their man, but it came with the 14th selection. At pick No. 9, they stole another high school phenom in outfielder Austin Meadows.

The Georgian product displays all the tools that make the scouts drool, and few thought he would fall to Pittsburgh. He can hit for contact, blaze around the basepaths and still displays power potential, even if it hasn't fully materialized yet.

Drafting Meadows seemingly sacrificed the Pirates' chances of picking McGuire, but he stayed on the board for their next turn. The 18-year-old offers excellent defensive skills behind the plate as well as power upside.

It's hard to see Pittsburgh maintaining this torrid level of play in 2013, but the squad is loaded with young talent that could make it a legitimate contender in a few years.


New York Yankees

Usually the one to hand over draft picks as a price for signing big-name free agents, the New York Yankees found themselves in the opposite situation this year.

After letting Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano skip town, the Bronx Bombers had a bunch of picks to play with early in the draft. With their veteran sluggers on the downswing, they decided to replenish their offensive inventory.

With the 26th pick, New York selected Notre Dame third baseman Eric Jagielo. As a power-hitting lefty, the 21-year-old should fit right in at Yankee Stadium.

Shortly after, they grabbed Aaron Judge, a towering 6'7" masher who put on a show at the 2012 College Baseball Home Run Derby. It's now a matter of actually transitioning that massive bat outside of batting practice; he did not produce a double-digit home run season at Fresno State. 

Judge is a project pick, but it could pay massive dividends. Such demonstrative raw power is not an easy commodity to locate.

They also snagged a familiar name during Day 2, taking Paul O'Neill's nephew, Michael, in the third round. 


Colorado Rockies

This is really all about one guy: Jonathan Gray.

In a class where two stud pitchers were vying for the right to go first, the Colorado Rockies wished they had lost a few more games last year. Although they are in dire need of some lively arms that can combat Coors Field, they looked destined to take their hitter of choice or settle for high schooler Kohl Stewart.

Then the Chicago Cubs made their lives a whole lot easier by making third baseman Kris Bryant the second pick.

Testing positive for Adderall could have scared Chicago away from Gray, but it was a no-brainer for Colorado to claim the top hurler. The junior occasionally hit triple digits on the radar gun and possesses a deadly slider that could baffle batters in the big leagues.

Pitching in Coors Field has derailed many poor souls, but Gray's potential to overpower hitters gives him a fighting chance to brave the elements and succeed anyway. The Rockies already have the star position players, but now they have a future ace to anchor its middling rotation.