2013 MLB Draft Grades: Assessing Each Team's Draft Haul

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2013 MLB Draft Grades: Assessing Each Team's Draft Haul
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 MLB draft is officially in the books, with 30 franchises selecting the players who could help shape their future. With countless picks being made and players preparing to enter the ranks of the minor leagues, Major League Baseball is about to be altered in a major way.

The question is: How did every team do when it was all said and done?

While not all players will make the leap into the minor leagues, there are countless prospects who will break through. For that reason, we must evaluate each team's draft with a close lens and determine how they did.

So, who hit it out of the park and who came up short?

 

Arizona Diamondbacks: B+

Key Selection: Braden Shipley, RHP, University of Nevada

The Arizona Diamondbacks hit the jackpot during the first round, landing Braden Shipley as he slipped all the way to No. 15. The right-handed pitcher was projected by many to go in the top 10, but with his slip came yet another strong arm to add to Arizona's deep pitching rotation.

That alone makes this a strong draft for the Diamondbacks.

Arizona added another right-handed pitcher in Aaron Blair out of Marshall but then proceeded to hold off until the latter part of the draft on other throwers. Instead, they found quality hitters and fielders all around the diamond.

The presence of speed is quite valuable in the pitcher-oriented NL West, so the addition of players such as Matt McPhearson could be key to the Diamondbacks' future.

 

 Atlanta Braves: C+

Key Selection: Carlos Salazar, RHP, Kerman HS (Calif.)

The Atlanta Braves are a team notorious for drafting well and making the most of the prospects they bring in. In 2013, they continued to land quality pieces for their future, boosting their pitching and finding potential long-term replacements for current stars.

It all starts with Carlos Salazar, who they stole at No. 102.

Salazar is a powerful right-hander who hits 97 on the gun and throws a biting breaking ball that could be a legitimate strikeout pitch. Paired with righty Jason Hursh and three catchers, the Braves made their draft into a potential gold mine.

Depth is the key in a farm system, and Atlanta has certainly added that.


Baltimore Orioles: B-

Key Selection: Harvey Hunter, RHP, Bandys HS (N.C.)

The Baltimore Orioles have an extraordinary cast of hitters that have proven to be powerful enough for a run into the postseason. In order to make their way through the playoffs, however, the Orioles need to add arms.

They did so by adding Harvey Hunter at No. 22 overall.

Hunter is the son of former All-Star closer Bryan Hunter, which displays his pedigree and potential preparation for success. The addition of lefties Stephen Tarpley and Travis Seabrook prove the Orioles' commitment to pitching, which is an undeniable void in their current roster.

There are no guarantees, but Baltimore committed to improving its weakness, and that's all its fanbase could ask for.


Boston Red Sox: A-

Key Selection: Trey Ball, LHP, New Castle Chrysler HS (Ind.)

The Boston Red Sox continue to win games and contend for the postseason, but their core is one of the oldest in baseball. For that reason, the Red Sox were forced to make a commitment to getting younger.

They started with a potential left-handed ace in Trey Ball out of New Castle Chrysler High School in Indiana.

Jon Lester remains one of the better pitchers in baseball, while Clay Buchholz appears to have finally met his potential. Beyond them, however, is nothing short of uncertainty, as veteran arms are beginning to lose their luster.

By adding Ball, Teddy Stankiewicz and Corey Littrell, the Bo Sox have significantly improved their future as a World Series contender.


Chicago Cubs: A

Key Selection: Kris Bryant, 3B, University of San Diego

The Chicago Cubs are a team in a rebuilding process that has taken too long to complete. Fortunately, they have the perfect man in charge to turn things around, as Theo Epstein looks to break yet another curse.

Epstein went a long way toward doing that by leading the Cubs to the decision to draft third baseman Kris Bryant.

Bryant is the top all-around position player in this year's draft, pairing quality fielding skills with an all-around efficient bat. Placed in the middle of the lineup with Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs would effectively create their one-two punch that could lead to multiple postseason appearances.

The Cubs found yet another starter in left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny, thus completing a strong front end of the draft and padding it with a deep back end.


Chicago White Sox: C+

Key Selection: Tim Anderson, SS, East Central Community College (Miss.)

The Chicago White Sox didn't have the flashiest draft, but they landed players that fit their needs and overall identity. From big arms that can serve as starters or relievers at the next level to fielders with intriguing upside, Chicago was strong.

Shortstop Tim Anderson starts it all off.

Anderson could be a top-of-the-lineup player who gets on base and steals bases with proficiency. Adding pitchers such as Tyler Danish and Andrew Mitchell proves that they're not only looking at the long term, but for present-day improvements.

The White Sox are in need of improvement in many areas, and they found that via the draft.


Cincinnati Reds: B-

Key Selection: Phillip Ervin, CF, Samford University

The Cincinnati Reds don't have too many voids on a well-rounded roster, but that doesn't mean they're content or complacent. Instead, they drafted well and found quality players all over the board.

Landing a long-term option in center field is a nice start.

Phillip Ervin was one of the fastest players available, and the Reds made him their own. In turn, they found a potential leadoff hitter who can get on base in front of players such as Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.

Landing an abundance of pitchers is a nice way to pad your draft.


Cleveland Indians: B+

Key Selection: Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (Ga.)

The Cleveland Indians are a young team with plug-in pieces that have created a postseason push. A major reason for this is the presence of manager Terry Francona, who has a long history of winning games and, more specifically, titles.

One of the keys to Francona's success was the presence of an elite all-around center fielder.

Clint Frazier could be that player in Cleveland, as his lack of elite size is overcome by skills in every phase of the game. Frazier has great speed on the basepaths, but his true strength is his ability to put the bat on the ball with a short swing.

From there, it was pitcher after pitcher as the Indians look to build a title contender through the draft with the greatest anchors of all—pitchers.


Colorado Rockies: A-

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sportsts

Key Selection: Jonathan Gray, RHP, University of Oklahoma

You'll find more pitchers in the world who despise the idea of playing for the Colorado Rockies than you will those who enjoy the idea. That is not a slight on the organization, but instead an acknowledgement of how heavily Coors Field favors hitters.

Fortunately for the Rockies, they found the player who could be their ace—Oklahoma Sooners pitcher Jonathan Gray.

Gray is a physically imposing player who stands at 6'4" and has the power in his pitches to go along with his build. Adding righty Alex Balog is another step in the right direction, while Ryan McMahon has legitimate MLB upside at third base.

It's hard to build an elite pitching staff when you play in such an unfavorable location, but Gray is one of the best pitchers we've seen all year—there's no way Colorado could afford to pass over him.


Detroit Tigers: B-

Key Selection: Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Florida Gators

The Detroit Tigers don't have many holes in their roster, as they rank in the top 10 in every major hitting and pitching category. With that being said, the Tigers cannot get complacent now, as their need for young arms and bats remains.

They certainly added the pitchers.

Notable arms that Detroit drafted include Jonathan Crawford, Corey Knebel, Kevin Ziomek and Jeffrey Thompson within the first 100 selections. They added more than 21 other pitchers during that time, as well as center fielder Torii Hunter Jr.

When you're as good as Detroit has proven to be, there aren't many things you need to add—siding with pitching is the safest bet.


Houston Astros: A

Key Selection: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford University

After passing over local product Mark Appel in 2012, the Houston Astros didn't make the same decision in 2013. Instead, they landed the nation's top prospect and finally addressed their absence of an ace.

Bud Norris will be happy to know that he has a fellow right-hander to front the rotation with.

The Astros added other MLB-caliber arms in Andrew Thurman and North Carolina starter Kent Emanuel. Emanuel, a lefty, may be the best pick Houston had after Appel, as he provides the southpaw arm that Houston has needed in recent years.

First baseman Conrad Gregor is another player of note to help round out a quality draft from a Houston team with countless holes.


Kansas City Royals: C

Key Selection: Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State University

The Kansas City Royals had the most surprising pick of the first round, taking shortstop Hunter Dozier at eighth overall. While the upside and ability is present, Dozier wasn't quite in the range of No. 8 on most boards.

Keith Law of ESPN put it best.

That doesn't mean he'll be a bust, but Dozier certainly has something to prove.

The Royals redeemed themselves with their second pick, landing Sean Manaea out of Indiana State. While he may have dipped to No. 34, Manaea is one of the best lefties in this draft class and deserved to go significantly higher.

That started a draft of calculated risks for K.C.


Los Angeles Angels: C+

Key Selection: Hunter Green, Warren East HS (Ky.)

The Los Angeles Angels have invested mountains of money in their current crop of athletes, but their top player is second-year man Mike Trout. In 2013, they looked to improve their core by using the draft and finding quality arms.

Top pick Hunter Green could help them do that.

Green is a long lefty who may not be a star but has the upside to be a quality rotational option. With 10 of their first 11 picks going to pitchers, the Angels' dedication to improving their farm system with arms has proven to be real.

It's about time.


Los Angeles Dodgers: B-

Key Selection: Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville University

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a team that seems to be committed to buying success. Unfortunately, their star players are complemented by an inconsistent supporting cast.

Their drafting decisions have facilitated their future improvement.

Much like their L.A. counterparts, the Dodgers committed to bolstering their pitching staff. They started out by drafting impressive arm Chris Anderson out of Jacksonville and lefty Tom Windle out of Minnesota.

They added their fair share of hitters, but the keys to this draft are the arms L.A. acquired.

 

Miami Marlins: A-

Key Selection: Colin Moran, 3B, University of North Carolina

The Miami Marlins have Giancarlo Stanton in right field, but other than that, there really isn't much to be content with. While they may need to improve their pitching staff, the Marlins got it right with their early selections.

Third baseman Colin Moran has one of the best bats in college baseball and projects to be a very good player both in the field and at the plate.

Moran is a strong player who thrives on making throws from deep third and driving balls into the gaps in left and right center field. They proceeded to add an abundance of pitchers, including Matt Krook, Trevor Williams and Colby Suggs.

You can only achieve so much in one day, but the Marlins did well for their future.


Milwaukee Brewers: C+

Key Selection: Devin Williams, RHP, Hazelwood West HS (Mo.)

The Milwaukee Brewers have quite a few holes, but none are more glaring than the voids in their pitching staff. Even if their hitters are able to make a powerful impact, the absence of quality pitchers will keep them out of title contention.

They addressed that need in a major way via the draft.

Devin Williams is an intriguing prospect, as he comes out of the high school ranks and boasts quality size. Beyond him, the Brewers added the likes of Joshua Uhen, who is a local prospect with excellent size.

There weren't many stars for Milwaukee to choose from, but its commitment to pitching is an encouraging sign.


Minnesota Twins: A-

Key Selection: Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Plus X HS (Texas)

The Minnesota Twins had a very strong draft, as they addressed their need for arms by loading up on quality pitchers. They landed a potential ace, a legitimate rotational option and an abundance of upside-ridden prospects.

All in all, Minnesota did an excellent job.

Kohl Stewart is the star of this group, as the athlete has the combination of size and ability to lead a rotation. LSU pitcher Ryan Eades went to Minnesota at No. 43, but don't let his draft position fool you, as he has all the makings of a quality MLB starter.

The key here is lefty Stephen Gonsalves, who came off the board at No. 110—a high school prospect who has displayed very high upside.


New York Mets: B

Key Selection: Dominic Smith, 1B, Junipero Serra HS (Calif.)

The New York Mets continue to be a team that receives strong performances from a select few and dreadful outings from the rest. That's never been more apparent than the drop-off in production from David Wright to Ike Davis.

With the need for a big-time bat at first base, the Mets landed Dominic Smith out of Junipero Serra High School.

Smith is one of the better hitters in this draft class, even if he isn't the home run hitter some fans desire. He does have some pop, but Smith's greatest strength is being able to make contact and come through with runners in scoring position.

The addition of pitcher Andrew Church helped solidify the Mets as a winner of the draft.


New York Yankees: B+

Key Selection: Nos. 26-33

The New York Yankees had three separate draft choices from No. 26 to No. 33. With each of those picks, the Yankees drafted well and added a fair combination of size, power and pitching upside to their farm system.

Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge and Ian Clarkin all have intriguing upside.

Jagielo and Judge will both play in the field, stepping in at third base and center field, respectively. Jagielo is one of the best hitters at his position, which could make him Alex Rodriguez's replacement, while Judge stands in at 6'7" and 240 pounds—in other words, there's power.

With Clarkin stepping in as a potential top-of-the-rotation starter, the Yankees did plenty of damage with their first three picks—something they need to aid an aging roster.


Oakland Athletics: B-

Key Selection: Billy McKinney, CF, Plano West Sr. HS (Texas)

Billy McKinney is widely regarded as one of the best hitters in all of high school baseball. He hits for average, displays quality power and has even garnered praise for his character.

Regardless of where he ends up on the field, the young man has potential.

The Athletics added quality pieces throughout the draft, including Dillon Overton. The left-handed pitcher starts behind Jonathan Gray at Oklahoma and has the build of a quality player at the next level.

A sleeper to watch is right-handed pitcher Dylan Covey out of San Diego.


Philadelphia Phillies: B

Key Selection: J.P. Crawford, Lakewood HS (Calif.)

The Philadelphia Phillies have an abundance of established veterans that could compete for another World Series. Unfortunately, their veterans are complemented by a short line of young stars on the rise.

Jimmy Rollins' long-term replacement may have been found with J.P. Crawford.

Crawford has an excellent arm and great range defensively, which makes him a safe pick. With a quality bat, that makes Crawford as close to a lock as possible to make an impact at the next level.

Bringing in a variety of fielders makes this year's draft one of high quality.


Pittsburgh Pirates: A

Key Selection: Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (Ga.)

The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the deepest teams in MLB in terms of position players. That didn't stop Pittsburgh from making the most of its opportunities to land the best fielders possible.

It started with Austin Meadows and Reese McGuire.

Meadows is a five-tool player, one who possesses speed on the basepaths and the tools to be a high-quality hitter and fielder. McGuire, meanwhile, is the top catcher in this year's draft, which is a position of need for the Pirates.

It was a productive day for Pittsburgh, although it could have focused more on its pitching staff.


San Diego Padres: B+

Key Selection: Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State University

The San Diego Padres don't have the best cast of pitchers in baseball, but their hitters are devastatingly weak. Even when certain players step up, the Padres are either aging or inconsistent across the board.

Enter: Hunter Renfroe.

Renfroe is a rapidly developing outfielder with outstanding raw power and a quality bat when it comes to hitting for average. He also has a cannon for an arm and quality speed on the basepaths, which suggests he could be a very high-quality player at the next level.

Adding hitters such as Dustin Peterson and Jordan Paroubeck rounds out a very good draft from San Diego.


San Francisco Giants: C+

Key Selection: Ryder Jones, 3B, Watauga HS (N.C.)

In terms of filling their voids, the San Francisco Giants didn't worry too much about what isn't in place. Instead, they appeared to take the approach of selecting the player who they viewed as having the best upside.

That explains the selection of shortstop Christian Arroyo.

Arroyo and Ryder Jones could both play along the infield, where the Giants are currently set. With that being said, the Giants added quality arms late in the draft and found some depth at every infield position.

There aren't many voids to fill in San Francisco, but it did add some quality players across the board.


Seattle Mariners: A-

Key Selection: D.J. Peterson, 3B, University of New Mexico

The Seattle Mariners have a strong cast of pitchers, led by Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma. Throughout their lineup, however, the Mariners are weak on hitters and their postseason odds will not be legitimate until that changes.

Drafting D.J. Peterson is a large step in the right direction.

Peterson has flown under the radar at New Mexico, but he dominated as a member of Team USA. The key is that Peterson can play first base defensively and is one of the best pure hitters in this draft, thus creating two building blocks on the corners with him and Kyle Seager.

Adding outfielders such as Austin Wilson and Tyler O'Neill makes their batting lineup significantly more intriguing.


St. Louis Cardinals: A

Key Selection: Marco Gonzales, LHP, Gonzaga Bulldogs

The St. Louis Cardinals are a team with an abundance of quality pitchers, which is a major reason why they're in consistent contention for the World Series. During the 2013 MLB draft, the rich got richer, as the Cards added multiple pitchers.

That includes Marco Gonzales out of Gonzaga and Rob Kaminsky of St. Joseph Regional High School.

Gonzales and Kaminsky are two of the top left-handed pitchers in this year's draft, which fills a need. The Cardinals have an elite cast of right-handed throwers in Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller.

Adding Gonzales and Kaminsky would simply round it all out.


Tampa Bay Rays: A-

Key Selection: Nick Ciuffo, C, Lexington HS (S.C.)

The Tampa Bay Rays are a team on the bubble, as they're good enough to make the playoffs but too weak to win the title. One of the key positions that the Rays needed to fill was at catcher, where they found one of the top players available: power hitter Nick Ciuffo.

Ciuffo hits from the left side, which is always an intriguing trait for a catcher, specifically one that hits as well as he does. With Ryne Stanek coming in as a touted pitcher from Arkansas, the Rays added the quality players they needed up top.

Some picks down the line were reaches, but Tampa Bay had a successful draft.


Texas Rangers: B

Key Selection: Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Oral Roberts University

The Texas Rangers are a team that has lived and died by their uncanny ability to hit the deep ball. What they lack, however, is depth within their pitching rotation, as Yu Darvish and Derek Holland are followed by minimal support.

The addition of Alex Gonzalez could help change that.

Gonzalez comes from a small school, but he has big-time talent and the upside to justify a first-round draft choice. Not only does he possess the ability to pitch toward the front of a rotation, but he's a safe pick.

The addition of quality infielders rounds out this quality draft.


Toronto Blue Jays: A-

Key Selection: Phillip Bickford, RHP, Oaks Christian HS (Calif.)

The Toronto Blue Jays had a massive overhaul via free agency and added quality players all over their roster. With that being said, there is a void that the Blue Jays need to fill along the lines of their pitching rotation.

Injuries and age have made that a need.

The Blue Jays added Phillip Bickford with their first pick, which has been heralded as one of the better picks of the draft. Not only is Bickford a potential top righty, but he has a high-90s fastball and a strong slider.

They continued that commitment with 11 pitchers in their first 12 picks.


Washington Nationals: C+

Key Selection: Jake Johansen, RHP, Dallas Baptist HS (Texas)

The Washington Nationals have built their postseason legitimacy by adding pitchers at every turn. During the 2013 MLB draft, they further bolstered their pitching staff, bringing in multiple right-handed pitchers.

At the forefront were Jake Johansen, Nicholas Pivetta and Austin Voth.

The Nationals also brought in a quality third baseman in Drew Ward, but this one was all about the pitchers. While their draft choices were thin at the top, they did manage to use those picks wisely and target upside players.

Sometimes, making the most of what you have is the only way to go.

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