MLB Draft Picks 2013: Hidden Gems from Final Rounds

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MLB Draft Picks 2013: Hidden Gems from Final Rounds
J.T. Riddle. Ksrcollege.com

Some of the 2013 MLB draft picks selected in the final rounds are already looking like they are going to be hidden gems.

It's impossible to know about every potential hidden gem—after all, not many thought Albert Pujols would turn into something after being selected in the 13th round in 1999 by the St. Louis Cardinals. Still, there are a number of players who immediately leap off the page, even if they were drafted in the latter stages of the event.

Who are some of the hidden gems from the final rounds that will pay off in the bigs relatively soon?

Read more to find out.

 

12th Round: Dane McFarland, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

Dane McFarland is an athletic outfield prospect who could end up starting for the D-Backs down the line. The 6'4", 210-pound high schooler, who is currently committed to Oregon, possesses a nice blend of speed and power. 

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If the D-Backs can get him to back out of his commitment, they they will have a nice prospect on their hands. He doesn't project as a star, but his quick bat should lead to a lot of home runs.

Look for McFarland to reach the bigs in three years and to become the D-Backs' regular right fielder. He will quickly endear fans with his speed and projects as a faster version of Nick Swisher.

 

13th Round: J.T. Riddle, 2B, Miami Marlins

J.T. Riddle might have the best hands of any player in this draft. The second baseman from the University of Kentucky had a .983 fielding percentage this season, along with leading the SEC in assists. 

In addition, Riddle had a streak of 358.1 innings without committing an error in 2011-12. That's nearly 40 games.

He's not a great hitter, although he is certainly not awful. Rather, he projects as someone like Orlando Hudson—maybe not the best hitter, but a Gold Glove-caliber fielder who can change games with his defense.

For a team like the Marlins that needs help in so many areas, drafting a defensive-minded player is a really good start. Riddle could be playing in Miami in no time.

 

15th Round: David Denson, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers

David Denson has one real skill: He can put a charge into the ball.

Take a look at this absolutely monster home run:

That blast went 515 feet. Yes, 515 feet.

Denson doesn't really stand out in any other area. He won't hit for average, he will strike out a lot and his best position is likely designated hitter.

But the 6'4", 250-pound lefty sure can hit. At his best, he projects as an Adam Dunn-like hitter. And while hitters like that certainly have their limitations, hitting with that kind of power is a real major league tool.

Denson has the type of power that will land him in multiple Home Run Derbys. And yes, it was a bit of a risk for the Brewers, seeing that the National League doesn't have a DH. Denson is, at best, a below-average fielder.

Still, that type of power doesn't grow on trees, and the Brewers could have found themselves another version of Prince Fielder. 

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