The 2013 MLB draft has come and gone, and now it's time evaluate what the best first-round picks were.
A good first-round pick will have a lot of potential but will also reach the bigs in a relatively short period of time.
Which picks fit that bill?
Read on to find out.
Mark Appel, No. 1, Houston Astros
This is obvious, but it doesn't make it any less true. Mark Appel projects as a true, top-of-the rotation starter. He has a high 90s fastball, plus a dynamic curveball.
The 6'5" right-hander went 10-4 during this season with a 2.12 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 106.1 innings.
The Houston Astros need a lot of help, on both sides of the ball. Houston has the worst ERA in the league, at 4.99. Appel should do a lot to help that.
As a polished collegiate starter, Appel won't need much time in the minors. He should come up in the middle of next season and can be inserted into the top of the rotation.
Appel is pretty much bust-proof. His flaming fastball and dazzling off-speed stuff sets him up to be a success. His experience at Stanford means that there shouldn't be too much of an adjustment.
He is the ace the Astros need, and the sooner he can join the big club, the better. He has star written all over him.
Dominic Smith, No. 11, New York Mets
Dominic Smith is probably the best high school hitter in this draft class. The lefty has a really smooth swing with really good bat speed.
He has a good amount of power and profiles as a No. 3 hitter.
Smith is also a smooth first baseman, who makes the throw to second on a double play look easy.
His best trait, however, is his bat, a sweet swing that will constantly make contact. He projects as a .300 hitter with at least 25 home runs.
The New York Mets, who are starved for offense, will love adding Smith's bat to the lineup. While Citi Field doesn't have the friendliest of dimensions for hitters, Smith can flat-out hit—it doesn't matter what the dimensions are.
Smith may take two or three years to reach the bigs, but he should be the next star for the Mets and will be a big part in helping them reach contention.
Tim Anderson, No. 17, Chicago White Sox
Tim Anderson is probably the fastest player in this draft. The shortstop from East Central CC has stolen 71 bases in two seasons.
He's also a pretty good hitter. He won't ever hit for power, but he can hit the gaps and use his speed to leg out doubles and triples. He's a perfect leadoff hitter.
Anderson is very similar to a former Chicago White Sox outfielder, Juan Pierre. Both have really quick swings to poke the ball out into the gaps.
He has great range at short and could probably play at second base or left field. He's a versatile player who could make the bigs soon as a pinch runner.
Anderson will add an exciting new quality to the White Sox, and he will be the leadoff hitter of the future.
The one downside is that he faced a lower level of competition at East Central. That might mean it will take him a bit longer to adjust to minor league pitching. Still, his speed and defense should have no trouble translating, which will help him rise up the ranks relatively quickly.
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