The 2013 MLB Draft is fresh in our minds, and although it's hard to contain the excitement about No. 1 pick Mark Appel finally being drafted, there are many lesser-known prospects who could make a splash sooner than we think.
The Boston Red Sox picked Littrell as the 143rd overall pick in the draft (fifth round). MLB.com suspects that it might not be too long until we see Littrell in the majors, likely in a relief role, although he's got starting capabilities as well. He's a tall, strong lefty who's got four pitches and plays for the University of Kentucky.
Littrell is Baseball America's 129th-best prospect in draft scouting reports, and in addition to saying that he has "competitiveness and a tremendous feel for pitching," the site notes that scouts are undecided about whether his changeup or his cutter—the latter new to his repertoire—is his best pitch.
Aper went in the sixth round as the 172nd pick overall to the Miami Marlins. All accounts point to the fact that this kid is a hitting machine. According to Scott Richey of herald-review.com, Aper set many records this year:
"Aper was the national leader in home runs (17) among NJCAA Division II teams and also ranked third nationally in stolen bases (51). He also ended his Loggers’ career with the single-season records for batting average (.462) and hits (96) while ranking second in runs, steals and triples."
Baseball America rated Aper as its 309th-best prospect in the draft. MLB.com's scouting report does note that there is the question of how the center fielder will fare against higher-caliber pitching, but Joe Morgan of MLB.com is confident that Aper has not yet finished his development as a player.
Nottingham, a catcher, went to the Houston Astros as the 167th overall pick (sixth round) in the draft, as Chris Abshire of MLB.com said that catcher is "one of the organization's thinnest positions in the Minor Leagues." This year he made the All-Region 2nd Team in California.
Baseball America ranked Nottingham as having the 114th-best draft scouting report and notes that although scouts are mixed about him, he has raw skill that could be the makings of a decent catcher. Nottingham may only be 18, but MLB.com notes that he is aggressive and has good power. Seeing as Minute Maid is more of a hitter's park, Nottingham would be a great fit there.
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