Electric pitching prospects like Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray may have headlined the 2013 MLB draft class, but that doesn't mean there was a complete shortage on big-time sluggers.
There are a few prospects from this year's class that have the potential to be stars at the plate.
Blossoming into an offensive stud at the plate will probably take a few years. But the raw bat speed, power and quickness has already been displayed by these prospects. Once they have a few years in the minors to refine their approach and tack on some more strength, they're sure to have pitchers cowering.
Here are the most likely candidates to anchor a major league lineup when all is said and done.
Clint Frazier, OF, Cleveland Indians
Frazier was the first high school bat off the board for good reason—the guy can rake. Despite a slight frame (5'11" and 185 pounds) he has a quick swing that generates a surprising amount of power.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the outfielder impressed scouts with his raw power, which was a huge factor in his high stock.
At one private workout with a team, Clint Frazier hit 16 home runs on 24 swings. He's got absolutely massive power. Could be a star.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 6, 2013
While some may question whether or not Frazier can really carry a lineup at the major league level because of his size, it shouldn't be an issue. He has plenty of time to put more weight on, and his swing will only get better from here.
The Indians may have found a prospect that can carry the lineup for years to come.
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
At 6'7" and 255 pounds, Judge just looks like a guy that will put up 30-plus home run seasons with regularity. While he's not quite there yet—he must improve his ability to hit for contact while refining his approach—he certainly has the potential to be a key cog in an MLB lineup.
According to Dave Lombardi of Fox Sports, Judge won't be hurt by a lack of position either. The big man is far from a liability in the field.
I think Aaron Judge is going to be a star. He covers ground in OF with ease (huge strides)…. as for the power? Well, next tweet...— David Lombardi (@DavidMLombardi) June 7, 2013
I'll never forget when Aaron Judge took #1 pick Mark Appel deep twice in 2 at-bats in 2012. One hit the scoreboard at Beiden Field.— David Lombardi (@DavidMLombardi) June 7, 2013
Appel is the most polished pitcher in this year's class. Once Judge has the experience of coming up through the minors, it might not be a rare occurrence to see him go yard multiple times in a game.
Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
There's a reason that Bryant was the first hitter off the board at No. 2 overall. The Cubs wanted the best bat in the draft, and that's exactly what they got.
His stats for San Diego were absolutely ridiculous this season. He hit .329 with 31 homers and an .820 slugging percentage in just 62 games—that's a home run every other game on average.
Jim Callis of Baseball America called him the best impact bat of the entire draft class, and that's hard to argue. The Cubs went ahead and acquired a true slugger that could be a star in Wrigley as soon as he gets called up.
Who finishes their career with the most home runs out of these three will be an interesting competition to watch unfold.
Lead image courtesy of collegian.csufresno.edu.