2013 MLB Draft Results: Biggest Winners and Losers of Day 1
The first day of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft is in the books.
If you missed it, the highlights included Mark Appel going No. 1 overall to the Houston Astros and No. 22 overall pick Hunter Harvey confessing that he has no love lost for college. A little bit of everything for everyone.
When will we have a clear notion of how everyone fared on Day 1 of the draft? Oh, about five years from now. Much more so than in football, basketball and hockey, it takes a while for baseball draftees to show whether or not they're major league-caliber players.
We'll know around 2018 who really won and who really lost in the 2013 draft, but here's a gander at the winners and losers of Day 1 as things stand now.
Winner: Mark Appel
Of course Mark Appel's a winner. The Houston Astros took him with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Sources say that usually is a good thing.
Indeed, but Appel going No. 1 in this year's draft carries a little extra significance because of what happened in 2012.
The Stanford right-hander was mentioned as a top target for the Astros when they were in possession of the No. 1 pick last year. Instead, he slid to the Pittsburgh Pirates at No. 8, watching his price tag drop along the way.
Appel and his agent, Scott Boras, ended up turning down a $3.8 million offer from the Pirates. He returned to Stanford for his senior season, putting himself at tremendous risk of injury or under-performance.
So much for that. Appel had a very strong senior season and is now going to get the kind of money he was hoping for last year. Kudos to him and Boras for a worthwhile roll of the dice.
Loser: Jonathan Gray
Jonathan Gray looked like a natural target for the Chicago Cubs in the No. 2 slot after the Astros took Mark Appel. The Cubs came into the draft with a need for pitching, and Gray is arguably a better pitching prospect than Appel anyway.
The Cubs ended up passing on Gray to take San Diego slugger Kris Bryant, leaving Gray there for the Colorado Rockies. They couldn't pass.
It would have been better for Gray if the Cubs had drafted him, for obvious reasons. The Rockies' track record with pitchers is...well, not good. Even if Gray makes it, his numbers will be at risk every time he pitches at Coors Field, and that could cause him to miss out on a fat contract in the long run.
This is assuming Gray signs, of course. He could pull an Appel and go back to Oklahoma for his senior season, but then he'll be the one at risk of injury and/or a poor season.
Winner: Pittsburgh Pirates
ESPN's Keith Law hit the nail on the head when he wrote in his most recent mock draft that the Pirates taking prep catcher Reese McGuire "has seemed locked in for a while." Everyone and their uncle was mocking McGuire to Pittsburgh at No. 9.
Instead, the Pirates had a gift fall in their laps in the form of prep outfielder Austin Meadows. He's certainly raw, but he has the talent to one day become a five-tool prospect and star.
Hence the reason Meadows was widely projected to go higher than No. 9. Pittsburgh could one day look back at the moment they landed him as highway robbery. But jumping on him didn't cause the Pirates to miss out on McGuire; he was still available at No. 14, and they jumped on him.
So in a span of five picks, the Pirates landed a potential steal and the guy that they probably wanted all along. Good times for general manager Neal Huntington.
Loser: Kansas City Royals
The Royals could have had Austin Meadows at No. 8. Or Dominic Smith. Or D.J. Peterson. Or Braden Shipley. Any number of talented players, really.
Instead, the Royals took Hunter Dozier, a college shortstop who barely cracked the top 40 on the big board of Bleacher Report's Mike Rosenbaum.
Talent-wise, Dozier had no business going No. 8 overall. The Royals took him to save money, but they overreached more than they had to and the guy they set money aside for comes with his own question marks.
After taking Dozier with the eighth pick, the Royals took Indiana State lefty Sean Manaea at No. 34. He's talented, but you have to figure that he fell as far as he did due to concerns over his health. Manaea dealt with a bum hip all spring.
I'll obviously be regretting this slide if Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore's gambit pays off. But that's an "if" all the same, and Ben Badler of Baseball America isn't so sure things are going to work out for the Royals given their and Manaea's track record.
Winner: Arizona Diamondbacks
The Pirates have to be thrilled about landing Austin Meadows at No. 9, but the Arizona Diamondbacks may be even more excited about getting Braden Shipley at No. 15.
Stated Baseball America on the pick: "This is a great get for the Diamondbacks. They wanted a college pitcher here and Shipley wasn’t projected to be available."
The Nevada right-hander could be found in the top 10 in a lot of mocks, most often to the Miami Marlins at No. 6. For the D-Backs to get him almost 10 picks after the Marlins made their selection is quite the coup.
Shipley's not quite an ideal pitching prospect, as he's a converted position player who's still somewhat new to pitching. But he has an excellent fastball/changeup combination and his curveball is none too shabby either. And given his recent position change, his arm is still relatively fresh.
If all goes well, Shipley will soon be sharing a rotation with Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs and Archie Bradley. It's too early to say, but that definitely sounds like a good one on paper.
Loser: Ryne Stanek
Speaking of falling pitchers, Braden Shipley wasn't the only pitcher who suffered a drop.
Arkansas right-hander Ryne Stanek had a shot to go in the top 15. At the very least, he seemed to be a lock for the top 20.
He fell further than that—all the way to the Tampa Bay Rays at No. 29. They took the gift, but they won't be paying top dollar for it. As J.J. Cooper of Baseball America noted on Twitter, Stanek probably saw around $750,000 get shaved off his contract during his tumble.
Stanek doesn't have to sign, of course; he could return to Arkansas in hopes of better fortunes in 2014. If he does, you know the drill: He'll be risking an injury and/or a poor season, which would ruin everything.
Winner: New York Yankees
The Yankees didn't make their first pick until the No. 26 slot, but they managed to pick up a pair of intriguing sluggers in quick succession.
At No. 26, the Bombers picked up Notre Dame third baseman Eric Jagielo. As Baseball America noted, the Yankees were hoping he would fall to them, and it's no wonder why. Jagielo is a powerful left-handed-hitting third baseman whose offensive game would be right at home in Yankee Stadium. He could be a potential replacement for Alex Rodriguez at third base.
Shortly after the Yankees nabbed Jagielo, they picked up Aaron Judge at No. 32, a guy with huge power potential. Judge has about as much power as you'd expect from a guy who stands 6'7". His issue has been making it show up in games—a red flag that contributed to his fall.
So in a very short span, the Yankees got the guy they wanted and a potentially lethal power merchant. Not bad for haul at the back end of the first round.
Loser: San Francisco Giants
The Giants have won two of the last three World Series and they have the pieces in place to keep contending for championships for a few more years.
That's the good news. The bad news is that that the club's farm system has evaporated in recent years and not a whole lot of talent was added to it Thursday night. The Giants used the No. 25 pick to take prep shortstop Christian Arroyo. Keith Law tweeted that he had heard they were going to take Arroyo, but he was surprised they actually went through with it.
San Francisco could have been the team to stop Ryne Stanek's slide or roll the dice on Aaron Judge's huge power potential. Instead, it went off the board.
It did so again with the 64th pick to take Ryder Jones, a lefty-hitting prep third baseman. He just barely cracked the top 200 in Baseball America's rankings, and there are questions whether he'll ever have the bat speed to cut it in the pros.
The Giants came into the draft with less than $5 million in their bonus pool. Here's hoping Brian Sabean has a good plan for that money, because he didn't pick up much worthwhile talent on Day 1. Of course, I reserve the right to admit I was wrong and tip my cap to Sabean come 2018.