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2013 MLB Mock Draft – First Round Prospects and Projections

MLB DraftThe 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft looms in the minds of each of the 30 clubs as June 6th rapidly approaches reality. Clubs have analyzed, researched, and scouted each of the top high school and collegiate players that would offer the best tools available for their organization.

Each club sits patiently with their draft boards organized and ready to go, though of course, anything goes on draft day. Players have worked hard improving their skills and draft stock over the course of this spring, whether it be at the high school or college level.

Now that both clubs and players have done their part, all that lies ahead is placing players with their new respective big league clubs. The first-round of the Draft features the selection of 33 player picks, 27 of such being true first-round picks followed by 6 compensatory picks given to clubs that lost qualifying free agents in the offseason.

The following is a provisional projection of the first-round and a short rationale behind each respective pick.

1. Houston Astros: Jonathan Gray, RHP, University of Oklahoma

A scorching fastball and plus slider have risen Gray to the top of most draft boards. Projected to be a future ace, an aggressive delivery may relegate Gray to a bullpen role in the future. Along with Mark Appel, Gray has far and above been the preeminent starting pitcher in college baseball and has the skill-set to reach the major leagues quickly.

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2. Chicago Cubs: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford University

Drawing comparisons to former-Cubs phenom Mark Prior, Appel offers Chicago a potential long-term ace with a big arm and the mechanics of a workhorse. Appel has dominated college hitters this spring and should project to be a quick mover to the majors.

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3. Colorado Rockies: Kris Bryant, 3B, University of San Diego

Bryant has one of, if not the best bats in this year’s draft. The Rockies need a replacement for the aging Todd Helton at first base and Bryant would bring a splash of power-hitting youth to the lineup along with the young power-hitting third baseman Nolan Arenado.

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4. Minnesota Twins: Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State University

Although Manaea has not been as electric as his Cape Cod League starts this past summer, his strong command and plus curveball are exactly what Minnesota needs in a future top of the rotation arm.

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5. Cleveland Indians: Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)

Stewart has the best pure pitching talent of all high school arms in this year’s draft, boasting a fastball that reaches the mid-90s. He is still undecided on a commitment to play football at Texas A&M; however, football commitments aside, Stewart offers Cleveland much needed future pitching talent for a resurging franchise.

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6. Miami Marlins: Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)

One of the better high school hitters in the draft, Frazier has outstanding bat speed and raw power that would translate to a valuable offensive power threat for Miami in years to come.

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7. Boston Red Sox: Ryne Stanek, RHP, University of Arkansas

The hard-throwing Arkansas starter has a plus fastball-slider combo with a history of dominating the competitive SEC division throughout college. Although Stanek’s stock has fallen due to inconsistent play and most draft boards show Boston selecting a bat (i.e. Frazier or Moran), a high-ceiling pitching prospect with a big arm would suit Boston well.

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8. Kansas City Royals: Colin Moran, 3B, University of North Carolina

Drawing comparisons to Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Moran is one of the best pure hitters in the draft. Great plate discipline and plus bat speed have highlighted Moran’s productive season with the Tar Heels. With a struggling corner infield core (comprised of Moustakas and Hosmer), Moran could offer the Royals a future corner infielder with pop.

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9. Pittsburgh Pirates: Braden Shipley, RHP, University of Nevada

Shipley offers a plus fastball and good changeup to go with a developing curveball. Such a diverse arsenal of pitch offerings gives Pittsburgh a potential future star of the starting rotation alongside Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole.

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10. Toronto Blue Jays: Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)

The smooth-swinging prep star out of Georgia, Meadows offers Toronto multi-tool ability and high-ceiling talent. While a great athlete with speed, Meadows lacks a strong arm, which may relegate him to a corner outfield role (compares to current Toronto outfielder Colby Rasmus).

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11. New York Mets: Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (WA)

McGuire is a heavily touted high school catching phenom with a great arm, which is perfect for New York as they need a solid bat in their system and they have had a tendency to draft catching prospects in recent years.

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12. Seattle Mariners: Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State University

Renfroe has come on strong for Mississippi State as of late with a powerful bat and solid outfield defense. Seattle desperately needs bats in their system following recent drafts that saw the Mariners pick solid pitching prospects, and Renfroe should offer the club a step towards a solid offensive arsenal.

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13. San Diego Padres: Ian Clarkin, LHP, Madison HS (CA)

Local southpaw Ian Clarkin is one of the premier prep arms in this draft, offering a diverse pitching arsenal, great command, and the ceiling to become a top of the rotation arm.

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14. Pittsburgh Pirates: D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B, University of New Mexico

Following the selection of a solid college arm with their first pick, the Pirates would leave the first-round on a successful note with the selection of a solid bat. New Mexico’s D.J. Peterson is that solid bat, as he has hammered college pitching this spring and risen to become known as one of the best pure hitters in this year’s draft.

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15. Arizona Diamondbacks: Trey Ball, LHP, New Castle HS (IN)

Ball is a tall, athletic southpaw with good upside due to a mechanically sound delivery and solid fastball. Ball has a projection to be a workhorse and top of the order starter, which would only increase the talent of Arizona’s pitching arsenal (which already includes Tyler Skaggs).

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16. Philadelphia Phillies: Phil Bickford, RHP, Oaks Christian HS (CA)

Following two straight drafts without a first-round selection, Philadelphia looks to add talent to their system. Open to high school talent, Philadelphia would benefit from selecting one of the top prep arms as of late, Phil Bickford. Bickford has come on strong this spring with a mid-90s fastball and sharp curveball with developing off-speed offerings.

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17. Chicago White Sox: Dominic Smith, 1B, Serra HS (CA)

The Chicago White Sox value powerful bats and Smith offers just that. An impact hitter with a smooth swing, Smith is projected to both hit for average and power.

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18. Los Angeles Dodgers: Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville University

Anderson boasts a solid three-pitch repertoire comprised of a plus fastball, slider, and changeup. A history of drafting high school arms, Los Angeles would be able to add the projectable right-hander to their solid pitching arsenal.

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19. St. Louis Cardinals: Hunter Harvey, RHP, Handys HS (NC)

Harvey has a big arm and a good ceiling, despite having rather raw talent. After drafting Michael Wacha in the first-round last year, St. Louis could add Harvey to a highly talented pitching arsenal that is big on command and quality pitch offerings.

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20. Detroit Tigers: Jonathon Crawford, RHP, University of Florida

Florida’s ace has had an inconsistent season thus far, struggling with his command and changeup; however, Crawford has maintained a solid mid-90s fastball and one of the best sliders in college baseball. Crawford has a big arm and would be a quick mover to the majors, which would be a plus for Detroit who loves quality, big arms.

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21. Tampa Bay Rays: Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS (OK)

Though inconsistent behind the plate this spring, Denney has flashed a powerful bat. If worked with, Denney could be the power-hitting catching staple of the future for the Rays.

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22. Baltimore Orioles: Marco Gonzales, LHP, Gonzaga University

For the past two springs, Gonzales has been one of the most consistent and effective pitchers in college baseball. Though not a power pitcher, Gonzales has a four-pitch arsenal and can locate the ball with great control to both sides of the plate. He projects as a middle of the rotation, which would give Baltimore a stout future rotation along with Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

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23. Texas Rangers: Nick Ciuffo, C, Lexington HS (SC)

Despite being granted a scholarship to the University of South Carolina, Ciuffo (if he decides to sign) could offer the Rangers a very solid offensive threat behind the plate. Aside from a strong arm, his defense needs improvement (Texas would ensure that his game would be developed), but he projects as a hitter who hits for average with decent pop.

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24. Oakland Athletics: Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford University

Ervin is pure speed across the boards. He has great bat speed and can fly across the bases and the outfield. Ervin projects as an athletic, speedy defender for a developing, yet talented Oakland outfield.

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25. San Francisco Giants: Trevor Williams, RHP, Arizona State University

Arizona State ace Trevor Williams is one of the premier command pitchers in college baseball, surrendering few walks and locating pitches with great accuracy. Despite questions of missing bats due to his low strikeout totals and an inconsistent spring, Williams has a diverse arsenal with good velocity. Williams should move quickly through the Giants organization.

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26. New York Yankees: Robert Kaminsky, LHP, St. Joseph Regional HS (NY)

A franchise known to draft young pitching talent, New York may look to the hometown Kaminsky as a solid pick to bolster the talent of their farm system. Kaminsky boasts one of the better curveballs in the draft and has a rather smooth delivery with good velocity.

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27. Cincinnati Reds: Aaron Blair, RHP, Marshall University

Blair put himself on every scout’s radar this past summer with a dominating Cape Cod League campaign where he baffled hitters with his powerful fastball. The Reds need pitching in their system and Blair offers a durable, big arm with a high ceiling.

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28. St. Louis Cardinals: Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford University

Inconsistent play and injuries raise red flags, but the multi-tool raw talent of Wilson is much to be desired. Having been drafted before by St. Louis, Wilson’s ceiling is still relatively high due to solid contact and plus hitting ability, which could lead the Cardinals to repeat a pick on him.

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29. Tampa Bay Rays: Tom Windle, LHP, University of Minnesota

Much like Aaron Blair, Windle garnered significant attention for his dominant starts in the Cape Cod League this past summer. Windle has a low to mid-90s fastball with solid off-speed offerings and good command. Windle would add depth to a growing crop of talented Rays pitching prospects.

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30. Texas Rangers: Billy McKinney, OF, Plano West HS (TX)

McKinney is an athletic, multi-tool talent with a fluid swing and the ability to hit for average and power. McKinney is a hometown product out of Texas, which combined with his big bat, is a huge plus for the Rangers.

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31. Atlanta Braves: Eric Jagielo, 3B, University of Notre Dame

The third baseman out of Notre Dame has great plate discipline and a big bat, as well as a strong arm with decent range at third. Jagielo would be a great addition to Atlanta’s core of young offensive talent and should be a quick mover through the organization.

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32. New York Yankees: Bobby Wahl, RHP, University of Mississippi

Wahl was originally projected to be an early first-round draft pick before an inconsistent spring marred by command issues dropped his stock significantly. However, when Wahl is on his game, his stuff is electric. Boasting a mid-90s fastball and a wipeout slider, Wahl is projected to reach the majors quickly, offering New York a reliable arm for the future.

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33. New York Yankees: J.P. Crawford, SS, East Central Community College

As Derek Jeter nears the end of his storied career, New York needs a replacement for the future hall of famer. Crawford is an athletic and versatile middle infielder with plus defensive ability, which may be what the Yankees needs in their future transitions.

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 Top 10 Pitchers and Projections

Top 10 Catchers and Projections

Top 10 Corner Infielders and Projections

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I'm currently a student at the University of Florida majoring in Political Science. I've been an avid fan and scholar of the game for as long as I can remember, with a serious passion for the Boston Red Sox. Baseball is such a passion of mine that I'm currently writing my senior honors thesis on the relationship between baseball and politics.