Over the course of the past few weeks, a plethora of mock drafts for the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft have materialized with full force. While the majority of such mock drafts have been relatively similar, particularly in reference to the top 10 draft selections, I felt that an update to our first mock draft should deviate from the norm and offer a different, more unpredictable take on the upcoming draft.
Through recent developments and performances over the past week, not only have players either improved or decreased their respective draft stock, but also major league clubs have rearranged their draft boards and reassessed prior decisions and sentiments in an attempt to inch closer towards drafting the best player that will contribute to the success of their organization.
With this mock draft update, I offer a more contrarian perspective due to the fact that draft day is always, and I mean always a day of surprises. This update presents the Top 10 draft picks that you would find on a day of draft shockers and head-scratchers. With that being said, the following is a mock draft update of surprises and a little fun, because when it all comes down to it, baseball is a game of fun and surprises.
1. Houston Astros: Kris Bryant, 3B, University of San Diego
Although this pick might receive some raised eyebrows at first glance amidst a general consensus that staunchly favors Appel or Gray, a closer look may deem such a pick plausible. If Appel and Gray end up demanding too much at signing, Houston may be incentivized to save money and draft another talented young bat for the second straight year. Hey, who said I wasn’t a contrarian?
2. Chicago Cubs: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford University
As was stated in our last mock draft, Appel offers Chicago a potential long-term ace with a big arm and the mechanics of a workhorse. If Houston takes Bryant first-overall, Chicago has their pick of the two premier arms. In this scenario, Chicago is more apt to select Appel as he is the more polished arm and should transition to the majors quicker than Gray.
3. Colorado Rockies: Jonathan Gray, RHP, University of Oklahoma
Despite a dominant season for Oklahoma in which he has risen to national attention with his plus triple-digit fastball, Gray has been subject to recent concerns such as future durability and overall projectability as a future front of the rotation arm. Many scouts feel that although Gray is the “flashier” pitcher with his flamethrower approach, Appel is the more complete pitcher.
4. Minnesota Twins: Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X HS (TX)
The Twins have been in the process of rebuilding their farm system and have stockpiled big arms like Trevor May and Alex Meyer. Stewart is one of, if not the best prep pitcher in the draft and has pure plus stuff, who could fit as the type of future front of the rotation fixture that Minnesota needs.
5. Cleveland Indians: Colin Moran, 3B, University of North Carolina
Cleveland tends to make draft selections that are generally based on experience and polish, which means they are more partial to the college player (such as recent first-rounders Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, and Tyler Naquin – all experienced college stars). Moran boasts one of the best bats in the draft and should move quickly through the Cleveland system.
6. Miami Marlins: Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
Frazier remains at number six from our last mock draft, as he is the best remaining player in the draft. Frazier has excellent bat speed and can drive the ball with power, a perfect combination for Miami that will provide their future lineup with pure offensive talent.
7. Boston Red Sox: Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
While a quality pitching prospect may be beneficial for the Boston farm system, the Red Sox have appeared to be partial towards smooth-swinging, high-ceiling hitters who would be able to thrive offensively at Fenway Park. While Clint Frazier is that type of player, he may not be around on draft day come time the Red Sox make their selection, but Meadows is a comparable talent and has tremendous upside.
8. Kansas City Royals: Braden Shipley, RHP, University of Nevada
With additions like James Shields and Kyle Zimmer in the past year, it can be assumed that the Royals are focusing on the improvement of their pitching arsenal. Shipley has impressed many scouts and clubs this spring with a broad, yet pure arsenal of pitch offerings and would be a great future compliment to Zimmer as a front of the rotation arm.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates: Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State University
Renfroe has wielded a powerful bat this spring and offers great defensive skill in the outfield. Renfroe would be a great future compliment to Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte (the potential for a young, yet toolsy outfield that would provide immensely for Pittsburgh for years to come) and should come at a relatively low cost on signing day.
10. Toronto Blue Jays: D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B, University of New Mexico
Despite not being ranked this high on most draft boards and mock drafts as of late, Peterson is undoubtedly the best pure bat left in the draft and the Blue Jays should be more than willing to jump on such talent. Peterson brings a big bat and is a true impact hitter, exactly the type of offensive threat that Toronto loves and needs if they plan on contending in the AL East in future seasons to come.