The 2013 MLB Draft is less than two weeks away and I felt I would update my draft predictions from three weeks ago. Since May 1, a lot has changed in the draft with several players projected to drop and others seen as fast risers. While ...
The 2013 MLB Draft is less than two weeks away and I felt I would update my draft predictions from three weeks ago. Since May 1, a lot has changed in the draft with several players projected to drop and others seen as fast risers. While this is all guess work on my part, I have seen a few of these players live at baseball showcases or in games. From a Pirates perspective, it seems that we are poised to acquire some very good talent with our picks at #9 and #14. Please enjoy and let the discussion begin!
1. Houston Astros - RHP Jonathan Gray (University of Oklahoma)
Houston went with the strategy of highest upside player last year as they began a massive rebuild. This season, I see the Astros not taking a huge risk and going after the best pitcher available to them. There system is slowly gaining ground and becoming one of the top farms in the league. They are, however, in need of more pitching as the pitchers in their system are, for the most part, very raw. Gray has mostly dominated the competition this season. His plus fastball and plus slider, mixed with an above average changeup, has created a 3-pitch mix that has been lethal to hitters this year. The only knock has been some lapses in command.
Season Stats: 8-2, 1.69 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 101 IP, 0.188 OPPBA, 0.277 BABIP, 1.78 BB/9, and 10.25 K/9.
2. Chicago Cubs - RHP Mark Appel (Stanford University)
GM Theo Epstein has all but stated that the Cubs are in desperate need for a high-end arm in their farm system and that they will take the best pitcher available at No. 2. With the best two arms being the top 2 players in the draft, it is all but set that the Cubs will select Stanford ace Mark Appel with the 2nd overall pick. Appel has, perhaps, the best arsenal in college baseball, a five pitch repertoire that he mixes extremely well. His mid-90's fastball is complimented by a high 80's 2-seamer, a nasty slider, a hard cutter, and passable changeup.
Season Stats: 9-4, 2.20 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 98.3 IP, 0.208 OPPBA, 0.304 BABIP, 1.00 WHIP, 1.92 BB/P, 11.07 K/9.
3. Colorado Rockies - 3B Kris Bryant (University of San Diego)
The Rockies would be best suited to go after a pitcher in the 1st round but with the two best arms off the board and other potential picks like Manaea and Stewart seeming like a bit of a reach, the Rockies will go with drafting the best position player available. Colorado has not drafted an impact talent since taking SS Troy Tulowitzki in 2005. Kris Bryant hits for a ton of power and a higher average than what you wouldn't necessarily expect out of a power hitter. Defensively, Bryant plays a passable 3B but, in all likelihood, will be moved to 1B or a corner OF spot in the near future.
Season Stats: 0.338/.496/.876, 30 HR, 61 RBI, 57 BB, 37 K.
4. Minnesota Twins - RHP Kohl Stewart (St. Pius X, Houston, TX)
The Twins are in the same boat as the Rockies as I feel pitching would best suite them with the high pick. Stewart is arguably the best pitcher out of high school this season. He has a strong commitment to Texas A&M for football although he is considered to be a much better baseball player than football. Stewart throws in the mid-90's and possesses a slider that has plus written all over it as well as a developing changeup. Stewart will take every penny to sign away from Texas A&M.
Season Stats: 5-1, 0.18 ERA, 40 IP, 59 K, 16 BB, 13 H, 153 BF.
5. Cleveland Indians - RHP Braden Shipley (University of Nevada)
The Indians traded away their top two pitching prospects in 2011 and have done little to replace their potential. Shipley seems like a slight reach at 5 but with the Indians in win-now mode, I can see the Indians going after the Nevada right hander. Shipley has a low 90's fastball that he locates well, a hard curveball, and arguably the best changeup in college baseball. He should move fast through the Indians system and may be able to debut by September if he signs quickly. If