2013 MLB Draft: Preview
With the 2013 MLB Rule 4 First-Year player draft coming up on June 6th, we’ve been working extra hard around here to bring our Baseball Instinct preview of the top players available for the draft. Our list is by no means a mock draft, as predicting what teams should do isn’t our thing. Sure it’s fun to do, but with baseball the possibilities are endless. What we will do is give you our very best list of top talents based on our reports on these players. Those players that we didn’t see ourselves we spent extra time compiling data from scouts and friends of ours that did see them. It’s going to be a BIG weekend here at Baseball Instinct and we hope you’ll be pleased with the resources. Check us out on Draft Day as we’ll be doing live updates on the site with each selection as well as on our Twitter feed: @BaseballInstinc. Here is the 1-25, 51-75, and the 76-100.
Right now we’re stepping into the back end of the 1st round talent and venturing into the Supp and 2nd round. There’s some surprises in store with this one.
26. Matt Krook, LHP St. Ignatius HS, San Francisco 10/21/1994 H:6’4″ W:200 – Krook has premium velocity for a High School lefty, coming in at 92-94 with a hard curveball. He is a project and a tough sign away from Oregon though. The issues here are that he uses a high effort delivery to get his premium velocity and if he heads to college, it’s possible that won’t get ironed out. He needs to refine a changeup as well, so development time and focus are going to be key to bring out the #2 starter upside that Krook has.
Our Instinct: Krook could continue to grow and his fastball should sit in the mid 90s in time. He need plenty of time to become a pitcher and refine his mechanics and command while developing his changeup and refining what should be an above average curveball. He’s a wildcard because of signability, so it will probably take mid 1st round money to get him signed and I think he will fall outside the first round. While his talent sits here at 25, he’s not a player I would take at this level and I would look to get him later with saved money.
27. Jordan Paroubeck, OF Serra HS, San Mateo, Calif. 11/2/1994 H:6’2″ W:190 – Paroubeck doesn’t get nearly enough press. He is a switch hitter with excellent bat speed from both sides. He projects to have above average or better power with an above average or better bat. He’s a plus runner but his frame will continue to fill out. So while he could handle CF, if he slows too much he will shift to RF where his arm will play just fine.
Our Instinct: Paroubeck has the tools across the board to light up the boards on draft day, but he’s not being spoken of inside the first round often. He could be one of the best all around players drafted outside the first round, but we would consider taking him inside the first round for a discount on the slot and inking a serious upside talent. His upside is a .300 hitter with 20/20 ability with above average OF defense. He’s committed to Fresno State. He won’t be going.
28. Marco Gonzales, LHP Gonzaga 2/16/1992 H:6’1″ W:185 – Gonzales could go middle of the first round based on his polish as a SP, but he doesn’t have the upside that some of the HS left handers have. While a team like Atlanta would normally take him at their 1st round pick, because he fits the profile, they don’t select until the 31st pick and it’s doubtful Gonzales will be there for them. He has a plus changeup that is major league ready and the athleticism to play up his fastball at the low 90s range at times although it settles in at the 88-90 range now. He mixes in a CB and Cutter as well and his pitchability is one of the highest in the college class.
Out Instinct: While Gonzales isn’t the highest upside starter, he does have a deep arsenal and is very polished. His changeup will allow him to battle hitters despite less than electric velocity. He could be all the way up to a mid rotation starter and would move quickly in the right organization.
29. Eric Jagielo, 3B Notre Dame 5/17/1992 H:6’3″ W:215 – Jagielo is a 3B right now, but the jury is out with him sticking there. He should be passable, but its not his defense that puts him in the first round on many draft boards. That honor goes to his bat. He is projected to hit for average and plus power. I agree with his ability to hit for power, but Jagielo has an odd load and hitch for a lefty and it takes him awhile to get into hitting position. My worry is that he’s going to get beat by premium velocity when it’s paired with above average breaking stuff and it will limit his upside with the bat.
Our Instinct: Jagielo is being talked about in the middle of round 1 often, but our concerns drop him down the board some. Combine that with the chance that he eventually moves to 1B and there is a lot of downside to his profile to place a high slot 1st round price tag on this talent. But the upside is there if he can calm his load and handle pitches down and away on the black.
30. Riley Unroe, SS Desert Ridge HS, Mesa, Ariz. 8/3/1995 H:6’0″ W:180 – Unroe is going to be the surprise MI talent that rises near the 1st round of the draft and gets his name called on day one. He has the actions and arm to remain at SS and while he may not be a smooth defender he’s able to make all of the plays and understands how to position himself. He also projects to have the bat to make his defense play up as a SS. He has above average power from both sides with excellent speed as well.
Our Instinct: He probably tops out as a 15 HR type but he has the upside to steal 20+ and have the versatility to play up the middle at SS, 2B or CF. The may not be a huge amount of projection in his frame but there will be additional power added as he matures. If he can uptick the power and prove to be a 20/20 player he could be a steal when he falls out of the first round. But it will take 1st round money to sign him away from a strong USC commitment.
31. Ryan Eades, RHP Louisiana State 12/15/1991 H:6’3″ W:200 – Eades isn’t a Friday Night starter so he gets some mixed reviews because of it, though the placement has more to do with him being in the same rotation as Aaron Nola who will be a Top 5 pick next year. Eades has a solid frame and pumps low to mid 90s fastballs of the four and two seam variety. One for ride and one for sink. He pairs them with a power curveball in the low 80s and a changeup. The change has improved and could give him a 3rd average or better pitch.
Our Instinct: Eades has front of the rotation stuff and his upside resides at that level, probably closer to a #2 starter. But he isn’t as dominant as you would expect at this point and there are concerns from his past since he had shoulder surgery in High School. If he were clean on the health side and just a little more dominant he would be a clear cut 1st rounder.
32. Nick Ciuffo, C Lexington (S.C.) HS 3/7/1995 H:6’1″ W:205 – Ciuffo has been one of the biggest risers since last draft season. He’s put himself on the map as a plus defender with leadership skills behind the plate. He has a great frame for a catcher and chance to hit for average and power. While he’s not as polished as Reese McGuire, Ciuffo has a better chance at being an impact bat.
Our Instinct: Sometimes you can watch a player and see his development play out in your head. Ciuffo is one of those players for me. He’s a born leader and should will his way through the minors and become an above average defender, plus leader and average all around hitter or better.
33. Devin Williams, RHP Hazelwood (Mo.) West HS H:6’3 W:175 – Williams is just coming into his own and his fastball has upticked to the 91-93 range with a four seamer into the mid 90s now. His curveball is still a work in progress and will need to be tightened to work with his mechanics. His changeup us already developed, but again, an inconsistent offering. As I mentioned he is just coming into his own as a SP and refining his mechanics will help his command. But he is not done filling out and there is a gem in this raw pitcher.
Our Instinct: With his current stuff he’s a top talent, but its the projection in his frame and the possible mid to high 90s fastball that will make him a near 1st round selection. There is a project here, but a project that any team would love to get their hands on and mold from the start. He’s athletic with premium stuff and a future fastball you can’t teach.
34. Reese McGuire, C Kentwood HS, Covington, Wash. 3/2/1995 H:6’1″ W:190 – McGuire has been on the draft board for years and could go as high as the Top 10, although the questions about how much he’ll hit leave a large range of outcomes. His overall game is one of the best in the draft for a catcher though. He is above average in every facet behind the plate and will be able to step into the field general role right out of the gate. While he has a smooth left handed swing, how much power he’ll actually develop is up in the air.
Our Instinct: There are too many questions to put McGuire in the first round here. While his upside is there, his frame isn’t optimal for a catcher and he isn’t projecting out for above average power. That could happen, but there are other players with higher upside. If McGuire falls, I could see using a 2nd round pick or a multiple to take the upside for the catcher spot. If he hits he will be a solid regular and if his bat is marginal his defense will still make him a solid backup.
35. Austin Wilson, OF Stanford 2/7/1992 H:6’5″ W:245 – Wilson was drafted in 2010 and came in at #17 on our Draft Preview that year:
17. Austin Wilson OF Harvard-Westlake School, California – Wilson is the premier HS talent in the draft now that Bryce Harper is technically a college player. Wilson has raw power off the charts, runs the 60 in sub 7 times and is built like a linebacker at 6’4 215 lbs. Defensively he’s a gamer and has a plus plus arm. The major concerns are his raw tools are a certain project. But so was another SoCal signee for the Florida Marlins who had this skill set. Signability may be an issue with a commitment to Stanford. So the kid is smart too. Look for a big money team to sign him away from Stanford.
Wilson did attend Stanford and his draft stock hasn’t risen. He’s still a physical beast, but there is still a rawness to his game that will need to be refined if he is going to live up to the raw tools. He isn’t a plus hitter, so he will need to be able to worked into hitter’s counts, take walks, and get good pitches to drive in order to utilize his plus power.
Our Instinct: He hasn’t been a major Home Run threat in college and his walk rate is minimal. He’s a talented player, but he could really struggle against premium pitchers. Expect him to go near the bottom of the 1st round based on his raw upside though.
36. Tom Windle, LHP Minnesota 3/10/1992 H:6’4″ W:210 – Windle has the frame and plus fastball to be a upper level LH starter. He pairs the mid 90s fastball with a power slider and has a changeup that could be average in time. But even with the plus stuff he isn’t dominant and his mechanics are high effort. He has the frame to be a work horse but his velocity comes from that strong frame rather than natural arm speed.
Our Instinct: A team that drafts should give him the chance to remain a starter. Refining his changeup and smoothing out his delivery could lead to a big pay day for whoever drafts him. But with his mature frame it is unlikely that there is an uptick in velocity here and that his upside is that of a mid rotation innings eater.
37. Jonathon Crawford, RHP Florida 11/1/1991 H:6’1″ W:205 – Crawford has a power fastball in the low to mid 90s with a plus slider, though its a full 10 mph differentiated from his fastball. It might be too much of a separation to be a true strikeout pitch. He also works in a changeup but it’s not near advanced enough for a SP so it will need work. His mechanics are far from ideal, but he’s got a solid frame at 205 so he holds his velocity deep into games.
Our Instinct: Crawford could move quickly as a RP and that may be the route he is best suited for. But he does hold his velocity deep into games, so a chance at starting with the right organization could be in the cards. Based on his age it will be tough for a team to hold off on cashing in the bonus it will take to sign him, so the possibility of him hitting his upside as a SP is small, but significant.
38. Jake Brentz, LHP Parkway South HS, Manchester, Mo. H:6’2″ W:195 – Brentz is a clean slate of a pitcher. A high 90s fastball from the left side makes him a hot commodity. Though pure velocity doesn’t equal success, Brentz being new to pitching actually has a smooth delivery and though his feel for the curveball is erratic, it’s a big bender that could be a another plus pitch. It’s not close yet.
Our Instinct: A changeup hasn’t really been used at this point but his pure arm speed is elite and getting a feel for a circle change will allow him to pull the string. It’s not easy to learn and it will take years for him to master it, but he has a chance, albeit small, to have 3 plus pitches. This is a project in the sense that without proper instruction he might as well not get drafted. But the right organization could polish a gem with this kid.
39. J.P. Crawford, SS Lakewood (Calif.) HS 1/11/1995 H:6’2″ W:175 – Crawford has a real chance to stick at SS and has the arm to hold up there long term. His bat will be the determining factor as to where he gets drafted. There are question as to whether his bat will play up as average against premium velocity and if his speed will be enough to make him a true SB threat. He’s average across the board on all of his tools except power.
Our Instinct: Crawford is going to be an average defender at SS, if everything plays right. Average SS in the major leagues need to have plus bats to pass long term. I can see Crawford eventually being shifted off to 2B where he doesn’t have the power to play up or to CF where his speed will currently play, but as he fills out it may not. There is a lot riding on him remaining at SS and there just isn’t a high enough percentage of High School SS that get drafted and make it to the majors as a SS.
40. Carlos Salazar, RHP Kerman (Calif.) HS 11/23/1994 H:6’0″ W:200 – Salazar has the premier RH fastball of the high school class with a 4 seam that reaches 97-98. A powerful frame, though just 6′ tall right now, his mechanics help him produce the plus arm speed that generates his plus fastball. His most used secondary is a changeup and it could be an above average pitch. He still needs to refine a breaking ball but throws both a curveball and a slider. With his mechanics a curveball would help change the batters eye level and I could see the team that selects him scrapping the slider. It would always be in the position to be reintroduced if he can’t refine the depth to the curveball.
Our Instinct: While he doesn’t have a premium frame, the premium velocity isn’t something that can be taught and he should be one of the first pitchers taken in the 2nd round. Though he will probably fall into the 2nd day where a team with saved funds can get a possible steal. He’s committed to Fresno State but should signable with first day money.
41. Alex Balog, RHP San Francisco 7/16/1992 H:6’6″ W:215 – Balog is a big righty with a low to mid 90s fastball along with a curveball and slider. He also uses a changeup, but its a pitch that will need to be further developed if he is going to be a frontline starter. Right now he has the size, velocity and secondaries to remain a starter. Though his upside without developing that changeup is more of a mid rotation innings eater.
Our Instinct: Balog has clean mechanics, the pitch combination and aggressive approach to be a long term starter. While he has significant upside, possibly as high as a #2 starter, it seems likely that he will settle into a 3-4 role and be an innings eater. His fastball has touched as high as 96 and he’s a college starter I can see adding velocity with a mechanical tweak to add just a little more leg extension. If that happens he could make a big jump up the prospect rankings.
42. Aaron Blair, RHP Marshall 5/26/1992 H:6’5″ W:220 – Blair is a big SP with a low 90s fastball and plus changeup. His big frame is always going to be a plus, though he doesn’t tall and fall enough, coming from a low 3/4 slot. His changeup is his saving grace and will allow him to remain a SP going forward as he refines his breaking ball. Currently he uses a CB and SL, though he should settle into a slider as he develops.
Our Instinct: With his size and changeup, he has two very interesting tools. His fastball could be plus, but is currently above average. He will need some significant development time in order to refine that breaking ball, but the time could be well worth the wait.
43. Connor Jones, RHP Great Bridge HS, Chesapeake, Va. 10/10/1994 H:6’1″ W:190 – Jones is a UVA commit and it’s doubtful he’s going to sign outside of 1st round money. The problem is that even that is not a guarantee, making it a near certainty that he falls into the lower rounds. But he has a low 90s fastball that has good sink. He pairs it with a slider that is his best pitch and a changeup that is advanced for a high schooler. He’s also an athletic kid and it translates well to the mound.
Our Instinct: Jones will need to mature physically and if he adds a few inches to his height he should see a velocity uptick with the bigger frame. But right now he’s in the middle between project and wasted selection. If a team can get him to sign and he grows into a larger frame, it could be considered a coup.
44. Bobby Wahl, RHP Mississippi 3/21/1992 H:6’3″ W:200 – Wahl has had a mid 90s fastball in the past which he pairs with a hard slider and a solid changeup. His mechanics while not traditional are clean and generates excellent arm speed. Though despite the plus fastball and sometimes plus slider, he isn’t a high strikeout rate pitcher. This year his fastball has at times slipped into the 88-91 range and he’s pitched more to contact. He generates weak contact with his command though. That can sometimes lead to struggles as a pro and he will need to refine his changeup and command if he is going to play to contact.
Our Instinct: Wahl has the stuff to be a solid middle of the rotation starter and I can see him taking that route as a pro if his velocity upticks. He has the fall back of also being successful in the pen as well but that will also need a bounceback in velocity. If the velocity stays in the low 90s his upside slides to back end of the rotation. He’s a gamble on day 1.
45. Dustin Peterson, 3B Gilbert (Ariz.) HS 9/10/1994 H:6’2″ W:200 – Peterson is the younger brother of D.J. Peterson. With that out of the way, let’s talk about why Dustin is a draft prospect. Dustin has a plus bat that projects to have at least above average power due to his ability to backspin the ball when he drives to all fields. He’s not as advanced as other HS bats, but his swing is natural and is going to mature well.
Our Instinct: Teams aren’t going to make the mistake of letting him attend college the way they did with his brother. They would rather make the mistake of taking him now and paying a little more than they need to. He’s not going to stick at SS and 3B will be his position early as a pro. If his arm plays up he’ll stick as a power hitting 3B, a very valuable commodity.
46. Trey Michalczewski, 3B Jenks (Okla.) HS 2/27/1995 H:6’3″ W:195 – Michalczewski is a high school SS but will shift to 3B as a pro. He has a solid frame and above average bat speed from both sides of the plate. He has a solid all around game with an above average arm and solid speed for a big kid. He should have no issues handling the transition to 3B but as a switch hitter it may take some time to adjust to pro pitching. Although he does feature a pretty advanced approach for a High School hitter.
Our Instinct: Michalczewski has an all around game with upside and could be above average or better in every facet of the game. His advanced bat could see him adjust quickly and show his hit tool early, but the raw power will take some time to come along. He uses the entire field and in time more balls will leave the yard and his bat will profile just as well as his arm at 3B.
47. Cord Sandberg, OF Manatee HS, Bradenton, Fla. 1/2/1995 H:6’2″ W:215 – Sandberg is a two sport star and the obvious comparisons to another SE high school lefty OF come into play. He’s the same size as Austin Meadows and both are very athletic. Though Sandberg may have more now power. Sandberg’s swing is more reminiscent of Lance Berkman from the left hand side and should be conducive to using the whole field. While Sandberg is more of a power hitter at this time, his swing is long and he’ll get beat by better pitchers until he makes adjustments. He is slated to the the QB at Mississippi State so he could be a tough sign.
Our Instinct: Sandberg is going to be a tough sign and he may fall too far to get enough of an offer to bypass college football. If he does, he has a chance to be one of the top HS bat to come out of the draft. That would come with focus on baseball. He’s a solid OF and will eventually settle into LF. Though he could be just average there with the bat depending on his power production.
48. Travis Demeritte, 3B Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, Ga. 9/3/1994 H:6’1″ W:195 – Demeritte is a two way player but will go in the draft based on his glove and bat combo. Though to put it into prospective he had 94 K’s in 54 IP as his teams #1 starter. Demeritte has an excellent glove at SS but doesn’t have elite speed. So he’ll settle in at 3B or 2B as a pro and has the arm for both. He started slow in 2013 but has finished with 12 HR in 126 AB with a .404 AVG.
Our Instinct: Demeritte puts a tools on both sides of the ball together into a nice prospect package. He’s committed to South Carolina, so he could be a tough sign. But the team that gets him will get a kid with the bat speed to be successful and some significant upside in the power department. He could be an all around player when all is said and done.
49. Chandler Eden, RHP Yuba City (Calif.) HS 8/27/1995 H6’2″ W:165 – Eden is pure projection at this point with a very thin frame and is the youngest RHP available in the draft. But he’s already flashing low 90s velocity and touches 96 at times. He has natural arm speed that could be considered elite even at this point. All of that is plus and makes him a top talent. But there is little else that he’s ready for, with an inconsistent curveball and a changeup that is rarely used.
Our Instinct: Eden is committed to Oregon State and since he isn’t as advanced as other on this list, he may slip down the board and honor that commitment. But Eden could eventually put himself into consideration as a high first rounder if he develops on the path he’s currently on. He could flash high 90s heat and with time his CB could be plus as well. There is a major prospect here and I would take a shot at him inside the Top 50.
50. A.J. Puk, LHP Washington HS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 4/25/1995 H:6’7″ W:220 – Puk is a monster LHP just learning the nuances of handling his velocity. He also pitched through some cold weather in Iowa so it’s been tough to get a great read on him this Spring. But he has a low 90s fastball with sink and at times he can pound the bottom of the zone with it. His changeup is his second best weapon and that bodes well for his development. There is a need obviously to really refine curveball but that will come as he learns to use his frame.
Our Instinct: With a pitcher this large there are concerns that his command will never come along, but his natural stuff could bring a plus fastball and two average offerings in a curve and changeup. He will need plenty of time to develop but has significant upside if the majors can steal him from his commitment to the Florida Gators.
Stick with Baseball Instinct and we’ll keep you a step ahead of the game. Check back soon as we release our top 21 prospects for each organization. While you’re here, check out our Baseball Instinct 360° – it’s our in-season top 360 prospects, and we will be updating it throughout the season. Also check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org. And while you’re at it head over to Facebook and join the Instinct page. You can also follow us on twitter: @BaseballInstinc.