THIS IS NOT A MOCK DRAFT. I repeat, this is not a mock draft. These rankings represent my personal draft board of the top talents in the 2013 MLB Draft. This draft board has been developed through my own scouting over the last couple of years as well as countless conversations with scouts, front office officials and coaches inside the game. In compiling my draft rankings I subscribe to much the same theory as I do when compiling my organizational rankings; I hold a preference for velocity and projection in pitchers, and athleticism, up-the-middle potential and power with position players.
1. Mark Appel (RHP) – Stanford University – Scouting Report (03.12.12)
Appel has entered the last two college seasons as arguably the top draft prospect in the country. After turning down a $3.8 million slot offer from the Pirates as the eighth overall pick last year, Appel did exactly what you would hope he would as he returned to school; he got better. Appel’s command, consistency and changeup all improved during his senior year and the results now match the raw stuff that has always suggested a frontline starter. Appel will be one of the fastest movers in this draft class and it is not unreasonable to see him reaching the big leagues for good in 2014. The scouting report linked above dates back to last year and has not yet been updated on this site.
2. Clint Frazier (OF) – Loganville (GA) High School – Scouting Report (04.26.12)
Yes, I realize I deviate from the prospect industry consensus in this regard, but for me, Frazier is an elite-level talent that has a case as the top prospect in this draft. There is risk involved, namely that his hitting mechanics and aggressive approach will get him in trouble at higher levels, but Frazier is a true five-tool monster that could provide a team with a serious impact talent. There are no convenient comps for Frazier and that is seemingly part of the reason he gets pushed down in rankings like this, but his talent is real and he deserves consideration as the best position player in this draft class.
3. Jonathan Gray (RHP) – University of Oklahoma – Scouting Report (04.23.12)
Gray exploded this year at Oklahoma, displaying the type of incredible raw stuff that has scouts projecting him as a frontline starter not far behind that of Mark Appel. He has the potential to move quickly through the minor leagues and could make a major impact at the big league level. Some concerns linger with Gray, including the final disposition of his thick frame and how well he can sustain his present stuff under a pro workload. The recent findings of a failed drug test (reportedly for Adderal) should not impact his draft stock.
4. Kris Bryant (3B) – University of San Diego – Scouting Report (05.16.12)
Power is always in demand and Bryant offers plenty of power. He is the best college power hitter in this year’s class and the improvements he has made to his swing mechanics and overall offensive consistency this year have made him a very strong prospect at the top of the first round. For teams that believe he can stick at third base and that he will routinely handle quality secondary stuff, he is a quick moving slugger that can impact a big league lineup within two years.
5. Kohl Stewart (RHP) – St. Pius X High School (TX) – Scouting Report (04.30.12)
Also an elite football recruit, Stewart is expected to sign and commit to baseball full time if he goes among the top few picks as expected. A superb athlete, Stewart offers plenty of physical projection and the potential to develop into a quality number two starter. It may take time for Stewart to grasp the nuances of pitching at the pro level, but the payoff could be huge. Continue reading