2013 MLB Mock Draft

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2013 MLB Mock Draft

Mock Draft
Jake Roth- USA TODAY Sports

We are just over two weeks away from the beginning of the 2013 MLB first-year player draft. Teams make their draft choices beginning on June 6, and ending on June 8. There are 40 rounds in the three days where teams can look to uncover the next big star.

The MLB Draft does not get nearly the same attention as their NFL or NBA counterparts. There is simply not the same amount of attention being paid to college baseball as there is to college football and basketball. Because of this, your general sports fan knows little, if any, about the players that will be selected in the MLB Draft. Also, most of these players will not even be close to competing at the major league level for two or three years.

That being said, the interest has been growing for the past few years. Because of the internet, fans can now do their own research on players they want their teams to draft. Day 1 of the draft, which is the first two rounds as well as the new competitive balance rounds, will be broadcast on MLB Network. If you wish to continue to follow the draft, days two and three will be broadcast via conference call on MLB.com. Nothing too flashy, but still much better than in years past, where there has been almost zero media attention.

The top of this draft is very interesting to me. The Houston Astros once again have the first overall pick. There are three players who I think are first overall pick-caliber in this draft: Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray and San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant.. Appel is probably the safest player after having a dominating career at Stanford, but many think his upside is limited. Gray is having a dominant season at Oklahoma, but does not have the outstanding track record of Appel. Bryant has as much power as we have seen in a draft prospect in years, but is sort of a one-trick pony as he does not do the other things as well.

It will be very interesting to see how the Astros start off the draft and how things follow behind them. Here is my best projection on how things will end up in the first round, pick No. 1 to No. 33.

Daniel is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_Schmelzer and add him to your network on Google.

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1. Houston Astros select Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford

Appel
Jake Roth- USA TODAY Sports

Appel was considered the best prospect in the draft last season, but the Astros decided not to draft him No. 1 based on sign ability issues, instead drafting shortstop Carlos Correa. Appel was then drafted No. 8 overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, but chose to stay at Stanford for another year instead of signing. Appel is a big, strong pitcher whose fastball sits at around 95 mph and occasionally touches as high as 98. He also throws a slider and a changeup, both of which are better pitches than you would expect out of a college pitcher. The Astros would not have to move him through the minors very quickly, but many people think that he could step in as soon as 2014 if needed. He is the safest pick in the 2013 draft.

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2. Chicago Cubs select Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma

Gray
Kyle Terada USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs minor league talent has greatly improved under the watch of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. Most of that talent are position players like Javier Baez, Jorge Soler and 2012 first-round pick Albert Almora. The Cubs sorely need a big-time pitching prospect that could potentially be an ace for their staff. Gray could certainly be that guy. He is a pitcher who has rapidly risen up the board in the past year as he has dominated hitters with his outstanding fastball. He also features a very good slider and a change-up that needs a little work. Gray is a very raw prospect with huge upside. If he actually hits his potential, chances are he will be the best player in this draft. That being said, he is very risky. The Cubs cannot afford to pass on a guy with Gray's talent as a pitcher.

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3. Colorado Rockies select Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, San Diego

Bryant
Jake Roth- USA TODAY Sports

Bryant is the best offensive prospect in this draft. He has absolutely insane power, but is a one-trick pony. He does not project to be able to continue to play third base, so he is probably a corner outfielder in the majors. If the Colorado Rockies draft Bryant, they are doing so because they know he will hit a ton of home runs in Coors Field.

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4. Minnesota Twins select Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State

Manaea
Jesse Johnson USA TODAY Sports

Sean Manaea is a big lefty (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) who dominated the Cape Cod league last season. He dazzled scouts with a fastball sitting around 94-98 mph and an awesome slider. He has a good powerful frame that he uses well. Manaea has struggled a bit this season for Indiana State, but his track record is solid and I think someone will surely pounce on him early.

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5. Cleveland Indians select Clint Frazier, OF, High School

Frazier
David Richard USA TODAY Sports

Clint Frazier has a great power and speed combination. He is a solid hitter and good fielder with a great arm. He has many tools but is very raw, as most high school players are. He is a risky pick with huge upside that fans of the Cleveland Indians can dream of becoming a star.

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6. Miami Marlins select Austin Meadows, OF, High School

Meadows
Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports

Austin Meadows is another raw talent from the high school ranks. He does not have the raw power and speed that Frazier has, but his other skills are little more polished. The upside with Meadows may not be as huge, but it is still certainly there and maybe with a little less risk.

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7. Boston Red Sox select Kohl Stewart, RHP, High School

Stewart
Bob DeChiara- USA TODAY Sports

Kohl Stewart is a very athletic guy that is also one of the top quarterback recruits in the nation. He is signed to play football and baseball for Texas A&M, so this pick may be a little risky. That being said, most think he will sign if taken early enough. Stewart showcases a very good fastball and slider combination and throws in a changeup that needs some work. Many think that Stewart would be a slow developing player in the minors but when he is ready, he could be lights out.

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8. Kansas City Royals select Ryan Stanek, RHP, Arkansas

Stanek
Photo by Brandonrush

Ryan Stenek played high school ball in Kansas City, so that makes me think there is a chance the Kansas City Royals take him here. Stanek does not have an ace type future in the majors, but could be a solid No. 2 or No. 3 on a good team. He is thought to be able to make it through the majors quickly with his fastball that sits at about 92-94 mph and a very good curveball.

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9. Pittsburgh Pirates select Hunter Renfroe, OF/RHP, Mississippi State

Renfroe
Charles LeClaire- USA TODAY Sports

This is the compensation pick that the Pittsburgh Pirates get for failing to sign Appel. Hunter Renfroe is a right-handed hitting outfielder with a lot of power. He also pitched at Mississippi State as a reliever, throwing in the mid-90s. Most scouts think that if he fails as an outfielder, he could make the switch to the mound.

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10. Toronto Blue Jays select Trey Ball, LHP, High School

Ball
Derick E. Hingle- USA TODAY Sports

Trey Ball is a very intriguing left-handed pitcher from the high school ranks. He has a low-to-mid 90s fastball that is projected to get faster with age. Ball also throws a great changeup and an inconsistent curveball that is nasty at times. It may be a long road for ball, but the stuff is certainly there.

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11. New York Mets select Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford

Wilson
Melina Vastola- USA TODAY Sports

Austin Wilson has five-tool potential. He has one of the best arms that you will see in the outfield, projects to have great power and is a very good runner for a guy his size. If it all comes together for Wilson at the big league level, he will surely be a superstar in MLB.

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12. Seattle Mariners select Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina

Moran
Mark Dolejs- USA TODAY Sports

Colin Moran is probably the best pure hitter in this class. He has amazing contact skills and very good plate discipline. Some scouts wonder if he will hit for enough power to be an everyday third baseman, but only time will tell.

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13. San Diego Padres select Ian Clarkin, LHP, High School

Clarkin
Christopher Hanewinckel- USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres, led by GM Josh Byrnes, are not afraid to take high school pitching early in the draft. Ian Clarkin is a high school pitcher with awesome upside because of his solid fastball that sits in the low 90s, and his lights-out curveball that has a chance to be a devastating pitch at the next level.

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14. Pittsburgh Pirates select Braden Shipley, RHP, Nevada

Shipley
Charles LeClaire- USA TODAY Sports

College pitcher Braden Shipley has shot up draft boards quickly over the past couple of months. Shipley is a very athletic player who throws a mid-to-high 90s fastball, a good change and a curveball that has great potential. Shipley could be a fast mover through the minor leagues.

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15. Arizona Diamondbacks select J.P. Crawford, SS, High School

Crawford
Jennifer Hilderbrand- USA TODAY Sports

J.P. Crawford is a nice middle infield prospect who projects to be a solid leadoff hitter. He is very fast and handles the bat extremely well. He is very good in the field and showcases an extremely strong arm. Power will never be a big part of his game, but I think he could eventually become a solid pesky leadoff hitter in the big leagues.

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16. Philadelphia Phillies select Jonathan Denney, C, High School

Denney
Howard Smith- USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 class has great depth at the catcher position. I see Jonathan Denney as the cream of the crop. Denney is a solid defensive catcher, but offensively is where he really makes his mark. He shows great contact skills and solid power. He projects to be able to stay at the position as he handles a pitching staff very well. The future is bright for Denney.

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17. Chicago White Sox select Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State

aj
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge will only be selected this high based on projection. It looks like the power is there and should come eventually, but he has yet to become the power hitter his body suggests. That being said, most scouts think that eventually it will click with Judge and he could become a 25-30 home run hitter in the big leagues.

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18. Los Angeles Dodgers select Phil Bickford, RHP, High School

Bickford
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport- USA TODAY Sports

Phil Bickford is a very high-ceiling arm from the high school ranks. He has a fastball that has hit 97 mph and shows some nice sinking movement. He has a very deceptive delivery that hides the ball well. If Bickford ever reaches his ceiling, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be very happy they took him.

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19. St. Louis Cardinals select Dominic Smith, OF, High School

Smith
Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports

Dominic Smith is a player that could take some time to develop but has a high ceiling. He is not anything special defensively and will surely end up at first base or the corner outfield. Offensively, he has great contact skills and shows plus power potential.

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20. Detroit Tigers select Jonathan Crawford, RHP, Florida

Crawford
Rick Ostentoski- USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Crawford has the pure stuff to be a starter at the big league level. His fastball sits in the mid 90s and hits 97 mph at times. He has a good slider and throws a changeup and curveball that show flashes. Many wonder whether Crawford is a bullpen guy because of his command. He does struggle to find the strike zone at times. When a team drafts Crawford, the worst case is that he probably ends up being a solid middle reliever with starter upside.

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21. Tampa Bay Rays select Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford University

Ervin
Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays GM Andrew Friedman loves taking under-the-radar guys. Phillip Ervin is certainly one of those. Ervin is a toolsy outfielder. He shows great contact skills and fast hands that generate a lot of power. His speed helps him play a solid outfield and he has one of the strongest arms of an outfielder in the draft.

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22. Baltimore Orioles select Marco Gonzalez, LHP, Gonzaga

Gonzalez
Derick E. Hingle- USA TODAY Sports

Marco Gonzalez is a polished lefty from the college ranks. His stuff is not the greatest when compared to other pitchers in this draft, but it is solid. He shows fantastic command on all of his pitches, and should be a fast mover through the minor leagues.

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23. Texas Rangers select Reese McGuire, C, High School

McGuire
Jake Roth- USA TODAY Sports

Reese McGuire is known for his outstanding defense behind the plate. There is little doubt that he will continue to catch throughout his professional career. McGuire also has great power potential even though his contact skills are a little concerning. McGuire is so good defensively that you could live with him not being a force on offense.

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24. Oakland Athletics select Aaron Blair, RHP, Marshall

Blair
Jason O. Watson- USA Today Sports

Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane is always looking for the next under-the-radar prospect. I think Aaron Blair could be that guy for him this year. Blair showcases a low to mid 90s fastball, a solid curveball and a very impressive changeup. Blair is a guy with solid makeup that could make it to the majors quickly.

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25. San Francisco Giants select Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Vanderbilt

Ziomek
Kirby Lee- USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants and GM Brian Sabean would be getting a steal here with Keven Ziomek. Ziomek is a crafty lefty. His fastball sits 89-92 mph but with good movement and control. He also throws a changeup and slider that project to be major league pitches. While he will probably not be an ace pitcher in the majors, Ziomek has a good chance of being a mid-rotation starter for a very long time.

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26. New York Yankees select Robert Kaminsky, LHP, High School

Kaminsky
John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Robert Kaminsky has one of the highest ceilings in the 2013 MLB Draft. His stuff rivals anybody's in this class. He currently only has a two-pitch repertoire and if he expects to make a big league staff, he will certainly have to add another pitch. That being said, those two pitches are great. His fastball, while a little inconsistent, usually sits at 93-94 mph, which is great for a high school pitcher. His curveball is extremely advanced for his age and is a true plus pitch. The stuff is there for Kaminsky; if he can put it all together, he could be a legitimate ace.

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27. Cincinatti Reds select Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU

Eades
Crystal Logiudic- USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Eades is an experienced pitcher that throws four solid pitches. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90s. His curveball has a lot of movement and he controls it very well. He also throws a slider and changeup but they could both use some work. Eades could be one of those guys that does not spend a lot of time in the minors.

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28. St. Louis Cardinals select Ryan Boldt, OF, High School

Boldt
Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Boldt is a very athletic outfielder that was the MVP of the Perfect Game All-American Game. He has very good speed and makes good contact. Boldt projects as a prototypical leadoff hitter. He plays good defense and should be able to stick in center field.

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29. Tampa Bay Rays select Eric Jagielo, 3B, Notre Dame

af
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Erick Jagielo played all over the field at Notre Dame showing great versatility. At the plate, he has good contact skills and shows good power to all fields. Jagielo is known as a very hard worker and a high character player.

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30. Texas Rangers select Hunter Harvey, RHP, High School

Harvey
Tim Heitman- USA TODAY Sports

Hunter Harvey has a fastball that routinely sits in the 89-92 mph range. Some reports have him occasionally hitting as high as 97, so the potential for better velocity seems to be there. He also has a curveball that has good movement, but he struggles to locate it at times. If the velocity grows with Harvey and he learns to control that curveball, the sky is the limit for this guy.

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31. Atlanta Braves select Andrew Thurman, RHP, UC Irvine

Thurman
Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Thurman is very fun to watch. He has a very fluid motion that he repeats very well. His fastball sits in the lower 90s but when coupled with his outstanding change-up at 79-81, it seems much faster. Thurman also throws a curveball that can be great at times, but is an extremely inconsistent pitch at this time. He is a bit of a project but he does have a high ceiling. GM Frank Wren likes to draft pitching early.

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32. New York Yankees select Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville University

fs
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Anderson was picking up steam as a top-10 pick at the beginning of the season. He has fallen off a bit since then, and that seems unlikely now. He has good stuff and a very deep repertoire including a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup — all project to be usable major league pitches. I see Anderson as a potential fast mover through the minor leagues.

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33. New York Yankees select Billy McKinney, OF, High School

McKinney
Derick E. Hingle- USA TODAY Sports

At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Billy McKinney is a bit undersized. That being said, his skills are very polished for a player of his age. He already has good speed, a strong throwing arm and plays a solid right field. That being said, his real value to a team is his bat. Some scouts have said he has the best swing in this class. I do not think he ever hits for a ton of power, but he will be a great contact hitter and has other tools to go with it.

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