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2013 MLB Draft: 15 Projects Worth Drafting Early

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2013 MLB Draft: Top 15 Projects

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2013 MLB Draft fast approaching, the attention of the baseball world turns to the young talents that are hoping to make their MLB dreams come true.

This year’s draft pool is filled with potential stars, some showing off their talents at the college level, and others fresh out of high school. Regardless of which level they last played at, the young men in this year’s draft are as good as any we have seen in recent years.

Not every MLB prospect is going to come straight into the league and make a huge impact right off of the bat. Not every player coming out is the next Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. Many of these young players are going to need to work on some aspect of their game, their body, or their technique before they are ready to take the stage at baseball's highest level.

The following slides represent 15 such players, all of them good enough to be selected early in this year’s draft, but all in need of development before they will find their way into the major league spotlight.

As always, if there is someone you feel was left off of this list, or should not have been included, please leave your comments in the section below. You can also reach out to us on twitter using the hash tag #RML, for Rant My Life.

Jeff Everette covers the NFL, specifically the Miami Dolphins, for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @jeverettesports, “like” his page on Facebook, “Trust” him on Sulia, or join his circles on Google+.

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15. Chris Okey, Eustis HS, Catcher

photo courtesy of basballamerica.com

Chris Okey will have to work hard if he wants to make a career for himself. He is average behind the plate, but has a decent arm and good athleticism. As it stands, his bat will not make him a home run king, but with the right regimen and some good coaching, he has the potential to be a threat to go over the wall.

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14. Oscar Mercado, Gaither HS, SS

photo courtesy of maxpreps.com

Oscar Mercado would not be considered a project if it weren’t for his offense. Defensively, there is no other shortstop that even comes close to his skill level, which is arguably the best among all infielders in this draft. Weight training and time with a dietitian could correct his deficiencies at the plate.

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13. Jared Brasher, Pell City HS, RHP

photo courtesy of tripleplay.com

Jared Brasher is a strong right-handed pitcher that has been clocked in the low 90’s. He also possesses an above-average curve, and uses a different speed change-up as his third pitch. He may not be among the more recognizable pitcher in the upcoming draft, but he should be.

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12. Nick Ciuffo, Lexington HS, Catcher

photo courtesy of The State

Nick Ciuffo has interesting bat and defense potential. He has a good eye for the ball coming out of the pitcher’s hand, and makes a ton of contact. He also has the power to make the contact count, which will give him plenty of opportunities in the Bigs. He plays with ease behind the plate with strong arm strength, but struggles throwing the ball to second. He will need to work on getting out of his crouch faster, and trust his arm when making the throw.

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11. Jarret DeHart, Shawnee HS, OF

photo courtesy of bigleaguefutures.com

Jarret DeHart shows great MLB potential, even if it may take a bit of time to develop. He has better than average bat speed with power and potential to control the ball anywhere in the park. He has great instincts and runs well to the ball and has great arm strength. He is projected to play either corner, but could develop into a center fielder in the right system.

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10. J.P. Crawford, Lakewood HS, Short Stop

photo courtesy of baseballdaily.com

Considered the top prospect at the shortstop position by many big league scouts, J.P. Crawford should still be considered a project. He trusts in his athleticism and has deft ball skills with good intuition, but he is below-average at the plate. He has a quick swing, but his eye has not quite developed yet, and he has not learned to use his weight yet.

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9. Dustin Driver, Wenatchee HS, RHP

photo courtesy of studentsports.com

Dustin Driver is an interesting prospect, one that was considered to be the best in the nation at one point, but has since seen his stock plummet. He possesses a strong fastball, but has failed to develop any of his secondary pitches. He also has struggled with his control, and at 6-foot-2, his height becomes an issue. He has strong leadership abilities and great character which are evident when he is on the mound. With the help of a professional pitching staff, he may be able to overcome his current shortcomings.

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8. Jacob May, Coastal Carolina, OF

photo courtesy of bigsouthsports.com

Jacob May comes from a long line of Major Leaguers, and hopes to walk in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him. He has a strong swing with a quick bat that may not turn into a large number of home runs, but should equal an above average number of extra bases. He can hit from either side, and is a solid baserunner. He shows strong defensive skill and projects to be a strong possibility for a corner position.

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7. Tom Windle, University of Minnesota, LHP

photo courtesy of gophersports.com

Tom Windle stands 6-foot-4, weighs in at 214 pounds, and he has forced the baseball world to take notice over the last two years. A no-hitter and an impressive showing in the Cape Cod League games has him on the radar of many big league teams, but he will need to develop his secondary pitches to have his success translate to the Majors.

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6. Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi State, OF

photo courtesy of hailstate.com

Renfroe finally reached some of his potential this season, batting .414/.483/.355 and 11 home runs. Terrific defensive skills and a strong arm give him the tools to earn a starting job in the future. He has a habit of swinging away at the plate, earning him 19 strikeouts in just 32 games, and his first two years at Mississippi State were hardly impressive.

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5. Trey Masek, Texas Tech, RHP

photo courtesy of lubbockonline.com

Trey Masek put up numbers that compared to the best pitchers in this year’s draft. He has four pitches he uses with consistency, but his fastball (low 90’s) is the only pitch that is above average. He throws the curve, change-up and slider as well, and could turn at least one of them into an above-average weapon with work. His command is also in need of improvement, and his height (6-foot-2) may keep him out of the first 50 players selected, but whoever takes him will have a pitcher with potential on their roster.

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4. Mathew McPhearson, Riverdale HS, OF

Photo courtesy of 123people.com

With a 6.2 second 60-yard dash, MM will likely end up being the fastest baserunner in the draft, and he has range in the outfield. His size and lack of hitting power may keep him from becoming a star, but with work, he can become an everyday MLB starter.

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3. William Abreu, Mater Academy, OF

photo courtesy of zimbio.com

William Abreau has the power, speed and athletic ability to play one of the corners in the outfield, but his main strength will likely come at the plate. He has a somewhat longer swing, but it is not something to really be concerned about. His baserunning leaves something to be desired, but it is a minor issue that can be worked on.

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2. A.J. Puk, Washington HS, LHP

photo courtesy of @Aj_Puk11 - Twitter

At 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, A.J. Puk has the physical make up to become a dominant starting pitcher, and with work, he could have the skill to match. He is a two-way prospect out of Iowa that could have a future at first base, but because of his size, he catches attention from the mound. He has great speed on his pitches and can create movement on his fastball. His curve could be above average, and if he learns to make his lower half match his upper half, then he could become a solid starter/borderline star.

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1. Malik Collymore, Port Credit Secondary School, 2B/SS

photo courtesy of showcases.com

Malik Collyemore may have flown under the radar playing in Canada, but that all changed when he showed up to the Perfect Game Pre-Draft Showcase. He has great ball skills, and shows speed, agility and instinct at several infield positions. He could easily become one of the better MLB utility guys, but he could be a star in the league with some work.