1. Houston Astros: Chris Rivera, SS, California HS
Chris Rivera isn't the top talent in the 2013 draft but he is a very good player and is a solid up-the-middle talent, which is rare in this years' draft. He will likely sign for under slot so Houston can do something similar to what they did last year and make the most of the signing allotment. Last year, they chose Correa to fill an up the middle spot, but he may be a better fit at the hot corner. Even if Correa can fit at SS, a rebuilding team is best built up the middle. The most value comes from those positions. You could slot several up the middle players here but I like Rivera, so I chose him.
2. Chicago Cubs: Austin Meadows, OF, Georgia HS
Meadows is one of the top talents in the draft. He is a projectable hitter with potential to stay in center field and hit for power. He has one of the highest ceilings in the draft but he also has a questionable bat. His contact rate isn't elite and he doesn't square up the ball as often as I would like to see from a #2 overall pick. He is a high risk/high reward type of player.
3. Colorado Rockies: Kris Bryant, OF, San Diego
Bryant is the best power hitter in the college ranks. He has a solid bat and has a plus arm. He could be a star in right field in Colorado. He may be able to stick at third base and he may end up at first. One thing is for sure, he will hit. He has high-end potential with the bat and should hit for high average as well as plenty of power. He may be the most well rounded hitter in the college ranks.
4. Minnesota Twins: Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State
Manaea has one of the best arms in the draft. He hits upper 90's from the left side. He has a nasty slider and could end up in the back end of the bullpen as easily as the front end of a rotation. He showed the ability to dominate this summer in the Cape Cod League, breaking the strikeout record with 85 K's in just 51.2 IP in a year where offense was nearly at a historic level in the league.
5. Cleveland Indians: Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
Stanek is the most solid starter in this draft to me. He missed being in last years' draft by about a week. He looks to be a solid mid rotation starter if his change does not improve past average and #2 at his peak if it improves to be a plus pitch. His low to mid 90's fastball and slider are plus offerings more often than not.
6. Miami Marlins: Clint Frazier, OF, Georgia HS
Frazier is a fireball. He is a toolsy player and a hard-nosed player rolled into one. I doubled up on stereotypes. That is how crazy good Frazier could be.
7. Boston Red Sox: Karsten Whitson, RHP, Florida
Whitson disappointed me last year but he also has the potential to turn it all around and make most people never realize he ever had these hiccups. Missing time with forearm stiffness and a groin last season wiped most of it out. His stock plummeted but he will get every opportunity to show that he is as good as he was in high school and as a freshman again this spring. I think he will.
8. Kansas City Royals: Jan Hernandez, 3B, Puerto Rico HS
Hernandez is not dissimilar to last years' teammate Carlos Correa. Correa is a better defender but Hernandez could have more bat, especially in the power category.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates: Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina
Sweet swinging lefty would fit well in Pittsburgh. After loading up on arms the last few years, they tried to add Mark Appel last season but missed out on signing him. With the polished North Carolina corner infielder as close to the majors as anyone in the college ranks, he could make it to the majors in the same window as their big arms to add some offense for a young, up-and-coming team.
10. Toronto Blue Jays: Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford
He fits the athletic mold for the Jays. Big time power potential and a big arm profile perfectly for right field.
11. New York Mets: Jonathan Crawford, RHP, Florida
Crawford has another big arm and could be more suited for the pen. He has a low to mid 90's fastball that can touch 98 and he has a slider that flashes plus but is inconsistent. He has a change that could be average but he needs to improve his command to be a great starter. Much of his draft status will be decided this spring but I have a feeling it will be a good year.
12. Seattle Mariners: Kohl Stewart, RHP, Texas HS
Stewart may not go in the top 12 rounds depending on signability, but I think he should go in the top 12 picks. His arm is elite. He can hit 95 routinely and I think there is more in the tank when he isn't pitching after football practices. Time will tell what is in his future. I hope it's baseball.
13. San Diego Padres: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Most of you know I'm not a big Appel fan. I like him, just not as an ace. I think he could enter that territory in Petco. I'd like to see him there and I can't see him sliding too much further than this, assuming any sort of reasonable success this spring at Stanford.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates: Oscar Mercado, SS, Florida HS
I contemplated Mercado at the #1 spot for similar reasons to Rivera. He is a lock to stick up the middle. The bat is good and he could be the best SS in this draft.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks: Dominic Smith, 1B, California HS
Smith is one of the better power bats in the HS crop. He is also one of the better hitters. He has great bat control and is much more athletic that a HS first baseman usually is. He could be tried in the outfield as well. The bat will play anywhere.
16. Philadelphia Phillies: Justin Williams, OF, Louisiana HS
Williams is one of the younger players available in this years' draft and is also has one of the better power bats. He is an athlete but isn't a smooth player. He is closer to Rymer Liriano than someone like Austin Meadows in his actions. He has enormous potential and seems like a good fit for Philly and their traditional liking for tools players.
17. Milwaukee Brewers: Reese McGuire, C, Washington HS
McGuire has a nice swing, power potential and elite defense. A great pick at 17. Could go 10 picks higher. You will hear people put 70 grades on his arm and defense. If his bat looks at all decent this spring, he's a lock for the first round and perhaps very early.
18. Chicago White Sox: Marco Gonzalez, LHP, Gonzaga
A polished three pitch lefty isn't common in college. While his potential doesn't resemble the rest of the top picks, he is more likely to at least be a major leaguer. His fastball scrapes the low 90's and sits upper 80's most of the time. The thing is, he keeps hitters off balance and knows how to mix at three of his pitches.
19. Los Angeles Dodgers: Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, California HS
Long, loose and easy throwing lefty. That alone is likely a first rounder. His smooth delivery and curveball make him a near lock for the 1st round. His low 90's fastball could add a couple ticks with maturity.
20. St. Louis Cardinals: Jonathan Denney, C, Oklahoma HS
Denney didn't jump out to me the first time I saw him. The second time, I noticed him and the third time I thought he was a potential star. He just squared the ball up every time. His defense is good and he could be a good fit here.
21. Detroit Tigers: Bobby Wahl, RHP, Mississippi
Wahl doesn't impress me as a frontline guy either but is a near sure thing to be a big leaguer. His fastball is 92-93 but can get up to 96 in bursts. He has a really good slider to compliment it and shows poise on the mound. He could be quick to the majors if the Tigers get him.
22. Tampa Bay Rays : Jacoby Jones, OF, LSU
A bit of a conundrum to me, Jones looks the part but has yet to live up to the hype. He is a great athlete and that is why he'll get drafted here unless he has a big season, which would mean a higher slot. Of course, a poor season could knock him down several rounds. He is one of the biggest wildcards among the college crop.
23. Baltimore Orioles: Zack Collins, 1B, Florida HS
Another powerful corner bat from the prep class also can hit for average. He knows how to hit even though he has a few mechanical issues to work out.
24. Texas Rangers: Trey Ball, OF, Indiana HS
A great athlete, Ball could be picked here just as easily as a left-handed pitcher. I like him better as a hitter but a low 90's fastball from a lefty could be hard to pass on. I don't think there is more in his tank for velocity though. There is more projection in the bat.
25. Oakland Athletics: Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU
Eades is another college arm that is more likely to be a mid rotation guy than a front line guy but he should not slide out of the 1st round barring injury. His 90-93 MPH fastball that can touch 95 and his secondary stuff show potential to sit him atop a rotation but command hinders him from being elite. A great season could change his stock and put him in the top 10.
26. San Francisco Giants: D.J. Peterson, 3B, New Mexico
I'm not a Peterson believer. I don't see him as a 1st rounder, but many other sources do so I will slot him here to reflect what I am hearing. I will try to see him more this spring to get a better read. I see him as a 1B with a solid not great bat.
27. New York Yankees: John Paul Crawford, SS, California HS
Another smooth fielding SS, he doesn't have a great bat but he should stick at SS. Some people think he could be a top 10 pick, assuming his hitting picks up.
28. Cincinnati Reds : Ian Clarkin, LHP, California HS
Clarkin could be my favorite HS southpaw. His curveball is plus-plus at its best. I'll write more about him soon. His draft profile is in the works. With a good spring he could be in the top 15 or higher.
29. Washington Nationals: Josh Hart, OF, Georgia HS
Hart fits what the Nats have been doing lately with high upside athletes. I wanted to put Hart in the 1st round, this was the best fit at the end of the round.
30. Tampa Bay Rays (Upton): Austin Kubitza, RHP, Rice
Kubitza is the pitching version of Jacoby Jones. Should be a very good player but I have yet to see it. His fastball sits in the low 90's and he shows a solid change and a better than average slider. Maybe I have just seen him on off days because his stats are solid. If there is more growth in him, the Rays will get it out of him if anyone will.
31. Texas Rangers (Hamilton): Jeremy Martinez, C, California HS
Martinez is a fun player to watch. He hasn't improved a lot in the last two years. This worries me some, but he is a 1st round caliber player. He should hit for high average with more line drive power than home run power early on. He has a strong easy swing. He's slow with a thick lower half that could be a concern long term but he has good defensive skills and a strong arm.
32. New York Yankees (Swisher): Joe Martarano, 3B, Idaho HS
Another top football recruit, Martarano will have to decide if he want to crush baseballs or running backs. He's committed to Boise State, where they don't have baseball. If he heads to college, that may be the end of his baseball career. This may be MLB's only shot at him. I hope he chooses baseball and uses that athleticism to play the hot corner. Maybe he can look at Will Middlebrooks' decision to drop football and play the hot corner and make a similar one.
Competitive Balance Lottery Draft
33. Kansas City Royals: Ryan Boldt, OF, Minnesota HS
Boldt is a great athlete. One of the best from Minnesota in recent memory. An individual profile on Boldt will be posted soon.
34. Miami Marlins (from Pirates): Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State
Judge is a huge hitter with big power. He could be a future big league slugger or a future Kyle Blanks.
35. Arizona Diamondbacks: Robert Kaminsky, LHP, New Jersey HS
A smooth lefty with a lot of potential should go near the top of the draft. His low to mid 90's velocity, change and breaking ball could all be plus pitches, potentially.
36. Baltimore Orioles: Chris Okey, C, Florida HS
Okey is a very good defensive catcher with good pop in his bat. This years draft is deep in prep catching. Most seasons he would be the top prep backstop.
37. Cincinnati Reds: Clinton Hollon, RHP, Kentucky HS
A year ago, Hollon and Jeremy Martinez would have been top 10 picks after reports of him hitting 97. He hasn't slid but many others have showed similar or better potential in the last year. He could jump back up with a good spring.
38. Detroit Tigers (from Marlins): Cord Sandberg, OF, Florida HS
A wild card due to a football commitment, Sandberg is a top athlete with a lot of potential. His swing is unusual but he just looks like he could be a star. He could be a lottery ticket here for Detroit.