Thursday, June 7, 2012

Early Look at Names for the 2013 Draft

The 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft is about as fresh as it can get, concluding earlier this afternoon.  Save for a guys who were eager to start their professional careers, the ink hasn't dried yet on the recent draftees contracts; virtually none have even signed yet.  So that means it's time to start speculating about the 2013 draft.  A mock draft would be nearly impossible for two reasons: things will change so dramatically between now and next June and the draft order isn't even set yet with well over half the major league season still to be played.

That said, we can go ahead and take look some names to start watching for the 2013 draft.  The list will include both high school and college players.  The players are not ranked in a particular order. Check it out after the jump.

Top High School Players 

Clinton Hollon

Position: P
School:
Woodford County High (Versailles, KY)
Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'1, 195 

Commitment: Univ. of Kentucky (UK) 

Hollon doesn't have imposing size generally attributed to elite pitching prospects - he's actual fairly small at only 6'1 and 195 lbs - but that doesn't hurt his stuff or projectability.  The native Kentuckian has a fastball that sits in the mid 90's but can touch 97.  Hollon compliments the heater with a plus breaking ball and a changeup that is very advanced for a prep pitcher.  Another positive for Hollon is very good athleticism and a easy, clean delivery.  Those factors combined help him repeat his arm action which gives him well above-average command.  Hollon may not have the stunning stuff top prep pitchers - Jameson Taillon, Dylan Bundy, Lucas Giolito - have had in recent drafts, but it doesn't lack far behind, giving Hollon plenty of upside.  Along with that upside is significant polish that makes Hollon a terrific prospect. 

Austin Meadows 

Position: OF
School:
Grayson High School (Loganville, GA)
Throws: L; Bats: L

Measurables: 6'3, 200

Commitment: Clemson University 

The first thing that stands out about Meadows is his tremendous athleticism, especially considering his size.  It's unclear whether or not Meadows will have the speed to stick at centerfield, but he is such a natural athlete that he'll be a plus defensive outfielder in a corner.  While Meadows will certainly be valuable in the field, he truly shines at the plate.  The prep outfielder has a simple and smooth swing that should allow him to hit for average in the future. In addition, Meadows is so naturally strong that even with a swing that's not geared for extreme loft, Meadows still generates impressive power due to great bat speed.  It's always premature placing comparisons on rising high school seniors, but Meadows has the type of natural talent reminiscent of a young Josh Hamilton.  To top it all off, Meadows has an incredible work ethic and competitive drive, making him quite the prospect.

Jeremy Martinez 

Position: C
School:
Mater Dei High School (Fountain Valley, CA)
Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 5'11, 190

Commitment: University of Southern California (USC)  

It's been a while since a prep catcher has been drafted in the upper half of the first round.  In fact, it hasn't happened since the then Florida Marlins took catcher Kyle Skipworth 6th overall in the 2008 draft to thus far disastrous results.  Martinez hopes to change both parts of that equation.  The prep catcher is plenty athletic to stick behind the dish and is already incredibly polished in regards to his skills behind the plate.  Offensively, Martinez has balanced stance and an easy swing that stays in the zone for a long time.  The swing is flat enough and Martinez is small enough that he will probably only develop average-to-above average power, but he should have a excellent hit tool and add plenty of doubles as he continues to grow and physically mature.  In time, Martinez could develop into an above-average offensive catcher with plus-plus defensive behind the plate, a rare commodity indeed. 

Oscar Mercado

Position: SS
School:
Gaither High School (Tampa, FL)
Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'2, 180

Commitment: Florida State University (FSU) 

The draft won't be complete without a Latino prep shortstop from down south being drafted in the top 10.  In fact, it's been three straight years now, with Manny Machado and Francisco Lindor - both from Florida - being drafted in 2010 and 2011 respectively.  A few days ago, Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa went #1 overall to the Houston Astros.  Mercado looks to continue that trend.  The kid from Tampa, Florida already has outstanding defensive tools at shortstop.  He's a great athlete with tremendous range, good hands, and an above-average arm that could get stronger.  Currently, Mercado doesn't project to have a ton of power, but he's also already 6'2 and has the frame to add significant muscle in the future.  His swing is a bit long as well, but if he matures into his frame and refines his swing, his offensive potential is massive.  Mercado has a long way till draft day, but good progression over the next 12 months could give him one of the highest ceilings in next year's class, resulting in his name being called early on during the draft.  

Top College Players 

Karsten Whitson 

Position: P
School:
Florida
Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'3, 195


Whitson may be the rare player that turns down first round money coming out of high school and actually ends up profiting from that decision.  Selected 9th overall by the San Diego Padres in 2010, Whitson allegedly spurned 2.1 million dollars to instead honor his commitment to Florida. Even with the new slotting system, Whitson looks on his way to receiving a larger bonus in 2013.  The Gator pitcher has three pitches that are already at least average and all project as plus or better.  Whiston's fastball sits in the low 90's with plenty of movement, his slider could end up as his best pitch, and his changeup should give him a third out pitch.  Whitson is also very athletic, which helps him repeat his delivery and should lead to well above-average command with experience.  

Dylan Covey 

Position: P
School:
San Diego
Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'2, 195


Covey has a remarkably similar story to Whitson.  He was also drafted in the first round in 2010 - 14th by the Brewers - but chose to attend San Diego rather than turn pro.  Covey projects to have a four pitch mix, led by a fastball that sits in the mid 90's and can touch even higher and a devastating slider with velocity in the low 80's.  Covey rounds out his arsenal with a developing changeup and a curveball that he mixes in, although it's unclear how far he will stick with the latter pitch as he develops.  Covey will need to work on his control and command, but his upside is enormous, especially if he can add a tad bit more velocity. 

Ryne Stanek 

Position: P
School:
Arkansas
Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'4, 180 


Ryne Stanek just missed being draft eligible this year, meaning he will be one of the oldest juniors in next year's draft.  However, that's not a huge issue due to Stanek's talent.  The Razorback has a fastball that sits in the low 90's and has touched the mid-to-upper 90's before.  In addition, Stanek has a good curveball that projects as plus in the future.  He rounds out his arsenal with a slider and changeup, although both pitches will need refinement.  Stanek is fairly and has showed good control and command.  Stanek doesn't have a massive ceiling, but he can probably become a good #2 starter and has some polish that gives him a decent floor due to his experience in college.   

Kris Bryant

Position: 3B
School: San Diego

Throws: R; Bats: R

Measurables: 6'5, 205


Bryant - Covey's college teammate - was considered a fringe first round talent in 2010 with signability issues.  Those issues caused Bryant to fall to the Blue Jays in the 18th round where Toronto was unable to buy him out of his college commitment.  Bryant's most impressive tool is definitely his power, described by some scouts as "light-tower" power.  Bryant does have a long swing and struggled to make adjustments his in high school, giving him high bust potential.  That carried over to his freshman, but this last year Bryant had an excellent season hitting for good average and showing greatly improved plate discipline, suggesting he's maturing into a complete hitter.  If that happens, and if Bryant can stay at third base defensively - a possibility - he could be the most coveted college hitter in next year's class. 

10 comments:

  1. Yep we all called Bryant being a top ten pick in 2013 and Jays fans everywhere will make a collective sigh when it becomes official, thanks again for saving a few bucks at the expense of the future Riccardi, no wonder you'll never GM ever again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, while I agree with you that Riccardi was not a terribly good GM, it was actually his successor Alex Anthopolous who failed to sign Bryant. Anthopolous took over in October of 2009 and Bryant was drafted the following June in 2010.

      Luckily, Anthopolous has not failed to spend elsewhere, grabbing tons of talent in that 2010 draft (Syndergaard, Sanchez, Nicolino). He did very well in the 2011 draft and I really liked his strategy for this draft. Went for crazy upside with his first 7 picks, 6 of which were on prep players. Then 7 straight college seniors to make sure he has the money to sign 6 or 7 of those first 7 picks. Alford is a wildcard just due to his option to play football.

      Delete
    2. Kris was a tough sign because he WANTED to go to college. Just cause you draft them doesn't mean they're going to sign.

      AA's not going to bust the bank because of one kid. He knew what the going rate for a late/fringy 1st rounder was and he offered it to him despite picking him in the 18th.

      Bryant was a gamble and AA knew it. If Bryant made it know he wanted to play in the minors then he would have been drafted much sooner and AA probably wouldn't have had a shot at him.

      It's like Tyler Beede. AA's not going to overpay draft picks as he has his price range and he's sticking to it. As disappointed as I am, I wish Tyler all the best in college ball.

      Delete
  2. Colin Moran??????

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anyone hear of Thomas milone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, had a great ECPSC in cuse, ok area code game top 50 prospect

      Delete