Mack Ade – Feb 1 Pre-Season Draft Trends

by Mack | Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2013

Everything’s about to come full circle for both the high school seniors and college juniors that are eligible for the June draft. The high school kids will continue to try and come up with ways to showcase themselves while the college guys will stand by the results of their upcoming season.

There will be factors though. First, the injuries will begin to drop players into later rounds. Stanford’s A.J. Vanegas has already fell out of the first round due to back problems he began to suffer from in the last Cape Cod season. Remember when TCU’s Matt Purke was the odds on favorite for the first pick before his arm went lame? What about LSU’s Anthony Ranaudo who was going to be the first overall pick in 2010 but then went down with an elbow injury. Shit happens in this game and injures are shit to baseball.

This has been a quiet “off-season”. Most of the mock drafts being created now are only one round and, frankly, everyone seems to be using the same pool of around 70 players to determine the top 32. We are; however, beginning to see some trends that will be interesting if they continue.

In no particular order:

  1. 1.     Stanford RHP Mark Appel is quietly dropping out of the top five picks. This could a combination of factors. Some may just be of writing the same name first all the time. Others aren’t that thrilled with his agent and influences their mocks with non-playing factors like that. I happen to think that Appel is the most talented RHP in this year’s draft, but I’d probably pass on him so I could get more bang for my buck. The new limits placed on signing bonuses are not agent-friendly, especially for guys like Scott Boras.

 

  1. 2.     There are only six sure fired first round RHPs this year, the lowest I remember since I started doing this. Most years have six in the first ten picks. I’m sure there will be more, but, right now, the weath is spread around.

 

  1. 3.     St. Pius X HS (TX) Kohl Stewart has leveled off in the mid-first round, Arkansas’ Ryne Stanek has taken over the lead dog RHP and Florida’s Jonathan Crawford has slowly grown to a projected top ten pick.

 

  1. 4.     No one has benefited more from a great showcase season than Tray HS (CA) LHP Jonah Wesely, who wasn’t even on the map when his junior year ended. At least one third of the past two month’s mocks have him as a late first round pick.

 

  1. 5.     Three months ago, half of the people picking Chrysler HS (MI) Trey Ball had him listed first as an outfielder. Now, he is 100% projected as a LHP and has solidly become one of the top eight picks.

 

  1. 6.     The ‘mock’ season started with everyone a little catcher crazy. Early projections had up to six going in the first round, many being some of the very talented members of the high school class of 2012. That being said, everyone has now agreed that only two, Kentwood HS (WA) Reese McGuire, and Yukon HS (OK) Jonathan Denny, are guaranteed first round picks. Past that, only Mater Dei HS (CA) Jeremy Martinez has a chance, though he’s currently trending down.

 

  1. 7.     Serra HS (CA) 1B Dominic Smith is trending way up and now looks to be a guaranteed first round pick. One mock has him 4th overall. Normally, teams don’t look to pick first basemen in the first round; however New Mexico’s D J Peterson is trending up and could also go this early (half project Peterson as a 3Bman).

 

  1. 8.     Speaking of third base, pundits are starting to project San Diego’s Kris Bryant as an outfielder, a position I believe he has never played an inning as.

 

  1. 9.     Trending up big time is James Madison HS (VA) SS-OF Andy McGuire, which began once everyone was sure he was once again healthy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him taken as the second SS, after Gaither HS (FL) Oscar Mercado.

 

  1. 10.                         This will be a big time outfielder draft with up to nine going in the first 31 picks. Hottest uptrend right now is Samford’s Phillip Ervin and Mater Academy William Abreu

 

  1. 11.                         Down trending is Stanford OF Austin Wilson who some are whispering has some work related issues.
 
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  1. Hey Mack, can you elaborate on Austin Wilson’s “work related issues”? Does this mean he doesn’t work hard? And do you see Jonathan Crawford, Karsten Whitson or Bobby Wahl sliding to the Yankees at 27?

    • Mack says:

      some people have used the word “lazy” when they talk about Wilson… he has tons of talent but some feel he doesn’t awlays want to give it his ‘A’ game…

      I definitely think Whitson will be available at 27 and, if he’s their, the Yankess should take him

  2. Kevin says:

    Karsten Whitson at 27 makes sense.Bobby Wahl and Jonathan Crawford right this second of Feb 1st.I highly doubt it.That could easily change as time moves on.

    Mack,

    Appel is dropping because people are beginning to realize he’s not as amazing as people portray.I’ve talked to alot of people who aren’t overly impressed with Appel.To me he’s a safe bet to be a MLB #3 and nothing more then that.The thing is he’ll be that almost immediately and obviously a safe RHP like that holds some value.

  3. Baseball America just released their top 50 prospects and Whitson was #50. Is it a health thing with him? I see he missed quite a bit of time last year and his postseason stats were not great. The Yankees need a mid-level pitcher with one of their three first round picks but if the talents not there they shouldn’t reach.

    As far as Appel goes, if a team was offered a guaranteed solid #3 starter with a top 10 pick (7-10 anyways) that’s hard to turn down in a draft like this one. I would rather have Stanek no doubt, but that may be my Arkansas bias coming out…

    • Mack says:

      No, everybody has him as a backend first round pick because of what he did in high school, not college. He has had injuries in the pst but still can hit 96. Guys like him and Dylan Covey make great late first round picks. Lots of talent that have lost their weay. Jonathan Crawford is getting all the Florida press right now and everybody says that Whitson had a “bad year” in 2012… 14-G, 10-starts, 4-0, 3.51, 33.1-IP, 20-K, 18-BB, .285-b/ave.

  4. Kevin says:

    Whitsons Freshman year was great and everyone thought he was going to be a #1 overall type guy for the next 2 years.Then injury and inconsistency struck in his sophmore season and he didn’t pitch really on the Cape.So he’s a big wildcard for this draft.If he has a good season this year at Florida he might not be there for the Yankees.I think you meant by a “draft like this one” that it’s weak but it’s actually not in any sense of the word.I’d rather have Meadows Frazier Stanek Manaea Kohl Stewart Kris Bryant Reese McGuire JP Crawford Jon Denney Trey Ball Jonathan Crawford Ian Clarkin Stephen Gonsalves or Rob Kaminsky Jordan Sheffield before I take Appel.Obviously a MLB team who wants to have contribution quickly and a safe pick will take Appel but I could very easily see him falling out of the top10.

  5. Kevin says:

    I just simply think everyone went into this Draft calling it weak and saying it doesn’t have this or that and then kids starting popping up all over the place.The only real weakness is depth at RHP but it has plenty of guys at the top worth having.Salazar Sheffield Stewart make the top of the HS RHP look very nicely.Stanek Crawford Wahl Appel make the college side at the top look ncie as well.The Up the Middle talent is clearly good with JP Crawford Andy McGuire and Oscar Mercado Jan Hernandez and even Chris Rivera I guess.Timmy Richards and Ryan McMahon are also other SS I think should be mentioned not to mention Drew Ward.The C are outstanding one of the best classes of C i’ve seen.

    So in all reality if you add in the depth at such a needed position like LHP then this class stacks up quite nicely with others I’d say.I just think in the post 2011 Draft that we’ve gotten spoiled and now every class is weak.2012 was considered weak by most standards and looking back on it that’s actually produced some pretty nice talent even already and I’m sure it’ll look even better down the Road.

    • Well, I fully admit all I know is what I read. Haven’t seen any of these guys but Stanek play, so take my comments with a grain of salt. It just seems to be the consensus that this is a “down year”.

      Anyways, back to Appel, I understand you’re not a fan and that’s fine. But if a pitcher taken with a pick from 6 to 10 has a career as a solid mid-rotation starter I think it would be hard to be disappointed with that. And if Appel is most likely going to be a solid #3 in his career, I’d take that over any high schooler you named other than Meadows or Frazier. The only caveat to that would be if his bonus demands far exceeded his talent.

  6. Kevin says:

    I don’t think your grasping the point of my comment.Noone’s going to be disappointed with that from any pick really considering the chances.But at the same time I’d have a hard time not being disappointed watching some stud that I passed up playing for the opposite team.

    Appel isn’t a complete 100% shot to be successful he’s just alot safer then most.He does have his issues for instance a lack of deception in the delivery being one.Another one being he doesn’t hold his velocity well.

    The consensus in Febuary is that this is a down year.But alot of the people who say that have made some bonehead calls as well so don’t just take in what you read for 100% truth if you do your HW on this class you’ll see there’s no reason to be disappointed.

  7. Kevin says:

    Also nearly every HS I named has a much higher upside then Appel.

    You already said besides Meadows and Frazier so I’ll leave them out.

    JP Crawford looks to be a stud in the making.Can stick at SS alot of offensive upside solid power potential.I’d have a hard time passing up on that for appel.

    Reese McGuire is going to be a plus defensive catcher.Has a ton of power potential and makes very good contact.He could be better then Travis D’arnaud the best C in the minors now by all accounts.

    Kohl Stewart looks like an ACE in the making.The potential for 2 plus pitches and at least an above average 3rd if not plus 3rd.He doesn’t use his lower half well and he already gets up to 95-97 regularly.

    Ian Clarkin has 2 plus pitches a fastball and a curve.There obviously still developing but both of those will plus by the end of it.A LHP with that kind of arsenal can be very very good.His curve has the chance in my opinion to even by plus-plus it’s really that amazing when it’s on.

    Rob Kaminsky again has a plus fastball from the left side and a very very good curve.The change is also above average if not better.He’s very very polished just a little undersized which if Dylan Bundy doesn’t prove being undersized is overblown I don’t know what will he’s got a very solid looking frame.

    Stephen Gonsalves is a 6’6 projectable Lefty.With 3 very nice pitches already alot of room in the tank for more and his command is outstanding.The 3 Leftys I just mentioned have a ton of upside and really to me the lowest their upside goes is as high as Appel can get.

    Trey Ball is a projectable 2 way player that people are still undecided about which way.From the mound 92-93 with 2 solid secondaries athletic so repeats delivery well.From the plate great power potential and good speed love the swing.From both ways I like his upside over Appels.

    Jon Denney is another HS C who has an amazing bat and very good behind the plate should be able to stick alot of power potential could be better then McGuire there neck and neck at the moment in most peoples opinion.Either way both of them could be better then any C in the minors right now.

    Jordan Sheffield hits 97 and touches the upper 90s regularly good size love the curveball on this kid.Like Kohl Stewart your looking at another potential ACE.And I left out a few names just to keep it short but I really would hate if my Red Sox #7 passed up any of these kids or the college guys I named for Appel.

    • I hear what you’re saying, I just disagree with the premise. It doesn’t seem you’re acknowledging the likelihood of the HS’ers you mentioned realizing their upside is less than Appel reaching his.

    • Kevin Gallo says:

      I really don’t agree with some of what you are saying. I don’t think Kaminsky is better then Appel. Kaminsky fastball is pretty flat.

      • Kevin says:

        He’s not a better product at this very moment.But if you combine now with what he wiill be I consider that a better overall package then Appel.

  8. Kevin says:

    Now obviously you could say their risky.But in my opinion if your talking about the top half of the first round.You need to be prepared to take a little risk otherwise you could end up like the Brewers in 2011 thought they were going safe with Jungmann and Bradley and already look at how that’s turned out.

    Almost every single player before or after them has passed them up on almost everyones boards or rankings or whatever now.

  9. Matt Grabusky says:

    Kevin, I agree with shooting high at the top of the first round. For me, I want to be able to at least picture an MVP or Cy Young with picks that high.

    I think you are being a little hard on Appel though. He isn’t number one for me, but he is fairly securely in the top 10.

    • Matt, I think teams need to take best player available, no doubt. But likelihood of reaching their upside has to be factored into the decision

      • Kevin Gallo says:

        You also have to take into consideration the floor of players. There are some players floors are pretty high. Appel would be that type of player.

      • Matt Grabusky says:

        No doubt, and to make my answer complete, that should have been included, but I would have a problem taking a player near the top of the first round whose ceiling is number 3 starter. In regards to Appel, I believe his ceiling is higher than number 3. Right now, I would have him as the third pitcher on the board behind Stanek and Manaea.

    • Kevin says:

      Maybe I am being overly harsh who knows.But I feel like my complaints against Appel are founded in logic.It’s not as if I don’t like him for not signing with the Pirates or playing for Stanford or something.It’s just simply the pure stuff I’m not as impressed as everyone else seems to be.

  10. Kevin says:

    Appels Floor and Ceiling don’t differ all that widely I guess is my problem.He’s a college senior.He’s not some 18 year old kid who’s projectable and still has all sorts of development left.He’s going to be 22 by the time he signs with the MLB club.So in my opinion what you see is what your going to get.He might refine a little of this and a little of that as he goes on.But your not going to see some huge jump in his arsenal or something like that.

    In my opinion and from what he’s shown me there’s no reason to think he won’t be a very run of the mill type guy.Which like I said I don’t want to waste such a High Pick on.I guess we’ll have to wait and see but I personally have Appel in the teens as far as best talent in the draft not like a mock.

  11. Mack says:

    This is good verbal shit here…

    Who wrote this post? :)

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