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June 6, 2013

Perfect Game Presents

MLB Mock Draft

by Patrick Ebert

Welcome to Perfect Game's third and final projection of the 2013 MLB Draft. The first two Mock Drafts we conducted were collaborative efforts by the PG draft team, combining the top talents available with teams based on needs and past drafting preferences. This projection is based more on team/player pairings based on information we're hearing given our expanse network with MLB scouting departments and other personnel involved with the process.

PERFECT GAME MOCK DRAFT V. 3
1. HOUSTON ASTROS

JONATHAN GRAY - RHP - University of Oklahoma

After the Astros 2012 draft, it's hard not to believe that the Astros are going to take a player not usually associated with the No. 1 overall pick, such as North Carolina 3B Colin Moran, or possibly even prep RHP Kohl Stewart, in an effort to strike a pre-draft deal and save money for their later picks. However, also like last year, we likely won't know of the Astros' draft plans until the pick is actually announced on Thursday night. Should they hold with one of the top three college players (Gray, Mark Appel, Kris Bryant), Gray would seem to be the most signable of the three, and arguably the most talented. If they take a player considered unconventional for the No. 1 pick, look for them to take the money saved to select and sign a player that wasn't expected to fall to their first pick in Round 2 such as Sean Manaea, Ryan Boldt or possibly even Cavan Biggio. Should they stick with conventional wisdom, I have a hard time believing the Astros will take Appel, despite being a Houston native, since they already passed on him once last year.
2. CHICAGO CUBS

MARK APPEL - RHP - Stanford

The Cubs are expected to pick one of the two college righthanders between Jonathan Gray and Mark Appel. Should they have their choice between the two, Gray would get the nod.
3. COLORADO ROCKIES

KRIS BRYANT - 3B - University of San Diego

The Rockies have been connected to Bryant for several weeks now, and unless the Astros go in a different direction at No. 1, which could cause a domino effect in the early picks of this draft, Bryant is expected to be the Rockies pick here.
4. MINNESOTA TWINS

KOHL STEWART - RHP - St. Pius X HS, Texas

Similar to the Rockies and their connection to Kris Bryant, the Twins have been frequently mentioned in having heavy interest in prep righthander Kohl Stewart, who enjoyed a sensational spring season as the best prep pitcher since Dylan Bundy, who went No. 4 overall to the Orioles in 2011.
5. CLEVELAND INDIANS

CLINT FRAZIER - OF - Loganvile HS, Ga.

Should the draft shake out this way, the Indians will have their choice between Frazier and Moran, with a slight organizational preference toward the dynamic, potential 5-tool outfielder and 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic Jackie Robinson Player of the Year recipient.
6. MIAMI MARLINS

BRADEN SHIPLEY - RHP - University of Nevada

Don't be shocked if this pick is New Jersey prep lefthander Robert Kaminsky, who has been followed heavily by the Marlins brass. Late word suggests they will stick with their expected preference of Braden Shipley, breaking the Marlins usual preference for lefthanders and players from Oklahoma.
7. BOSTON RED SOX

COLIN MORAN - 3B - University of North Carolina

The Red Sox are more than prepared to sit back and wait to take the best player available to them, and may have the unexpected choice between Moran and the University of Nevada's Braden Shipley if the Marlins go in a different direction. Kohl Stewart isn't expected to make it past the Red Sox if he makes it this far. Moran, with roots in the Northeast, gets the nod here.
8. KANSAS CITY ROYALS

PHIL BICKFORD - RHP - Oaks Christian HS, Calif.

Easily the fastest, farthest rising player of the 2013 draft, Bickford off-speed stuff still has to catch up with his fastball, which has peaked at 97 mph this spring, but the comparisons to Los Angeles Angels ace Jered Weaver are too good to pass up.
9. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (FOR UNSIGNED 2012 PICK MARK APPEL)

REESE MCGUIRE - C - Kentwood HS, Wash.

The Pirates have been linked to McGuire for several weeks, and also have shown great interest in fellow 2012 PG All-American Trey Ball and New Mexico slugger D.J. Peterson. Austin Meadows is another option for the Buccos.
10. TORONTO BLUE JAYS

TREY BALL - LHP - New Castle HS, Ind.

Whoever the Pirates don't take between McGuire and Trey Ball is expected to be the Blue Jays' pick here at the No. 10 overall pick. They too are in on Meadows.
11. NEW YORK METS

AUSTIN MEADOWS - OF - Grayson HS, Ga.

If Meadows doesn't make it this far, look for the Mets to turn to either D.J. Peterson or Mississippi State's Hunter Renfroe as the Mets have narrowed their focus on a small handful of position prospects.
12. SEATTLE MARINERS

RYNE STANEK - RHP - University of Arkansas

If Bickford is still available he would likely be the Mariners pick. If he's not, look for them to turn to another hard-throwing righthander in the form of Arkansas ace Ryne Stanek.
13. SAN DIEGO PADRES

HUNTER RENFROE - OF - Mississippi State

Renfroe's impressive junior season for the Bulldogs, in which his production has lived up to his lofty potential, could allow him to be taken 3-5 picks higher than this, as he isn't expected to drop past the first half of Round 1.
14. PITTSBURGH PIRATES

D.J. PETERSON - 3B - University of New Mexico

Peterson has drawn serious attention from the Pirates all spring, and they would be thrilled to land him here if they don't take him with the No. 9 overall pick.
15. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

AARON JUDGE - OF - Fresno State

Similar to Renfroe, Judge's season is one in which his production has lived up to his impressive upside, and he recently wowed D-Backs brass in a private workout.
16. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

DOMINIC SMITH - 1B - Serra HS, Calif.

Smith provides excellent value for the Phillies at this slot, and could move quickly through the minors thanks to his advanced hit tool. He may begin his professional career in right field given the presence of Ryan Howard.
17. CHICAGO WHITE SOX

ALEX GONZALEZ - RHP - Oral Roberts

For several years the White Sox have targeted athletic, multi-tooled position prospects and college pitchers. This year pitching seems to be their focus, and Gonzalez' continued emergence puts him squarely in the mix for the middle of the first round.
18. LOS ANGELES DODGERS

HUNTER HARVEY - RHP - Bandys HS, N.C.

Few teams show reluctance plucking up high upside prep pitchers in the early rounds of the draft as the Dodgers, and they may choose to land another one here in Harvey whose low- to mid-90s fastball and hammer curveball could allow him to move quickly through the pro ranks.
19. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

J.P. CRAWFORD - SS - Lakewood HS, Calif.

The Cardinals have been linked to several other players at this spot, but it would be difficult for them to pass on such an athletic, high-ceiling talent at a premium position here.
20. DETROIT TIGERS

CHRIS ANDERSON - RHP - Jacksonville University

Chris Anderson and several other hard-throwing college pitchers are linked to the Tigers. Alex Gonzalez and Ryne Stanek, should either make it this far, as well as Jonathon Crawford, will all be considered here.
21. TAMPA BAY RAYS

TIM ANDERSON - SS - East Central (Miss.) CC

Anderson continues to soar up draft boards thanks to his nearly unmatched athleticism among those eligible for the 2013 draft. Several teams ahead of this slot reportedly are very interested in Anderson, but should he make it this far he's not expected to make it past the Rays.
22. BALTIMORE ORIOLES

NICK CIUFFO - C - Lexington HS, S.C.

The Orioles would love to have Ciuffo fall in their lap, but if he doesn't, this is about the range we should see hard-hitting Irish third baseman Eric Jagielo come off the board.
23. TEXAS RANGERS

ROBERT KAMINSKY - LHP - St. Joseph's HS, N.J.

This is a spot where the Perfect Game staff is quick to point out that if Kaminsky were 3-4 inches taller he would be a slam dunk top 10 overall pick (and we think he should be anyway). He could go as high as No. 6 overall to the Marlins thanks to his steady low-90s heat and absolute hammer low-80s curve. Don't be surprised if you hear a lot of people asking "why didn't he go higher in the 2013 draft" 2-3 years down the road.
24. OAKLAND ATHLETICS

ERIC JAGIELO - 3B - Notre Dame

The A's appear to have their sights set on a handful of college position prospects, as well as a smaller handful of prep pitchers, including Hunter Harvey and Kyle Serrano. Jagielo gets the nod here thanks to his powerful left-handed swing.
25. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

MATT KROOK - LHP - St. Ignatius Prep

Welcome to the San Francisco Giants, an absolute machine when it comes to developing Major League pitchers, and Krook's combination of size, stuff and pitchability, not to mention being from Northern California, make him a perfect fit.
26. NEW YORK YANKEES

BILLY MCKINNEY - OF - Plano West HS, Texas

McKinney's profile isn't that different from that of Yankees top prospect and fellow past PG All-American Slade Heathcott, the type of hitter and overall player that Yankees have coveted for years.
27. CINCINNATI REDS

JON DENNEY - C - Yukon HS, Okla.

The hard-hitting Denney would be a welcome fit to a Reds organization that has almost every position on the field figured out except behind the plate.
28. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (FOR FREE AGENT KYLE LOHSE)

DEVIN WILLIAMS - RHP - Hazelwood West HS, Mo.

In Williams the Cardinals wouldn't be looking too far past their own backyard, with many scouts claiming that Williams is the best player to emerge from the St. Louis area since the 2009 No. 9 overall pick, Jacob Turner.
29. TAMPA BAY RAYS (FOR FREE AGENT B.J. UPTON)

JOSH HART - OF - Parkview HS, Ga.

No player in the 2013 draft fits a specific role in a projected lineup as well as Josh Hart, who has the speed, instincts and plate discipline to serve as a prototypical leadoff hitter for years to come.
30. TEXAS RANGERS (FOR FREE AGENT JOSH HAMILTON)

MARCO GONZALES, LHP, Gonzaga

The Rangers have placed a premium on lefthanded pitchers in recent years, and Gonzales could soar through the pro ranks on his way to the big leagues thanks to his advanced pitchability and polished three-pitch repertoire, which includes arguably the most advanced changeup in the 2013 draft class.
31. ATLANTA BRAVES (FOR FREE AGENT MICHAEL BOURN)

IAN CLARKIN - LHP - Madison HS, Calif.

Several lefthanded pitchers are connected to the Braves at this spot, including Matt Krook, should he make it this far, and junior college hurler Cody Reed. Clarkin arguably has more present polish than all three of those southpaws, and could advance relatively quickly as a pro.
32. NEW YORK YANKEES (FOR FREE AGENT NICK SWISHER)

RILEY UNROE - SS - Desert Ridge HS, Ariz.

The Yankees seem intent to load up on bats, and have targeted several from both the high school and college ranks. Austin Wilson and Phil Ervin could also come into play at one of the Yankees two back-to-back picks in the comp round.
33. NEW YORK YANKEES (FOR FREE AGENT RAFAEL SORIANO)

PHIL ERVIN - OF - Samford

With McKinney, Unroe and Ervin the Yankees have instantly injected their system with some promising young bats.
34. KANSAS CITY ROYALS (COMPETITIVE BALANCE LOTTERY)

KYLE SERRANO - RHP - Farragut HS, Tenn.

Getting Bickford and Serrano with their first two selections would give the Royals two of the fastest rising players in the 2013 draft class. Serrano, the son of Tennessee Head Coach Dave Serrano, has seen his fastball improve to the 90-95 range this spring with a very tight, hard spinning curveball.
35. MIAMI MARLINS (COMPETITIVE BALANCE LOTTERY - FROM 2012 TRADE WITH PIRATES)

CODY REED - LHP - Northwest Mississippi CC

Reed and Tim Anderson gives the draft two exciting prospects from the junior college level, even more interesting that both play in the state of Mississippi. Reed still needs refinement, but his upside is considerable given his stature and mid-90s heat.
36. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (COMPETITIVE BALANCE LOTTERY)

AARON BLAIR - RHP - Marshall

Blair, like projected No. 1 overall pick Jonathan Gray, recently tested positive for Aderral. It isn't expected to effect either one's draft status, as Blair could go as high as No. 22 overall to the Orioles.
37. BALTIMORE ORIOLES (COMPETITIVE BALANCE LOTTERY)

HUNTER GREEN - LHP - Warren East HS, Ky.

The Orioles have a pretty open mind entering this year's draft, being connected to numerous position players and pitchers, at both the high school and college levels. Hunter Green is another player that has enjoyed a rise up draft boards this year, and could even sneak into the tail end of the first round.
38. CINCINNATI REDS (COMPETITIVE BALANCE LOTTERY)

JONATHON CRAWFORD - RHP - University of Florida

Crawford entered the spring with much higher draft aspirations. While his command has wavered, his stuff started to return to where it was a year ago late in the season for the Gators, which may not allow him to make it this far in the draft.
39. DETROIT TIGERS (COMPETITIVE BALANCE LOTTERY - FROM 2012 TRADE WITH MARLINS)

OSCAR MERCADO - SS - Gaither HS, Fla.

Similar to most to all of the players projected to be taken in the compensatory and competitive balance lottery rounds, Mercado is another name connected to several teams that pick in the 20-27 range. His slick defensive tools and speed will allow him to hold his own as he continues to add strength and improve his offensive upside.

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