May 30, 2013
Dissecting the Draft
Examining Kris Bryant
Since we first set out talent tiers for players in consideration for selection with the seventh overall pick in the draft, some significant events have affected the stock of two of our potential targets. We have also seen reporting that this draft class contains a unanimous “top 3”—a triumvirate that does not match up with our tiering. We’ll quickly address the shakeup in the tiers before devoting the bulk of this entry to a thorough examination of Kris Bryant—the “unanimous elite talent” that didn’t make the cut for our Tier One grouping.
There are two players whose tiering requires re-examination due to recent events. Below is a summary of each, including the events that have transpired and the impact on the player’s value.
Player: Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana St. University
Event: Continues to struggle with health (including his ankle, hip and shoulder), quality of stuff.
Effect: Many evaluators familiar with Manaea prior to his dominant stint on the Cape have yet to see the player described to them by their East Coast brethren. While injuries this spring have limited his availability and ability, he has to show the consistent ability to throw his fastball and secondaries at a high level. The ceiling remains high, but there is too much risk at this point for him to remain in serious consideration for the seventh overall pick in the draft. He doesn’t fit the typical profile of someone willing to cut an under-slot deal, so he’s out of Tier Three as well. He will be considered as a second-rounder, should he be available at pick 45.
Player: Ryan Boldt, OF, Red Wing HS (Red Wing, MN)
Event: Torn meniscus; out of action through June.
Effect: Boldt remains one of the best center-field prospects in the draft class, but the injury (as well as his late-starting high school season) requires us to make an appraisal based primarily on last year’s looks and limited workouts last offseason. The injury itself doesn’t appear to be a long-term concern, but it does somewhat increase the drafting organization’s leverage. He remains in Tier Three for now, but he’s probably a better acquisition fit as an over-allotment signing in the second round than a money-saver in the top 10 overall. Provided we have satisfactory options once we’ve completed our Tier Two review, we are likely to cross Boldt off as a potential first-round target.
Entering today’s analysis, this is where our tier currently stand:
1. Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma University | Scouting Report
2. Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford University | Scouting Report
3. Clint Frazier, OF, Loganvilee HS (Loganville, GA) | Scouting Report
Tier Two (Ranked)
1. Kohl Stewart, RHP, St. Pius X (Houston, TX)
2. Trey Ball, LHP, New Castle HS (New Castle, IN) | Scouting Report (LHP)
Tier Two (Unranked—alphabetical)
1. Kris Bryant, 3B, University of San Diego | Scouting Report
2. JP Crawford, SS, Lakewood HS (Lakewood, CA)
3. Jon Denney, C, Yukon HS (Yukon, OK)
4. Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (Covington, WA)
5. Braden Shipley, RHP, University of Nevada
6. Dominic Smith, 1B/OF, Serra HS (Los Angeles, CA)
7. Ryne Stanek, RHP, University of Arkansas
1. Ryan Boldt, OF, Red Wing HS (Red Wing, MN)
Kris Bryant—Elite or No?
Much of the draft-related electronic ink spilled over the past few weeks has centered on a reported consensus that the 2013 draft class has seen three players emerge as the clear top three talents—Mark Appel, Jonathan Gray, and Kris Bryant. While Appel and Gray both fit in as elite talents in our tiers, Bryant ranks as a Tier Two target. It should be noted that no one expects Bryant to be available when we make our selection at seventh overall (myself included), so most of what we cover today is irrelevant to our actual decision-making come draft day. Still, I thought it important to address the discrepancy between my tiering and the widely reported “unanimous top three.” Plus, this an interesting topic for examination in its own right, and will hopefully spark your further interest in breaking down draft prospects from multiple angles.