Sorry about the last piece I wrote as it was my notes and unfinished and I should have left sources. I have fixed that on this one, and this is my finished analysis. I dont think I have to explain too much why I am writing about next years draft. I have decided that now is the appropriate time to use the " We'll get them next year" the official battle-cry of the Houston Astros. Anyway the 2013 draft is a sign of hope us Astro fans can look forward to while most teams are looking towards October us Astros fans must look forward to June. Anyway enough wallowing about our sad Major League team and more about our minor league teams which are tearing it up right now. Due to the recent infusion of young talent our Minor League teams have pulled a 180 and many of them are leading or close to leading their respective divisions. Thanks to some superb drafting... Yes I am looking at you Mr. Luhnow... and some trades(Mr. Ed Wade) we are back on our feet and ready to add more.
So here is the scoop on the Top 8 Prospects of next years draft:
1. Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
Meadows is 6’-4”, 200 pounds and hits from the left side, has plus speed, raw power to all fields and a canon arm in center field. Something that surprised me is that he is very polished and should move through the system quicker than other high school players. These attributes have drawn comparison to Josh Hamilton in some cases In less extreme cases he has also been compared to Andre Eithier, but even that I think is a little extreme for a high School player. He hit .537 for Team USA and set a record with 28 RBI in the IBAF Youth Championships. I would say his best comp is to Byron Buxton though with more power and less speed. I would prefer him over Buxton due to the fact Meadows plays better competition. Buxton played 2A while Meadows played 5A. Another good thing about Meadows is that he gets on base a lot which helps out all his tools as opposed to someone like BJ Upton, who as fantastic tools but can never seem to get on base enough for it to matter. Meadows seems to be the front runner for the number one pick.
2. Clinton Hollon, RHP, Woodford County HS (KY)
Hollon is a 6’-1”, 185-pound right-hander whose fastball can touch 96 mph already, and the pitch sits comfortable in the 92-94 mph range. He also has a nice slider and curve duo, paired with his developing change-up. He is projectable and has a easy delivery. I would say his ceiling is lower than some others due to a lack of dominance, but he seems to pitch more to contact than other flamethrowers his age. Tons of Upside as he already throws 97 and he is just coming out of high school. He has a pretty high ceiling, but he could improve on it. One thing he has going for him though is a very high floor. I would say his floor is a really good 4 or maybe a closer. He looks to be the best high school arm, but there are many others on his tail.
3. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS (CA)
At 6’-5” and 185 pounds, Gonsalves is one of the best left-handers in his class. He can reach 94 mph on his fastball, while sitting at 90-92, and has the projectablility to add more. One of the great things about Stephen is if he can add about 20-25 pounds between now and the majors he could easily touch 98 with the fastball while sitting at 93-95. Threw a CG three hit shut-out to win the State Championship and loves the spotlight. He has a nice confidence about him that you like to see from a pitcher, but has problems if he starts to get hit around. He can work on command, but all in all he looks like the premier lefty in the draft.
4. Jeremy Martinez, C, Mater Dei HS (CA)
Martinez is the most polished high school catcher in the draft. He is rated the best high school player by two different websites, Espn and Baseball Elite, one of these reasons is people rave about his defense, saying his footwork is that of Ivan Rodriguez. He has potential to be a perennial gold glove candidate. He also hit .400 in 29 games while only striking out 8 times. One thing Jeremy Martinez has going for him is that his floor is extremely high. Even if he doesn't hit he will stay in the majors along time due to his fabulous defense. The scary thing about Martinez though is that he does hit and hit well. He takes pride in not striking out and rarely does he not put the ball in play. I think Martinez has the best floor out of all the high school position players.
5. Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
The 6’-4”, 180-pound right-hander can get his fastball up to 97 mph, but prefers to sit at 92-95, and both his curveball and change-up are good pitches. He is considered the premier arm coming out of college. He could stand to add some weight which would let him sit around 94-97, and increase his floor and ceiling. He has great mound presence and a high understanding of the game. His Baseball IQ is off the charts and he knows how to pitch, rather than just get by on pure stuff. Even if he isn't a starter I think he could be one of the best closers in baseball. This gives Stanek increased value even if he doesn't turn out as a starter, which he most definitely will. I would say ceiling is Good number 1 and floor is top notch closer.
6. Karsten Whitson, RHP, Florida
At 6’-3” and 200 pounds, his fastball can reach the upper-90s with movement and he also adds a plus curveball and above-average change-up. Karsten Whitson is an interesting guy, who has really gotten by on stuff alone to this point and doesn't have a really high baseball IQ. If Karsten Whitson figured out how to pitch to guys rather than overpower them we would be talking about him being the best pitcher in the draft. His stuff is scary good, and he has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in here. Unfortunately he has the lowest floor as well. Was taken 9th overall in 2010, decided to attend the University of Florida. He hasn't really blown anyone away with his stats and probably could stand to gain more control and consistency. If he harnesses his stuff I think his ceiling is Ace and his floor is closer.
7. Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
Bryant is arguably the best college bat in the draft. Over 57 games, he hit .366 with 17 doubles, 14 home runs, 56 RBI, nine stolen bases and had 39 walks for a slash line of .483/.671/1.154. He absolutely crushes fastballs, but has trouble with the breaking ball. If he wants to stick in the big leagues he has to learn how to hit the breaking ball with more consistency. He has very good speed for his size, and a pretty good glove, which should allow him to stick at third base. Another good think about Kris is that he has a fantastic eye and excellent strike zone recognition. Monster athlete at 6’-5”, 215-pounds and is capable of playing the all the corners. I would say he is the best college bat available and probably the best pure hitter defense aside. His number one comp to me would be Mark Trumbo in his first little stint so far.
8. Bobby Wahl, RHP, Ole Miss
The 6’-3”, 210-pound, right-hander is a big, power pitcher. His fastball sits in the low-90's and has a filthy slider. Needs work on his command, and could be one of the first college pitchers off the board. His command isn't to bad though as he didn't have horrible walk rates. One thing he has going for him is that he faced excellent competition in the SEC so he should move quickly through the minors, and should be able to help the major league club pretty quickly. He has a fairly high floor and low ceiling. He went 7-4 with a 2.55 ERA with 104 SO versus 32BB in 99.0 Innings pitched.
9. I think we all know about Mark Appel he would probably be number two behind Austin Meadows. Just wanted to get the new guys in.
Thank you for reading, and please leave feedback or questions. Also vote on the poll below!
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