First and foremost, lets start by throwing logic aside and just take the kid with the last name of Biggio. Secondly, The following write up will cover a few of the top arms in the draft class of 2013. I will look into things such as projectabillity, nuances and hitches of their mechanics, probability of arm injury due to mechanical fault, and will be ranking them as well. Nothing is more full proof for determining future success than breaking down the mechanics of a ball player. I have biomechanics software that allows me to do what I consider to be pretty in-depth analysis of their motions. I'm am just too lazy to get video on the entire top 25 or so, therefore, I'll just be doing a few.
Appel has very sound mechanics, but there is still room for improvement. He repeats his motion pretty well. He has good back leg drive, paired with excellent hip and shoulder separation which gives him the velocity he has. During back leg extension he does collapse it a bit, which leads me to believe hes got an extra 3-5 mph in the tank. Really the only other concern mechanically I can see is that he has a bit of a swinging motion with his hips right as he starts his motion and just before he goes into his lead leg lift, and that is very minor. Mechanically there's nothing that stands out that screams injury risk so he seems to be a very safe choice all around. He has a very impressive arsenal with a mid 90's fastball and a good hard slider accompanied by a very serviceable changeup with speed differential and movement. With good mental makeup, the sky is the limit for this kid, because the stuff is there. You can absolutely make an argument that he should be the first overall choice.
Stanek has good mechanics overall, though there are a few things that need attention. First off, He creates an angle with his shoulders coming down the mound that points in the direction of the 3rd base dugout. This makes it harder to repeat his motion and causes his lead leg to swing towards its landing position rather than drive directly to it. This can create control problems if left unattended. Guys like felix do this, and It's not necessarily wrong or a must fix, but I wouldn't reccomend it. Some believe it can create a velocity vector, but its not desirable for sustained control. Also he does not get a strong hip lead, which can reduce velocity up to 5mph in some cases. Other than that he uses his body and lower half well and creates good velocity with late movement on his deliveries. His fastball touches 96-97 and he has excellent movement on his 2 seam and good bite to his other deliveries. I believe he will continue to mature, and has TOR potential going forward. There appear to be no signs of injury to come, and he's a very talented pitcher who should be taken in the top 3.
Indiana St., junior
Manea is very intriguing in that he's a southpaw who can crank it up and occasionally sit in the mid 90's with decent secondary. He does not have a whole lot of control of his secondary. He has the same hitch mechanically as Stanek in that he angles his shoulders towards the 1st base dugout but he does it on a greater scale. He also angles his hips in that direction which causes him to swing the leg open to get it in its proper position. This can also create variability in consistent velocity because the motion is not easily repeatable and can vary each delivery. He has a very strong lower half. There is a moment in his delivery right before his lead leg lands that he looks like he could sit in a chair with the back leg action hes getting. He gets very low to the ground and explodes, as well as rotates, very efficiently off the rubber. He's a hard thrower and I believe he has even more in him as he matures and gets major league mechanical help. Hes also gets good stride length which increases velocity to the eye of a hitter. every foot longer in stride accounts for roughly 3 mph to the eye of the hitter, and it looks like he definitely throws a hard fastball to the perception of a hitter. There is a tad bit of a concern in the injury department. He looks to have a bit of early external rotation in his throwing shoulder before his release point. It does not drag behind his head, so its not a big red flag, but if that arm slows just a little bit in his motion, he could have some arm issues down the road. If his cape cod success is any indication of success to come this year, then he may go top 3. He has massive upside. If he can bump it up to 96 with a few hitches in his giddy up, there's no telling how hard he could be throwing with a few adjustments. I think he has the biggest upside in this years pitching class, but he is one of the riskier college arms among the upper echelon guys.
St. Pius HS, TX
Stewart is the highest rated high school arm by Jonathon Mayo. He is a two sport athlete and committed to Texas A&M for both sports which makes him a risky pick with A&M on the rise athletically. He has good velocity, with his FB touching 95 and decent secondary. Mechanically he keeps it pretty simple. He has a compact motion with a short stride. He stays tall in his delivery which allows his lead leg to straighten at release and shoot momentum through his body to the point of release, creating a momentum catapult resulting in extra velocity. He doesnt have very strong back leg drive, but keeps the back leg linear and from collapsing at any point in his delivery. He has probably the best hip to shoulder separation of the five, which gives him the velocity he has. His mechanics are very similar to our own Jarred Cosart. His mechanics are very easily repeatable, and he looks progressed well beyond his years. I like him a hell of a lot, and would love to see the astros take him if he falls, and pay him overslot just as they did with McCullers. Theres nothing I can see mechanically that leads me to believe he'll experience arm trouble. He's pretty safe for a high school arm and is a no doubt top 10 talent.
I'm not gonna analyze Trey Ball. I refuse to analyze a two way guy at this hour of the night. That's where I draw the line.
Crawford owns the most mechanical faults of the bunch. He creates little momentum going down the mound and uses little of his lower half in general. His back leg collapses as his lead leg touches down, creating a black hole for momentum and energy. It takes his momentum and sends it to the ground, where as it should be directed towards home plate. He also consistently lands to the right of the mound if your looking from the mound to home plate which is not ideal. Although he has mechanical faults, he is able to repeat his motion incredibly well. His velocity comes from the same place Stewarts does, in his hip to shoulder separation and his straightening of the lead leg at the point of ball release. This late shoulder rotation is the reason he touches 96 on the gun. Like most pitchers with faults that dont know they have them, he has learned to pitch with them, and he has had very good success at that. There is nothing to lead me to believe that he will have arm trouble in the future other than his lack of the use of his legs. I believe that with his feel for pitching, improvement to his motion could make him a TOR arm no doubt. I believe he will go before Stewart due to his collegiate status and greater projectability to most scouts.
I rank these 5..
Biggest upside: It's close, but the edge goes to Manaea
Biggest risk: Stewart, simply because hes a high school arm
Biggest risk for injury: Manaea
Safest pick: Appel
MY pick: Appel
Thanks for taking a look
Who would y'all like to see go 1.1?