2013 MLB Draft Positional Rankings: Outfielders

Scott Cunningham

The draft crew got together to identify the top outfield prospects in this rather impressive group.

Outside of the college pitching, this might be strongest group in the 2013 draft. The outfield group has loads of good athletes with long frames that will continue to add strength and power as they develop. But, it's not all just projectable power hitters in this class. There are several center fielders with leadoff hitter upside and even some standouts in centerfield who can still be middle of the order bats. It's a high upside group this year.

1. Clint Frazier

Frazier is an explosive, red-haired fireplug with the best bat speed we've seen in the draft since Javier Baez, if not longer. The 6'0" phenom from Loganville, GA plays with reckless abandon and is the most talented all-around hitter in the 2013 class. His swing is a vicious cut that makes his bat almost invisible in real time, and he has above average raw power that he maximizes completely with his hitting mechanics. He shows a great understanding for the nuances of hitting and should rise quickly for a high schooler. In the field, he has above average speed and an above average to plus arm, and is around 40% likely to stick in center field. Frazier should be a lock top 5 selection based on his combination of plus hit and power tools. -kyuss94

2. Austin Meadows

Meadows looks the part of a big leaguer. He's got tons of tools, including the speed to play center field, the arm to play the corner outfield spots, and the power to play wherever he ends up. His contact tool has some question marks surrounding it, but when he squares the ball up, it goes a long way. A potential center fielder who can crank 25-30 home runs is a hard guy to pass up, so it's no wonder a lot of teams love him. -Anthony Boyer

3. Hunter Renfroe

Renfroe has always had his fair share of tools but not until this season, has the stats backed up what scouts loved. He's shown the ability to hit for a good average and now he's showing plus power. Although, his ability to hit for average may not translate to pro ball immediately because there is some swing and miss to him at the plate. Combined with decent speed and a very strong arm, he projects to be an above-average defensive right fielder as well. -subber10

4. Phillip Ervin

Ervin gets discounted because of his size – 5'10", 195 – but he's been one of the more productive college bats in this year's class. He's a true four-tool player, and I think he can play centerfield in the Majors, which increases his value as a prospect. He has the potential for three above-average tools (defense, hit, speed) and two average tools (power and arm). I think there's .280, 20 HR, 20 SB potential, with good defense, here. One of the safer picks in the draft. -jsams

5. Austin Wilson

Though his college career has been somewhat turbulent, Wilson showed fairly well this year after returning from injury and still possesses the prodigious power that once had him in the discussion for the first overall selection. Wilson is a behemoth with plus-plus raw power and a rapid, level swing that should allow him to hit for some average to go along with his power. His arm is also plus and he has the range to play right field despite his massive size. Though far from a finished product as a hitter, Wilson has the combination of mechanics and tools to be a star, and should still be a mid-first round selection despite how long it took him to get his feet under him at Stanford. -kyuss94

6. Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge is a big-bodied, athletic specimen. 6'7", 230 pounds, with great athleticism, he looks more like a tight end than a baseball player. With an accurate, but not overly-strong arm and above-average speed, it's difficult to peg where he'll land, but left field may be the final answer. -Anthony Boyer

7. Cord Sandberg

A top 250 football recruit as a quarterback and the nephew of Ryne, Sandberg flashes five tools and could be a steal if a team lures him away from Mississippi State, where he is committed as their future signal-caller. Cord has 60 speed on the 20-80 scale, and his quarterback background shows in his plus outfield arm. His lefty swing is very pretty, and he generates backspin and loft that makes full use of his significant power. Though somewhat raw at this point, Sandberg has the potential to make an impact in all phases of the game. -kyuss94

8. Billy McKinney

The 6'1", 195 pound McKinney differs from the typical HS hitting prospect. Usually HS hitters are drafted based on tools and projectablity, neither of which McKinney has a lot of. Instead, he's one of the more polished HS bats in the draft, and presents a relatively safe pick. The Major League comparison I made early in the season is David Murphy. He's going to be at least average everywhere, with potential to be an above-average hitter. His swing is extremely simple and effective. He's committed to TCU. -jsams

9. Josh Hart

A HS centerfielder with true five-tool potential. He's already a plus-plus runner with a good arm, profiling as a Major League centerfielder. He's shown signs of a good hit tool, with some power potential. That said, his swing scares me. I'm not a swing expert, but to my eyes, it lacks balance and fluidity. He has decent bat speed, but unless his swing gets fixed, he may struggle against advanced pitching. The 6'1", 190 pound OF is committed to Georgia Tech. -jsams

10. Ryan Boldt

A plus runner with a strong arm, Boldt is a centerfield leadoff hitter in the making. A clean swing that results in consistent contact. He's probably never going to be a home run hitter, but with his toolset, he'll make up for it in other areas. -Anthony Boyer

11. Trey Ball

This is the best two-way prospect in this years draft class as he projects to be mid-to-top of the rotation top starter as a left-handed pitcher, but also projects to be a good left-handed hitter with pop. His long levers allows for him to generate some strong leverage, especially as he fills out his lanky frame and could provide above-average to plus power. He has a really nice swing as well and could hit for an above-average batting average if all breaks well. For a kid his size, he runs pretty well and he has plenty of arm to project as an above-average defensive right-fielder. -subber10

12. Mason Smith

Joining Joe Martarano in a strong Idaho high school crop, Smith is an above average athlete with projection in his frame and significant raw power. His swing is quick and he generates a lot of bat speed, but he needs to work on loosening up his mechanics and using all fields more. He plays with a lot of energy in the field and should be a fine defender at an outfield corner. His bat speed and power are his mealtickets, and he shows the makings of a great swing and approach. There's a lot of offensive upside here if a team is willing to be patient with him. -kyuss94

13. Michael Lorenzen

The two-way college player at Cal State Fullerton is known for his outstanding defense and plus-arm in centerfield. At the plate, he leaves much to be desired. Not many believe he'll be able to hit enough to get his standout defense in the lineup on a daily basis. Drew Stubbs with less power is his upside, where as Brandon Barnes is his Major League floor. If hitting doesn't work out, a bullpen spot could be in his future, as he closes in college, with a solid fastball/slider combo. -jsams

14. Justin Williams

Williams has the ability to be an impact player, with plus-plus raw power, good speed, and a strong arm. He can profile at any corner infield or outfield position. A 6'3", 215-pounder with projectability and good athleticism. -Anthony Boyer

15. Terry McClure

McClure is a plus athlete and it shows in his play defensively. He's a good center-fielder and projects to stay there, which is a good thing because his arm is just average at best and couldn't handle a move to right. Every thing he does is quick, including his bat speed. However, his hands and back elbow are really high in swing and makes it very long which limits the impact of his quickness. He has some work to do, but the tools are there to be at least average across the board. -subber10

16. Dane McFardland

This kid has potential to be an impact bat as he fills out his frame to add strength. He could hit for a lot of power down the road but needs time to develop. He already has good bat speed and has good leverage from his frame so already hits for good power with metal bats. However, the long swing needs to be toned down. He posts above-average times in the 60, but will likely see his speed decline as he fills out and will need to be a corner outfielder. That corner will probably be left with his below-average arm strength. -subber10

17. KJ Woods

The 6'4", 210 pound Woods is big man with huge raw power and a huge arm. His power/arm combo fit a potential RF profile, and he has just enough athleticism to make it work. If not, he'll end up at first, which strips his cannon-arm of most of it's value. There are definitely concerns about his hit tool, but his power is hard to ignore. Although he's raw at the plate, I do like his swing, and think it's something you can work with. He's committed to South Carolina. -jsams

18. Billy Roth

A big righty with a smooth swing, good raw power, and a great awareness of the strike zone. Generates a lot of leverage in his swing. Two-way player who threw in the low 90s. -Anthony Boyer

19. Michael O'Neill

O'Neill is kind of a tweener where he doesn't quite have enough speed to be a center fielder, but doesn't really have the power for a corner spot. He'll need to cut down on the strikeouts to provide enough offense to demand an everyday role. He's one of the safer bats in the lower half of this list, but lacks upside. Decent hitter and will be a decent defender. -subber10

20. Matthew McPhearson

Speed and line-drive approach make McPhearson an interesting prospect. He has plus speed that work well in center field and on the base paths. However, his size and swing plane allow for little projection for power. If everything breaks right, he could be a good a lead-off hitter who can stretch singles into doubles or take second on a stolen base. -subber10

Honorable Mention

Jordan Paroubeck, Stephen Wrenn, Anfernee Grier, Ivan Wilson

Next Up: Pitchers

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