2013 MLB Draft Positional Rankings: College Pitchers

Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

There are only a handful with top of the rotation upside, but this class is packed with high floor prospects.

College pitchers offer great floor type players as they are mostly guys without high upside but are developed enough where you can say he's going to pitch in the majors. It may be as a starter or reliever, but they are good bets to do it. This class exemplifies that. There are only a handful of starters that you can dream on being top of the rotation starters, but they are very strong with floors. There's a drop off from the top tier, but the second tier of college pitchers has a lot of depth. Teams will surely get a lot of value here.

1. Mark Appel, RHP, 6-5, 215, Stanford

Appel is the total package. The Houston native not only has above average command, but the best raw stuff of any pitcher in this draft class. He features a plus-plus changeup that has really come along in his senior season, and he rounds out his arsenal with a plus curveball and plus fastball. He also throws a slider. His mechanics are clean, and he's improved a lot since coming to Stanford. There is very little not to like about Appel- if anything, his college workloads have been quite taxing, but he's still the #1 overall prospect on most boards this season. -kyuss94

2. Jonathan Gray, RHP, 6-4, 240, Oklahoma

He's been driving up draft boards all spring as he's finally put together what scouts hoped he would. His high-90's heat has gained consistency so that it can truly be labeled as plus and you can even be aggressive and say it could be plus-plus if he commands it better. Gray also features a plus slider that he still needs to gain a good bit of command with, but has great features to it that will make it effective. He has a very large frame that scouts think will make him durable. However, there is some arm effort to his delivery. He is consideration at the first overall pick. -subber10

3. Braden Shipley, RHP, 6-3, 190, Nevada

A converted position player for the Wolf Pack, Shipley has exploded onto the scene this season with his combination of athleticism, velocity and pretty mechanics. A gas throwing righty, Shipley sits between 93 and 96 with his fastball and can touch a tad higher. He also possesses a plus changeup that projects as his out pitch. Though a bit raw, Shipley has #2 starter upside and should be a top 10 selection next week. -kyuss94

4. Chris Anderson, RHP, 6-4, 225, Jacksonville

Jacksonville's ace has had an excellent season in all regards, and has the stuff, body and mechanics to be a special pitcher. Featuring a mid-90s fastball and a fantastic curveball, Anderson shows great feel for pitching, and also throws a changeup with great arm speed. Though he comes from a small school, he's fairly advanced and should be ready for a high-A assignment in 2014. -kyuss94

5. Ryne Stanek, RHP, 6-4, 190, Arkansas

Ryne Stanek has failed to reach the expectations set for him coming into the spring for draft nuts. His fastball just didn't reach the mid-90's as consistently as hoped and a string of poor starts that had him exit games way too early for a potential top flight starter dropped his stock. However, as the season wore on, he improved a lot with his slider showing it's plus potential and velocity getting into the mid-90's more consistently as well as maintaining it deeper into games. But, with the curve ball and changeup still needing a good bit of projection and his mechanics, he's not what many had expected. He still has top of the rotation upside but significant chance to be a reliever. -subber10

6. Marco Gonzales, LHP, 6-1, 185, Gonzaga

Gonzaga's Friday starter, Gonzales is not an especially hard thrower, sitting 88-91, but he has excellent command and secondary stuff- his changeup and curveball are both above average. He trusts his stuff and goes after hitters, and should be in the majors in short order. His low velocity is concerning, but as long as he can sit around 90 MPH in the pros, he can be a #4 starter. -kyuss94

7. Sean Manaea, LHP, 6-5, 235, Indiana State

Many thought early on that Stanek was going to be the most disappointing of the top prospects going into the season. But, it's Manaea who didn't regain his stock. It all starts with a nagging hip injury which can be scary for a pitcher. Then the shoulder injury that forced him to not make his last start of the season. You couple in that his fastball sank into the 80's at times this year and his breaking ball just being as sharp as in the Cape last summer, teams are scared. He already had poor mechanics, now some teams are questioning if he's worth a first round selection. But, a team still sold on his upside could pull the trigger in the first. -subber10

8. Andrew Thurman, RHP, 6-3, 205, UC Irvine

The star of a strong UC Irvine staff, Thurman is a 6'3" righthander who throws in the 90-93 MPH range with his heater, which has significant life. His best pitch, however is his heavy changeup, which comes in between 78-81 MPH, and dives away from right handed hitters with late sink and plays excellently off of his fastball. Thurman also throws a curveball, and though its shape is inconsistent, he can snap off a beauty now and again. Thurman has the upside of a strong #3 if things break right. -kyuss94

9. Alex Balog, RHP, 6-6, 225, San Francisco

Alex Balog hasn't performed up to his potential at all during his college time, the stuff flashes a chances at having three average to plus pitches. You could actually dream on all three of the fastball, changeup, and slider being plus. That gives him a high ceiling, but his track record suggests that it won't break that way as just hasn't struck out enough to be dominant and allows too many walks. He has a large frame and could be a durable pitcher. The upside is there, but there is significant risk given he has a very low floor for a college pitcher. -subber10

10. Alex Gonzalez, RHP, 6-3, 200, Oral Roberts

Alex Gonzalez is an interesting pitcher since he has a repertoire that is more like a Mariana Rivera than a starter. He pitches primarily off of his cutter like Rivera and he can run it up to 94 and he then compliments it with a slider. The cutter is very good pitch and has as much run on it as some of the sliders out there. It all hangs on the changeup. If it continues to develop he could a legitimate middle of the rotation starter, but if not, he could be a poor mans Rivera or a setup man. -subber10

11. Jonathan Crawford, RHP, 6-1, 205, Florida

Crawford has some of the best raw stuff in the class, and has every opportunity to turn into a fine major league starter if he improves his command. However, he has a lot of awkward wasted movement in his delivery and there's some concern over whether that will happen. However, despite that, his combination of plus velocity and two potential above-average secondaries should make him a first round pick. -kyuss94

12. Aaron Blair, RHP, 6-5, 220, Marshall

Aaron Blair and Adam Plutko were both drafted by the Astros in 2010. Both didn't sign but it was Plutko that fans were disappointed that he didn't sign because he was much more highly regarded. Fast forward and it's now Blair who is the better prospect. He's tall and durable and brings his 93-94 fastball all game long. It's a plus pitch for its movement which creates plenty of groundballs. His curve is an average pitch when it's on and the changeup needs work but could an average pitch as well. He could be middle of the rotation starter at his peak. -subber10

13. Bobby Wahl, RHP, 6-3, 210, Ole Miss

Ranked in a lot of top tens to open the season, Wahl has had a great season for Ole Miss but has seen his stock slip in the eyes of pro evaluators. Though he has an excellent fastball and a workhorse frame, Wahl's secondary stuff is lacking, and so is his command. He tends to nibble a little bit, and walked a lot of hitters as a junior. He is reminiscent of recent prospects such as Zach Lee and Jacob Turner who have great velocity and pitching physiques but underwhelming stuff otherwise. -kyuss94

14. Ryan Eades, RHP, 6-3, 198, LSU

Ryan Eades has a four pitch mix, but none of them really standout consistently. His fastball is wavering with respect to velocity and can reach 94 and the curve has shown flashes of being above-average but he also has a slider that lags behind as well as a changeup. He'll use them all, but teams may drop the slider in hopes of refining the curve. He has some issues with his mechanics and control which has his stock a little lower than when the season started. -subbe10

15. Cody Reed, LHP, 6-5, 220, Northwest Mississippi CC

Cody Reed is an under-the-radar prospect in the college ranks because he's in the JuCo ranks but offers a lot of upside with significant risk. He's a sophomore so his age is an attractive point. Reed went from throwing low-80's in HS to now throwing 92-95 and complimenting it with a hard curveball and much improved mechanics. He threw a no hitter last season and has continued to improve. He has a large frame and attacks hitters. He has some very high upside. -subber10

16. Kevin Ziomek, LHP, 6-3, 200, Vanderbilt

Ziomek couples some odd mechanics with some intrigue. He crosses over his body to deliver the ball which brings the pitch in at a tough angle to read. He throws low-90's and the angle at which he throws makes his average slider action to play up and makes it almost impossible for lefty's to hit. He needs work on his changeup to be a starter but he has a good shot of pitching in the majors as at least a very tough LOOGY. -subber10

17. Jason Hursh, RHP, 6-1, 200, Oklahoma State

Tommy John wiped his 2012 season away, but he came back strong this year. He is still showing mid-90's heat with good life. That alone makes him worth a pick at some point as his fastball will likely be strong enough to rely on as a bullpen guy. But, his slider and changeup could be average pitchers which makes him a potential starter in the majors. His arm history is definitely a concern, though. -subber10

18. Trey Masek,, RHP, 6-1, 195, Texas Tech

He's a smaller pitcher and he had some injury concerns in the past which could push him into the bullpen down the road. But, he shows three pitches that he can throw for strikes and all project to be average pitches. The fastball gets up to 94 at times and the changeup has some good sink and fade. The mechanics are funky and could be the source of the injury woes, but they allow his average stuff to play up with deception. -subber10

19. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP, 6-0, 175, Oregon

The top college closer this season, Sherfy is a right hander with a high-effort, crossfire delivery. His fastball is stellar, sitting 93-94 with fantastic arm side run. He also throws a divebomb slider at 80-84 with two plane break that plays tremendously off of his fastball. Sherfy has closer grit and the stuff to move quickly, and could contribute to a major league bullpen in 2014. -kyuss94

20. Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP, 6-4, 215, Seminole State CC

The Mets drafted him in the second round last year and he gave them the Stanki and went to college. He was committed to Arkansas but decided to go JuCo so he could be drafted again this year. He's pitched well and showed that he has pitchability. He throws four pitches, but concentrates on three. The fastball could be plus as he continues to grow some. The slider and changeup are probably average pitches at best but he knows how to use them. He can control them pretty well, but the slider in particular, doesn't have large break. -subber10

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