Last week I took a look at the 2012 draft to see where those prospects are now (you can find the article here). This week I am moving on to the 2013 draft. While the 2012 draft really helped propel the Astros to the World Series, the 2013 draft was the opposite. It was a failure overall. Either way, the Astros still came away with some contributors, it was not a good draft at all. Here are the top 10 picks and other notables.
Round 1, Pick 1 – Mark Appel, RHP
For the second straight season the Astros had the #1 overall pick. Appel made the wise decision to return to school following his selection as the 6th overall pick in the 2012 draft and came away with an even better senior season. The possible prospects that were #1 talent were Mark Appel, Jon Gray, and Kris Bryant...... Draft day came and the Astros selected the least successful player of those three when they picked Appel. Appel struggled for the majority of his minor league career posting a career 5.06 ERA in the minors with just 7.6 K/9. He was eventually traded to the Phillies in the Ken Giles deal so the Astros got a little value for him, but it was just a bad bad pick. Prior to Appel, the last #1 overall pick that didn’t touch the majors was Brien Taylor in 1991 and this was due to injuries. Before that? You have to go back to 1966.
Oh and Kris Bryant won an MVP and World Series with the Cubs in 2016.
Round 2, Pick 40 – Andrew Thurman, RHP
Coming out of college, Thurman seemed like a pretty sure thing. Great size, solid stuff, good results in college. His minor league debut was solid with a 3.86 ERA in 39.2 innings but he struggled after that. He had a 5.38 ERA the next season and was subsequently dealt for Evan Gattis in the off-season before the 2015 season. He was in the Braves for a couple years before being signed by LA as a free agent. He pitched there for the 2017 season but hasn’t been in pro ball since ending his career with a 5.11 minor league ERA.
Round 3, Pick 74 – Kent Emanuel, LHP
Emanuel was a good prospect coming out of North Carolina but one that was overused. He came into the Astros system and has been pretty solid throughout his minor league career. He most recently pitched in AAA in the Astros system in 2019 and had a 3.90 ERA while pitching mostly out of the pen. Overall he had a 4.77 career minor league ERA.
Round 4, Pick 107 – Conrad Gregor, 1B
Gregor was another successful college hitter from Vanderbilt with traits the Astros seemed to value, on base percentage. He came into the system and played well initially including a season where he slashed .311/.404/.509 with 31 2B, 16 HR. Unfortunately he struggled to replicate these numbers and eventually signed with Boston in 2017. After one season in their system he played independent ball for the last few years.
Round 5, Pick 137 – Tony Kemp, 2B
Teammates with Gregor in college, Kemp was a spark plug coming out of college, and it continued to his career. He put up great season in the minor league system including hitting .316 in 2014, .308 in 2015 and .306 in 2016 as he made his MLB debut. He has been up and down a bit and was ultimately traded during the 2019 season but he left lasting memories with Astros fans and was a joy to watch.
Round 6, Pick 167 – Jacob Nottingham, C
Nottingham was drafted out of high school and quickly jumped up the list of catching prospects. He started the 2015 season on fire hitting .324 with 10 HR in Quad Cities before earning a promoted to High-A. The Astros ended up flipping him at the deadline for Scott Kazmir as they made their playoff push. He was later traded to Milwaukee and debuted in 2018. He has played in 18 MLB games to this point in his career.
Round 7, Pick 197 – James Ramsay, OF
Ramsay was a safe pick out of the University of South Florida. He was a phenomenal fielder but the bat was the question. The bat never really came around though as he hit just .195 above A ball. He was in the Astros system for three years but last played in 2016. According to MiLB.com, he is still showing active on the Hooks roster, but its very likely a mistake.
Round 8, Pick 227 – Jason Martin, OF
Martin was selected out of high school and actually turned himself into a solid prospect. After a mini breakout in 2015 he put together a solid 2016 season where he posted a .890 OPS with 23 HR, 20 SB in High-A. He followed that up with a good 2017 season too but was traded in the off-season prior to the 2018 season for Gerrit Cole. He made his MLB debut in 2019 playing in 20 games.
Round 9, Pick 257 – Brian Holberton, C
Holberton was the typical low ceiling catcher selection the Astros made when filling out the back end of the top 10 picks. He played in the Astros system for three years but hit just .244 in those three seasons. He was released prior to the start of the 2016 season.
Round 10, Pick 287 – Austin Nicely, LHP
Nicely was drafted out of high school, and since he was a lefty, he was immediately on my radar. He never got it figured out though really struggling to throw strikes. He was in the Astros system until 2016 and had a 5.47 overall ERA. He has played in independent ball over the last two seasons.
Round 33, Pick 977 - Tyler White, 1B/3B
Everyone knows the story of White, and it was a fun rise to watch. He put together a great minor league career and continued to hit wherever he went. From a 33rd round pick to the pros is already an accomplishment but he broke onto the scene with a dominant first few weeks in the MLB (5 HR, 12 RBI, .340 BA in first 15 games). Unfortunately the early success he had never really came back and he was eventually traded to LA. He has played in 257 MLB games but has hit just .236.