Draft : : Prospect Scouting Reports
MLB Draft Prospect Reports: 1-50
Thursday, May 30, 2013
After updating the top 500 draft eligible prospects we are now providing the scouting reports for the top 250 players in batches of 50. There are many more scouting reports available in the individual state previews as well as the updated top 100 Junior College prospects. Please visit the Perfect Game Draft Preview content page for links to all of these features.
1. JONATHAN GRAY, rhp, University of Oklahoma (Jr.)
A combination of better conditioning and improving mechanics have vaulted Gray from a potential first round pick before the season to a potential first overall pick when the Houston Astros kick off the draft on June 6. Gray has been lighting up radar guns in the 95-100 range while peaking as high as 102 mph consistently all spring and maintaining his velocity deep into starts. His slider, which some scouts feel the Oklahoma coaching staff calls too frequently, is a second plus pitch in the mid- to upper-80s with a hard and deep late bite. Not only has Gray shown dominant stuff that has been compared to Justin Verlander, he’s shown the ability to use it as well, posting a 8-1, 1.20 record in 89 innings, with only 51 hits and 16 walks allowed to go with 104 strikeouts. Batters are hitting .166-1-15 against Gray this year. Gray was a well-known prospect out of Chandler, Okla. as a high schooler, topping out at 93 mph, but was only picked in the 13th round (Royals) and again in the 10th round (Pirates) after attending Eastern Oklahoma JC in 2011 before transferring to Oklahoma. For more on the big right-hander, read Frankie Piliere’s Perfect Game Draft Focus profile here.
2. MARK APPEL, rhp, Stanford University (Sr.)
After turning down the Pittsburgh Pirates, who made Appel the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Appel returned to Stanford for his senior season. It's no secret that while Appel had the physical gifts to potential become the No. 1 overall pick last year, his signing bonus demands proved detrimental in the enviornment of the new CBA. A Boras Corp. client, signability is still going to be a major factor in where Appel actually comes off the board this year as well. While the perception is that he'll have less leverage this time around as a college senior, Appel has the kind of talent that should get him serious consideration to be a top two overall pick. Appel has the stuff, size and track record to justify spending a major portion of a team's bonus pool to acquire his services, and appears to be as close to big league ready as any prospect in this draft. The 6-foot-5 righty consistently works in the mid-90s and can run his fastball into the upper-90s on occasion. He combines that with a changeup that frequently flashes plus in the mid-80s, and he has a vicious knockout slider that has allowed him to continue to pile up the strikeouts this spring (84 through first 70-1/3 IP). Click here to read Appel's detailed Draft Focus report.
3. KRIS BRYANT, 3b, University of San Diego (Jr.)
The top spot is a very hotly contested and debatable case between the best power bat in the draft and the best power arm. While Stanford's Mark Appel has plenty of merit for not only the top ranking spot in the state, it is far from a slam dunk. The nod ultimately goes to the senior with potential ace level stuff and the numbers to back it up. But Bryant is currently leading the nation with 21 home runs through his first 145 at-bats (one per every 6.9 ABs) in 40 games and is likely under at least some consideration for the No. 1 overall pick. Bryant has two question marks surrounding him: his strikeout/swing and miss rate, and his ability to stick at third base long term. Aside from those reasonable questions, he's arguably the top talent in the entire class. He has enough arm strength to make right field a potential fallback option, which would give him more positional value than if he were to move across the diamond to first base. And while he is likely to always strike out a lot in his career, he has also proven his ability to hit quality pitching on a consistent basis this year, and is currently hitting .350/.528/.823 this season. Even though he's not expected to compete for batting titles at the big league level, he has shown plenty of ability to utilize his top-of-the-scale raw power and turn it into in-game power production. Click here to read Bryan'ts detailed Draft Focus report.
4. CLINT FRAZIER, of, Loganville HS (Ga.)
The Clint Frazier vs. Austin Meadows debate has been one of the central discussion points leading up to the draft this spring and will undoubtedly be debated even further in closed draft rooms in the weeks and days leading up to June 6. Frazier has responded to the scouting pressures with another incredible season and was hitting over .500 with 13 home runs as of this writing, including his spectacular two-home run game in his first match-up with Meadows in a very heavily scouted game in early March. Scouts seem to concede that Frazier has the best raw bat speed in the draft, college or high school, and now just needs to figure out the rest of picture. For more on the top ranked prospect in Perfect Game’s 2013 class rankings, click here for his full Draft Focus profile.
5. KOHL STEWART, rhp, St. Pius X HS, Tomball (Texas)
Stewart came into the spring with as many questions dogging him as any top prospect in the country but has stepped up and answered all of them emphatically. The first and most important question was the health of his right shoulder, which was injured in a football game in November. Not only did Stewart come back healthy, he came back better, with his fastball velocity consistently in the mid-90s, complemented by a newly developed curveball that immediately rivaled his already potential plus slider for quality. With his name now being mentioned frequently and almost exclusively among the top 10 picks, the questions about Stewart taking advantage of his football opportunities at Texas A&M have also become less frequent, although they are sure to play a leverage role in his draft negotiations. For more on the hard throwing Texas right hander, read his Perfect Game Draft Focus Profile here.
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