DRAFT 2013: TOP 300 PROSPECTS: As part of Perfect Game's comprehensive pre-season coverage of the draft, Perfect Game draft experts Allan Simpson and David Rawnsley have identified the Top 300 Prospects eligible for the 2013 draft in batches of 100.
College Players Projected to Dominate Early Selections in 2013 Proceedings
The 2013 draft is still two full baseball seasons away, but already it is apparent that college talent will be the most-noteworthy demographic in demand. Eight of the first nine players on the accompanying preliminary list of the Top 300 Prospects in that draft class are from the college ranks.
University of Florida righthander Karsten Whitson, the highest unsigned pick from the 2010 draft, is the No. 1-ranked prospect, but California college talent otherwise dominates the top of the draft board. As many as seven or eight players from that state are projected to go in the first round a year from now.
The 2013 college crop has obviously been bolstered by the inclusion of Whitson and University of San Diego righthander Dylan Covey, two players that went unsigned as first-rounders two years ago. Whitson was picked ninth overall by the San Diego Padres while Covey was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 14th pick.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Whitson is slated to become the No. 2 starter this spring for Florida, the nation’s consensus No. 1 college team, after going 8-1, 2.40 with 28 walks and 92 strikeouts in 97 innings for the Gators as a freshman.
The 6-2, 195-pound Covey, meanwhile, struggled as a freshman for USD, posting just a 1-3, 7.86 record in nine starts. In 34 innings, he walked 28 and struck out 29. His status this spring for the Toreros is a little uncertain, but his future is considered very bright and he is ranked at No. 14 on the list of top prospects for the 2013 draft.
Neither Whitson nor Covey played summer ball following his freshman season, but both pitchers have been clocked in the 94-97 mph range in the past. At this point, Covey has much farther to go than Whitson to refine his command, but may have better overall raw stuff. Covey also continues to manage Type 1 diabetes that was diagnosed as part of a routine physical in August of 2010, and was a major contributing factor in his not signing with the Brewers.
Covey remains a centerpiece of the rich 2013 California college crop, but Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson has surged past him and is ranked No. 2 overall behind Whitson. A 12th-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2010, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Wilson would almost certainly have gone in the first round himself two years ago had he indicated a stronger willingness to forego an opportunity to play at Stanford.
Led by Wilson, Stanford has three sophomores targeted to go in the first round in 2013—just like this year, when it has three members of its junior class slated to go in the top round. Joining the highly-athletic Wilson a year from now as potential first rounders are righthander A.J. Vanegas (No. 22 on the accompanying list) and corner infielder Brian Ragira (No. 29).
The 2013 high-school crop has been much slower to evolve and has yet to identify a clear-cut top talent that might eventually challenge Whitson or Wilson for the No. 1 spot overall.
At this point, Kentucky righthander Clint Hollon (Woodford County High, Lexington) is ranked No. 1 by Perfect Game among top prep prospects on the strength of a fastball that has been clocked up to 98 mph. But he grades out at only No. 6 overall given the strength of the college crop.
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