With the minor league season quickly wrapping up, here are how this year’s first rounders have handled the transition into professional ball. (Note: Here’s PD’s Collegiate Draft Big Board.)
#1. Mark Appel, RHP, Houston Astros
Made a brief five-inning debut in Low-A before jumping to Quad Cities. Appel’s numbers have largely been unimpressive, including two clunkers (2 IP, 4 BB, 1 ER against Burlington and 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 2 K against Wisconsin).
#2. Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
Number one college player on my big board, Bryant breezed through Low-A (.354/.415/.692) and is hitting .360/.385/.760 in 26 PA in high Class A. He already has 18 extra-base hits (10 doubles, one triple, and seven dingers).
#3. Jonathan Gray, RHP, Colorado Rockies
Will always be compared with #1 pick Appel, the Rockies right-hander has been nothing short of dominant thus far. Through 27.1 IP split between the Pioneer and California Leagues, Gray has punched out 33 and walked just seven.
#4. Kohl Stewart, RHP, Minnesota Twins
The first high-schooler taken, Stewart’s shown a strong feel for the zone (1.7 BB/9) while averaging a punch out per inning.
#5. Clint Frazier, CF, Cleveland Indians
Has always shown above-average pop (20 extra-base hits), but the strikeouts are already a bit of concern (30.8% K-rate). Still, though, Frazier’s hitting .311/.361/.530, but needs to cut down on the swings-and-misses if he hopes to avoid turning into another Bubba Starling.
#6. Colin Moran, 3B, Miami Marlins
Jumped straight to Class A from the University of North Carolina, Moran is hitting a respectable, though unimpressive, .264/.308/.406. Still doesn’t look like much of a power threat, but could develop into 20 or so homeruns down the line.
#7. Trey Ball, LHP, Boston Red Sox
Ball’s thrown just five innings thus far, striking out four and walking six.
#8. Hunter Dozier, 3B/SS, Kansas City Royals
An overdraft in order to save money for left-hander Sean Manaea, Dozier quickly signed and has already accumulated 241 PA. Hit .293/.397/.505 in rookie ball, before a recent promotion to Lexington. Have to wonder if the bat plays at the hot corner.
#9. Austin Meadows, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Will always be compared to buddy Clint Frazier, the Pirates’ first pick in the draft is hitting .315/.407/.531 with better on-base and contact skills with similar power.
#10. Phil Bickford, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Did not sign – a decision likely to haunt the young right-hander at some point down the line.
#11 Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets
Hitting .264/.365/.386 with solid peripherals – 12.6% BB-rate and 21.0% K-rate – but the power has been below-average (.121 Isolated Power).
#12. D.J. Peterson, 3B, Seattle Mariners
The third best hitter among draft-eligible college players, Peterson’s hitting an impressive .304/.364/.546 between Low-A and A-ball. He’s already amassed 22 extra-base knocks (nine doubles, one triple, and a dozen homeruns).
#13. Hunter Renfroe, RF, San Diego Padres
Made the Hunter Pence comparison prior to the draft and it still holds: .297/.333/.500 with a potentially troubling 32-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
#14. Reese McGuire, C, Pittsburgh Pirates
The second of the Pirates’ first round picks. McGuire is off to an impressive start, hitting .317/.378/.388 while throwing out 41% of would-be base stealers.
#15. Braden Shipley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Had Shipley as the fourth best collegiate prospect, the former everyday-player-turned-starting-pitcher is sporting a 28-to-6 strikeout to walk ratio through 24 innings. Suffering from some incredibly poor luck (6.38 ERA vs. 2.96 SIERA).
#16. J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies
In the argument for best performance from the 2013 draft class, Crawford’s hitting .345/.443/.465 with an elite eye at the plate (14.9% BB-rate), solid contact skills (14.9% K-rate), good speed (12 stolen base), and gap-to-gap power. According to Weighted Runs Created Plus, his total offensive production has been 71% better than the league average.
#17. Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox
Not surprising for an aggressive organization, the White Sox pushed Anderson straight to A-ball, and the results have been mixed. Hitting just .263/.335/.343 but has swiped 21 bags in 25 attempts.
#18. Chris Anderson, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The big right-hander’s dominated the Midwest League by punching out 42 while allowing just 8 ER through 39 innings. Anderson’s control/command has been a bit of an issue thus far though (4.6 BB/9).
#19. Marco Gonzales, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals
For the second straight year the Cardinals have taken a high profile college arm in the mid to late first round. Gonzales appears to be on the fast track (no surprise), and has already made three appearances in High-A.
#20. Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Detroit Tigers
A reliever in the long term due to team need and below-average control, Crawford, nonetheless, has been solid in 19 low Class A innings, striking out 21 while walking nine.
#21. Nick Ciuffo, C, Tampa Bay Rays
Really struggling with the bat so far, hitting just .256/.291/.316 with six doubles and one triple.
#22. Hunter Harvey, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
Thrown only 13.1 innings, but has managed to strikeout 18 with just one walk and giving up 10 hits.
#23. Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Texas Rangers
The Oral Roberts University standout could potentially move fast, but he’s not missing a whole lot of bats (7.3 K/9), though the control is solid average (3.1 BB/9).
#24. Billy McKinney, CF, Oakland A’s
Good initial showing but nothing too noteworthy, McKinney is batting .308/.375/.397 and his total offensive production has been 19% better than the league average.
#25. Christian Arroyo, SS, San Francisco Giants
The single biggest surprise in the first round – and maybe the entire draft – Arroyo looks awfully good with the bat, showing a solid or better hit tool, promising power (17 doubles, three triples, and a homerun), and a smidgeon of speed.
#26. Eric Jagielo, 3B, New York Yankees
Hitting .273/.382/.424, which is a reasonable expectation for his big league ceiling minus about 30 points of OBP and add a little more power.
#27. Phillip Ervin, CF, Cincinnati Reds
Flashing five-tool potential. Hitting a combined .331/.425/.564 with 11 doubles, one triple, and nine homeruns while swiping 14 stolen bases in 15 attempts to go along with a solid K/BB ratio (34/25) between the Pioneer and Midwest Leagues.
#28. Rob Kaminsky, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Smallish left-hander has thrown 18 innings, with a 21-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio to go along with a 2.00 ERA.
#29. Ryne Stanek, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Could be the biggest value in the first round, Stanek has yet to throw a professional pitch.
#30. Travis Demeritte, 3B/SS, Texas Rangers
Very promising offensive skill set (16.6% BB-rate, .160 ISO, and a .285/.411/.444 line), but his strikeout rate (28.0% K-rate) is already approaching red flag territory.
#31. Jason Hursh, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Has posted an impressive 0.72 ERA, but his peripherals – 5.4 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 – are quite underwhelming.
#31. Austin Judge, OF, New York Yankees
The massive outfielder has yet to appear in a pro game.
#32. Ian Clarkin, LHP, New York Yankees
Signed but has not appeared in a game.
#33. Sean Manaea, LHP, Kansas City Royals
Signed a record deal for a supplemental first round pick. Hasn’t appeared in a pro game though.
#34. Matt Krook, LHP, Miami Marlins
Did not sign. Failed physical and will play collegiately at Oregon.
#35. Aaron Blair, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Nice enough ERA (2.92), but the peripherals are rather vanilla so far (7.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9).
#36. Josh Hart, CF, Baltimore Orioles
Hitting a disappointing .211/.312/.263 through 109 PA. Showing some on base skills and speed, but no power.
#37. Michael Lorenzen, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Two-way star at Cal State, Lorenzen’s likely to be the first player from the draft class to make it to the big leagues. He’s already appeared in one game at Double-A and has punched out 14 and walked seven in 16 innings. Solid middle relief/eighth-inning guy in the long run.
#38. Corey Knebel, RHP, Detroit Tigers
Another one that could move quickly next year, Knebel has 32 strikeouts and seven walks in 24.1 innings in the Midwest League. He’s ready for a promotion.
Photo of J.P. Crawford Courtesy of Scott Varley/Los Angeles News Group via Philly.com