As you know, we cover the MLB Draft in-depth here and we do it just about year-round. With the Cubs struggling this season and currently owning the 3rd pick in the 2013 draft, it's time to start getting familiar with some names. The 3 players at the top of the draft are all college pitchers: Mark Appel, whom we already know, Ryan Stanek who has gotten the most hype because of his two plus-plus pitches, and fast-rising LHP Sean Manea.
After that, things aren't quite as clear and even those names at the top may change by the time the draft rolls around. There will be plenty of scouts and others from the baseball industry on hand to watch players from across the country perform at this showcase event across the country. One of those games, the Under Armour All-America Baseball game is coming right here to Chicago at Wrigley Field. I will be going, and, courtesty of the Baseball Factory, a scouting partner for Baseball America. I've already given away a couple dozen tickets to fans of this site who are particularly fond of the draft and amateur baseball in general. For those of you interested who missed out the first time, the good news is I'll be getting more tickets soon!
The game will be played live on the MLB Network on August 18 at 12:30 PM CST at Wrigley Field.
Here are some of the elite prep players that will be at the event...
- Austin Meadows, OF (GA): Meadows is an impressive combination of size, power and speed and is ranked by many as the best overall high school player in the draft. He'd get legit consideration for the Cubs at #3 (or wherever they end up picking).
- Clint Frazier, OF (GA) is from the same city as Meadows but goes to a rival high school. He's a toolsy prospect in his own right but doesn't have the size that Meadows does.
- The best pitcher available in the draft may be LHP Trey Ball (IN). Ball is actually a two-way player who's a gifted CF with good speed, but on the mound, he has a projectable frame and sits in the low 90s already.
- Orlando Mercado is the best SS in this draft, including the college kids. He's a defensive standout who also has the potential to be a solid line drive hitter at the plate.
- Justin Williams, OF (LA); Williams is a big athlete with average speeed but has big time LH power to profile well at the corner OF spots
- Brett Morales, RHP, (FL): He's a fresh arm with limited miles but shows an effortless delivery and a good feel for pitching.
- Dustin Driver is a RHP (WA): Can touch 94 mph hour and is developing quality breaking stuff.
- Joey Mantarano (ID) is a two sport athlete. As a baseball player, he's an athletic OF'er with power, speed, and a good arm, but he's on a boom or bust path. He's either going to get drafted and play baseball or he's going to Boise St., a football only school. What he does in these showcase events could help determine his draft status and ultimately which path he chooses.
- Dominic Smith (CA) is a two way player who is listed at 6'0, 195 lbs but he may have grown an inch and bulked up a bit since that measurement. He can hit 92 mph on the mound and hit for average and power as a 1B.
- Clinton Hollon (KY) may be undersized at 6'1, 190 lbs, but he can bring it upwards of 96 mph. Keith Law compares him to Jeremy Jeffress for his stuff and delivery, but with better mental makeup.
- Zach Collins (FL) and Nick Ciuffo (SC) is part of a standout group of prep catchers with the skills to stick. High school catchers are one of the strongest groups in this year's draft class. Collins, in particular, has stood out so far in the showcase circuit.
- The top local product at the event will be Corey Ray, an athletic OF'er from Simeon H.S. His speed, arm, and the energy level at which he plays makes him perhaps the top defensive CF in his class to go with a solid, LH bat. He's committed to Louisville.
Those are just a few of the potential stars that will be there. For the rest of the roster, click here.
I hope to see some of you there, please e-mail me or notify me in the comments section if you are interested in going. I have a limited number of tickets to give away.
Filed under: MLB Draft