With the 2014 season over, I wanted to look at the performance of the 2013 MLB Draft picks, now that we have more than a full season of data for each player, to see how each pick has performed. Here I have included 2014 stats for all draftees, with brief analysis of each. For more draft information, such as signing bonuses for each pick, please see the FutureSox 2013 MLB Draft tracker.
You can also read my 2014 Draft Performance Update here.
1 (17): Tim Anderson, SS, AZL Sox (Rk), Winston-Salem (A+), Birmingham (AA):
345 AB, .301 AVG/.327 OBP/.481 SLG, 9 BB/82 SO, 9 HR, 10 SB
Tim Anderson continues to draw rave reviews from all who watch him play. A dynamic performer with true impact potential, Anderson’s performance in 2014 belied his relative inexperience. I was pleasantly surprised by both Anderson’s power output (.180 ISO, 9 HR) and contact rate (22.7 K%). The K% may not look spectacular on the surface, but considering he improved upon the 25.9 K% mark he set last year while being pushed to Winston-Salem and then Birmingham, I think it is quite impressive, and there should be plenty of room for further improvement in the coming years. One of the big negatives for his season, aside from the injury he suffered, was his complete inability to draw a walk (2.5 BB%), but that should improve as he learns to be more selective. Anderson did also make a lot of errors playing SS, but most scouting reports indicate he has the tools to stick at the position and hopefully he will be fine there with more work. He should open 2015 in Birmingham before moving to Charlotte around mid-season.
2 (55): Tyler Danish, RHP, Kannapolis (A), Winston-Salem (A+):
129.2 IP, 2.08 ERA, 3.17 FIP, 103 SO/ 33 BB, 2.24 GO/AO
Scouts may not love the delivery, but there’s absolutely no denying the results as Danish continued to baffle pro hitters in both the South Atlantic and Carolina Leagues. One of my favorite prospects, Danish gets crazy movement on everything he throws, which, combined with his unorthodox mechanics, allows him to strike out batters (7.15 K/9) and generate extreme GB rates, despite throwing a fastball that sits mainly 88-92. I’m still not sure what the upside is for Danish. The scouting reports and statistical profile looks like a #4 type starter to me, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up exceeding that expectation. All reports on Danish’s makeup and competitiveness are a plus too. The Sox could be cautious and send Danish to Winston-Salem next year, but given how comfortable he was at that level this year, I expect he’ll go straight to Birmingham.
3 (91): Jacob May, CF, Winston-Salem (A+):
415 AB, .258 AVG/.326 OBP/.395 SLG, 42 BB/71 SO, 2 HR, 37 SB
General consensus among fans seems to be that Jacob May was a disappointment in 2014, but I don’t see it that way at all. Sure, he went from hitting 8 HR in 285 PA’s last year to just 2 HR in 472 PA’s this year, but Jacob May is not a slugger, and he should never have been expected to be one. May walked more this year 8.9 BB% vs 8.1 BB% and struck out less 15.0 K% vs 17.2 K% than last year. Those are both big positives for someone who projects as a leadoff hitter. Getting on base is the key to May’s offensive value, as it will allow him to utilize his plus-plus speed and wreak havoc on the base paths. He’s already an excellent base stealer (82.6 SB%) and his speed should allow him to provide a lot of defensive value from CF. In addition to all that, he’s a switch hitter who can handle the bat and hit well from both sides of the plate, and despite the lack of HR’s, he still managed to bring solid pop to the table for a CF with a .137 ISO. Expect May to spend 2015 with what should be a stacked Birmingham team.
4 (123): Andrew Mitchell, RHP, Kannapolis (A):
65.1 IP, 5.37 ERA, 4.35 FIP, 83 SO/67 BB, 0.91 GO/AO
Andrew Mitchell has become something of an enigma. He possesses stuff that is un-hittable at times (11.43 K/9), but he rarely seems to know where it’s going (9.23 BB/9). A perfect example of this came in his June 19 outing, in which he struck out 5 batters but only managed to record 3 outs thanks to 3 passed balls. There was also a HBP and a PB ball in there for good measure. If he can develop some semblance of control then Mitchell’s stock could take off as a power reliever with closer upside. A real boom or bust type prospect who should be both fun and infuriating to follow all at the same time.
5 (153): Thaddius Lowry, RHP, Kannapolis (A):
87 IP, 4.76 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 43 SO/29 BB, 1.14 GO/AO
This season was all about getting reps and gaining experience for Lowry. He’s still relatively new to pitching and wasn’t quite in a position to break out in 2014. That could still come in the future as Lowry has the raw stuff, featuring a fastball that hits 95+ and a curveball that flashes plus. I wouldn't be surprised if he returns to Kannapolis in ‘15.
6 (183): James Dykstra, RHP, Kannapolis (A), Winston-Salem (A+):
152.1 IP, 3.43 ERA, 2.43 FIP, 128 SO/16 BB, 2.24 GO/AO
A very nice breakout performance from Dystra this year. He has an impressive statistical profile with the ability to get strikeouts (7.56 K/9) and lots of ground balls (2.24 GO/AO) along with immaculate control (0.95 BB/9). That gave him a rather gaudy 8.0 K/BB rate for the season. We shouldn’t get too carried away just yet however, as the scouting reports indicate the stuff is fringe-average, although his curve does have some potential, and he was a bit old for the level (just recently turned 24). It will be interesting to see how he performs in the high minors. We did a Q&A with James back in April, which you can read here.
7 (213): Trey Michalczewski, 3B, Kannapolis (A), Winston-Salem (A+):
504 AB, .262 AVG/.340 OBP/.433 SLG, 54 BB/161 SO, 10 HR, 7 SB
It was a solid but unspectacular season from Trey. The scouting reports remain somewhat positive, with Kiley McDaniel reporting the lack of a standout tool, but otherwise noting Trey as a solid-average 3B. It may take a while for his production to match up with the raw ability, though. Trey continued to display strong OBP skills, with a BB% north of 9%, though he needs to work on putting the ball in play more often (27.6 K%). He hit for good power at Kannapolis with 10 HR and a .160 ISO, but that fell to just a .028 ISO in a late season stint with the Dash. If he can improve his consistency and start making more contact, Trey could be primed for a big breakout in 2015, and he’ll likely return to Winston-Salem to start the season.
8 (243): Chris Freudenberg, LHP, Great Falls (RK), Kannapolis (A):
77.1 IP, 3.61 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 68 SO/28 BB, 2.63 GO/AO
A solid season from Freudenberg who continues to generate a lot of ground balls. His strikeout rate at Great Falls was nothing special (7.08 K/9), but after a promotion to Kannapolis the K rate jumped to 9.31 K/9, which is a promising sign. Freudenberg is an intriguing arm with some promising stuff. He probably fits better in the bullpen going forward, but I like him as a sleeper in 2015.
9 (273): Nick Blount, RHP, AZL Sox (Rk), Winston-Salem (A+):
13 IP, 4.85 ERA, 4.97 FIP, 12 SO/5 BB, 1.44 GO/AO
Lost season for Blount who only pitched 13 innings following a 50 game suspension after testing positive for “an amphetamine”.
10 (303): Brad Goldberg, RHP, Winston-Salem (A+):
75.2 IP, 5.23 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 62 SO/46 BB, 1.08 GO/AO
After a stunning pro debut from Goldberg in 2013, many of us were expecting big things from him this season, with the possibility for him to fly through the system and even see some action out of the big league bullpen. Unfortunately he didn’t come anywhere close to fulfilling those lofty expectations, as he struggle for control and consistency at Winston-Salem. Looks like just another guy at this point.
11 (333): Matt Ball, RHP, Great Falls (RK):
57 IP, 7.26 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 42 SO/21 BB, 1.87 GO/AO
Similar to Thad Lowry, the most important thing for Matt Ball this year was to gain experience. His ERA was ugly, but the FIP was more respectable thanks to some decent peripherals, such as a 2.89 BB/9, 6.45 K/9 and 1.87 GO/AO.
12 (363): Tyler Shryock, SS, Great Falls (RK), Kannapolis (A):
274 AB, .226 AVG/.296 OBP/.241 SLG, 25 BB/43 SO 0 HR, 13 SB
Shryock started the year with Kannapolis, putting up an awful .166/.254/.179 line in 151 AB. He returned to Great Falls late in July and fared much better, hitting over .300 in 123 AB, though it was an empty .300 with minimal power and walks.
13 (393): Danny Hayes, 1B, Kannapolis (A):
473 AB, .283 AVG/. 381 OBP/.440 SLG, 73 BB/119 SO, 11 HR, 1 SB
Hayes was a key offensive contributor for Kannapolis this season, but for a 1B, his power output (.157 ISO, 11 HR) is not great. He did walk a lot though, with a 13.1 BB%.
14 (423): Tyler Barnette, RHP, Kannapolis (A), Winston-Salem (A+), Charlotte (AAA):
93.2 IP, 5.67 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 61 SO/26 BB, 1.74 GO/AO
Tyler Barnette continues to struggle putting batters away, and he has not shown much strikeout ability, with just a 5.86 K/9. This was also a problem for him throughout his college career. He has reasonably good control though, walking 2.5 batters per 9, but has been giving up a lot of hits (.312 BAA).
15 (453): Andre Wheeler, LHP, Kannapolis (A):
98.1 IP, 2.84 ERA, 2.73 FIP, 111 SO/32 BB, 0.93 GO/AO
Andre Wheeler possesses intriguing stuff and he got excellent results this year, including a 10.16 K/9 and a 2.73 FIP. He gets above average velocity from the left side and has the chance for an above average to plus slider. He’s still relatively new to pitching for a college draftee and there’s definitely some upside here. He could be a nice sleeper pick for 2015, and should start the season with Winston-Salem.
16 (483): Christian Stringer, SS, Great Falls (RK):
293 AB, .259 AVG/.315 OBP/.413 SLG, 23 BB/51 SO, 9 HR, 7 SB
Stringer showed some skills from the middle infield with good pop (9 HR, .154 ISO), a nice approach at the plate (7.1 BB%/15.8 K%) and strong defensive ability. Possible utility infielder profile, but we need to see him repeat these results above rookie ball.
17 (513): Joey Wagman, RHP:
Released in April, went to the Frontier League before getting picked up by the A’s.
18 (543): Michael Carballo, CF:
19 (573): Adam Engel, AZL Sox (RK), Kannapolis (A), Winston-Salem (A+):
428 AB, .264 AVG/.335 OBP/.400 SLG, 38 BB/113 SO, 7 HR, 39 SB
One of my favorite picks from this draft class, Engel endured a somewhat disappointing 2014 campaign that was at least partially hampered by injury. He continues to flash the exciting raw tools, including plus-plus speed (39 SB, 10 3B) and he has excellent range in CF. In his pro debut back in 2013, Engel made a lot of contact, with just a 12.4 K%, but he took a big step backwards in that department this year, as the K% jumped up to 23.6%. Clearly he has a lot of refinement left to make, but I remain excited, and Engel’s upside is still significant.
20 (603): Dillon Haupt, C, Great Falls (RK):
162 AB, .290/.365/.537, 13 BB/53 SO, 9 HR, 1 SB
Haupt returned to Great Falls this year and excelled offensively, showing a huge spike in power from the previous season (.247 ISO vs .091). Haupt is big and strong, and clearly has some raw power. He also shows a good arm from behind the plate giving him some decent tools to work with. The strikeout rate, 29.6 K%, was very poor though, especially given that his K% was just 16.3 % at the same level the previous year. One explanation for this could be that Haupt decided to sacrifice contact for power. He should see full-season ball in 2015, and the power alone from behind the plate will make him a worthwhile name to follow.
21 (633): Toby Thomas, SS, Great Falls (RK), Kannapolis (A):
188 AB, .245/.306/.420, 15 BB/41 SO, 4 HR, 1 SB
Thomas saw limited action this year but did manage to display more power and patience than in ’13. The contact rate fell away though, and the batting average dropped by almost 70 points.
22 (663): Nolan Earley, OF, Kannapolis (A):
72 AB, .306/.367/.458, 5 BB/13 SO, 1 HR, 1 BB
Good triple slash line from a small sample of work.
23 (693): Trey Wimmer, C:
DNP - Released
24 (723): Jacob Morris, CF, Kannapolis (A):
64 Games, 224 AB, .246/.394/.478, 51 BB/97 SO, 12 HR, 7 SB
Morris continued to strike out at an alarming rate with a 31.9 K%, but unfortunately both his power (.129 ISO vs .232) and patience (10.2 BB% vs 18.2) saw significant decline against last years figures.
25 (753): Alex Powers, RHP, Great Falls (RK), Kannapolis (A):
45.2 IP, 3.15 ERA, 2.52 FIP, 45 SO/11 BB, 0.94 GO/AO
Solid overall numbers from Powers, who was excellent with Great Falls (11.19 K/9, 1.16 BB/9, 1.10 FIP) but fell back to earth after being promoted to Kannapolis (6.45 K/9, 3.22 BB/9, 4.01 FIP).
26 (783): Charles Sharrer, RHP, Great Falls (RK):
28.2 IP, 5.65 ERA, 4.60 FIP, 19 SO/11 BB, 1.1 GO/AO
Poor performance from Sharrer who has since been released.
27 (813): Devin Moore, RHP:
DNP - Released
28 (843): Jeff McKenzie, LHP, Great Falls (RK), Kannapolis (A):
74.1 IP, 4.96 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 40 SO/15 BB, 0.75 GO/AO
Mckenzie did not pitch well with Kannapolis and has since been released.
29 (873): Matt Abramson, RHP, Kannapolis (A):
58.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 4.47 FIP, 43 SO/33 BB, 1.27 GO/AO
Abramson struggled with control this year pitching out of the Kannapolis bullpen and was released at the end of the season.
30 (903): Jon Bengard, RHP, Great Falls (RK):
32.2 IP, 2.76 ERA, 2.37 FIP, 42 SO/6 BB, 0.87 GO/AO
Excellent peripherals for Bengard (11.57 K/9, 1.65 BB/9), though at 23, he is too old for this level.
31 (933): Sean Hagan, LHP, Kannapolis (A), Winston-Salem (A+):
63.2 IP, 3.53 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 40 SO/22 BB, 1.49 GO/AO
The big lefty held his own pitching primarily for Winston-Salem this year, but the peripherals were nothing special (5.65 K/9, 3.11 BB/9). He did at least show better control than he has in the past, and he lowered his ERA by almost 3 runs from last year.
32 (963): Darian Johnson, OF:
DNP – Presumably released
35 (1053): Sam Macias, OF, AZL Sox (RK):
47 AB, .149/.245/.149, 6 BB/20 SO, 0 HR, 3 SB
Awful performance from Macias who has unsurprisingly been released.
36 (1083): Nick Parent, 1B:
DNP – Restricted List
37 (1113): Cody Yount, 1B, AZL Sox (RK):
124 AB, .250/.390/.290, 28 BB/23 SO, 0 HR, 0 SB
Yount continued to display excellent strike zone control with more walks than strikeouts, but was lacking in other skills. Has been released.
38 (1143): Audry Santana, SS, AZL Sox (RK):
25 AB, .120/.120/.120, 0 BB/12 SO, 0 HR, 0 SB
Struggled mightily (48.0 K%) in extremely limited playing time.
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