Baseball America Unveils Top 500 Draft Prospects

With just nine days to go before the 2013 MLB Amateur draft begins, Baseball America has released their list of the top 500 draft prospects in this year’s class. This is the second time they have expanded their top prospect list recently, bringing it from 100, to 250 to it’s current point. 2013 draft

While they have expanded the list, the rankings for the two spots where the Pittsburgh Pirates pick have remained the same. Baseball America ranks Trey Ball at #9 and Dominic Smith in the #14 spot.

These aren’t the same as their mock drafts, where they first predicted that the Pirates would select North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran with the #9 pick, then take Indiana State left-hander Sean Manaea with the next pick.

Manaea was due to drop in their next mock draft after left shoulder tightness caused him to miss his last start and his last chance to show scouts that the velocity dip he experienced the previous two weeks, wasn’t a concern. Manaea has also dealt with a hip injury and a sprained ankle this year.

In that second mock draft released four days ago, they then predicted the Pirates would take HS catcher Reese McGuire first, followed by Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe. McGuire has been linked to the Pirates all year, while Renfroe has usually been ranked a little lower, though he has made huge strides recently to move into the top 15 rankings.

If the Pirates were to make their picks according to the rankings, they would be taking a 6’6″ HS lefty in Ball, with a strong fastball, excellent change-up and a curve that has shown great improvement since he started throwing it just last year. He is also athletic enough to be selected within the top 100 picks(50-100 range) as an outfielder.

Smith is a power-hitting first baseman out of Serra HS in California. The lefty has a tremendous bat, with huge power potential. He can also play corner outfield and he has pitched this year.

The draft begins next Thursday night for the first two rounds, then continues the next day for rounds three through ten, so this top 500 list will be well referenced that second day as we start to hear some of the lesser known names called.

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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • leadoff

    I could live with Ball and Smith.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

      Agree

  • meatygettingsaucy

    Smith could play OF but every scouting report I have read says he will be an elite defender at 1B

    • John Dreker

      It’s true that most of the better HS players will be able to play more than one position. He obviously has a good enough arm not to waste it at 1B, so it is good to see he has options. He’s a HS player, so while the Pirates outfield looks set for years now with McCutchen/Marte/Bell/Polanco, the amount of time it takes him to get to the majors, a lot can change.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

        Amen to that John. See if he can work out in the OF before moving him to 1b.

        Not unlike letting a pitcher start THEN moving him into the “pen.

        Foo

      • meatygettingsaucy

        I’d be more inclined to leave him at 1B and not for the usual argument of “we don’t have a 1B blah blah blah”. I just think a 1B who has advanced tools defensively at the spot and has the bat that plays there should maybe given a shot first at that position. I don’t mind players being moved to other positions but it seems like he should start out at 1B and if a move is necessary, then it should be made.

  • Monkshot

    John, what will they do with Osuna when Allie gets promoted? Seems like a majority of others are thinking this is coming sooner rather than later.

    • John Dreker

      I could definitely be wrong, but I don’t see them promoting him anytime soon. This time last year he had zero pro AB’s and was playing 3B. He already skipped a level getting to WV to start the year, so this would be a huge rush in someone’s first full year as a hitter. The aggressive promotions usually come with college players at this level, or guys at High-A who have already shown previous success

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