Baseball America has released their early 2013 draft rankings, and Mark Appel holds the number one spot. Baseball America notes that the draft class looks underwhelming from a college hitting standpoint. The high school class looks solid, but lacks talents like Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, and Lucas Giolito.
The article quoted one scout that felt the lack of college talent in this draft could be a result of so many high school players being signed in previous years. The same scout said that there could be one more down year, and then 2014 and 2015 could be good.
Appel was ranked first overall in last year’s rankings by Baseball America, so there’s no guarantee that he goes first overall, or doesn’t fall again in the draft. The Pirates will get the ninth pick, although Appel would have to sign a waiver for them to pick him if he fell to them again.
The rankings give a few examples of why it might be a bad idea to re-enter the draft as a first round pick. Karsten Whitson, taken with the ninth pick by San Diego in 2010, is ranked 17th in the 2013 draft. Dylan Covey, taken 14th by Milwaukee in 2010, is ranked 31st. Whitson has dealt with injuries, while Covey has been inconsistent after being diagnosed with diabetes.
There are also two examples of why it might be a good idea to go to college if you’re not an early pick. Austin Wilson, taken in the 12th round in 2010 by St. Louis, is ranked 13th on the list. Then there’s Austin Kubitza, who the Pirates took in the seventh round in 2010. Kubitza was looking for $1.5-2 M, and ended up going to Rice when the Pirates didn’t meet his price. Baseball America ranks him 29th. The Pirates will likely have a pick in the 20-30 range, so Kubitza could still be an option for them.
If the MLB season ended today, the Pirates would have the 9th and 26th overall picks.