Baseball America has released their pre-season 2013 draft rankings today for subscribers. Because the list is only for subscribers, I’ll give a few highlights below.

**Mark Appel is the top prospect for the second year in a row.

**The Pirates currently pick 9th and 14th. The 9th ranked prospect is prep shortstop J.P. Crawford, who BA says has a “slick glove and an above-average feel for hitting”. The 14th ranked prospect is prep catcher Reese McGuire, who BA calls a “natural behind the plate”. McGuire is also a left-handed power hitter.

**Only one other former Pirates draft pick made the list. That was Kent Emmanuel, who came in at number 47. Emmanuel was taken in the 19th round of the 2010 draft, but went to UNC. BA says the lefty “can dominate with great angle, pinpoint control, plus change and willingness to pitch inside”.

For some perspective on the early season rankings, here are the early BA rankings from the 2012 draft. A lot can change between now and the draft. Last year Deven Marrero was ranked number four, Chris Beck was ranked 7th, and Victor Roache was ranked 9th. All of those guys fell in the draft either due to injury or poor performance. On the flip side, Carlos Correa (the 2012 number one pick) entered the year at 17th, Kyle Zimmer started at 28th, and Albert Almora/Max Fried were 14th/15th. All of those guys were taken in the top 10. This is a good starting point to follow the draft prospects, but odds are very strong that someone currently ranked in the lower half of the first round will make a jump as a top ten prospect, while some players in the top ten will see their stock fall.

Baseball America also has a top 50 list for each college class. Picking out the former Pirates picks:

Freshmen: Walker Buehler (Ranked 1st, Drafted in the 14th Round of the 2012 draft)

Sophomores: Trea Turner (Ranked 4th, Drafted in the 20th Round of the 2011 draft), Aaron Brown (13th, 17th round – 2011)

Juniors: Kent Emmanuel (Ranked 23rd, Drafted in the 19th Round of the 2010 draft), Jason Hursh (35th, 6th round – 2010)

Seniors: Mark Appel (Ranked 1st, Drafted in the 1st Round of the 2012 draft), Brandon Thomas (2nd, 4th round – 2012)

Finally, Jim Callis has a write up calling this a “thin class”.