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2013 MLB Draft: Seven targets at five

2013 MLB Draft: Seven targets at five
May 30, 2013
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The players the Indians might draft appears to be narrowing, which is of course natural as we are just a week from the draft. Here are the guys I think are on the Indians' draft radar for the fifth pick this year.

There is a ton of debate about this pick, so I thought I would show the reasons why each pick would be good  and why each of the players would not be a good pick. Also, I am assuming that the following four players will not be there Kris Bryant, Kohl Stewart, Jonathan Gray, and Mark Appel.

Colin Moran, 3B, UNC

Why you draft him: He is the best pure hitter in the draft. Most people think he is a future .300 hitter and that his hit tool could be near a 70. He has an excellent eye and approach at the plate taking walks and rarely striking out. He was undrafted out of high school and worked his way to the player he is, and you don't have to worry about his work ethic at all. He should be quick to the majors as well. He could be another Joe Mauer bat-wise.

Why you pass: His defense at third is going to be average at best and long term he might have to move to first. His power is below average for third and the best hope is 15-20 homeruns, and that might be generous. He is not an athlete and does not move well. If his hit tool does not develop he will never play in the majors, he is basically a one tool player.

Bottom Line: It's all about the bat with Moran. The Indians did draft the player with the top hit tool in last year's draft, Naquin, in spite of most people thinking it was an overdraft. So it does make sense that a lot of people think he will go at five to the Indians.

Clint Frazier, OF, HS

Why you draft him: He has the best bat speed I have ever seen in a draft eligible player.  He plays the game like his life depends on it. He is a great athlete, shows power potential, along with  plus speed. He could be a five tool player, while playing centerfield. If you watch him play and you love baseball you end falling in love with Frazier within five minutes. He is a guy who is impossible to not watch when he is on the field.

Why you pass: He could play centerfield but seems more likely to be a corner outfielder. The big issue is he is only 5'11" and this means that his power is a bit limited. His growth in general might be maxed out. Is there much development left?

Bottom Line:  He is fourth on my board and there is a pretty wide margin between four and five. I love the bat speed and how hard he plays the game. He would be a bit of a safe pick in spite of being a high schooler.

Austin Meadows, OF, HS

Why you draft him: He is the top athlete in the draft and a guaranteed centerfielder with excellent power potential. His ceiling to me is a pre-injury Grady Sizemore.  There might not be a single player in this draft with a higher upside at any position. If he develops perfectly he is an MVP candidate.

Why you pass: He has a high ceiling, but also a low floor. If things go wrong he might end up as a fourth outfielder. There are concerns about the cost to sign him, and while he is a great athlete he is not as good a prospect as Buxton was last year who has a similar build.

Bottom Line: He is the ultimate upside pick as he could be an MVP. He could do it all and be a great centerfielder, but he is awhile off and its all projection.

Braden Shipley, SP, Nevada

Why you draft him: He has gotten better every year. He projects to have three plus pitches. He has shown solid command, and should be a pitcher who can move quickly. He is fairly safe pick whose downside might be a number five starter who has the potential to be a front of the rotation starter.

Why you pass: His upside might be the lowest of any of the second tier pitchers. He is a very good pitcher, but doesn't seem to excite scouts. He does everything very well, but is not a guy who is making anyone slam their fist and say that's who I want.

Bottom Line: When every other pitcher struggled Shipley stepped up, but he just lacks a degree of sizzle. He doesn't throw hard or have an a over-powering pitch. He just commands the ball and gets hitters out. At eight to fifteen he is exciting, but at five he feels a little like a reach.

Ryne Stanek, SP, Arkansas

Why you draft him:  He was viewed as a top five selection before the year began. His stuff is electric with a big time fastball that sits in the mid 90's and hits the high 90's. His slider is a plus-plus pitch, and is one of the top pitches in this draft. He finished well and was able to show teams he is still a top player. He might be the safest bet in the entire draft to make an All Star team.

Why you pass: If he makes that All Star team, it probably will be as a closer. His inconsistency has been a huge issue and some teams do think that he is a pen arm long term.

Bottom Line: In October, I said his ceiling was higher than Appel's and I stand by that, but that being said the chance that he is better than Appel is about three percent - yes that was an arbitrary number I threw out. His ceiling is high because of his two main pitches, and his floor is low because worst case he should be a great closer. I would not fault any team for rolling the dice.

Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State

Why you draft him: He might be just as good as Kris Bryant, just more raw. He has always had a ton of tools and has plus everything. This year he finally broke out. He has tape measure power, a cannon of an arm, and even good speed. In right field he could be a gold glover.

Why you pass: This is the first good year, and his power really trailed off in the second half. Has he turned the corner or was it just a hot few months?

Bottom Line: I have a soft spot for him because I was following him week to week as he got hot and was the first person I know who had him on their big board. He can do it all and I think is a top ten selection for sure right now.  This is a guy who had a 99 MPH fastball as a reliever and played catcher his first two years. He moved to right field and it was a better fit. He could concentrate on hitting and finally did. He might just be beginning to show what he can be.

Trey Ball, LHP, HS

Why you draft him: He is big at 6'6" and his fastball projects to be mid-90s. He could have rare velocity for a lefty. He is a great athlete and a two-way player, and if he didn't pitch he would be drafted for his hitting ability, power, and ability to play in centerfield. He didn't get a chance to showcase his skills thanks to the bad weather in the midwest this year. He has a good feel for both of his secondary pitches and long term I am not sure there is a left handed pitcher in this draft with a better upside.

Why you pass: He didn't take the leap a lot of people were expecting this year. He doesn't have a dominant pitch yet. He is the pitching version of Meadows, but it's all projection at this point.

Bottom line:  He could be the rare lefty with good velocity. He is a really good athlete who scouts have liked for awhile. I like the feel he has for his secondary pitches, and think he has front of the line potential.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffmlbdraft, or email him at

User Comments

June 1, 2013 - 9:32 AM EDT
The other thing to remember with Naquin is that part of the reason they took him was to free up money later in the draft for high upside guys who slipped due to high contract demands. So Naquin is the reason we have Brown, Lovegrove, McClure, and Baker as all of those guys were thought to want slightly over slot and the money we saved on Naquin allowed that to happen.

If you want to blame someone for the Naquin selection, blame MLB for putting a draft system in place to punish the intelligent small market teams who spent greater than average amounts on the draft.
May 31, 2013 - 9:39 AM EDT
You are right Tony, we have good starting pitching depth right now so Wacha would probably not get to pitch with us until next season.
May 31, 2013 - 9:31 AM EDT
Rob, I am not saying Wacha wouldn't be ready. Just saying right now there would be no opportunity to pitch him. The 5-man rotation is doing well in Cleveland and they can't even get Carrasco in there. And then Myers could soon be back. So Wacha would be 2nd or 3rd or even 4th on the totem pole for replacement options for the rotation.
May 31, 2013 - 9:29 AM EDT
Sure, Wacha got to the big leagues first, but maybe Naquin can be the better player in 3-5 years.
May 31, 2013 - 9:26 AM EDT
I think we should go either Shipley, Stanek, or if Stewart falls to five, then take him, but you got to make sure you can sign him away from Texas A&M.
May 31, 2013 - 9:26 AM EDT
Was just showing the HUGE difference where the 2 players are at, not just about Naquins bad night. He's at best a 4th of and Wacha is a SP on a world series contender year after year. Is that not an absolute whiff for a team with little to no top level staters? Tony why would he not be mlb ready with the Indians. Development or philosophy?
Brandon Gunder
May 31, 2013 - 9:23 AM EDT
How can this guy say that Shipley does not throw hard, or has an overpowering pitch, he throws 98 mph.
May 31, 2013 - 8:51 AM EDT
Not gonna lie, I wanted Wacha last year. But I agree, it's not fair to compare his MLB debut with Naquin's tough night. The time for comparison's will come soon enough because in all honesty, if the Indians draft Wacha, he's not in the bigs yet.
May 31, 2013 - 8:45 AM EDT
Ok, yah compare one of Naquin's worst games with the major league debut of Wacha. Nothing wrong with the selection of Naquin, he's hitting about .300 in the Carolina league, that's pretty good if you ask me.
May 30, 2013 - 11:04 PM EDT
Great to see Wacha dominate tonight while Naquin goes 0-5 at Carolina. So in 4 years we might net a 4th outfielder from our 15th pick and the Cardinals have a stud SP in the big leagues with the 19TH pick. Why do some organizations get it right? Frustrating since I live in St. Louis and get to see this year after year, yet I still hold on waiting for my Tribe to get it right.
Canadian Joe
May 30, 2013 - 9:29 PM EDT
Gotta be Frazier or Meadows. Unless Gray falls. And if he does, what's wrong with him ?
May 30, 2013 - 7:50 PM EDT
Pretty sure that Frazier's being 5'11" isn't that big of a deal since it didn't limit Mantle, Sheffield, Mays & Yastrzemski that much. I like Frazier & think he'd be a great add. That's unless Gray's available. I like Renfroe too, plus Stewart , Ball, Clarkin, Kaminsky, & any number of HS pitchers. Leery of Stanek(health) & Meadows (development).

Don't want Moran at all. Repeating the oft repeated "most polished hitter", "best pure hitter" mantras don't make them so. Watch him against Rodon for a glimpse of his future against pro quality pitching. Moran has very little upside. Comping him with Naquin doesn't work either as Naquin can field, run a bit, and has a cannon for an arm. Moran hits singles, mostly on the ground. Pass.
May 30, 2013 - 7:46 PM EDT
The indians have to start hitting on their selections. Even with brad Grant at the helm, they missed on chris sale for drew pomeranz and missed on shelby miller because of drafting alex white.

Those are misses you can't have as a small market team because then you get stuck depending on guys like kasmir, ubaldo, and kluber.
May 30, 2013 - 7:43 PM EDT

The Moran rumor has been hot for the last two weeks. Kiley McDaniel and Jim Callis have also been all over it. A guy on the IBI forum even said the Astros GM and Owner visited Moran in Chapel Hill a few weeks back.
May 30, 2013 - 6:35 PM EDT
I think they would be crazy not too, I hope Law is right. But he is the only place I had heard the Moran rumor.
May 30, 2013 - 6:34 PM EDT
I saw Keith Law having us take Jonathan Gray at 5. I don't think he falls that far, but if he does, you'd think we'd take him right?

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