The 2017 MLB Draft is right around the corner, so let’s take a look back before turning our attention to the future. The 2013 draft has already produced some elite talents (see the man pictured above), while also claiming some disappointments that have yet to live up to their promise.
Let’s take a look at the bright side first with the biggest success stories of the 2013 draft. Remember, this draft was fairly recent, and plenty still needs to be revealed.
Kris Bryant, Cubs, 2nd overall pick
Do I really need to go into detail here? Bryant already has a MVP award to his credit, and helped end a 108 year-old curse in Chicago. The third baseman can retire tomorrow and would still never have to pay for a drink in the Windy City.
Aaron Judge, Yankees, 32nd overall pick
He is still a rookie, but it looks like the big right fielder is here to stay after a torrid start this season, and will be denting scoreboards and breaking television screens for a long time. He also has his own cheering section at Yankee Stadium now. Clubbing a league-high 15 home runs can have that effect.
Jon Gray, Rockies, 3rd overall pick
Gray made it to the big show just two years after being drafted out of Oklahoma, and finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year voting last season. Gray is currently battling a foot injury, but is expected to help the scorching Rockies once he is cleared to return.
Tim Anderson, White Sox, 17th overall pick
Anderson is another prospect who flew through the minor league ranks and posted a solid rookie campaign last year, batting .283 with an OPS+ of 100. Under contract until 2022, Anderson is one of the South Siders’ young talents who they hope will help revamp the franchise.
Andrew Knapp, Phillies, 53rd overall pick
The catcher had a hot start to the 2017 season, but is still serving as a backup. Still, a draft pick outside of the top-50 that is already making big league contributions has to be considered a success as of now.
Trevor Williams, Marlins, 44th overall pick
Now a member of the Pirates, Williams was torched in his first career start, but followed that with a strong performance in which he surrendered one run over five innings. He could become a strong presence in the back of Pittsburgh’s rotation.
Corey Knebel, Tigers, 39th overall pick
Knebel found himself in the majors quickly, but was moved to Milwaukee after the 2014 season. He is now finding success in the Brewers’ bullpen, particularly this season.
Chad Pinder, Athletics, 71st overall pick
Pinder has been a solid bat off the bench for Oakland this season, hitting .286 over just 35 at-bats. We’ll have to wait and see what he can do with a larger sample size.
Christian Arroyo, Giants, 25th overall pick
The 21-year-old infielder reached a batting average as high as .278 in early May before falling into his first major league slump. Despite the struggles, he remains a top prospect in the Bay area.
Clint Frazier, Indians, 5th overall pick
I know, he hasn’t played an inning of big league ball yet. Still, we have to remember that this draft was only four years ago, and the fact that he is one of the top prospects in one of the league’s best farm systems is something to hang your hat on. Frazier is one of the brightest young studs in the Yankees’ farm system after being traded in a package for Andrew Miller, who helped the Tribe reach the World Series in 2016
Time to move on to the other, less desirable side of the spectrum and look at the biggest busts so far. Again, it’s early into these players’ careers, and there’s plenty of time to turn it around. For now, here they are:
Mark Appel, Phillies, 1st overall pick
Maybe Appel will turn out to be a stud, but anyone who is the number one overall pick and proceeds to suffer numerous injuries has “bust” written all over him.
Kohl Stewart, Twins, 4th overall pick
In his first three starts in Double-A this season, Stewart has thrown five wild pitches and walked 12 batters compared to just five strikeouts. Not a good sign for a prospect that has already shown signs of disappointment.
Trey Ball, Red Sox, 7th overall pick
Ball was Boston’s first top-10 pick since 1993, and so far he has yet to break free of the current stigma of Boston’s disappointing 2013 draft. Ball has shown flashes of promise this season, but carried a 5.74 ERA through the first month of the season.
J.P. Crawford, Phillies, 16th overall pick
Look, I know Crawford is the Phillies’ top prospect and it would not be a surprise if he turned it around at some point and took off, but the shortstop managed just four hits in his first 48 at-bats in Triple-A this year after a very mediocre campaign in 2016.
Chris Anderson, Dodgers, 18th overall pick
After four disappointing seasons in the minors in which he compiled a 4.37 ERA, the Dodgers let Anderson go in early April.
Marco Gonzales, Cardinals, 19th overall pick
Tommy John surgery and years of absence is never a good recipe for a former first round pick, but Gonzales has returned with a bang this season. If he can hold up, he may find himself on the other list very soon.
Eric Jagielo, Yankees, 23rd overall pick
Again, the third baseman still has time to right the ship, but he has struggled in the minors including this season, and was part of a Yankees’ trade that acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Reds for pennies on the dollar.
Rob Kaminsky, Cardinals, 28th overall pick
Traded to the Indians for Brandon Moss back in 2015, the right hander who was once a top-100 prospect has fallen steadily in recent years as his velocity has also seen a decrease. Kaminsky’s fastball tops out around just 91 mph nowadays.
Ian Clarkin, Yankees, 33rd overall pick
The southpaw has been battling injuries for two years now, and while he seems to be on the way to finding his potential this season, we’ll have to see how sustainable it will be.
Again, this draft was just four short years ago. Prospects who have struggled or battled injuries can turn it around just as fast as breakout stars can fall flat on their face. The moral of the story is to be patient.