Draft Prospects: Averaging Out The Expert’s Mock Drafts

A few days ago, John Sickels released his latest mock draft which we wrote about here. This is the fourth mock draft from industry experts that we talked about over the last week. There were also mock drafts from Baseball America, Keith Law and Jonathan Mayo. With these four all coming out around the same time, instead of relying on one to be the most accurate, we take a look at the average rankings between the four to see how the draft would play out. The first day of the draft is just 16 days away, so while some guys could drop or rise for some teams, you begin to have a pretty good sense by now about who should be at the top of the draft class. 2013 draft

The Pittsburgh Pirates pick 9th and 14th overall in the first round this year, so below you will find the top 14 players, using the combined averages of these four mock drafts. Next to each player, you will find their ranking in BA, Keith Law, Jonathan Mayo and John Sickels in that order(the order in which we covered the drafts). In case of a tie, I factored in my own rankings as the tie-breaker.

1. Jonathan Gray, RHP Oklahoma –  2, 1, 1, 2

2. Mark Appel, RHP Stanford – 1, 2, 2, 1

3. Kris Bryant, 3B/OF San Diego – 3, 3, 3, 3

4. Kohl Stewart, RHP Texas(HS) – 4, 4, 6, 4

5. Colin Moran, 3B North Carolina – 9, 5, 5, 7

6. Braden Shipley, RHP, Nevada – 5, 6, 8, 8

7. Clint Frazier, OF Georgia(HS) – 7, 13, 7, 9

8. Austin Meadows, OF Georgia (HS) –  12, 12, 9, 5

9. Reese McGuire, C Washington(HS) – 6, 10, 11, 12

10. Sean Manaea, LHP Indiana State – 14, 8, 4, 14

11. Trey Ball, LHP Indiana(HS) – 10, 14, 10, 10

12. DJ Peterson, 1B/3B New Mexico – 11, 9, 14, 15

13. Hunter Renfroe, OF Miss. St – 15, 15, 17, 6

14. Ryne Stanek, RHP Arkansas – 8, 7, 12, 27

After those top 14 players, Dominic Smith(HS/1B) was the highest ranked player, followed by JP Crawford, the HS shortstop out of California. Crawford was ranked 15th by Jonathan Mayo, and 16th by everyone else. Smith was ranked 23rd by Baseball America, which dropped him in the rankings.

Players that also got mentioned in the top 14 spots in any of the mock drafts were, Phil Bickford(13th by BA), a HS right-hander out of California. Fresno State outfielder Aaron Judge was ranked #13 by Jonathan Mayo. John Sickels has Ian Clarkin, a HS lefty out of California in the 13th spot. So basically, the lucky 13th spot is up in the air. Also of note, all three of these players, plus Crawford and Smith, are all from California.

Finally, there is news from today that Sean Manaea was scratched from his start. Jim Callis mentioned that he could start later in the week, so the injury likely isn’t serious. Manaea has had various ailments throughout the year, plus pitched in extremely cold weather and had a full week wiped out by rain early in the season. Despite all that, he has had a strong season. He’s definitely a wildcard in the draft. Will a team take a chance with him, possibly with the intentions of shutting him down for awhile, or will he just drop in the draft? They will have to weigh potential/upside VS injury risk. If he is there at #14 when the Pirates pick, you may just take that risk for a possible frontline lefty.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Lee Young

I want no part of Renfroe or Peterson…jmho


Let’s assume under everyone’s scenarios that there are at least 5 that are guaranteed to NOT fall to #9 – Gray, Appel, Bryant, Stewart and Shipley.

Of the remaining guys listed who there is at least a faint hope (Moran!) of being there at #9 , and then #14 , my board would be ranked in order as follows:

–Colin Moran
–Clint Frazier
–Trey Ball
–Ryne Stanek
–Austin Meadows
–Reese McGuire
–Sean Manaea
–DJ Peterson
–JP Crawford
–Hunter Renfroe
–Dominic Smith

If just those last 4 are the only ones left on the board at #14 , then I’d roll the dice on Crawford at SS.


The question with Manaea is whether Borass will want top 5 money if he is picked at 14. Manaea was a universal top 3 pick throughout the summer and we know Borass will use that in negotiations. I could certainly see Manaea not signing and trying his luck when healthy next season. Something else to consider


I would like to grab one of Meadows/Fraizer at 9 – not a huge fan of Moran even if he makes it to 9. Unsure about the 14th pick – obviously I’d like them to get the best player available… maybe Manaea, though he was pulled from his most recent start without throwing a single pitch (add that to the hip issues, not sure he’s justifiable at 14).
I also like Ball as a pitcher at 14 – maybe Stanek or Shipley if they fall, but that seems unlikely. I think I’d rather have Peterson than Moran straight up, so Peterson at 14 would be good too.

Thom Kay

Which of the top prospects is most likely to drop because of bonus demands?


Am I crazy for hoping for one of Moran/Meadows/Frazier at 9 and Peterson at 14?


I can’t see the Pirates taking Meadows at all, I can see them taking Frazier, I think he would be a steal at 9. The Pirate system has plenty of outfield strength however. I don’t think Moran will be available either. I would say of the three if Moran was there, the Pirates probably would take him, I think because the 3rd base position is such a weakness in the Pirate system.


Thanks John. I guess I meant “crazy” for hoping for two position players in R1…


I’d take that scenario … preferably Moran and McGuire.


John, in your opinion, is Manaea worth the gamble when there will be some pretty good options available at 14.

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