Several readers requested an update on how players selected in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft performed in their first summers of pro ball. Here's the rundown. I will do subsequent rounds in the coming days.
1) Mark Appel, RHP, Astros: Stanford right-hander was solid in his pro debut, posting a 3.79 ERA with a 33/9 K/BB ratio in 38 innings between the New York-Penn League and the Midwest League, collecting a lot of ground balls (2.24 GO/AO). Although not massively dominant, he threw strikes and got used to pro ball, the main goals at this point.
2) Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs: The University of San Diego slugger crushed pro pitching in his first look, hitting .336/.390/.688 with nine homers in 36 games split between rookie ball, the Northwest League, and the Florida State League. There's some swing-and-miss in his game but his production was excellent and overall he met or exceeded expectations. He will head to the Arizona Fall League.
3) Jonathan Gray, RHP, Rockies: University of Oklahoma right-hander blew away pro hitters in his first look, with a 1.93 ERA and an outstanding 51/8 K/BB in 37 innings between the Pioneer and California Leagues. His stuff was excellent and his command sharper than expected. He should advance very quickly in '14.
4) Kohl Stewart, RHP, Twins: Texas high school ace was sharp in his debut, with a 24/4 K/BB in 20 innings and a 1.35 ERA in rookie ball, although he missed time with a foot injury. Combination of stuff and command in pro ball confirmed his status as top high school pitcher in the draft class.
5) Clint Frazier, OF, Indians: High school outfielder from Georgia hit .297/.362/.506 with five homers, 17 walks, 61 strikeouts in 172 at-bats in Arizona Rookie League. Scouting reports about his tremendously good bat speed abound, but we'll have to see if contact is a problem at higher levels. At his point I would be at the "watch the issue but don't worry" stage.
6) Colin Moran, 3B, Marlins: University of North Carolina star heated up after a slow start, finishing at .299/.354/.442 for Low-A Greensboro., showing the solid contact hitting ability that was expected.
7) Trey Ball, LHP, Red Sox: Indiana prep lefty threw just seven innings in the Gulf Coast League, giving up 10 hits and seven runs with a 5/6 K/BB ratio. At this point the statistical sample is too small to mean anything, but projectability and athleticism that got him drafted this high are still there.
8) Hunter Dozier, SS, Royals: Some considered the Stephen F. Austin State University star to be an overdraft, but he had no problems in his first look at pro pitching, hitting .308/.397/.495 between the Pioneer and South Atlantic Leagues, featuring excellent strike zone judgment and an incredible 30 doubles out of 84 hits.
9) Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates: Frazier's competitor in the Georgia high school ranks, Meadows answered any questions about his power with a .316/.424/.554 mark in pro ball, split between the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn Leagues. A future Jim Edmonds?
10) Phil Bickford, RHP, Blue Jays: Hard-throwing Bickford did not sign with the Blue Jays and will play college baseball at Cal State Fullerton.
11) Dominic Smith, 1B, Mets: A successful debut for the California prep, with a .301/.398/.439 line between the Gulf Coast and Appalachian Leagues, showing pure hitting skills to go with impressive power potential.
12) D.J. Peterson, 3B, Mariners: University of New Mexico slugger was another success story with rapid adjustment to pro ball. He hit .303/.365/.553 with 13 homers in just 55 games split between the Northwest and Midwest Leagues. Needs some ironing on defense but the bat looks excellent.
13) Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres: Mississippi State star hit .308/.333/.510 in 25 games in the Northwest League, but struggled with contact after moving up to the Midwest League, hitting .212/.268/.379 with 23 whiffs in 18 games. Impressive overall tools with power, but contact is an issue.
14) Reese McGuire, C, Pirates: Prep catcher from Washington state had a good debut, hitting .323/.380/.380 between the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn Leagues, while throwing out 44% of runners. Line drive hitting with strong defense was exactly what scouts expected, and what the Pirates got.
15) Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks: University of Nevada ace got knocked around some in the Northwest League (7.58 ERA, 30 hits in 19 innings) but was more effective in four starts in the Midwest League (2.61 ERA) and finished with a solid 40/14 K/BB in 40 pro innings. Overall, he's on course if you look more at the component ratios than the misleading 4.99 composite ERA.
16) J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies: California high schooler hit .345/.443/.465 in 39 games with 12 steals in rookie ball, then .208/.300/.226 in 14 games after moving up to the Low-A Sally League. Full-season ball is a huge jump for a high school kid, so I wouldn't worry about that. Defensive reports are excellent and his bat was more polished than expected.
17) Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox: East Central Community College shortstop hit .277/.348/.363 with 24 steals in 68 games for Kannapolis in the Sally League. He fanned a lot (78 times) but overall held his own, showing off speed and premium tools. More power may come.
18) Chris Anderson, RHP, Dodgers: University of Jacksonville right-hander posted a 1.96 ERA with a 50/24 K/BB in 46 innings for Low-A Great Lakes, allowing just 32 hits. He needs to iron out his command, but overall it was a successful introduction to pro ball for this physical workhorse type.
19) Marco Gonzales, LHP, Cardinals: Polished Gonzaga lefty posted a 2.70 ERA with a 23/8 K/BB in 23 innings between rookie ball and the Florida State League. Limited workload so far, but strike-throwing and pitchability are as advertised. Probably won't need much time in the minors.
20) Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Tigers: University of Florida right-hander threw 19 innings in the New York-Penn League, with a 21/9 K/BB and a strong ground ball tendency (2.70 GO/AO), which was anticipated.
21) Nick Ciuffo, C, Rays: South Carolina high school catcher hit .258/.296/.308 in rookie ball, not showing much power and with mediocre strike zone judgment. He also gave up 11 passed balls in 25 games, but threw out 38% of runners. He'll need time but the tools to be a fine overall catcher with a good bat are still here.
22) Hunter Harvey, RHP, Orioles: North Carolina high schooler looked very good in his debut, posting a 1.78 ERA with an excellent 33/6 K/BB in 25 innings between rookie ball and the New York-Penn League. If anything, he showed more polish than expected to go with a high-upside arm. He could end up being a steal here.
23) Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Rangers: Oral Roberts ace posted a 3.80 ERA with a 35/16 K/BB in 43 innings between the Northwest and Carolina Leagues, with an intriguing 2.91 GO/AO mark. Scouting reports were enthusiastic about his stuff and major league pitching demeanor. He'll rise quickly if he maintains command.
24) Billy McKinney, OF, Athletics: Texas prep lived up to reputation as a pure hitter, batting .326/.387/.437 in his pro debut between rookie ball and New York-Penn League, stealing eight bases in nine attempts as well. Home run power remains questioned by some, but he should get on base at every level.
25) Christian Arroyo, SS, Giants: This pick was questioned by many on draft day, but the Giants may have the last laugh if Arroyo's .326/.388/.511 pro debut in rookie ball is any indicator. The Florida high schooler played well defensively and hit better than anyone (except the Giants) expected.
26) Eric Jagielo, 3B, Yankees: The Notre Dame power bat showed off his pop in the New York-Penn League, hitting .266/.376/.451 with six homers, 26 walks, and 54 strikeouts in 51 games. He profiles to put up similar numbers at higher levels, not a guy who will win batting crowns, but someone who should draw walks and hit for power.
27) Phillip Ervin, OF, Reds: This Samford product could be one of the steals of the draft, if his debut means anything. He hit .331/.425/.564 with nine homers and 14 steals in 15 attempts over 46 games between the Pioneer and Midwest Leagues. His power/speed combination looks legit, and his strike zone judgment draws praise.
28) Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cardinals: New Jersey high school talent posted a 3.68 ERA with a 28/9 K/BB in 22 innings in the rookie level Gulf Coast League. Small amount of data so far, but the strikeout rate was solid and scouting reports confirm quality fastball/curveball combination.
29) Ryne Stanek, RHP, Rays: The University of Arkansas ace didn't pitch after signing with the Rays.
30) Travis Demeritte, SS, Rangers: Super-toolsy Georgia high school infielder hit .285/.411/.444 in his pro debut in the Arizona Rookie League, with a 29/49 BB/K ratio in 144 at-bats, drawing praise for his athleticism and chance to hit for both power and average.
31) Jason Hursh, RHP, Braves: Oklahoma State University hard-throwing sinkerballer Hursh posted a 0.67 ERA in 27 innings in the South Atlantic League, with a 15/10 K/BB and a 1.95 GO/AO. He keeps the ball down but will need to show sharper command at higher levels.
32) Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees: The 6-7, 255 pound Fresno State outfielder didn't get any professional at-bats, opening his career on the disabled list with an undisclosed injury.
33) Ian Clarkin, LHP, Yankees: The California high school pitching star pitched just five innings in rookie ball, hampered by an ankle injury, giving up six runs, five hits, and four walks with four strikeouts, which means exactly nothing at this stage.