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Welcome to Pro Ball: Reviewing 2013 MLB Draft, Third Round

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Here is a review of the third round of the 2013 MLB draft.

Jeff Thompson
Jeff Thompson

74) Kent Emanuel, LHP, Astros: Drafted from the University of North Carolina, Emanuel was solid in the spring (11-5, 3.14, 98/32 K/BB in 132 innings) and was held to just nine innings in pro ball for workload reasons. He can touch 90 but usually works in the upper 80s, mixing in a very good changeup, a slider, and a curve. He knows how to pitch and should move through the system quickly as an inning-eating strike-thrower type.

75) Jacob Hannemann, OF, Cubs:
Drafted out of Brigham Young University, Hannemann hit .344/.415/.553 during the college season and continued to perform in pro ball, with a .290/.312/.468 mark in 14 games for Boise in the Northwest League. A draft-eligible 22-year-old freshman due to his Mormon background, he signed for an over-slot $1,000,000 bonus. He runs very well and has power potential but is considered rather raw for his age.

76) Ivan Wilson, OF, Mets:
Drafted out of high school in Ruston, Louisiana, Wilson is an excellent athlete with above-average speed and power potential, but is raw as a baseball player. He hit just .219/.321/.300 in 47 games in rookie ball, fanning 65 times in 160 at-bats. He did steal 13 bases in 15 attempts, but otherwise has a lot of work to do offensively. Wilson is a six-year high-upside, high-risk project.

77) Sam Moll, LHP, Rockies:
Moll posted a 2.30 ERA with a 106/32 K/BB in 94 innings at the University of Memphis, then remained effective with a 1.80 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB in 30 innings for Tri-City in the Northwest League. He can hit 95 MPH and has a good curveball, but his 5-11, 185 pound build kept him out of the first two rounds. It remains to be seen if he starts or relieves in the long run, but he is not the standard college soft-tossing lefty.

78) Stuart Turner, C, Twins
: Turner hit .374/.444/.518 for the University of Mississippi, following up with a .264/.340/.380 mark in 34 games in the Appalachian League. Scouts love Turner’s glove and he will get to the major leagues on his defense alone, but his bat draws mixed reviews and we’ll have to see if he hits enough to start. He has a measure of plate discipline but may not provide much power.

79) Dace Kime, RHP, Indians:
Kime was solid at the University of Louisville, with a 2.99 ERA and an 83/20 K/BB in 69 innings. He remained effective in the New York-Penn League, posting a 2.92 ERA with a 26/16 K/BB in 25 innings. Kime will need sharper command at higher levels, but his stuff is just fine, with a 90-95 MPH fastball, a plus curve, a change-up, and a cutter to keep hitters off-balance. He could be a mid-rotation starter.

80) Ben DeLuzio, SS, Marlins:
Drafted out of high school in Orlando, DeLuzio did not sign with the Marlins and will attend college at Florida State University. He’s raw but quite athletic and could be a very early pick in the 2016 draft if his college career goes according to plan.

81) Jonathan Denney, C, Red Sox
: Selected from high school in Yukon, Oklahoma, Denney was rated as a first-round talent pre-draft but fell to the third round due to a University of Arkansas commitment and some doubts about his glove. The Red Sox signed him for $875,000. He hit just .203/.379/.243 in rookie ball with 29 strikeouts in 74 at-bats, but scouts like his power potential and he has the tools to be a good catcher with more experience.

82) Carter Hope, RHP, Royals:
Selected from high school in The Woodlands, Texas, Hope was signed away from Oklahoma State University for $560,900. He gave up 21 hits and 15 runs in 13 innings in rookie ball, but at this stage that doesn’t mean much. He can hit 90, should throw harder with time, and has potential with his curveball and change-up, projecting as a potential mid-rotation arm if everything comes together. He is the brother of Marlins prospect Mason Hope.

83) Patrick Murphy, RHP, Blue Jays:
Drafted from high school in Chandler, Arizona, Murphy was signed away from the University of Oregon for $500,000. The Tommy John survivor has yet to make his pro debut, but scouts like his 6-4, 210 pound build and his potential to throw three pitches in a starting rotation someday. Long-term project.

84) Casey Meisner, RHP, Mets
: A high school pitcher from Cypress, Texas, Meisner was signed for $500,000 away from college at Texas Tech. Tall and projectable at 6-7, 185, he posted a 3.06 ERA with a 28/10 K/BB in 35 innings in rookie ball. He has the typical development needs of a tall young pitcher, needing greater consistency with his mechanics, but he has starting pitcher potential if his secondary pitches and command come together.

85) Tyler O’Neill, OF, Mariners:
From high school in British Columbia, O’Neill signed for $650,000, eschewing his commitment to Oregon State. Some experts saw him as a potential first rounder due to his strong bat, and indeed he hit well in rookie ball (.310/.405/.450). Questions about his position kept him out of the first two rounds but he’s got a chance to hit for both average and power and could be one of the bargains of the draft.

86) Bryan Verbitsky, RHP, Padres:
From Hofstra University, Verbitsky was one of the least-expected early picks in the draft. He posted a 2.66 ERA with a 51/10 K/BB in 44 innings in college, but was viewed as more of an eighth-10th round choice by most. The Padres like him due to a 93 MPH fastball and overall athleticism, plus he cost just $400,000. He posted a 4.01 ERA with a 47/38 K/BB in 49 innings in the Northwest League.

87) JaCoby Jones, INF-OF, Pirates
: Jones had an erratic career at Louisiana State, showing first-round tools but not quite living up to expectations. He hit .294/.390/.448 during the college season then .311/.358/.459 in 15 games in the New York-Penn League. Scouts see a complete set of tools including power and speed, but he doesn’t have a great feel for the strike zone and is something of an enigma overall, at least partly due to makeup concerns. He could turn into anything from a solid regular to a utility player to a Triple-A washout.

88) Daniel Palka, 1B, Diamondbacks:
Palka mashed the ball at Georgia Tech (.343/.436/.637, 17 homers) and brought his skills forward to pro ball with a .310/.392/.516 line between the Pioneer and Northwest Leagues. It is uncertain whether his batting average and OBP skills will hold up against advanced pitching, but the power is attractive and few bats in this draft can hit the ball farther.

89) Cord Sandberg , OF, Phillies:
Selected from high school in Bradenton, Florida, Sandberg cost $775,000 to buy away from football at Mississippi State. His potential as a power hitter is considerable but his rookie ball performance (.207/.313/.272 in 48 games) highlighted the need for refinement. Don’t expect rapid advancement, but the Phillies enjoy working with raw upside talents like Sandberg.

90) Barrett Astin, RHP, Brewers:
Astin posted a 1.79 ERA with a 74/20 K/BB in 91 innings for the University of Arkansas in the spring, followed by a 4.30 ERA with a 31/11 K/BB in 38 innings in the Pioneer League. Working with a sinker, curveball, and cutter, Astin throws strikes and is efficient. He saved 11 games for the Razorbacks in 2012 and relief may be his long-term role.

91) Jacob May, OF, White Sox:
May hit .324/.417/.495 with 16 steals for Coastal Carolina, then .286/.346/.461 in 54 games for Kannapolis in the Sally League, with 19 steals. His grandfather Lee and granduncle Carlos played in the major leagues, and May’s athleticism reflects that background. His best tool is speed, but he showed some pop in his pro debut and generally more polish than expected.

92) Brandon Dixon, 3B, Dodgers:
Drafted from the University of Arizona, Dixon hit .369/.443/.561 during the college campaign but struggled at a disappointing .185/.277/.261 in 59 games in the Midwest League. He was seen as a solid contact hitter with moderate power in college, but had problems making contact against pro pitching, with 65 whiffs in 211 at-bats.

93) Mike Mayers, RHP, Cardinals:
Drafted from the University of Mississippi, Mayers posted a 2.83 ERA with a 73/37 K/BB in 92 innings during the spring. He pitched 36 innings in between rookie ball and the Midwest League, posting a 3.00 ERA with a 27/11 K/BB. He can hit 90 but his secondary pitches drew mixed reviews in college and some experts felt this was an overdraft. Given the Cardinals recent track record with college arms, Mayers could end up being a nice surprise.

94) Jeff Thompson, RHP, Tigers:
Thompson had a great spring at the University of Louisville (11-2, 2.19, 113/34 K/BB in 107 innings) and held his own in pro ball (3.80 ERA, 42/19 K/BB in 45 innings in the Midwest League). He’s big (6-6, 250), throws hard (up to 95) and has a slider and change-up, but his fastball is rather straight and his command of the secondary pitches needs some work. He could be a solid workhorse starter or a more dominant reliever.

95) Kenyon Middleton, RHP, Angels
: Drafted from Lane Community College in Oregon, Middleton is athletic and throws in the low-90s, but is raw and needs to improve his curveball and change. He was hit hard in his pro debut, posting a 7.76 ERA with a 20/18 K/BB in 29 innings between the Arizona Rookie League and the Pioneer League. He played basketball in college and could improve quickly now that he is focused on one sport.

96) Jan Hernandez, SS, Phillies
: Drafted out of Puerto Rico and signed for $550,000, Hernandez got some first round buzz early with a promising bat and strong throwing arm, but lost stock due to an inconsistent spring. He didn’t do much in pro ball, hitting .210/.291/.347 in 39 games in rookie ball, fanning 50 times in just 124 at-bats. He also made 11 errors in 36 games at third base. It remains to be seen what the Phillies have here but he will obviously need development time.

97) Thomas Milone, OF, Rays
: From high school in Monroe, Connecticut, Milone passed up UConn for $528,100. He hit poorly in rookie ball (.209/.264/.297 with seven walks, 39 strikeouts in 148 at-bats) but he was expected to be raw. Scouts like his speed and athleticism, but his swing needs work and he did not show much of a feel for the strike zone in his debut.

98) Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Orioles:
Drafted from Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, Tarpley looked sharp in the Gulf Coast League (2.14 ERA, 25/3 K/BB in 21 innings), is very athletic, and gets his fastball as high as 95. His slider, curve, and change-up are all promising and he could have been drafted at least one round higher, but questions about his makeup were prominent enough to hurt his stock. He could be a real bargain here if personality factors don’t get in the way.

99) David Ledbetter, RHP, Rangers:
Ledbetter was drafted out of Cedarville University, a small college in Ohio, where he posted a 3.15 ERA with a strong 106/27 K/BB in 71 innings. He was quite effective in his debut (2.93 ERA, 51/19 K/BB in 58 innings in the Northwest League), showing a good sinker to go with a slider, curve, and change. He signed for a bargain price ($350,000) and looks like a nice value as a potential back-rotation starter or bullpen arm.

100) Ryon Healy, 1B, Athletics:
Healy had a strong spring for the University of Oregon (.333/.408/.566 with 11 homers) but didn’t carry this forward to pro ball, batting just .233/.252/.384 in 36 games in the New York-Penn League. He drew only two walks in 150 plate appearances, a bizarrely low total for a guy who showed good discipline in college. I don’t know what to make of that, frankly; the pro numbers don’ t fit the college scouting reports of a guy with a solid swing and advanced hitting approach.

101) Chase Johnson, RHP, Giants
: Johnson posted a 2.31 ERA with a 21/9 K/BB in 23 innings for Cal Poly. He made 10 starts for Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League, ringing up a 4.17 ERA with a 37/12 K/BB in 41 innings. Featuring a fastball up to 96 MPH when used in relief, he is still working on his breaking ball and change-up, though the Giants seem like a good team to develop his talents.

102) Carlos Salazar, RHP, Braves:
Drafted from high school in Kerman, California, Salazar passed up college at Fresno State to sign with the Braves for $625,000. He posted an ugly 6.92 ERA in rookie ball but his impressive 14/5 K/BB in 13 innings is more indicative of his potential than the headline ERA. He has a good arm, hitting 94-97 MPH, but his breaking ball and change-up need considerable work. He is a five-year project but his upside is quite attractive.

103) Michael O’Neill, OF, Yankees:
This athletic outfielder had a strong spring at the University of Michigan (.356/.396/.498 with 23 steals) but was overmatched in the New York-Penn League (.219/.282/.293, 93 whiffs in 256 at-bats). He runs well, shows power, and has center field tools, but contact is obviously a big problem at this stage. Nephew of former Yankee Paul O’Neill, Michael has enough natural talent that the Yankees will be as patient as possible.

104) Mark Armstrong, RHP, Reds:
From high school in Clarence, New York, Armstrong passed up the University of Pittsburgh for $496,000. He threw three shutout innings in two rookie ball appearances. Like most cold-weather high school pitchers, he needs innings and experience and is behind his warm-weather peers in developmental terms, but scouts familiar with him see the potential for three major league pitches.

105) Drew Ward, 3B, Nationals:
From high school in Leedey, Oklahoma, Ward signed for $850,000, passing up college ball at Oklahoma. He hit .292/.402/.387 in 168 at-bats in the Gulf Coast League, with 25 walks. This is an interesting performance: his draft profile rated him as a power hitter with questionable pure hitting skills and a doubtful glove. In rookie ball, he hit for average and drew walks, but hit just one homer. That might actually be a good sign for him: his approach is solid and the power can come as he matures. He also played better than expected defense at third base. Bottom line: the tools are promising and the early returns are good, if shaped differently than anticipated.

106) Chris Kohler, LHP, Athletics:
The only pick in the supplemental third round, California prep lefty Kohler performed well in his pro debut, posting a 2.78 ERA with a 32/9 K/BB in 23 innings in the Arizona Rookie League. Signed away from the University of Oklahoma with a $486,600 bonus, the southpaw is projectable, already hits 90, and shows good potential with a curveball and change-up, giving him mid-rotation starter upside.