With draft season in full swing, we’ve recently been looking back at how recent top 10s have panned out thus far. Having examined 2008, 2010 and 2012, let’s turn our attention to 2013 – certainly a top 10 that has produced more letdowns than success stories.
1.) Mark Appel, RHP, Astros:
- One of the few No. 1 overall picks to never appear in the majors, Appel stepped away from the game in February 2018 after a difficult run in the minors. Appel was then a member of the Phillies, who acquired him from the Astros in a 2015 trade that also delivered righty Vince Velasquez, among others, to Philly. Meanwhile, Houston got reliever Ken Giles, who was up and down in its uniform from 2016-18 before it sent him to Toronto for current closer Roberto Osuna.
2.) Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, Cubs:
- Hands down the best member of this top 10, Bryant’s a lifetime .284/.385/.516 hitter with 138 home runs and 27.8 fWAR. The 28-year-old’s also a three-time All-Star, a former Rookie of the Year (2015) and a past NL MVP (2016). Oh, and the same year he won the MVP, Bryant helped the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years.
3.) Jon Gray, RHP, Rockies:
- Everyone knows it’s especially difficult to prevent runs as a member of the Rockies. Gray has nonetheless enjoyed a fine career so far, though, having tossed 641 1/3 innings of 4.46 ERA/3.77 FIP ball with 9.4 K/9, 2.96 BB/9 and a 47.1 percent groundball rate. He logged a personal-best average fastball velocity of 96.1 mph last year.
4.) Kohl Stewart, RHP, Twins:
- Still just 25, Stewart’s not a sure bet to return to a major league roster after totaling 62 innings and recording a 4.79 ERA/4.80 FIP with a paltry 4.94 K/9 as a Twin from 2018-19. The team outrighted Stewart last winter, and he then ended up with the Orioles on a split contract.
5.) Clint Frazier, OF, Indians:
- Frazier never played for Cleveland, which traded the then-highly ranked prospect to the Yankees in a deal for reliever Andrew Miller in 2016. The Indians got plenty from Miller over parts of three seasons, while the Yankees are still waiting for Frazier to establish himself in the majors. The 25-year-old hasn’t been able to carve out a regular role yet, having hit a mediocre .254/.308/.463 over 429 plate appearances while struggling as an outfielder.
6.) Colin Moran, 3B, Marlins:
- Like Frazier, Moran didn’t suit up for the team that drafted him. Miami instead traded him to the Astros in 2014. Moran appeared briefly with the Astros in 2016-17 before they sent him to Pittsburgh in a blockbuster for ace Gerrit Cole. That worked out very well for the Astros, whereas Moran hasn’t made a sizable impact as a Pirate. Overall, the 27-year-old is a .274/.328/.417 hitter in 1,005 PA.
7.) Trey Ball, LHP, Red Sox:
- Ball never advanced past Double-A ball with Boston, and he hasn’t pitched professionally since 2018.
8.) Hunter Dozier, 3B, Royals:
- It probably took longer than the Royals wanted it to, but Dozier finally came into his own last season. After struggling mightily in 2018, his first extensive look in the majors, the 28-year-old slashed .279/.348/.522 with 26 homers and 3.0 fWAR in 2019.
9.) Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates:
- Notably, the Pirates were only in position to draft Meadows because they received a compensatory pick for failing to sign Appel, their No. 1 selection the previous year. But Meadows didn’t see much time with the Pirates, who moved him and pitchers Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz to the Rays in 2018 for righty Chris Archer. We don’t need to rehash what an overall nightmare that trade has turned into for the Pirates, though it’s still worth mentioning that the 25-year-old Meadows was a .291/.364/.558 batter with 33 HRs and 4.0 fWAR in 2019.
10.) Phil Bickford, RHP, Blue Jays:
- Toronto couldn’t sign Bickford, so it landed the ninth pick in the next draft as compensation. The Blue Jays used that choice on righty Jeff Hoffman, whom they traded to the Rockies in a 2015 deal for shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
Combined fWAR of this 10-player group: 50.4, though approximately 80 percent of that total has come from Bryant and Gray. Here’s how they rank in that category:
- 1.) Bryant: 27.8
- 2.) Gray: 13.1
- 3.) Meadows: 4.2
- 4.) Dozier: 2.1
- 5.) Moran: 0.7
- 5.) Stewart: 0.2
- 6.) Appel/Ball/Bickford: 0.0
- 7.) Frazier: minus-0.3