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We’re some three weeks away from Major League Baseball’s First-Year Players Draft, during which droves of high school and college baseball players will be chosen by MLB organizations to fill their farm systems.  Most all of the draftees will never make it further than the low minors.  A handful of the college guys, however, are already too advanced for short-season or instructional ball.  Mind you, this group is merely a tiny fraction of the overall draft class — there aren’t many guys worth noting for fantasy baseball purposes just yet.  But there are some.  So for the next few installments of this Scouting the Unknown series — which is typically reserved for already-pros — I’m going to highlight some draft prospects who could be bringing fantasy relevance to the not-so-distant future.

Braden Shipley | RHP, Nevada

Gifted pitchers tend to arrive in the majors a bit more quickly than the hitters.  2012 first-rounders like Kevin Gausman and Michael Wacha are already on the cusp of breaking through in the bigs, and both could be making impacts in fantasy ball this year.  Braden Shipley is one of the few 2013 draft prospects who could find himself on the mixed league radar a year from now.  A University of Nevada product, Shipley displays a rare combination among pitching prospects:  supreme athleticism and plenty of polish to go with it.  His fastball is a plus offering, siting low- to mid-90s, touching elite velocity on occasion.  His changeup, though, is the pitch that stands out — probably the best change in the draft class, and he throws it with confidence and great deception.  Reports on his breaking stuff are mixed, but most scouts are optimistic that his hard curve will blossom into a third plus weapon.  At 6-3, 190, Shipley’s frame projects well as a starter.  A mid-rotation gig seems the most likely destination for him, but there’s front-end potential here if development goes well.  Expect Shipley to be drafted within the first 15 picks.

Kris Bryant | 3B/OF, San Diego

It’s true that college pitchers tend to push toward the bigs a bit more quickly than hitters, but there are always exceptions.  Take Mike Zunino, for instance.  Drafted third overall last June, Zunino has climbed through the minors with haste, and will almost certainly surface in Seattle this summer.  Kris Bryant is the top college bat in the 2013 draft class, perhaps the best overall bat in the class, regardless of age.  Huge power is his best asset (28 HR through 191 AB in 2013), but the rest of his tools at the plate are quite good, too.  His career AVG at San Diego sits north of .350, he draws plenty of walks (.506 OBP), and he seldom strikes out.  Bryant’s advanced skillset could draw top 5 interest, and it’s extremely doubtful he’ll slip past pick 10.  He should be the quickest moving bat in this year’s crop.

Jonathan Gray | RHP, Oklahoma

At 6-4, 235, Jonathan Gray throws hard — really hard.  He’s comfortable sitting in the upper-90s, and he cranks it up to the triple digits with ease.  The heater is an easy plus-plus pitch, and it only serves to amplify the effectiveness of the slider and the change — both solid offerings with plus potential.  Altogether, the repertoire is a wonderful whiff generator (112/19 K/BB in 94 IP this season).  Provided his command stays sharp as he ventures into pro ball, Gray’s pure stuff could have success in the upper levels right away.  A Class-A assignment to begin the year seems more likely, and probably more prudent, but I expect to see him reach Double-A by year’s end.  I also expect him to be off the board before pick 3.  Cubs and Astros fans should be excited at the prospect of landing this one.

From Around The Web

  1. gareth says:
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    Have you compiled a first round cheat sheet? I’m curious who would be available for cleveland’s high pick. I’m gussing grey and appel will be gone?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Appel will likely be gone, but both Gray & Bryant could be there at #5… I haven’t drawn up any mocks yet…

  2. TheNewGuy says:
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    Nice man but no Apple?

    Trade offer for ya. Fister and Henderson for C Davis

    Im looking for a CI with Freese and Hosmers suckitude and I think Davis is legit. But not sure I can afford the pitching losses with only 3 closers and many potential saves vultures owned by one team. Also Gallardos struggles. My staff:

    Fister, Price, Shark, H Bailey, Peavy, Gallardo, Kendrick.

    Can I afford the pitching hits, and are you worried about Gallardo?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I covered Appel here last May — http://razzball.com/scouting-the-unknown-2012-draft-edition-part-2/

      I’ll probably write on him again for the next installment, though. No promises…

      I’d hold. Freese is streaky & he’s been ice cold… he’ll catch a heater before long. I still have lingering hope for Hosmer, but it’s fading quickly. Ultimately don’t think you can afford the hit to your staff…

  3. Oppo Taco says:
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    Hey scott, I pulled the trigger on a trade yesterday (before wheeler’s clavicle issue) I traded away Corbin/Tavares for Asdrubal Cabrera/Wheeler. My pitching is stacked with MadBum, Shields, Harvey and Zimm as my top 4. my SS was Lowrie so figured I needed an uprgrade. Its a keeper. Good deal? thanks

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I like selling high on Corbin, but I’m truly in love with Taveras — he’s the best piece of this swap by a huge margin, IMO. Obviously it’s important to address some needs, but parting with Oscar would be tough for me…

      • Oppo Taco says:
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        @Scott Evans: although it’s a keeper our rules are that we’re only allowed to keep 7 guys. I didnt see Oscar making the cut over McCutchen, j up, Goldy, Harvey, bumgarner and 2 of either Jordan Zimmerman/Ryan Zimmerman/Joey bats. I loved being able to draft Oscar but he looked like a player I’d only be using for 2013 (barring some monstrous immediate performance which I’m now dreading of the idea) ….also have profar on my roster.

        • Oppo Taco says:
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          @Oppo Taco: tried to trade profar and keep Oscar but the owner was dead set on taveras, with good reason

          • Scott Evans

            Scott Evans says:
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            Yeah, Taveras is a little fringy if you’re only going 7 deep… I still think, though, that if/when he arrives, you’ll be disappointed. Glad to hear that it’s not a full dynasty at least…

  4. Allof says:
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    Who would you rather have: Gallardo or holland

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Gallardo

  5. Abs says:
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    Hey Scott great read! Have you see Ryan Boldt, OF, i think he is an interesting bat coming out this year, looks kinda like David Dahl

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Thanks! Boldt is a toolshed, much like Dahl, but I spend most of my focus on college guys instead of preps… That said, can’t wait to see him in pro ball.

      • Mr. April says:
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        @Scott Evans:

        Bolt suffered a torn meniscus last week and underwent surgery that will keep him out for the remainder of the HS season. Will probably hurt his draft stock and could have him heading to Nebraska in the fall. His cousin currently plays for the Huskers so that plus the injury would leads me to assume he’s leaning more toward college at this point.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          Thanks for the update… disappointing news, however.

  6. Scott —

    Quick question – sorta prospect related. If a Tampa SP was injured (ie. David Price a few minutes ago… )…. who would likely be inserted into rotation:

    A) Chris Archer
    B) Jake Odorizzi
    C) someone else like Jamey Wright…

    I’m hoping answer is “A”, but wanted to get your thoughts.

    Thanks

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Odorizzi

  7. Ooops — hit enter too quickly. Regarding above post for Archer/Odorizzi, here are their current Minor League #s:

    Archer (AAA) — 34 ip, 4-2, 3.97 era, 1.50 whip, 39 k’s
    Odorizzi (AAA) — 39 ip, 4-0, 2.97 era, 1.05 whip, 41 k’s

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Still Odorizzi…

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Scott Evans: damn, grey says the opposite.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          Archer is better long-term option & he’s been solid this year, but Odorizzi has showed more polish & my guess is he’ll get first chance at starts this year. Both will likely start games in Tampa this year, though…

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          Also keep an eye on Alex Colome — killing it at Durham past few starts.

  8. Roy says:
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    Where have you been all my life?!?!???? So glad I found this website.

    I am in a 24 team 5keeper league. All the top prospects are rostered. So who is the next big thing to get called up soon? I have odorizzi in my bench and thinking about adding bogaerts.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Bogaerts is a much better option than Odorizzi for the long-term, but he probably won’t surface til 2014.

  9. Oppo Taco says:
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    Scott any chance on Rendon coming back up? I read hes taking reps at 2B and Espinosa has looked pretty terrible, but i’m guessing hes blocked until an injury hits. Also an ETA on Yelich? where does he fit with respect to guys like Profar and Tavares. thanks again

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Rendon could certainly resurface as a 2B given Espinosa’s struggles. ETA on Yelich is tough to gauge — Miami doesn’t seem apprehensive when calling-up prospects, so could be before All Star break… Yelich is one of the best hitting prospects in the game, and thus, one of the best fantasy prospects… he’s in that next tier behind Taveras/Profar/Myers…

  10. Morgan says:
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    @scott

    I was just offered my Ike Davis and Matt Harvey for Albert Pujols..should I pull the trigger?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I like the Pujols side of this deal.

  11. Allan says:
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    Scott, I need a spot starter this week. Who do you like out of pettitte, liriano, cashner, and mcallister? Also any of them worth keeping?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Cashner

  12. Katie Chadwick Doesn't Approve says:
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    Hey, Scott and whoever else would like to politely answer. What type of OF do you think could be pulled in a Hambone trade? I own Rios, Davis, McLouth, and Bourn and I’d love to land Adam Jones, but I’m certain I’d need to supplement the trade with an arm too. What’s fair in a 2 for 2 for a H2H points league or what OF should I pursue?

    My SPs: CLee, CC, Ogando, Cingrani, Lester, Ryu, HBailey, IKennedy, Grimm, MEstrada, JFernandez, NA GCole, NA Wheeler

    AJ’s team: Strasburg, Pettitte, CBuchholz, JZimmerman, Samardjiza, Greinke, Darvish, Slowey, Milone

    This is a 10 team league. Sorry if this is unreasonable and long; I’m just tired of starting Hamilton’s tattooed ass waiting for him to heat up and I’m getting desperate. Took him 18th in the draft and I’d like to stop verbally abusing him on Twitter. Thanks, go Phils.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Cingrani or CC would be good guys to sell if you’re trying to sweeten a package

  13. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:
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    Scott, thanks for the articles; I am in a dynasty league and partial keeper league, and I find the information quite helpful. But my question is – what would you guess is a plausible call-up date for Taveras, and is he worth sitting on in an RCL league, where you have only three bench slots?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Thanks, Paulie. Wish I had a good ETA for Taveras, but for as long as Beltran/Holliday are healthy & Jon Jay is hitting, he’ll be in the minors. I have Taveras stashed in a RCL, and I’m facing the same tough decision… Gonna hang on for a bit longer.

  14. Bayonne bleeder says:
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    Minor league draft going on. 6×6 OBP & K/9 is xtra categories.

    We get 4 and I have E Rosario to drop for anyone better

    I’m looking at A Hanson OR Joc Peterson OR wacha- who is best ?
    any other BONAFIED future studs out there rated around #65 or higher that I should investigate

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Hanson would be a good guy to target, Wacha too… if you can take draft prospects, Kris Bryant would be a nice grab…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Some others: Gregory Polanco, Yordano Ventura, Matt Davidson…

  15. Mariner Mike says:
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    My rotation, Kapshaw,Sherzer,Corbin,Smarja,Kendrick,Ryu,Harvey, with Wheeler stashed. What do you think going forward? Does staff look solid to you? Ten team league.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Solid rotation… expect some regression w/ Harvey & Corbin, but nothing worth making a trade over.

  16. Targaryen says:
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    I have a 50 moves limit in my league & I’m nearing halfway mark. I need to make my moves count here. 14 dynasty teams that love quality starters (who doesn’t) but also quntity. Who do you like between Archer, Odorizzi & Gausman. In haste, I dropped Hammel & grab izzi. Are they close. Will Archer be the better of the 2 or still too early to tell? I already have Gausman, love his 4.00 K/W ratio. Thanks for allowing me to ramble & and all the research hours you put into these minor leaguers

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Archer has the better long-term outlook, but I like Odorizzi for 2013. He’s simply shown more polish than Archer.

  17. Mines bigger says:
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    Think I drop Gary Sanchez in mi minor league stash and go for a Hanson?
    I have segura at 13 $ next year in this 6×6 OBP deep league.
    Who will be the better player over thier first 3 years in MLB?

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