Sadly, not all first round draft picks pan out. Just because you are a prospect that a major league team used a first round draft pick on doesn’t mean you will become a major league player, and a productive or better one at that.
It’s been roughly three and a half years since the 2013 June Amateur Draft and we can already start to see some wasted picks emerge. Sure, the jury isn’t completely out on these prospects, but at this point, well, let’s just say it doesn’t look good. So, what happened along the way to turn these first round draft picks into prospects that don’t wow us as dynasty baseball owners in 2017?
Mark Appel – Drafted by Houston Astros – RHP – Drafted out of Stanford
Mark Appel was highly thought of entering the 2013 draft. He ended up being the top overall pick in the draft, and in an article on May 17, 2013 Baseball America had him as their second ranked player. The guy had / has talent. Since the start of 2015 Mr. Appel hasn’t posted an ERA lower than 4.26 and an FIP lower than 4.06 (this statement excludes the start of the 2017 season). Walks have been a problem, and it has been a problem that has continued to get worse. The Astros organization has to be upset with themselves for passing up on many players that have been better than Mr. Appel, however, the player that went to the Chicago Cubs just one pick after Appel, third baseman Kris Bryant, has made the Appel selection in hindsight look silly. At 25-years-old Mr. Appel has seen his top prospect luster fade.
Chris Anderson – Drafted by Los Angeles Dodgers – RHP – Drafted out of Jacksonville
I think it’s safe to say at this point in time that the Mr. Anderson draft pick, number 18 overall in the 2013 draft, was a complete waste for the Dodgers, as he was released by the organization recently. This 24-year-old failed prospect only managed a 5.90 ERA in 39.2 innings pitched in AA ball in 2016 with a 5.93 FIP. Oh sure, his A+ ball 3.25 ERA in 27.2 innings pitched in 2016 looked a lot better, however, his 4.98 FIP tells the real story of his effectiveness (or lack thereof) at that level. He is a former prospect, one that in that same Baseball America article was ranked 26th overall, has seen his luster completely fade.
Jonathon Crawford – Drafted by Detroit Tigers – RHP – Drafted out of Florida
As the 19th ranked prospect in that Baseball America article Mr. Crawford was drafted at around where Baseball America saw his talent level at as the Tigers selected him with the 20th pick of the 2013 draft. Now with the Cincinnati Reds minor league system (since 2015) Mr. Crawford has been beyond awful in the amount of free passes he gives to hitters, typically with a BB% of 12% or above. That is a big problem and at 25-years-old his prospect status is diminishing by the day.
Nick Ciuffo – Drafted by Tampa Bay Rays – C – Drafted out of Lexington (S.C.) High School
Mr. Ciuffo is a defensive oriented catcher whose offense likely never will be anything special or good enough to be even a major league backup. I would say it is fair to say, looking back, that the Rays wish they would have drafted someone else, like say, Aaron Judge (OF – NYY), for example. At least Baseball America had a similar opinion of Mr. Ciuffo entering the 2013 draft, as in that article they had him ranked 20th, and he was selected with the 21st pick.
Chi Chi Gonzalez – Drafted by Texas Rangers – RHP – Drafted out of Oral Roberts
As a 24-year-old in AAA ball in 2016 Mr. Gonzalez pitched 138 innings. He only managed a 4.70 ERA. At least his FIP was lower at 4.20, but, that is hardly a number to be happy about. Is he a complete failure as a draft pick at this point? No, but at this point a lot of the luster has been rubbed off the former 23rd overall draft pick.
Eric Jagielo – Drafted by New York Yankees – 3B – Drafted out of Notre Dame
The former 26th overall 2013 draft pick by the Yankees, now with the Cincinnati Reds minor league system, had 420 plate appearances in 2016 for the Reds AA ball affiliate and managed only a .205 batting average and a 30.5% K% with only 7 home runs. Suffice to say that he hasn’t exactly panned out as a first round prospect, one that Baseball America had ranked 17th overall in that article.
Phillip Ervin – Drafted by Cincinnati Reds – OF – Drafted out of Samford
Simply put, the power potential is there for Mr. Ervin but the hit tool is not, and that keeps him from tapping into it enough to profile as more than a platoon or backup outfielder at the major league level. At 24-years-old I’m just not so sure his prospect profile exceeds the MLB platoon or backup outfielder designation and a guy that has some speed.
Ryne Stanek – Drafted by Tampa Bay Rays – RHP – Drafted out of Arkansas
During 2016 Mr. Stanek, the former 29th overall pick of the 2013 draft, moved from the starting rotation to a bullpen role in the Rays minor league system. In 24.1 innings pitched, solely as a reliever, in AAA ball in 2016 Mr. Stanek posted a 5.92 ERA with a 4.81 FIP. Those are not pretty numbers. His 12.2% BB% also wasn’t pretty, in fact, it was beyond awful. Mr. Stanek is 25-years-old and will turn 26 during the season and his prospect luster is fading fast.
Not included on this list is Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher prospect Phil Bickford because his minor league performance has kept him relevant. However, the former 10th overall 2013 draft pick has something else weighing him down. This winter he was suspended for 50 games. The reason: A drug of abuse positive test. This hasn’t been the first time he has tested positive either. It is his second time. Thus, there is some concern surrounding him.
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