2013 Draft: Shadowing the Minor League Ball Mock Draft

Red Sox pummel Yankees, win 11-1
2013 Draft: Teddy Stankiewicz
(Gonzaga Baseball)
(Gonzaga Baseball)

Every year over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels hosts a community mock draft where readers serve as the scouting director for each team and make picks for the first four rounds. It was five rounds once upon a time, but they’ve since knocked it down to four to save time and sanity. I served as the Yankees mock scouting director back in 2007 and landed two big leaguers with my five picks: RHP Andrew Brackman and RHP Barry Enright. Hardly impact players, but at least they got to the show I guess.

The 2013 mock draft was held yesterday, and you can see all the picks right here: First Round, Competitive Balance Round A, Second Round, Competitive Balance Round B, Third Round, and Fourth Round. As I’ve done the last five years, here are the players I would have taken in those slots had I been calling the shots for the Yankees. Click the linked names below for my individual player write-ups, and here are past shadowed mock drafts: 2007, 2008, 20092011, and 2012. Apparently I never did one in 2010. Not sure what happened there.

First Round (#26 overall)
Mock Draft: C Jon Denney, Oklahoma HS
My Pick: LHP Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga

I love Fresno State OF Aaron Judge, but I love Gonzales more. The southpaw doesn’t offer the same pure upside of Judge, who is a true physical freak with big power and speed and center field defense, but he’s incredibly polished with a pair of put-away offspeed offerings. Gonzales could be ready to pitch in the big leagues as soon as the second half of 2014, which is an added bonus. I tend to prefer high school arms and big upside, so this is definitely against the grain for me. I’m a big fan though.

Denney is a very good pick here and a bit more Yankees-esque in the profile as an up-the-middle athlete who can mash.

First Round (#32 overall, for Nick Swisher)
Mock Draft: SS Riley Unroe, Arizona HS
My Pick: RHP Kyle Serrano, Tennessee HS

I definitely would have grabbed Judge here if he was still on the board, but he went 27th to the Reds. Serrano gets the call instead and I’m more than happy to have him. If he was a few inches taller than his listed 6-foot-1, there’s a pretty good chance he would have gone in the top 15 picks. A high schooler with easy 90-94 mph velocity, one of the draft’s best curveballs, and a super advanced changeup? Gimme gimme gimme. It will take a huge bite out of my $7.96M draft pool to buy him away from his father Dave, the head coach at Tennessee, but I’m willing to get it done.

Unroe is a sneaky great pick here. He’s a switch-hitter with elite bat speed and a good chance to remain at shortstop long-term. If he can’t, second base or center field are viable alternatives. Unroe’s drawn rave reviews for his makeup and work ethic, and his father Tim played professionally for a decade. Definitely sounds like someone the Yankees would target.

First Round (#33 overall, for Rafael Soriano)
Mock Draft: RHP Aaron Blair, Marshall
My Pick: OF Billy McKinney, Texas HS

With the second of the back-to-back picks, I’m grabbing my first position player. McKinney is arguably the best pure hitter in the high school ranks this year, with an advanced approach and a sweet left-handed swing geared for hard contact. It’s unclear if he’ll stay in center field or wind up in a corner spot down the road, but I’m buying the bat here. Anything more is a bonus.

Blair’s a solid pick at this slot, but I already took one “safe” college arm and sure as hell wasn’t taking a second this high in the draft.

Second Round (#66 overall)
Mock Draft: LHP A.J. Puk, Iowa HS
My Pick: OF Jordan Paroubeck, California HS

Absolutely thrilled to land Paroubeck here. The Barry Bonds-trained switch-hitter shows power from both sides of the plate as well as better-than-average speed on the bases, plus he’s a legitimate center field athlete and defender. Thrilled.

Puk has looked like a potential first rounder at times this spring, but he’s sat more in the high-80s in recent weeks while pitching through some real sloppy weather in the heartland. An okay curveball and changeup round out his developing repertoire. He’s huge, listed at 6-foot-7 and 220 lbs., and he’s shown he can run his fastball up to 93 in the past. Solid pick here after the down spring.

Third Round (#103)
Mock Draft: OF Terry McClure, Georgia HS
My Pick: 2B L.J. Mazzilli, UConn

It’s going to take big bucks to sign those top four players, so it’s time to work in a cheap college senior to save some draft pool money. The son of former Yankees player and coach Lee Mazzilli, L.J. is a legitimate prospect who is a high-contact, advanced approach offensive second baseman. He hits right-handed and is a very instinctual player, which serves him well on the bases and in the field. Obviously there are big league bloodlines as well, but this isn’t just a nepotism pick. Mazzilli can play.

McClure is a toolsy center fielder who may or may not hit enough in pro ball, and he’s been ripped constantly for being nonchalant and having bad body language. His love for the game has been questioned, that kind of stuff. There’s upside but also a ton of risk.

Fourth Round (#134 overall)
Mock Draft: 3B Drew Dosch, Youngstown State
My Pick: RHP Tony Rizzotti, Tulane

Rizzotti has attended three colleges in three years — TCU, Grayson Junior College (Texas), and Tulane — in an effort to find more innings. Although he starts for the Green Wave, he projects as a reliever long-term thanks a power mid-to-high-90s fastball and wipeout mid-80s slider. He doesn’t have a third pitch. Rizzotti has missed time with knee trouble (including two surgeries) and back spasms over the last few years, but at this point in the draft, I’m just looking at the power stuff and hoping to get a lockdown reliever for a few years.

Dosch is one of the best pure hitters in the college crop, with an easy left-handed swing and gap power. It’s unclear if he’ll be able to crack double-digit homers with wood bats or stick at third base, however.

* * *

I feel like I got four first round-caliber talents in Gonzales, Serrano, McKinney, and Paroubeck. Those latter three all have a chance to become impact big leaguers while Gonzales figures to settle in as a solid contributor more than a true star. Rizzotti could contribute plenty in relief if he stays healthy as well. It’ll take a ton of cash to sign those top four players, so I’d have to take college seniors from rounds five through ten to make the draft pool work. Such is life.

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Red Sox pummel Yankees, win 11-1
2013 Draft: Teddy Stankiewicz
  • emac2

    Why did you decide to start off with a likely solid contributor?

    I’ve always been troubled with the Yankees tendency to overvalue players who are well rounded or have the right attitude. I think these are nice things to have but being above average in lots of facets is never going to equal greatness.

    If you want a great player you need to have someone with at least one great tool that isn’t mental. There are always a few exceptions to this rule but the idea of using first round picks on players that will never have an elite tool or even a prayer of being great misses the fact that the baseball draft is a total crapshoot that almost never works out. (other then the top of the first round)

    I equate it to slot machines. Do you play the slot with the $500 jackpot or the one with the million dollar jackpot?

    I play for the million because winning $500 doesn’t change anything. Drafting a first round pitcher who might be a number 3 if he works out would be the equivalent of winning a game with no prize.

    • Laz

      I agree, I want the high ceiling player even if they are a big less certain. A #3 starter with a few struggles is a 4 or 5, and we have plenty of those at this time.

    • Jacob the OG

      I mostly agree with this but I think we do need to take one safe college arm (i.e. Gonzalez or Blair) and go upside with the rest.

  • Bob Buttons

    It will take a huge bite out of my $7.96M draft pool to buy him away from his father Dave, the head coach at Tennessee, but I’m willing to get it done.

    And they say family bonds are stronger than money.

    • Laz

      Hey, if your kid was guaranteed $3M wouldn’t you tell him to sign up?

      • emac2

        Not if he wanted to wait and the family had plenty of money.

        • Laz

          Right, but as a parent I don’t think you should feel offended if they took this opportuity.

      • Bob Buttons

        An argument can be made that pitching for your dad in school is a chance of a life time. As a father I would want my son to take the money. As a son I wouldn’t take the money.

    • radnom

      Its not like he has to foresake his father if he joins a team. They will still see each on Thanksgiving.

      • Bob Buttons

        Or more if you’re Colby & Tony Rasmus.

  • jobas fat stache

    All three picks should be high caliber arms. The system is begging for that valuable asset. The big club can always sign an Of on the cheap. There are enough young Cathers in the system to wait a few rounds before selecting one atthe top of the draft. Not to mention the Il draft.

    • Laz

      I’d pick based on ceiling. I’d prefer a some high ceiling pitchers, but if you see some great offensive players, snatch them up.

      • jjyank

        This. Take the best talent available. Period.

        • Kevin Towers

          Boo.

  • Jacob the OG

    The first three picks are a good hall either way, Paroubek and McKinney would be absolutely amazing at those spots. Excited for the draft

  • Guns

    At this point the Yankees should pull a Costanza in the draft – whatever they think they should do, do the opposite.

  • John C

    Totally agree with the McKinney and PAroubeck picks at those spots, though I don’t think McKinney will last that long. I think I would take Unroe with one of those 2 comp picks.

  • Zack D

    It’s always interesting to go back to old mock drafts and plug in names into baseball-reference, not always pretty

  • Anthony_14

    I like the idea of a Jon Denney pick because the Yankees have a good tradition with breeding catchers. I would only hope that in the event that Sanchez does not work out, they do not leave this guy in A-ball for four years. Not all players get better in the minors. They could have moved Sanchez up right now. He can ground into double plays as well as Romine. But I like the pick, seems smart.

  • nycsportzfan

    If i could pick, i’d go

    Jon Denney
    Chris Anderson
    Tim Anderson

  • Wayne

    I would prefer three high end starting pitchers JD Busfield Evan Anderson both have great deliveries and are big and are definitely high end at 32 and 33 and Alex Balog at 26!