Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Re-Visiting The 2013 Draft

This week, the MLB Draft Lottery was held. Much to the surprise of many, the Cleveland Guardians picked up the first pick in the 2024 Draft. But we’re not here to discuss that. We’re here to use the power of hindsight to review the first five picks of the 2013 MLB Draft. It seems that each year, drafts in major sports leagues are prime examples of how the excitement around one player can exert itself to a massive degree. It’s also a great example of how things can unravel extremely over ten or twenty years. We’ll see that on more than one occasion today.

Below lie the stories of five men, each affected by the 2013 Draft Lottery and its ensuing fallout. One of them is a former NL MVP. Two have played a combined five games at the big league level. One of them never played a game beyond the minors. In each case, we will find a shared commitment to the game and a drive to play it at its highest level. Unfortunately, for a few of these 2013 Draft picks, even the best ambitions sometimes fall upon hard times. However, hard times or not, these men share one thing: they were once a top ten pick in the 2013 Draft.

The 2013 Draft Revisited

Mark Appel

Mark Appel has an inspiring story. He was drafted #1 overall in the 2013 Draft by the Houston Astros. His first Major League pitch was not thrown until 2022…as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. He was an interesting prospect at Stanford, tossing to a 2.91 ERA and striking out 372 batters in a little over 377 innings. Unfortunately, his time in the Minor Leagues proved difficult at best, and he was dealt to the Phillies for a package headlined by reliever Ken Giles. Once in the Philadelphia system, he continued to labor until his debut. The team released him in March of 2023.

Kris Bryant

The struggling Chicago Cubs needed some offensive power in the 2013 Draft. They got it as Kris Bryant entered their organization. He made a near-immediate impact, hitting .325 with 43 homers between Double-A and Triple-A in 2014. His promotion in 2015 was somewhat nuclear. He made his first back-to-back All-Star appearances and won the NL Rookie of the Year award. In 2016, he hit .292 with 39 homers on the way to an MVP nod and the Cubs first world title in 108 years. However, the years since then have been plagued by injuries. Now, Bryant serves in the infield of the Colorado Rockies.

Jon Gray

Jon Gray has had an up-and-down MLB career. By that, this writer means he’s bounded back and forth between the big and minor leagues.  His draft position has outshone his actual stat line. That being said, a few productive seasons are sprinkled here and there. In 2017, with the Rockies, he went 10-4 with a 3.67 ERA and a career-best 138 ERA+. His 2019 was also impressive, as he won 11 games with an ERA under four. Now, he holds a regular rotation spot with the Texas Rangers.

Kohl Stewart

When a team selects a player in the first round of any draft, they hold high expectations. Such was the case for Kohl Stewart, who went fourth overall in the 2013 Draft. The Minnesota Twins were the holders of such expectations. As such, Stewart was vaulted into minor-league work. Almost immediately, he shone. From 2013 to 2018, Stewart rose through the ranks. By 2018, he was plugging away at Triple-A Rochester when he got called up. Despite impressing through his first eight games, he returned to the minors in 2019. Then, when he was brought back up, he wasn’t nearly as sharp or effective. Since 2019, he has made four major league appearances and was just released by the Kansas City Royals.

Clint Frazier

Drafting Clint Frazier in the first round of the 2013 Draft must have seemed like a no-brainer for the Cleveland Indians. After all, the Loganville (GA) High School star had just finished pounding the opposition in his senior year. He hit .485 with 17 homers in 32 games. Then, in 2016, the postseason-hopeful Indians made a splash. They traded Frazier and three other players to the New York Yankees for star reliever Andrew Miller. When Frazier got to the big leagues, his power had reduced significantly. It’s taken him 280 games to hit 29 homers. He’s also never played more than 70 games in a season.

Main Photo Credits: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message