Over ten years ago, in June of 2013, all of the teams around MLB gathered to select who they saw as the best young baseball players who would join their organizations in the coming years in that year’s draft. Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge were both notable talents taken later on in the draft, but today we will look back on the first ten picks of that draft and rank them based on how they turned out at the professional level.
Success in the majors, career longevity, and accomplishments will all be taken into account to inform the decision on where each player is placed.
Ranking the First 10 Picks of the 2013 MLB Draft, 10 Years Later
10. Trey Ball, LHP/OF, Drafted 7th by the Boston Red Sox
Trey Ball was the only player drafted in the top ten of the 2013 draft to never make it to the major league level. A 6’5″ left-handed pitcher and outfielder of New Castle High School in New Castle, Indiana, Ball had the unique position of being a prospect that could either take the mound or step up to the plate as a hitter when playing in the field.
However, the novelty of Ball eventually would wear off after he was taken by the Red Sox seventh overall, as he played seven seasons in the minors primarily as a pitcher, never making it past AA, posting a 5.02 career ERA, along with a 33-46 record.
Later in his career, Ball would attempt to make a transition back to hitting but would fail to find success there as well, hitting just .130 in 23 at-bats over his final two professional seasons. Ball has not played professionally since 2019 when his contract expired with the Red Sox in November of that year.
9. Mark Appel, RHP, Drafted 1st by the Houston Astros
With the first overall pick, a team expects a young star to join their organization and grow within their minor league ranks until they ultimately make it to the majors. When Mark Appel was taken by the Houston Astros out of Stanford with the first overall pick, he joined a long list of some of baseball’s all-time greats who had been selected first, like Alex Rodriguez and Bryce Harper.
Sadly, Appel did not find the same success as those mentioned previously, as the pitcher made his Major League debut with the Philadelphia Phillies just over a year ago on June 29 of 2022, over nine years since he was drafted by the Astros. According to some, he is one of the MLB’s biggest busts of all time.
Appel spent seven years in the minors during his career, having a career 5.05 ERA, and once making it to MLB only pitched in 10.1 innings over six games, but did have a respectable 1.74 ERA. Appel spent 2013-2016 with the Astros and after being traded would be in the Phillies organization until the 2023 Spring Training, when he was released by the team.
8. Kohl Stewart, RHP, Drafted 4th by the Minnesota Twins
A two-sport athlete out of St. Pius X High School in Houston Texas, Kohl Stewart was committed to Texas A&M to play baseball and football. Stewart chose to forgo his college offers and sign with the Minnesota Twins where he would spend time in the minors until August 12, 2018, when he made his Major League debut.
During his time in the majors, Stewart has appeared in 21 games and pitched 75.2 innings, where he has had a 4.88 ERA. Stewart spent two seasons with the Twins before signing a contract with the Baltimore Orioles in December 2019 but would opt out of the 2020 season due to worries about his Type-I diabetes condition and the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic.
In 2021 he would return to MLB with the Chicago Cubs, appearing in just four games with his season being cut short because of elbow inflammation. As of right now, Stewart is currently on a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals, spending time with their Triple-A affiliate Omaha Storm Chasers, where he has yet to pitch due to injury.
7. Clint Frazier, OF, Drafted 5th by the Cleveland Indians
Frazier would go on to spend five seasons with the Yankees, but never appeared in more than 70 games in a single season. In 2021, Frazier signed with the Chicago Cubs on a one-year deal after becoming a free agent and would spend 2022 with the team.
Since then, Frazier has been bouncing between the minors and majors with a few different organizations like the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, along with the Cubs. During his time in the MLB Frazier has had a .235 batting average, a .739 OPS, and a WAR of 0.
As of right now, Frazier is currently in the White Sox organization with their Triple-A affiliate, the Charlotte Knights. Frazier’s inability to stay in the Majors for extended periods is the reason why he isn’t higher on this list.
6. Phil Bickford, RHP, Drafted 10th by the Toronto Blue Jays
Phil Bickford is the only player from the top ten picks from the 2013 draft to not sign with the team that took him. Phil Bickford was taken 10th by the Blue Jays, but instead opted to go to college, where he attended California State University, Fullerton, and then would transfer to the College of Southern Nevada, where he would be drafted out of in 2015, 18th overall by the San Francisco Giants.
In 2016, Bickford would be traded along with another Andrew Susac to the Milwaukee Brewers for Will Smith. Bickford went on to make his debut in 2020, but would only appear in a single game. The next year, Bickford was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers and would see a much heavier amount of playing time, pitching in 56 games.
Since 2021, Bickford has remained with the Dodgers and has become a regular part of the team’s bullpen. Over his career, Bickford has a 4.45 ERA and a 1.230 WHIP over 152 games pitched.
5. Hunter Dozier, SS, Drafted 8th by the Kansas City Royals
Drafted out of Stephen F. Austin State University, Hunter Dozier made it to MLB with the Kansas City Royals in 2016.
He moved up and down from the minors to the majors, until becoming a regular part of the team’s lineup in 2018. While in the majors, Dozier has hit .238 with 498 hits and 73 home runs over seven seasons, along with a dismal -2.7 WAR.
In 2019 Dozier, lead the American League in triples with 10 and has been in the top ten three other times. Dozier appeared in 29 games for the Royals in 2023 before being designated for assignment and then later released by the team in May. As of right now, he is currently a free agent, still on the market
4. Colin Moran, 3B, Drafted 6th by the Miami Marlins
Colin Moran was taken sixth overall by the Marlins out of UNC and would be in the team’s minor league system for a year before being traded to the Houston Astros. He would go on to make his major league debut in 2016 and in his next two seasons would play in 16 games, before being sent to the Pittsburg Pirates in 2018 as part of the package for Gerrit Cole.
He would spend four years with the team until he became a free agent and signed a deal with the Cincinnati Reds in 2022. While in the majors Moran has had a .263 batting average over 502 games played, along with 400 hits and 50 home runs. He has a career .743 OPS and a -0.2 WAR over seven seasons.
As of now, Moran is a free agent after he opted out of a minor league contract he signed with the Seattle Mariners. He is 30.
3. Austin Meadows, OF/DH, Drafted 9th by the Pittsburgh Pirates
In his sophomore season, Meadows would make his first All-Star Appearance, hitting .291 with 33 home runs and 154 hits. However, what was looked at as a successful season has failed to fully translate beyond that, as since then he hasn’t been able to bat higher than .250 in a single season and has had numerous health issues.
In 2022, Meadows was traded to the Detroit Tigers, where he has only appeared in 42 games in the past two seasons for the team due to ongoing mental health issues. Over his career, he has a .259 batting average, a .806 OPS, and a 6.4 WAR.
2. Jon Gray, RHP, Drafted 3rd by the Colorado Rockies
Jon Gray made it to the majors in 2015, just a little over two years after he was drafted out of the University of Oklahoma. He would go on to pitch seven years for the Rockies and was placed sixth in NL Rookie of the Year voting for 2016.
In 2021, Gray signed a four-year deal with the Texas Rangers and has been a part of the team’s starting rotation since then. Over his nine-year career, Gray has a 4.42 ERA, a 1.302 WHIP, and a 66-61 record.
As of the writing of this article, Gray has the 28th highest strikeouts per nine innings of all time with 9.059, ranking just behind Justin Verlander. Gray’s numbers while not staggering, have remained relatively consistent, allowing for him to stay in the Majors for nine seasons up to this point, allowing him to be as high as he is on this list.
1. Kris Bryant, 3B, Drafted 2nd by the Chicago Cubs
Though his production has died down in recent years, Kris Bryant started his career with a bang, making his debut in 2015, winning NL Rookie of the Year and being named an All-Star.
The next year, Bryant would make another All-Star appearance, win NL MVP, and help snap the Cubs World Series drought. Since then, he has made two other All-Star teams and was traded to the San Francisco Giants mid-season and in the off-season would sign a seven-year deal with the Colorado Rockies.
Over his career, Bryant has totaled 1024 hits, 180 home runs, a .278 batting average, and a 28.7 WAR. Up to this point, Bryant has far and away been the most productive player taken in the top ten of the 2013 draft as no other player comes close to the accolades and successes he has found in the MLB.