On June 6, 2013, nearly one year ago, baseball dignitaries and several of the best amateur players in the country convened in MLB Network's Studio 42 for the First-Year Player Draft. Thirty-three players were selected in the first round on that hopeful night.
The 2014 Draft will take place from Thursday through Saturday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
But before this year's Draft gets underway, let's see how last year's first-rounders are doing (all statistics through June 1).
Mark Appel, RHP, Astros, Lancaster (Class A Advanced): After Appel struggled in April to adjust to the piggyback system the Astros use for their Minor League starters, Houston sent him back to extended spring camp to build up his stamina. He returned to Lancaster last week but was roughed up in his first start back.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 14) | Top 20 Astros (No. 2) | Top 10 right-handers (No. 5)
Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs, Tennessee (Double-A): Bryant has had the best season of any 2013 first rounder and, possibly, any Minor Leaguer. He leads the Southern League in all three Triple Crown categories (.348, 49 RBIs, 18 home runs), as well as on-base percentage (.452), slugging percentage (.692) and runs (48).
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 8) | Top 20 Cubs (No. 2) | Top 10 third basemen (No. 2)
Jon Gray, RHP, Rockies, Tulsa (Double-A): The Rockies have paired Gray with right-hander Eddie Butler, their No. 2 prospect, to form a formidable 1-2 punch in the Drillers' rotation. In 53 2/3 innings over 10 starts, Gray has a 3.86 ERA and a 46-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 13) | Top 20 Rockies (No. 1) | Top 10 right-handers (No. 4)
Kohl Stewart, RHP, Twins, Cedar Rapids (Class A): Stewart, the first high school player selected last year, has thrived since passing up a football scholarship from Texas A&M to sign with the Twins. This season in the Midwest League, he has a 2.76 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 49 innings.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 32) | Top 20 Twins (No. 4)
Clint Frazier, OF, Indians, Lake County (Class A): Frazier sustained a hamstring injury in Spring Training, delaying his arrival in Northeast Ohio by two weeks. Now that he's healthy, he's been challenged by the pitching-friendly Midwest League. In 43 games, Frazier is hitting .249/.343/.353 with two home runs and 58 strikeouts.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 40) | Top 20 Indians (No. 2) | Top 10 outfielders (No. 7)
Colin Moran, 3B, Marlins, Jupiter (Class A Advanced): A sprained knee kept Moran out of action until the end of April. He's hitting .273/.317/.357 in 38 games since being activated.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 43) | Top 20 Marlins (No. 2) | Top 10 third basemen (No. 4)
Trey Ball, LHP, Red Sox, Greenville (Class A): Ball was the top two-way player in last year's Draft class. He's working solely as a pitcher now, feeling things out in the South Atlantic League. Ball is 1-4 with a 8.55 ERA in 20 innings.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 82) | Top 20 Red Sox (No. 7) | Top 10 left-handers (No. 9)
Hunter Dozier, 3B, Royals, Wilmington (Class A Advanced): Dozier was the biggest surprise among last year's top 10 picks, but the Royals believed in his hitting ability and made him the eighth overall selection. He's playing his first full professional season in the Carolina League, hitting .277/.388/.373 through 53 games.
Rankings: Top 20 Royals (No. 6) | Top 10 third basemen (No. 9)
Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates, West Virginia (Class A): Meadows was slowed by a hamstring injury during Spring Training and spent the first two months of the season recovering in extended spring camp. He joined West Virginia last week but remains on the disabled list. According to Larry Broadway, director of Minor League operations, Meadows is nearing game action.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 37) | Top 20 Pirates (No. 4) | Top 10 outfielders (No. 6)
Phil Bickford, RHP, Blue Jays, Did not sign: Bickford opted to go to Cal State Fullerton. He went 6-3 with a 2.04 ERA and was named the Big West Conference Freshman Pitcher of the Year.
Dominic Smith, 1B, Mets, Savannah (Class A): Grayson Stadium, Savannah's home park, can swallow even the best left-handed power hitters. Smith, who might have been the best prep hitter in the 2013 class, doesn't have a homer yet, but he showed improvement last month. He hit .320/.398/.360 in May and is hitting .265/.330/.302 overall.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 92) | Top 20 Mets (No. 3) | Top 10 first basemen (No. 2)
D.J. Peterson, 3B, Mariners, High Desert (Class A Advanced): Peterson's jaw was broken when he was hit by a pitch last August, ending his season. He hasn't dealt with any ill affects this season, however, and is hitting .305 with 10 home runs in 48 games in the California League.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 74) | Top 20 Mariners (No. 2) | Top 10 third basemen (No. 7)
Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres, Lake Elsinore (Class A Advanced): Renfroe has lived up to his pre-Draft scouting report, showing impressive raw tools and a developing feel for hitting. He is hitting .289 and leads the California League in homers, with 15, but has also struck out 69 times in 57 games.
Rankings: Top 20 Padres (No. 5)
Reese McGuire, C, Pirates, West Virginia (Class A): Whereas Meadows, the Pirates' first pick, has been hampered by injury, McGuire has anchored West Virginia's lineup. He's hitting .291 with a .694 OPS while managing the Power's pitching staff.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 88) | Top 20 Pirates (No. 7) | Top 10 catchers (No. 6)
Braden Shipley, RHP, D-backs, Visalia (Class A Advanced): Shipley's season debut was delayed by bicep tendinitis in April, but he soon joined Class A South Bend. He pitched his way to a promotion to Visalia last week and made his Rawhide debut on Sunday. Shipley took a no-decision after striking out seven and allowing two runs in six innings.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 64) | Top 20 D-backs (No. 2)
J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies, Lakewood (Class A): Crawford impressed enough last summer to reach Lakewood late in the season. He returned there to start this spring and has continued to hit, slashing .322/.417/.452 in 47 games.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 87) | Top 20 Phillies (No. 3)
Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox, Winston-Salem (Class A Advanced): Anderson was the top junior college player selected in 2013, and the White Sox have pushed him aggressively. After playing for Class A Kannapolis in his debut last summer, he has hit .283/.310/.433 with two home runs and eight stolen bases in 45 games this season.
Rankings: Top 20 White Sox (No. 2)
Chris Anderson, RHP, Dodgers, Rancho Cucamonga (Class A Advanced): The Dodgers have teamed Anderson and left-hander Tom Windle, their second-round pick, with 17-year-old wunderkind Julio Urias in the Quakes' rotation. Anderson has struck out 57 in 48 1/3 innings and has a 5.96 ERA.
Rankings: Top 20 Dodgers (No. 5)
Marco Gonzales, LHP, Cardinals, Springfield (Double-A): Gonzales was a two-way player and has moved quickly since the Cards selected him as a pitcher. He opened the year at Class A Advanced Palm Beach and earned a promotion to Springfield in mid-May. He's made three starts at Double-A, striking out 19 and walking four in 16 innings.
Rankings: Top 20 Cardinals (No. 4)
Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Tigers, West Michigan (Class A): Crawford has pitched well in the Midwest League. In nine starts, he has a 2.27 ERA and a 44-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 47 2/3 innings.
Rankings: Top 20 Tigers (No. 4)
Nick Ciuffo, C, Rays, extended spring: The Rays typically take a conservative approach with their prospects, and Ciuffo is no different. He stayed in Port Charlotte for extended spring camp and will likely join a short-season club when their seasons begin in a few weeks.
Rankings: Top 20 Rays (No. 6) | Top 10 catchers (No. 8)
Hunter Harvey, RHP, Orioles, Delmarva (Class A): Harvey was so sure that he wanted to play professionally after high school that he didn't even bother committing to a college. A year later, it's proved to be a fantastic decision. He's thrown 53 2/3 innings this season and ranks second in the South Atlantic League in both ERA (1.68) and strikeouts (64).
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 93) | Top 20 Orioles (No. 3)
Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Rangers, Myrtle Beach (Class A Advanced): Gonzalez is the Rangers' top-ranked pitching prospect, and he has played like it so far. In 61 1/3 innings over 10 starts for the Pelicans, he has a 2.49 ERA and a 47-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Rankings: Top 20 Rangers (No. 6)
Billy McKinney, OF, A's, Stockton (Class A Advanced): As they did with Addison Russell a year before, the A's challenged McKinney with an assignment in Stockton to begin his first full professional season. He was the third-youngest player on Opening Day and is hitting .219 with seven home runs and a .715 OPS in 49 games.
Rankings: Top 20 A's (No. 2)
Christian Arroyo, 2B/SS, Giants, Augusta (Class A): Arroyo began the season with Augusta before landing on the disabled list in May with a sprained left thumb. He was hitting .203 with a .497 OPS and playing mostly second base before he was injured.
Rankings: Top 20 Giants (No. 5)
Eric Jagielo, 3B, Yankees, Tampa (Class A Advanced): Tightness in his right side landed Jagielo on the DL in late May. At the time of his injury, his 10 home runs in 42 games were tied for the most in the Florida State League.
Rankings: Top 20 Yankees (No. 4)
Phil Ervin, OF, Reds, Dayton (Class A): Ervin impressed in his professional debut last summer but hasn't had quite as much success this spring. In 53 games, he's hitting .221 with a .605 OPS, one home run and 17 stolen bases.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 90) | Top 20 Reds (No. 2)
Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cardinals, Peoria (Class A): Kaminsky began the season in extended spring camp before joining Peoria at the beginning of May. He's made four starts for the Chiefs, compiling a 1.83 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings.
Rankings: Top 20 Cardinals (No. 3)
Ryne Stanek, RHP, Rays, Bowling Green (Class A): A nagging hip injury prevented Stanek from making his professional debut last summer. He had surgery in the offseason and missed the first month of the season as he recovered. Since returning to action, Stanek has looked like a first-rounder, posting a 2.63 ERA in five starts.
Rankings: Top 20 Rays (No. 11)
Travis Demeritte, 2B/SS, Rangers, Hickory (Class A): Demeritte was a compensation pick after the Rangers lost Josh Hamilton in free agency. He has shown impressive power, hitting 12 home runs, while playing three positions in the Crawdads' infield. Demeritte has also struck out 67 times in 50 games.
Rankings: Top 20 Rangers (No. 13)
Jason Hursh, RHP, Braves, Mississippi (Double-A): The Braves have shown a willingness to push college starters aggressively in the Minor Leagues, and they are doing the same with Hursh. He began his first full professional season in Mississippi, where he is 4-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 11 starts.
Rankings: Top 20 Braves (No. 3)
Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees, Charleston (Class A): Judge strained a quad last summer, delaying his professional debut until this spring. Now healthy, the former Fresno State slugger is hitting .316/.410/.497 with seven home runs in 54 games for Charleston.
Rankings: Top 20 Yankees (No. 8)
Ian Clarkin, LHP, Yankees, Charleston (Class A): Clarkin, the last of the Yanks' three first-round picks, began the season in extended spring camp. He joined Judge in Charleston at the beginning of May and has a 4.23 ERA and 29-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in six starts.
Rankings: Top 20 Yankees (No. 7)