With Draft near, a look at first-rounders of '12
Many are in lowest levels of Minors but some are close to approaching big leagues
Of the 31 players taken in last year's First-Year Player Draft, many are currently in Class A or below. Eighteen are in Class A Advanced, Class A or extended spring camp, waiting for an assignment. Seven are on the disabled list or otherwise hurt, two each are in Double-A and Triple-A, one player didn't sign and one is on the restricted list.
To find out what this year's Draft class will look like, tune in to coverage from June 6-8, beginning with the first two rounds on Thursday, June 6, at 7 p.m. ET. The first night of the event will be broadcast live on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com. Rounds 3-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 7-8.
MLB.com's coverage will include Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list, Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, and Draft Caster. You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Here's what's going on with the top 31 picks from a year ago (stats as of May 8).
Carlos Correa, SS, HOU (DL): Correa signed early last year and picked up more than 200 plate appearances as a result. This year, he went right to full-season ball and was hitting .221/.384/.397 with three homers before being placed on the disabled list when his hand was struck by a pitch.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 29) | SS (No. 5) | Top 20 Astros (No. 2)
Byron Buxton, OF, MIN, Cedar Rapids (Class A): The Georgia high schooler has made the transition to full-season ball look easy so far, leading the Midwest League in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and on-base-plus-slugging percentage, while sitting second in batting average and stolen bases.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 19) | OF (No. 5) | Top 20 Twins (No. 2)
Mike Zunino, C, SEA, Tacoma (Triple-A): The Mariners sent the Florida standout straight to Triple-A for his first full season. He's been a bit up and down with the bat, though he's second in the Pacific Coast League in RBIs and has thrown out 33 percent of would-be basestealers.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 23) | RHP (No. 2) | Top 20 Mariners (No. 3)
Kevin Gausman, RHP, BAL, Bowie (Double-A): Gausman opened a lot of eyes with a very strong showing in big league camp this spring and has continued to throw well in the Eastern League. The most eye-popping stats: 32 strikeouts and just one walk in 35 2/3 innings.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 35) | Top 20 Orioles (No. 2)
Kyle Zimmer, RHP, KC, Wilmington (Class A Advanced): Save for a rough start or two, Zimmer has been dominant in the Carolina League, posting a 12.4 K/9 ratio and a .198 opponents' batting average. He's tied for second in the league in strikeouts.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 32) | Top 20 Royals (No. 2)
Albert Almora, OF, CHC (DL): Perhaps Almora would have joined Correa and Buxton in the Midwest League to start the year, but a broken hamate bone in his hand suffered during Spring Training has kept him out of action.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 37) | OF (No. 9) | Top 20 Cubs (No. 2)
Max Fried, LHP, SD, Fort Wayne (Class A): In his four starts -- the flu forced him to miss one -- he's shown why he was a top-10 pick, striking out 10.4 batters per nine. He's also walked 4.7 per nine, but the walk rate is improving.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 50) | LHP (No. 3) | Top 20 Padres (No. 2)
Mark Appel, RHP, PIT (did not sign): Rather than join the Pirates, Appel decided to go back to Stanford for his senior season. He's pitched well and again is a candidate to go at the very top of the Draft.
Andrew Heaney, LHP, MIA (DL): The lefty out of Oklahoma State has a package of stuff and pitchability that could allow him to move quickly, but a strained lat in Spring Training has kept him on the shelf.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 77) | LHP (No. 8) | Top 20 Marlins (No. 5)
David Dahl, OF, COL, Asheville (Class A): Dahl went to the full-season South Atlantic League to begin the year. He was yanked from there after one game for disciplinary reasons but he returned three weeks later and was starting to find his groove before getting hurt on Tuesday night.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 55) | Top 20 Rockies (No. 1)
Addison Russell, SS, OAK, Stockton (Class A Adanced): The A's felt confident he could handle being pushed after a strong summer, though he has struggled in the California League, hitting .177/.333/.291.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 45) | SS (No. 7) | Top 20 A's (No. 1)
Gavin Cecchini, SS, NYM (extended spring): Cecchini played 53 games in the Appalachian League last summer before finishing up with a handful of games in Brooklyn. That's likely where he'll be headed when short-season ball starts up.
Rankings: Top 20 Mets (No. 6)
Courtney Hawkins, OF, CWS (DL) Like Russell, Hawkins has been pushed after a good summer. There were some good things in the Carolina League, including seven homers in 79 at-bats, but he also had 45 strikeouts before landing on the DL with a strained shoulder on May 1.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 64) | Top 20 White Sox (No. 1)
Nick Travieso, RHP, CIN (extended spring): The Reds could take a Robert Stephenson-like approach with Travieso, sending him to rookie ball in June with the hope that he can pitch his way to full-season ball at Dayton by summer's end.
Rankings: Top 20 Reds (No. 5)
Tyler Naquin, OF, CLE, Carolina (Class A Advanced): Naquin's best tool, other than his throwing arm, is his ability to hit. He's shown it, with his .308 average placing him fifth in the Carolina League.
Rankings: Top 20 Indians (No. 6)
Lucas Giolito, RHP, WAS (DL): Giolito was perhaps the biggest wild card in the Draft class, with No. 1 pick potential but also a bad elbow. He had Tommy John surgery at the end of the summer, but he should be good to go full speed ahead in 2014.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 70) | Top 20 Nationals (No. 3)
D.J. Davis, OF, TOR (extended spring): Davis showed some excellent tools, especially speed, during his summer debut, and he swiped 25 bases in 60 games. Look for him to take his wheels to the Northwest League in June.
Rankings: Top 20 Blue Jays (No. 4)
Corey Seager, SS, LAD, Great Lakes (Class A): Kyle's younger brother hit well in the Pioneer League last summer and has held his own in the full-season Midwest League. He's also stuck at shortstop, for the time being.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 100) | Top 10 3B (No. 7) | Top 20 Dodgers (No. 4)
Michael Wacha, RHP, STL, Memphis (Triple-A): There may not have been a prospect who impressed more in Spring Training than Wacha did this year. He's continued pitching well all the way up in the PCL, sitting second in the league with his 1.82 ERA and holding hitters to a .195 average.
Rankings: Top 100 (No. 78) | Top 20 Cardinals (No. 4)
Chris Stratton, RHP, SF, Augusta (Class A): Stratton could be due for a promotion soon. The Mississippi State product has a 2.83 ERA and .178 opponents' average while striking out 11.3 per nine.
Rankings: Top 20 Giants (No. 3)
Lucas Sims, RHP, ATL, Rome (Class A): The Braves are bringing Sims along slowly, pitching him in relief for now before moving him into the rotation. He's been tough to hit (.161 opponents' average), but he needs to improve his control (6.6 BB/9).
Rankings: Top 20 Braves (No. 3)
Marcus Stroman, RHP, TOR (restricted list): He could have been the first to make it to the big leagues, after reaching Double-A last year, but he's yet to start his 2013 season because of a 50-game suspension for using a banned stimulant.
Rankings: Top 20 Blue Jays (No. 5)
James Ramsey, OF, STL, Springfield (Double-A): He always hit at Florida State, and that hasn't changed. He's already earned a promotion to Double-A and is hitting a combined .348/.471/.522.
Rankings: Top 20 Cardinals (No. 15)
Deven Marrero, SS, BOS (DL): The Arizona State product was having a solid full-season debut in the Carolina League (.294/.400/.451) when he landed on the DL on April 23 with a hamstring problem.
Rankings: Top 20 Red Sox (No. 10)
Richie Shaffer, 3B, TB, Port Charlotte (Class A Advanced): The Clemson product broke out of the gate slowly but has hit .300/.356/.525 over his past 10 games to slowly bring his overall numbers up.
Rankings: Top 20 Rays (No. 9)
Stryker Trahan, C, ARI (extended spring): He did a lot of good things during his summer debut, especially offensively. The defense is a work in progress, and he'll continue to work on it in short-season ball this summer.
Rankings: Top 20 D-backs (No. 10)
Clint Coulter, C, MIL, Wisconsin (Class A): After a solid summer debut, the Brewers pushed Coulter to full-season ball and he's scuffled a bit, hitting .174 with a .590 OPS
Rankings: Top 20 Brewers (No. 9)
Victor Roache, OF, MIL, Wisconsin (Class A): Roache couldn't play last summer as he worked his way back from a broken wrist. He's hit .241/.354/.389 so far during his pro debut.
Rankings: Top 20 Brewers (No. 7)
Lewis Brinson, OF, TEX, Hickory (Class A): The raw tools are there -- he's hit seven homers and stolen four bases during his full-season debut -- but so is the rawness of his game, evidenced by 51 strikeouts in 126 at-bats.
Rankings: Top 20 Rangers (No. 15)
Ty Hensley, RHP, NYY (DL): Hensley hasn't really been able to get going yet and may miss the entire 2013 season following April hip surgery to repair an impingement.
Rankings: Top 20 Yankees (No. 6)
Brian Johnson, LHP, BOS, Greenville (Class A): The two-way standout at Florida is only a pitcher now, and he's been a solid one in the South Atlantic League, with a 2.30 ERA and .217 opponents' batting average over his first four starts.
Rankings: Top 20 Red Sox (No. 14)