One thing that jumps out when viewing Major League Baseball mock drafts is the small number of high school shortstops expected to be taken in the first round.
But that doesn't mean there aren't some gems worth snatching up in the first few rounds of the MLB draft, which begins on June 6. At least two high school shortstops could go in the first round with a third likely to go in the compensatory rounds.
Here's a look at the Top 10 middle infield prospects for the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.Top 10 Middle Infielders for the MLB Draft
J.P. Crawford, Lakewood (Calif.)
Most mock drafts have Crawford as the top high school shortstop chosen, going somewhere among the top 15 selections. Crawford has moved ahead of Oscar Mercado as the top shortstop thanks to improved defense and his productive play at the plate. Crawford is batting .448 with 37 runs scored, 12 RBIs, nine doubles, two triples and two home runs this season for Lakewood, which is participating in the Southern Section playoffs.Oscar Mercado, Gaither (Tampa, Fla.)
At one time the top shortstop prospect in the country, Mercado has slipped just a bit, but not much. He didn't have a spectacular season on offense as he batted .286 with 14 RBIs, four doubles and one triple. He did show some speed with 26 stolen bases, however he is the top defensive shortstop in the draft.See Kevin Askeland's feature on Oscar Mercado
Andy McGuire, Madison (Vienna, Va.)
After suffering through a hip injury during his junior season, McGuire has regained his speed and is back to being the type of performer that made him one of the top prospects in the Class of 2013. Possibly a late first or second round draft pick, McGuire had bone removed from his hip, and also had surgery on his labrum, in an attempt to rebound from a disappointing junior season. In leading Madison to 19 straight wins, McGuire is batting .439 with 13 RBIs, seven doubles and one triple. He is also seen as a solid defender with the ability to play the position at the next level.Chris Rivera, El Dorado (Placentia, Calif.)
At one time, Rivera was considered the No. 1 draft prospect in the Class of 2013. However poor production at the plate during his junior year — he batted under .200 — has dropped Rivera into the compensatory round or the second round. Rivera's arm and fielding skills have never been questioned and he has improved his offensive production during his senior season, batting .321 with 18 runs, nine doubles, two triples and a home run.
Riley Unroe, Desert Ridge (Mesa, Ariz.)
No shortstop has had better offensive production this year than Unroe, who is also seen as a defender capable of playing the position in the minor leagues. He finished the season batting .553 with 54 runs scored, 59 RBIs, 14 doubles, five triples and 10 home runs.Anfernee Grier, Russell County (Seale, Ala.)
Also an outfield prospect, Grier is also seen as one of the top second base prospects in the draft. He is batting .402 with 43 runs, 54 RBIs, 15 doubles and seven home runs.Dustin Peterson, Gilbert (Ariz.)
A fast riser this spring, Peterson has emerged in some mock drafts as a potential first round draft pick. He had an outstanding season at the plate, batting .549, with 41 runs, 39 RBIs, 11 doubles, six triples and 10 home runs. He could join his brother D.J., an Arizona State third baseman, as a first round pick.Ryder Jones, Watauga (Boone, N.C.)
Jones played in Oklahoma last year, but his family moved to North Carolina this year resulting in his transfer to Watauga. His father Billy Jones is a coach at Appalachian State. Jones has been a good fit for Watauga, leading the team in batting at .461 with 43 RBIs, 31 runs, nine doubles and 11 home runs. As a coach's son, Jones is valued for his strong footwork and fielding mechanics to go along with his plus ability at the plate.
Terrian Arbet, Great Oak (Temecula, Calif.)
Expected to go somewhere between the third and fifth rounds, Arbet's best attribute is his throwing arm. He got off to a slow start at the plate this season, batting in the mid-.200s before finishing at .309 with 20 runs, 18 RBIs, eight doubles, two triples and two home runs.Connor Heady, North Oldham (Goshen, Ky.)
Steady might be the best term to describe Heady. A member of Team USA 18-U, Heady reportedly does not have any particular skill that stands out, but he is not seen as having any real weaknesses either. A likely fourth or fifth round pick.