While the 2012 First-Year Player Draft has just been completed, with teams quickly moving to get their draftees signed, work on 2013 will begin almost immediately.
Very quickly, the summer season will be in full swing, with showcases and college leagues aplenty to keep scouts busy. These evaluations will help form follow lists for the following spring Draft season. The summer schedule of main events looks something like this:
June 14-18: Perfect Game National Showcase, Minneapolis, Minn.
June 14-Aug. 7: Cape Cod League
June 20-24: USA Baseball Tournament of Stars, Cary, N.C.
June 29-July 3: USA Baseball Prospect Classic, Durham, N.C.
Aug. 1-4: East Coast Pro Showcase, Syracuse, N.Y.
Aug. 5-10: Area Code Games, Long Beach, Calif.
Aug. 12: Perfect Game All-American Classic, San Diego
Aug. 18: Under Armour All-American Game, Chicago
In other words, things don't exactly calm down post-Draft. Who are some of the better players in the Class of 2013 that scouts will start bearing down on this summer? Here's a smattering of the top talent for next year:
Trey Ball, LHP/OF, New Castle HS (Ind.): Two-way talent who throws low-90s from the mound, has a smooth left-handed swing with power potential as a hitter.
Zach Collins, C, American Heritage HS (Fla.): Strong and sturdy behind the plate, he'll stay as a backstop while he drives the ball to all fields as a left-handed hitter.
Clinton Hollon, RHP, Woodford County HS (Kent.): With an explosive fastball that touches upper 90s, he shows a feel for a slider and a changeup as well. Very athletic and aggressive on the mound.
Jeremy Martinez, C, Mater Dei HS (Calif.): Perhaps the best catcher in the class, Martinez has an advanced approach at the plate and outstanding all-around skills behind it.
Reese McGuire, C, Kentwood HS (Wash.): That's right, another high school backstop (sense a strength in the class?). McGuire is very strong defensively and has a quick, left-handed bat when hitting.
Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (Ga.): Five-tool potential, with power to all fields, above-average speed and the ability to stay in center field.
Oscar Mercado, SS, Gaither HS (Fla.): He might be the best shortstop in the class, making it look easy defensively. He makes consistent contact at the plate with a very quick bat.
Sheldon Neuse, SS/RHP, Keller Fossil Ridge HS (Texas): Another two-way standout, Neuse is a good all-around infielder who also hits the low-90s from the mound.
Chris Rivera, SS, El Dorado HS (Calif.): He can really defend with good hands, a strong arm and enough range to stay up the middle. Excellent line-drive-gap hitter with a little pop from a quick stroke at the plate.
Justin Williams, 3B/OF, Terrebonne HS (La.): Physical and strong, he has plenty of bat speed and raw power. Can hit hit out to all fields. Could play third, first or a corner-outfield spot in the future.
Kris Bryant, 3B/1B, San Diego: An 18th-round pick in 2010 (Toronto), Bryant has shown an ability to hit for average and especially power, with a .637 SLG in two years at San Diego.
Jonathan Crawford, RHP, Florida: Nothing like throwing a no-hitter in an NCAA Regional to raise your profile. A 42nd-round pick in 2010 (Miami), the right-hander stepped into Florida's rotation and posted a 2.92 ERA in 2012.
Marco Gonzales, LHP/INF, Gonzaga: There has to be one two-way collegian on this list, right? Gonzales hit .325 for the Zags as a sophomore, but his future might be on the mound as a southpaw who has now gone 19-4 with a 2.09 ERA as a two-year starter.
Michael Lorenzen, OF, Cal State Fullerton: A seventh-rounder (Tampa) in 2010, Lorenzon is a real "baseball player" who can hit and is a savvy baserunner and defender.
Adam Plutko, RHP, UCLA: Taken in the sixth round in 2010 (Houston), Plutko stepped right into the UCLA rotation as a freshman behind Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer. He became the ace in 2012, going 10-3 with a 2.56 ERA.
Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas: Stanek missed being a draft-eligible sophomore by a week this year, but Arkansas will be glad to have him back. The 2010 third-round pick (Seattle) went 7-4 with a 2.83 ERA in 2012.
Bobby Wahl, RHP, Mississippi: Already the ace of the Ole Miss staff, the 2010 39th-rounder (Cleveland) will try to build on his 7-4, 2.55 ERA season in 2012 that saw him strike out 104 in 99 innings.
Karsten Whitson, RHP, Florida: Another member of the Gators' staff, Whitson was a first-rounder in 2010 (San Diego) who had a very strong freshman season. He will have to bounce back from a rough sophomore campaign to regain top-prospect status.
Trevor Williams, RHP, Arizona State: A Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American in 2011, Williams had an encore performance as a sophomore, going 12-2 with a 2.05 ERA.
Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford: The Cardinals drafted him in 2010 (12th round), but he honored his commitment to Stanford, where he's been a bit up and down, but shown plenty of potential as a hitter with power.