Progress report on 2013 first-round picks

Spring training has come and gone, and now the members of the 2013 draft will begin their first full professional seasons. Less than a handful of first-round picks didn't receive full-season assignments to start the year, which means that the overwhelming majority of the class will spend time with full-season clubs, a challenge that goes underrated by many.

"It's no joke," an AL East crosschecker said. "The difference between playing 20 to 30 high school games or 40 to 50 college games to all of a sudden playing 100-plus games against vastly superior competition is a huge difference. It's why we have to be so careful with where we decide to put a kid; you want the kid to be put into a situation where he'll succeed.

"It's exponentially worse to put a kid at too high a level than to do the opposite in terms of his development, both physically and mentally."

There weren't a ton of surprises with the roster assignments, but here's a look at some of the more interesting trends -- and 2013 first-rounders to watch in your area -- to start the 2014 season.

Aggressive levels for top three

While the 2013 class wasn't considered a particularly strong class in terms of quantity and quality, one of the things that it did have going for it was that there were several players who were considered to be "fast-track" players, or prospects who wouldn't need a ton of minor league seasoning before they could contribute at the big league level.

And so it isn't surprising -- but still worth mentioning -- that Mark Appel, Kris Bryant and Jonathan Gray, also known as the first three picks to come off the board in June, were given fairly aggressive levels to begin their first full minor league season.