Baseball America Staff Draft V 1.0

For the sixth yr operating at Baseball America, we’re placing staffers in large league warfare rooms.

Below you’ll be able to see how the 2023 first spherical would unfold if 5 Baseball America writers—Ben Badler, Carlos Collazo, Peter Flaherty, Tom Lipari and Geoff Pontes—had been making the choices for groups and the draft had been to occur at the moment.

Keep in thoughts this isn’t a mock draft. We aren’t selecting what we predict groups will do, however making alternatives as if we had been the choice makers for every MLB membership.

Since we’re solely coming into the third week of the faculty season, we anticipate a lot will change between now and the time of the particular draft in July. We’ll proceed to do that train occasionally because the 2023 draft will get nearer.


Pick Team Writer Player Position School BA Rank
1 Pirates Peter Dylan Crews OF Louisiana State 1
2 Nationals Geoff Paul Skenes RHP/DH Louisiana State 8
3 Tigers Ben Max Clark OF Franklin (Ind.) Community HS 5
4 Rangers Carlos Chase Dollander RHP Tennessee 2
5 Twins Tom Brayden Taylor 3B Texas Christian 9
6 A’s Peter Wyatt Langford OF Florida 4
7 Reds Geoff Walker Jenkins OF South Brunswick HS, Southport, N.C. 6
8 Royals Ben Jacob Wilson SS Grand Canyon 7
9 Rockies Carlos Jacob Gonzalez SS Mississippi 3
10 Marlins Tom Enrique Bradfield OF Vanderbilt 11
11 Angels Peter Hurston Waldrep RHP Florida 13
12 D-Backs Geoff Kyle Teel C Virginia 32
13 Cubs Ben Rhett Lowder RHP Wake Forest 14
14 Red Sox Carlos Aidan Miller 3B Mitchell HS, New Port Richey, Fla. 10
15 White Sox Tom Will Sanders RHP South Carolina 17
16 Giants Peter Tommy Troy SS/2B Stanford 31
17 Orioles Geoff Walker Martin SS Eaton (Colo.) HS 39
18 Brewers Ben Kevin McGonigle SS Monsignor Bonner HS, Drexel Hill, Pa. 21
19 Rays Carlos Noble Meyer RHP Jesuit HS, Portland, Ore. 15
20 Blue Jays Tom Matt Shaw SS Maryland 12
21 Cardinals Peter Yohandy Morales 3B Miami 16
22 Mariners Geoff Colton Ledbetter OF Mississippi State 130
23 Guardians Ben Thomas White LHP Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. 18
24 Braves Carlos Bryce Eldridge 1B Madison HS, Vienna, Va. 22
25 Padres Tom Travis Sykora RHP Round Rock (Texas) HS 24
26 Yankees Peter Arjun Nimmala SS Strawberry Crest HS, Dover, Fla. 28
27 Phillies Geoff Dillon Head OF Homewood-Flossmoor HS, Flossmoor, Ill. 38
28 Astros Ben Eric Bitonti SS/3B Aquinas HS, San Bernardino, Calif. 42
29 Mariners Carlos Charlee Soto RHP Reborn Christian Academy, Kissimmee, Fla. 33

1. Pirates 
Dylan Crews, OF, Louisiana State (No. 1) 
Writer: Peter

Rationale: Crews has arguably the best ground of anybody within the draft class and has all-star upside within the majors. All he is completed since arriving in Baton Rouge is produce, with a profession slash line of .365/.470/.683 throughout greater than two school seasons.

2. Nationals 
Paul Skenes, RHP/DH, Louisiana State (No. 8) 
Writer: Geoff

Rationale: No participant has improved his draft inventory over the opening weeks of the season fairly like Skenes. After spending his first two seasons at Air Force, Skenes transferred to LSU and has instantly taken over because the Friday evening starter. With a plus fastball and a doubtlessly double-plus slider, Skenes is arguably the perfect school pitcher within the draft.

3. Tigers 
Max Clark, OF, Franklin (Ind.) Community HS (No. 5) 
Writer: Ben

Rationale: If Tennessee righthander Chase Dollander is wholesome and dominating on the finish of the season, he would possibly find yourself being the decide right here. Or if Texas Christian third baseman Brayden Taylor continues to point out extra energy, he could possibly be a match right here if the Tigers need to go for the polished school hitter, as would Grand Canyon shortstop Jacob Wilson. But with Clark, you are getting not simply a wonderful athlete with premium instruments, but in addition one of the superior hitters within the nation. He’s a dynamic, well-rounded participant who can stick at a premium place, makes a ton of contact and will see an influence spike as he continues to evolve on the plate.

4. Rangers 
Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee (No. 2) 
Writer: Carlos

Rationale: The consensus high pitcher within the draft coming into the season, Dollander’s yr hasn’t began with the bang that Skenes’ has, however he is nonetheless quietly struck out 19 batters and walked two over his first two outings. I’d wish to see the slider sharpen up a bit extra shifting ahead, however I like getting a possible top-of-the-rotation arm right here at No. 4.

5. Twins
Brayden Taylor, 3B, Texas Christian (No. 9) 
Writer: Tom

Rationale: Perhaps the perfect pure school bat within the nation who will proceed so as to add dimension and energy with time.

6. A’s
Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida (No. 4) 
Writer: Peter

Rationale: After seeing restricted enjoying time as a real freshman, Langford exploded final season to the tune of a .356 batting common and 26 house runs. Langford has thunderous uncooked energy and a sophisticated method, whereas his above-average pace and defensive instincts might permit him to stay in middle subject as a professional.

7. Reds 
Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick HS, Southport, N.C. (No. 6) 
Writer: Geoff

Rationale: A yr after deciding on Cam Collier the Reds return to a different proficient lefthanded-hitting prep bat. Jenkins has plus uncooked energy, robust athleticism and has been a high-level performer on the showcase circuit for years.

8. Royals 
Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon (No. 7) 
Writer: Ben

Rationale: The Royals are sitting in a very good place proper now as a result of there’s going to be somebody accessible at No. 8 general who some groups can have ranked within the high three gamers on their board. Getting Wilson right here seems like extra worth than there ought to be with the eighth general decide. He’s a particularly tough hitter to strike out, with the swing and hand-eye coordination that can translate in opposition to higher pitching, and he’s a clean defender at shortstop with large league bloodlines (his father, former Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson, had 23.5 bWAR in 12 seasons).

9. Rockies 
Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Mississippi (No. 3) 
Writer: Carlos

Rationale: I’m not the most important fan of the way in which Gonzalez swings it, however letting him fall additional than No. 9 can be irresponsible. This is a confirmed school shortstop who hits from the left aspect with energy, bat-to-ball expertise and a sound batting eye as nicely. He has a greater likelihood to supply impression than a couple of of the opposite hitters off the board already. If Gonzalez was not accessible right here Hurston Waldrep can be powerful to go on, given his insane pure stuff.

10. Marlins 
Enrique Bradfield, OF, Vanderbilt (No. 11) 
Writer: Tom

Rationale: Probably the perfect runner within the class who’s undoubtedly going to supply nice protection in middle subject and brings robust bat-to-ball expertise to the plate.

11. Angels 
Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida (No. 13) 
Writer: Peter

Rationale: Waldrep has among the most electrifying stuff in your complete draft class, armed with a fastball that has touched triple-digits with nice form, a hellacious slider and a split-change. All three are 65-grade or greater pitches and the Florida righthander has front-of-the-rotation upside.

12. D-Backs 
Kyle Teel, C, Virginia (No. 32) 
Writer: Geoff

Rationale: The versatile Teel can deal with catching and the outfield corners as a result of above-average athleticism. He’s carried out nicely in opposition to high-level competitors courting again to his prep days and pairs good plate expertise with projectable energy.

13. Cubs 
Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest (No. 14) 
Writer: Ben

Rationale: I considered Pennsylvania prep shortstop Kevin McGonigle right here. Other than Cristian Hernandez, there aren’t some other center infielders who rank among the many high 20 prospects within the group, so it’s a place of want and I really like McGonigle. But you’re not drafting for want within the first spherical, and the Cubs might use extra pitching anyway. They have gone school pitcher with their first-round decide in three of the final 4 years, and with Lowder at No. 13, they’re getting a greater prospect than they did a yr in the past with Cade Horton at No. 7 general.

14. Red Sox 
Aidan Miller, 3B, Mitchell HS, New Port Richey, Fla. (No. 10) 
Writer: Carlos

Rationale: I’m fairly completely happy accumulating confirmed hit/energy offensive profiles that proceed to slip down the board. Miller has completed as a lot to show his monitor report as a pure hitter as maybe anybody within the prep class and he has stable energy that comes with electrical bat pace. In the highest half of the primary spherical I’m attempting to find impression and I believe Miller brings that to the desk.

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15. White Sox 
Will Sanders, RHP, South Carolina (No. 17) 
Writer: Tom

Rationale: Sanders is large and bodily with the pure stuff to match, highlighted by a mid-90s fastball and a agency slider.

16. Giants 
Tommy Troy, SS/2B, Stanford (No. 31) 
Writer: Peter

Rationale: Troy is among the high collegiate bats on this yr’s draft, and is coming off a sophomore season during which he hit .339 with 25 extra-base hits. He adopted that up with a loud efficiency within the Cape Cod League, hitting .310 with six doubles and 5 house runs en path to profitable the league’s high professional prospect award. Troy has ultra-quick palms and plus bat pace, permitting him to actually impression the baseball. This summer time he posted a number of exit velocities larger than 105 mph, and this spring has already posted an exit velocity of 114 mph. Troy is an above-average defender with ample vary in both path and an amazing recreation clock.

17. Orioles 
Walker Martin, SS, Eaton (Colo.) HS (No. 39) 
Writer: Geoff

Rationale: Arguably one of many high athletes within the draft, Martin is a projectable prep shortstop with high-end expertise from a chilly climate local weather. He’s been a heavy riser over the past yr and has cemented himself as a possible first-round decide. He would mark one other steal for the Orioles right here.

18. Brewers 
Kevin McGonigle, SS, Monsignor Bonner HS, Drexel Hill, Pa. (No. 21) 
Writer: Ben

Rationale: The Brewers have used their high decide the final 4 drafts on school gamers. That usually appears to be by design, however taking a look at who’s on the board, there isn’t a university hitter who’s particularly thrilling to me. McGonigle is thrilling although, and the prep shortstop checks quite a lot of bins that the Brewers search for in hitters together with his superior contact expertise, good swing choices and a formidable monitor report. He has a knack for persistently barreling balls in video games, whether or not it’s excessive velocity, adjusting to offspeed stuff or masking a pitch in any quadrant of the strike zone together with his fast, compact swing from the left aspect.

19. Rays 
Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit HS, Portland, Ore. (No. 15) 
Writer: Carlos

Rationale: I’ve all the time been a bit extra able to go for the highschool righthander demographic than some others right here at BA. I acknowledge the danger, and am hoping for the reward, a la Phillies with Andrew Painter, by taking the perfect highschool pitcher within the class in Meyer. I believe Painter’s repertoire was deeper at this stage and his command was extra constant, however Meyer’s slider might be a full grade higher than what Painter’s was on the identical time.

20. Blue Jays 
Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland (No. 12) 
Writer: Tom

Rationale: Shaw hasn’t gotten off to the perfect begin this spring, however his center infield profile and hit/energy mixture is an thrilling one.

21. Cardinals 
Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami (No. 16) 
Writer: Peter

Rationale: Morales has been an enormous title since his highschool days and he is completed nothing however carry out since arriving to campus. After hitting .329 final yr with 18 house runs and an OPS over 1.000, the 6-foot-4 third baseman added good weight to his lean body and confirmed up this fall wanting noticeably extra bodily. He’s off to a sizzling begin this season with three doubles and 4 house runs in 9 video games. His lengthy levers and stable athleticism make him an above-average, rangy defender at third base, the place he’ll stick on the skilled stage.

22. Mariners
Colton Ledbetter, OF, Mississippi State (No. 130) 
Writer: Geoff

Rationale: This was actually probably the most aggressive decide on this mock, however I consider within the mixture of plate expertise and plus energy. Ledbetter will look to show his mettle in opposition to SEC competitors in 2023. He has the second-hardest batted ball in school baseball after the opening two weeks, with a 116 mph exit velocity.

23. Guardians 
Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. (No. 18) 
Writer: Ben

Rationale: White is a proficient ball of clay for the Guardians’ pitching improvement program to mildew into an much more harmful, polished pitcher. They took a prep pitcher within the first spherical in 2019 with righthander Daniel Espino, a high-octane arm whose arm motion they helped shorten to throw extra strikes. White already has a giant fastball with the projection for extra within the tank and a candy changeup, with the Guardians pitching improvement program making for an amazing marriage.

24. Braves 
Bryce Eldridge, 1B, Madison HS, Vienna, Va. (No. 22) 
Writer: Carlos

Rationale: I’m going to maintain swinging for the fences with high-upside preps on this vary of the draft and I’m selecting Eldridge as a hitter if I’ve to select one. I believe he is a reliable professional prospect on the mound, the place he has spectacular physique management and a stable three-pitch combine, however I believe I’m much more enthusiastic about his energy potential as a hulking lefthanded hitter.

25. Padres 
Travis Sykora, RHP, Round Rock (Texas) HS (No. 24) 
Writer: Tom

Rationale: Sykora is a protracted, lean 6-foot-6 highschool energy arm with a fastball as much as 100 and a plus slider. I really like his mound presence and the way in which he assaults.

26. Yankees 
Arjun Nimmala, SS, Strawberry Crest HS, Dover, Fla. (No. 28) 
Writer: Peter

Rationale: If this had been an precise mock draft, my decide would have regarded loads totally different right here. However, for this train, I needed to snag Nimmala. He has already posted big-time exit velocities with wooden and is an above-average athlete with an amazing swing path and tight turns. Nimmala will proceed so as to add impression and physicality as he matures and his general profile is among the extra attractive ones in your complete draft class.

27. Phillies 
Dillon Head, OF, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, Flossmoor, Ill. (No. 38) 
Writer: Geoff

Rationale: Head is an elite athlete with projectable energy pushed by severe bat pace. The Phillies add one other standout prep athlete right here to go alongside current first-rounders Justin Crawford and Andrew Painter.

28. Astros 
Eric Bitonti, SS/3B, Aquinas HS, San Bernardino, Calif. (No. 42) 
Writer: Ben

Rationale: The final three years the Astros have had a first-round decide—they didn’t have one in 2020 or 2021—they used it to draft a university hitter selecting within the 28-32 vary. If they go the identical route this yr, the perfect match for them could possibly be returning to Tennessee to draft shortstop Maui Ahuna, one yr after drafting Volunteers outfielder Drew Gilbert. The participant I like probably the most right here, although, is Bitonti, who by age is younger sufficient to be a 2024 highschool participant, however he’s a bodily masher with a lefthanded swing that ought to permit him to faucet into that energy in video games. He has higher physique management and defensive actions than he sometimes will get credit score for from individuals judging him too quick primarily based on his dimension, so I believe he has an opportunity to settle in as a power-hitting third baseman.

29. Mariners 
Charlee Soto, RHP, Reborn Christian Academy, Kissimmee, Fla. (No. 33) 
Writer: Carlos

Rationale: Even earlier than the season began, scouting administrators raved about Soto’s stuff on the mound, voting him high three for his fastball, breaking ball and changeup in the highschool class. Early this spring in Florida, Soto has been within the higher 90s together with his heater and the general supply appears to be like a bit much less effortful than it was final summer time. It would not be stunning if he wound up being one of many first prep arms off the board.

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