10 2023 MLB Draft Prospects Moving Up Boards This Fall

Image credit: Brandon Sproat (By Anna Carrington)

Today we updated our 2023 draft top 100 in an attempt to capture movement from the fall.

While the summer is a much more frenetic and fast-paced evaluation period for the draft, each year there are still a few more events and plenty of insights to gather from fall ball on college campuses that prove interesting. It also never hurts to continue refining our rankings at this point and double-checking for players we might be too high or too light on. 

Below are 10 notable risers from the latest update—featuring a heavy college flavor in what is shaping up to be an excellent college class.

Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida
Current Rank: 7
Previous Rank: 11
Movement: +4

Langford’s offensive track record stacks up well with the best hitters in the class after matching Matt LaPorta’s single-season Florida record for homers (26) during the 2022 season. That home run total was the best in the SEC, to go along with a .356/.447/.719 slash line. The bat is the calling card but his defensive profile could be moving up the spectrum. In 2022, Langford played left field with Jud Fabian handling center field duties, but scouts have seen Langford running better this fall. He has looked like a plus runner and has turned in some 70-grade run times, and if that sticks and helps him translate to a legitimate center field profile in 2023 he’d have a well-rounded profile to get excited about. 

Paul Skenes, RHP/DH, Louisiana State
Current Rank: 11
Previous Rank: 19
Movement: +8

This 2023 Louisiana State team is one of the most anticipated and talented teams we’ve seen in years. Skenes is one of the many reasons for that, and the reviews of his fall performance are excellent. On the mound he’s been pitching in the 94-99 mph range with great movement on two secondaries that could be above-average, while also showing above-average control. If that wasn’t enough for a hulking, 6-foot-6, 235-pound pitcher, he’s also continued to show real two-way ability with standout in-game power

Colt Emerson, SS, Glenn HS, New Concord, Ohio
Current Rank: 36
Previous Rank: 69 
Movement: +33

Emerson has simply continued to produce and perform at all of the events he’s been at. He went 8-for-13 in Jupiter and has shown a polished lefthanded bat as well as great contact and chase rates. Emerson also impressed scouts with his defensive ability at shortstop during the fall and joins a group of prep shortstops currently in the late first/early second range, including Roch Cholowsky, Colin Houck, Antonio Anderson, Dylan Cupp and now… 

Arjun Nimmala, SS, Strawberry Crest HS, Dover, Fla.
Current Rank: 39
Previous Rank: 75
Movement: +36

Nimmala is potentially a polarizing profile for the 2023 draft class and his jump up the rankings now is as much about gathering additional feedback from the industry as it is him playing his way up boards. Those who like Nimmala are excited about his youth (he only turned 17 a month ago), raw power, bat speed and defensive actions in the middle of the infield. He has more pure hitting questions than some other players around him and that could cause a wider range of opinions in both directions than say, a player like Emerson. 


Brandon Sproat, RHP, Florida
Current Rank: 56
Previous Rank: 90
Movement: +34

Sproat improved his control and consistency during the 2022 season and was selected in the third round, but failed to come to an agreement with the Mets. Some scouts believe he’s been pitching like a second round talent during the fall, with a mid-90s fastball and quality secondaries. Stuff has never been a real question with Sproat, but if he can continue to build off his 2022 season (3.41 ERA, 21.5 K%, 8.6 BB%) he could find himself in a good spot.

Ralphy Velazquez, C, Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS
Current Rank: 57
Previous Rank: 72
Movement: +15

There seems to be a real bias against West Coast players early in the draft cycle (which could be due to the fact that so many prominent events take place in the Southeast) but Velazquez is a player who impressed during the fall. He drew positive reviews for his defensive work in Jupiter and didn’t strike out in 22 plate appearances at the event. In what might be a down year for catchers, Velazquez offers solid hitting chops, power, arm strength and what sounds like improved defense at the position.

Grayson Hitt, LHP, Alabama
Current Rank:71
Previous Rank: NR (101)
Movement: +30

Hitt began increasing his velocity during the 2020 high school season, but the Covid pandemic ruined his chances to fully spring up draft boards and he ultimately ended up at Alabama. After touching mid-90s velocity during the spring and during a strong performance with Falmouth in the Cape Cod League, Hitt has been throwing harder in the fall. If he keeps that added power during the 2023 season, while also taking steps forward in his control, he could make another 30-spot jump.

Jack Payton, C, Louisville
Current Rank: 77
Previous Rank: NR (101)
Movement: +24

Payton getting boosted up the board is another instance of simply gathering more feedback from the industry and trying to accurately rank a profile that looks quite strong at the moment. College catchers are always a commodity and despite repeating that each year, check out where we ranked each of the top-five round catchers in the 2022 class compared to where they were drafted (rank, drafted): 

It’s probably fair to say we have been light on college catchers as a profile, especially once you get beyond the top two rounds. It’s also probably fair to say Payton has a better offensive resume than his teammate Rushing did at the same time in 2021. Davidson catcher Michael Carico also jumped onto the top 100 in this update.


Jaden Woods, LHP, Georgia
Current Rank: 88
Previous Rank: NR (101)
Movement: +13

The reports from Woods this fall have been strong. The lefthander has been pitching in the mid 90s with a sharp slider to go with it, and while he will need to establish some track record in a starting role during the 2023 season, he looks the part with a clean and athletic delivery, a quick arm and good balance throughout his finish. He threw more strikes with his fastball and breaking ball during the summer as well. 

Cooper Pratt, SS, Magnolia Heights HS, Senatobia, Miss.
Current Rank: 94
Previous Rank: NR (101)
Movement: +7

We’ve gotten lots of feedback to push Pratt up the board after a strong fall showing that included a 5-for-13 performance in Jupiter. Pratt has a well-rounded set of tools, a projectable and lean 6-foot-4 frame and some of the better contact and zone skills in the prep class as well. That’s a solid profile. Pratt is a large part of why Mississippi ranks so highly in our 2023 college recruiting rankings.


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