2023 MLB Draft Stock Watch: 13 Risers On The 2023 Top 300 Draft Update
Today we made our first in-season draft update for the 2023 class, and expanded from the top 200 prospects in the country to the top 300.
You can see the full list with scouting reports on each player here, but in this piece we’re taking a look at the most notable up-arrow prospects in the class.
First, we’ll look at the 10 biggest movers overall, and then we’ll check in on three players inside the first-round range who are trending up—since the numerical representation of their movement up the board isn’t as large, but their positioning in the class makes them worth a mention.
Let’s dive right in.
Kiefer Lord, RHP, Washington
The biggest up-arrow player on this update, Lord has been dominant for Washington in the early going in 2023, with a 2.60 ERA in 27.2 innings to go with a 33% strikeout rate and just a 6.6% walk rate. There have been a number of pitchers in the second- to third-round range who have taken steps backward early this season, but Lord is a college pitcher who is trending up into that territory thanks to his performance and a mid-90s riding fastball that opposing batters are hitting just .165/.239/.278 against.
Mac Horvath, 3B, North Carolina
Horvath is moving up because of his bat. He’s been on fire to start the season and is one of the most productive hitters in college baseball according to Batter Game Score (BaGS) and has already tallied 11 home runs and 11 stolen bases to go with a .318/.433/.824 slash line. Horvath has played third base for most of his college career, but Tuesday night he got the start in right field, so that development will be interesting to monitor as well.
Spencer Nivens, OF, Missouri State
Nivens leads Missouri State in most statistical categories through 19 games this spring, and is hitting .355/.435/.763 with seven home runs and six doubles. He’s quickly approaching his 2022 home run total of 12 and he has also moved from left field to center field, which makes his profile even more appealing. So far against fastballs Nivens has a 93% contact rate and a 1.586 OPS.
Sean Sullivan, LHP, Wake Forest
The 2023 draft class appears lacking in quality lefthanders, so Sullivan has ample opportunity to take advantage of that and has done so with his first five starts of the season. He’s struck out at least eight batters in each outing and has managed double-digit strikeouts in four of five starts, while holding opposing batters to a measly .111 average.
Colton Ledbetter, OF, Mississippi State
Ledbetter was one of the hottest hitters in the country out of the gate and used a handful of multi-hit games to post a .400 average after his first nine games. He’s cooled off a bit since then but has still been the leading hitter on Mississippi State’s club after transferring in from Samford. Ledbetter is hitting .360/.533/.653 with five home runs, five doubles, 10 stolen bases and many more walks (28) than strikeouts (13) and looks the part in the outfield as well.
Caden Sorrell, OF, Marcus HS, Flower Mound, Texas
One of the first prominent high school pop-ups of the year, Sorrell has popped onto crosscheckers’ itineraries this spring. He’s been getting plenty of scouting attention in Texas thanks to impressive lefthanded power and solid tools overall. In addition to an exciting power/speed combination, Sorrell has big league bloodlines by way of his grandfathers .
Joey Volchko, RHP, Redwood HS, Visalia, Calif.
Unlike Sorrell, Volchko was on the radar last summer on the showcase circuit, and he showed solid stuff on the mound at the Area Code Games, though he seems to have taken a step forward this spring, with glowing reviews on his fastball and both breaking balls. A Stanford commitment could make him a difficult sign, but he’s moving into a range where that seems a bit more likely to happen—however unlikely it still might be.
Alex Sosa, C, Viera (Fla.) HS
The 2023 class also seems a bit light on catching, and while the high school demographic at that position is a risky one, Sosa has an impressive lefthanded stick with strength and bat speed, while also showing an above-average arm.
Landen Maroudis, RHP, Calvary Christian HS, Clearwater, Fla.
Maroudis is an impressive athlete who has a chance to pitch and hit if he makes it to campus at North Carolina State, but it’s his uptick in velocity early this spring that has him moving up draft boards—while maintaining the sort of pitching ability that endeared him to scouts in the first place.
Phoenix Call, SS/OF, Calabasas (Calif.) HS
Call has been one of the most prominent risers in California this spring. He’s a dynamic runner who turns in 70-grade times and has plus arm strength and a bit of power now, with more to come by way of a projectable frame.
2023 Draft Stock Watch: 10 Risers On The May BA 500 Update
Breaking down 10 significant up-arrow prospects on the first edition of the BA 500.
Three First-Rounders Trending Up
Tommy Troy, 2B, Stanford
The draft cliche of “college bats move up” remains true and over the last two years or so, Troy has proven to simply be a very good hitter. After a down first year with Stanford in 2021, Troy performed well with Wareham in the Cape Cod League and then turned in a .339/.371/.568 slash line with Stanford in his 2022 sophomore season. That was followed up by an even better stint in the Cape with Cotuit last summer and through his first 12 games this spring with Stanford, Troy is hitting .347/.467/.592 with nine walks and eight strikeouts.
Kyle Teel, C, Virginia
Teel appears to be the clear-cut top college catcher in the class, and when a hyper-athletic college catcher hits .444/.524/.694 through his first 19 games—people notice. Teel’s offensive game might not be for everyone given the extreme violence in his swing and a tendency to expand the zone at times. Despite that approach and the moving parts involved in the swing, Teel has an impressive track record of controlling the zone well and making contact at a high rate. Throughout his Virginia career, he has a contact rate around 82% and that number has been higher so far in 2023.
Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest
Wilken is currently tied with Florida’s Jac Caglianone at 13 home runs to lead all Division I hitters. At the moment he is riding a four-game streak without a home run, which is his longest gap of the year, and in classic Wilken fashion he has shown eye-opening power to all fields with ease. Not much about his overall profile has changed this spring, but he’ll move up boards as he continues to hit and adding a .300-plus average season to his resume would be beneficial, as he’s only managed that once in his college career—he hit .302 in a 36-game stint with Harwich in the Cape Cod League in 2021.