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2023 MLB Draft Stock Watch: Outfield Preview

Image credit: Max Clark (Photo by Mike Janes/Four Seam)


It’s the fourth edition of our position-by-position preview of the 2023 class and today we’re talking outfielders. 

The most varied and diverse position of them all, you only need to look at the first two players below on the all-time drafted list to see the sort of contrast in player type you can get by comparing outfielders. 

Barry Bonds is perhaps the greatest hitter of all time who has more home runs and walks than anyone to play the game, while Rickey Henderson is perhaps the greatest leadoff man of all time with more runs scored and more stolen bases than anyone in history.

Depending on where in the outfield one is playing at the major league level, you can either be near the top of the defensive spectrum (center), near the bottom (right) or simply the position you get placed at when you’re a good hitter and need to get into the lineup (left).

A consistent theme of amateur prospects in the outfield is simply the abundance of athleticism and tools you find at the position. That is the case for the 2023 class, which features plenty of speed and power throughout the top 100 and a few proven bats scattered in the mix as well. The players who combine all three of those abilities lead the group.

Below is an overview of the 2023 outfield class as it stands today, with information on current top-100 prospects, other outfielders to know and a 20-80 grade on the talent of the position relative to an average draft year. We’ll revisit these position previews at the end of the draft cycle and see if our preseason grade holds up or needs adjustment.  

Top drafted outfielders of all time (by bWAR):

  1. Barry Bonds, Pirates (1985, 1st round) — 162.8
  2. Rickey Henderson, A’s (1976, 4th round) — 111.1
  3. Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners (1987, 1st round) — 83.8
  4. Mike Trout, Angels (2009, 1st round) — 82.4
  5. Reggie Jackson, A’s (1966, 2nd round) — 74
  6. Rafael Palmeiro, Cubs (1985, 1st round) — 71.9
  7. Carlos Beltran, Royals (1995, 2nd round) — 70.1
  8. Tony Gwynn, Padres (1981, 3rd round) — 69.2
  9. Kenny Lofton, Astros (1988, 17th round) — 68.4
  10. Andrew Dawson, Expos (1975, 11th round) — 64.8
  11. Jim Edmonds, Angels (1988, 7th round) — 60.4
  12. Dave Stieb, Blue Jays (1978, 5th round) — 56.4
  13. Johnny Damon, Royals (1992, supp. 1st round) — 56.3
  14. Brian Giles, Indians (1989, 17th round) — 51.1
  15. Torii Hunter, Twins (1993, 1st round) — 50.7

Top drafted outfielders of the bonus pool era:

  1. Aaron Judge, Yankees (2013, 1st round) — 37
  2. Byron Buxton, Twins (2012, 1st round) — 20.2
  3. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox (2015, 1st round) — 15.7
  4. Michael Conforto, Mets (2014, 1st round) — 15.7
  5. Mitch Haniger, Brewers (2012, supp. 1st round) — 15.4
  6. Bryan Reynolds, Giants (2016, 2nd round) — 13.6
  7. Kyle Tucker, Astros (2015, 1st round) — 12.8
  8. Harrison Bader, Cardinals (2015, 3rd round) — 11.7
  9. Ian Happ, Cubs (2015, 1st round) — 11
  10. Hunter Renfroe, Padres (2013, 1st round) — 10.7

Number of top 100-ranked outfielders in each draft class (bonus pool era)

  • 2012: 23
  • 2013: 13
  • 2014: 17
  • 2015: 20
  • 2016: 23
  • 2017: 21
  • 2018: 23
  • 2019: 17
  • 2020: 16
  • 2021: 20
  • 2022: 20
  • 2023: 16


2023 Top 100 Outfielders:

1. Dylan Crews, Louisiana State

The top player in the class, Crews has a tremendous offensive profile as one of the best overall hitters in the country, a back-to-back preseason first-team All-American and with a loud tool set across the board. He’s the favorite to be the No. 1 pick.

4. Wyatt Langford, Florida

Langford doesn’t have the sort of high school pedigree that Crews came to college with, but a tool-for-tool comparison would have the two SEC sluggers closer than many might think. His power is real and he went ballistic in 2022, with a historic season for the Gators. If he plays a solid center field this spring Langford will have a fairly complete profile.

5. Max Clark, Franklin (Ind.) Community HS

Clark has been the leader of the high school class for years now, and combines excellent pure hitting ability with a strong stable of supplemental tools, including plus-plus speed, a plus-plus arm and plus defensive ability in the outfield. 

6. Walker Jenkins, South Brunswick HS, Southport, N.C.

Jenkins didn’t play as much as others over the 2022 summer showcase circuit because of a hamate injury, but he’s a potential plus hitter with plus power to go with it and has the athleticism to play all three outfield positions. 

11. Enrique Bradfield, Vanderbilt

Bradfield is an 80-grade runner who has been the best baserunner in college baseball since he made it to campus at Vanderbilt, with elite defensive ability in center field and great bat-to-ball skills as a hitter. The power is the question mark for him. 

34. Jack Hurley, Virginia Tech

Hurley is an aggressive hitter with a big swing, but he has shown impressive all-fields power and has a solid all-around tool set led by his power and plus running ability.

38. Dillon Head, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, Flossmoor, Ill.

Head is the best prep outfielder in the class after the Clark/Jenkins duo at the top, and features quick-twitch athleticism with a pesky offensive approach and excellent defensive acumen in center field.

40. Gavin Grahovac, Villa Park (Calif.) HS

Grahovac could fit at a number of positions, including both corner infield positions and catcher, but he is just as likely to play outfield at the next level. He has a strong, 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and power to go with it, with a clean righthanded swing.

43. Chase Davis, Arizona

Davis is a physical tool shed with a muscular, 6-foot-1, 219-pound frame, easy plus raw power from the left side and one of the best throwing arms in the class. He can probably play center field in a pinch thanks to his speed, but profiles nicely as a strong corner outfielder.

48. Travis Honeyman, Boston College

Honeyman is tall and lean with solid power now and potentially more on the way thanks to his projectable build and hand speed. He is a great fastball hitter who rarely misses a heater but could improve his ability to recognize and drive spin. 


56. Ryan Lasko, Rutgers

Lasko is a well-rounded outfielder who was one of the most productive hitters in the country in 2022 when he was a Golden Spikes semifinalist. He hits the ball in the air frequently, runs well and can handle all three outfield positions and has a strong throwing arm. He just needs to cut down a bit on his swing and miss.

62. Will Gasparino, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.

Gasparino has grown up around the game as the son of Dodgers scouting director Billy Gasparino, and has huge upside with an athletic, 6-foot-6, 201-pound build and a unique power/speed combination for a player of his size. 

66. Jonny Farmelo, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.

Farmelo has a solid blend of tools and baseball ability, as well as a lean and projectable 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame with solid strength now. He controls at-bats well, has a repeatable swing with good pitch-recognition and is an easy plus runner who should be able to handle all three outfield positions. 

86. Drew Burress, Houston County HS, Warner Robins, Ga.

Burress is undersized and has a shorter build at 5-foot-9, but he also has plenty of strength and plays above his size, with an endearing style of play that scouts love as well as impressive bat speed. He consistently swings with intent to do damage and has a cannon of an arm as well. 

90. Carter Trice, North Carolina State

Trice did nothing but hit with Old Dominion and earned an invitation to Team USA as an underclassman because of it. He has solid power and speed, and will now test his offensive ability in the ACC during the 2023 season. 

Other Notable Outfielders:

  • Homer Bush Jr., Grand Canyon — Bush has big league bloodlines and a ton of athleticism. He’s still finding his strength but should have plenty of it with a 6-foot-3, 200-pound, highly-projectable frame and plus speed.
  • Kendall George, Atascocita HS, Humble, Texas — George is a small and skinny outfielder who lacks power but is an 80-grade runner who disrupts infield defenses with groundball hits and bunts, and covers massive ground in the outfield. 
  • Jared Dickey, Tennessee — Dickey can play all three outfield positions and did so for Tennessee in 2022, when he also hit .380/.484/.690 with seven home runs and more walks than strikeouts. He could potentially catch this spring as well. 
  • Dean West, Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, Calif. — West is a small and athletic center fielder who has shown a disciplined approach in the past and a gap-to-gap, line drive swing. His plus speed should allow him to be a good defensive outfielder. 
  • Andrew Duncan, A3 Academy, Tampa — Duncan has a solid foundation of tools and athleticism, with plus-plus running ability, solid bat speed and a plus arm, though he is still developing his overall offensive game. 
  • Duce Robinson, Pinnacle HS, Phoenix — There might not be a player in the class more athletic than Robinson, who is one of the best football recruits in the country as a 6-foot-6, 220-pound ball-hawking tight end. His football ability could make him a tough get for MLB teams. 
  • Drew Brutcher, South Florida — Brutcher is big and physical with plenty of raw power to go with it, though that power has come with plenty of strikeouts at South Florida and in the Cape Cod League. He moves well for his size and his father was a second-round draft pick in 1988. 
  • Colton Ledbetter, Mississippi State — Ledbetter should be one of the more impactful transfers in the country, after showing solid hitting ability, power and speed with Samford. Now with Mississippi State, he’ll have the challenge of seeing more high-octane velocity. 
  • Zach Wadas, Hamilton HS, Chandler, Ariz. — Wadas can hit a ball as far as most players in the 2023 prep class, with huge lefthanded power from a 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. He will need to try and make more contact moving forward, and he’s still crude as a defender as well. 
  • Jake Cunningham, Charlotte — It’s easy to dream on Cunningham thanks to a strong and still-projectable, 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame, solid raw power, above-average speed and a chance for good defense in center field. The only real question is his strikeout rate.

2023 Class Outfield Grade: 50

A well-rounded and impactful top four of players—Dylan Crews, Wyatt Langford, Max Clark and Walker Jenkins—gives this class a lot to like at the top, though the first round depth falls off quickly after Enrique Bradfield, who himself is a polarizing profile, and the high school outfield depth seems a bit thinner than in most years.

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