2023 MLB Mock Draft: Full First Round With Draft Lottery Complete & Draft Order Set
The results of the inaugural MLB Draft Lottery are in.
The Pirates will receive the first overall pick in the 2023 draft. The rest of the lottery picks were assigned as follows:
The other 12 non-postseason teams were placed in reverse-order of regular season record in 2022, while the postseason teams were sorted in a similar manner (though playoff finish and revenue sharing are also factors). For more on how the new draft lottery works, check here.
With the first round draft order now set, here’s our first attempt at a full first round mock draft. You can view our 2023 top 100 draft list, with scouting reports on every player, here.
1. Pirates — Dylan Crews, OF, Louisiana State
The No. 1 player on the 2023 draft board, Crews has already put up gaudy offensive numbers in his first two seasons with Louisiana State. He’s already a highly-decorated player with the Tigers who homered 18 times as a freshman, then popped 22 more in his sophomore campaign in 2022. Surrounded by an enviable lineup of talent in Baton Rouge, MLB teams will likely be salivating over the numbers he’ll put up in 2023. Crews ranked as the No. 54 prospect in the 2020 class in high school before he pulled out of the draft. He was a heralded underclass hitting prospect when he entered the 2020 draft cycle, but didn’t hit to his expectations during the 2019 showcase circuit and fell outside of first round range because of it. We wrote of Crews at the time: “It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Crews make it to campus, get back to his typical self with the bat and become a first-round pick in three years.” The decision has paid off for the 6-foot slugger, who is a virtual lock to go in the first round and one of the favorites to be the No. 1 overall pick.
2. Nationals — Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee
If Dollander pitched this summer, there’s a reasonable chance he could be in the No. 1 spot on the 2023 draft board. Clubs can get a bit antsy when they haven’t seen a player for a while, and Dollander last pitched on June 11 against Notre Dame. Still, he’s securely with Crews in the top phylum of talent for the 2023 class and is the best college pitching prospect since perhaps Florida aces Alex Faedo (2017) and AJ Puk (2016)—without the injury or off-the-field questions those players had, respectively. It’s plus stuff across the board with preternatural fastball command that separates him from most amateur pitchers with similar power arsenals. “People have brought up (Jacob) deGrom comps,” said one scout on Dollander.
3. Tigers — Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida
Langford was the most prominent fall riser in the 2023 draft class after turning in improved run times that make a center field profile look more likely. If that’s the case, his bat goes from profiling well to profiling exceptionally. In 2022 Langford hit .356/.447/.719 with 26 home runs (which tied a Florida program record). He led the Gators in all three triple slash categories, home runs, hits, runs, triples and total bases. His 26 homers were best among all SEC hitters and tied for sixth among all Division I hitters, along with Tennessee Tech’s Jason Hinchman and Georgia Tech’s Kevin Parada.
4. Rangers — Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon
Wilson has uncanny contact ability and in 2022 led Division I hitters in NCAA’s ‘toughest to strikeout’ category, which looks at at-bats per strikeout (35.1). Wilson struck out just seven times in 246 at-bats, while slashing .358/.418/.585 with 12 home runs and 18 doubles. Yes, it’s in the Western Athletic Conference, which will be scrutinized, but Wilson was also one of the most impressive position players with Team USA over the summer. While it’s an admittedly poor comparison, Wilson’s contact rate stands out when put side-by-side with Chase DeLauter—a 2022 first-rounder who also came from a smaller conference and had impressive contact/zone skills. Per Synergy, Wilson has swung and missed just 9% of the time in a 96-game sample with GCU, while DeLauter swung and missed 16% of the time in a 62-game sample.
5. Twins — Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Mississippi
Back in high school, Gonzalez was a talented quarterback on top of being a projectable lefthanded hitter and shortstop. Scouts were spot on in their evaluations of Gonzalez at the time: “He has a loose, easy lefthanded swing, stays on plane and drives balls hard on a line. He has room to gain strength and add power, altogether projecting as a potential impact hitter once he reaches physical maturity. Gonzalez is a slow mover despite his athletic background and will have to move off shortstop, likely to third base.” Those comments largely reflect the player Gonzalez remains today. In two seasons in the SEC, Gonzalez has homered 30 times, while slashing .316/.424/.560. Some scouts think he will still move off shortstop, though he looked fine at the position this summer with Team USA. Gonzalez has a stoic demeanor on the field and is the highest ranked shortstop in a college class that’s quite strong at the position.
6. A’s — Max Clark, OF, Franklin (Ind.) Community HS
Clark entered the summer as the top player on the 2023 draft board, and now checks in at No. 4, still as the top high school player in the class. He’s a well-rounded, lefthanded-hitting outfielder who draws comparisons to former all-star center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. In fact, Ellsbury’s college draft scouting report from 2005 reads similar to Clark’s today, though the Indiana product is likely more advanced at the same stage than Ellsbury was. He was consistent during the showcase circuit last summer and has few holes in his tool set outside of wondering what sort of home run impact he’ll eventually get to.
7. Reds — Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest
Lowder was the 2022 ACC Pitcher of the Year and is the latest product of the vaunted Wake Forest pitching lab. After posting a 6.12 ERA over 67.2 innings in his 2021 freshman season, Lowder took a big step forward in 2022 and posted a 2.37 ERA over 99.1 innings, while upping his fastball velocity about a tick and a half and continuing to throw strikes at a high rate. Lowder has plenty of confidence in his secondaries—a mid-80s changeup and low-80s slider—and was one of the top starters for Team USA this summer, where he ranked as the No. 4 prospect on the team.
8. Royals — Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick HS, Southport, N.C.
Jenkins made his mark on the national scouting scene early, after making USA Baseball’s 18U National Team as an underclassman in 2021. It’s good that he did, because a hamate injury limited his playing time during the 2022 showcase circuit. While he wasn’t seen as often, Jenkins checks plenty of boxes evaluators look for in an outfielder. He has size at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, he’s got easy plus raw power and shows it regularly in batting practice. He has bat speed and the ability to drive the ball to all fields with impact and he’s a strong runner with a chance to be an above-average defender in the outfield with plus arm strength. Some scouts liken him to current Tigers outfielder and 2013 No. 9 overall pick Austin Meadows.
9. Rockies — Enrique Bradfield, OF, Vanderbilt
Bradfield has been every bit the player he was expected to be after two seasons for Vanderbilt. A product of the same American Heritage High team in Plantation, Fla. that has produced first-rounders Brandon Barriera, Triston Casas and Eric Hosmer, Bradfield has been a speed demon and outstanding center fielder. He ranked first among Division I players with 47 stolen bases in 2021 and finished second behind Texas Southern’s Johnathon Thomas (62) in 2022 with 46. Those bags come with excellent efficiency as well (93.9% success rate) and emphasize Bradfield’s top-of-the-line speed. Bradfield is bound to draw comparisons to former Marlins speedster Juan Pierre and has a throwback, old school game with tons of contact at the plate but limited power—though his jump from one home run as a freshman to eight as a sophomore could be a sign of more coming. The new pitch clock and pickoff rules in the major leagues should increase his value, since base stealing will likely become easier.
10. Marlins — Paul Skenes, RHP/DH, Louisiana State
Skenes was a breakout two-way sensation in 2021 when he hit over .400 with 21 doubles and 11 home runs for Air Force and also posted a 2.70 ERA out of the bullpen with 30 strikeouts in 26.2 innings of work. He’s clearly the top two-way prospect in the 2023 class and this fall with Louisiana State, scouts have gushed about the power he has shown on the mound and as a hulking righthanded slugger. He’s the best two-way prospect to come out of college since Brendan McKay in 2017, though McKay was viewed as a legitimate top-10 talent as both a hitter and pitcher, while scouts seem to prefer Skenes’ upside more on the mound. He’ll have a chance to continue proving his bat in the SEC in 2023, however, with plenty of talented hitters around him.
11. Angels — Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit HS, Portland, Ore.
Meyer ascended to the top prep pitching prospect in the class this summer, thanks to a combination of size (6-foot-5, 195 pounds), stuff (a fastball that touches upper 90s and a slider that flashes 70-grade potential) and command.
12. D-backs — Brayden Taylor, 3B, Texas Christian
Taylor stands out for his keen eye at the plate. Over 117 games with Texas Christian he’s walked 104 times (19 BB%) compared to 86 strikeouts (15.8 K%). With a 2,305-pitch sample with Synergy, Taylor has chased outside of the zone just 13% of the time—an exceptional rate. For context on that number, take a look at two savvy-eyed 2022 first-rounders: Jace Jung had a career 19% chase rate with Texas Tech and Jacob Berry had a 21% chase rate with Arizona and Louisiana State.
13. Cubs — Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland
Shaw significantly improved his draft profile in 2022 by hitting for more power, sliding to shortstop full time and then ranking as the top prospect in the Cape Cod League. That made him one of our biggest risers after the 2022 summer circuit concluded.
14. Red Sox — Aidan Miller, 3B, Mitchell HS, New Port Richey, Fla.
Miller has a lengthy track record of production as an amateur with Team USA. He played for the 12U National Team, won a gold medal with the 15U Team in 2019 and again won gold with the 18U Team in the 2022 World Cup—where he also placed on the All-World Team. Miller has excellent bat speed and projects to play third base or a corner outfield position at the next level.
15. White Sox — Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida
Waldrep struck out 140 batters (eighth among Division I pitchers) in his first year as a full-time starter with Southern Mississippi in 2022. He has incredible natural arm talent and arm speed, with a mid-90s fastball that routinely gets into the upper 90s and a hard slider that flashes plus and generated a 54% whiff rate during the spring. If he shows similar stuff and performance in the SEC after transferring to Florida he could be one of the first college arms selected.
16. Giants — Kevin McGonigle, SS, Monsignor Bonner HS, Drexel Hill, Penn.
McGonigle has a solid case as the best pure hitter in the 2023 prep class. He is in the same mold of profile as Mariners 2022 first-rounder Cole Young as a shorter (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) middle infielder who might be better at second base, but has an excellent feel for hitting and well-rounded game overall. He’s an aggressive hitter who has been a barrel machine against some of the better arms in the high school class, with the bat speed to turn around velocity and the pitch recognition to stay on quality secondary offerings.
17. Orioles — Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.
White has been famous for years thanks to his impressive size and velocity from the left side. He’s now listed at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds and this summer got his fastball into the upper 90s with an extremely easy and fluid arm action. He’s thrown both a slider and a curveball, though his changeup might be his most consistent secondary offering now. This is exactly how premium lefthanded pitching prospects look.
18. Brewers — Maui Ahuna, SS, Tennessee
Ahuna was four points shy of a .400 batting line in 2022 with Kansas. His .396 mark was good for the 15th-best average among Division I hitters, and following the season he transferred to Tennessee and also played with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. Ahuna won’t need to hit .400 in the SEC to prove his offensive chops, but if he does, the sweet-swinging lefthanded shortstop probably won’t make it to this pick.
19. Rays — Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami
Morales has long had an impressive tool set coupled with advanced physicality that came on during his high school career. He was 6-foot-4, 195 pounds as a senior with Braddock High in Miami in 2020 and almost three years later is listed at 6-foot-4, 209 pounds. Morales will swing-and-miss and expand the zone against secondaries, but there’s plenty of thunder in his righthanded bat (29 homers over two seasons) and he plays a slick third base as well. His father, Andy, played for the Cuban National Team and in the Yankees and Red Sox organizations.
20. Blue Jays — Travis Sykora, RHP, Round Rock (Texas) HS
It’s been a few years since we’ve had a traditional, power-armed prep Texas righthander of Sykora’s caliber. You have to go back to Grayson Rodriguez in 2018 to get the most recent first-round pick of that profile—though Cole Phillips in 2022 was trending in that direction before he got injured and Jared Kelley in 2020 got paid like a first-rounder ($3 million) after being taken in the second. Sykora fits the stereotype. He’s huge (6-foot-6, 220 pounds), he throws hard (up to 101 mph) and he’s committed to Texas. If he didn’t have a triple-digit right arm he would be a solid hitting prospect in his own right.
2023 MLB Draft Stock Watch: Outfield Preview
It’s the fourth edition of our position-by-position preview of the 2023 class and today we’re talking outfielders.
21. Cardinals — Blake Mitchell, C/RHP, Sinton (Texas) HS
Mitchell is one of the top two-way players among the prep ranks, as a strong, muscular catcher who brings lefthanded power to the table offensively, and a low-to-mid-90s fastball on the mound. He’s more advanced as a hitter and catcher now, and there are even fewer examples of catcher/pitcher two-way players at the next level than two-way players of any other combination, but Mitchell has real pro potential on both sides.
22. Mets — Tommy Troy, 2B, Stanford
Troy was solid during 2021 with Stanford and in the Cape Cod League, but he took things to another level in 2022. The middle infielder logged his most significant time at shortstop since getting to college with Cotuit, and while he isn’t the most imposing hitter, he has twitch, bat speed and a compact swing that does plenty of damage against fastballs. Troy hit .339/.371/.568 with seven home runs in 55 games with Stanford and slashed .310/.386/.531 with five home runs in 30 games with Cotuit.
23. Mariners — Cade Kuehler, RHP, Campbell
Kuehler pitched on Saturdays behind Pirates supplemental first-rounder Thomas Harrington for Campbell during the 2022 season. He should move into the Friday night role in 2023. Keuhler has a legitimate five-pitch mix with a fastball, slider, split-change, cutter and curveball—though his mid-90s fastball and sharp slider are likely his best pitches now. Campbell had two players drafted in the top 100 picks in the first 54 years of the MLB draft. Kuehler should become the team’s fourth in the past five years, joining Harrington, Seth Johnson and Zach Neto.
24. Guardians — Colt Emerson, SS, Glenn HS, New Concord, Ohio
Emerson is young for the class (he won’t turn 18 until shortly after the draft) and impressed during the fall with a strong showing at Perfect Game’s WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. There he showed a compact and repeatable swing, strong bat-to-ball skills and good body control and arm strength at shortstop.
25. Braves — Bryce Eldridge, RHP/1B, Madison (Va.) HS
If you asked during the summer, most scouts would probably have Eldridge in as a righthanded pitching prospect, but he went ballistic as a hitter with USA Baseball’s 18U National Team during the World Cup. Eldridge paced Team USA with three home runs and showed gargantuan raw power and impressive ability to get to that power in games. He hit .316/.517/.842 with as many walks (seven) as strikeouts and also threw three shutout innings en route to being named MVP of the tournament.
26. Dodgers — Will Sanders, RHP, South Carolina
Sanders has a huge frame at 6-foot-6, 215 pounds and still has room to add strength in the future. He’s been solid for South Carolina as a starter for two years, and has posted a 3.47 ERA in 142.2 total innings, while using a three-pitch mix—a fastball up to 96 mph, a mid-80s changeup and a slider in the low-to-mid 80s.
27. Padres — Roch Cholowsky, SS, Hamilton HS, Chandler, Ariz.
Cholowsky is a standout athlete and one of the better defensive shortstops in the 2023 class. His multi-sport ability (he’s a standout high school quarterback) meant he didn’t get as many at-bats during the 2022 summer and fall evaluation periods, but he has played in front of large scouting crowds with Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) High, including at USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational last spring.
28. Yankees — Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest
Scouts thought Wilken had a chance to grow into double-plus raw power when he was in high school, and this summer with Team USA he showed those projections were prescient by blasting towering home runs in batting practice at Durham Bulls park. Wilken’s game comes with some swing-and-miss, and he’ll need to improve his consistency in the field, but he has some of the best raw power in the entire draft class. He’s already hit 40 home runs with Wake Forest and should add another 20 or so in 2023.
29. Phillies — Adam Hachman, LHP, Timberland HS, Wentzville, Mo.
Hachman wasn’t at full strength this summer as he was recovering from an elbow injury, and he can be inconsistent with his control. Even still, scouts raved about his future potential, given a high-spin fastball that has been in the mid 90s already, electric arm speed and a body to dream on at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds. A number of evaluators have him as their pick to click during the spring.
30. Astros — Tanner Witt, RHP, Texas
If Witt hadn’t missed most of the 2022 season with an elbow injury, we might have been talking about him 20 spots earlier than this. However, as it stands, a Tommy John surgery clouds his draft status a bit. When healthy, Witt has shown an impressive four-pitch mix headlined by a fastball that gets up to 97 mph at peak velocity. He has posted a 2.91 ERA over 68 innings with Texas and was off to an electric start over two outings in 2022 before being shut down.