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Revisiting the 2023 Athletics MLB Draft class after the conclusion of the minor league season.
Best Pure Hitter: Shortstop Jacob Wilson (1) had arguably the best pure contact skills in the 2023 class. He’s a plus hitter who virtually never swings and misses and had a 94% contact rate during the 2023 season with Grand Canyon. Those skills translated to his first taste of pro ball as well.
Best Power Hitter: Third baseman Myles Naylor (2) comes from a family of hitters as the youngest brother of Josh and Bo Naylor, and he has a knack for barreling the baseball already, with more power on the way given the size of his frame. Another candidate here is outfielder Will Simpson (15), who has above-average or plus raw power, but does have some contact questions.
Fastest Runner: Outfielder Jonah Cox (6) is a plus-plus runner who stole 28 bases in 32 attempts (87.5%) with Oral Roberts this spring. He continued to steal with volume and efficiency in a 20-game pro debut, where he went 20-for-22 (90.9%).
Best Defensive Player: Wilson (1) is a polished defensive shortstop who does everything smoothly and easily at the position despite no obvious massive defensive tools. It’s quite clear he’s the son of a former major league all star who has coached him up from a young age.
Best Fastball: Righthander Steven Echavarria (3) is young for the class, but has already been in the 91-96 mph range and has gotten to 97 mph at peak velocity. He has lots of physical projection remaining and could throw even harder in the near future. Another candidate is righthander Corey Avant (9), who has a fastball that’s been up to 99 mph.
Best Secondary Pitch: Echavarria and Drew Conover each flashed a plus CB.
Best Pro Debut: Wilson (1) did everything that was expected of him in his pro debut with tons of contact, while playing most of his games with High-A Lansing, where he hit .318/.378/.455 with six walks and 10 strikeouts.
Best Athlete: The A’s are excited about the athleticism that Cox (6) provides and praise both his speed and physicality. He’s played shortstop and center field, and like Wilson, is also the son of a former big leaguer.
Most Intriguing Background: Naylor (2), as previously mentioned, is the younger brother of two current big leaguers—Josh and Bo. The family now has a lot of experience in the draft process with all three boys being selected inside the first 39 picks and signing for a combined total of $6.9 million.
Closest To The Majors: Wilson (1) is advanced beyond his years in most facets of the game and has the advantage of knowing exactly what to expect in pro baseball. It would be more surprising than anything if he moved slowly.
Best Day Three Pick (Or NDFA): The A’s were pleased with the way Simpson (15) looked after signing, and are now even more excited about his offensive upside after he hit .319/.367/.543 with six home runs and 13 doubles between rookie ball and Low-A Stockton. The team is also excited about the hitting chops of second baseman Colby Halter (17).