Oakland Athletics 2023 MLB Draft Review


See Also: 2023 MLB Draft Database

Draft Theme: Small School Performers & Big League Bloodlines

Two of the first three players the A’s picked in this draft came from non-traditional baseball programs, with first round SS Jacob Wilson out of Grand Canyon and OF Ryan Lasko out of Rutgers. Both players have tremendous college production numbers, however, as does OF Jonah Cox, who hit over .400 with Oral Roberts this spring. Both Wilson and Cox are the sons of former big leaguers, and the A’s also took 3B Myles Naylor in the second round—the youngest brother of Josh and Bo.  

Most Interesting Day 2 Pick: RHP Steven Echavarria, 3rd round

Echavarria turns 18 after the draft in August, so he’s one of the younger players in the 2023 class. He has starter traits with a relatively loose, low-effort operation. Echavarria has long limbs and room on a 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame for more physical projection to add to an already strong fastball, pitching anywhere from 91-96 mph and reaching 97, a jump from last summer when he was up to 94 mph. Echavarria doesn’t have one knockout secondary pitch that some of the high school pitchers ahead of him on the list have, but he has shown feel for both his slider and changeup. His slider is his best offspeed pitch, spinning in the 2,500-2,600 rpm range with sharp break when it’s at its best. Echavarria hasn’t used his changeup much this spring, but it has solid sink and gives him a chance for three pitches that could grade out average or better. There were times last spring when his control escaped him, but he has filled the zone this spring and has a repeatable delivery that should be conducive to throwing strikes. Echavarria is a Florida commit and some scouts believe he would be difficult to sign instead of pitching for the Gators, but his rising draft stock has him in the mix in the top three rounds.

Most Interesting Day 3 Pick: 3B Luke Mann, 14th round

Mann played in just 15 games as a freshman with Missouri in 2019 before an injury ended his season. He received a medical redshirt that granted him an extra year of eligibility and now five years later has had a career year and positioned himself as a potential top-10 round senior target. Listed at 6-foot-2, 218 pounds, Mann was the most consistent hitter on Missouri’s team this spring and slashed .311/.428/.680 with 21 home runs, a 23.6% strikeout rate and a 12.8% walk rate. He has plenty of strength and hits the ball hard, with a 93 mph average exit velocity, but all of his in-game power plays to the pull side. He plays a workmanlike third base with solid hands and a strong arm, though his footwork could use some refinement and his range for the position might be a tick light.

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