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Draft  | Mock Draft  | 4/28/2023

2023 MLB Mock Draft

Brian Sakowski      Vincent Cervino     
MLB Draft Board: Top 400

1. Pittsburgh Pirates | Dylan Crews, OF, LSU

Chalk at the top for us here, as the Pirates take the best player in the class with the first pick. Crews has resoundingly answered any questions and passed any test, looking like a franchise player who should be ready for the big leagues sooner rather than later.

2. Washington Nationals | Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU

If Crews is the consensus No. 1, the consensus No. 2 isn’t so clear but the Nats go power arm and grab the top pitcher on the board in Paul Skenes. He’s one of the best pitching prospects to come out in years and would move quickly to fit the Nationals’ next window of contention.

3.  Detroit Tigers | Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida

The Tigers are picking between Langford and the two prep bats in Jenkins and Clark here, and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. Langford immediately becomes the most impactful player in the DET system, and while he’s available here in this scenario, he may well go 2nd overall in July.

4. Texas Rangers | Maxwell Clark, OF, Franklin Community HS (Ind.)

Clark is the first prep off the board in this scenario, but realistically he’s in play starting with the first pick. He’s super well-rounded with an element of explosiveness and fire and fits with the Rangers overall athletic philosophy.

5. Minnesota Twins | Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Ole Miss

The Twins are in a good spot at 5 and in this scenario would have a shot at a college bat (Gonzalez), a prep bat (Jenkins) or even another college arm (Dollander, Lowder). We give them Gonzalez here, who should move quickly through the minors as a lefthanded stick who will play short or third.

6. Oakland Athletics | Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick HS (N.C.)

Jenkins could definitely be the first high schooler off the board but the Athletics have a history of coveting high upside outfielders with power to dream on. It’s a physical, pro ready frame with huge left-handed power and the speed to potentially stick in centerfield.

7. Cincinnati Reds | Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Foreset

The Reds seem like they might be the floor for the two main prep bats in Clark/Jenkins, but with both gone in this scenario they pivot to a college arm. Lowder has been consistently excellent and has seen his stock rise this spring, making him a value fit at this spot who should be ready quickly.

8.  Kansas City Royals | Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee

Dollander slips some from where he was on the preseason board but the Royals would happily scoop up the right-hander as they love their college arms. He hasn’t had the same level of success as last year in Knoxville but Kansas City’s PD will work to bring out the arm talent which is among the best in the draft.

9. Colorado Rockies | Tommy Troy, 2B/3B, Stanford

We could see the Rockies with a prep bat here, but in this scenario they go BPA and take Tommy Troy. Troy has increased his draft stock as he’s gained more and more power, hitting the ball harder than he ever has before this spring. He’s not a shortstop, but doesn’t need to be and should rake.

10. Miami Marlins | Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit HS (Ore.)

The Marlins make Meyer the top prep arm to go off the board at 10th overall. It’s been very much a 1A-1B scenario with fellow prep Thomas White this spring, but Meyer was outstanding recently at the NHSI and the Marlins aren’t afraid to take big arm speed, athletic arms similar to Max Meyer.

11. Los Angeles Angels | Arjun Nimmala, SS, Strawberry Crest HS (Fla.)

Arjun’s ceiling is probably a few picks ahead of this and most agree that while his profile carries risk, the upside is very notable as an athletic shortstop with easy bat speed and easy power. This could also be a spot for a college bat.

12. Arizona Diamondbacks | Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon

Wilson could very likely go much higher than this, but the Diamondbacks stop the “slide” and take Wilson out of their backyard. Wilson has the best bat-to-ball skills in the draft with a strikeout-refusal approach though there are still impact/position questions.

13. Chicago Cubs | Enrique Bradfield Jr., OF, Vanderbilt

Bradfield’s range is likely somewhere between 10-20 at this point and the Cubs make sense. Bradfield is an elite runner and defender in center field with good contact skills and approach, and while he isn’t punchless, the power isn’t a big tool. We could also see this being a college infielder or potentially a prep shortstop.

14. Boston Red Sox | Kyle Teel, C, Virginia

The Red Sox love their left-handed bats and there’s not many better at the collegiate level than Teel. The Virginia backstop has really stood out midway through the college season and his athleticism should allow the bat to play anywhere on the diamond.

15. Chicago White Sox | Brayden Taylor, SS, TCU

The White Sox like lefthanded power and given the way the board fell, Taylor makes sense in this spot though Chicago’s board likely doesn’t look like this. Taylor should play third base long term with plus lefthanded power production and a solid hit tool. We’re also not ruling out a prep arm here.

16. San Francisco Giants | Walker Martin, SS, Eaton HS (Colo.)

Martin is a sweet-swinging, left-handed hitting shortstop who’s crushing Colorado HS pitching this spring. He had a big summer circuit and the Giants aren’t afraid to swing big on the prospects they enamor, even if age is a concern for Martin here.

17. Baltimore Orioles | Colt Emerson, SS, John Glenn HS (Ohio)

The Orioles could obviously go any direction here and trying to figure their board this far down would be impossible. Emerson here makes sense, as a prep bat with a long track record of hitting dating back to premier 14U events, and while he may not play short long term the bat has a chance to be very good and he should play third base with no issue.

18. Milwaukee Brewers | Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida

Waldrep has among the best pure stuff in the entire country, with upper-90s heat, a 70 grade splitty, and two breaking balls that flash plus at times. He’s been inconsistent results wise but Milwaukee is adept at unlocking arm talent through pitch design, selection, and usage so the Brewers PD staff would welcome Waldrep with open arms.

19. Tampa Bay Rays | Colton Ledbetter, OF, Mississippi State

The Rays are anyone’s guess in this spot, and we could see White, Schanuel, Watts-Brown (or others) in this spot. We went with Ledbetter in this scenario, a lefthanded bat who controls the zone, hits for above-average power, and has a chance to play center field long term with the approach that should allow him to move quickly.

20. Toronto Blue Jays | Aidan Miller, 3B, JW Mitchell HS (Fla.)

Aidan Miller has missed the majority of the spring due to injury but solidified his prospect status over the summer and the Blue Jays love their Florida prep bats like Bo Bichette once was. Miller is among the top power hitters in the class and should grow into a plus third baseman with a plus arm.

21. St. Louis Cardinals | Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy (Mass.)

We don’t really expect White to slip this far, he just kind of happened to do so as we did this and it makes hypothetical sense for the Cardinals to be the ones to stop the slide. White is the top prep lefty in the class and would be a steal, value-wise, down here at 21.

22. Seattle Mariners | Jack Hurley, OF, Virginia Tech

The Mariners have 3(!) picks in the first 30 picks but make their first selection purely based on talent as Hurley can go much higher than this. He’s a dynamic athlete with a centerfield future and a piece that could end up being an impact contributor quickly for the playoff-hopeful Mariners.

23. Cleveland Guardians | Nolan Schanuel, 1B, Florida Atlantic

We value Schanuel ahead of this but he makes sense for Cleveland in a projection, as a guy who owns the strike zone, walks a ton, and hits for serious power from the left side of the plate. His defensive value is limited, but it would be hard to ignore the offensive projection at this point in the draft.

24. Atlanta Braves | Juaron Watts-Brown, RHP, Oklahoma State

The Braves tend to rely on college when they pick in the back of the first, more specifically college pitching, so they’ll snatch up the best available one in Watts-Brown. He’s a very good athlete on the hill with three or four potential above average pitches and a ton of upside to mold the profile in PD.

25. San Diego Padres | Colin Houck, SS, Parkview HS (Ga.)

Houck is probably going to end up in this 20-30 range, and the Padres make sense as a team who will take preps with upside at any point. Houck may not be a shortstop long term but has tons of athletic traits with righthanded power and feel to hit. This pick could be any of a number of talented prep bats.

26. New York Yankees | Kevin McGonigle, SS, Monsignor Bonner HS (Pa.) 

The majority of the Yankees recent successes have been hit tool-oriented preps or mammoth exit velocity college players, they’ll go with the former here in McGonigle. It’s among the top hit tools on the prep side with underrated power and athleticism whether he sticks at shortstop or not.

27. Philadelphia Phillies | Blake Mitchell, C, Sinton HS (Texas)

Prep bats are always super risky and that makes it tough to project where they’ll end up, but we feel Mitchell is a slam dunk first rounder and found him a spot here with Philly. Mitchell is a plus defender behind the plate with big offensive tools. Prep bats, a falling college bat, or any number of arms would also be in play here.

28. Houston Astros | Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest

Wilken is another guy who likely goes much higher than this if the draft is tomorrow, but he’s a perfect fit for the Astros and their exit velocity-driven scouting department. Wilken just broke the all-time Wake Forest HR record and has some of the biggest power in the class.

29. Seattle Mariners | Dillon Head, OF, Homewood Flossmoor HS (Ill.)

Head is an 80 runner with bat to ball skills and burgeoning lefthanded power with impact defender projection in center field. He’s in play anywhere in the late first round, and Seattle makes sense here. Seattle has tons of versatility given their number of picks, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them chase some upside.

30. Seattle Mariners | Matt Shaw, 2B, Maryland

The Mariners final pick of the top 30 is Matt Shaw, a twitchy, aggressive college performer who also just broke Maryland’s all-time HR record. He likely slides over to second base long term but the Cape MVP has loads of offensive impact to adore.

31. Tampa Bay Rays | Charlee Soto, RHP, Reborn Christian Academy (Fla.)

We view Soto as an easy first rounder on talent and upside, and he’s done nothing but perform this spring regardless of circumstance. He has huge stuff and is young for the class, things the Rays are known to covet given their developmental capabilities.

32. New York Mets | Alexander Clemmey, LHP, Bishop Hendricken (R.I.)

There’s a consensus group of 5-6 prep arms in the top 40ish territory right now and Clemmey’s name is absolutely there after coming out touching 100 mph this spring. The Mets aren’t afraid to swing for the fences and there are few with the upside Clemmey possesses long term.

33. Milwaukee Brewers | Roch Cholowsky, SS, Hamilton HS (Ariz.)

The Brewers went with Waldrep with their first pick in this simulation, so we have them grabbing one of the class’s talented prep shortstops in Cholowsky here. Cholowsky can really play short and has shown good hitting traits, though how much power he’ll end up with is the question.

34. Minnesota Twins | Bryce Eldridge, 1B/RHP, James Madison HS (Va.)

Eldridge is the top two-way prep in this year’s class and will likely get sent out as such, though we, and the Twins in this scenario, think the bat is too good to pass up. Minnesota might save a little money at 5 but Eldridge the hitter fits the power bat profile they love to a tee.

35. Miami Marlins | Cade Kuehler, RHP, Campbell

We have the Marlins with Noble Meyer early, so we have them doubling up on arms with Campbell’s Kuehler here. Kuehler is a big righty with power stuff who should have no trouble moving through the minors, though his overall command will need to continue improving in consistency.

36. Los Angles Dodgers | Raffaele Velazquez, C, Huntington Beach HS (Calif.)

The Dodgers make their first pick in the compensation round and they’ll stay local for left-handed slugger Raffaele Velazquez. He’s got huge power from the left side with a good hit tool too as he certainly helped to buoy his stock with a loud showing at the NHSI earlier this month.

37.  Detroit Tigers | LuJames Groover III, IF, NC State

New Tigers GM Scott Harris has gone on record saying ownership of the strike zone will be paramount in his team building philosophy, and Gino Groover fits that mold here. He walks at a good rate and doesn’t strike out, while his power earns above-average grades. His best defensive spot is a question mark.

38. Cincinnati Reds | Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami

Morales has some of the best impact and exit velocities in the class and has been supernova hot over the last month-plus. There haven’t been as many homers but the average exit velocity is still comfortably plus as Cincinnati doubles up with ACC players after taking Rhett Lowder at 7.

39. Oakland Athletics | Cameron Johnson, LHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)

Johnson is a huge lefty with a huge fastball, sitting in the mid-90’s this spring and touching the high-90’s most times out, with huge horizontal life on the fastball. His slider has made strides as well and now earns above-average grades. He makes sense as a potential “float down the board to our pick” guy for Oakland.