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Draft  | Mock Draft  | 7/3/2023

2023 MLB Mock Draft: V 4.0

Brian Sakowski     
Welcome to the penultimate mock draft of the year, with the draft now less than a week away. We’ll do one to come out just before the draft begins with the very latest we’ve heard. 

Round 1

1. Pittsburgh Pirates: Max Clark, OF, Franklin HS (Ind.)

To sum this up succinctly, I’ve heard enough buzz about this to project it as a real possibility. I don’t know for sure what Pittsburgh will do, but I’ve heard that Clark, LSU outfielder Dylan Crews and Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford are the three main names here, with the latest intel saying one of Clark/Langford to be more likely than Crews. 

2. Washington Nationals: Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU

Dylan Crews being here in this scenario likely muddies the waters, but the common refrain for months now is that Skenes is likely to be Washington’s pick. If it’s not him, it seems more likely to be a college bat than a prep one as of right now. 

3. Detroit Tigers: Dylan Crews, OF, LSU

If the board were to break this way, the Tigers and Scott Harris would have to be overjoyed given their preference for a college bat with both of the top two available. It’s possible they prefer Langford to Crews, but that seems unlikely, and we’ve also caught word of a potential big cut here if the board doesn’t break their way. 

4. Texas Rangers: Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick HS (N.C.)

The Rangers have been linked with Jenkins for awhile, though in this scenario Langford is somewhat unexpectedly on the board still. We’ll stick with Jenkins for now in this spot. We’re also told this is the floor for Paul Skenes

5. Minnesota Twins: Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida

The Twins are in a solid spot here, given the general belief that the top tier of the class is a group of 5, they can just sit back and take whoever falls. In this scenario it’s Langford, our No. 2-ranked prospect in the class. If the board doesn’t break this way, MIN is a player for any of the top 5 with Ole Miss infielder Jacob Gonzalez and Tennesee righthander Chase Dollander as potential dark horses. 

6. Oakland Athletics: Kyle Teel, C, Virginia

We’ve heard a bunch of different possibilities for Oakland, including Teel as well as Grand Canyon shortstop Jacob Wilson and Jacob Gonzalez. We’ll stay chalk with Teel here for right now, anyways. 

7. Cincinnati Reds: Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest

We’ve heard Cincinnati with college arms, predominantly, and the thought is they’ll pick whichever of Lowder or Dollander are here. Given the way the board fell, we’re going with Lowder in this scenario strictly based on our board, not any knowledge that Cincy prefers him to Dollander. 

8. Kansas City Royals: Brayden Taylor, 3B, TCU

We’ve heard KC all over the board, including Chase Dollander and Enrique Bradfield Jr., as well as prep bats Dillon Head (IL) and Blake Mitchell (TX). We’re going with Taylor here, whose range likely starts at 5 or 6 and extends into the teens. This is also where we start to hear prep righty Noble Meyer’s name. 

9. Colorado Rockies: Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee

We’re told the Rockies have interest in Brayden Taylor, though in this instance he goes the pick ahead, so we have them with Dollander, who they are known to like anyways. This could also be a spot for Lowder if he were to fall, and we hear they like Bradfield as well. 

10. Miami Marlins: Nolan Schanuel, 1B, Florida Atlantic

We’ve heard the Marlins with mostly bats, though this is another spot where Noble Meyer’s name has come up. This is also where we start to hear of more prep bats, inclusive of Florida prep infielders Arjun Nimmala and Aidan Miller as well as Georgia prep bat Colin Houck

11. Los Angeles Angels: Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida

There’s a thought in the industry that the Angels intend to take whichever college arm falls with the intent to have him in the big leagues quickly, though that might just be conjecture based on their recent quick promotions. Either way, Waldrep makes sense here, and this may be another Bradfield spot as well. 

12. Arizona Diamondbacks: Enrique Bradfield Jr., CF, Vanderbilt

As we’ve said, Bradfield seemingly has suitors in lots of spots up and down the board, but we’ll slot him here with Arizona. We’re told that they are mostly on college bats, and Bradfield in this spot makes sense. 

13. Chicago Cubs: Arjun Nimmala, SS, Strawberry Crest HS (Fla.)

Nimmala may end up higher than this given the tremendous upside he offers, and the Cubs would likely be ecstatic should he fall to them here at 13. We’ve also heard them with Nolan Schanuel, who is obviously gone in this particular exercise, as well as Pennsylvania prep bat Kevin McGonigle

14. Boston Red Sox: Colt Emerson, SS, John Glenn HS (Ohio)

Emerson has been steadily rising throughout the spring and may end up even higher than this, though we’re told Boston is his more likely ceiling. We’ve also heard them with college bats who may or may not be here, including Nolan Schanuel and Brayden Taylor

15. Chicago White Sox: Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Ole Miss

It feels like a bat here for the White Sox and likely a college one, though we hear they do want to get creative with their bonus pool this year. Gonzalez is the top-ranked college bat left, so he gets the nod for this mock, but watch them with any number of college bats. This is where Yohandy Morales’ name starts to buzz, and Aidan Miller would make sense as well from the prep side. 

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

This is likely Martin’s ceiling as an older prep bat, though the 30+ home run upside with high-end athleticism gives him big upside. We’ve also heard them with, you guessed it, college hitters–and we’ve heard Massachusetts prep lefty Thomas White’s name here as well. 

17. Baltimore Orioles: Chase Davis, OF, Arizona

I actually wish I could put two players here because I think Baltimore likes Jacob Wilson from Grand Canyon as well, and the final mock may reflect that. We’ve also heard Baltimore with prep shortstops, including Nimmala and Emerson, and this is the highest we’ve heard George Lombard’s name so far. 

18. Milwaukee Brewers: Tommy Troy, 2B, Stanford

Milwaukee may end up being the stopping point for Jacob Gonzalez or Enrique Bradfield were they to slide, but since both are gone in this example, we’ll go with Troy here. This feels like it’ll end up being a college bat regardless. 

19. Tampa Bay Rays: Sammy Stafura, SS, Walter Panas HS (N.Y.)

This is the highest we’ve heard Stafura’s name thus far, and he’d be unlikely to get past the Yankees at 26 anyways. This is also where we start to hear Bryce Eldridge’s name (give or take the Orioles at 17). The prevailing though is the pick will be a toolsy prep. 

20. Toronto Blue Jays: Joe Whitman, LHP, Kent State

This is another Chase Davis spot, as we’ve heard Toronto amongst the teams highest on him, and with no second rounder they’ll want to hit on their first pick. Whitman fits a lot of what they do well from a pitching development perspective. Other names include Schanuel and White. 

21. St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Shaw, 2B, Maryland

St. Louis seems likely to take whichever college bat falls, and in this case that’s Maryland’s Matt Shaw. This is also a spot where we hear Nolan Schanuel’s floor might be, and Kevin McGonigle’s name came up earlier this spring in connection with St. Louis. 

22. Seattle Mariners: Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy (Mass.)

Projecting prep arms in mock drafts has become a nightmare in recent years, and to be completely transparent I have no idea where Thomas White is going to go. This makes sense given Seattle’s 3 picks in the 22-30 range, White’s upside, and Seattle’s subsequent ability to pay more than slot if necessary given their bonus pool. 

23. Cleveland Guardians: Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon

Cleveland is known to covet Schanuel but I (and the industry) would be surprised if he fell this far. Wilson makes sense given their preference for guys who control the zone and make a ton of contact. We’ve also heard them linked with Bradfield, and don’t be shocked if this pick turns into a surprise prep arm. 

24. Atlanta Braves: Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest

Atlanta is another spot where whichever college bat falls is most likely, and this is the range where we hear Wilken’s name the most. We’ve heard some college arms in play here though the specificity of our info is lacking. 

25. San Diego Padres: Aidan Miller, SS, JW Mitchell HS (Fla.)

The Padres have been tied to 15+ guys at this pick throughout the spring, so we really don’t have a great guess, though we’ve heard Miller’s name in recent days. He has suitors higher than this so the expectation would be something overslot should it go this way. 

26. New York Yankees: Bryce Eldridge, 1B/RHP, James Madison HS (Va.)

As mentioned earlier, the Yankees are known to covet Sammy Stafura, though with him gone and Eldridge’s comparisons to Spencer Jones, this pick makes sense. 

27. Philadelphia Phillies: Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit HS (Ore.)

The Phillies have obviously gone to the prep arm well with success in recent years, and wouldn’t shy away from it in 2023. Noble Meyer is widely viewed as the best prep righty available, and the Phillies have done an excellent job snapping up exactly that guy in Painter and Abel. I find it unlikely that Meyer would be here but in this hypothetical, this marriage makes sense. 

28. Houston Astros: Yohandy Morales, SS, Miami

We’ve heard Yohandy’s name in a few spots from about the halfway point of round one to now, and he fits what the Astros are looking for in terms of tools and upside. This is also seen as the secondary floor for Stafura should he slide. 

Prospect Promotion Incentive

29. Seattle Mariners: Kevin McGonigle, SS, Monsignor Bonner HS (Pa.) 

Competitive Balance Round A

30. Seattle Mariners: Jack Hurley, OF, Virginia Tech

31. Tampa Bay Rays: Josh Knoth, RHP, Patchogue-Medford HS (N.Y.)

32. New York Mets: Cameron Johnson, LHP, IMG Academy

33. Milwaukee Brewers: Dillon Head, CF, Homewood Flossmoor HS (Ill.)

34. Minnesota Twins: Alexander Clemmey, LHP, Bishop Hendricken HS (R.I.)

35. Miami Marlins: Colin Houck, SS, Parkview HS (Ga.) 

36. Los Angeles Dodgers: Raffaele Velazquez, C/1B, Huntington Beach HS (Calif.)

37. Detroit Tigers: Trent Caraway, SS, JSerra Catholic HS (Calif.)

38. Cincinnati Reds: Blake Mitchell, C, Sinton HS (Texas)

39. Oakland Athletics: Charlee Soto, RHP, Reborn Christian Academy (Fla.)