2023 MLB Draft: Mock Draft 4.0

The 2023 MLB draft kicks off in one week. There is a lot of buzz surrounding the entire first round, especially the top of the draft. It will be a fun and unpredictable week leading up to the draft on Sunday.

This year’s draft features a strong group of players at the top. The tier of the top five prospects is one of the best in recent years. After that, there is depth and a lot of parity among prospects, with the position player crop stronger than the pitchers.

The three-day 2023 MLB draft begins July 9 in Seattle. MLB used a draft lottery to determine the first six picks in this year’s draft, with the Pittsburgh Pirates moving up to select first overall.

Here is a look at the latest mock draft for the 2023 MLB draft cycle:

1. Pirates: Dylan Crews, OF, LSU

There is a lot of chatter that the Pirates may go in a different direction. Based on the feedback I have heard, Crews is far from the lock to go first overall like he was just a few weeks ago. It could be a negotiating tactic by the Pirates, or they will draft someone else to save money with this pick so they can use it elsewhere in the draft.

LSU right-hander Paul Skenes is in play here. So are prep outfielder Max Clark and Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford. Langford might be the pick out of those three names. He is a quality college performer with five-tool potential and offers a similar profile and upside to Crews.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Crews and his skill set here.

2. Nationals: Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU

Right now, it appears the Nationals are focusing on Paul Skenes. It might get interesting if Crews and Skenes are on the board, but they are still leaning towards Skenes. The righty has the size (6-foot-6, 235 pounds) and an above-average fastball and slider combination scouts seek from a potential ace of a rotation.

3. Tigers: Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida

The Tigers want to take a college player here and have focused on Langford for some time now. If Langford goes first overall, Crews is likely the pick here.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Langford and his skill set here.

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

The Rangers are going back and forth between the top two prep outfielders in this year’s class – Jenkins and Clark. Jenkins has a slight edge. Crews and Langford also would be in the mix if somehow they made it to No. 4.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Jenkins and his skill set here.

5. Twins: Max Clark, OF, Franklin (Ind.) Community HS

The top five players in the 2023 MLB draft class are in a tier of their own. The Twins could easily take the last one remaining. But they are also eyeing up college bats, most notably Ole Miss shortstop Jacob Gonzalez and Virginia catcher Kyle Teel.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Clark and his skill set here.

6. Athletics: Kyle Teel, C, Virginia

The Athletics are eyeing up college hitters at this spot. Teel, Gonzalez, Grand Canyon’s Jacob Wilson and TCU third baseman Brayden Taylor are all in play.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Teel and his skill set here.

7. Reds: Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee

The Reds have considered all demographics with this pick. They are a wild card, especially after moving talented hitter Cam Collier down the draft board and giving him an over-slot deal last year. If they don’t end up with one of the top five players in this year’s draft class, they could target one of the top college arms on the board. Wake Forest Rhett Lowder had a better college season, but Dollander has a premium pitch mix and ace potential.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Dollander and his skill set here.

8. Royals: Blake Mitchell, C, Sinton (Texas) HS

This is another pick that could go in any direction. The Royals have made unexpected selections in recent years, and they likely will do the same thing this year. Don’t be surprised if they take a player and go under slot. Prep right-hander Noble Meyer is in play, but taking a high school righty is risky. Mitchell would save them money to use elsewhere in the draft while giving them one of the top prep hitters in this year’s class.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Mitchell and his skill set here.

9. Rockies: Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest

The talk is the Rockies are leaning college pitcher. Lowder might not have the upside as some of the other top pitchers in this year’s class. Lowder profiles as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter that’s durable and reliable in pro ball. He repeats his delivery well and throws a lot of strikes. He also owns one of the top changeups in this class.

10. Marlins: Arjun Nimmala, SS, Strawberry Crest (Fla.) HS

The Marlins haven’t had a great drafting track record in recent years. They could play it safe and draft a college position player. But Nimmala is really projectable. He is an aggressive hitter who is more power-over-hit. His power potential is intriguing, especially for someone who might remain at shortstop in the future.

11. Angels: Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Ole Miss

Gonzalez has the talent, skill set and potential to go in the top five. He is a quality hitter due to his contact skills and understanding of the strike zone. The left-handed hitter also shows an ability to hit for power.

12. Diamondbacks: Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon

Wilson is the son of long-term MLB shortstop Jack Wilson. The younger Wilson is a gamer. He isn’t flashy but has a well-balanced toolset. He has an advanced contact-oriented approach and consistently drives the ball into the games. FAU first baseman/outfielder Nolan Schanuel and prep infielders also are in play here.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Wilson and his skill set here.

13. Cubs: Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland

Shaw is a well-rounded player. He hits for average and power and shows solid plate discipline. He also offers some defensive versatility, but teams likely will try him at shortstop to start his pro career.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Shaw and his skill set here.

14. Red Sox: Enrique Bradfield, OF, Vanderbilt

Bradfield is an up-the-middle player who can hit and play premium defense. He also is a threat on the bases due to his elite speed.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Bradfield and his skill set here.

15. White Sox: Aidan Miller, 3B, Mitchell (Fla.) HS

Miller had surgery on a broken hamate bone this spring but he remains one of the top prep players in the draft. The right-handed hitter hits for easy above-average power. He profiles well at third base in pro ball.

16. Giants: Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida

Waldrep wasn’t always consistent during the regular season, but in the NCAA Tournament, he thrived minus his last start. He recorded double-digit strikeouts in each of his first three tournament starts. There is some buzz surrounding Waldrep right now, and he could potentially go higher than this spot.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Waldrep and his skill set here.

17. Orioles: Brayden Taylor, 3B, TCU

Taylor was inconsistent at times this spring, but he showed encouraging signs in the NCAA Tournament. The potential is there, especially from the offensive side, where he projects as an impact left-handed bat in pro ball. He is young for a college player and still has a lot of projection left. He is in play starting with the Athletics at No. 6.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Taylor and his skill set here.

18. Brewers: Tommy Troy, SS, Stanford

The Brewers have sought up-the-middle college performers in recent years. The last time they drafted a high school player in the first round was Brice Turang in 2018. The Brewers have focused on college players during the 2023 MLB draft cycle, with numerous highly-regarded prospects in play.

Troy fits the Brewers’ desired profile. He has experience playing second base and shortstop but likely profiles best as an offensive-minded second baseman. The right-handed hitter hits for average and power with impressive plate discipline. He limits his strikeouts and does a nice job of not expanding the strike zone.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Troy and his skill set here.

19. Rays: Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit (Ore.) HS

Meyer is in the mix as potentially the top prep arm in the draft class. He has an above-average high-90s fastball and a quality slider. He also attacks the strike zone with his pitch mix.

20. Blue Jays: Thomas White, LHP, Phillips (Mass.) Academy

White has generated a lot of buzz this spring and is at the top of some team’s lists as the best prep arm in this year’s class. He is a high-ceiling player due to his size, above-average mid-90s fastball and quality secondary pitches.

21. Cardinals: Nolan Schanuel, 1B/OF, Florida Atlantic

Schanuel is generating a lot of first-round interest in the 2023 MLB draft, especially by analytically driven teams, and rightfully so. He is a complete player with an advanced feel for the strike zone that can hit for average and power and is athletic defensively. Schanuel isn’t the typical college first baseman. He played outfield in high school, and teams believe he can play well in a corner spot in pro ball

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Schanuel and his skill set here.

22. Mariners: Colin Houck, SS, Parkview (Ga.) HS

Houck is a quality hitter who drives the ball into the gaps. Most of his power goes to his pull side in left field. He has above-average arm strength and will make a case to stay at shortstop in pro ball.

23. Guardians: Colt Emerson, SS, Glenn (Ohio) HS

Emerson is a left-handed hitting shortstop that isn’t flashy but just a consistent high-producing player. He is an advanced hitter who understands the strike zone and drives the ball into the gaps. He profiles as an up-the-middle player.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Emerson and his skill set here.

24. Braves: Chase Davis, OF, Arizona

Davis worked his way into the first round of the 2023 MLB draft this spring. He’s improved at the plate in so many areas. He has displayed an ability to hit for average and a lot of power this season. He also has really improved his plate discipline.

25: Padres: Bryce Eldridge, RHP, Madison (Va.) HS

Eldridge is a 6-foot-7, 219-pound two-way player. Scouts are split on Eldridge’s long-term position. The left-handed hitter hits the ball hard and possesses above-average raw power. He is a respectable defender at first base. On the mound, Eldridge has a higher upside. The righty throws a mid-90s fastball with an effective slider.

26. Yankees: Sammy Stafura, SS, Panas (N.Y.) HS

Stafura is an intriguing Northeast prep shortstop who has really enhanced his draft status this year. He consistently makes hard contact and can remain at shortstop in the future. He also is a tremendous athlete. 

27. Phillies: George Lombard Jr., SS, Gulliver Prep (Fla.) HS

Lombard has a lot of interest in the 20s, as he has improved his draft stock this year. His size, well-rounded skill set and potential stand out to scouts. Lombard has MLB bloodlines and can really hit. He has all the tools and instincts to handle shortstop but might fit best at third base.

28. Astros: Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami

Morales is a quality college performer who hits for above-average power to all fields. Defensively, Morales has the skills and arm strength to remain at third base.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Morales and his skill set here.

29. Mariners: Charlee Soto, RHP, Reborn Christian (Fla.) HS

Soto has quality size and a respectable fastball and slider combination. His fastball is an electric offering, consistently hitting the high-90s. He throws hard and has a starter’s build. He needs to develop a quality third pitch. But teams like that Soto doesn’t turn 18 until Aug. 31 and rave about his untapped potential.

30. Mariners: Walker Martin, SS, Eaton (Colo.) HS

Martin has an exciting offensive toolset and the potential to remain on the left side of the infield long-term. He uses a smooth swing and clean hitting mechanics to hit line drives into the gaps. Scouts believe Martin can hit for average and power in the pro ranks.

Read an in-depth draft profile to learn more about Martin and his skill set here.

Read more in-depth stories on top 2023 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Do you enjoy reading Baseball Prospect Journal’s draft content? Support our work and become a Patron!

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for eight years. He has interviewed 433 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski IIIhttp://BaseballProspectJournal.com
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on The3rdManIn.com, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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