2023 MLB Draft: Mock Draft 5.0

The 2023 MLB draft begins Sunday. It marks the end of a busy draft cycle consisting of one of recent memory’s deepest draft classes.

A few weeks ago, the top of the draft seemed pretty straightforward. Dylan Crews was the consensus top prospect and most figured the Pirates would select the talented LSU outfielder. But high signing bonus demands by Crews might push the Pirates in a different direction, causing uncertainty at the top of the draft.

The three-day 2023 MLB draft begins Sunday 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.

Below is my latest mock draft for the 2023 MLB draft cycle with insight on the top-10 picks. Want to learn more about the top players in this year’s draft class? I interviewed and wrote stories on 85 of the top prospects in this year’s draft class.

1. Pirates: Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida

I have had Dylan Crews as the top pick this entire draft cycle. There have been rumblings of late that the Pirates might go in a different direction. According to sources, Crews seeks at least the full slot signing bonus value ($9,721,000). While it seems more like a negotiating tactic, the Pirates appear likely to go in a different direction.

Besides Crews, the Pirates are strongly considering LSU right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes, Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford and Indiana prep outfielder Max Clark. 

Langford would save the Pirates some signing bonus dollars for other picks in the draft. He also gives the Pirates a similar player to Crews, minus having a shorter track record than the LSU outfielder. The Pirates prefer to take a position player. Langford gives them a potential five-tool player who can quickly move through a minor-league system.

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

2. Nationals: Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU

This pick comes down to the LSU teammates, and it sounds like they are leaning Skenes over Crews.

3. Tigers: Dylan Crews, OF, LSU

The Tigers end up with the top player in this year’s draft class and the safest to be an impact All-Star caliber player in the major leagues.

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

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

The Rangers have eyed Jenkins and Clark with this pick. It is a toss-up between the two, but I am sticking with Jenkins here. 

5. Twins: Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Ole Miss

Throughout this draft cycle, I have heard that the Twins want to go the college route. I had Gonzalez here in earlier mock drafts, and I am returning to it now. The buzz has heated up even more about their interest in a college player at No. 5.

6. Athletics: Kyle Teel, C, Virginia

Brayden Taylor is another option here. The Athletics don’t want to go over slot, which Max Clark would likely require if he is still on the board.

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

7. Reds: Max Clark, OF, Franklin (Ind.) Community HS

The Reds aren’t afraid to go over slot on a player, and if Clark is available, he is likely too good for them to pass up, even though he will cost more than Chase Dollander or Rhett Lowder. If one of the top five players don’t fall to the Reds, they seem destined to take a college pitcher.

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

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

Teel is an option if he makes it to the Royals. They could go a college position player. But in this scenario, it comes down to Mitchell and prep righty Noble Meyer.

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

9. Rockies: Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest

The Rockies are eyeing up a college pitcher at this spot. They will have to decide between Lowder, Dollander and Hurston Waldrep. Lowder seems like the most likely option.

10. Marlins: Brayden Taylor, 3B, TCU

The Marlins are a wild card and looking at all options, especially college position players. They are considering going under slot with a prep position player. They like Taylor, and he offers an exciting toolset with a high floor.

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

11. Angels: Nolan Schanuel, 1B/OF, Florida Atlantic

12. Diamondbacks: Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee

13. Cubs: Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland

14. Red Sox: Enrique Bradfield, OF, Vanderbilt

15. White Sox: Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon

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

17. Orioles: Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida

18. Brewers: Tommy Troy, SS, Stanford

19. Rays: Arjun Nimmala, SS, Strawberry Crest (Fla.) HS

20. Blue Jays: Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami

21. Cardinals: Chase Davis, OF, Arizona

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

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

24. Braves: Dillon Head, OF, Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.) HS

25. Padres: Bryce Eldridge, 1B/RHP, Madison (Va.) HS

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

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

28. Astros: Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest

29. Mariners: Jonny Farmelo, OF, Westfield (Va.) HS

30. Mariners: George Lombard Jr., SS, Gulliver Prep (Fla.) HS

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

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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