The 2023 MLB draft is a year away. But it is never too early to get a sense of what prospects are considered top 10 picks in the first round.
The 2023 draft is deep with talent. It features an exciting group of position players and many pitchers with high upside. It also will mark the first year of the draft lottery. The lottery will determine the first six picks, with the non-postseason teams eligible for the No. 1 pick.
1. Washington Nationals: Dylan Crews, OF, LSU
Crews has a powerful right-handed swing that produces elite exit velocities and uses the entire field. He hits for average and power while possessing respectable plate discipline.
Crews has the skillset to remain in center field. He has above-average speed and arm strength. He also has quality instincts that allow him to make all the necessary plays in the field.
Crews is the complete package. The 6-foot, 203-pound outfielder has five-tool potential with the ability to move through a minor-league system quickly.
2. Oakland Athletics: Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Mississippi
Gonzalez has made a tremendous impact offensively in his first two years at Ole Miss. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound left-handed hitter is a well-rounded offensive player. He has notable bat-to-ball skills and hits for average and power to all fields. He also has tremendous plate discipline, as he has more walks (88) than strikeouts (66) at Ole Miss.
Defensively, Gonzalez is athletic and possesses above-average arm strength. He has good instincts and will remain at shortstop long term.
3. Cincinnati Reds: Max Clark, OF, Franklin (Ind.) Community HS
Clark is the best prep player in the 2023 MLB draft class. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound outfielder features a well-rounded toolset with the potential to be a five-tool player in pro ball.
Clark has a smooth left-handed swing with above-average bat speed that allows him to hit line drives to all parts of the field consistently. He has strong plate discipline and doesn’t swing and miss often. Defensively, the center fielder is an elite athlete with good instincts, moves well from gap to gap and boasts above-average arm strength.
4. Chicago Cubs: Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee
Dollander is the top college arm in the 2023 MLB draft class. The 6-foot-3, 192-pound right-handed pitcher boasts a mid-90s fastball that touches 98 mph. He throws from a repeatable delivery and mixes in three secondary pitches, including a high-80s slider.
Dollander generates a lot of swings and misses with his fastball. He isn’t afraid to challenge hitters and possesses quality command and control of his pitches.
5. Kansas City Royals: Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick (N.C.) HS
Jenkins isn’t too far behind Clark, with some scouts ranking Jenkins as the top prep prospect in the 2023 draft. Jenkins is a 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-handed hitting outfielder with an exciting ability to hit for average and power. He consistently barrels up pitches and does an excellent job using the opposite field. He also has strong plate discipline.
Defensively, Jenkins has all the attributes to remain in center field. He is athletic and displays strong instincts. He also has above-average arm strength.
6. Detroit Tigers: Enrique Bradfield Jr., OF, Vanderbilt
Bradfield possesses elite speed and projects as a quality top-of-the-order hitter in the pro ranks. The 6-foot-1, 160-pound left-handed hitter has a contact-oriented approach, a strong understanding of the strike zone, and a proven ability to create disruption on the bases.
He is a well-regarded defensive center fielder who will remain at the position in pro ball. He runs quality routes and covers a lot of ground due to his speed.
7. Pittsburgh Pirates: Dylan Cupp, SS, Cedartown (Ga.) HS
Cupp is the top prep infielder in the 2023 MLB draft class. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound shortstop has an advanced toolset with the skills to remain at shortstop long term.
Offensively, the right-handed hitter has notable bat speed and a strong understanding of the strike zone. He consistently squares up the baseball and uses the entire field. He flashes quality power potential.
Defensively, Cupp has the arm strength, athleticism, lateral movement and instincts to play shortstop in pro ball.
8. Los Angeles Angels: Tanner Witt, RHP, Texas
Witt is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. When healthy, Witt has the exciting combination of size and pitch mix to make him the top pitching prospect in the 2023 draft.
Witt is a 6-foot-5, 215-pound righty who primarily relies on a low-to-mid-90s fastball, which features movement, and a 12-to-6 curveball. He mixes in a changeup and slider. He attacks the strike zone and features quality control and command of his pitches.
9. Arizona Diamondbacks: Kevin McGonigle, SS, Monsignor Bonner (Pa.) HS
McGonigle has performed well this year, especially recently in the PDP League. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound shortstop is a left-handed hitter who consistently has quality at-bats and hits the ball hard. He has a mature approach and strong plate discipline.
Defensively, McGonigle has strong instincts and defensive actions. He is athletic and has respectable arm strength. Some scouts believe McGonigle profiles better at second base long term.
10. Texas Rangers: Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest
Wilken is a big-time power hitter who uses all parts of the field. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound right-handed hitter is more of a power over average hitter and is aggressive every time he steps to the plate. His approach sometimes leads to strikeouts, as he has recorded 107 strikeouts to 57 walks in two seasons at Wake Forest.
Defensively, Wilken is an adequate defender and will play third base in pro ball due to his strong arm.
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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.