The 2023 MLB Draft is one day away. Logan Quinton is Baseball Prospect Journal’s College Baseball Writer and has covered the Southeastern Conference extensively. He has a strong understanding of these draft prospects. So here it is – Logan Quinton’s 2023 MLB Draft Mock Draft 1.0.
1. Pirates: Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU
Ultimately, Skenes is likely the pick for Pittsburgh. This selection will enable the Pirates to pull some money down the draft. Don’t count out Max Clark or Wyatt Langford as options. The Bucs hold pick No. 42 as well.
2. Washington Nationals: Dylan Crews, OF, LSU
The Nats can’t pass up the best college bat in the 2023 MLB Draft. There seems to be an affinity between both parties. Crews’ agent, Scott Boras, gets this deal done and the decorated LSU star lands in the nation’s capital.
3. Tigers: Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida
Despite Langford’s walk-up song, the Tigers aren’t Flirtin’ With Disaster with this pick. It’ll be the opposing pitchers facing the powerful righty. The Florida standout has an outside shot at going No. 1, if negotiations at the top become wide-open. Langford is an exit velocity machine that can handle a corner spot in the outfield.
4. Texas Rangers: Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick (N.C.)
It really appears that Jenkins is the Rangers’ Foxy Lady. Due to posturing and the Pirates ultimately going under-slot at the top, Jenkins gets left out of the conversation and Boras makes a solid deal with Texas to ensure the promising star shines in the Lone Star state. There aren’t any concerns for heart break here. Jenkins has 60-grade tools all over the place. And he’s an 80-personality.
5. Minnesota Twins: Max Clark, OF, Franklin Community (Ind.)
The Twins have a close eye on Clark, and there’s reason to believe the exciting young athlete will be here for the taking. Lots to be amped about in Minnesota with this pick. As with the Langford angle, if things get crazy in Pittsburgh, don’t be surprised to see Clark’s name at the top.
Kyle Teel is also an option if the Twins want a college bat.
6. Athletics: Kyle Teel, C, Virginia
By far the best college bat left on the board. And given his acumen as a backstop, this slection makes a ton of sense for the A’s. Teel could be on somewhat of a fast track in order to break the bigs with a new stadium smell once the club gets to Las Vegas.
Other college options could be pitcher Chase Dollander from Tennessee, or infielder Jacob Gonzalez from Ole Miss. Arjun Nimmala could be a prep option here.
7. Reds: Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee
The Reds and Royals are similar in the sense that they seem to cover a ton of options with their respective first-round picks. Dollander is here for the taking. There is a misnomer surrounding the struggles of the Tennessee righty in 2023 – and particularly, how it affected his draft stock. Dollander had his share of issues this season, but also flashed signs of improved command and working around some hurdles.
Speaking of Nimmala, the Reds could spoil the party here and go with the projectible shortstop from Strawberry Crest. Nimmala has potent power tools and the frame projects to be fairly atheltic. Defintely a prized up-the-middle selection for Day 1.
Wake Forest’s Rhett Lowder is in the mix as well.
8. Royals: Arjun Nimmala, SS, Strawberry Crest (Fla.)
The Royals are covering all of their bases and seem to have interest in every demographic. Noble Meyer is mentioned a ton. He could definitely could go here. Ultimately, Kansas City goes with the projectible shortstop.
9. Rockies: Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest
If not Dollander, Lowder falls nicely into the lap of Colorado. Lowder is slider and change-up heavy, with the latter being the top of the class. Those tools should play well in Coors Field.
10. Marlins: Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Ole Miss
The best fit for Miami is probably Nimmala. With the darling prep off the board, the Marlins go with a college infielder who has plenty of skills and power at the plate. Gonzalez is a lefty stick that projects to the left side of the diamond.
11. Angels: Bryce Eldridge, OF/RHP, Madison (Va.)
If there’s any team that knows about observing two-way potential firsthand, it’s the Angels. The towering right-hander has absurd power at the plate, but the upside may ultiamtely reside on the mound.
A college arm is defintely in the mix, but Hurston Waldrep may be the only logical option left in that aisle. Gonzalez would certainly be a prize if available.
Noble Meyer is also in play.
12. Diamondbacks: Colin Houck, Parkview (Ga.)
With Dollander and Lowder off the board, the Diamondbacks go the prep route and grab Houck as an intriguing shortstop prospect.
Houck profiles as an atheltic defender with range and an above-average arm. There’s a ton of untapped potential for the two-sport star. Houck’s offensive carrying trait is the hit tool.
13. Cubs: Matt Shaw, INF, Maryland
The bat-to-ball skills are what sells this pick. Shaw is one of many intriguing college sticks that could go in this range. Some think Shaw can make a solid run at shortstop in the pros. Not sure if that holds true, but the Cubs get a versatile bat with power either way.
Pitching is also mentioned at this spot. A Dollander or Lowder slide would stop here. Waldrep could be an option.
14. Red Sox: Chase Davis, OF, Arizona
Arizona’s Chase Davis has had some steam for a while now. Davis improved in so many ways at the plate in 2023. And he didn’t sacrifice anything out of the tool shed. The outfielder has seen an uptick in power and plate discipline this past season after spending the winter as a possible Top 50 selection.
Thoughts arrive like butterflies, so we Chase them away.
Paul Toboni and the Red Sox go off script and opt for college power versus filling the pipeline with hit tools and prep athletes. Boston goes with a surging bat here. They’ve leaned towards upside high school talent in recent years. But this time they go with one of the most talked about college bats in this draft.
15. White Sox: Aidan Miller, 3B, Mitchell (Fla.)
The Southside is connected to many names and theories. As much as they want to go upside or college pitching, Miller is sitting here waiting.
Even with the hamate bone injury and the documented production since, the right-hander is still a top prep in this class. Miller is the most projectible corner from the high school ranks.
16. Giants: Enrique Bradfield, Jr., OF, Vanderbilt
San Francisco can go ceiling here, but the best defender in the entire draft is here for the taking. Bradfield also has plenty of pop in the bat and has an approach that will enable him to find gaps once he gets into pro ball. He’s a plus WAR player year-to-year even if the offense isn’t potent.
17. Orioles: Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida
Seems like a model pick here for the Orioles. Waldrep may fit that mold on the pitching side.
The Orioles can reach pretty high here as well. Any prep bats are in play. And if Davis is still available, Baltimore could lean into that college power.
18. Brewers: Tommy Troy, SS, Stanford
Troy is the best college bat on the board and he fits the Brewers profile. He likely sticks at second base.
19. Rays: Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit (Ore.)
Like a stone, Meyer is waiting here all alone for the Rays.
This is probably the floor for the righty, but he falls to Tampa Bay in this draft. Meyer has plenty of upside, showcasing a fastball in the upper 90s with some run action. And there’s plenty to fill out with his frame. Scouts see potential with his pitch mix as well.
20. Blue Jays: Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy (Mass.)
The lefty with the highest ceiling goes to the northern-most locale in MLB.
White is a prep that can sit mid-90s and has the projection of a quality pitch mix. Hard to pass up in this spot. Don’t be surprised if White goes sooner, particularly to Boston or Tampa Bay.
21. Cardinals: Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon
Some think this may be too low for Wilson. In this mock, the MLB legacy gets bumped down a little due to unique positions and motives at play after the first several picks.
Professional baseball runs in the bloodline. And Wilson flashed mature traits while tearing up the WAC in college. The infielder showed poise at the plate while at GCU. Wilson posted a 4.5% K-rate, striking out only 31 times in his three-year college career.
22. Mariners: Brayden Taylor, 3B, TCU
Seems like Taylor did quite a bit for his draft stock this past spring. The Horned Frog leaped the competition at the hot corner and has solidified himself as the top college third baseman on the board.
Taylor is a lefty bat that can impact the baseball in many ways. There were mixed reviews from scouts and organizations early on, but those conflicting conversations have dissipated. Taylor is on the younger side for his class, so that helps.
23. Guardians: Colt Emerson, SS, Glenn (Ohio)
The Guardians add some local flare with this selection. Emerson is a lefty bat that projects as an up-the-middle rock. The toolsy prep has a knack for finding gaps.
This seems like the floor for Davis.
24. Braves: Dillon Head, OF, Homewood Flossmoor (Ill.)
It smells like teen spirit for the Braves. Atlanta is in position to swing for the fences and the organization needs positional depth in the farm system. Head is a supreme athlete with many tools. He’s an all-around lefty with surprising pop.
Recent history suggests not to discount a college arm in this spot with projectible power and spin, ala Cade Kuehler.
Sammy Stafura is also seriously in play.
25. Padres: George Lombard, Jr., SS, Gulliver Prep (Fla.)
Much like Atlanta, the San Diego is eyeing talent from the prep ranks. The Padres ultimately land on Lombard in this mock.
Head, Stafura and even Blake Mitchell are options that make sense if available.
26. Yankees: Sammy Stafura, OF, Panas (N.Y.)
The cold-weather bat stays up North and lands with the Bronx Bombers. Stafura is a great athlete with upside. He could stick at shortstop defensively, and consistently finds hard contact in the box.
27. Phillies: Nolan Schanuel, 1B/OF, Florida Atlantic
This could be the floor for Schanuel. In this mock, he gets bumped down by no fault of his own. There are certianly suitors in the teens. Schanuel can play multiple positions, but it’s the bat that sticks. He was one of the most productive players in the college ranks in 2023.
28. Astros: Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami
Selecting a college bat at No. 28 overall in 2022 has worked out extremely well so far for the Astros. Not sure if Morales finds the fast track that Drew Gilbert has hopped on, but that’s the idea. Houston needs to fill some premium positions in the organization. If Morales improves defensively, it’s an added bonus. The defense projects as an average glove.
29. Mariners: Alex Clemmey, LHP, Bishop Hindricken (RI)
The Mariners have the propensity to lean for young, upside talent. Clemmey is the best lefty arm on the board out of the prep ranks. Seattle will be grabbing an arm with their second or third pick, considering Taylor was taken with pick No. 22.
30. Mariners: Mitch Jebb, SS, Michigan State
Jebb is a trendy pick among circles to go in the first round. He’s a unique talent with many tools. Jebb is defintely an up-the-middle player that can produce at the top of the lineup. Seattle starts off the first competitive balance round with a surprise. The Mariners complete their band of horses in the first 30 with an under-valued talent from the Big Ten.
Names to Watch: