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MLB mock draft 2023: Round 1 predictions, top prospects in 2023 MLB Draft

2023 MLB mock draft
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Who will be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft? Sportsnaut’s latest 2023 MLB mock draft 2023 dives into the best prospects available this year, with many names who will help shape the future of Major League Baseball in the years to come.

The first MLB Draft lottery provided a few surprises that shook up the order in Round 1. For the second time in three years, the Pittsburgh Pirates hold the No. 1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft after jumping ahead of the Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics in the lottery. We also saw the Minnesota Twins (No. 13 to No. 5) and Texas Rangers (No. 7 to No. 4) skyrocket in the draft order.

We’ll update our 2023 MLB mock draft at the end of May, later in June and right before the MLB Draft.

When is the 2023 MLB Draft?

The 2023 MLB Draft will be held in July 2023, but Major League Baseball hasn’t set an official date. It will be held in Seattle, Washington, which also hosts the 2023 MLB All-Star Game. Fans can watch the 2023 MLB Draft on ESPN and MLB Network

The 2023 MLB Draft order is obtained via MLB.com

2023 MLB mock draft: LSU teammates go back-to-back

1. Pittsburgh Pirates: Dylan Crews, OF, LSU

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  • Dylan Crews stats (2023): .457/.607/.790, 1.397 OPS, 13 home runs, 51/25 BB/K in 162 ABs

Dylan Crews is the best player in the 2023 MLB Draft and an easy selection for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 6-foot-1 outfielder boasts phenomenal tools at the plate and is both a good enough athlete and instinctive enough to stick in center field. Crews is the best hitter in college baseball and should be an easy choice at No. 1 overall for Pittsburgh.

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2. Washington Nationals: Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU

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  • Paul Skenes stats (2023): 1.73 ERA, 139 strikeouts, 0.77 WHIP in 72.2 innings pitched

Paul Skenes is the best pitcher in college baseball this season and he fits perfectly with the Washington Nationals. The 6-foot-6 righty offers electric stuff as a 21-year-old that is completely overwhelming college hitters. Skenes will immediately offer an elite fastball and a swing-and-miss slider, with the possibility of his changeup becoming a strong third pitch. He can be the future ace of the Nationals’ rotation.

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3. Detroit Tigers: Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida

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The Detroit Tigers haven’t seen the big leaps they’ve wanted from Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene, but it shouldn’t change their approach in the 2023 MLB Draft. Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford is right up where with the top prospects in this class. Turning 22 in November, he should also have an accelerated timeline for an MLB debut.

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4. Texas Rangers: Max Clark, OF, Franklin HS (Indiana)

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
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It’s a toss-up between Max Clark and Walker Jenkins, but the nod goes to the left-handed hitter who might offer the highest upside. Clark, age 18, is an outstanding athlete with MLB.com grading his speed (70), hit tool (60), arm strength (65) and fielding (60) at an All-Star ceiling. It’s really the athleticism that makes him an ideal fit for the Texas Rangers.

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5. Minnesota Twins: Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee

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Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

When the lottery lets you jump from No. 13 to No. 5 overall in the 2023 MLB Draft order and you’re a contender this season, you can afford to take risks. Tennessee Volunteers righty Chase Dollander was the best pitcher in college baseball last season and was viewed as a potential No. 1 overall pick. Inconsistency and an inability to consistently make it through five innings have heightened concerns, but there are still projectable tools that could make Dollander a front-line starter. Minnesota clearly values pitching and Dollander could be the next great for them.

6. Oakland Athletics: Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon

MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics at Chicago Cubs
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The Oakland Athletics have a long track record of making financially-motivated decisions and there’s no reason to believe that won’t influence who they pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. Jacob Wilson is a California native and one of the most patient hitters in college baseball. Through his first 41 games, Wilson struck out in just 2.79 percent of his plate appearances. A middle infielder with a high contact rate, great discipline and MLB bloodlines, all of it fits the Athletics’ approach.

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7. Cincinnati Reds: Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick HS (North Carolina)

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals
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The slide for Walker Jenkins ends in our 2023 MLB mock draft with the Cincinnati Reds taking him off the board. Jenkins, age 18, is arguably the best high school prospect in the class and he brings a very well-rounded skillset with above-average tools across the board. Cincinnati’s outfield needs some long-term reinforcements and Jenkins would also shine defensively in right field, too.

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8. Kansas City Royals: Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Kansas City Royals
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The Kansas City Royals must find more pitching and it would be wise to load up on it in the 2023 MLB Draft. While Wake Forest’s Rhett Lowder doesn’t offer the highest ceiling as a pitcher, he is a strong bet to serve as a stabilizing force in a starting rotation. With three quality pitches, consistency and durability, Lowder’s high floor should be appealing to the Royals.

9. Colorado Rockies: Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Ole Miss

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Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

While Jacob Gonzalez might not be a short-stop when he reaches the majors, the 21-year-old infielder is still one of the top prospects in the 2023 MLB Draft. Gonzalez’s high contact rate and advanced eye for the strike zone already make him advanced with the bat, but it’s the emerging power that could truly make him an All-Star in Coors Field.

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

MLB: Miami Marlins at Cincinnati Reds
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Arjun Nimmala is the furthest away in terms of his MLB ETA, but the Florida native offers outstanding potential. Whether he sticks at shortstop or not, Nimmala could develop into the power hitter that the Miami Marlins need long-term. While he comes with elevated risk, the Marlins should be willing to roll the dice on a player with this type of bat speed and upside at the plate. If his pitch selection improves and he makes more consistent contact, Miami has a local star.

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MLB mock draft 2023: Angels snag arm, White Sox nab steal

11. Los Angeles Angels: Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit HS (Oregon)

There’s always a risk associated with drafting a high school pitcher and teams can be especially uncomfortable if it requires a top-10 pick. While Noble Meyer isn’t a generational talent, his fastball can max out in the 98-99 mph range and he combines it with a devastating slider. The Los Angeles Angels love drafting pitchers and while Meyer needs time, his ceiling is worth it.

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12. Arizona Diamondbacks: Harston Waldrep, RHP, Florida

The SEC is responsible for a lot of the best prospects in the 2023 MLB Draft with Florida’s Harston Waldrep the next in line. The 6-foot-1 right hasn’t been sharp this year, surrendering 10 home runs in 12 starts, but he offers four potential above-average pitches and is an excellent athlete. The Arizona Diamondbacks have the depth in the farm system to be patient with him and with the help of coaching and time, he can be one of the best arms from this class.

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13. Chicago Cubs: Aidan Miller, 3B, Mitchell HS )Florida)

Aidan Mitchell’s draft stock took a hit after he suffered a hamate injury, wiping out an opportunity to prove himself this spring. With that said, the 6-foot-2 third baseman proved this past summer that he offers an enticing offensive ceiling at either corner infield spot. Turning 19 years old in June, Miller offers some of the best power in the 2023 MLB Draft and he boasts the arm strength to stick at the hot corner long-term.

Gordon Wittenmyer, MLB expert and former beat writer for NBC Sports Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times. Get Gordon’s latest Sportsnaut Exclusive today!

14. Boston Red Sox: Kyle Teel, C, Virginia

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Mississippi State v Virginia
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  • Kyle Teel stats (2023): .423/.482/.665, 1.147 OPS, 20 doubles, 50 RBI, 20/26 K/BB

The Boston Red Sox don’t have a long-term plan at catcher, making positional need a strong influence in our 2023 MLB mock draft. While this year’s class isn’t especially deep at the position, Kyle Teel is worth a top-15 pick. The 6-foot-1 catcher is an impressive athlete relative to his position and boasts a nice left-handed swing. Plus, as MLB.com notes, Virginia raves about his leadership, baseball IQ and work ethic.

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15. Chicago White Sox: Enrique Bradfield, OF, Vanderbilt

  • Enrique Bradfield stats (2023): .301/.452/.455, .907 OPS, 31 steaks, 58 runs scored

A top-10 pick in our first MLB mock draft, Vanderbilt outfielder Enrique Bradfield hits his floor at this spot. On the 20-80 scale, Bradfield offers 80 speed with arguably a 75 grade for his defense in center field. He can be a future Gold Glove winner who consistently gets on base and is among the MLB leaders in steals. All of those attributes are things the Chicago White Sox need.

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16. San Francisco Giants: Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland

  • Matt Shaw stats (2023): .363/.480/.755, 1.235 OPS, 20 home runs, 40/33 BB/K in 204 ABs

The San Francisco Giants have a history with standouts from the Cape Cod League, which is just one of the many reasons why CCL MVP Matt Shaw seems like an attractive option. The all-time record holder for home runs at Maryland (49), Shaw’s ceiling is a Silver Slugger Award candidate at second base and he could progress through the minor leagues at an accelerated pace.

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17. Baltimore Orioles: Colin Houck, SS, Parkview HS (Georgia)

Colin Houck is one of the fastest-rising prospects in the 2023 MLB Draft. A star on the diamond and as the quarterback for Parkview High School, Shaw might only be scratching the surface of what he’s capable of after splitting time for so many years between multiple spots. He boasts a strong arm with plus power and bat speed, further inflating his offensive profile long-term.

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18. Milwaukee Brewers: Colt Emerson, IF, Glenn HS (Ohio)

While the Milwaukee Brewers have used top picks in recent years on college bats, talent often trumps trends. Colt Emerson doesn’t turn 18 years old until July, making him one of the youngest players in the 2023 MLB Draft. Despite his youth, he is a very advanced hitter with the frame to add on more strength. Once that happens, with his bat speed, you could be looking at a third baseman with an above-average hit tool, solid defense and 20-plus homers per season.

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19. Tampa Bay Rays: Blake Mitchell, C, Sinton

The Tampa Bay Rays have a unique approach to everything, including who they target in the MLB Draft. Blake Mitchell has a lot of room for improvement behind the plate, but he’s a good athlete when playing the position and throws 97 mph. The above-average hit tools boost his offensive profile and, fitting for the Rays, he could also play multiple positions during his MLB career.

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20. Toronto Blue Jays: Tommy Troy, 2B, Stanford

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Arizona v Stanford
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  • Tommy Troy stats (2023): .389/.468/.685, 1.153 OPS, 10 home runs, 13 steals in 162 ABs

After not being picked in the 2020 MLB Draft, Tommy Troy blossomed at Stanford. Tommy Troy is arguably the best player in the ac-12 Conference this season, backing up his excellent production in the Cape Cod League. He fits for a fair amount of power, especially for someone who is only 5-foot-10. He can become a versatile middle infielder, best suited at second base, whose best contributions come with the bat.

2023 MLB mock draft: Cardinals take HS pitcher

21. St. Louis Cardinals: Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy (Mass.)

Pitching has become a real issue for the St. Louis Cardinals and while Thomas White wouldn’t reach the majors until his mid-20s (age 18), there’s so much to like in his profile. Standing at 6-foot-5, the southpaw out of Massachusetts holds a commitment to Vanderbilt, but his stuff – 97 mph fastball velocity, plus curveball – will push him into Round 1. He’s a great project for St. Louis and a sizable bonus can keep him from Vanderbilt.

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22. Seattle Mariners: Bryce Eldridge, RHP/1B, James Madison HS

MLB teams can view Bryce Eldridge as a projectable right-handed pitcher with three quality pitches and good command or as a future 6-foot-7 slugger to plug into their lineup in five years. As a left-handed hitter, there’s obvious power potential and he’s got the perfect frame to add strength to tap into it even more.

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23. Cleveland Guardians: Jack Hurley, OF, Virginia Tech

Standing at 6-foot, Virginia Tech outfielder Jack Hurley boasts average or above-average tools across the board. While he can play center field, Hurley might be eventually move to the corner. He doesn’t offer a ton of power, but a solid five-tool player truly fits the Cleveland Guardians’ type, especially when you look at their MLB roster.

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24. Atlanta Braves: Charles Soto, RHP, Reborn Christian HS (Florida)

Some clubs can afford to take bigger gambles and the Atlanta Braves are among them. Charlee Soto, 17 years old, offers the size (6-foot-5), fastball (consistently hitting 98 mph) and raw stuff to one day become a top pitching prospect. There’s an elevated risk with high school pitchers, especially when they are this young, but Atlanta can bet on the upside and its pitching development.

25. San Diego Padres: Yohandy Morales, 1B/OF, Miami

  • Yohandy Morales stats (2023): .398/.466/.653, 1.119 OPS, 11 home runs, 115 total bases

Yohandy Morales will have to move to first base or the corner outfield by the time he reaches the majors, but all the San Diego Padres should care about is his bat. MLB.com graded the 6-foot-4 slugger’s hit tool as a future 50 with his 60-grade power and it’s easy to see why with the swing. If all goes well, he could be another impact hitter in a loaded Padres lineup.

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26. New York Yankees: Brayden Taylor, 3B, TCU

  • Brayden Taylor stats (2023): .275/.418/.579, .997 OPS, 15 home runs, 44/42 K/BB

After an outstanding 2022 season with TCU (1.030 OPS, .314 BA), Brayden Taylor hasn’t been quite as dominant at the plate this season. However, the gorgeous left-handed stroke with the bat is still there and his TCU career proves he can make consistent contact. He’ll never be the best defensively at third base, but he could thrive one day at Yankee Stadium at the plate.

27. Philadelphia Phillies: Travis Sykora, RHP, Round Rock HS (Texas)

The Philadelphia Phillies are being rewarded for their selection of Andrew Painter in the 2021 MLB Draft and they could take a similar approach in 2023. Travis Sykora throws some of the fastest pitches in the 2023 MLB Draft class and his frame (6-foot-6) and athleticism offer a lot to build upon. He is older for a high school pitcher (19), but his command of the strike zone could also accelerate his path to the majors.

28. Houston Astros: Tanner Witt, RHP, Texas

Closing out the first round of our MLB mock draft 2023, the Houston Astros take the in-state talent. The 6-foot-5 Tanner Witt has just returned to the mound after spending the last year recovering from Tommy John surgery. If his stuff is back and he avoids further arm troubles, he could go slightly higher than this.

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MLB mock draft 2023: Prospect promotion and Competitive Balance Round A

  • 29. Seattle Mariners: Kevin McGonigle, IF, Monsignor Bonner HS (Pennsylvania)
  • 30. Seattle Mariners: Juraron Watts-Brown, RHP, Oklahoma State
  • 31. Tampa Bay Rays: George Lombardi Jr, IF, Gulliver Prep HS (Florida)
  • 32. New York Mets: Alonzo Tredwell, RHP, UCLA
  • 33. Milwaukee Brewers: Nlan Schanuel, 1B, FAU
  • 34. Minnesota Twins: Jake Gelof, 3B, Virginia
  • 35. Miami Marlins: Colton Ledbetter, OF, Mississippi State
  • 36. Los Angeles Dodgers: Ralphy Velazquez, C, Huntington Beach HS (California)
  • 37. Detroit Tigers: Dillon Head, OF, Homewood-Flossmoor HS (Illinois)
  • 38. Cincinnati Reds: Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest
  • 39. Oakland Athletics: Roch Cholowsky, SS, Hamilton HS (Arizona)

Do the Mets have a first round pick in 2023?

The New York Mets don’t have a first round pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. New York dropped 10 spots in the 2023 MLB Draft order because they surpassed the competitive balance ta threshold by more than $40 million.

Where is the 2023 MLB Draft?

The 2023 MLB Draft is being held in Seattle, Washington, the same location as the 2023 MLB All-Star Game. It’s also the first time the top picks were determined by a draft lottery.