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2023 MLB Draft Recap - Slam Dunks and Head Scratchers
The MLB draft is always an exciting time for baseball fans and organizations as they get a chance to rebuild their farm systems. After reviewing the draft results, some expert opinions and doing some of my own research I wanted to highlight a few teams that I thought nailed the draft and some others that had my head scratching.
Drafting Lowder at 7th overall was a great value pick. Considered the 2nd best pitcher in the class the Reds continue to add assets to their stable of young arms. I do not believe Lowder will take a long time to reach the bigs so we should be able to enjoy Mr. Lowder’s services sooner rather than later. Following Lowder the Reds came right back and drafted another pitcher in Ty Floyd out of LSU who looks like he can be a back-end of the rotation starter. Looking further into their draft picks the Reds made 21 selections 12 of which were arms and 9 bats. They already have a good young core that looks very exciting. This draft was definitely a success for Cincinnati with a balanced approach and addressing immediate needs in the earlier rounds.
San Francisco Giants:
Similar to the Reds, the Giants also had the privilege of making 21 selections during the 2023 MLB draft. The Giants drafted 8 pitchers and 13 positional players (including 1st round pick Bryce Eldridge who is a two-way player). I loved what the Giants did this year as they need more MLB bats in order to be competitive. 18 of the 21 picks were college players which is also a reason I am excited about their draft class. I am intrigued by the Joe Whitman selection as he was a Purdue transfer to Kent State and won Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year honors. Seems like the Giants were more focused on drafting bats which is probably for the best given their current MLB roster.
The Nationals really needed to have a good draft and that's just what they did with their 20 draft picks. With their first 3 picks they selected Dylan Crews (#2 overall), Yohandy Morales (#40 overall) and Travis Sykora (#71 overall) who are all guys will likely slot into the system’s top-10 prospects. The Nationals had a balanced approach selecting 11 arms and 9 bats which is for the best as the entire roster needs work. I loved that the Nationals also kept it very college heavy as they drafted 18 of their 20 picks from the college level. Looking forward to seeing how this draft pans out.
Kansas City Royals:
First two picks for the Royals were Blake Mitchell (Catcher) and Blake Wolters (Pitcher)…both high schoolers. Only five of 18 first-round high school catchers since 2010 have reached the majors! The Royals had 21 picks in the 2023 draft and used 6 of them on kids from high school. Do not love that at all. The Royals roster is awful minus a few young bright spots. I don’t understand why they didn’t draft more college players that could help the MLB roster become competitive in a timely manner?
Los Angeles Angels:
The Angels had 19 draft picks to play with in the 2023 draft where they selected 9 arms and 10 bats. This was the right approach as they need help with both hitting and pitching. 1st round pick Nolan Schanuel will be interesting to follow to see if he sticks at 1B or makes a move to a corner outfield slot. I did like the 6th round pick of Camden Minacci out of Wake Forest to bolster the back-end of the bullpen (position in need of immediate aid). All in all I don’t think their draft was good enough to entice Ohtani to stay, which is a bummer.
The Braves leaned more to adding arms, selecting 12 of their 21 picks on pitching. This is a little surprising to me as Atlanta seems to be a factory of developing arm talent and I would have thought they would have gone for more positional players to keep reloading the already imposing MLB roster. I was a big fan of their 1st round pick out of Florida, Hurston Waldrep, who owns a triple digit fastball in his arsenal of pitches and I think Atlanta will make him into an Ace.
Hope you enjoyed this little snip-it on this year’s MLB Draft!
Photo Credit - Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Image