We’re four weeks into the college season so it’s time for the first edition of our 2023 Mock Draft.
Like previous mock drafts this time of year, I’ve enlisted a high-ranking scout with a big league team to help me go through this exercise and make alternating picks. We’re attempting to make picks for each team based on player value as well as perceived draft tendencies and organization philosophies.
Plenty will change between now and the actual draft in July, but this has been a thought-provoking exercise to do each year despite the fact that at this stage it’s a lot more guesswork and player-value based than what our final mocks attempt to be—with as many direct player/team links as possible.
The perspective of the 2023 class seems to be quite strong a month into the spring season:
“I’m trying not to be a prisoner of the moment, especially since conference games are just starting this upcoming weekend in most conferences, but I think the top of this college class compares very favorably to the last two years,” said our participating scout. “If you stacked up the top college players from those years against this year, the top four guys in this year’s class might go off the board before anyone else from the last two classes, though that’s somewhat in the eye of the beholder.
“If we go back to 2021 with Henry Davis and Colton Cowser on the position player side and Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter, for pitchers, this year’s guys are better. Then looking at last year’s class, which was dominated by the high school crop at the top of the draft, with Jacob Berry, Cade Horton and Brooks Lee (being the first college players taken)—I don’t even think it’s close to be honest.”
In this version of the mock, I pick first and then select for each odd-numbered team. Our scout picks second and will make picks for each even-numbered team.
Players are listed with their current BA draft ranking in parentheses, and I’ve also included some thoughts from both myself and our scout, though the comments have been edited for length (if you can believe it) and clarity:
1. Pirates — Dylan Crews, OF, Louisiana State (1)
Carlos’ Take: For me this pick was a pretty easy one given our current draft ranking, Crews’ track record as a player, tool set and production so far this season. He’s doing exactly what he was expected to do: mash. I’m concerned that with the Pirates picking at the top of the draft again in 2023 we will wind up…
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