MLB Draft 2023: Six Biggest Takeaways from Day 1

The first 70 selections of the 2023 MLB draft are in the books, with the annual infusion of amateur talent into the league’s affiliated ranks beginning at Seattle’s Lumen Field in front of T-Mobile Park. The draft has been a lot of fun these past few months, but you never know what will really happen when the picks start rolling out. Here are my six biggest takeaways from day one.

1. The first five choices were exactly as expected… something like

Thirty-six years after being selected first overall in the 1987 MLB draft, Hall of Famer and local icon Ken Griffey Jr. The stage to thunderous applause from the Seattle audience pittsburgh pirates‘Selection with the best option in 2023.

It had been clear for months that a specific class of five players stood apart from the rest of the class: LSU right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes, LSU outfielder Dylann Cruz, Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford, and Indiana’s Max Clark, two high-achieving pitchers. Walker Jenkins, the school’s outfielder and North. Carolina. What was unclear was the exact order in which these five players would be selected, but it seemed likely that the three aides had cleared the first three names off the board in some order.

In the end, Skenes won the day as the best pitching prospect in recent history and regardless of the inherent risk in both hands, there was too much talent for Pittsburgh. citizens of washington Happily took the cruise on the number. 2, became an unusual case in draft history where getting the second-ranked player felt almost like a bargain. Gueux Tigers.

Then it got weird.

strong perceptions within the industry regarding Detroit TigersThe preference for the college bat proved to be wrong, as they selected Clarke over Langford. It’s possible the Tigers saved more bonus money with Clark than they did with Langford, but it was still a potentially daring decision for Langford to swing the starting bat over a player who just a few weeks earlier had a stellar home run in the College World Series. Were. past.

that’s what we all thought Texas Rangers Will choose between Clarke and Jenkins, but instead he was left with the easy choice of Langford at No.4. minnesota twinsThe potential interest in targeting a college player in the first round also proved misplaced, as they decided to keep it simple and compete with Jenkins for a top-five spot. I think it was the right choice, especially considering their fortunate circumstance of scoring so high even after receiving the most luck in the inaugural draft lottery of any team, as they reached No. 5 despite having the 13th best chance of getting the top pick. ,

Overall, this was exactly what we had been expecting for months and in some ways it was not exactly what we were prepared for. That’s the beauty and chaos of the baseball draw.

2. The Giants most interesting tour of the night

Last year, the Giants selected Reggie Crawford out of the University of Connecticut and announced him as a two-way player, immediately catapulting his career into the limelight as he was given the rare opportunity to bat and throw in the pro ranks. Sure, it was San Francisco that jumped again this year for the top two-way talent in the draft in Bryce Aldridge, a six-foot-tall prep phenom from Virginia with overpowering raw power and tantalizing ingredients on the mound.

Aldridge’s development will be even more interesting to follow as he enters pro ball straight out of high school, unlike Crawford who had shown his abilities on both sides of the ball at the Division I level for several years.

Simply put, it doesn’t seem like a coincidence. any team will do Now Let Shohei Ohtani play both ways as he is a known product of excellence at the highest level; I don’t believe all 30 teams have the patience to develop two-way stars from the amateur ranks up the tough minor league ladder. These two selections alone are proof enough that the Giants are a team willing to try, which is a very good thing.

Aldridge alone provides enough intrigue at the top of any draft class, but the Giants’ next two picks are at No. 52 and 69 further underlined what I thought were the most interesting selections from each team on day one. Walker Martin, a high school short stop from coloradoIt was rumored that he would play for the Giants with the first choice at number one. 16, but instead fell only to their second-round pick. It’s not entirely unusual to see high school students go in a weird order during the first day of the draft, but Martin falls through. This By now I thought there must be more to the story, whether it was medically related or just that his age — he turns 19 in February — has scared the teams off more than expected.

Finally, the Giants finished their night with left-hander Joe Whitman, whose draft roster has emerged in recent weeks as perhaps the best college left-hander available. He ultimately finished third on the board behind Wake Forest’s Sean Sullivan and Clemson’s Caden Grice, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we fast forward a year and see that this selection is a steal – as is Martin. Well done veteran.

3. The marlins was my favorite draft of the night

I’ve constantly wondered throughout the spring and mock-draft process whether Miami will use the 10th overall pick for a batter to add much-needed offensive advantage to its farm system, or whether the organization will double down on what it already has. And take another pitcher to grow into an impressive big league offshoot. Well, the Marlins pretty brutally answered that question with their first two selections, ranked arguably the top two high school pitchers in the entire draft, with right-hander Noble Meyer at no. 10th, followed by left-hander Thomas White. 35. Prep pitchers are always awfully risky, but if these two young men can stay sane you certainly won’t catch me betting against the Fightin’ Fish. It’s a dynamic pair of teenage arms to add to the system that introduced us to a 20-year-old superstar in Youri Perez.

But what made Miami’s draft pick my favorite of the night was balancing those top two picks with Ole Miss outfielder Kemp Alderman at No. 47. Alderman was one of my favorite college hitters, an absolute stunner with tremendous raw power that was some of the best. Class. Only 20 years old as of August, he is young even for the class and has performed in the Gauntlet ie the SEC for several seasons. I was convinced he would be a great pick for some lucky team by the end of day one, but it was extra nice to see him complement the Marlins class with some prep pitchers.

For the record, Arizona, Milwaukee, and Tampa Bay were the three other draft classes that caught my eye so far among the teams that weren’t at the top, but there are many more to choose from in the coming days. The other teams have had plenty of time to impress!

4. Brandon Sprott was the funniest pick of the night

It has nothing to do with how good Sprott is as a pitcher. The University of Florida right-hander is one of the toughest pitchers to draft, showing flashes of talent in college baseball’s toughest conference for several seasons. But for the Mets — the team that couldn’t sign Sprott a year ago after taking him 90th overall — this time to call him back and say, come on, do it again at No. 56. Try it? It is so funny.

I’m extremely curious to see what Sprott’s signing bonus turns out to be, especially considering the Mets’ first choice of the night, acclaimed high school shortstop Colin Houk, is at no. 32, could be worth much more than the $2.6 million or so slot attached to that option. How much more to give Sprott out of an $8.4 million total bonus pool that is already one of the smallest in the draft? The saga just got better: Sprott has Scott Boras as an advisor. I’m not sure if you noticed or not, but he usually gives his clients a fair chunk of money.

5. The evaders Planning something, but it’s hard to suspect

There were a few surprises in the order of the first round, but the Dodgers gave us our first real stunner of the night with their selection of Kendall George at No. 36. George is a high school outfielder from Texas who is on his way to becoming the fastest runner. the whole class. His intriguing offensive prowess also has solid bat-to-ball talent, but very little exceptional speaking ability. It doesn’t seem like the Dodgers would typically target that type of player, which makes the selection all the more interesting — on top of the fact that most people in the industry see George as a late second- or third-round talent. Used to see

This makes me think they took George on a comfortably undersized deal, only to follow that roster up with Jake Gelof’s college bat at number 60, which is about where he was expected to go and therefore probably last. Will get a bonus in line with the recommendation. … Quoting Brian Windhorst, What’s Happening in Los Angeles? Do they have anything in store for pickup numbers? 95 With an over-slot high school kid we never expected to stoop so far? we will see!

6. What happened to Jack Hurley?

Speaking of the Dodgers, I thought one player would be the best fit for them, and their first choice was Virginia Tech outfielder Jack Hurley. He has been one of the most prolific hitters in the ACC for the past two seasons, seemingly going 20 to 40. Instead, he remains unselected going into Day 2.

It’s not uncommon to see high school seniors drop out of school as a result of signing bonus demands related to college commitments – we’ll see if this becomes more common in the NIL era – but Hurley’s name is still on the board. But it seems particularly strange. He’s a pretty proven college bat for that. I would still expect that he will be one of the first to hear his name called on day two and that the team could turn out to be a good player for the third round. stay tuned.

Jordan Shusterman is half of @cespedesbbq and baseball writer for Fox Sports. He has exclusively covered baseball his entire adult life. MLB. com, DAZN and The Ringer. He’s a Mariners fan who lives in the Eastern time zone, which means he loves a good 10 p.m. first roll. You can follow him on Twitter. @j_shusterman_,


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