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Analyzing the Prime 5 Draft Lessons of 2023

6 min read

The MLB draft is actually one of the crucial complicated occasions in all of sports activities. The intricacies of it are onerous to know for each the informal fan {and professional} evaluators. Versus the straightforwardness of the NBA, NFL, and NHL drafts the place the perfect participant accessible is nearly all the time picked, numerous components go into an MLB draft decide. It’s extremely troublesome to foretell what is going to unfold on draft evening with even the perfect of mock drafts struggling to get greater than 5 picks proper. Right here’s a fast take a look at the 5 finest group draft lessons in my view and the drafting methods they took to get there.

#1, Milwaukee Brewers

First 5 Picks:

Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest

Josh Knoth, RHP, Patchogue Medford HS

Mike Boeve, 3B, Nebraska-Omaha

Eric Bitonti, SS, Aquinas HS

Jason Woodward, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast

Greatest Non-Prime 5 Choose:

Cooper Pratt, SS, Magnolia Heights


The Brewers used a traditional MLB draft technique the place they went below slot worth of their early-round picks so as to signal extra gifted gamers in later rounds. That is generally used amongst small market groups and groups seeking to construct depth all through their system. As an alternative of buying a possible celebrity within the first spherical, the Brewers opted for a strong, but reasonably priced choice in Brock Wilken. This allowed them to unfold the wealth and purchase down each Eric Bitonti and Cooper Pratt. The prep infielders each graded out as second-round picks on most draft boards however Milwaukee was capable of seize them within the third and sixth rounds respectively. The Brewers performed this technique about as successfully as anybody might as they bought strong high quality all through the draft whereas additionally having the ability to add some high-upside gamers.

#2, Tampa Bay Rays

First 5 Picks:

Brayden Taylor, SS, TCU

Adrian Santana, SS, Doral Academy

Colton Ledbetter, OF, Mississippi State

Tre Morgan, 1B, LSU

Hunter Haas, SS, Texas A&M

Greatest Non-Prime 5 Choose:

Trevor Harrison, RHP, JW Mitchell


It’s no shock that the Brewers and Rays high the record of finest draft lessons as they each are organizations that play in small markets and discover success by way of sensible drafting and powerful participant improvement. The Rays took an identical strategy to the Brewers however in a much less apparent method. Versus saving a ton of cash with their first decide, they bought every of their first 5 picks slightly below slot worth. Whereas not one of the picks regarded like large reductions, the full cash saved allowed them to purchase large on Trevor Harrison within the fifth spherical. That is just like the Rays technique in most years and it has labored extremely properly for them. Tampa additionally acquired T.J. Nichols and Drew Dowd who have been each fairly strong in PAC-12 play and who had hype considerably above the place they bought picked.

#3, Washington Nationals

First 5 Picks:

Dylan Crews, OF, LSU

Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami

Travis Sykora, RHP, Spherical Rock HS

Andrew Pinckney, OF, Alabama

Marcus Brown, SS, Oklahoma State

Greatest Non-Prime 5 Choose:

Liam Sullivan, LHP, Georgia


Going into the draft cycle, nobody would’ve believed that Dylan Crews might probably fall to the Nats with the second decide. He appeared like probably the most surefire #1 total decide in years. Nonetheless, as talked about earlier, the MLB draft is so ridiculously unpredictable. Mike Rizzo and different members of the Nats’ entrance workplace have been possible thrilled to have the ability to get the perfect participant within the draft within the second spherical. Washington went with a really completely different bonus pool technique as they went over slot in every of the primary three rounds and regarded to save cash later down the board. That is just about the precise reverse of what Milwaukee did. The important thing to this technique is buying large expertise in early picks. The Nationals have been profitable as they added the perfect participant within the class, a slugger who fell too far in Morales, and a high-upside fireballer in Sykora. Many of the cheaper school expertise Washington acquired have been considered pretty much as good picks and graded out as a superb draft as a complete.

#4, Miami Marlins

First 5 Picks:

Noble Meyer, RHP, Jesuit Excessive

Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy

Kemp Alderman, OF, Mississippi

Brock Vradenburg, 1B, Michigan State

Emmett Olson, LHP, Nebraska

Greatest Non-Prime 5 Choose:

Colby Shade, OF, Oregon


The Marlins minimize one of the crucial unbelievable offers I’ve seen in current draft historical past and I’ve no clue clarify it. Miami drafted Noble Meyer, the consensus high prep arm within the draft, with the tenth decide and was capable of signal him for nearly one million {dollars} below slot. Excessive schoolers often command no less than slot worth and Meyer was projected to go within the 8-14 vary. I actually can’t clarify how Miami was capable of get such a reduction on such a strong participant. Whereas most groups would comply with up a prep pitcher with a safer decide, Kim Ng and Co. doubled down and took Thomas White, the perfect left-handed prep arm accessible. The Marlins have strong pitching improvement in place and injecting two high-upside arms provides plenty of hope for the longer term. Alderman and Vradenburg have been each considered favorably by most knowledge projections. Nick Maldonado out of Vanderbilt within the eighth spherical was a sneaky decide as properly, I count on him to be a giant league reliever inside a 12 months or two. After taking two dangerous picks early, Miami took a slew of school gamers, a typical technique to supply a steadiness of excessive upside and excessive ground. After final 12 months’s disappointment, I used to be comfortable to see Miami bounce again with a really sturdy class.

#5, Seattle Mariners

First 5 Picks:

Colt Emerson, SS, John Glenn

Johnny Farmelo, OF, Westfield

Tai Peete, SS, Trinity Christian

Ben Williamson, 3B, William & Mary

Teddy McGraw, RHP, Wake Forest

Greatest Non-Prime 5 Choose:

Aidan Smith, OF, Lovejoy


Seattle opted for a similar technique because the Nationals and went over slot early to purchase down some gamers. Seattle usually goes the prep route early and definitely didn’t veer from that technique this 12 months. They went with highschool athletes within the first three rounds, all on over-slot offers. Equally to Washington, they made up for the early spending spree by chopping offers with older school gamers in later rounds. Regardless of this, they have been nonetheless capable of get Teddy McGraw, seen as a possible first-rounder, and Aidan Smith, a high-upside Texas excessive schooler. Farmelo was a knowledge favourite and a participant I’m very excessive in as was Peete. All of their first three picks present the right steadiness between a excessive upside and an affordable ground. If Seattle’s participant improvement system might be as sturdy because it’s been these days, this might find yourself being the perfect class of this 12 months’s draft.

The draft isn’t simple to foretell and this 12 months was definitely no exception. Each entrance workplace spends a 12 months strategizing and every strategy the draft in a very completely different method. This 12 months in school deeper than most, it appeared to show efficient to unfold bonus pool cash across the draft and purchase as a lot amount as potential. Different sturdy drafts included the Giants, Twins, Tigers, Cubs, Blue Jays, and Cardinals. Nonetheless, not surprisingly, the Brewers and Rays flexed their scouting savvy and have been capable of get inventive with bonus house whereas bolstering their farm programs significantly. After all, it’s method too early to totally analyze the draft however I predict trying again on this class in a couple of years, the Tampa/Milwaukee methodology of drafting will look the perfect for the 2023 class.

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