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Analyzing the High 5 Draft Lessons of 2023

The MLB draft is actually probably the most complicated occasions in all of sports activities. The intricacies of it are onerous to grasp for each the informal fan {and professional} evaluators. Versus the straightforwardness of the NBA, NFL, and NHL drafts the place one of the best participant out there is nearly all the time picked, numerous components go into an MLB draft choose. It’s extremely tough to foretell what is going to unfold on draft evening with even one of the best of mock drafts struggling to get greater than 5 picks proper. Right here’s a fast have a look at the 5 finest workforce draft lessons for my part 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-High 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 to be able to signal extra gifted gamers in later rounds. That is generally used amongst small market groups and groups trying to construct depth all through their system. As a substitute of buying a possible famous person within the first spherical, the Brewers opted for a strong, but inexpensive possibility 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 in a position to seize them within the third and sixth rounds respectively. The Brewers performed this technique about as successfully as anybody might as they received 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-High 5 Choose:

Trevor Harrison, RHP, JW Mitchell


It’s no shock that the Brewers and Rays prime the checklist of finest draft lessons as they each are organizations that play in small markets and discover success via sensible drafting and powerful participant growth. The Rays took an analogous strategy to the Brewers however in a much less apparent approach. Versus saving a ton of cash with their first choose, they received every of their first 5 picks just below slot worth. Whereas not one of the picks regarded like large reductions, the entire cash saved allowed them to purchase large on Trevor Harrison within the fifth spherical. That is much like the Rays technique in most years and it has labored extremely effectively for them. Tampa additionally acquired T.J. Nichols and Drew Dowd who had been each fairly strong in PAC-12 play and who had hype considerably above the place they received 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-High 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 choose. He appeared like essentially the most surefire #1 general choose in years. Nonetheless, as talked about earlier, the MLB draft s so ridiculously unpredictable. Mike Rizzo and different members of the Nats’ entrance workplace had been seemingly thrilled to have the ability to get one of the best participant within the draft within the second spherical. Washington went with a really totally 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 huge expertise in early picks. The Nationals had been profitable as they added one of the best participant within the class, a slugger who fell too far in Morales, and a high-upside fireballer in Sykora. Many of the cheaper faculty expertise Washington acquired had been seen pretty much as good picks and graded out as a very good 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-High 5 Choose:

Colby Shade, OF, Oregon


The Marlins reduce probably the most unbelievable offers I’ve seen in current draft historical past and I’ve no clue easy methods to clarify it. Miami drafted Noble Meyer, the consensus prime prep arm within the draft, with the tenth choose and was in a position to signal him for nearly 1,000,000 {dollars} below slot. Excessive schoolers often command at the very least slot worth and Meyer was projected to go within the 8-14 vary. I actually can’t clarify how Miami was in a position to get such a reduction on such a strong participant. Whereas most groups would comply with up a prep pitcher with a safer choose, Kim Ng and Co. doubled down and took Thomas White, one of the best left-handed prep arm out there. The Marlins have strong pitching growth in place and injecting two high-upside arms gives quite a lot of hope for the long run. Alderman and Vradenburg had been each seen favorably by most information projections. Nick Maldonado out of Vanderbilt within the eighth spherical was a sneaky choose as effectively, I anticipate 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 standard technique to supply a stability of excessive upside and excessive ground. After final 12 months’s disappointment, I used to be joyful to see Miami bounce again with a really robust 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-High 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 typically 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 slicing offers with older faculty gamers in later rounds. Regardless of this, they had been nonetheless in a position to 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 stability between a excessive upside and an affordable ground. If Seattle’s participant growth system will be as robust because it’s been currently, this might find yourself being one of the best class of this 12 months’s draft.

The draft is rarely straightforward 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 totally different approach. This 12 months at school deeper than most, it appeared to show efficient to unfold bonus pool cash across the draft and purchase as a lot amount as doable. Different robust drafts included the Giants, Twins, Tigers, Cubs, Blue Jays, and Cardinals. Nonetheless, not surprisingly, the Brewers and Rays flexed their scouting savvy and had been in a position to get inventive with bonus area whereas bolstering their farm techniques significantly. In fact, it’s approach too early to completely analyze the draft however I predict wanting again on this class in a couple of years, the Tampa/Milwaukee methodology of drafting will look one of the best for the 2023 class.



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