As the 2023 MLB season approaches, now is also the time to start looking at the best MLB Draft prospects in 2023.
Forget about needing salary arbitration explained or even exploring the best young players in MLB right now. The MLB Draft is all about the long-term future of a franchise. This means having an understanding of the best players in college baseball currently, as well as some of the top high schoolers who could be top draft picks.
Best MLB Draft prospects 2023
The 2023 MLB Draft might not be until July, but it’s not too early to think about the best MLB Draft prospects for 2023.
After all, these players have already started their season and are trying to improve their stock and prove that they deserve to be among the top baseball draft prospects this year. Of course, we don’t know which of these players will one day blossom into bonafide stars, but here is our pre-draft ranking of the 25 best MLB Draft prospects in 2023.
25. Kyle Teel, Virginia
There aren’t many catchers among the best players in this year’s class, but Kyle Teel is one of them. As a left-handed batter, he’s the consensus pick as the top catcher in college baseball this season.
He possesses ideal athleticism and arm strength for a catcher, not to mention impressive baseball IQ. Teel also has a good approach at the plate and enough offensive potential to be considered an everyday catcher in the majors. If nothing else, he should make it to the big leagues as a quality backup, reducing some of the risk in making him a first-round pick.
24. Matt Shaw, Maryland
Matt Shaw certainly doesn’t fit into the growing trend of tall shortstops. However, he happens to be one of the most polished college hitters in this draft class.
He makes hard contact, draws plenty of walks, and uses his speed well on the base paths. Shaw is also a hard player to strike out. His biggest question is whether he has the arm to stay at shortstop. However, he’s athletic enough to play second base or the outfield, so if nothing else, he can be a useful utility player in the majors who produces like an everyday player.
23. Arjun Nimmala, Strawberry Crest (Florida)
While Arjun Nimmala still has a long way to go as a high school shortstop, his upside might be worth the risk.
The youngster has incredible raw power to all fields and has the arm strength and athleticism to remain a shortstop in the long run. Right now, he’s committed to play his college baseball at Florida State. But his upside makes him a serious candidate to be a first-round pick. It might take a few years, but Nimmala has serious potential.
22. Will Sanders, South Carolina
Even if Will Sanders is lacking in upside, he’s among the surest bets of the 2023 class. He has the frame of a pitcher at 6’6’’ and has four pitches that grade as average or a tick above.
Sanders doesn’t throw as hard as you might expect for a pitcher his size. But he does use his size to his advantage and has better mechanics than you might expect, giving him a great chance to reach the big leagues one day.
21. Charlee Soto, Reborn Christian High School (Florida)
Coming out of high school, Charlee Soto already has the frame and velocity that MLB teams look for in first-round picks. He’s 6’5’’ and able to hit 98 mph on radar guns.
On top of that, he has two secondary pitches that have a chance to develop into above-average pitches. Even his command is far better than you might expect for a player his age, which is why whatever team drafts him will be eager to eager to buy him out of his commitment to Central Florida.
20. Rhett Lowder, Wake Forest
Despite an uneven freshman season at Wake Forest, it was apparent that Rhett Lowder had a ton of potential. Over the last year, he’s started to turn that potential into production, winning 11 games in 2022.
Lowder has arguably the best changeup of any draft-eligible pitcher, and that pitch could be his ticket to the majors. Even if the rest of his repertoire isn’t as impressive, Lowder knows how to mix his pitches and could be a durable starter with a long career ahead of him.
19. Noble Meyer, Jesuit High School (Oregon)
Among high school pitchers in this class, Noble Meyer is surely one of the best.
He has a 6’5’’ frame and is already touching the upper 90s with his fastball. His other pitches also show promise, leading some to think that Meyer will one day be racking up strikeouts in the majors, possibly developing into a frontline starter.
18. Aidan Miller, Mitchell High School (Florida)
After his brother was selected in the second round of the draft a few years ago, Aidan Miller has a chance to do even better.
The young third baseman has the type of bat that tends to profile well at the corner infield positions. Keep in mind that he played shortstop in high school, so there is little question that Miller can handle third base. It’s just a matter of watching his bat develop over the next few years.
17. Travis Honeyman, Boston College
Traditionally, Boston College hasn’t produced a ton of MLB talent, but Travis Honeyman is becoming an exception to that. The Eagles have slowly started to send players to the draft in recent years with Honeyman being the most talented of the bunch.
The outfielder is a little on the skinny side and still doesn’t have a lot of in-game power. But he has great bat control and rarely strikes out. Honeyman also has average or better tools across the board, making him an intriguing prospect with a lot of potential.
16. Thomas White, Phillips Academy (Massachusetts)
Good luck finding a better left-handed pitcher in this year’s class than Thomas White. Coming out of high school in the northeast, there is some risk with him. But the kid is 6’5’’ and already hitting the upper 90s with his fastball.
There will be a learning curve with him while he irons out his mechanics. However, there is a lot of upside with him. The catch is that White will likely go to Vanderbilt if he isn’t picked early enough to earn a big signing bonus.
15. Tanner Witt, Texas
Tanner Witt’s father, Kevin, had a brief career in the majors and should easily be eclipsed by his son. His stock has been hurt by needing Tommy John surgery after a promising start to his sophomore year in 2022.
However, he still has a chance to be one of the best MLB Draft prospects in 2023. His fastball and curveball are both plus pitches and he looks like a natural athlete on the mound. Outside of the surgery, there is no reason to think that Witt can’t become an effective MLB pitcher one day.
14. Brock Wilken, Wake Forest
For what it’s worth, Brock Wilken doesn’t have impressive tools across the board. But the third baseman slammed 23 home runs during his sophomore season at Wake Forest, showcasing power that’s well above average.
He has a natural power stroke and also shows a fair amount of patience at the plate. On the other side of the ball, Wilken’s arm will play well at third base, even if he’s never a Gold Glove-caliber player at the hot corner.
13. Yohandy Morales, Miami
Baseball is surely in the blood of Yohandy Morales, whose father once played for the Cuban National Team. Naturally, Morales plays for Miami, where he made an immediate impact with 11 home runs as a freshman.
He continued to produce as a sophomore and could be one of the most polished college bats in this year’s class. It’s also worth noting that Morales is a former shortstop who got too big to stick there, which means his defensive skill set should profile well at third base for the long run.
12. Brayden Taylor, TCU
There’s a strong chance that Brayden Taylor will become the first TCU position player to be selected in the first round.
He’s a great example of an overlooked high schooler who has blossomed while in college. The third baseman swings left-handed and shows the ability to hit the ball to all fields. His power should continue to show up as he matures, even if he’ll never be the type of hitter who reaches 40 homers in a season.
Taylor is also a trustworthy defensive player at the hot corner, so teams don’t have to worry too much about him having to switch positions at some point.
11. Walker Jenkins, South Brunswick High School (North Carolina)
While still in high school, Walker Jenkins already looks like a five-tool player. The left-hand-hitting outfielder also looks the part with a 6’3’’ frame.
His raw power is already there and is expected to improve with age. Defensively, Jenkins may not retain the mobility to stay in center field in the long run. But with a strong arm to go with his powerful bat, he profiles as an everyday, power-hitting right fielder.
10. Blake Mitchell, Stinton High School (Texas)
Even as a high schooler, Blake Mitchell is one of the few catchers among the best MLB Draft prospects in 2023. He has exceptional arm strength, so if things don’t work out behind the plate, he could give pitching a try down the road.
However, as a hitter, Mitchell has a fair amount of power from the left side of the plate. He also has enough agility to be a sound defensive catcher. As a high school catcher, drafting him in the first round is a risk, but there’s no denying Mitchell has some impressive tools.
9. Jacob Wilson, Grand Canyon
As the son of a former MLB all-star, Jacob Wilson certainly has the genes to be a big leaguer. His dad Jack Wilson played in the majors from 2001 to 2012, winning a Silver Slugger and all-star honors in 2004.
His dad has been a big part of his upbringing and even joined the Grand Canyon coaching staff in 2023. Of course, Jacob posted an OPS of 1.004 during the 2022 campaign, so he doesn’t need much help, as he’s arguably the best pure hitter in this class. If he can continue to prove himself as a shortstop defensively, he’ll be a valuable asset in the majors one day.
8. Hurston Waldrep, Florida
After starting his college career at Southern Miss as a reliever, Hurston Waldrep is now a key part of one of the best pitching staffs in college baseball at Florida.
The young righty has a ton of heat on his fastball and a hard slider. His changeup also shows some excellent potential as a third offering, making MLB teams think his long-term future could be as a starter.
Despite some mechanical issues to clean up, Waldrep has excellent control of his pitches and faces tough competition in the SEC, helping boost his status as one of the top pitching prospects in this draft class.
7. Max Clark, Franklin High School (Indiana)
While he’s committed to Vanderbilt and could still choose to go to college, Max Clark will be one of the top baseball draft prospects coming out of high school this year. He throws and bats left-handed and is regarded as an excellent contact hitter.
However, his best tools might be his speed and defense, not to mention an above-average arm. Coming out of high school, he’ll need a little more time to develop. But he has the tools to be an elite defensive player and also hit 20-plus homers per season with a good batting average, giving him one of the highest ceilings of any prospect in this year’s draft.
6. Enrique Bradfield, Vanderbilt
Not only is Enrique Bradfield among the best players in college baseball currently but he could be the fastest player available in this year’s MLB Draft. Between his world-class speed and his plus-level defense, Bradfield has often been compared to Kenny Lofton.
But it’s not just that Bradfield is fast, he’s already learned how to use it both on the base paths and in center field. Granted, his arm and power are a little below average. But the left-hand-hitting Bradfield already has a keen understanding of how to put the ball in play and let his speed take things from there. He may not do everything well, but with the tools that he has, Bradfield is exceptional.
5. Jacob Gonzalez, Ole Miss
Jacob Gonzalez figures to be the top shortstop available in this year’s draft, not to mention one of the best MLB Draft prospects in 2023 overall. We’re talking about a player who was National Freshman of the Year in 2021 for Ole Miss when he helped the Rebels win the College World Series.
During the 2022 season, Gonzalez popped 18 homers, even though he’s not considered that much of a power hitter. Hitting from the left side, Gonzalez shows impressive bat speed, although he still needs a little polish. Defensively, he’s quick enough to cover ground at shortstop and has the arm strength to stay there, even if his body fills out a little and he adds more power to his offensive game.
4. Paul Skenes, LSU
In a growing trend in baseball, Paul Skenes is a two-way player, which will surely make him one of the best MLB Draft prospects in 2023. In 2022, he was the only college player to have at least 10 wins and 10 home runs. However, right now the 6’6’’ righty is a far better pitcher than a hitter.
He throws mostly in the upper 90s and has seen his slider improve during his time at LSU, potentially making it a plus pitch. As a hitter alone, he’s probably best selected within the first handful of rounds as a potential DH. But his tools on the mound combined with his hitting potential will make him a top-10 pick.
3. Wyatt Langford, Florida
There’s no shortage of former Florida Gators in the big leagues, and Wyatt Langford looks like he’ll be the next in line. He’s a great athlete who played three sports in high school and then broke out during his sophomore season in 2022 after focusing on baseball. Langford is a true five-tool player, grading out as average or better across the board. His best tool is his power, as he smashed 26 home runs in 2022, tying a single-season Florida record. Defensively, he’s still figuring out how to play center field, although he has the athleticism to eventually settle in there and be reliable on that side of the ball.
2. Chase Hollander, Tennessee
Among pitchers, Chase Hollander might be the best it gets in college baseball this year. He didn’t start to blossom until late in high school and then didn’t transfer to Tennessee until his sophomore season.
But all he did during his first season with the Volunteers was win SEC Pitcher of the Year honors. With a four-pitch mix, including a fastball that can touch 99 mph at times, Hollander has a repertoire that can make him an effective starter in the big leagues for a long time.
Not to get too carried away, but there are some scouts that think he’s the best college pitcher since Gerrit Cole in 2011. Obviously, that’s high praise, but that’s how good Hollander has been.
1. Dylan Crews, LSU
There is a strong chance that Dylan Crews, an outfielder coming out of LSU, will be the top overall in this year’s draft. He’s undoubtedly one of the best players in college baseball currently and plays for one of the top baseball powerhouses in the country.
He’s a well-rounded hitter who generates plenty of power, hitting 18 home runs during his freshman season at LSU, more than any other freshman in that program’s long history.
Crews topped that with 22 homers the following year. He also has enough athleticism to make scouts think that he can be a long-term center fielder, which is where he’ll have the most value in the majors. However, his power and arm strength could also play well in right field, so there’s a lot to like about him and the future Crews could have in the big leagues.