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  • Eric Martinez

2023 MLB Draft: LSU had multiple players drafted

Each team looked forward to the 2023 MLB Draft this year. Mostly to improve their ball clubs, but more importantly the projected top players of this draft had excellent seasons with their own schools whether it was college or high school. The Pittsburgh Pirates were on the clock with the number one draft pick. Leading up to the draft, several experts predicted an outfielder was the choice that Pittsburgh was leaning towards. The Pirates have several needs to fill, but in the current season Pittsburgh has allowed 425 runs and have a 19-28 record on the road. Starting Pitching has been an issue this year. Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Paul Skenes, pitcher from LSU, with the number 1 overall pick. Skenes was the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2023, and also voted the College World Series Most Outstanding Player leading to the national championship for LSU. The 21-year-old right-handed pitcher will help bolster their pitching rotation immediately. Pirates’ fans look forward to adding a potential ace to their team.

The Washington Nationals had the second pick overall and were scouting several players to help drive in runs and improve their runs scored to runs allowed ratio. The Nationals currently are -83 in that statistic and hold the third worst record in MLB (36-54). The Washington Nationals drafted Dylan Crews, Outfielder LSU with the second overall pick. Not only did Crews contribute to the national championship for LSU, but he also scored 100 runs and recorded 110 hits with a .426 batting average this past season. He will look to help a team that is desperately looking for a superstar. LSU produces two draft picks consecutively at the top of the draft for the first time since Vanderbilt University had two players get drafted 1 and 2 in 2015.

With the third pick in the draft the Detroit Tigers drafted the National Player of the Year in High School, Max Clark outfielder. The two-time Indiana high school player of the year also is a USA Baseball prospect directly from the pipeline. Max Clark has committed to play his collegiate baseball with Vanderbilt University, and look for him to transition to the Tigers Organization early in his collegiate career since now he is valued as a top prospect for Detroit.

The Texas Rangers are having a breakout season, and that continued in the MLB Draft. The Rangers drafted Florida University outfielder, Wyatt Langford. Langford was considered the best player in the draft by several scouts in the MLB and media outlets. Rangers should be ecstatic to draft Langford at number four.The Minnesota Twins drafted Walker Jenkins, outfielder from South Brunswick High School. Jenkins was the two-time North Carolina high school player of the year. He has committed to play with North Carolina University and is another pipeline participant from the USA Baseball Development program.

Oakland Athletics are drafting for a future that is unsure at the moment. One thing that is known is that the A’s need utility players that can play several positions for the infield. A’s drafted Jacob Wilson, a shortstop from Grand Canyon University with the sixth overall draft pick. At the plate, Wilson has great patience and is an efficient hitter only striking out five times out of his 217 plate appearances. He will need to improve on his power to be a key hitter at the top of Oakland’s lineup.

Cincinnati Reds held the number seven overall draft pick. The Reds have taken a giant leap this current season holding first place in the National League Central with a 50-41 record. The Reds drafted Rhett Lowder, pitcher from Wake Forest. Cincinnati has improved this year, however drafting a pitcher was essential since the Reds all the second most runs in MLB (463).

Kansas City Royals selected Blake Mitchell, catcher at Sinton High School with the number eight overall pick. Mitchell has been described as the most polished and most prepared prospect in the draft. Mitchell was described as “high baseball IQ” and understands how to call a game for pitchers and can hit for power. Blake Mitchell will have another valuable asset by learning from MLB All-Star, Salvador Perez.

There are several positions that were necessities for the Colorado Rockies at number nine. Playing at Coors Field in Colorado is difficult for opposing pitchers, and the Rockies understood they will need to bolster their pitching depth. The Colorado Rockies drafted Chase Dollander, pitcher from Tennessee. The 2022 Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year will have a chance to help the Rockies immediately by either becoming a starter or possibly being assigned to the bullpen.

Noble Meyer was drafted tenth overall by the Miami Marlins. Meyer is a pitcher that played at Jesuit High School. Noble Meyer is considered to be the top prep pitcher in the draft, and the Marlins considered themselves fortunate that Meyer was available at the tenth pick. Compared to several pitchers still available at the tenth spot, Noble Meyer has an ability to use his stuff to pitch, throw strikes and more importantly do it more consistently than college pitchers available.

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