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  • Matthew Lapluzo

Top 10 College Players Going into the 2023 MLB Draft

1. Dylan Crews (LSU)

There’s nothing at the plate that Dylan Crews cannot do and that’s just a fact of life. Batting .432/.573/.736 with a 252 wRC+, Crews is a hitter that can turn around a franchise and could be seen as early as 2024. Scouts have been on Crews since his junior year of high school and even had him projected as a likely 1st round pick in 2020 before taking the chance on himself which clearly paid off. Crews walked (61) more than he struck out (40). As a 55 graded runner, Crews should be able to stick in centerfield but if moved to a corner should do just as good, possibly a plus defender. There’s no doubt that Crews should be 1.1 because he put up the best numbers in collegiate baseball in the best conference in collegiate baseball.  

2. Wyatt Langford (Florida)

In any other draft class, Wyatt Langford would have most likely gone 1.1 overall but under the circumstances of Dylan Crews existence he falls to 1.2. Ranked 1st in BaGS+ (Batter Game Score) at 179, Langford is the closest thing we’ve seen to the most complete hitter in college. Drawing comparisons at the plate to Mike Trout is something to not be taken lightly but when you’re OBP is .511 and SLG is .799 it’s hard to ignore those comparisons. Landford also has a 70 run grade at full strength, defensively can be kinda shaky and might become a infielder or DH at some point but that shouldn’t matter in the draft when his bat has been labeled generational. 

3. Paul Skenes (LSU)

Let’s start off with the fact that Paul Skenes has the best fastball I’ve seen. This fastball has Gerrit Cole esc life to it. Consistently sitting 97 and hitting 101-102 when needed and the control on the pitch is amazing being able to hit north to south and east to west on it. Pitching to a 1.90 ERA and striking out nearly 50% of the batters face when throwing his plus slider shows how lethal it is. Skenes 164 strikeouts was 40 more than any other pitcher in college baseball. The delivery of the pitch is very compact and repeatable and hides the ball very well to throw deception for his offspeed. The one big problem glaring for Skenes is the development of a third pitch, hitters go up to the plate thinking fastball and start cheating on it and having a third pitch could only benefit Skenes even that more. If you’re looking for a front line starter who can give you quality starts every five days look no further than Paul Skenes.

4. Kyle Teel (Virginia)

if you like swagger you’re gonna love Kyle Teel. A J.T. Realmuto type catcher where he can do a little bit of everything. Hitting .423/.487/.690, Teel has been all around impressive at the plate. 12% strikeout rate with a Juan Soto shuffle after every pitch, the lefty displays ELITE bat speed and pitch recognition. Outside the zone, Teel flashes some good bat control to make contact with those pitches. With a push in the gym, Teel could be looking at a higher power grade with his ability to hit line drive contact all around the diamond. Kyle is very agile behind the dish with a plus arm. Does have to work on framing but not the worst receiver. Teel has been tearing it up in the Regionals and looks to put his stamp on a top 5 pick in the upcoming draft.

5. Rhett Lowder (Wake Forest)

Lowder has the best changeup in the entire draft class with at least a 70 grade. His changeup sits 86-89 with tailing action to make hitters look foolish on both sides of the dish. Another plus pitch is his 4-seam fastball that sits 92-96. Pitching to a 1.77 ERA, Lowder displays dominance and focus on the mound being able to pitch to all sides of the soggy waffle. Ranking 2nd in DIGS+ (Defense Independent Game Score) at 164, Lowder has number 2 starter type of stuff and with delivery changes could see a higher grade in command. 

6. Tommy Troy (Stanford)

If you’re looking for a high contact prospect look no further than Tommy Troy, batting .411 this spring with a .489 OBP at Stanford. What you’re getting out of Troy is someone who makes contact after contact and doesn’t miss on fastballs. Whiffing on only 8% of the fastballs he’s seen so far, Troy mashes the fastball even outside the zone. His swing can take him right out his cleats but creates sometimes hard contact with that with average power. If a team can teach Tommy how to lift a ball there should be no doubt he’ll be a solid major leaguer for years to come.

7. Enrique Bradfield Jr. (Vanderbilt)

Tools on top of tools on top of tools, Enrique is an absolute freak with his 80 speed grade. Swiping 46 of 46 bags as a sophomore put him on the map and with that 80 speed grade also translates to his 70 fielding grade in center. ELITE tools are hard to come and Enrique possesses two of them but struggles at the plate are evident. A swing that needs a lot of tweaks, is too big of a stride and opens his front side too early, you’re looking at a project offensively BUT if you figure that side of the ball out you’re looking at a freak of nature for your franchise. 

8. Matt Shaw (Maryland)

There’s been a big discussion around the college baseball scene about Matt Shaw’s defense and yes he’s listed as a SS but he won’t stick there and will move to 2nd base eventually. But that shouldn’t take away from his flat out ability to hit. With an average launch angle of 26 and his ability to make hard contact consistently means he’s a candidate for high barrell% at the big leagues. A 149 BaGS+ hitting with 24 HR, Shaw also showed discipline by walking more than he struck out. Just an all around great hitter with a mature approach at the plate and easily a top 5 bat in the class but just needs to find his place in the field.

9. Hurston Waldrep (Florida)

Now coming into this spring, Waldrep was considered a lock for the front half of the MLB Draft. And with a lackluster season pitching to a 4.83 ERA, Waldrep’s stock has plummeted. A two pitch mix guy with a fastball sitting around 95 and a 70 grade splitter that comes in like a fastball and drops right out of. But with two great pitches comes weaknesses because even though batters Whiff two-thirds of the time against it, it also gets called for a ball nearly 70% of the time. So batters have an easy approach towards Waldrep, just sit fastball. But on the bright side, with some command fixes you can see a guy that hovers around a 2.65 according to digsRA. But for me personally, I see Waldrep as a long term reliever or closer who could be a real game changer because of that. 

10. Chase Dollander (Tennessee) 

When looking at interesting names to watch on the draft board look no further than Chase Dollander. Coming into spring as the top arm in the draft with 1st overall pick potential he lost that title with a bunch of command issues. When a team picks Dollander they’ll need to be able to find his 70 grade slider he lost this season, it just never had the same bite as it used to be. Still a 143 DIGS+ pitcher, Dollander still has an electric fastball around 93-97 mph but didn’t have that 2nd pitch like he did in his sophomore campaign. A team will take a chance on Dollander, maybe in the top 5 or maybe halfway through the draft but the chance of him being that number 2 guy in the rotation can still be there so wherever he’s drafted he’s a must watch prospect.

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