The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first overall pick in the July 2023 MLB draft. Our draft preview looked at the top prospects for the pick.
At this stage, the draft is very much up in the air. Every Monday, we’ll recap notable performances from around the prep and college ranks, with video to give you an early look at who could be available to the Pirates. This is our second weekly recap of the weekend action for the top college draft prospects.
Dylan Crews was our first draft prospect profile on Saturday. He went 1-for-4 with a homer, walk and three RBIs on Friday against Butler. That was followed by a 1-for-3 day on Saturday, with a double, two runs and a walk in the first of two games against Central Connecticut State. He went 1-for-2 with a double, two walks and two RBIs on Sunday. Crews has a .472 average in 11 games, with five doubles, two homers and 11 walks.
Here’s the Friday homer:
Dylan Crews backside bombs and @LSUbaseball further extends their lead pic.twitter.com/dWfSkiTa24
— D1Baseball (@d1baseball) March 4, 2023
Here’s the two-run double on Sunday:
Need a 2-RBI double? Dial Dylan ☎️@__dc4__ | SECN+ pic.twitter.com/yzH1hoC4W0
— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) March 5, 2023
LSU right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes is a top ten draft prospect, who is off to a great start. He tossed six shutout innings on one hit, no walks and 13 strikeouts against Butler. He has an 0.50 ERA, a .100 BAA and 36 strikeouts in 18 innings through three starts.
Here are some impressive fastballs:
Paul Skenes throwing flames (100 & 101mph fbs). 🔥 pic.twitter.com/zZ80F8fMUR
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 4, 2023
Chase Dollander is considered to be the top pitcher in the class right now. The University of Tennessee right-hander went six shutout innings against Gonzaga on Friday night, finishing with six hits, no walks and 11 strikeouts. His seasons stats show a 2.20 ERA, a .233 BAA and 30 strikeouts in 16.1 innings.
Here’s a highlight video from Friday:
Chase Dollander had his best outing of thus far tonight, throwing 6 shutout innings against a solid Gonzaga lineup, striking out 11 in the process while walking 0. Fastball was up to 96 and he held his velo the entire outing. Shape was fantastic, plenty of Sw/Miss and ASR pic.twitter.com/Iol8gxjtHu
— Peter Flaherty III (@PeterGFlaherty) March 4, 2023
Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford has a chance to go #1. He was recently rated as the top draft prospect by The Athletic, with his athleticism being the thing that pushed him ahead of Crews for Keith Law. He had a tough match-up against Miami this weekend.
Langford went 3-for-5, with a double, two homers, three RBIs and three runs on Friday. He went 1-for-2 with a walk, single, RBI and a run scored on Saturday. He went 2-for-4 with a double, homer, three runs and two RBIs on Sunday. He’s hitting .438/.554/.979 in 13 games, with six doubles, a triple and six homers.
Here are videos of the homers from Friday:
Projected 3rd overall draft pick, Wyatt Langford, hit TWO home runs last night!
The junior OF now has 5 in the Gators’ first 11 games
— Farm To Fame (@FarmToFame_) March 4, 2023
Aaaand Wyatt Langford punches right back with a 112 MPH laser of his own. Shaping up to be a really fun weekend in Gainesville pic.twitter.com/WtxdIlEDPP
— Peter Flaherty III (@PeterGFlaherty) March 3, 2023
Jacob Wilson from Grand Canyon University has a long shot at being the #1, but he’s still a top ten prospect now. The son of former Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson had a series against Texas State this weekend. He went 0-for-4 with a walk on Friday. He was 1-for-4 with a single on Saturday. He went 1-for-3 with three RBIs and a stolen base on Sunday. He has a .325 average through 11 games, with three doubles, two triples and a homer.
Here’s a video of five pitches, ending with a favorable result:
SS Jacob Wilson (@GCU_Baseball)
📋: “Adv bat-to-ball skills make him nearly impossible to strikeout. Power continues to trend upward. Started the year high on draft boards and may only continue to rise”
📈 ‘23 Stats (8 games): .379/.406/.724, 6 XBH, 13 RBI pic.twitter.com/qBSOXvRbVO
— Perfect Game Four Corners (@PG_FourCorners) February 27, 2023
Shortstop Jacob Gonzalez from Ole Miss is another early name to watch. He went 2-for-5 on Friday, with a single and a double against Maryland. He went 2-for-5 with a single, double, walk and run scored on Saturday against Minnesota. His team played against Nebraska on Sunday. He went 0-for-2 with three walks, a HBP and three runs on Sunday. He has a .413 average in 12 games, with four doubles, two homers and ten walks.
Here’s a defensive highlight:
This is a Jacob Gonzalez fan account
Live on @BigTenPlus pic.twitter.com/dy8u5Eizzb
— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) March 3, 2023
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Still not sold on Crews, he looks like a maxed out guy that’s already hit his ceiling. Langford just looks like a big leaguer.
I know nothing about his secondaries or command/ control, but how do you look at Skenes’s fastball and not drool?! They’re freakin’ laser beams…
Skenes looks more like Strasburg or Cole than Dollander does. Throws darts and doesn’t seem to walk many. Excited for SEC play, not sure if they (Florida, LSU, or Tennessee) play each other but it would be must see tv for me
Florida plays Tennessee April 6-8 (Thurs-Sat), but not LSU. Tennessee/LSU play at the end of March (3/30-4/1).
As of now, 6 of the top 10 in the country are SEC teams (Ole Miss, Vandy, Arkansas being the other three), with three other SEC teams (Texas A&M, Bama, SC) in the top 25. It might be best to just tune into SEC baseball when conference play starts next week (3/16).
I’ll definitely be tuned into those games you mentioned, if televised
I’ve been following Crews, Skenes, Langford and Dollander from the start. Got to see a few games of each but also checking boxscores on a few others ( Wilken, Taylor of TCU, Jacob Gonzales). I’ll be intrigued to see how Crews and Langford fair against Dollander. I’ve seen more of Crew’s than any of the other’s but that dude is smooth in the box, still want to see how he does against better pitching. Langford is an imposing dude that mashes balls all around the field. A fun group of guy’s to follow
There are so many legit possible #1s in this years draft that I completely forgot Jacob Gonzalez exists
Langford seems to have explosive bat speed. I want to keep an eye on him for 1-1.
You will probably like this tweet …
Remind me where they’re sourcing this data?
I’m more curious about the bottom end than the top end, fwiw.
(They will always pick the wrong one)
Wyatt Langford holy smokes.
just think of how many of these high school dudes we could fetch with the slot money after over drafting Jacob Wilson
Max Clark is over rated IMO. Interesting that the #7 ranked HS guy is from the Philly area. Always good to see PA guys get recognized. When i was in HS, it was all Florida, Texas, & Cali guys that got the looks.
Lonnie White hits this year and you will change your tune
If they take an impact bat I hope Shelton/Haines are gone before they get to Pittsburgh.
Well, I’d say this is a year to simply make a judgment about the best guy. No Jedi mind tricks this year.
Obviously very early, but I’m looking at this as three guys (Langford, Skenes, Crews) who would be excellent choices at 1-1 and if any one of the three would sign for $1MM less than the others, I’d go with him to free up money for later. I might even throw Dollander in there. Maybe one of these four separates himself from the rest, but for now I think this is a perfect year* to try to leverage the bonus pool for over-slot deals later.
*More so than 2021 because this year the top players are college players, even SEC college players, so we’re comparing apples to apples.
If you’re sitting there with the 1-1 pick, there are worse tragedies than a tough time figuring out who’s the best player available from a very good crop of college bats who play against quality competition.
They’re gonna end up with the Danny Hultzen of this draft.
As of now, my draft board:
Pretty much how I’d rank them, maybe Dollander over Gonzales just because of the middle infield depth already in the system. Interested to see if Max Clark taps into some power this season but my top 3 is right along with yours
Since the Bucs have to be heavily watching LSU games due to Crews & Skenes, LSU actually has a really interesting Senior sign for a late pick to save money in their 2nd baseman Gavin Dugas, who has been their leadoff hitter & probably best hitter in a loaded offense.
Looked up Dugas and he gets hit by a lot of pitches. He could give Davis a run for his money to lead the system in HBP.
On the upside, he doesn’t play a defensive position that also beats the heck out of his hand and wrist every pitch. That’s what scares me most with Davis.
Great year to have #1 pick. It would be great to have an middle of the order impact bat, but IMO having a stud for a 1 game wildcard win or go home starter is more important for a small market team.
We’ve seen 1st hand how important a true #1 starter is.
And we’ve seen how unlikely it is to get one with the first pick of the draft.
By the time they are true #1 it’s usually after their rookie contract expires. At least on this team. The bats tend to thrive earlier in their career. I have no research to back this up, just an opinion.
How’s that old saying go? You draft hitting, and pay for pitching
I was wondering if anyone back in the day had any hope that Bryan Bullington would come anywhere near being worth the 1st overall pick. I remember Benson having a lot of hype but can’t remember much about Bullington. Besides I wanted them to draft Bossman Junior Upton.
They drafted Bullington for monetary reasons.
Pedro broke the mold for the Buccos being cheap in the draft.
I remember Pedro being a hyped prospect and getting excited about it. Will have to look up his scouting reports if they even exist. JVP pick really angered me. Should have just let him hit.
Wasn’t Bullington the guy that after he was drafted Littlefield said would be a solid third or fourth SP in MLB?
Pretty sure that was Moskos
Son of a b. I totally forgot about moskas. I hope in 20 years we don’t look back and have the same feelings as we do about those picks. And maybe we can reminisce about some great teams.
Anyone remember when McClatchy would sit behind home and watch the games? I remember it annoying the heck out of me for some reason.
If at first you don’t succeed…