Latest Mock Draft from Baseball America

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be making the first overall selection in the 2023 MLB draft in 31 days. Time for changes at the top are running out as the college season nears the end. This draft class has a clear top five prospects, giving the Pirates multiple options for their pick.

Baseball America released their third mock draft on Thursday morning. Their pick for the Pirates has never changed, but they have some interesting notes about what could be going on with the pick.

BA has the Pirates going for LSU outfielder Dylan Crews. He has been ranked #1 by nearly every mock draft and prospect ranking from major sources since the start of the season.

Crews pulled away from the pack early this season with an incredible start, but then he hit a wall with three weeks left in the regular season and plenty of big games on the schedule. By the end of the season, he was passed in OPS by Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford, who was the only other guy who took a #1 spot anywhere during this entire mock draft/prospect ranking season.

BA has a note that there are scouts who believe Langford isn’t far behind Crews, plus he out-hit him in the same conference. There were scouts (according to reports) who actually liked Langford better coming into the season.

As of right now, when you include the postseason play, Langford has a one point edge in OPS. He’s doing it with more power, while Crews is getting on base more. Langford has 45 extra-base hits in 204 at-bats, while Crews has 32 in 220 at-bats.

Their walk and strikeout rates are very similar, with Crews having a slight edge in both categories (more in the walks). They both ran the bases about the same, though Crews had more chances to steal and fewer attempts. Neither committed an error this year. Langford has four assists, while Crews hasn’t thrown out a runner all year.

Overall you’re basically talking about identical value seasons.

BA has another interesting note here concerning the two prep outfielders we have followed closely all year. They said there could be cases made for Max Clark or Walker Jenkins going first overall.

I have heard that too, so that’s not the really interesting part. It’s that they don’t mention LSU pitcher Paul Skenes as a potential pick for the Pirates, while saying Jenkins and Clark are possible.

As I have mentioned, the Pirates will be good if they don’t stray from these top five players. You can find multiple sources that say they all have #1 overall talent in most draft classes. There are some years where no players have fit that description, going #1 only because they were the best that year.

My personal preference in that situation would be to go with the higher floors of college players and the safety of a position player over a pitcher. As guys throw harder and less often, they have become more injury prone. That isn’t to say Skenes will fall into that large group, but he would have to be a clear #1 for me to take him in that spot.

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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.

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With LSU actively turning Skenes’ arm into noodle soup, I’m inclined to take him out of the equation. I really think they should take whichever of Crews or Langford has a better chance to stick in center, given the current lack of long-term options there in the system plus the number of guys they could conceivably shift to a corner (like Tank Davis) and that Reynolds is locked into LF.


It doesn’t matter who they take, they will fail,….. it’s just the Pirates.


Are you saying they will fail or fail with the Pirates. There is a guy named Gerit Cole that seems to be having a pretty good career. Cutch has had a good career. The jury is still out on Henry Davis and Termarr Johnson, but I wouldn’t bet against them.



Am I making this up? Name names. Who is consistently hitting .300 ?…..not over a few games but over a season? Who is pitching lights out over a long period? How many top prospects do they have to pick before they get just one right? i’m not making this up ….Give me names.


What’s your point? We shouldn’t pay attention? We should complain like you? What are you trying to accomplish here?


I’ve been on Crews all year, but I am starting to lean Langford.


I like Langford better also. Love his swing. He’s got that real strong backside which projects to more power than Crews.




I’m trying to think….who is the great player the Pirates drafted? Cutch? ……How many years ago was that?
Yawn all you like but the Pirates draft near the top nearly every year but where is that impact player they need?…….PLEEZ NAME HIM.


Go yell at some clouds.


Again, what’s your point? What does this inanity prove? That you’re miserable? What?


18 year old Max Clark is a better prospect than 18 year old Dylan Crews. If 18 year old Crews was as good as Clark he wouldn’t have went to college.


Thanks for the lack of nuance in this comment, considering Crews a) was considered a very tough sign in his HS draft year and b) Crews graduated in 2020, when the draft was only five rounds. This is before we even get to the point about how development for players is almost never linear.


I remember reading on here about Crews’ backstory and prospect profile in 2020, but do we know anything about Langford’s development over the last three years?


I’m ok with any of the 3 college players, Langford, Crews or Skenes. They need pitching and impact bats. Pretty sad when your closer is the only thing close to an All Star that you have and other than Davis, Endy and maybe Preister they have next to nothing in the upper levels of the minor leagues.


I’m still on the either guy from LSU train, would be OK with Langford, & disappointed on either HS guy.

NCAA super regionals start this weekend, with LSU & Florida both playing


I don’t remember you ever asking to use my photo as your profile picture. Maybe I just forgot?


haha so the profile pic is the famous Bo Jackson card, with my face photoshopped on it


I remember the card. Just realized that it wasn’t Vincent’s face on the body. Guess I never made the picture any bigger.


According to MLB, the Pirates top 11 prospects are all projected to hit the majors by 2025.
There are 6 pitchers, 2 catchers, 2 second basemen, 1 shortstop. No outfield, or corner infielders.


OFs Swaggerty, Frazier, Smith-N, Mitchell, Head, Lonnie White, etc. easier to trade for OFs that top pitchers.


Then why haven’t we……All those guys you mentioned are aging lottery tickets at best. Finding one average starting outfielder from that group would be best case scenario. Thats not good.

b mcferren

tell me more about Solometo, Bubba and Jacob Wilson

b mcferren

do we know the Pirates representative that will be in the room to pass the pick to Manfred?

If its Jack Wilson, we can well assume what is about to happen


FWIW, I saw a clip on YouTube of MLB Network’s Mark DeRosa and ex Rockie GM Dan O’Dowd discussing the hitters in the draft. When DeRosa asked O’Dowd who he would select first he said Crews. When DeRosa asked him for a Crews comp, O’Dowd said “A young McCutchen.” I’d take that.



The Pirates are in dire need for quality pitching that can be at the major league level by 2025 if not sooner…


They’re even more in need of a true impact middle of the order bat


Absolutely. Skenes is the pick, and now he can be under slot with others projected above him. Skenes and save $$ for over slot players later in the draft. Pitching all the way!!


The Gold Standard. IMO, Skenes is a AA comp right now – hard to understand a pitcher with a 70 FB, 70 Slider, 60 Changeup and 60 Control being anything other than the 1-1. I’ve liked him since day 1 and I have not seen any reason to look at anybody else.

The position players mentioned are strong, but this pitcher is the type of talent and character that the Pirates need to add right now.


Ya but when TJ inevitably shows up in a year or two, then he’s down for 18 months while Crews can be mashing away in the outfield. But on the flip side, because of almost EVERY pitcher gets a stint on the TJ list, the saying you can’t have too much pitching matters even more.


They are also in dire need for an outfielder or two. Now you have Reynolds and no one else that deserves to be written in ink as part of the future plans..not even anyone in the minors.

Wilbur Miller

And still a month to go.



Seems Langford, has continued to develop and may have exceeded Cruz? Get us a stud, seems either one adds another building block.


Ya know, we and many others have voiced opinions on who we would take #1 . But, do we have any idea who the Bucs will take? When we took Davis, while a lot of us hoped for him, again, we have no idea in what direction they are leaning.

I guess we won’t know until we know.

I think we should trade down for multiple picks. 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Last edited 3 months ago by leefieux

If they do, my mother’s son will need the Snickers




I agree with you, John. There’s no need to take the risk with one of the HS OFers even though their ceilings could be higher. The expected return is lower. I’ve favored Crews among the college guys, but have always felt that I’d be fine with Skenes or Langford. As the college season played out, I became more comfortable with Skenes and Langford as alternatives to Crews with a preference for the position players. So, for me, it’s Crews, Langford, Skenes with only a very slight preference for Crews. So, if Langford could save them ~$1M toward one or more high potential HS guy later, I’m on board.


Yes what  CTBucco says!!!!


I 100% agree with you. I haven’t watched any games but have followed along all season with the updates. I have been impressed how Langford bounced back from his early injury. But I would do exactly as you state if they feel Crews is the better talent than Langford. And the less developing the Bucs have to do the better.

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