While not quite as high-profile and talked about as the NFL Draft, the annual MLB Draft has became increasingly popular over the years. Players selected don't immediately slot into the major league rosters like some other sports, but the hype is real with some of the big names in this year's class.
This year's MLB Draft will take place in Seattle, Washington, and will start on Sunday, July 9. Get ready, Los Angeles Dodgers fans!
Dylan Crews (OF, LSU) and Paul Skenes (RHP, LSU) are hands down the top two talents in this year's class. Chase Dollander, a right-handed pitcher out of Tennessee had been widely expected to go 1-2 with Crews in earlier mock drafts, but his stock has fallen while the otherworldly resurgence of Skenes has shot him up the leaderboards.
The draft order doesn't affect the Dodgers much because they technically will not even receive a first-round pick. Thanks to the club's successes in 2022, they were initially slotted into the No. 26 selection, but a rather significant penalty was handed down, pushing them to the Competitive Balance Round, where they will now pick 36th. The club exceeded the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) threshold by more than $40 million last season, which is why they were penalized.
They can still grab a promising player despite dropping 10 spots. Who might they go after?
Who do the experts have the Dodgers drafting first in 2023 MLB Mock Drafts?
North Side Bound - SS Roch Cholowsky
NSB has the club going with Roch Cholowsky, a high school shortstop out of Hamilton HS in Arizona. They point out that the Dodgers have been notorious for picking players who need help in the power department "but might be a minor adjustment away from unlocking it." Scouts say that Cholowsky is already advanced on defense at both shortstop and third base and has the range and arm strength to play either long-term. In regards to his bat, Cholowsky has his fair share of question marks, with many wondering if the offense will ever come far enough to keep him in the big leagues down the line. Since he's so young, there's still plenty of room for development.
Future Stars Series - OF Colton Ledbetter
Ledbetter is described as "an analytics darling" who has massive raw power. He's a center fielder by trade and while he could stick there long-term, left field seems to be his destined landing spot. A product of Mississippi State, Ledbetter swings it from the left side and has lit up collegiate pitching through 42 games this year. Along the way, he recorded 11 doubles, 10 home runs, 46 RBI, 15 stolen bases, a .322 average and twice as many walks (42) as strikeouts (24).
Prep Baseball Report - RHP Blake Wolters
Wolters, a 6-foot-4 hurler out of Mahomet Seymour High School in Illinois, consistently hits 98 MPH on the gun with his four-seam fastball. He pairs this offering with a still-developing curveball and a splitter that doesn't move enough (yet) to be a primary out pitch. Last season, Wolters went 10-0 with an ERA of 0.24, which is absolutely ludicrous. Some scouts say that he could be destined to be a reliever in the long run, but a flamethrowing reliever is always a welcome addition for the Dodgers.