2023 MLB DRAFT: 10 best draft classes

Even in a class with a lot of talent covering every demographic, plus the inherent diversification of talent dispersement thanks in part to bonus pools, some classes stand out more than others.

DOYLE: 2024 MLB Mock Draft

Here are my favorite 10 classes from the 2023 MLB Draft, pre-signing deadline edition.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The D-Backs landed three Top 50 players, seven in the Top 200, and one of their non-Top 100 selections, fourth-round Grayson Hitt, was on his way to a Top 25 selection when he requried Tommy John surgery.

Best Player: Tommy Troy, 2B — Stanford
Troy, No. 12 overall, may end up in left field, but he’s expected to hit and hit for power, so if he can play some second base for a while he’s a potential star.

Best Pick: 
Jack Hurley, CF — Virginia Tech, No. 80
Hurley was a top 50 player Arizona took in Round 3. He has everyday centerfielder written all over him, and there’s all-star upside in the bat, including 15-20 homers.

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles tabbed just one Top 50 player, but landed seven in Joe Doyle’s Top 100, including rising sophomore-eligible Jackson Baumeister, who likely will require more than the $1.24 million slot value for the No. 63 pick.

Best Player: Enrique Bradfield Jr., CF — Vanderbilt
Bradfield , No. 17 overall, may take some time to get to the big leagues but there’s little question he will, thanks to elite speed and defense.

Best Pick: 
Jake Cunningham, OF — UNC Charlotte
Baltimore selected Cunningham at No. 154, despite some clubs having the power-speed combo grading out in Round 3.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers went high school upside with five of their first seven picks, but five of those selections are Top 100 talents, and a sixth was Top 150.

Best Player: Max Clark, OF — Franklin Community HS (IND)
Clark has a chance to be a star, impacting the game from all angles, including power and above-average to plus defense at a premium spot.

Best Pick: 
John Peck, SS — Pepperdine
Peck received a few late third-round grades, and a handful of fourth-round marks, and the Tigers were able to get him in the seventh.

Miami Marlins

Miami had one of the best hauls on Day 1 with prep arms Noble Meyer and Thomas White, plus Ole Miss outfielder Kemp Alderman.

Best Player: 
Noble Meyer, RHP — Jesuit HS (OR)
Meyer, No. 10 overall, offers frontline upside much like 2020 first-round Mick Able, also of Jesuit High School.

Best Pick: Nick Maldonado, RHP — Vanderbilt
Maldonado projects to move very quickly through the minors as a high-leverage bullpen piece, but there are starter traits here, too, making him a steal in Round 8.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers selected five players in Doyle’s Top 100 and three in the top 50. Interestingly, this includes two corner infielder bats, but plenty of upside, too.

Best Player: Brock Wilken, 3B — Wake Forest
Wilken, the No. 18 pick, offers plus pull power and should be in big leagues by the end of 2025.

Best Pick: Cooper Pratt, SS — Magnolia Heights HS (MS)
Pratt, who will move to third in pro ball, may be a tough sign after getting to the Brewersin Round 6. If they somehow pull it off, it’s a class-making selection at No. 182 overall.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins selected three players ranked in the top 70 on Doyle’s draft board, and drafted two players on Day 3 with Day 2 grades (Ross Dunn, LHP — Arizona State, Paulshawn Pasqualotto, RHP — California).

Best Player: Walker Jenkins, OF — South Brunswick HS (NC)
If Jenkins ends up the best bat from this class, not many would be surprised. It’s big-time, game-changing power potential with terrific zone awareness and pitch reaction.

Best Pick: 
Tanner Hall, RHP — Southern Mississippi
Hall doesn’t possess a lot of upside, but he locates his 90-92 mph sinking fastball very well and gets some whiffs with an above-average slider. If he can master the changeup and add a wrinke to the hard stuff (cutter?), he’s basically Mike Leake.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants did extremely well collecting talent early, getting three Top 50 talents on Day 1 and a Top 100 player on Day 2. They took just three high school players in the entire draft, just one after they selected Walker Martin at No. 52.

Best Player: Bryce Eldridge, OF/RHP — James Madison HS (VA)
Eldridge can touch the mid-90s off the mound and hit skyrockets from the box. His 6-foot-7, 225-pound frame screams power, and he’s athletic enough to play right field.

Best Pick: 
Luke Shliger, C — Maryland
Shliger is a left-handed hitting backstop who makes consistent solid contact and has atleast fringe-average power. The Giants tabbed Shliger in the sixth round (No. 180), but in a weak catching class there were clubs on him as early as the fourth. There’s a Tony Wolters comp in here.

Seattle Mariners

Seattle had three of the top 30 picks and went upside with each of them, tabbing two Top 50 players and a third ranked No. 55 in SS Tai Peete.

Best Player: Colt Emerson, SS — John Glenn HS (OH)
Emerson, No. 22, profiles as a physical second baseman with 15-20-homer power and a feel for hitting that may allow him to hit .280.

Best Pick: Teddy McGraw, RHP — Wake Forest
Brody Hopins at No. 187 and Logan Evans in Round 12 were also very good picks, but the upside here in McGraw exceeds his draft slot by as many as two full rounds, thanks to mid-90s heat and a power slider that misses bats. There’s risk here beyond the two elbow surgeries, however: He’s shown control problems, too.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays only drafted three Top 100 talents, but all three were Top 50 players, and they’re one of two teams to have selected as many as 10 player in Doyle’s Top 300 (Seattle).

Best Player: Brayden Taylor, SS — TCU
Taylor is likely a third baseman but I wonder if he gets an extended look at second in pro ball. I may be alittle higher on his power potential than some, but I see some Corey Seager here, suggesting enough pop to hang at third.

Best Pick: 
Adam Boucher, RHP — Duke
Boucher went No. 303 overall (Round 10), but ranked No. 178 on the FSS PLUS Final Draft board, and may end up a four-pitch starter led by a mid-90s fastball.

Washington Nationals

It was an eye-popping Day 1 for the Nationals with three Top 50 players, including the best player in the class, a 40-homer power bat and one of the biggest upside plays from the prep pitching ranks.

Best Player: Dylan Crews, OF — LSU
Crews will hit pro ball with a shot to move quickly, with some projecting an ETA of late next season. Power, hit, above-average defense in a corner and elite proximity? Who wouldn’t sign up for that?

Best Pick: Travis Sykora, RHP — Round Rock HS (TX)
One can argue getting James Ellwanger in Round 19 is a better pick, but Ellwanger was a Rounds 3-7 prospect and is likely headed to Dallas Baptist unless the Nationals want to bust up their bonus pool in a fierce manner.

Sykora carries as much upside as any high school arm in the class, thanks to a huge fastball and a chance two plus secondaries in a slider and splitter.

Jason A. Churchill
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