Robert Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, opens the 2022 MLB Draft at XBOX Plaza on July 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The 2023 MLB Draft begins at 7 ET Sunday from Seattle, the site of this year’s All-Star Game. For the third straight year, the draft is 20 rounds. Day 1 of the draft features the first 2 rounds; ESPN will televise round 1, with ESPN+ covering round 2. A former player from Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Florida could go high in the draft.

Top Things to Know

The Pirates hold the No. 1 overall pick thanks to winning MLB’s first draft lottery last December. Under the old system, Pittsburgh – which finished tied for the third-worst record in MLB last year – would’ve had the third pick.

This will be the sixth time the Pirates have the top pick, breaking a tie with the Astros, Mets and Padres for the most all-time.

LSU right-hander Paul Skenes, who won a national championship last month and was named Most Outstanding Player at the Men’s College World Series, is projected to go No. 1 overall according to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel.

Skenes would be the first pitcher taken with the top pick since 2018 (Casey Mize to the Tigers) and would be the first pitcher ever to win Most Outstanding Player at the Men’s College World Series and go No. 1 overall in the draft.

Skenes’ LSU teammate and Golden Spikes Award winner outfielder Dylan Crews is projected to go No. 2 overall to the Nationals. They would be the first pair of teammates in MLB Draft history to go 1-2.

Crews would be the first player ever to win the Golden Spikes, a national title and go top five in the draft in a single year.

Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford, who was battling with Skenes and Crews in the Men’s College World Series Finals, is projected to go No. 3 overall to the Tigers.

Never in MLB Draft history have the top-three picks been from the same conference. And never before have three of the top-10 picks played in the championship round of that year’s Men’s College World Series.

SWFL Prospects for the 2023 MLB Draft

Bishop Verot alum, Clemson signee Aidan Knaak leads the way with an outstanding high school resume.  You can read about him and all the other SWFL prospects here.

Draft format and order

The first round will cover 39 picks: the first 28 for each team’s selection (excluding the Mets and Dodgers, whose picks dropped 10 spots each for exceeding the competitive balance tax threshold by more than $40 million)

The first ever Prospect Promotion Incentive Pick at 29 (to the Mariners for Julio Rodríguez winning AL ROY), and 10 Competitive Balance Round A selections (including the Mets at 32 and Dodgers at 36).

We will have more to say on Shemon and Sheppard on Monday about all these prospects.  Below are the top 5 prospects for the upcoming draft tonight and a few nuggets for each of them.

  • No. 1 — Wyatt Langford, LF, Florida

    2023 Consensus First Team All-American

    Two-time All-SEC selection (First Team in 2023 | Second Team in 2022)

    Hit .373/.498/.784 with 21 HR and 57 RBI in 64 games

    .375 BA (9-24) with 3 HR and 9 RBI in 6 games at MCWS (9 hits were Florida program record)

    7 of 9 hits at MCWS went for extra bases, tied for 2nd-most XBH in aluminum bat era (since 1974)

    1st player to hit three 400-foot homers in single MCWS since move to Charles Schwab Field in 2011 (includes two-longest HR at the park: 456 and 449)

    3rd Florida player with back-to-back 20 homer seasons (Jud Fabian in 2021-22, Brad Wilkerson in 1997-98)

  • No. 2 — Dylan Crews, CF, LSU

    2023 Golden Spikes Award winner; 2nd LSU player to win award (Ben McDonald in 1989)

    4th Golden Spikes winner to win MCWS in same year; first since Cal St Fullerton’s Mark Kotsay in 1995

    Two-time SEC Player of the Year; 2nd player to win multiple times, first to do it in consecutive seasons
    (Florida’s Matt LaPorta won in 2005 & 2007)

    2023 & 2022 First Team All-American (unanimous)

    Hit .426/.567/.713 with 18 HR, 70 RBI, and 100 runs in 71 games

  • No. 3 — Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU

    2023 Golden Spikes Award finalist
    2023 Dick Howser Trophy winner
    2023 D1Baseball National Player of the Year
    2023 SEC Pitcher of the Year & CBF National Pitcher of the Year
    2023 MCWS Most Outstanding Player

  • No. 4 — Walker Jenkins, RF, South Brunswick HS (NC)

    Two-time North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year
    2023 MaxPreps All-American
    .417 BA, .632 OBP, .633 SLG, 33 runs in 2023
    North Carolina commit

  • No. 5 — Max Clark, CF, Franklin Community HS (IN)

    2023 National Gatorade Player of the Year
    2023 Baseball America High School Player of the Year
    Three-time Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year
    .646 BA, .808 OBP, 1.215 SLG, 6 HR, 33 RBI, 45 runs, 35 SB in 2023
    Vanderbilt commit

Sign me up for the ESPN Southwest Florida email newsletter!

You love listening to ESPN Southwest Florida, now make sure you’re getting all the extra perks. Sign up today to be an ESPN Southwest Florida Insider!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.