Prep Baseball Report

College Crosscheck: Top 2023 Draft Prospects of the CWS- Bracket Two

David Seifert
Director of College Scouting

This year’s MLB Draft will be held July 9-11 in Seattle. Day One is July 9 and will consist of the top two-plus rounds, or the top 70 overall picks. Day Two is July 10 and will consist of rounds 3-10. Day Three is July 11 with rounds 11-20.

Team Order of Selection

With four of the top 57 overall picks Seattle leads all clubs in early picks and looks to make an impact. More on that here.

Today we take a look at the top prospects for this year’s draft from each of the four teams in Bracket Two.


Dylan Crews, OF: Tell me if you’ve heard of him. A.k.a “Baby Trout”, Crews is a premium level athlete with every tool. For me he stays in center field at the professional level and should hit in the middle of a Major League lineup. He is the consensus No. 1 overall pick and is likely to become a Pirate in the near future as Pittsburgh holds the first pick, as well as the largest bonus pool.

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Paul Skenes, RHP– College baseball’s best pitching prospect since Stephen Strasburg, Skenes reminds of Andy Benes, the No. 1 overall pick in 1988. He’s a power arm who can hold 100 mph for more than one inning, and also possesses elite control (18 walks in 107 innings) with two plus off speed offerings in his slider and changeup. He’s likely to be selected No. 2 overall by the Washington Nationals who know a thing or two about power arms with ace ability.

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Ty Floyd, RHP– The Tigers’ number two starter, Floyd can be really good, especially in short stints. Undefeated this season at 7-0 in 78 innings, he has also walked 32 and hit 12 which lead many evaluators to believe he ultimately slots into a bullpen at the Major League level where he can just let his mid-90s fastball eat. Regardless, Floyd will likely be selected early on Day Two.

Tre Morgan, OF/1B– Mr. Consistent hit the ground running his freshman season in 2021 with a .357 batting average and has maintained .300+ each year in college. Currently sitting on a .324 average with a career high nine home runs, Morgan can also pick it at first base, his best position defensively on the diamond. However, due to a lack of over the fence power in his bat, he does not profile the best to this corner and left field could also be his future home. Look for the left handed hitting Morgan to be considered around the fourth round.

Others to Watch: Jordan Thompson, SS. Christian Little, RHP.

More Tiger prospect notes from Week Two of College Crosscheck.


Tommy Troy, 3B– Entering the 2023 season, Troy already possessed a profile that has typically boded well for the top rounds of the draft as a college performer who has the tools to stay on the dirt in the middle of the diamond. This season he has further boosted his draft value with improvement in every offensive category, including the two most valued by evaluators; power production and control of the zone. Keeping his barrel longer through the zone this spring, he has lowered his strikeout rate from 25.8% as a freshman, 19.4% as a sophomore to just 14.4% in 2023. With quick hands and good body strength he finds the barrel and produces both power and average (.708 SLG, .395 AVG). He can also run, as evidenced by 17 stolen bases in 20 attempts. He played a lot of shortstop in the Cape last summer, but has moved to the hot corner for the Cardinal this spring where he makes every play with above average range and plenty of arm strength. In pro ball his best position could be at second base where he profiles as a five-tool talent. Troy should easily be selected in the top half of the first round.

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Quinn Mathews, LHP– By now most everyone has heard about his epic performance in game two of the Super Regional. It will be interesting to see how he rebounds from that 156-pitch start, both in the short and long term, but prior to that outing I considered him a lock to become a future big leaguer. Maybe not an All-Star type of performer, but as one who will reach the major league level and contribute meaningful innings. With big-time competitiveness, enough stuff (91-93 fastball, 80-82 breaking ball, 79-91 changeup) and a top of the charts grade for knowing how to use it, Mathews has sliced and diced to a 3.60 ERA with 152 strikeouts in 120 innings pitched this spring. Yes 120 innings, not a typo. He also leads the nation in the number of 100+ pitch (15) and 110+ pitch outings (14). There’s also funk and good deception to his crossbody delivery making all of his stuff play up. Regardless of the number of innings and pitches Mathews has grinded this season there are very few, if any, like him in this year’s draft. He will likely hear his name called in the early rounds of Day Two.

Drew Dowd, LHP– A starter last season before transitioning to the pen this year, the 6-foot-1 lefty touches 95 with his fastball and can sit 93-94. He also snaps hard hammers in the 79-82 mph range that spin into the 2800 rpm. With two above average pitches and feel for both a usable slider (83-85) and changeup (83), he will be developed as a starter in pro ball and is likely to be selected in the third-to-fourth rounds.

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Alberto Rios, OF/C– The Pac-12 POY broke out this season (.387/.491/.715, 18 home runs) after logging just one plate appearance as a freshman in 2021 and seven last year. Transitioning from catcher to the outfield this season, Rios entered the season largely unknown, even to area scouts. A strong-bodied 6-foot, 200-pound right handed hitter with a quiet approach and a compact line-drive stroke, Rios is also a plus runner with above average arm strength from the outfield. Overall, he’s a top five round talent who may go higher if scouts are sold on his ability to catch which will be tough to see during the remainder of the season.

Others to Watch: Ryan Bruno, LHP. Eddie Park, OF. Drew Bowser, INF. Joey Dixon, RHP.

More Cardinal prospect notes from Week Ten and the Pac-12 Tourney College Crosscheck.


Chase Dollander, RHP– At his best Dollander will show easy velocity up to 98 mph on his riding fastball (17-20” IVB), two distinct breaking balls; a sharp, 85-88 mph swing/miss slider and a 75-77 mph curveball and an above average 88-89 mph changeup. The right-hander is also polished and capable of performing at the highest of levels, posting a 10-0 record with a 2.39 ERA and 108 strikeouts against only 13 walks in 79 innings last season. This spring has been a bit of a different story as the right-hander’s off speed offerings are just not as sharp and his fastball command not as crisp as 2022. As a result he has to work harder to get outs. Despite a subpar statistical year to his standards (7-6, 4.50 ERA, 86 IP, 79 H, 28 BB, 118 SO), Dollander remains a complete package of a front-line arm combining athleticism, command, performance and analytics. He’s a likely top ten overall pick.

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Maui Ahuna, SS– Arriving from Kansas after his breakout season for the Jayhawks in 2022, Ahuna was considered a slam dunk first rounder in the preseason. However, the SEC has not been so kind to him. He’s received a steady diet of off speed pitches this year which expose his weakness of pulling off the ball and there is also some length to his swing. That combination has made him vulnerable to the strikeout (20.8% at Kansas in 2022 and 31.2% to date this season) and gives analysts some concern as to whether or not his bat will play enough for an everyday role in the big leagues. However, there is no doubt about his defensive skills. He’s as slick as it gets at shortstop with smooth actions and ample arm strength he makes nearly all plays seem routine. Ahuna’s inconsistencies at the plate this season have caused his stock to drop a bit, but he’s still a lock for the top two rounds.

Jared Dickey, C– Within the scouting industry there is a wide range of opinions as to Dickey’s current draft value. Those who believe he will succeed behind the dish likely have him pegged as top two round pick. Others don’t buy into his future home as a catcher and point to the lack of a pure swing as reasons to downgrade his value. During my look against Florida in Week Eight he received and blocked adequately, but his arm strength and long release (2.13 POP) was a point of concern. Currently producing a .323/.392/.530 line this spring, his slugging has dropped 160 points due to more ground ball contact this spring (45%) vs 39% in 2022. However, his elevation of the ball has improved since mid-season and he continues to see pitches and control the zone with a 12.7% strikeout rate this season. Dickey is likely to be considered for selection early on Day Two.

Others to Watch: Andrew Lindsey, RHP. Seth Halvorsen, RHP. Zander Sechrist, LHP. Aaron Combs, RHP. Griffin Merritt, OF.

More Volunteer prospect notes from Week Eight of College Crosscheck.

Wake Forest

Rhett Lowder, RHP– Wake’s Ace is the same elite-level prospect as seen throughout his college career and his time with the USA CNT last summer. His delivery is polished and repeatable and his arm action is loose. Lowder features an advanced combination of present stuff (92-96 mph fastball, plus 86-87 mph changeup, sharp 83-84 slider with tight spin in the 2700-2800s), command (21 walks in 108 innings) and pitchability. He should be a quick-mover through a minor league system and settle into the middle of a major league rotation. He’s one of the top two pitching prospects in this year’s college draft class and for me a lock to go in the top 10 overall picks.

Brock Wilken, 3B– Wilken has answered the challenge of showing improved plate discipline during his junior season. His high strikeout rate that we wrote about last summer in the Cape was a concern entering the spring season. He has always shown 70-grade raw power and the ability to get to it (40 HR combined 2021-2022) during games, but control of the strike zone had eluded him until now. This season his strikeout rate has been reduced to 17%, down from 24% in 2022. He also has more walks (65) than strikeouts (51) compared to a 2:1 ratio in the wrong direction (71 SO:34 BB) last season. In general he has laid off down/away out of the zone sliders and his swing path is longer through the hitting zone. Wilken is a thumper at the plate and also a better defender than one would assume by just taking a quick glance at the large-framed, 6-foot-4, 225 pounder. He ranges in all directions and shows plus arm strength to complete the play. There’s little doubt in my mind that he will be able to stay at the hot corner in pro ball. In the preseason scouts wanted to see a better approach before buying completely into the idea of Wilken as a first-rounder. They have certainly seen that guy and now it’s just a matter of time before he’s likely chosen towards the end of the first round.

Sean Sullivan, LHP– A low-slot lefthander, Sullivan slings a low-90s, high spin fastball into the 2600s rpm. There is funk to his operation which helps create deception and his across the body landing creates good angle. Thanks to excellent extension and an ultra-rare combination of a low release height (a tick below 5 feet) with 18 inches of induced vertical break that leads to an uphill approach angle, his fastball generates a ton of swing/miss and plays up at least a full grade from its velocity. Both his average 80-81 mph slider and fringe 83-84 changeup play well off his elevated fastball. He does tip his changeup by slowing his arm, but it is a usable pitch and slows bats. He will likely be selected towards the end of Day One.

Seth Keener, RHP– A starting pitcher with mild success (5.87 ERA, 53.2 IP, 55 H, 21 BB, 56 SO) in 2022, Keener reinvented himself this season as a mostly used reliever with a few spot starts along the way. One of those starts was an eye-opener in the regional against George Mason with seven shutout innings and 13 punchouts. His money pitch is an impact (70-grade) breaking ball and it’s one that he will be paid for in this summer’s draft. From a high three-quarter release point he spots his mid-90s heater to both sides of the plate and draws repeated whiffs from his dirty 83-85 breaker. His third pitch is a cutting changeup in the upper-80s. Keener is currently holding opposing batters to a .165 batting average and .250 on-base percentage. He has also struck out 33.7% of the batters he has faced. Keener is likely to be selected towards the end of Day One to early on Day Two and sent out by the selecting club as a starter in pro ball.

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Teddy McGraw, RHP– You won’t be able to watch this power right-hander compete in Omaha since earlier in the spring he underwent his second TJ surgery in the past five years. But, when healthy he can sit 98-99 with electricity. His talent is top half of the first round worthy, but with John Farrell as the first-known with two Tommy Johns surgeries and McGraw as the most recent in my memory, he’s a wild card in this year’s draft. Regardless, he will most likely be picked around No. 75 overall, signed and then rehabbed by the selecting club.

Others to Watch: Camden Minacci, RHP. Tommy Hawke, CF. Justin Johnson, 2B. Pierce Bennett, OF.

More Rake Forest prospect notes from Week Nine of College Crosscheck.


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