The 2023 MLB draft is shaping up to be an unprecedented event – with two players from the same program considered to be top picks. This historic 1-2 punch is what makes the draft class particularly intriguing. In this post, we’ll dive into the details of the rare situation and explore the two players who are currently leading the pack.
Meet Dylan Crews and Paul Skenes – the two top players on MLB Pipeline’s new Top 150 Draft Prospects list, both hailing from Louisiana State University (LSU). Both players have had an exceptional season, thus far, and could very well be in contention for the number one pick. In fact, an American League scouting executive stated that it would almost be an upset if they didn’t get drafted in the top two picks.
What makes Crews and Skenes such top contenders? Starting with Crews, the center fielder has hit .485/.636/.841, leading the nation in hitting and on-base percentage. Meanwhile, Skenes has 115 strikeouts in just 59 1/3 innings with an amazing 17.4 K/9 rate, and a 0.74 WHIP, which is also the lowest in the country. These stats are truly impressive, enough to spark debate over who will be picked as the first-overall draft pick.
It’s worth noting that having two players 1-2 on the MLB draft lists has never happened before, and some of the past notable college tandems haven’t even gone 1-2. The closest to that was with Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer from UCLA, with Cole being the first pick and Bauer following at No. 3. However, this year, the pressure is on for Crews and Skenes with the duo reportedly in the mix for the top picks.
While other names such as Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford and North Carolina high school outfielder Walker Jenkins are being considered, Crews and Skenes remain the frontrunners. A college pitcher often goes at the top of the Draft when the best college arm is clear, as was seen with Cole, but there have been cases where top college arms have not panned out. Therefore, some debate could be had with going for a pitcher over a position player, another point of conversation for who will go as the number one pick.
To sum up, the 2023 MLB draft is sure to be an exciting event with Crews and Skenes leading the way. It will be interesting to see who the first pick ends up being, but no matter who gets picked, it’s clear that the top of this draft class is really, really good.