October 2, 2023

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The takeaway from Day 1 of the MLB Draft: Bowden talks the biggest winners and trends

With day one of the MLB draft in the rearview mirror, let’s discuss what stood out. From players to teams to trends, here are the top seven key points.

1. The five teams at the top of the draft did the right thing

For several years, many small and mid-market teams have made first round selections focusing on their ability to sign players or on managing their overall money rather than simply selecting the best player available. However, thanks to a new collective bargaining agreement and new rules implemented, the top five teams in the draft this year have captured the best player available to them regardless of financial demands or concerns about the group’s overall budget.

It started with the first pick when the Pirates could draft one less player to spread their pool money to other picks, but instead they did the right thing by taking the best pitcher in the draft, Paul Skanes. Why was that so important? Since a small market team like Pittsburgh can never outbid a larger market team for the best start in free agency, they can’t afford to deal with the four or five prospects it would take to get one in a trade. . The Skenes Buccaneers selection from LSU is great for the game. First and foremost, it would potentially give them the ace needed to become a postseason-caliber team down the road. (They also have All-Star Mitch Keeler, but he’ll become a free agent after the 2025 season if they can’t extend it.) The trend continued as the next four teams on the board—Nationals, Tigers, Rangers, and Twins—chalk a draft, meaning the top five picks in the draft The top five players were available.

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2. Position players dominated the draft

The Cubs selected Maryland’s Matt Shaw at number 13. (Gill Burton/The Associated Press)

Only five of the 32 first-round draft picks were pitchers, and only one was a high school pitcher (not including two-way kicker Bryce Eldridge, of whom the Giants finished 16th), demonstrating how devalued front desks high school arms are due to The high risk they may run from either falling behind or undergoing some type of surgery between the time they are drafted and (hopefully) make it to the big leagues.

Also interesting: Of the first 32 players selected, there were 11 shortstops, eight infielders, three third basemen, three baserunners, and two outfielders. This means that more than a third of those top picks were shortstops. Jacob Wilson was the first shortstop from the plate at number 6 in the standings, followed by Matt Shaw (Cubs) at number 13, Jacob Gonzalez (White Sox) at number 15, Brayden Taylor (Raise) at number 19, Arjun Nimmala (Blue Jays) at No. 20, Colt Emerson (Mariners) at No. 22, George Lombard Jr. (Yankees) at No. 26, Brice Matthews (Astros) at No. 28, Tai Peete (Mariners) at No. 30, Adrian Santana (Rays) at No. 31 and finally Colin Hoke at No. 32 to the Mets. Note: I felt the White Sox, Blue Jays, and Mets were very lucky that, respectfully, Gonzalez, Nimala, and the Hawk fell as often as they did because all three were top talent in the first half of the first round and would have been taken much earlier in most drafts, But because this draft was so deep, it fell off.

3. Potential lottery and promotional incentive choices had an impact

The lottery’s shape had a significant effect on this year’s draft, particularly in negatively impacting the A’s, who would have taken down the second overall draft pick under previous rules and would have taken down LSU outfielder Dylan Crews, considered the best overall player in the draft and instead From it went to the citizens. Because of the draft lottery, the A’s fell to the 6th pick and unfortunately for them, there was a huge drop in talent after #5. With the A’s ready to move to Las Vegas, they weren’t really able to draft. The player changes the franchise as if it was under the previous system. Examples like this should serve as a great deterrent for teams wanting to scramble in the future, which is why the lottery system is implemented in the latest version of the CBA.

The draft pick of Prospect was also a game-changer, and not just because the Mariners earned an extra pick at number 29 for Julio Rodríguez winning American Rookie of the Year last year. The impact of the new rule on the sport this season is also evident. More clubs than ever before allowed their big prospects to take their big league team out of spring training rather than hinder them to reduce service time and increase team control. The Diamondbacks put outfielder Corbin Carroll on their Opening Day roster, as did the Rangers with third baseman Josh Jung. Now, both players are frontrunners for Rookie of the Year awards in their respective leagues. Both organizations have just seen how the Mariners capitalized on Rodríguez winning the award by getting that extra first-round pick and they both have a real chance of getting an extra first-round pick in 2024 due to their decisions this year.

4. The Marlins capitalized on industry concerns about the dangers of drafting high school pitchers

The Marlins were big winners on the first day of the draft. DJ Svihlik, chief amateur scouting director, squashed it, taking advantage of the unique opportunity to select the top two high school pitchers in the entire draft. The Marlins took out Noble Meyer of Jesuit High in Oregon with the 10th pick, then took out lefty Thomas White from Phillips Academy in Massachusetts with the 35th. They capped off their night by picking outfielder Kemp Alderman from All-Miss with the 47th.

Meyer has excellent stuff and can become a pro spin starter. His fastball sits from 94 to 98 mph and goes up to 100. He has a sweeping slider that goes up to 87 mph with the ability to eliminate. This year, he delivered a curveball with rough work. He plays with minimal effort and has a great presence. He combines effortless speed with secondary stuff and throwing for a dominant pack. He is also very intelligent and has extra work habits.

White is your high school lefty prototype who can be intoxicating with the power stuff he generates from his 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame. He has speed in the mid 90’s with a plus curve ball. His change may be his best secondary show. He’ll need to continue to harness his stuff and improve his putt, but he has all the ingredients to do so. It has the possibility of forward rotation from the left side. If the industry weren’t so concerned about the threat of high school gun collapse or decline, the Marlins would never have been able to take down these two interesting shooters. They had the chance, and they didn’t flinch.

The Marlins are known for developing pitchers as well as any running back team, and they’ve got special arms in Meyer and White. In addition, they landed a big batter in Alderman, who described it as a potential influence on a left field bat. 376 with 19 home runs and 61 RBI while playing in the SEC this past season. All and all, a winning raffle night for the South Beach team.

5. This is one of the deepest drafts in MLB history

The depth of this draft really stood out. First round talents were available in the first round of competitive balancing, which featured 10 picks (30th to 39th). But then the top nine second-round picks are also considered first-round talent on most team draft boards, which really benefits teams picking at the top of the draft more than in regular years.

6. The Sailors had a wonderful draft day

Shortstop Colt Emerson has been announced as the Mariners’ 22nd overall draft pick. (Stephen Brashear/USA Today)

The Mariners were big winners in the draft. Of course, it helped that they had three picks in the first 30 selections (numbers 22, 29, and 30). But they’ve also done an excellent job of crafting three cap-high players. They went with Colt Emerson of John Glenn High of Ohio in the No. 22, quarterback Johnny Farmelo of Westfield High in Virginia in the No. 29, and topped it off by taking another shortstop, Ty Pitt of Trinity Christian in Georgia. , at No. 30. All three have a chance to develop into legitimate All-Star caliber players in time.

Emerson is a pure hitter with a great eye for the plate and has the ability to play second base, shortstop, and third base. Farmelo is a left-handed hitter with a nice short swing that makes difficult contact. Pete is a complete player with an incredible arm out of the hole. All three have a potential impact written on them in the long run. This was further evidence that the Mariners’ scouting and analysis staff were becoming among the best in the sport.

7. EX-Mariners players added to the atmosphere

Finally, it was a great day to be a former sailor. Former players like Ken Griffey Jr., Brett Boone, Harold Reynolds and Mike Cameron appeared in prominent roles during the star-studded event in Seattle. Major League Baseball did an excellent job of bringing out familiar faces from the franchise, adding to the draft festivities and helping make the day special for Mariners fans.

(Top photo of Ken Griffey Jr. announcing Paul Skenes first pick: John Froschauer/Associated Press)