Whaddup, Razzbaseballers!? One fast Ask Jeeves search and I can simply let you know that my final baseball publish got here on July 21 of the 12 months 2022. That’s 182 days. Sufficient time to go all over the world or watch all of Gray’s Anatomy, the selection is yours. However in my first publish again in motion, we’ll shortly dive again into the faculty baseball realm, unveiling the top-five faculty prospects for the 2023 MLB Draft. It’s affected by SEC expertise in addition to one surprising Huge 12 inclusion and is heavy with 4 bats in comparison with one hurler. But it surely’s been an extended winter sitting in my cave and consuming acorns (that’s how I visualize hibernation), so let’s leap proper into the checklist and cruise on all the way down to Prospect Alley.
1A. Dylan Crews | OF | LSU
See what I did there!? Take a look at any mock draft or respective publication’s rankings of the 2023 MLB Draft’s high prospects and little question you’ll see Crews proper on the high of each checklist. And I don’t essentially disagree with the lofty opinions once you’re speaking a couple of true centerfielder who has slashed .356/.458/.677 with 40 homers, 17 steals, a 13.6 BB% and 16.8 Ok% in two seasons at LSU. Crews got here to Baton Rouge with hype and has lived as much as it each step of the way in which, profitable Co-SEC Participant of the 12 months final season. What I do disagree with is how undisputed his standing on the high seems, as a result of I feel that’s a mistake. I firmly imagine each participant on this high 5 has an opportunity to make a case for the highest general choice in January, notably the slugger within the on-deck circle and the craftsman within the gap.
OF Dylan Crews | ‘23 Elig.
6-0/203 | @LSUbaseball
‘21 Frosh of the 12 months, explosive offensive instruments & slashing .382/.463/.667.
— PG School Baseball (@PGCollegeBall) March 23, 2022
1B. Wyatt Langford | OF | Florida
Evaluating Crews to Langford is like evaluating a brand new Marucci CAT X from Dick’s to your father’s rusty Bombat from beer league softball. Each can hit the ball a rustic mile. One is simply dealt with with extra glamour than the opposite. My first grade instructor would inform me that’s really contrasting, and to attempt once more. She was a nerd anyway. Whereas Crews was a blue-chip recruit who performed in 63 video games his freshman 12 months, Langford logged simply 4 at-bats. However after coming in as a catcher-corner infield sort, Langford remodeled his construct and transitioned to the outfield in an effort to obtain extra taking part in time, which labored out nicely: He began 66 video games, amassed 303 plate appearances and produced a 1.000 fielding share with two assists in left area en path to turning into an All-American. Langford’s .356/.447/.719 slash line season stacks proper up there with Crews, as does his 11.9 BB% and 14.5 Ok%. Actually, in the event you’re splitting Gray’s hairs and think about Langford’s 26 jacks and 7 swiped baggage, you would possibly even take him over Crews. And likewise would possibly make Gray yelp. However the latter has the monitor report and profiles extra as a real centerfielder — though sure pundits argue Langford can deal with the place in his personal proper.
Langford is primarily an outfielder. He has additionally performed nook infield and catcher in summer time leagues. pic.twitter.com/fdSpMFhFG2
— Twins Dingers (@TwinsDingers) December 15, 2022
3. Chase Dollander | RHP | Tennessee
If Crews is the CAT X and Langford is the Bombat, then Dollander must be a Personalized A200 Recreation Mannequin Glove. Take it straight from MLB Pipeline, who provides that Dollander “could also be the perfect faculty pitching prospect since Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Gerrit Cole (2011).” Whereas I imagine that sentiment to be a bit excessive, Dollander does have 4 high quality choices (FB-CB-SL-CH) that every one have proven plus upside, and he dominated in his SEC debut final season: 10-0, 79.0 IP, 2.39 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 12.3 Ok/9, 1.5 BB/9. Arduous to not love these numbers, which is why Dollander is positioned the place he’s. The righty works 95-97 in begins and tops out at 99, whereas his finest secondary pitch is a 60-grade laborious slide piece. His 4.04 ERA and 5.1 BB/9 in 49.0 IP at Georgia Southern in 2021 was meh at finest, however his 2022 physique of labor has him noticeably forward of Florida’s Hurston Waldrep and LSU’s Paul Skenes as the highest faculty arm within the class.
Chase Dollander, 96mph ?? pic.twitter.com/1kvrwIfbgM
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 3, 2022
4. Brayden Taylor | INF | TCU
Time to combine it up. When you’ll discover the trio of Crews, Dollander and Langford atop most faculty boards, muddiness follows. Many lists have the likes of LSU RHP Paul Skenes, Ole Miss SS Jacob Gonzales, Vanderbilt OF Enqique Bradifled Jr. and Grand Canyon SS Jacob Wilson forward of Taylor — however don’t sleep on the TCU shortstop. Whether or not he profiles as a shortstop or third baseman as a professional is up for debate, however the bat is just not. In two seasons as a Horned Frog, he has batted .319/.450/.574 with 25 homers, 25 doubles, 25 steals, a 19.1 BB% and a 15.8 Ok%. “Hobbs, are you telling me this younger man not solely hits for common, but additionally hits for energy, swipes baggage, and attracts walks greater than he strikes out?” Sure, I’m telling you that. And that’s an elite stroll price whatever the swing and miss, however nonetheless sure. 18 extra walks than punchouts in his profession. TCU has been recognized to provide high-caliber MLB expertise. Somebody wants to inform my tailor I’ve discovered a brand new Taylor, and this one doesn’t must measure my waist.
Brayden Taylor, 3B, @TCU_Baseball
Taylor had top-of-the-line eyes I noticed of any participant this summer time. Affected person hitter who not often expands the zone. 19.1% stroll price in comparison with 15.8% strikeout price. Constant bat with TCU. A profession .319/.450/.574 hitter with 25 HRs, 25 2Bs. pic.twitter.com/n6kWFcIPtf
— Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) December 7, 2022
5. Enrique Bradfield Jr. | OF | Vanderbilt
The one query is will he slug sufficient to be an elite risk in a lineup on the subsequent stage? He can run: 93 SB in 99 SBA in 129 video games. He can area: profession 1.000 fielding share with excellent vary. He can hit and get on base: profession .327 hitter, .433 on-base with 159 hits and 86 walks. However can he hit for energy? In faculty with the steel, he has slugged .456 (noice) with 9 homers in 597 plate appearances. Nonetheless, he slugged .498 final season, hit eight homers in 292 PAs and has room in his lean body so as to add muscle as a professional. His .194/.348/.194 slash in 11 video games on The Cape final summer time gained’t assist issues, however this can be a top-10 general choose. Bradfield Jr. will wreak havoc on the basepaths as a professional and will probably be a beneficial fantasy commodity so long as he can keep a sliver of his base-reaching methods.
Backside ninth, two outs, down one run.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 11, 2022
That’s all for this week, Razzball fam! As at all times, I’m blissful to take this dialog into the feedback part or on Twitter, the place you could find me @WorldOfHobbs.