Get ready for the first round of the 2023 MLB Draft that will take place on July 9 with everything you need to know: Top picks, dates, and other MLB Draft facts.
What is the MLB Draft?
The MLB Draft is the first-year player draft that is used to assign amateur baseball players to professional clubs. While not as high-profile as the NBA and NFL drafts, the MLB Draft essentially works the same way, as all 30 of the leagues’ teams select players during the 20 rounds of the draft. More than 600 players are selected in the MLB Draft, but unlike, for example, the NBA Draft, those players won’t suddenly find themselves competing for playing time at the sport’s highest level. Virtually all MLB draft picks end up playing in the Minors, though some will opt to return to college, like pitcher Kumar Rocker did in 2020 after he was drafted 10th overall by the New York Mets. Rocker returned to Vanderbilt and was drafted again in 2021, this time going third overall to the Texas Rangers. No player from the 2022 MLB Draft has made his MLB debut yet.
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But while the results of the MLB Draft are as quickly apparent as they are in other leagues, that doesn’t mean the draft isn’t important. For example, the defending World Series champion Houston Astros head into the 2023 season with 10 players on the projected roster who the team drafted, including 2015 first-round picks Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.
How Does The MLB Draft Work?
For the first time, the MLB Draft is employing a draft lottery to decide the draft order instead of going in reverse order of record, which had been the method up until this season. The first six selections are set by the lottery, but rounds 2 through 20 are still set by reverse order of winning percentage. The draft lottery took place in December. The Nationals, Athletics and Pirates all shared the best odds to get the top pick, with the Pirates landing the No. 1 selection. The Nationals pick second, while the Athletics had the worst lottery luck from that bunch, falling to sixth. The Detroit Tigers, who had the sixth-best lottery odds, jumped to the No. 3 pick. The Rangers landed the No. 4 overall pick and the Twins jumped from having the 13th-best odds all the way up to the No. 5 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.
To be drafted, a player must:
- Be a resident of the United States, Canada or a U.S. territory.
- Have never signed a professional baseball contract
- Either be a high school player who has graduated, or a college player who has either been enrolled in college for three years or has turned 21 years old, or a junior/community college baseball player
Teams have until July 15 to sign a player they drafted. If the player is not signed, then the player may be eligible to be drafted the next year, as long as they are still eligible for the draft. Teams may not re-draft a player that they drafted before unless the player agrees to this. Undrafted players can be signed as free agents up until one week before the next MLB Draft.
Teams also earn compensation picks when they lose players in free agency. These picks depend on how large the contract was that the departing player signed; essentially, the larger the contract, the better the compensation pick, with the top compensation being a third-round pick.
Once players have been drafted, teams can sign them from a set bonus pool of money. The amount of money each team has available to use in the bonus pool depends on its draft position and the number of picks the team has, as well as how much it spent in the previous draft.
What is the Draft Order for the 2023 MLB Draft?
Here is the order for the first round of the draft, as well as the Competitive Balance Round A that happens directly after the first round.
1 Pittsburgh Pirates
2 Washington Nationals
3 Detroit Tigers
4 Texas Rangers
5 Minnesota Twins
6 Oakland Athletics
7 Cincinnati Reds
8 Kansas City Royals
9 Colorado Rockies
10 Miami Marlins
11 Los Angeles Angels
12 Arizona Diamondbacks
13 Chicago Cubs
14 Boston Red Sox
15 Chicago White Sox
16 San Francisco Giants
17 Baltimore Orioles
18 Milwaukee Brewers
19 Tampa Bay Rays
20 Toronto Blue Jays
21 St. Louis Cardinals
22 Seattle Mariners
23 Cleveland Guardians
24 Atlanta Braves
25 San Diego Padres
26 New York Yankees
27 Philadelphia Phillies
28 Houston Astros
29 Seattle Mariners
30 Seattle Mariners
31 Tampa Bay Rays
32 New York Mets
33 Milwaukee Brewers
34 Minnesota Twins
35 Miami Marlins
36 Los Angeles Dodgers
37 Detroit Tigers
38 Cincinnati Reds
39 Oakland Athletics
When is The MLB 2023 Draft?
The 2023 Major League Baseball Draft will take place in Seattle in July 2023. While the official date of the draft has not been released, it is expected to take place July 9 through July 11 during the All-Star break. Historically, the draft has been held in June, but was moved to July in 2021.
Before the draft itself, the 2023 MLB Draft Combine will take place from June 20-25 at Chase Field in Phoenix, giving teams a chance to get a look at the players.
Coverage of both events is expected to be on MLB Network. MLB Network is available to stream on fuboTV.
MLB Draft Top Prospects Rankings
Among the top prospects for the 2023 MLB Draft are:
- Dylan Crews – OF, LSU
- Chase Dollander – P, Tennessee
- Wyatt Langford – OF, Florida
- Paul Skenes – P, LSU
- Jacob Gonzalez – SS, Ole Miss
- Max Clark – OF, Franklin Community High School (IN)
- Walter Jenkins – OF, South Brunswick High School (NC)
- Enrique Bradfield Jr. – OF, Vanderbilt
- Jacob Wilson – SS, Grand Canyon
- Hurston Waldrep – P, Florida
Where To Watch the MLB Draft
The full draft will be broadcast on MLB Network, with ESPN airing first-round coverage on July 9.
Both of those channels can be watched with a subscription to fuboTV.
Fubo is a sports-first streaming service offering 100+ live TV channels and regional sports networks. The service includes a DVR as well as on-demand content and focuses on sports programming. Fubo is the only live TV streaming platform with every Nielsen-rated sports channel. Leveraging Fubo’s proprietary data and technology platform optimized for live TV and sports viewership, subscribers can engage with the content they are watching through interactive product features like FanView, an in-video experience showcasing live game, team and player stats and scores in real-time.
Regional restrictions may apply.