MLB completes first day of 2023 Draft presented by Nike

July 10th, 2023

Pirates Select Paul Skenes First Overall; Six Players in Attendance Taken on Opening Night; Diverse Players Make Up 32 Percent of First 50 Selections; Teammates Drafted with First Two Selections for First Time in Draft History

Major League Baseball has completed the first day of the 2023 Draft, which aired live on MLB Network and ESPN this evening in Seattle, Washington at Lumen Field.  In total, 70 players were selected during Round 1, Prospect Promotion Incentive Selection, First Round Compensation, Competitive Balance Round A, Round 2, Competitive Balance Round B and Second Round Compensation.  The Draft will resume at 2:00 p.m. (ET)/11:00 a.m. (PT) on Monday, July 10th with the first pick in Round 3, and will continue through Round 10 exclusively on  Day three of the Draft on Tuesday, July 11th will begin at 2:00 p.m. (ET)/11:00 a.m. (PT), featuring picks in rounds 11-20.

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes out of Louisiana State University with the first overall pick in the Draft.  Skenes was the first right-handed pitcher taken with the first overall selection since the Detroit Tigers selected Casey Mize with the top overall pick in 2018.  Skenes is the sixth number one overall pick in Pirates history, joining: Henry Davis (2021), Gerrit Cole (2011), Bryan Bullington (2002), Kris Benson (1996) and Jeff King (1986).

With the second pick of the Draft, the Washington Nationals selected outfielder Dylan Crews out of Louisiana State University. It marks the first time in Draft history that two teammates have been selected as first and second overall. Since the inception of the Rule 4 Draft, it is the third time that teammates have been drafted back-to-back in the first round. The last pair of teammates were University of Virginia alumni Pavin Smith (7th overall, AZ) and Adam Haseley (8th overall, PHI) in 2017. The only other teammates to ever go back-to-back in the Round 1 are Rice University alumni Phillip Humber (3rd overall, NYM) and Jeff Niemann (4th overall, TB) in 2004. For the 20th time in the last 22 years at least one pair of teammates (college or high school) were selected in the first round.

Six players who were in attendance at Lumen Field were selected tonight, including three in Round 1, one in Competitive Balance Round A and one in Round 2. The players in attendance included Grand Canyon University shortstop Jacob Wilson, who was picked 6th overall by the Oakland Athletics; Jesuit High School (OR) right-handed pitcher Noble Meyer, who was picked 10th by the Miami Marlins; Texas Christian University third baseman Brayden Taylor, who was picked 19th by the Tampa Bay Rays; Reborn Christian Academy (FL) right-handed pitcher Charlee Soto, who was drafted 34th overall by the Minnesota Twins; shortstop Nazzan Zanetello, who was drafted 50th overall by the Boston Red Sox; and Mississippi State University outfielder Colton Ledbetter, who was selected 55th overall by Tampa Bay.

Black players made up six of the first 30 selections (20%) for the fifth time since 2012, and only the second time since 2015 following last year’s nine first round selections. Ten of the first 50 selections (20%) were Black players, while 16 of the 50 (32%) were from diverse backgrounds, including Black, Hispanic/Latino and Asian. Ten of these players are alumni of MLB Develops, diversity-focused programming offered in part by MLB & USA Baseball. These players include 17th overall (BAL) Enrique Bradfield Jr. (2019 High School All-American Game, States Play); 21st overall (STL) Chase Davis (2015 Elite Development Invitational, 2017/2018/2020 DREAM Series, 2017/2018/2019 Breakthrough Series); 25th overall (SD) Dillon Head (2018 Elite Development Invitational, 2019/2021 Hank Aaron Invitational, 2019/2021/2022 Breakthrough Series, 2022 High School All-American Game, 2023 DREAM Series); 26th overall (NYY) George Lombard (2022 Hank Aaron Invitational); 28th overall (HOU) Brice Matthews (2019 Breakthrough Series); 34th overall (MIN) Charlee Soto (2022 High School All-American Game); 36th overall (LAD) Kendall George (2021 & 2022 Breakthrough Series); 40th overall (WAS) Yohandy Morales (2019 High School All-Star Game, High School Home Run Derby, States Play); 48th overall (AZ) Gino Groover (2018 Breakthrough Series); and 50th overall (BOS) Nazzan Zanetello (2022 Breakthrough Series, High School All-American Game, 2023 DREAM Series).

First rounder Matthews, selected by the Houston Astros, is also a product of the Astros Youth Academy and Nike RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program.

With the inaugural Prospect Promotion Incentive Selection, the Seattle Mariners selected outfielder Jonny Farmelo from Westfield HS (VA). The PPI Selection was awarded to Seattle for the promotion of outfielder Julio Rodríguez in 2022, who went on to win the 2022 American League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award.

Four players selected in the first 40 picks of this year’s Draft have family ties to baseball, including Jacob Wilson (6th) and Myles Naylor (39th) who were selected by the Oakland Athletics, George Lombard (26th, NYY) and Tai Peete (30th, SEA). Wilson’s father, Jack, was selected in the ninth round of the 1998 Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, going on to play in 1,370 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves before his retirement in 2012. Naylor is the brother of current Cleveland Guardians Bo and Josh Naylor. Lombard’s father, George Sr., is the current bench coach of the Detroit Tigers and a six-year Major League veteran, spending time with Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Washington until his retirement in 2009. Peete’s mother, Yuki Braxton, was the first girl to participate in Little League Baseball European Region Championships in 1993 and 1994.

Overall, 17 of the 30 first round selections came from college, while 13 high school players were selected. Every pick selected in the first round attended this year’s MLB Draft Combine. The state of Florida produced nine players in the first round, followed by California (4), North Carolina (3), Texas (3), Georgia (2), Arizona (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), New Jersey (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (1), Utah (1) and Virginia (1).

Eleven shortstops were selected in the opening round, the most among all positions and breaking the 2021 record of 10 shortstops for the most ever drafted in the first round. Other players taken in the first round tonight included eight outfielders; five right-handed pitchers; three catchers; and one first baseman. For the second straight year, a two-way player was selected in the first round when first baseman and left-handed pitcher Bryce Eldridge was drafted 16th overall by San Francisco. will continue to provide Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of draft-eligible players with statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.  On Twitter, the official Draft Twitter account, @MLBDraft, will provide up-to-the-moment updates and commentary using the official Draft hashtag, #MLBDraft, while @MLBDraftTracker will tweet all picks as they are made.