The Athletic’s Keith Law released his first 2023 MLB mock draft Wednesday, and the longtime baseball scribe and prospect guru has the Boston Red Sox taking a position player in Round 1.
The Red Sox own the 14th overall pick in this year’s Major League Baseball draft — a selection they landed by virtue of finishing with an underwhelming 78-84 record in 2022 — and Law projected Boston will choose Stanford shortstop Tommy Troy.
The selection caps a run on shortstops in Law’s mock draft, with Jacob Gonzalez (Mississippi), Arjun Nimmala (Strawberry Crest High, Dover, Fla.), Colin Houck (Parkview High, Lilburn, Ga.) and Matt Shaw (Maryland) coming off the board immediately ahead of Troy.
Here’s what Law wrote about the prediction:
I think this is pretty open, with any of the guys I have just ahead of Boston’s pick also possibilities, as well as Shaw. I could see the Red Sox being on Kevin McGonigle given their predilection for high school hitters with potential plus hit tools with their first picks in 2021 (Nick Yorke) and 2022 (Mikey Romero).
The 2023 MLB Draft doesn’t begin until July 9. So, there’s still plenty of time for evaluations to change as teams do more homework over the next month and a half. And, as Law explained in his intro, his mock draft is based on a projection of how he thinks the first round will unfold, based on information he’s gathered from “sources in the industry” and his own “understanding of how certain teams and executives like to draft.”
Law recently ranked his top 50 draft prospects — his own assessment of players’ values based on what he’s seen and heard from scouts — and Troy checked in at No. 16.
Here’s what Law wrote about Troy earlier this month:
Troy is a high-contact hitter without power who should stay at shortstop, which should put him in the same bucket as Gonzalez and Shaw among college position players. Troy has less power than the other two, with a deep load and slashing stroke that makes it hard for him to get the same kind of impact, but his wrists are very quick so he makes a tremendous amount of contact. He’s a plus runner who has played all three skill positions on the infield, but I think someone has to send him out as a shortstop and let him prove he can’t stay there. If he’s not a shortstop, he has a harder path to everyday play, so giving him that chance is key to creating some upside.
Law considers the 2023 draft class “one of the strongest in years,” so the Red Sox should nab a quality prospect at No. 14. One could argue Boston needs to infuse more premium pitching talent into its pipeline, but the organization has leaned toward infielders in recent years. It wouldn’t be shocking if Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and company went down that path again in 2023.
Law projected LSU outfielder Dylan Crews to go No. 1 overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates, followed by his college teammate, right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes, at No. 2 to the Washington Nationals and Max Clark, a high-school outfielder, at No. 3 to the Detroit Tigers.