The first ever MLB Draft Lottery takes place tonight at 8:30 PM on MLB Network.
The first six spots in the 2023 draft will be decided by the lottery tonight, with the Pirates one of 18 teams in the mix. Ethan Hullihen recently posted a draft primer that explains the Pirates’ odds for each pick.
The Pirates finished with the third worst record in baseball in 2022. In normal years, that would give them the third overall pick in the amateur draft for the 2023 season.
The new draft lottery system gives the Pirates a chance to move up to the first or second pick. They could pick anywhere from first to ninth overall, so there are more bad than good options in their position. The Pirates have a 16.5% chance of landing the first overall pick.
The Washington Nationals had the worst record, so there’s no upside in the lottery for them. They either get the pick they would have gotten without the system, or they drop in the draft. They also have a 16.5% chance of the top pick — as do the Oakland A’s, who finished second between the Pirates and Nationals.
On the flip side, the Milwaukee Brewers have the 18th overall pick, last among the lottery teams. There is zero downside for them. They can’t do any worse than where they would have been, but they have a chance to pick in spots 1-6, or move up if any other low odds teams gets a pick.
We will update this when the Pirates’ pick is announced.
UPDATE: The Pirates received the first pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.
Here are the full results, with their lottery odds placement going into the process. Copied from MLB.com
1. Pirates (T-1)
2. Nationals (T-1)
3. Tigers (6)
4. Rangers (7)
5. Twins (13)
6. A’s (T-1)
7. Reds (4)
8. Royals (5)
9. Rockies (8)
10. Marlins (9)
11. Angels (10)
12. D-backs (11)
13. Cubs (12)
14. Red Sox (14)
15. White Sox (15)
16. Giants (16)
17. Orioles (17)
18. Brewers (18)
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.