MLB Pipeline updated their draft prospect rankings on Monday night. They now include 200 spots, up from 150 in their previous update. They also made some changes near the top of the rankings.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will be making the first overall pick when the MLB draft starts on July 9th. They also have the highest draft bonus pool this year.
This is a great year to be picking among the top five spots. Most scouts and draft experts are saying that any of the top five picks would be #1 overall picks in most years. The Pirates are trying to decide who is the best among that group, but they can be wrong and still end up with a first overall type talent.
This entire process has seen LSU outfielder Dylan Crews at the top of the draft class, whether it has been rankings or mock drafts. His gap over the rest of the group has likely closed for most people, as his teammate Paul Skenes has been dominating on the mound, while Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford finished the regular season with a better OPS than Crews.
The new ranking from Pipeline has Crews, Skenes and Langford in that order among the top three spots. They are followed very closely by prep outfielders Walker Jenkins (fourth) and Max Clark (fifth).
At this point it is safe to say that the rest of the field doesn’t matter for Pirates fans. At least until you get closer to the 42nd spot, where the Pirates make their second pick. The top five in this draft class are in a tier of their own. You could probably have a blank tier below them at this point, before you go tier three for Tennessee pitcher Chase Dollander (ranked sixth), just to emphasize the spread.
Florida and LSU still have games coming up, starting later this weekend. So there is still time for movement among the top three spots.
Here’s an impressive homer from Langford from over the weekend:
It hasn't been Florida's best day, but Wyatt Langford earlier hit a 117 mph MISSILE out to left-center. Beautiful operation – strong base, explosive backside, and easy bat speed. Extends incredibly well through the baseball. Also a plus defender/AA runner. pic.twitter.com/cFD8e4MlwA
— Peter Flaherty III (@PeterGFlaherty) May 27, 2023
Here’s a homer from Crews:
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 26, 2023
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.