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Projected Top MLB Draft Picks on Display in Omaha

The College World Series returns to Omaha this weekend and many of the country’s top tier amateur talent will be on display.  As I have written several times before, the College World Series is one of my favorite (and most underrated) events in all of sports.  This year, as College Baseball’s elite eight teams head to America’s heartland, they bring with them a long list of players projected to go in the first round of the 2023 MLB Draft.

#1 Wake Forest Demon Deacons – ACC

The top team in the land brings their heavy hitting reputation to Omaha with them, earning them the nickname “Rake Forest.”  However, it’s RHP Rhett Lowder who has grabbed the most attention of MLB scouts.  He’s 15-0 with 1.92 ERA and 131 strikeouts over 108 innings this season.  This leaves some believing he could be the first pitcher drafted.

#2 Florida Gators – SEC

I’ve written about The Shohei of the Swamp, Jac Caglianone in recent weeks.  Meanwhile, the Florida Gators baseball team tore through the NCAA tournament to find themselves in Omaha this weekend.  As the Gators are set to take on Virginia on Friday, they’ll do so with the projected #2 overall draft pick, outfielder Wyatt Langford.  He put up a .350 BA / .484 OBP / .720 SLG this season.  The Gators have another assumed first rounder in RHP Hurston Waldrep.

#6 Stanford Cardinals – PAC-12

Infielder Tommy Troy spent most of his season playing Third Base for the Cardinals, but has proven ability at Second Base and Shortstop as well. Troy moved higher up the draft rankings after a stellar season at the plate.   He posted a .404 BA / 13 HR / .720 SLG / 13 stolen bases to help power Stanford to the CWS.

#7 LSU Tigers – SEC

Outfielder Dylan Crews has been the projected to be the #1 overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates all season long.  This hasn’t changed, as he put together a solid season with a .405 BA /.454 OBP /.685 SLG.  RHP Paul Skenes is already in the upper 90s with this fastball and many believe he will be the first pitcher selected.

#11 Virginia Cavaliers – ACC

Catcher Kyle Teel is a two way threat, who has potential to move even higher up the draft board.  He’s considered to have all the defensive tools and put up big numbers at the plate this season.  Teel hit .414 BA / 13 HR / 69 RBI / 25 doubles with UVA in 2023.

#17 TCU Horned Frogs – Big 12

The Horned Frogs third baseman Brayden Taylor blasted 22 home runs this season, doubling his last year’s total.  In fact, he set a new TCU single-season record.  He’s also considered a strong defensive player who will most likely be a first rounder.

#21 Tennessee Volunteers – SEC

RHP Chase Dollander was unanimously considered the top pitcher in the draft prior to the season.  While he struggled throughout the year, in recent outings he’s gotten back to his old ways.  Dollander has put down 18 of his last 20 batters, helping the Vols secure a bid to Omaha.  He’s still among the tier arms in this year’s draft class.

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles – Summit

Yes, ORU is the Cinderella story of this year’s tournament.  And no, they don’t have a projected first rounder in the  2023 draft.  Maybe it’s the gummy worms they’re eating or the fact that LHP Jacob Widener is drawing comparisons to Randy Johnson.  Or, perhaps it’s that center fielder Jonah Cox has a 47 game hitting streak.  Whatever it is, it’s hard not to be rooting for the Golden Eagles in Omaha.

Brian is the Managing Editor at Legends on Deck and Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. He's been writing about baseball at LOD since 2017. He grew up in the Detroit area and is a lifelong Tigers fan. However, he shares some affinity for his son George's favorite team, the Atlanta Braves. Brian also has a particular interest in the amateur side of the game, including high school, college and collegiate summer league baseball. Brian and George also love collecting and selling baseball cards. You can find them selling on eBay (@Kossball) or posting on George's Instagram (@Kossball). Brian lives in Horizon West (Winter Garden), Florida with his wife (Grace), three daughters and George the Card Kid. You can also reach him at brianmkoss@gmail.com

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