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MLB Draft Preview, Part One: LSU’s Signing Class of 2023

How does this year’s MLB Draft shake up LSU’s incoming recruiting class?

Mike Trout
Los Angeles Angels OF Mike Trout before the 2012 MLB Draft. Trout was the No.25 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft straight out of high school.

After LSU won its seventh national title just under two weeks ago, head coach Jay Johnson will look to retool the roster as many of its starters will be entering the draft.

OF Dylan Crews, 1B/OF Tre Morgan as well as pitchers Paul Skenes and Ty Floyd are projected to be drafted in the first two rounds. Crews and Skenes are both projected to be drafted in the Top 5 in this year’s MLB Draft. However, those are the ones Johnson and his coaching staff already know are leaving.

The 2023 MLB Draft will take place from July 9-11 from Lumen Field in Seattle. Out of all the major professional sports leagues, the MLB has the most rounds with 20 rounds. Rounds one and two will take place on July 9, rounds 3-10 will take place on July 10 and rounds 11-20 will take place on July 11.

In its upcoming 2023 recruiting class, there are some tossups among this recruiting class. Although this class isn’t as big or as heralded as the Class of ‘22, there are still some talented members of this class that Coach Johnson and the Tigers will hope to have on campus.

A key thing to note is that if a high school prospect gets drafted in the first 10 rounds of the draft, that generally means they are going to the big leagues. However, with the changing landscape going on with college baseball right now due to NIL, things are starting to change as we are seeing more and more high school prospects turn down the majors as athletes can now make money playing college baseball when that wasn’t afforded to them before the 2021-22 athletic season.

For this portion of the MLB Draft preview, we will go over who is definitely going to the big leagues, who isn’t and who is at this point undecided.

Who We Know is Staying

Pitcher Kade Anderson is the only confirmed member of the 2023 class that will be staying. Anderson, who prepped out of St. Paul’s High School in Covington, La., announced his decision to stay in school and enroll at LSU on Twitter Friday night.

Anderson is the No.18 LHP nationally and the No.2 prospect overall in the state of Louisiana. Anderson is also the 125th prospect overall nationally.

Anderson will be a draft-eligible sophomore at LSU as he is 19 years old. For example, LSU pitcher Grant Taylor is eligible for this year’s draft as a sophomore because he is 21 years old, which is one of two requirements needed to get drafted into the MLB out of college.

Big Leagues

Among LSU’s 2023 recruiting class, there are only two members that will be entering the MLB Draft: catcher Blake Mitchell and LHP Cam Johnson.

Mitchell is the No.8 high school player in the country and the best player out of the state of Texas according to Perfect Game. Mitchell is a Top 50 prospect according to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel and MLB Pipeline and could very well be selected in the first round.

Johnson, who prepped at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is ranked 11th among all recruits nationally and is the No.2 LHP in the country according to Perfect Game. The 6’5, 240 lb. hurler can reach up to 100 mph on his fastball. Johnson is the 42nd prospect according to MLB Pipeline and is 61st among MLB prospects according to McDaniel.

Three Prospects to Keep Your Eye On

Among LSU’s recruiting class, the two recruits that Johnson is very nervous about are OF Ashton Larson and SS Steven Milam.

Larson is the No.75 recruit and No.13 outfielder nationally according to Perfect Game. Although the Overland Park, Kan. native is not a member of the MLB Pipeline Top 250, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel has Larson rated as the 248th prospect in the MLB Draft, placing him somewhere in the first 10 rounds of the draft.

Milam is another notable tossup among LSU’s recruiting class. Despite his 5’8, 165-pound frame, Milam is the No.1 prospect out of the state of New Mexico and is one of the best shortstops in the nation. He also is an excellent switch hitter as he is effective on both sides of the plate. A lot of MLB scouts compare him to fellow New Mexico native and Houston Astros shortstop Alex Bregman, who himself had an excellent career at LSU.

3B Trenton Lape out of Bossier City is another name to watch. Although Lape is not in McDaniel’s Top 300 or is on the MLB Pipeline Top 250, pro scouts are very high on him and there is a possibility he could get drafted in the first 10 rounds of the draft. Lape is the No. 132 prospect overall and No.5 third baseman nationally according to Perfect Game. Lape is also third among Louisiana prospects.

Who Will Likely Be on Campus for Fall Practices

LHP Jake Brown from Sulphur will likely be LSU’s biggest name when the fall rolls around. Brown is the No.1 recruit out of the state of Louisiana. His pitching bag has a fastball, slider and changeup with his slider being his best pitcher. He will likely be on LSU’s campus because of signability issues and the fact that MLB scouts have felt that he hasn’t taken the leap that he needed to make to be drafted. However, there is still a good chance he could go pro.

UTIL MJ Seo will most likely be on campus when fall training rolls around. The Carrollton, Texas native is the 40th-best shortstop in the country, the No.15 prospect out of the state of Texas and the No. 160 prospect overall according to Perfect Game.