The Washington Nationals followed by drafting Skenes’ teammate, Dylan Crews, with the No. 2 pick, making them the first pair of teammates to go 1-2 in MLB Draft history. The Detroit Tigers took Max Clark with the third pick, the Texas Rangers followed with Wyatt Langford and the Minnesota Twins rounded out the top five by selecting Walker Jenkins.
Who will be the biggest steals — and stretches — of Day 1?
Follow along for pick-by-pick coverage, with ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield and Dan Mullen breaking down everything you need to know about who your favorite team took in the first round as the picks come off the board.
Who is Skenes? According to ESPN MLB draft expert Kiley McDaniel, Skenes is the best pitching prospect in the draft since Gerrit Cole went No. 1 overall in 2011. Like his college teammate Crews, Skenes was a dominant force on LSU’s national championship team as the right-hander went 12-2 with a 1.69 ERA and struck out an eye-popping 209 batters over 122⅔ innings during his lone season in Baton Rouge after transferring from Air Force.
The highlight-reel plays top pick Paul Skenes is taking to Pittsburgh
Check out the highlights that helped make Paul Skenes the top overall pick in the 2023 MLB draft.
Why the Pirates took him here: While there are three clear top prospects in this class, Skenes is quite possibly the best pitching prospect in the draft since Stephen Strasburg or Gerrit Cole. In his one season at LSU, he absolutely dominated the best competition in the top conference in the country, handling the pressure that comes with pitching in the SEC with a presence that set him apart. The Pirates have shown signs of turning things around at the major league level and Skenes is about as major league-ready as a pitcher can be on draft day. — Mullen
Who is Crews? The most well-known player in this draft, Crews hit his way into college baseball lore in winning the 2023 Golden Spikes Award and becoming the first player to win back-to-back SEC Player of the Year awards. Though he is more likely to end up in a corner outfield spot than remaining in center, there is no doubt his bat will play anywhere after Crews hit .426 with 17 home runs and a 1.280 OPS in 71 games for the College World Series champion Tigers this season.
The plays that helped Dylan Crews become a National
Check out the highlights that helped make Dylan Crews the second overall pick by the Nationals.
Why the Nationals took him here: For the first time ever, a pair of teammates have gone 1-2 in the MLB draft. Maybe the Nationals would have preferred Skenes, given that the strength of their farm system lies in its position players, but Crews dominated the best conference in the country and ranks as one of the best hitting prospects to come out of the college ranks in a long time. His combination of the hit tool, plate discipline and power indicates he should rise rapidly to the majors. — Schoenfield
3. Detroit Tigers: Max Clark, OF, Franklin Community (Ind.) HS
Who is Clark? The best prospect from the state of Indiana since Bryan Bullington went No. 1 overall (out of Indiana University) in 2002, Clark won 2023 Gatorade National Player of the Year honors. Clark has a sweet left-handed swing that produces plus contact and bat speed with the only question being just how much power it will lead to in the pros given he has a smaller frame than the other elite hitters at the top of this draft.
The plays that helped make Max Clark a Detroit Tiger
Check out the highlights Max Clark will be taking to Detroit after being selected third overall by the Tigers.
Why the Tigers took him here: We have our first true surprise of the night. Going into this draft, the talk was all about the three college stars who have separated themselves at the top of the class — yet the Tigers went with a high school hitter, and not Langford, with the No. 3 pick. But don’t let that fool you into thinking Clark is a stretch here. He would have been in the running for the No. 1 overall pick in many recent drafts if not for the SEC stars ahead of him this year. Clark has electric speed and could develop plus power as he develops, drawing comparisons to Corbin Carroll and Johnny Damon. — Mullen
4. Texas Rangers: Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida
Who is Langford? A slugger who would be the clear No. 1 in many recent MLB drafts, Langford has been overshadowed a bit this season by the LSU combo of Crews and Skenes. The Florida slugger hit .373 with 21 home runs and a 1.282 OPS for the national runners-up this season, showing why scouts have been flocking to see him since a breakout sophomore campaign with the Gators in 2022 followed by a strong performance with Team USA last summer.
The highlight-reel plays Wyatt Langford is taking to Texas
Check out some of the plays that helped make Wyatt Langford a Texas Ranger.
Why the Rangers took him here: The Rangers have to be thrilled to see an advanced college hitter like Langford fall to them with the fourth pick — a player who had more extra-base power in the SEC this past season than Crews. Langford is somewhat limited defensively, but the Rangers can dream on soon adding him and prospect Evan Carter to an outfield that already includes All-Star Adolis Garcia and 2023 breakout performer Leody Taveras. — Schoenfield
5. Minnesota Twins: Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick (N.C.) HS
Who is Jenkins? Now the consensus top high school player in this draft, Jenkins packs high-end raw power into a short, compact swing that invokes comparisons to former MLB All-Star J.D. Drew. He won his second straight Gatorade state player of the year award this spring, batting .417 with an incredible .632 on-base percentage and .633 slugging percentage in 95 plate appearances while showing scouts he was fully recovered from a broken hamate bone that slowed him a bit in the summer of 2022.
The top highlights the Twins can expect from Walker Jenkins
Check out the highlights that have helped the Twins select Walker Jenkins with the fifth pick in the 2023 MLB draft.
Why the Twins took him here: This was a five-player draft and the Twins get one of those players here before the talent drops off significantly. Jenkins has 30-home run power and the hit tool to project as a future .280 hitter in the majors, and he could stay in center field. In most drafts, that type of player is thick in the running for the No. 1 overall pick, so the Twins have to be ecstatic to get that kind of talent to round out the top five. — Mullen
6. Oakland Athletics: Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon
Who is Wilson? The son of former Pirates shortstop Jack, who also coached him in high school, Wilson is a polished defensive shortstop who makes contact at an elite rate. Wilson posted a .361 batting average over his three seasons at Grand Canyon, including a .412 mark with just 5 strikeouts in 192 at-bats this spring.
The plays that helped make Jacob Wilson an Athletic
Check out the highlights that have helped make Jacob Wilson a top-10 pick by the Oakland Athletics.
Why the A’s took him here: This was always going to be the part of the draft where it started getting unpredictable, and the A’s pull out a mild surprise here in taking Wilson — although you have to love the big league bloodlines and the elite contact ability. The A’s will have to hope the power will develop, but even if it doesn’t, perhaps there is a Nico Hoerner-type player here. Plus, while teams rarely draft for need, there is no doubt the A’s need a shortstop, as Nick Allen has struggled at the plate. — Schoenfield
7. Cincinnati Reds: Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest
Who is Lowder? The ace of a Wake Forest squad that earned the No. 1 overall seed in this season’s NCAA tournament, Lowder joined former Virginia ace (and Mariners draft pick) Danny Hultzen as the only back-to-back ACC Pitchers of the Year. Using a fastball that hovers in the mid-90s and a strong changeup to keep hitters guessing, Lowder went a perfect 15-0 with a 1.87 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 120⅓ innings for the Demon Deacons this spring.
The highlights the Reds can expect from Rhett Lowder
Watch the highlights that helped the Reds select Rhett Lowder with the seventh pick in the 2023 MLB draft.
Why the Reds took him here: Lowder might be the safest starting pitcher in this draft as a polished big-school starter with three above-average pitches. The big question here is if he has enough stuff to be a top-of-the-rotation ace or if he ultimately settles in as more of a No. 3 or No. 4 starter. But no matter Lowder’s ceiling, he should get to the majors quickly and that has become even more important, since Cincinnati has vaulted itself into contention this season. — Mullen
8. Kansas City Royals: Blake Mitchell, C, Sinton (Texas) HS
Who is Mitchell? A rifle-armed catcher with an LSU commit, Mitchell has hit 97 mph on the mound, but his future is behind the plate where he’s viewed as the top high school catcher in the class. Some teams viewed him as a top-10 overall talent while others shied away from his age (almost 19) and the general risk associated with prep catchers. His defensive abilities are his calling card, but he also has plus power although will have to improve the swing-and-miss.
Remaining draft order
9. Colorado Rockies
10. Miami Marlins
11. Los Angeles Angels
12. Arizona Diamondbacks
13. Chicago Cubs
14. Boston Red Sox
15. Chicago White Sox
16. San Francisco Giants
17. Baltimore Orioles
18. Milwaukee Brewers
19. Tampa Bay Rays
20. Toronto Blue Jays
21. St. Louis Cardinals
22. Seattle Mariners
23. Cleveland Guardians
24. Atlanta Braves
25. San Diego Padres
26. New York Yankees
27. Philadelphia Phillies
28. Houston Astros
Prospect Promotion Incentive Picks
29. Seattle Mariners (for Julio Rodriguez winning ROY)
Competitive Balance Round A
30. Seattle Mariners
31. Tampa Bay Rays
32. New York Mets
(First pick dropped 10 spots because Mets exceeded the competitive balance tax threshold by more than $40 million.)
33. Milwaukee Brewers
34. Minnesota Twins
35. Miami Marlins
36. Los Angeles Dodgers
(First pick dropped 10 spots because Dodgers exceeded the competitive balance tax threshold by more than $40 million.)
37. Detroit Tigers
38. Cincinnati Reds
39. Oakland Athletics
40. Washington Nationals
41. Oakland Athletics
42. Pittsburgh Pirates
43. Cincinnati Reds
44. Kansas City Royals
45. Detroit Tigers
46. Colorado Rockies
47. Miami Marlins
48. Arizona Diamondbacks
49. Minnesota Twins
50. Boston Red Sox
51. Chicago White Sox
52. San Francisco Giants
53. Baltimore Orioles
54. Milwaukee Brewers
55. Tampa Bay Rays
56. New York Mets
57. Seattle Mariners
58. Cleveland Guardians
59. Atlanta Braves
60. Los Angeles Dodgers
61. Houston Astros
Competitive Balance Round B
62. Cleveland Guardians
63. Baltimore Orioles
64. Arizona Diamondbacks
65. Colorado Rockies
66. Kansas City Royals
67. Pittsburgh Pirates
68. Chicago Cubs
69. San Francisco Giants
70. Atlanta Braves