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Clubs search for hidden gems on Day 3

MLB Draft comes to a close with 10 final rounds of selections
July 11, 2023

With the first two days of the 2023 MLB Draft already completed, the most-hyped names were already off the board. But there's always game-changing talent available throughout the Draft, which concluded on Tuesday with Rounds 11-20. Five of this year’s All-Stars were taken and signed in the 10th round or

With the first two days of the 2023 MLB Draft already completed, the most-hyped names were already off the board. But there's always game-changing talent available throughout the Draft, which concluded on Tuesday with Rounds 11-20.

Five of this year’s All-Stars were taken and signed in the 10th round or later when they first entered pro ball: Jordan Romano (10th), Nathan Eovaldi (11th), Josh Hader (19th), J.D. Martinez (20th) and David Bednar (35th). That’s an elite starter, a dominant DH and three lights-out arms who didn’t hear their names called until very late in the process.

Day 1 analysis | Day 2 analysis | Draft Tracker | Top 250 | Draft Central | Famous family ties

Read on for a round-by-round breakdown of the most notable picks from Day 3.

Round 11

Pick 5 (319th overall), Royals: Jared Dickey, OF/C, Tennessee (No. 115 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 250 rankings)
A career .343 hitter in Knoxville, Dickey prioritizes making contact as a left-handed hitter with great hand-eye coordination. He needs that skill considering he has a busy setup at the plate, but it’s one that seems to keep him on time with his sweet-looking swing. He has some catching experience but was considered a below-average receiver; Kansas City announced the 21-year-old as an outfielder.

Pick 16 (330th overall), Giants: Jack Payton, C, Louisville (No. 148)
Louisville has a strong recent history of developing catchers between Will Smith, Henry Davis and Dalton Rushing. Payton could fall in line with that group thanks to a promising bat that helped him hit .374/.472/.643 with 12 homers this spring. Questions about his receiving and throwing ability may have caused this drop, but San Francisco might try to follow the Patrick Bailey playbook in its development of Payton, should he sign.

Pick 18 (332nd overall), Brewers: Bishop Letson, RHP, Floyd Central (Ind.) HS (No. 179)
Milwaukee made a big play by taking Top 50 Draft prospect Cooper Pratt in the sixth round and might be going for another coup here with Letson. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has a fastball in the 88-94 mph range already and plenty of room to add more velo as he adds weight to his current 170-pound frame. He also shows good feel for a slider and changeup and is committed to Purdue if he doesn’t sign with the Crew.

Pick 29 (343rd overall), Phillies: Kehden Hettiger, Sierra Canyon (Calif.) School (No. 177)
Sierra Canyon might pop off to some as the school of Bronny James, but Hettiger gave the baseball side some shine as a strong hitter out of the California prep ranks. The switch-hitter shows an advanced approach for his age but stands out more for his power from the left side. He has the arm for behind the plate but needs a lot of work on his receiving. The Phillies could have the space to sign him away from an Oregon commitment.

Round 12

Pick 3 (347th overall), Pirates: Khristian Curtis, RHP, Arizona State (No. 197)
Curtis stood out more to scouts for his stuff than his results with the Sun Devils (7.03 ERA, 58 strikeouts in 64 innings). His upper-80s cutter/slider earns above-average grades, and he has average fastball velo between his four-seamer and two-seamer at 92-93 mph. He’ll also mix in a curveball and changeup that are below average but give him enough of an arsenal to start, though he does have a history of elbow problems.

Pick 11 (355th overall), D-backs: Sam Knowlton, RHP, South Alabama (unranked)
Knowlton had the highest bullpen velocity of any MLB Draft Combine participant, touching 98.0 mph during the showcase at Chase Field. He has gone beyond that before, touching as high as 102, while working with an 85-90 mph slider and a firm changeup in the low 90s. Knowlton has a Tommy John surgery in his past and will need to corral his control (21 walks in 23 innings this spring) in the pros.

Pick 15 (359th overall), White Sox: Mathias LaCombe, RHP, Cochise (Ariz.) College (unranked)
LaCombe is a native of France with experience with Pôle France Baseball de Toulouse and the French National Team. He came stateside to pitch in junior college and shows some decent velo in the 90-95 mph range. He also possesses a 77-83 mph slider that remains inconsistent, but he seemed to be growing into himself as the 2023 season wore on. He has a commitment to Louisiana-Lafayette if he doesn’t join the Sox. More >

Pick 21 (365th overall), Cardinals: Brayden Jobert, OF, LSU (unranked)
For all the excitement around Dylan Crews and Tommy White, it was Jobert who led LSU with three home runs during Men’s College World Series play on the Tigers’ run to a title. The Louisiana native hit .301/.409/.596 with 14 homers over 60 games in 2023 and has some left-handed pop that should play at the next level. With a below-average arm, he might need to move to first base full-time in the pros.

Pick 27 (371st overall), Padres: Blake Dickerson, LHP, Ocean Lakes (Va.) HS (No. 158)
The Virginia Tech commit put himself on the map with strong showings in the 2022 summer showcases. Standing at 6-foot-6 already, the 18-year-old sits 91-92 mph with his fastball and receives his best grades for a slider with sharp break. He throws enough strikes to remain a starter but another tick or two of velo as he matures would certainly help.

Round 13

Pick 3 (377th overall), Pirates: Charles McAdoo, 2B, San Jose State (unranked)
There are certainly some championships in McAdoo’s family already. His cousin Bob won a pair of NBA titles with the Lakers while his other cousin James Michael took home a pair of rings with the Warriors. The 21-year-old infielder hit .325/.396/.572 with 24 homers over his three seasons on campus with the Spartans.

Pick 7 (381st overall), Rangers: William Privette, RHP, College of Charleston (unranked)
Privette led Division I with a 0.91 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP over 25 appearances in 2022 and was a solid performer again this spring with marks of 2.36 and 1.14, respectively, while striking out 64 in 42 innings. He’s all fastball with a 92-95 mph heater that works well up in the zone, but he lacks standout secondary pitches.

Pick 11 (385th overall), D-backs: Hayden Durke, RHP, Rice (unranked)
In terms of actual pitches, Durke flashes plenty of potential with a fastball touching 99, a slider up to 90, a curveball in the mid-80s and a changeup in the low 90s. The Louisiana-Lafayette transfer was suspended for the 2023 season after testing positive for a drug he claims was given to him in physical therapy, and he made four appearances in the Cape Cod League this summer, where he fanned 14 and walked 16 in 13 1/3 frames.

Round 14

Pick 2 (406th overall), Athletics: Luke Mann, 3B, Missouri (unranked)
Mann was a five-year performer for the Tigers but took a solid step forward as an All-SEC Second Teamer in 2023, hitting .311/.428/.680 in 54 games. His 21 homers (the same total as No. 4 overall pick Wyatt Langford) were tied for eighth-most among sluggers in the loaded conference.

Pick 10 (414th overall), Angels: Zach Joyce, RHP, Tennessee (unranked)
The Halos took Ben Joyce last year, and he quickly earned a callup to the Majors in his first full season. This year, they’ve gone back to the Joyce family and selected his twin brother from the same school. Zach Joyce stepped away from the game for a time to prioritize his mental health but returned with a mid-90s fastball and a cutter that flashed potential this season. More >

Pick 21 (425th overall), Cardinals: Jacob Odle, RHP, Orange Coast (Calif.) College (unranked)
The MLB Draft League grabbed headlines on an active Day 2 on Monday, and Odle’s selection proved to be another success story for the circuit. Odle arguably had the best fastball in the Draft League this summer, touching 98.5 mph with 17 inches of induced vertical break, and his curveball also generated a 71.4 percent whiff rate, giving him two potential above-average offerings.

Pick 25 (429th overall), Braves: Mitch Farris, LHP, Wingate (N.C.) University (unranked)
The 6-foot-2 southpaw led Division II pitchers in strikeouts (127), WHIP (0.62) and batting average against (.128) while ranking second in ERA (1.21) over 89 innings. He operates in the upper 80s with his heater but shows good feel for a low-80s changeup and 73-75 mph breaking ball.

Round 15

Pick 6 (440th overall), Tigers: Brady Cerkownyk, Connors State (Okla.) JC (unranked)
The right-handed batter led the Junior College ranks with a .985 slugging percentage in 55 games at Connor State and also placed second with a .470 average and 27 homers. He was a decent performer with Frederick in the MLB Draft League but will need a lot of work defensively, particularly when it comes to limiting the running game.

Pick 9 (443rd overall), Marlins: Nigel Belgrave, RHP, Maryland (No. 250)
The 6-foot-4 right-hander shows real promise with a fastball up to 96 mph and low-80s slider that can get both swings and misses and lots of ground balls. There’s enough potential for a Major League bullpen arm, but he’ll need to do a better job of finding the strike zone after walking 29 in 33 2/3 innings as a redshirt sophomore.

Pick 14 (448th overall), Red Sox: Phoenix Call, SS/OF, Calabasas (Calif.) HS (No. 226)
Call has plenty of raw tools that make him an intriguing prospect, starting with his plus speed and impressive arm strength. Both of those skills can play at both shortstop and center field, and clubs like Boston always covet up-the-middle talents. He showed some swing-and-miss issues, despite good bat speed in the spring, and he will work on his hitting ability at UCLA if he doesn’t sign with the Sox.

Pick 19 (453rd overall), Rays: Will Stevens, RHP, Tarleton State (unranked)
Stevens missed time this spring with a hamstring issue but still showed impressive stuff. His fastball reached 99 mph and showed cutting action, while he mixed in a wipeout mid-80s curveball and a slider up to 90 that can flash plus. Stevens, who has spent time at Iowa Western and Wichita State, struggles to throw strikes at times, hurting his stock despite the promising mix.

Round 16

Pick 7 (471st overall), Rangers: Jake Brown, LHP, Sulphur (La.) HS (No. 93)
Brown was named Louisiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year after striking out 118 batters in 73 2/3 innings. His 78-82 mph sweeping slider got a lot of chase and swing-and-miss in the prep ranks and projects as an above-average pitch at the next level. His 88-92 mph heater showed some promise with good carry, and he exhibited confidence in his changeup too. A center fielder in high school, Brown seems likely to head to LSU, where he would play both ways.

Pick 19 (483rd overall), Rays: Wooyeoul Shin, 1B, Miami Dade College (unranked)
A former player on the U12 and U15 Korea national teams, Shin moved to the US to play in the junior-college ranks to play at Miami Dade and said when he arrived stateside, “I could barely introduce myself in English.” He was a two-time All-Southern Conference First-Teamer at MDC and hit .407/.541/.772 with 15 homers in 2023, showing scouts some pop with good plate discipline. He’ll need the bat to perform as he’s not considered much of a defender.

Pick 26 (490th overall), Dodgers: Javen Coleman, LHP, LSU (unranked)
Coleman is the 12th of a Draft-high 13 Tigers taken this year. He can get swings and misses with both a 91-96 mph fastball and a slider that averages around 80 mph. He was still returning from an injury that limited him to six innings in 2022, but the 6-foot-2 left-hander will need to find the zone more often to meet his ceiling as a promising relief arm.

Round 17

Pick 2 (496th overall), Athletics: Colby Halter, 2B, Florida (unranked)
Halter was ranked No. 249 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 250 in 2022 but returned to the Gators and underwhelmed slightly with a .247/.354/.397 line in 59 games. He was a Cape Cod League standout last summer, however, with a .307 average and a .914 OPS, so he has some success with a wood bat. An above-average arm could help his chances of moving around the infield for Oakland too.

Pick 3 (497th overall), Pirates: Daniel Cuvet, 3B, ESB Academy (Fla.) (No. 223)
Cuvet showed plus raw power from the right side in last year’s showcase circuit, even becoming a finalist in the Perfect Game All-American Classic Home Run Derby. Despite the strength, he exhibited swing-and-miss issues, especially against breaking stuff, and while he can chuck the ball well, some scouts believe he’s limited to first base defensively. He’s likely headed to honor his commitment to Miami.

Pick 18 (512th overall), Brewers: Jacob Gholston, RHP, Flower Mound (Texas) HS (No. 181)
Committed to Oklahoma, the 6-foot-6 right-hander has shown increased velocity this year up to 88-92 mph with some sink, and scouts believe more velocity is coming as he matures. He’s also showcased an upper-70s slider that receives above-average grades and a decent low-80s changeup. His stuff could take another jump as he turns more full-time focus to baseball after playing basketball in high school.

Round 18

Pick 1 (525th overall), Nationals: Nate Rombach, C, Dallas Baptist (unranked)
Rombach is the son of former Braves and Orioles scout Deron Rombach, who passed away in November 2021. A 19th-round pick of the Marlins in 2019, Nate Rombach hit .288/.355/.456 with seven homers this spring while throwing out 34.6 percent of attempted basestealers.

Pick 5 (529th overall), Royals: Stone Russell, C, IMG Academy (Fla.) (unranked)
Russell’s dad, John, played 10 years in the Majors with the Phillies, Rangers and Braves and managed the Pirates for three years from 2008-10. He currently serves as the skipper of Triple-A Tacoma in the Mariners' system. Stone Russell is committed to Florida.

Pick 17 (541st overall), Orioles: Tanner Witt, RHP, Texas (No. 76)
Witt underwent Tommy John surgery in 2022 and made only six starts (10 2/3 innings) for the Longhorns this spring, though he did get a little extra pre-Draft time in the Cape Cod League. When healthy, the 21-year-old right-hander has touched 97 with his fastball that shows promising carry, and his upper-70s curveball had the makings of a plus pitch before his elbow injury. He’s likely headed back to campus to build up innings and his stock for 2024.

Round 19

Pick 1 (555th overall), Nationals: James Ellwanger, RHP, Magnolia West (Texas) HS (No. 107)
The 6-foot-5 right-hander’s velocity wavered some, but at its best, his fastball would sit in the 93-97 mph range and ride well up in the zone. His low-80s slider had enough depth to flash plus too, and he could employ a separate breaking look with an upper-70s curveball. Improved command will be a priority whether he joins the Washington system or heads to school at Dallas Baptist.

Pick 17 (571st overall), Orioles: Kollin Ritchie, 3B/SS, Atoka (Okla.) HS (No. 214)
From a tools perspective, Ritchie has some interesting pieces: an easy left-handed swing, good raw power and enough athleticism to be a solid defender on the left side of the infield. However, he didn’t feature in many of last year’s showcases, and some evaluators questioned how he’d do against more advanced competition. He’ll get that if he heads to the O’s or Oklahoma State.

Pick 18 (572nd overall), Brewers: Isaac Morton, RHP, Spring Lake Park (Minn.) HS (unranked)
Morton made only two starts this year before undergoing wrist surgery that kept him away from scouts’ eyes. He was up to 97 mph before that and had a hammer curveball and low-90s cutter to complement them, though the wrist issues limited his ability to spin the ball. He’s committed to Texas A&M and could grab more attention there if he doesn’t sign with Milwaukee.

Pick 30 (584th overall), Astros: Andrew Duncan, OF, A3 Academy (Fla.) (No. 203)
Once considered a potential two-way player, Duncan shows more potential as an everyday position player. That’s where he can get the most out of his above-average speed and raw power -- the latter of which he used to take 34th overall pick Charlee Soto deep this season. His swing can get long though, and tightening that up will be a point of emphasis with Houston or Florida State.

Round 20

Pick 4 (588th overall), Reds: Gabe Gaeckle, RHP, Aptos (Calif.) HS (No. 159)
Gaeckle may be undersized at 5-foot-11, but there are some interesting pitches in the mix, beginning with his mid-70s curveball with good depth and lots of spin. He can run his fastball up to 95, though it features subpar shape, and he started using more of his mid-80s slider to give hitters multiple options to consider. He already had Tommy John surgery at just 15 years old and is committed to Arkansas.

Pick 21 (605th overall), Cardinals: Cameron Johnson, LHP, IMG Academy (Fla.) (No. 42)
Elbow tendinitis limited Johnson from showcasing himself this spring at school, but he was a Draft Combine standout with a mid-90s fastball and upper-70s slider. His three-quarters slot out of his 6-foot-5 frame can be difficult to face too, making health perhaps his biggest question mark and reason for dropping to the last round. The LSU commit was also St. Louis’ first prep pick after going the college or junior-college route with its first 18 picks. (Arizona also went college-heavy before taking Illinois high-school arm Dominic Voegele this same round.)

Pick 26 (610th overall), Dodgers: DJ Uiagalelei, TWP, Oregon State (unranked)
There’s the always-fun college quarterback pick of 2023. Uiagalelei threw for 2,521 yards and 22 touchdowns for the Beavers last fall after trying to replace Trevor Lawrence behind center at Clemson in 2021. He considered playing both sports when he first arrived on campus but instead stuck to the gridiron, though maybe this Dodgers pick has him reconsidering his options. Interestingly, Los Angeles announced him as a two-way player. There is precedence for an Oregon State football player succeeding in baseball. Just ask Adley Rutschman.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.