The 2023 NCAA Baseball Tournament gets underway Friday, with 64 teams in 16 regionals battling it out across the country all weekend long. For the next month, the country will get and up close look at the best players the sport has to offer — and, potentially, their favorite MLB team’s next prized prospect.
Many of the players atop the 2023 MLB Draft board will be fighting for a spot in the College World Series over the next few weeks: Seven of this year’s top 10 draft-eligible prospects come from the college ranks, per MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis, and six of those seven have reached the tournament. Here are five position players you should keep an eye on as regionals get underway.
NCAA baseball tournament: MLB Draft prospects to watch
Dylan Crews shows why he may be the top pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/vYl5JemgoT— The Comeback (@thecomeback) March 24, 2023
Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida
If Crews was the best hitter in the loaded SEC, Langford wasn’t too far behind, hitting .398 with 17 bombs for the second-seeded Gators. Scouts have him pegged for a corner spot at the pro level, but the bat is more than good enough to play anywhere on the field. (Of course, Langford might not even be the best draft prospect on his own team: Teammate Jac Gaglianone — the Shohei Ohtani of college baseball — is the early frontrunner to go No. 1 overall next year.)
Enrique Bradfield Jr., OF, Vanderbilt
Bradfield isn’t in Crews’ or Langford’s class at the plate, but he just might be the best pure base-stealer — and defensive center fielder — in recent college history.
The Vandy star has stolen a whopping 130 bags over his Vandy career while being caught just 13 (!) times; one of the best shows in the sport is feeling the crowd tense up as soon as he gets on base. At 6’1, 170 pounds, he’s got a slender frame and doesn’t project to hit for much of any power, but he makes a ton of contact and doesn’t need to do much with the bat to get his elite athleticism into games.
Kyle Teel, C, Virginia
Teel didn’t begin the year with huge expectations, but he’s risen to become the draft’s best catcher thanks to one of the very best hit tools in the whole country. The New Jersey native hit a whopping .414 this season, with a scarcely believable 32 strikeouts in 227 at-bats. Scouts seem convinced that he’ll stick behind the plate as a pro, and the bar is so low offensively for catchers right now that he could wind up going in the top 10 with a big June.
Tommy Troy, 2B/SS, Stanford
Troy blew up in 2022, breaking out at the plate for the Cardinal before being named the top prospect in the Cape Cod League over the summer. He’s kept on crushing it as a junior, with 14 homers, 17 steals and an eye-popping .394/.473/.707 for a Stanford team that surprised people by snagging a regional as the No. 8 seed nationally. He’s the kind of guy who may not look like much getting off the bus but who was just born to be on a baseball field.