Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

2023 MLB Draft Order Finalized with Eovaldi signing


With the last Qualifying Offer-laden signing occurring yesterday (Nathan Eovaldi going to the profligate Texas Rangers, who have bought themselves an entire new rotation this offseason), the 2023 draft order is now complete. Major input to the top of the draft order was determined by the results of the Draft Lottery a few weeks back, and then with the announcement of this year’s free draft picks for cheap-skate teams Competitive Balance Picks.

The final 2023 Draft Order is now uploaded to this Google XLS. It shows the original 1st round order, the post-draft lottery order, all the picks gained and lost due to signings etc.

As it stands, the Nats picks are:

  • 1st round: #2 overall post lottery
  • 2nd round: #39 overall. this pick had the chance to slightly move up if one of the comp-A round teams decided to sign a FA … but the only one of them even thinking about competing in 2023 seems to be Seattle, who did not sign anyone.
  • 3rd round: #70. this pick moved up seven slots thanks to the eight teams who gave up their 2nd round picks to sign QO players.
  • 4th round: #99, from the original projected #107. Again, moved up 8 slots due to 8 lost 2nd rounders.
  • 5th round: #134; moved up 10 spots due to two additional lost comp picks from players re-signing as QO laden players.
  • 6th round: #161, moved up 3 more spots thanks to three teams (San Diego, Yankees, and Philadelphia) who gave up their 5th rounders.

No word yet on bonus pools, but the #2 overall team last year (Arizona) had more than $15M in total bonus pool and an $8.1M figure for its 2nd overall pick, which should net a couple of very good prospects. #2 overall was worth $8.1, while the #39 overall pick was worth a hair over $2M. So that’s what we can expect from the 2023 draft.

So, four picks in the top 100 for the 2023 draft.

Written by Todd Boss

December 28th, 2022 at 9:20 am

Posted in Draft

9 Responses to '2023 MLB Draft Order Finalized with Eovaldi signing'

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  1. The good news for the Nats is that this draft is heavy with college talent. Currently, 8 of the top 10 on the board are collegians, including the top 5:

    The Nats have taken swings in the last two drafts on high ceiling/high risk high schoolers who are a long way from the majors. They need a surer thing/faster riser this next time. Plus a college pick high in the draft shouldn’t break the bank, leaving them some good money to chase an expensive guy who may have dropped to #39.

    The profile compares Dollander to Stras and Gerrit Cole among the best college pitching prospects of the last generation. I know that some others aren’t as high on him. He’s at the top of my wish list right now . . . if he’s that good. The Nats are already loaded with OF prospects.


    28 Dec 22 at 3:10 pm

  2. 4 picks in the Top 99 should make for a nice haul. Agree with KW that this year would be a good time to take college pitchers.

    Harrisburg and Rochester look bereft in 2023 pitching and some of those guys could advance quickly. The one caveat is some of the top college teams so overuse their pitchers that they can’t play again until the instrux.

    Mark L

    29 Dec 22 at 4:59 pm

  3. FWIW the MLB web site has the Nats #2 pick at #40. I think that the difference is that under the new CBA the Mariners were awarded a pick at the end of the first round for having the RoY winner (Julio Rodriguez) on their opening day roster. That drops the Nats #2 pick to #40. Throw in the “competitive balance round B” picks plus two compensation picks and the third pick is at #70. But with two teams receiving picks at the end of the third round for unsigned draftees the Nats #4 pick drops to #102. Seven additional compensation picks (the site only shows six, but notes that if Eovaldi signs anywhere other than Boston – which he did – the Red Sox get another pick) after the 4th round means that the Nats 5th round pick slides to #139 and 6th round to #166 (three teams forfeiting their 5th round pick). After the 6th it’s chalk, every 30 slots.


    So the worst overall record among 30 teams means that they pick #2, #40, #70, #102, #139, and #166

    John C.

    29 Dec 22 at 4:59 pm

  4. As much as we’d like to think that we should be able to get multiple good players with these picks, I made the mistake of looking at actual success rates with these picks (via B-R). Not great!

    #40: only two players picked at this spot in the 2000s have bWAR over 10, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Huston Street. Only eight in the history of the draft have posted WAR over 1. Seven of those eight were college picks.

    #70: only one player in 2000s over 10 WAR, Andrelton Simmons, only three ever over 10 WAR.

    #102: no player has ever reached 10 WAR, although Jeremy Pena may be on his way.

    So the truth of the matter is that the window for finding good players with these picks is still narrow. It’s not impossible, though. Fred Lynn and Sean Doolittle went at #41, Lance Lynn at #39 (and Barry Bonds out of high school, didn’t sign), and Gio, David Wright, and Thor at #38. There are two or three good players at the picks around #70 as well.

    With recent picks in the vicinity of #102, the Nats have taken guys like Reid Schaller (#101) and Rhett Wiseman (#103), good college players who didn’t pan out as pros.


    30 Dec 22 at 12:41 pm

  5. JohnC: thanks for the correction. that’s a new one! I’ll update my xls since it cascades all the picks down.

    Todd Boss

    4 Jan 23 at 8:11 am

  6. As it turns out I also had a couple other mistakes on that Draft xls. I had the NYM and LAD dropped 1st rounders in the wron gplace, and I had SF’s pick after 2nd round instaed of 5th. Plus there’s some unsigned 2022 draft pick compensation, and it doens’t look like the MLB site has accounted for Eovaldi’s signing yet. ..maybe it hasn’t been made official.

    I think i’ve got it now: Actual nats picks: #2, #40, #70, #101, #138, #165, #195 …

    Todd Boss

    4 Jan 23 at 8:17 am

  7. And the Nats are now completely scraping the bottom of the barrel, signing Dominic Smith, who slashed .194/.276/.284 at the MLB level last year while playing corner OF/1B roles. He was a good player as recently as 2020 but has been bad the last two seasons. Based on what they did in 2022, Yadiel is significantly better right now. But both are the kind of depressing transitional players we’re going to have for these “lost years.”

    I guess a corresponding 40-man move will be coming.


    4 Jan 23 at 11:34 am

  8. while Smith did struggle his demise may have been caused by being displaced by Alonso. we can hope that he’s given an everyday spot in the lineup, thrives with that and is motivated to resurrect his career.

    hope is the operative word of that paragraph


    4 Jan 23 at 12:04 pm

  9. Oh, I understand their “hope” strategy with guys like Smith, Candelario, and Trevor Williams, and I understand why they feel like they need to do it this way. I’ve been saying since the beginning of the offseason that they’re not close enough yet to being good for it to make sense for them to spend big on free agents. That’s completely aside from the ownership situation. My lament has more to do with the pain I know is ahead more than anything.

    And frankly, it’s a good time to be sitting out the free agent insanity. I don’t blame the players for getting what they can get, but decade-plus contracts rarely if ever end well, and now there are more of them than we can remember.

    What these developments reinforce is that the only real path the Nats have back to respectability is by internal development. Their high picks and trade dividends have to pan out. If they don’t, there’s really no good Plan B on the horizon.

    So the real focus at the MLB level is on Ruiz, Abrams, Garcia, Gray, Gore, Cavalli, and maybe Ward. A whole lot of the future over the next three or four years depends on the young starting pitching making it. Maybe they’ll get a surprise by an Alu, or a Kieboom or Robles revival, but I’m not holding my breath. Robles currently is hitting .204 in the Dominican winter league. Sigh.


    4 Jan 23 at 10:09 pm

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