Final Guardians 2023 Mock Draft

Final Mock (I excluded all players from past mock drafts). Reports from prospectslive, FSS or FG....Wilson at 23 is best case scenario for me, even over Schanuel

23 SS Jacob Wilson (Grand Canyon)

Wilson has been a difference maker at Grand Canyon since he stepped foot on campus as a freshman. He truly broke out as a sophomore, where he was one of the best pure hitters in the nation while only striking out an unfathomable seven times in 275 plate appearances. He carried that success into an impressive bout in the Cape Cod league and run with Team USA over the summer as well. Defensively, he has good instincts and range at shortstop with most evaluators believing he will be able to stick there long-term. His exit velocities aren't spectacular, but he has shown enough in-game power potential that should keep that concern to a minimum. He has the upside of an everyday major league leadoff hitter if all goes right.

58 RHP Josh Knoth (HS NY)

Hailing from Patchogue-Medford High School, the former home of Cubs' righty Marcus Stroman, Knoth has the potential to follow in his footsteps as the next great arm from Long Island. The athletic righty operates from a simple, yet efficient delivery that allows him to get the most out of his 6'1", 190lb frame. His calling card is his 3000+ RPM hammer curveball that is arguably one of the best in the entire prep class this year. He also features a mid-to-upper 90s fastball and tight slider to round out his arsenal. He has been virtually unhittable this spring and could go in the top two rounds in July.

62 3B Mike Boeve (Nebraska-Omaha)

A bit of an under-the-radar guy, Boeve has been one of the best hitters in college baseball the past three seasons. He's got the bat-to-ball skills to spray line drives to all fields and he's got some solid thump in the bat, as well. He racks up walks regularly and keeps the strikeouts at a minimum, striking out just nine times in 2023. It's a potentially plus hit tool. A team could try Boeve at third base to start his professional career, though in all likelihood, the arm will move him out to left field.

93 C Zion Rose (HS IL)

If Rose can clean up his defensive shortcomings (mostly his arm — per Synergy, he only caught three of 24 would-be basestealers in 2022), he has a shot to be an everyday catcher thanks to his precocious feel to hit. Lauded for his makeup, it's fair to bet he will. Rose is a willing and mobile ball-blocker whose framing and receiving are fair, while his throws to the bag tend to be in the 2.00 to 2.05 range with mixed accuracy. His downward bat path enables him to get on top of high fastballs but it also causes him to drive the ball into the ground a ton. He has the frame and in-the-box athleticism to do more damage as he reaches physical maturity, but it might take a swing change to actualize. Even a one-dimensional offensive catcher is a boon at the big league level, and while you have to project heavily on several aspects of Rose's game for him to get there, based on this young man's attitude and athleticism, it's not all that out of reach.

125 RHP Jack Mahoney (South Carolina)

Jack Mahoney is the definition of a competitor on the mound; standing at 6 '3 and 205 pounds, he has a very athletic frame. Coming off of a torn UCL in 2021-2022, Mahoney has done a great job of finding his own in the South Carolina rotation following Tommy John. Mahoney utilizes a 92-96 mph fastball with a very nice amount of zip. His repertoire also has a sharp slider that sits 82-85 mph. Mahoney also has a changeup and a curveball that he uses less often but has found a decent amount of success over the year.

161 RHP Cade Denton (Oral Roberts)

Denton flew under the radar throughout the spring despite phenomenal results as the closer for the Golden Eagles in 2022 and 2023. ORU's magical run to the College World Series ended that. Denton was an integral weapon out of the pen for Oral Roberts, as he held several potent lineups in check, often for multiple innings at a time. Denton has a long, lean build with a funky delivery that features some crossfire and a low sidearm slot. He attacks hitters from a tough angle that is especially tough on righthanded bats. He's primarily a sinkerballer, but Denton also throws many 4-seamers to get chases above the zone. The fastball sits in the 93-95 range and can top out at around 97-98 MPH. The sinker pairs well with a high spin slider in the low 80s, giving Denton an east-west solid plan of attack. Denton finished the year with a whiff rate above 45% on his slider, making it a clear putaway pitch. Even with the unorthodox mechanics, Denton has always thrown strikes at a high rate, and he ended his college career with a BB/9 just above 2.0. He's flirted with a curve and changeup, but Denton might not need to rely on either with his current blueprint for success. The mechanics will keep Denton in the bullpen, but he could move quickly as a pro in a similar fashion as Guardians sidearm righty Nick Sandlin

188 2B Steve Milam (HS NM)

Milam is a super bouncy, twitchy little infielder with some of the softest hands you'll ever find, especially in domestic scouting. He's only got an average arm, and his lateral range is tested with short choppy strides, but the hands and feet are so quick and so smooth, Milam has a very good shot at sticking at the shortstop position. At the plate, there's not a ton of thump and doesn't project to much more as he matures, but there's serious feel for the barrel here with an all-fields approach and a track record of performing against both his age and upper class arms. Milam is the exact type of player that scouts fall in love with because of his work ethic and floor. He's the type of guy who will always exceed the expectations put on him by prognosticators and evaluators alike. This is a big league caliber talent, even if he likely won't impact a team at the top of a lineup.

218 LHP Emmett Olson (Nebraska)

Olson is a good athlete on the mound with starter traits, though the stuff is yet to reach it's ceiling. Olson is ordinarily 90-91, touching 93 with a darting fastball with some armside run. He works in a changeup and a slider, both of which flash average at best, though his pitchability and willingness to keep hitters off-balance with pitches in the zone makes him highly-effective.

248 OF Eddie Park (Stanford)

All Park does is hit, hit, and hit some more. The 6-foot-1-inch outfielder hit his first career homer as a junior this season, ending the year with six en-route to a .331/.405/.485 slash when regional play started in the College Baseball Playoffs. Parks is revered for the hit tool. His 9-percent walk rate in Palo Alto bests just about every other player in the Pac-12 during his three years on campus. While Park might not ever hit for too much power at the next level, scouts see a potential plus hit tool and a solid average left fielder with above average speed and an average throwing arm. He's a sum of his parts type of player who does a lot of the dirty work and sets the table. Park is fundamentally sound and should have the floor of a fourth outfielder thanks to his bat-to-ball skills and smattering of usable tools. He likely fits somewhere during the second-half of day two.

278 RHP Jacob Cravey (Samford)

Cravey really racked up the strikeouts this season. At the end of May, he was averaging 11.5 K/9 and his strike-throwing ability was ticking up. The 6-foot-6-inch righty out of Bucknell logged a ton of innings in college and improved his walk rates each year. The fastball is thrown 92-93, but has grabbed 97 in early innings with extremely high spin rates. He's a high-slot guy, but he generates a ton of carry through the zone. Commanding the fastball at the top of the zone as a professional will be a key development point in the low minors. A low-to-mid 80s slider has the potential to be a devestating pitch considering his slot and the amount of depth he generates on the pitch. It's gyroscopic, and plays well off the fastball, usually 81-84 mph. Adding a tick or two more on the pitch should be a focus. Again, command on this pitch is good, not great. There's a much fringier changeup in the arsenal. It's been effective, but command for the pitch is lacking. There's clay here for a big league starter with three pitches and a good operation, albeit with some whack at release. There's a lot of polish that'll be necessary, but profiles like this don't grow on trees. It's a potential plus fastball, a potential above average slider, and the changeup could get to average with time.

308 LHP Ixan Henderson (Fresno State)

Henderson is a pitchability lefty who possesses impressive athleticism and has some projection left in his lean, 6-foot-2-inch frame. His fastball lives in the low-90s with deceptive qualities, hidden behind his back during his delivery well. He has two breaking balls, though both of them are mostly average and lack present velocity, though he's shown solid feel for both. He's flirted with a changeup too, though it lags a bit. Henderson's profile is elevated due to his strike-throwing ability and his projection. Still, it's likely a back-end of the rotation profile.

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