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MLB completes first draft lottery

Pirates snag first overall pick for 2023, Twins get lucky, Sox ... don’t

2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Baseball Championship
By clinching the top overall pick for 2023, Pittsburgh is in line for current FanGraphs top prospect Jacob González, a shortstop from Ole Miss.
Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

MLB completed their first draft lottery this evening. Per the new collective bargaining agreement, this marks the first year that the team with the worst record in the league did not automatically receive the first overall pick. Instead, all 18 teams that did not make the postseason were placed into a lottery to determine the first six picks in the 2023 draft.

How exactly did it work?

The three worst teams (Nationals, A’s, and Pirates) were given the best odds of receiving a top pick, at 16.5% each. The odds decreased from there, with the Brewers having the lowest odds at 0.2%. The White Sox, another team at the precipice of the playoffs, had a 0.6% chance at the top pick.

After the lottery, the remaining teams pick in reverse order, based on winning percentage. This meant that the lowest pick that the worst team from the 2022 season could have gotten was No. 7.

Pittsburgh hit the jackpot and will be picking first overall.

The White Sox found no such luck, and will pick at No. 15. That lines them up with right-handed starter T.J. Nichols, out of the University of Arizona, at least per FanGraphs’ guess at the first round. Riskier but high-upside preps who could be available to the White Sox (given Chicago’s 2011 and 2022 draft direction) include lefty hurler Thomas White from Phillips Academy in Massachusetts or Aiden Miller, who plays third base for JW Mitchell High in Florida.

The first 18 picks of the 2023 MLB draft will be:

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates
  2. Washington Nationals
  3. Detroit Tigers
  4. Texas Rangers
  5. Minnesota Twins
  6. Oakland A’s
  7. Cincinnati Reds
  8. Kansas City Royals
  9. Colorado Rockies
  10. Miami Marlins
  11. 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

Key shifts in the presumed draft order included the Twins moving from the 13th spot to the fifth, and Oakland dropping from second to sixth. The 2023 MLB Draft will take place during All-Star Week in Seattle in July.