2023 MLB Draft is finished! The Nats come away as BIG winners — and their best farm system ever!

The real winners of the draft must be based on the actual signings, and the Washington Nationals front office will continue to work on finalizing contracts for their Big-3 picks from rounds 1-to-3 of Dylan Crews, Yohandy Morales, and Travis Sykora. Based on the rankings of those players in pre-draft evaluations, the Nationals come away as BIG winners with three players of first round talent. Each are already seeded into our Top-12 prospects in the Nats’ system.

Listen to this video of Nats’ Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline on a media ZOOM call about the first day of the draft, and in particular drafting Crews, Morales, and Sykora:

With that, we seeded those first three picks by the Nats into our prospect rankings, and we have Crews at №2. There are some who think that he should be №1. We will keep James Wood at that spot because he has proven himself in pro baseball. We have placed Morales at №7, and Sykora at №12 in the prospect rankings. Did we mention that this farm system is now very very deep?

Overall, this is the strongest farm system the Nats have ever had, and even before this draft, general manager Mike Rizzo had already declared this the best he has ever had.

“I’m optimistic. I’m excited about this time in our developmental curve with the organization. … It’s an exciting time. It’s the best group of upside players we’ve ever had here. I’ve been here since ‘day one’, and I’ve never seen it like this before.”

“You filter in — there’s 22, 23 and 24 year-olds [on the MLB roster], I think you see what we’re trying to accomplish here. That’s the first rung on the ladder to get back to a championship.”

— Rizzo’s comments in February during Spring Training

In January, Rizzo used the word ‘lush’ to describe his farm system, and said it was the best prospect group the team has ‘ever’ had. Now look at it after this draft.

“This is the most lush and successful prospect list that we’ve ever had. It’s the most talented players we’ve ever had in the farm system at one time.”

Adding Crews, Morales, and Sykora makes that even better — and the Sweet-16 is brimming with legit MLB talent. While there is a downside arrow with Elijah Green, and a sideways arrow next to Robert Hassell III, Cade Cavalli (60-day IL), and Jeremy De La Rosa, the rest all have upside arrows. Even Hassell is trending better in the since the last week of June with a .752 OPS. The sky’s the limit it feels like.

Nats prospects by Future Value (FV) as assessed by MLB.com :

FV 65
OF Dylan Crews (drafted)

FV 60
OF James Wood (AA)

FV 55
INF Brady House (A+)
INF Yohandy Morales (drafted)
RHP Cade Cavalli (MLB)
OF Elijah Green (A)
OF Robert Hassell III (AA)

FV 50
RHP Jarlin Susana (A)
RHP Travis Sykora (drafted)
OF Cristhian Vaquero (FCL)
OF Jeremy De La Rosa (A+)
LHP Jake Bennett (A+)

FV 45
OF T.J. White (A+)
RHP Jackson Rutledge (AAA)
RHP Cole Henry (AAA)
SS Armando Cruz (A)
RHP Andry Lara (A+)
OF Daylen Lile (A)
OF Roismar Quintana (A)
RHP Zach Brzykcy (AAA)
INF Trey Lipscomb (AA)

The Nats went upside in many of their picks from the 11th round to the 20th round where a team is not penalized if they do not sign one of those players. High upside picks in the 11th round with Gavin Adams who is a JuCo transfer to Florida State, and in the 19th round with James Ellwanger a high schooler with a college commitment to Dallas Baptist, are just two long-shots.

Picks six-to-ten in the draft are already signed, and you have to figure that contracts were sent and agreed to without the need for physicals to get them under contract and their money locked in as below slot signings.

“Yeah, we feel confident that we will have that all taken care of.”

— Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline  said of signing all picks from 1st-to-10th round

As a reminder, the Nats have a total pool of $14,502,400 to spend, and they have roughly a $725,100 overage (5 percent of their total if they sign their first ten picks). If they do not, that will impact the overage numbers. Certainly, the Nats third pick, Sykora, will require over slot money beyond that $1,021,300 number attached to pick 71. Here are the suggested slot values and the picks:

Pick / Round / Slot Value / Name

2 / 1 / $8,998,500 / Dylan Crews

40 / 2 / $2,144,700 / Yohandy Morales

71 / 3 / $1,021,300 / Travis Sykora

102 /4 / $660,000 / Andrew Pinckney

138 / 5 / $464,400 / Marcus Brown

165 / 6 / $357,500 / Gavin Dugas

195 / 7 / $278,400 / Ryan Snell

225 / 8 / $219,700 / Jared Simpson

255 / 9 / $185,800 / Thomas Schultz

285 /10 /$172,100 / Phillip Glasser

In the next few days, the big stories will come from the trade deadline that looms just just three weeks from tomorrow. For now, the draft still takes center stage, and Rizzo and staff can get some rest after this three day marathon that started on Sunday.

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