The 2023 MLB Draft will get underway on Sunday and the Oakland Athletics have the No. 6 pick in the first round. Most projections have had the A’s going with a college hitter with their first pick and ESPN.com’s Kiley McDaniel sticks with that trend projecting them to land Ole Miss shortstop Jacob Gonzalez.
I’m hearing mostly slot-or-below college position players. I think both Clark and Jenkins would be over slot if they got here and I don’t have a good feeling that Oakland wants to do that if given the chance. I think they’d consider Rhett Lowder but end up going hitter, with Gonzalez, Brayden Taylor and Kyle Teel the slot-adjacent options and Jacob Wilson the money-saving option.
As McDaniel notes, the A’s have also been linked to TCU third baseman Brayden Taylor and Virginia catcher Kyle Teel. Gonzalez fits that same mold as a slot or slightly under-slot player here.
Gonzalez put up a strong season in 2023 hitting .327/.435/.564 with 18 doubles and 10 home runs in 54 games. Baseball America has him ranked as their 11th best prospect in their updated Top 500. He is 21-years old and hits lefty while checking in at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds. He has a solid on-base skills posting a 14.3% career walk-rate. He doesn’t bring a lot of speed to the table and some scouts question whether he might eventually move to third despite a good track record defensively at shortstop.