The Detroit Tigers will be picking third overall in the 2023 MLB Draft which begins tonight at 7 PM EST. The top of this draft class is legitimately insane with five players that could have been #1 picks in in most drafts in LSU outfielder Dylan Crews, LSU RHP Paul Skenes, Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford, high school outfielder Max Clark, and high school outfielder Walker Jenkins.
Given the riches in the top five, the Tigers are in a great spot to add a special talent to their farm system tonight, but it appears as though there is a non-zero chance that they could end up getting the best player in the draft in Crews who is one of the best hitting prospects we have seen in the draft in years.
According to MLB Pipeline's last full mock draft before we get started this evening, both Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo have Crews falling to the Tigers and getting taken third overall by Detroit.
How could Dylan Crews fall to the Detroit Tigers at the third overall pick?
The scenario here is actually pretty straightforward. Dylan Crews is pretty much the unanimous pick as the best talent in the draft, but the rumor is that he knows what he is worth and is going to cost the most of the top five to sign. That means if Pittsburgh takes him first overall, any hope of saving some of their slot money from that pick to use later for overslot signings later on goes out the window.
Both Callis and Mayo have the Pirates passing on Crews as well as Paul Skenes who won't be quite as expensive as Crews, but who also won't be cheap. Instead, they have the Pirates going with Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford as a guy loaded with talent, but who also could be signed while also saving some draft bonus pool money for later.
This is where things get even more interesting. The word has been for a while that the only thing that would stop the Nationals from picking Paul Skenes, who some have called the best pitching prospect in the draft since Stephen Strasburg, at #2 is if Pittsburgh takes him first overall. The Nationals want Skenes badly and it sure sounds like that they, too, would pass up on Crews if they had to choose between the two players.
That leaves Dylan Crews, the best player in this loaded draft class, available at the Tigers' pick. If that happens (and it is not a given), there may be a party in Detroit's front office tonight.