3 college players the Reds should target in Round 1 of the 2023 MLB Draft & 1 they should avoid

The 2023 MLB Draft features some top-flight college talent. Who might the Cincinnati Reds target in Round 1?
Virginia catcher Kyle Teel
Virginia catcher Kyle Teel / Eakin Howard/GettyImages
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Reds should not target Grand Canyon shortstop Jacob Wilson in Round 1 of the 2023 MLB Draft.

The Cincinnati Reds have enough shortstops to trade one to every rival in the NL Central and still have five left over. All joking aside, when it comes the MLB Draft, you take the best player available regardless of position.

No, the fact that Jacob Wilson is a shortstop is not the reason the Reds should pass on the Grand Canyon product. While Wilson has displayed tremendous plate discipline over the past two seasons, those numbers can be a bit skewed.

This is not a misprint, Wilson has struck out a total of 12 times in the past two seasons at GCU. I think Jose Barrero has done that over the past two games at Triple-A. It really is phenomenal when you think about it, however. The fact that a college hitter struck out just five times this past season and posted a .461 on-base percentage in incredible.

But don't let it get lost that Wilson is doing this in the Western Athletic Conference. No offense to the baseball programs in the WAC, but the opposing pitchers Wilson was facing are not the caliber of pitchers like Paul Skenes, Chase Dollander, Hurston Waldrep; all of whom made a name for themselves in the SEC.

This isn't to say that Jacob Wilson will not go on to have a fine career, but he's likely to have a rude awakening when he sets foot in the pros. Combine the lack of competition with average tools across the board, and the Cincinnati Reds should pass on Wilson at No. 7 in the upcoming draft.

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