MLB.com has released their first 2023 MLB Mock Draft. The Cincinnati Reds, thanks the new draft lottery, will be picking seventh. In previous years, the Redlegs would have been making their selection at No. 4.
But, as we've seen the last two seasons, Cincinnati is willing to go over-slot in Round 1 of the MLB Draft in order to land some of the top young talent available.
Much is still to be decided, as the college and prep seasons unfold, several mid-tier prospects tend to elevate their game and climb into the first round. On the flip side, a few highly-regarded prospects could suffer injury or see their stock tumble after a less-than-stellar season.
Reds predicted to land another shortstop in 2023 MLB Mock Draft.
MLB.com foresees the Cincinnati Reds selecting Jacob Gonzalez in Round 1 of the 2023 MLB Draft. Gonzalez is the starting shortstop for the Ole Miss Rebels who won the 2022 College World Series.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, who put the mock draft together, is aware that Cincinnati has a plethora of shortstops currently on the roster. However, as Mayo correctly points out, the Reds love to draft college bats and you can never have too many up-the-middle players.
According to MLB.com, Gonzalez is the fifth-highest ranked prospect heading into next season. All five of the outlet's top prospects currently reside in the Southeastern Conference, with LSU outfielder Dylan Crews taking top honors.
Gonzalez is viewed as the top shortstop available in next year's draft and will be highly-covted by many teams. With the Cincinnati Reds' recent insistence on getting the best players available, be it through a trade or the draft, it's quite plausible that the front office would pull the trigger on selecting a player like Gonzalez in Round 1.
Last year, Cam Collier, one of the most highly-thought of players in the draft, fell into the Reds' lap. The same happened with Matt McLain in 2021. Perhaps the Reds will find another top-level prospect in the 2023 MLB Draft.