The 2023 MLB Draft is in the books and 14 former DII baseball players were selected. Though none went on the first day of the draft, three broke through on Day 2.
Let's break down the 2023 MLB Draft, DII style.
DII on Day 2 of the MLB Draft
The first DII baseball player off the board was Corey Avant, a right-handed pitcher out of Wingate. Avant was selected by the Oakland Athletics 256th overall, the second pick in the ninth round. Avant worked out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs the past two seasons and finished his Wingate career with a 4.57 ERA, six saves, and 107 strikeouts in 67 innings pitched. Heading into the season, head coach Jeff Gregory felt he had the best stuff on the team with a high-90s fastball and a three-pitch mix of secondaries (curveball, slider and changeup) that helped with all those strikeouts.
"I'm thrilled for Corey to be selected in this year's Major League Baseball draft," head coach Jeff Gregory said. "He's worked extremely hard over his time here to realize this goal. I'm really happy for him at this moment and for what his future brings for him in professional baseball."
RANKINGS AND AWARDS: The final DII baseball Power 10 and players of the year
Shortly after, with the 264th pick in that same ninth round, the Los Angeles Angels took right-hander Chase Gockel out of Quincy. A 98-mph fastball will definitely get teams to notice. He mixes in a slider and curveball, and was pretty dominant out of the Hawks' bullpen, going 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 57 strikeouts in 32 innings.
"Chase came to us with one year left and something to prove—that's exactly what he did," Quincy head coach Matt Schissel told NCAA.com. "He showed up and worked his tail off all year long. As a fifth-year guy, he was a great role model for the younger guys on the staff on and off the field. He's the type of guy you meet once and don't forget it. Chase is a great dude and I think his best days of baseball are ahead of him."
The Oakland A's then struck yet again, closing out Day 2 of the MLB Draft by selecting Tom Reisinger out of East Stroudsburg. Reisinger was part of a loaded rotation for the Warriors and went 6-2 behind a 2.64 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.
"Tommy [Reisinger] is a special talent," head coach John Kochmansky told NCAA.com. "He is a great athlete, but also was the hardest worker on our team. He led by example. Each year, he improved significantly over the year prior. Tommy can be successful at the next level due to his work ethic, competitiveness, and all his metrics translate."
MLB Draft Day 3 tidbits
- Two players from each of the past three national champions were drafted. Mitch Farris (Atlanta Braves, 14th round) joined Avant from Wingate; Michael "The Nightmare" Rodriguez (San Francisco Giants, 18th round) and Jalen Vasquez (Baltimore Orioles, 20th round) were selected from 2022 champions North Greenville; and ace Kade Bragg (Minnesota Twins, 17th round) and Aaron Munson (Toronto Blue Jays, 19th round) were selected from the reigning champs, Angelo State.
- Two of those pitchers above, Wingate's Farris and Angelo State's Bragg, were featured in the 13 filthiest pitchers in DII baseball this year, so it should come as no surprise both were drafted. Bragg led DII baseball in ERA, while Farris led DII in WHIP and was second in ERA and strikeouts.
- Two seems to be the magic number in the 2023 MLB Draft for DII. Just two position players were drafted. Drew Cavanaugh, Florida Southern's catcher, was selected in the 17th round and the Crusaders' shortstop Vasquez was the last DII player selected this year, going in the 20th round.
- Let's stick with that magic number two: Three MLB teams selected two DII baseball players (the A's, Orioles, and Giants).
- DII conference breakdown (in alphabetical order): Conference Carolinas, 2; GLVC, 1; G-MAC, 1; LSC, 2; MIAA, 1; PSAC, 2; RMAC, 1; SAC, 2; SSC, 2
- The number of DII players selected declined for the third-straight season. There were 22 MLB draft picks in 2021, 17 last year, and 14 this year. With the draft losing more than 10 rounds and the minor leagues losing entire leagues post-COVID, this was an expected result. However, expect to see several DII players sign on with minor league teams post-draft in the coming days.
Here is the complete list of players selected in this year's MLB Draft.
|Corey Avant||Wingate||RHP||Oakland A's||9 (256)|
|Chase Gockel||Quincy||RHP||Los Angeles Angels||9 (264)|
|Tom Reisinger||East Stroudsburg||RHP||Oakland A's||10 (286)|
|Mitch Farris||Wingate||LHP||Atlanta Braves||14 (429)|
|Kevin Vaupel||Seton Hill||LHP||Miami Marlins||16 (473)|
|Carlos Rey||Nova Southeastern||LHP||Arizona Diamondbacks||17 (505)|
|Kade Bragg||Angelo State||LHP||Minnesota Twins||17 (507)|
|Drew Cavanaugh||Florida Southern||C||San Francisco Giants||17 (510)|
|Zane Barnhart||Hillsdale||RHP||Baltimore Orioles||17 (511)|
|Michael Rodriguez||North Greenville||LHP||San Francisco Giants||18 (540)|
|Kannon Handy||Colorado Mesa||LHP||Colorado Rockies||19 (562)|
|Aaron Munson||Angelo State||RHP||Toronto Blue Jays||19 (574)|
|Casey Steward||Washburn||RHP||Philadelphia Phillies||19 (583)|
|Jalen Vasquez||North Greenville||SS||Baltimore Orioles||20 (601)|