Seattle, Washington, like baseball fans everywhere, is preparing for the arrival of the 2023 MLB Draft. From July 9 to 11, a multitude of talented players will have the opportunity to join various teams. Everyone is eagerly awaiting to see what the next class of baseball players will bring to the field. The draft coincides with All-Star Weekend, which begins Friday.
New Draft Lottery In Place
Despite securing the first pick in the draft as a result of their dismal 55-107 record last season, the Washington Nationals will pick the second. For the second time in three years, the Pittsburgh Pirates will have the honor of getting the first pick after the Nationals handed it over.
MLB made history in December with its first lottery to determine the order. The goal was to prevent a team or teams from intentionally crashing at the end of the season in order to pick first in the draft. Not only did this surpass the existing NBA and NHL lottery systems, but it also gave advantages to several teams, such as the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins. They saw an increase in their draft rankings that they wouldn’t have had under the old system.
This year, the Seattle Mariners were among 12 teams that were not eligible for the No. 1 pick lottery due to their pre-playoff qualification. They’re ready to make a killing on the first day of the Draft. With the No. 22, No. 29 and No. 30 spots, the Mariners are the only team with three top-30 picks.
Even though the class of 2023 is deep, it possesses certain shortcomings. For example, there is no left-handed pitcher who really stands out as a first-class prospect. According to MLB.com, the top-ranked left-hander is Massachusetts high school prospect Thomas White, who is ranked No. 24. After him, Kent State’s Joe Whitman ranks 37th.
Therefore, there is a probability that the left-hander will not be chosen among the 28 teams that make up the initial round. If the main opportunity for a left-handed player does not materialize within the top 20 picks, it would inevitably add to the list of drawbacks along with other determining factors.
All-Star Weekend Is Here
Seattle is also gearing up for an influx of numerous people projected to attend Baseball All-Stars Week. This being the third time Seattle has hosted the All-Star Game and other related activities, it is estimated that more than 100,000 people will gather to participate in the festivities.
The festivities begin Friday, July 7, at T-Mobile Park, succeeding the MLB-USA Baseball High School All-American Game. The stadium will then host a doubleheader event on July 8. The day kicks off with the highly anticipated Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game, where the brightest prospects from all corners of MLB gather to dazzle the audience with their exceptional skills.
In a thrilling showdown, these up-and-coming stars will take part in exhibition matches, captivating fans who have gathered to witness this captivating spectacle. In particular, the coaching staff of both teams is composed of celebrated Mariners icons who have left an indelible mark on the team’s history.
Legendary names such as Felix Hernandez, Adrian Beltre, Dan Wilson, Jay Buhner and Mike Cameron grace the ranks of these coaching staffs, further increasing the appeal of this momentous meeting. Raul Ibanez headed the National League team, while Harold Reynolds led the American League team. After the conclusion of the Futures Game, the occasion seamlessly rolls onto the red carpet of the Celebrity Softball Game.