Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Six Crimson Tide players taken in the 2023 MLB draft; most Alabama players taken since the 2016 draft

CW / Jennifer Stroud
Alabama baseball player Andrew Pickney (#21) up at bat in a game against the University of Kentucky on March 24 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

On June 9, the first of 20 rounds of the 2023 MLB draft commenced. Six former Crimson Tide players were selected by an MLB ball club with the opportunity to take the next step in their baseball career.   

Andrew Pinckney — Washington Nationals: Round 4, Pick 102 

Andrew Pinckney was the first Crimson Tide player taken off the board in the draft. The heart and soul of the Crimson Tide outfield and carrier of the offense in the postseason, Pinckney is a perfect fit for Washington.  

“Physical guy out of Alabama, great ability, big guy and huge tools with huge power and really showed his stuff in the SEC and had a tremendous year this year,” said Mark Baca, assistant director of amateur scouting for the Washington Nationals. “We are super pleased to have landed him, [he’s] very talented.”  

After winning the World Series in 2019, the Nationals traded away their star players and entered a rebuild. After their last place finish in ’22, Washington was awarded the second overall pick in the 2023 draft and picked college superstar Dylan Crews from LSU. With many top prospects in the farm system breaking into the MLB and gaining experience, Washington’s window to contend in the NL East and the national league is opening for this young ball club. The Nationals have the prospects and are just a few MLB pieces away from competing once again in the next few seasons to retain their spot atop the NL East. Soon, Pinckney will be roaming the outfield at Nationals Park.   

Grayson Hitt — Arizona Diamondbacks: Round 4, Pick 112 

Missing most of the 2023 Crimson Tide season with an injury and later receiving Tommy John surgery, Grayson Hitt was still one of the premier arms of the Alabama pitching staff. As a serviceable left-hander at the top of the Crimson Tide pitching rotation, Hitt can come back strong from surgery.  

“Grayson was a player that we scouted a ton in the fall and saw what he really could be as a left-handed starter with big, big stuff,” said Ian Rebhan, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ director of amateur scouting. “And then, obviously, he went down this year with the injury. But we see him as a rotation piece, a left-handed starter with four pitches and strike variability.” 

Missing the postseason for five consecutive seasons following their Wild Card round defeat in 2017, the Diamondbacks have been on the losing side of Major League Baseball. Trading away their franchise player Paul Goldschmidt after the 2018 season, the Diamondbacks were not a competing team and entering a rebuild. Finishing last in the NL West in 2021 and second to last in ’22, the Diamondbacks built up top first-round picks to build on to the farm system. Pitching has been a flaw of Arizona in the last few seasons, allowing Hitt an opportunity to rise through the ranks and succeed at the next level.  

Hunter Furtado — Pittsburgh Pirates: Round 6, Pick 167 

Finishing the 2023 season as a spot starter and high-leverage man out of the Crimson Tide bullpen, Hunter Furtado’s name being called early in the draft was an expectation. Furtado is a hard-throwing southpaw with nasty breaking pitches and delivers in big moments but ran into pitch control problems at times.   

“Not everybody in that league [SEC], as we say in the room, comes through the car wash completely clean,” said Joe DelliCarri, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ senior director of amateur scouting. “That’s a tough league. You are facing good lineups every night; you are facing a lot of good hitters.” 

The Pirates have hung around the bottom of the NL Central and National League since their last run at the World Series. However, the Pirates have done an excellent job with developing minor league pitching into stars like Gerrit Cole, a first overall draft pick from the Pirates in 2011 and now the ace of the New York Yankees. The Pirates are fortunate enough to play in arguably the worst division in the MLB, and by gathering up young talent and bolstering the pitching staff system wide, Pittsburgh’s eight-year playoff drought could come to an end.  

Caden Rose — Boston Red Sox: Round 7, Pick 208 

Coming into the 2023 draft, Caden Rose finished out the season on a hot streak for the Crimson Tide and forced himself into the lineup card. Rose displays good contact with power, a premier glove and great speed for an outfielder.  

Since their last World Series championship in 2018, the Sox have made the postseason only once with an incredible run to the ALCS in 2021. Falling off hard under a new general manager, the Red Sox finished last in the AL East in 2020 and 2022. In that stretch, the new front office traded away most of what remained of the 2018 roster and collected draft picks for the future. For Rose, the Red Sox propose a perfect fit as they have decisions to make about their future outfield. Rose has the potential to be the next talented player to be a product of the Boston Red Sox farm system. 

Jim Jarvis — Detroit Tigers: Round 11, Pick 320 

After an impressive 2023 campaign for the Crimson Tide and a deep playoff run, Jim Jarvis showed that he can be an everyday shortstop at the next level. Flashing a good glove and a top-of-the-order bat with speed, Jarvis played his way into being selected.   

In Detroit, the Tigers have had their best years behind them, being in the basement of the league for the last five years. The Tigers took a step in the right direction by hiring former Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who took over a historically bad Astros team and built them into World Series champions. At shortstop, the Tigers are stuck on an awful contract to former MLB All-Star and World Series champion Javier Baez, who has not lived up to his six-year $140 million contract for the Tigers. If Jarvis continues with his hot 2023 season for Alabama, he could break into a rebuilding Tiger lineup in need of a spark. 

Garrett McMillan — Pittsburgh Pirates: Round 14, Pick 407 

Finishing a two-year career in Tuscaloosa, the former Shelton State Community College transfer and Tuscaloosa native leaves Alabama spending his time as a top-end rotation arm. McMillan was previously taken in the 19th round in the 2022 MLB Draft but bet on himself returning to the Crimson Tide, working well when he was given the ball.   

Pittsburgh’s window to win now opens after adding another experienced arm in McMillan, the second Alabama pitcher taken by the Pirates. While still being in a rebuilding phase, the Pirates have the young offensive ability to perform at the major league level. However, they had a hole in their systemwide pitching from the major league level to the rookie ball level. That hole was addressed and became a priority for the Pirates. McMillan joins Furtado in the Steel City, and once again the two could be teammates, this time at the professional level.  

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