The 2022 regular season is officially over, with the Mets defeating the Nationals in Game 2 of a doubleheader to close out the year. 18 teams now officially turn their attention to 2023, with the playoffs kicking off on Friday.
With the standings established for the league’s non-playoff teams, there’s more clarity on next year’s amateur draft order. Unlike previous seasons, where the order of the draft was set inversely to the previous year’s standings, the 2023 draft will be subject to a lottery. As part of the Players Association’s efforts to reduce the incentive for uncompetitive teams to lose games, the last collective bargaining agreement introduced a lottery to determine the top six overall selections. A team’s odds of landing a higher pick are always weighted in favor of the clubs with the worst records, although the three worst teams all have equal odds of landing the top picks. All 18 non-playoff teams are technically in contention for one of the top six picks, but with increasingly diminishing odds for clubs with better records. If two teams have the same record, the club with the worst record from the previous season gets the higher rating.
The lottery only comes into play for the first round draft. Beginning in the second round, the selection order is determined in reverse order of the previous season’s standings (with the exception of compensatory and competitive balance selections).
- Nationals (55-107): 16.5%
- Athletics (60-102): 16.5%
- Pirates (62-100, 61-101 in ’21): 16.5%
- Reds (62-100, 83-79 in ’21): 13.25%
- Royals (65-97): 10%
- Tigers (66-96): 7.5%
- Rangers (68-94, 60-102 in ’21): 5.5%
- Rockies (68-94, 74-87 in ’21): 3.9%
- Marlins (69-93): 2.7%
- Angels (73-89): 1.8%
- Diamondbacks (74-88, 52-110 in ’21): 1.4%
- Cubs (74-88, 71-91 in 21): 1.1%
- Twins (78-84, 73-89 in 21): 0.9%
- Red Sox (78-84, 92-70 in ’21): 0.76%
- White Sox (81-81, 93-69 in ’21): 0.62%
- Giants (81-81, 107-55 in ’21): 0.48%
- Orioles (83-79): 0.36%
- Brewers (86-76): 0.23%
The date for the draft lottery has not been officially announced, but Mayo notes that it should take place during the winter meetings. Joe Doyle of Prospects Live first announced last month that it would take place during winter meetings on December 6.
After the first six picks are drawn, the rest of the first round will be played in reverse order of ranking among the teams that did not receive a lottery pick. The Nationals will therefore choose no later than 7th, the A no later than 8th, and so on. A team with a record outside the bottom six would only go up if drawn in the first six. The Brewers, for example, will win either a pick between 1st and 6th or 18th; there is no scenario in which Milwaukee chooses between 7th and 17th. If the Orioles don’t win a lottery pick, they’ll pick 17th or 18th (only move to 18th if Milwaukee is drawn in the top six).
While the process for non-playoff teams is relatively straightforward, ordering teams that qualify for the playoffs is more complex, Mayo and Collazo report. Playoff teams will first be seeded by the round in which they are eliminated – teams that lose in the Wild Card round receive higher picks than those that lose in the Division Series, teams that lose in the DS before clubs are eliminated in the Championship Series, etc.
Within each group of eliminated clubs, teams are first sorted by revenue share status. Collazo reports that revenue-sharing recipients will receive higher priority over non-revenue-sharing recipients. Thus, the loser of the Rays – Guardians Wild Card series (both teams are recipients of revenue sharing) would receive a higher selection than the loser of the Cardinals – Phillies series (neither team receives revenue sharing). Teams eliminated in the same round with the same revenue share status are then ranked by their reverse regular season winning percentage.
While this does not affect the order of the 2023 draft, the New ABC also introduced restrictions on teams qualifying for the lottery in consecutive seasons. Clubs that do not receive revenue sharing are not eligible to win a lottery pick in consecutive years. Teams that receive revenue sharing are not permitted to receive a lottery pick for more than two consecutive years.
It looks like the draft order will be settled in two months, but there’s obviously a lot of uncertainty as to which players will be top of the class. Baseball America updated his top 100 preliminary draft prospects last month, placing LSU right fielder Dylan CrewsTennessee right-handed Chase Dollander and Ole Miss shortstop Jacob Gonzalez among the most talented prospects. There will obviously be a lot of movement once the amateur baseball circuit resumes next winter and spring.