Ohio Shocks MLB With Top Two Picks In MLB Draft Lottery 

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Julian Guilarte

December 9, 2023

Nashville, TN — The Winter Meetings began on December 3 and the MLB Draft Lottery took place on day 3 on December 6. Team officials and reporters were scrambling to the ballroom on the fourth floor of the Gaylord Opryland hotel to get set for the MLB Draft Lottery. 

The Cleveland Guardians (76-86) shocked the MLB Draft Lottery by getting the top pick, despite 50-1 odds. This is the first time they have the top pick in the MLB Draft. They’ve had the second pick five times. 

“The lottery certainly gives us an opportunity we otherwise wouldn’t have had in the other system,” Guardians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said. “The only way to do this in the other system is to have a really, really tough year where you have the worst record in baseball. I’d much rather get it this way.” 

The Washington Nationals (71-91) actually won the first drawing for the top pick, but they were ineligible to pick higher than 10th because of rules installed in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that prohibit revenue-sharing payees from being selected in the lottery in consecutive years. The Nationals had the second pick in this past draft and took LSU outfielder Dylan Crews. As a result of this, they wound up with the 10th pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. 

The Cincinnati Reds (82-80) went from a potential postseason team in September to the second overall pick. The Reds had 100-1 odds to land the second overall pick. The Reds made it a tremendous day for the state of Ohio. The odds of both teams being in the top two picks of the draft were 5000-1 per MLB Draft X https://x.com/mlbdraft/status/1732205773340721387?s=46 

Reds reporter Trent Rosecrans spoke to World Baseball Network  about the MLB Draft Lottery. “MLB implementing the Draft Lottery last year was an awesome idea,” Rosecrans said. “I believe it will make teams less inclined to tank going forward.” This is massive for a Reds team that looks to build on more young talent after a winning season.  

The Oakland Athletics are the latest example of why the lottery could discourage teams from tanking. The Athletics landed the fourth pick despite having the worst record in MLB (50-112) by six games. The Kansas City Royals (56-108) and the Colorado Rockies (59-103) all had equal odds of landing the first pick at 18.3 percent. The Royals took the worst fall of the three teams, sliding all the way back to the sixth pick. The Rockies ended up picking third.  

The Chicago White Sox (61-101) were the fourth-worst team and had a 14.7 percent chance of landing the first pick. The White Sox moved back one spot to fifth.  

The MLB Draft lottery allowed every non-playoff team to have a chance at picking in the top six. 

The St. Louis Cardinals (71-91) rounded out the bottom five teams in MLB this season and had an 8.3 percent chance of getting the first pick. The Cardinals dropped back two spots to the seventh pick. 

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (73-89) got the eighth pick. The Pittsburgh Pirates (76-86) got the ninth pick after winning the first MLB Draft Lottery in 2023.   

The New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and New York Yankees were penalized 10 spots for going over the highest luxury tax threshold. The Mets will pick 19th, the Padres 25th, and the Yankees 26th. 

MLB Draft Order  

  1. Cleveland Guardians  
  1. Cincinnati Reds  
  1. Colorado Rockies 
  1. Oakland Athletics  
  1. Chicago White Sox 
  1. Kansas City Royals  
  1. St. Louis Cardinals  
  1. Pittsburgh Pirates  
  1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  
  1. Washington Nationals 
  1. Detroit Tigers  
  1. Boston Red Sox 
  1. San Francisco Giants  
  1. Chicago Cubs  
  1. Seattle Mariners  
  1. Miami Marlins  
  1. Milwaukee Brewers  
  1. Tampa Bay Rays 
  1. New York Mets  
  1. Toronto Blue Jays  
  1. Minnesota Twins  
  1. Baltimore Orioles  
  1. Los Angeles Dodgers  
  1. Atlanta Braves  
  1. San Diego Padres  
  1. New York Yankees  
  1. Philadelphia Phillies  
  1. Houston Astros  
  1. Arizona Diamondbacks  
  1. Texas Rangers  

MLB Pipeline’s top 10 prospects for the 2024 MLB Draft: 

1. JJ Wetherholt, INF West Virginia Junior-2022-2023 career stats: 21 home runs, 99 RBI, 51 stolen bases, 1.101 OPS. 

2. Nick Kurtz, 1B Wake Forest Junior 2022-2023 career stats: 39 home runs, 125 RBI, 1.207 OPS. 

3. Travis Bazzana, 2B Oregon State Junior- 2022-2023 career stats: 17 home runs, 99 RBI, 50 stolen bases, 1.011. OPS. 

4. Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Forest Junior- 2022-2023 career stats: 153 IP, 217 SO, 3.54 ERA 

5. Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP Florida Junior- 2022-2023 career hitting: 40 home runs, 117 RBI, 1.062 OPS. 2023 career pitching: 75 IP, 87 SO, 4.34 ERA. 

6. Charlie Condon, 1B/OF Georgia Sophomore 2023 career stats: 25 home runs, 67 RBI, 1.284 OPS. 

7. Brody Brecht, RHP Iowa Junior- 2022-2023 career stats: 100 IP, 153 SO, 3.61 ERA. 

8. Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina Junior- 2022-2023 career stats: 37 home runs, 100 RBI, 48 SB, 1.007 OPS. 

9. PJ Morlando, Summerville (NC) High School OF Senior- He committed to the South Carolina Gamecocks 

10. Tommy White, 3B LSU Junior- 2022-2023 career stats: 51 home runs, 179 RBI, 1.169 OPS. 

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