With the 28th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, the Houston Astros selected shortstop Brice Matthews out of the University of Nebraska.
It was quite tough to make out Matthews' name as it was announced because the crowd at the draft was booing both the Astros and Rob Manfred as the first round came to a close. We recently reviewed the last eight first round picks the Houston Astros made, so give that a look if you want to see how this pick measures up to what the Astros have done previously.
Everything you need to know about Astros' first round pick, Brice Matthews
Pre-draft Prospect Rankings:
Baseball America ($): 57
MLB Pipeline: 57
Keith Law (The Athletic) ($): 57
Scouting Report: Brice Matthews just put up video game numbers at Nebraska including posting a 20-20 season this season. Matthews hits the ball very hard thanks to a quick swing and strong bat to ball skills and his speed plays on basepaths. He just does a lot well at the plate.
Defensively, it is a little murkier as while he moves well at shortstop, he doesn't have a great arm over there. There is a chance that he has to move over to second or even head to the outfield where he would be more than athletic enough to play and potentially be a plus defender.
Reaction: If you are looking at the rankings from the experts rankings, this pick looks like a reach. However, college bats that perform well always go higher on draft day than people think. Matthews' track record of performance isn't as long as some other bats in this class, but the numbers and metrics were extremely loud with Brice. The Astros can figure out where he fits best defensively later. For now, they are buying the bat and he fits at the bottom of the first round.