Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Campbell, Gordon among six Longhorns selected in 2023 MLB Draft

Lorianne Willett

With Texas baseball’s storied history, it shouldn’t be surprising that at least one Longhorn has been selected in every MLB Draft since its inception in 1965. 

The 2023 draft was no exception; six Texas players were selected over 20 rounds from July 9-11. 

Unlike drafts for other major sports, those selected after the MLB Draft can either sign the offered contract or return to school.

On day two of the draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers picked junior outfielder Dylan Campbell in the late fourth round. Campbell had a great year on the Forty Acres, featuring a Texas and Big 12 record 38-game hitting streak and being named a Third Team All-American. 

Later that afternoon, the Chicago White Sox selected junior starting pitcher Lucas Gordon in the sixth round. The Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-American was the ace of the Longhorns’ rotation this season with a 2.63 ERA, leading Texas with 102.2 innings pitched and 103 strikeouts. 

Draft status plays a significant role in a player’s decision, as only three picks in the first 10 rounds of the 2022 draft didn’t sign. These numbers make it overwhelmingly likely for Gordon and Campbell to sign and leave the Forty Acres. However, non-seniors picked in rounds 11-20 on day three of the draft face tough career decisions.

Some Longhorns had already determined their fate, such as junior pitcher Tanner Witt, who announced his return to Texas after the Baltimore Orioles selected him in the 18th round. Witt was rumored to be picked out of high school in the five-round 2020 draft but made clear to MLB organizations his desire to be a fourth-generation Longhorn.

The Houston Astros selected junior starting catcher Garret Guillemette in the 15th round. The USC transfer arrived in Austin last off-season and provided a team-leading 60 RBIs and impressive defense behind the dish. Freshman Rylan Galvan will likely be Texas’ starter if Guillemette signs with Houston. 

Along with Guillemette, right-hander Travis Sthele and Zane Morehouse were selected in the 12th round by the Washington Nationals and the 14th round by the Cleveland Guardians, respectively.

Perhaps the most important draft news for Texas concerns the interest of its two most highly touted 2023 commits, Round Rock High School flame thrower Travis Sykora and Los Angeles native Will Gasparino. 

Sykora will likely sign with the Nationals after being selected 71st overall and the first pick of the third round. He was ranked No. 40 in the draft class by the MLB and is regarded as the “hardest thrower in his class” by the scouting website Perfect Game, with a fastball that touches triple digits. Sykora’s high selection is a missed opportunity for the Longhorns; a potential starting rotation with Sykora, Witt and redshirt sophomore Lebarron Johnson Jr. could have been among the best in the nation. 

The good news for Longhorn fans is that Gasparino, a speedy 6-foot-6-inch outfielder with promising power, is coming to Austin as he went undrafted. The incoming freshman’s skill set could earn him a starting position next season. 

Even if everyone drafted on day three signs their contract, this young Texas squad looks in prime condition to grow as a team after their shared regular season Big 12 championship and Super Regionals loss.

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.