by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Pressbox.
The Pittsburgh Pirates own the #1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, which is scheduled for July 9th-July 11th in Seattle, WA. This draft could be the final piece of GM Ben Cherington’s puzzle to catapult the Bucs into a yearly contender.
In the next few weeks, Draft 412 will showcase the top prospects coming out in 2023.
Name- Matt Shaw
Pos-SS B-R T-R
HT/WT- 5’11” 185 lbs.
Home – Springfield, MA
Matt Shaw played his prep ball at Worcester Academy where he developed into one of the highest regarded recruits from the New England Area. He committed to Maryland, and in the summer, he graduated from high school and played in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL). The FCBL is a wood bat summer league that features the best incoming collegiate talent in the country. Despite being one of the youngest players in the league, Shaw crushed eight home runs in only eleven games.
As a freshman in 2021, Shaw started right away, though he played everywhere (SS, 3B, 2B, and LF). Shaw went on to become one of Maryland’s better hitters and ended up with a .332 avg and 7 home runs and 30 RBIs. He earned Big Ten All-Freshman Team and Freshman All-American honors from Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball. That summer, Shaw played in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and led the league in OPS, hitting .369 with 9 home runs and nabbed 14 stolen bases.
In his sophomore season, Shaw started at shortstop for the Terps and led Maryland to the Regional Final of the College World Series. His batting average slipped, only hitting .290, but he showed amazing power all year long hitting 22 home runs. He went on to be named First-Team All-Big Ten.
Not ever wanting to take a break from baseball, Shaw played summer ball again, this time in the Cape Cod League. The Cape Cod League is usually considered one of the toughest summer leagues to hit in. He had his way with the pitchers all season long finishing with an astronomical 1.006 OPS on his way to being named the CCBL Player of the Year honors.
Considered a top draft prospect coming into the 2023 season, Shaw did not slow down. He hit .341 with 24 home runs, and he also walked more than he struck out for the first time. Shaw captured the Big 10 Player of the Year Award and catapulted up draft boards.
Considered one of the best college hitters coming out in 2023, he has a great eye at the plate and does not swing outside the zone very often. He barrels the ball consistently and uses all fields to drive pitches to the gaps. He has good footwork and above average speed with the ability to steal between 15-20 a year as a professional.
Shaw’s flaws manifest on defense. He lacks the defensive ability of the other top prospects and could be moved to 2B with no issues. He has a good eye, but will take a lot of borderline pitches putting the count in the umpire's hands.
Watching videos of Matt Shaw’s swing brought back some childhood memories of Craig Biggio’s play at the plate. Their style and swings are comparable in the way both attack pitches.
Matt Shaw is definitely in the first handful of collegiate hitters who will come off the board. Draft 412 sees Shaw as a future second baseman who can be a .280, 20 home run type hitter.
Round 1- #19 on Draft 412’s big board.