by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics.
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- Brock Wilken
Pos-3B B-R T-R
Team- Wake Forest
HT/WT- 6’4” 225 lbs.
Home – Valrico, FL
Brock Wilken and the Wake Forest Deacons are in the College World Series, and they are showing the baseball world they are for real. Wilken has been making highlight reel plays and knocking in big runs as his stock continues to soar up draft boards.
As a junior at Bloomingdale High School, Wilken hit .468 with 12 home runs and 26 RBI’s in only 25 games. His senior year was cut short due to Covid, but he still hit 4 home runs in 8 games. After going undrafted in the shortened 2020 MLB Draft, Wilken enrolled at Wake Forest.
Wilken set a Wake Forest record as a freshman in 2021, hitting 17 home runs in 47 starts. Wilken played in the Cape Cod League after his freshman year and was named the MVP after hitting .302 and hitting 6 home runs. As a sophomore, Wilken showed his freshman year was no fluke hitting .276 with 23 home runs and 77 RBI’s.
Entering the 2023 season, Wilken was considered a top prospect in the 2023 MLB Draft. Wilken has taken his game to a new level leading the Demon Deacons to the College World Series. At the time of this profile, he is hitting .357 with a school record 31 home runs and 82 RBI’s and has been playing amazing defense for Wake Forest.
A right-handed power hitter, Wilken uses his 6’4” frame to crush baseballs. He has quick hands and good mechanics through his swing. He has the hands to play the hot corner and has a plus arm.
If there was a downside to Wilken, it's that, like some power hitters, he tries pulling everything and does not use all fields as he should. Strikeouts can be an issue with Wilken, too, and in his sophomore season, he struck out over 24% of the time. Even though he does not chase often outside the zone, he will swing and miss more than you would like to see in a first round pick.
He’s not the most athletic player in this draft. He has below average speed and has some heavy feet at third base. A little stiff as a fielder, he may project as a future first baseman even with his strong arm and glove.
With Wilken’s power, his swing and some of the same “miss tendencies” Draft 412 sees some C.J. Cron in his game.
Brock Wilken is showing the baseball world what he can do in pressure situations during this year’s College World Series. Wilken has been one of the best players throughout this tournament and is pushing hard for that top 10 status.
Round 1- Top 20/ #18 on Draft 412’s big board.