How Many Division 3 Baseball Players Get Drafted? -D3 Baseball Players

Frank Jones

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How Many Division 3 Baseball Players Get Drafted

Division III baseball players face distinct challenges in securing spots in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. 

Unlike their Division I counterparts, D3 athletes contend with lower visibility and fewer resources. 

The MLB draft predominantly focuses on Division I talent, making the journey to professional baseball for Division III players less conventional. Despite these obstacles, some D3 players defy the odds and get drafted each year. 

This narrative explores the factors influencing the draft prospects of individual Division III baseball players, shedding light on their unique journeys in pursuit of a professional career in the realm of America’s favorite pastime.

How Many D3 Baseball Players Get Drafted? D3 Players Drafted MLB

The number of Division 3 baseball players who get drafted by MLB teams can vary greatly each year, depending on the talent level, exposure, and performance of the players.

The highest number of D3 players drafted in a single year was 23 in 2010, while the lowest was zero in 2020 (due to the shortened draft and the COVID-19 pandemic). 

In 2023, six D3 players were drafted, which is the same number as in 2022 and 2021.

Here are some details about each of the six D3 baseball players who were drafted in 2023:

Kiefer Lord, RHP, Carleton

Lord was the highest D3 player drafted in 2023, as the Baltimore Orioles selected him in the third round, 86th overall. 

Lord transferred to the University of Washington after a record-setting sophomore season at Carleton, where he led D3 with a 0.72 WHIP and struck out 81 batters in 54.2 innings. 

Lord impressed scouts with his low-90s fastball, sharp slider, and command of the strike zone.

Logan Martin, C, Sewanee

Martin was the fifth D3 player drafted in 2023, as the Chicago Cubs picked him in the 16th round, 473rd overall. 

Martin was a four-year starter at Sewanee, where he hit .353 with 12 home runs and 51 RBIs in 39 games in his senior season. 

Martin is a right-handed hitter with a quick bat, a good eye, and a strong arm behind the plate.

Jonah Advincula, OF, Redlands

Jonah Advincula, OF, Redlands

Advincula was the second D3 player drafted in 2023, as the San Francisco Giants picked him in the ninth round, 248th overall. 

Advincula also transferred to a D1 school, UC Santa Barbara, after a stellar junior season at Redlands, where he hit .407 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs in 37 games¹. Advincula is a left-handed hitter with power, speed, and a strong arm.

Charlie Szykowny, 3B, UW-Stout

Szykowny was the third D3 player drafted in 2023, as the Giants chose him in the 10th round, 278th overall. 

Szykowny graduated from UW-Stout in 2022 and used his extra year of eligibility to play at Illinois, where he hit .333 with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs in 48 games. 

Szykowny is a right-handed hitter with a compact swing, good bat speed, and a solid glove at third base⁴.

Andrew Sears, LHP, Rhode Island College

Sears was the fourth D3 player drafted in 2023, as the Los Angeles Angels selected him in the 10th round, 291st overall. 

Sears transferred to Arizona State after a dominant sophomore season at Rhode Island College, where he posted a 1.29 ERA and struck out 106 batters in 63 innings. Sears is a left-handed pitcher with a low-90s fastball, a curveball, and a changeup.

Jackson Hornung, C, Skidmore

Hornung was the sixth and final D3 player drafted in 2023, as the Boston Red Sox chose him in the 18th round, 533rd overall. 

Hornung was a three-year starter at Skidmore, where he hit .361 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs in 34 games in his junior season. 

Hornung is a right-handed hitter with a balanced approach, a smooth swing, and a solid defensive game.

Requirements for Getting Drafted From D3 Baseball to MLB

Getting drafted from Division III (D3) baseball to Major League Baseball (MLB) involves a set of challenges and considerations. While the path may be less traditional than that of Division I players, it is not impossible.

Here are some general requirements and considerations for D3 baseball players aspiring to be drafted into the MLB:

Exceptional Performance

Exceptional Performance

Achieving success in D3 baseball and catching the eye of MLB scouts necessitates exceptional on-field performance.

For pitchers like Kiefer Lord, dominance on the mound, characterized by low earned run averages and control over a diverse pitching repertoire, is crucial.

Position players, exemplified by Jonah Advincula, need to showcase outstanding batting averages, power-hitting capabilities, and defensive excellence.

Showcase Events and Exposure

Participating in showcase events and seeking exposure become pivotal steps for D3 players aspiring for the MLB draft.

It involves actively engaging in collegiate summer leagues and tournaments where scouts are known to frequent.

For players like Charlie Szykowny, these events serve as platforms to demonstrate their skills against top-tier competition, providing the exposure needed to get noticed by professional scouts.

Summer Leagues and Wooden Bat Leagues

Joining summer leagues or wooden bat leagues is a strategic move to adapt to the equipment used in professional baseball.

Logan Martin’s participation in such leagues not only showcases his ability to handle wooden bats but also provides a context in which scouts can assess his offensive and defensive capabilities in a more realistic professional setting.

Networking and Communication

A proactive approach to networking and communication with MLB scouts is crucial for D3 players.

Andrew Sears, for example, may actively reach out to scouts, attend scouting combines, and establish connections within the baseball community.

Building relationships with scouts and maintaining open lines of communication increase the likelihood of being noticed and considered for the MLB draft.

Participation in All-Star Games and Tournaments

Participation in All-Star Games and Tournaments

Selection for All-Star games or participation in high-profile tournaments elevates a player’s profile. 

For Jackson Hornung, being part of such events not only provides exposure but also allows him to compete against elite talent, proving his mettle on a bigger stage and capturing the attention of scouts and talent evaluators.

Training and Development

Continuous improvement and dedication to skill development are prerequisites for D3 players with MLB aspirations.

Will Watson’s commitment to refining his pitching skills, adapting to different game situations, and seeking guidance from coaches contribute to his overall development, making him a more attractive prospect for MLB scouts.

Proactive Approach

Taking a proactive stance involves more than just excelling on the field. Players like Jonah Advincula actively seek out opportunities, attend tryouts, and market themselves to MLB organizations.

This approach showcases a player’s determination and willingness to go the extra mile to catch the attention of scouts.

Physical Fitness and Conditioning

Maintaining peak physical fitness is a non-negotiable aspect for D3 players aiming for the MLB draft.

MLB organizations seek athletes like Will Watson who not only possess skill but also demonstrate a commitment to their physical well-being, ensuring they can endure the rigorous demands of a professional baseball season.

Draft Eligibility

Understanding the specific rules and requirements for draft eligibility is paramount. Andrew Sears, for example, is aware of the timeline and criteria for entering the MLB draft, ensuring he positions himself effectively for consideration.

Scouting Reports and Recommendations

Positive scouting reports, coupled with recommendations from college coaches, play a significant role in shaping a player’s draft prospects.

Coaches’ insights into a player’s work ethic, coachability, and character can strongly influence scouts’ perceptions and contribute to their overall draft appeal.


How Many Players Get Drafted in the MLB Each Year?

The number of players drafted in the MLB each year varies. In the annual MLB Draft, which consists of multiple rounds, teams select players from various amateur levels, including college and high school. 

The total number of draft picks depends on factors such as compensatory picks and forfeited selections.

What Percentage of Drafted Players Make the MLB?

Five to Six percent of drafted players make the MLB.

What role do statistics play in the draft selection of Division 3 baseball players?

Impressive statistical performances, including batting averages, earned run averages (ERA), and other key metrics, can significantly bolster a D3 player’s draft potential.

Consistency and standout achievements in statistical categories can attract the attention of professional scouts.

Do Division 3 players who go undrafted have other opportunities in professional baseball?

Yes, many undrafted Division 3 players may still have opportunities to pursue professional baseball careers. 

Independent leagues, international play, and developmental programs offer alternative paths for players to showcase their talents and potentially catch the eye of MLB organizations.

What role does a player’s off-field character and work ethic play in their draftability from Division 3?

Off-field qualities, including work ethic, coachability, and leadership, can significantly impact a D3 player’s draftability.

Wrap Up

While the path from Division 3 (D3) baseball to the MLB draft poses unique challenges, the journey is not devoid of success stories.

The number of D3 players drafted varies annually, influenced by factors like exceptional performance, exposure in showcase events, and individual dedication. 

D3 athletes can increase their draft prospects through standout statistics, versatility in positions, and a proactive approach to networking with scouts. 

Undrafted players may still find opportunities in alternative professional avenues. Ultimately, the draftability of D3 baseball players underscores the importance of skill development, perseverance, and seizing opportunities to showcase talent on a broader stage.

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