Skenes, Crews join Zion, Barrett, Reddish as teammates drafted in top 10

ByJ.J. Post ESPN logo
Sunday, July 9, 2023

Sunday night, LSU Tiger teammates Paul Skenes and Dylan Crews were the first names called at the 2023 MLB draft, being selected No. 1 overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and No. 2 overall by the Washington Nationals, respectively.

The pairing's selection marks the first time since 2021 a pair of teammates has gone in the first 10 picks of the MLB draft, continuing a recent trend across sports of teammates being drafted early. Here's a look at the last time teammates were drafted in the top 10 of some major American drafts:

MLB: Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker

Vanderbilt Commodores

Draft year: 2021

Leiter and Rocker provided a remarkable one-two punch on the mound for the Commodores in 2021, combining for 25 wins on the year. All the other members of the Vanderbilt pitching staff combined for 24. Leiter and Rocker were rewarded with top-10 selections -- Leiter to the Texas Rangers at No. 2 and Rocker to the New York Mets at No. 10. Interestingly, the pair would once again end up on the same team after the Mets opted not to sign Rocker due to medical concerns. Rocker would then re-enroll in the 2022 draft, where he was taken by the Rangers with the No. 3 pick. Both pitchers are still part of the Rangers organization, developing in the minor leagues.

MLS: Duncan McGuire and Owen O'Malley

Creighton Bluejays

Draft year: 2023

Teammates being drafted early is more common in MLS than other leagues -- 19 of the 24 SuperDrafts have included teammates being selected in the top 10, including seven of the past eight -- and 2023 was no exception. Coming off an impressive 2022 campaign that saw the Bluejays capture the program's first Big East tournament championship and advance to the College Cup for the first time in a decade, the duo of McGuire and O'Malley was in high demand among MLS sides. McGuire, drafted No. 6 overall, has made an immediate impact with Orlando City, tallying six goals and two assists in his first 16 matches. O'Malley, pick No. 9, has entered a developmental track with St. Louis SC, with 13 matches under his belt this season in MLS Next Pro.

NWSL: Emily Madril, Jenna Nighswonger and Clara Robbins

Florida State Seminoles

Draft year: 2023

Due to collective bad injury luck and the COVID-19 pandemic, the trio of Madril, Nighswonger and Robbins was in college for a combined 15 seasons. It could have been 16, but Madril opted to forgo her final year of eligibility ahead of the 2023 campaign in response to Florida State's handling of its search for a new coach that offseason. Madril's unique route to the 2023 draft didn't hurt her stock, however, as she was selected No. 3 overall by the Orlando Pride and has already racked up over a thousand minutes for the club as a rookie. Nighswonger, picked at No. 4, has come along similarly quickly, being used all over the pitch by NJ/NY Gotham FC as the club has enjoyed a breakout campaign. Robbins was taken at the No. 9 spot by the North Carolina Courage and has played in two matches so far in 2023.

NBA: Zion Williamson, RJ Barrettand Cam Reddish

Duke Blue Devils

Draft year: 2019

The NBA hasn't had a pair of college teammates drafted in the top 10 since 2019, when Duke had three players taken in the first 10 picks. Duke's trio was one of just two times in NBA history -- Florida in 2007 being the other -- when three teammates went in the top 10. Williamson, Barrett and Reddish led Duke to a 32-6 record and an ACC tournament title but have experienced varied results in the pros. Williamson quickly lived up to his No. 1 overall billing, averaging over 20 points per game as a rookie with the New Orleans Pelicans and making the All-Star Game in his first full season, but he has struggled to stay on the court consistently. Barrett, selected at No. 3, has had an up-and-down tenure with the New York Knicksbut seemed to find his stride once more in the 2023 playoffs. Picked at No. 10, Reddish has struggled the most, preparing to start with his fourth team in five seasons.

WNBA: Aliyah Boston, Laeticia Amihereand Zia Cooke

South Carolina Gamecocks

Draft year: 2023

The 2023 WNBA draft was a big one for Gamecocks fans, as South Carolina saw five players drafted in total. The Gamecocks had three players go in the top 10. The biggest name was Aliyah Boston, the Indiana Fever's No. 1 overall pick who thus far has lived up to billing as a can't-miss prospect, recently becoming just the sixth rookie in league history to be named an All-Star Game starter. And while Amihere (No. 8) and Cooke (No. 10) haven't reached immediate stardom like Boston, both have begun to carve out roles for themselves off the bench with the Atlanta Dream and Los Angeles Sparks, respectively.

NFL: Bryce Young and Will Anderson;C.J. Stroud and Paris Johnson Jr.

Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes

Draft year: 2023

One of the top storylines entering this year's NFL draft was which star quarterback -- namely Young or Stroud -- would be picked No. 1 overall. In the end it was Young who garnered top honors, heading to the Carolina Panthers. Stroud went No. 2 to the Houston Texans. It wouldn't be the last time fans of Alabama and Ohio State heard their schools' names called in the first 10 picks. Anderson was next off the board at No. 3, also heading to the Texans. Johnson followed soon after at No. 6, and will now be tasked with protecting Kyler Murray for the Arizona Cardinals.

NHL: Owen Power, Matty Beniers, Luke Hughesand Kent Johnson

Michigan Wolverines

Draft year: 2021

The 2021 NHL draft was a must-watch for Michigan fans. Of the top five selections in the draft, four came from the Wolverines' roster. Winning 31 games en route to a Big Ten title, Michigan's core of talent found success at the professional level as well. Top selection Owen Power tallied 31 assists as part of an All-Rookie campaign with the Buffalo Sabres in 2022-23. No. 2 pick Matty Beniers racked up 57 points in his first full season and captured the Calder Trophy. Luke Hughes, picked at No. 4, played an additional year for the Wolverines and, after a 10-goal, 38-assist sophomore season in Ann Arbor, enjoyed a brief but promising stint with the New Jersey Devils to close out his 2022-23 campaign. Completing the quartet, No. 5 selection Kent Johnson tallied 40 points this past season with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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