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ASU Baseball: Keaschall headlines Devil draftees

Eight Sun Devils selected in 2023 MLB Draft

Zac BonDurant

Eight Sun Devils were selected in the 2023 MLB Draft over the last three days, headlined by Luke Keaschall, who was drafted 49th overall in the second round by the Minnesota Twins.

After spending his first two seasons at San Francisco, Keaschall transferred to Arizona State. There, he was a standout and truly excelled in his final season.

In 55 games, he slashed .353/.443/.725, drilling 18 homers, eclipsing 58 RBI’s and also swiping 18 bases.

Keaschall was successful as a Don as well, hitting .312 with 29 doubles, 12 home runs and 64 RBIs across 110 games. He earned WCC Freshman of the Year honors in 2021.

Keaschall was MLB Pipeline’s 90th ranked prospect entering the draft, but other rankings had him much higher, including D1Baseball, which had him listed as the top college second baseman in the class.

“He makes a ton of contact and doesn’t panic with two strikes, with a solid approach that helped him walk as much as he struck out in his first two years at San Francisco, something that’s continued this spring,” MLB Pipeline’s scouting report reads.

“He started to tap into his power a bit as a sophomore and hit five homers on the Cape last summer, but he’s definitely hit-over-power with perhaps average future pop at best.”

Ross Dunn was the other Sun Devil to go on day two, as he was also taken by Minnesota in the tenth round, No. 297 overall.

After transferring from Florida State, Dunn had his best collegiate season in Tempe, posting a 4.27 ERA and striking out 84 batters in 65 and a third innings.

“While none of Dunn’s individual offerings jump off the page, he has a very strong three-pitch mix and knows what to do with it,” his report said.

Pipeline has 55 grades (on a 20-80 scale) on his fastball and slider and a 50 grade on his changeup, though it also notes his struggles with command, for which he received a 45.

Khristian Curtis was the first Devil to go on day three. He was selected in the 12th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On the surface, his stats don’t jump off the page, but MLB Pipeline noted that his command could improve the further removed he gets from an elbow injury that kept him off the bump in 2021 and limited him to just five starts in 2022 at Texas A&M.

Both Dunn and Curtis’ pre-draft rankings were much higher in the MLB Pipeline rankings, with Dunn ranking in the top 150 and Curtis ranking in the top 200.

Thirteen picks later at No. 360, Timmy Manning was drafted by the San Francisco Giants. The run on ASU pitching continued in the 16th round when the Kansas City Royals selected Josh Hansell.

Both had stretches of success throughout the 2023 season, including 5.2 shutout innings from Manning against San Diego State and several scoreless outings out of the pen from Hansell.

In the 19th round, Blake Pivaroff and Owen Stevenson went 13 picks apart to Detroit and Tampa Bay, respectively.

Pivaroff dropped his ERA by over three runs in Tempe this past spring, and the Rays will hope to get the side of Stevenson that posted a 3.10 ERA on the Cape last summer.

Also going in the 19th round was Wyatt Crenshaw, the Arizona native who was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Crenshaw hit .264 this spring with nine home runs, 16 doubles and 32 RBI, and he also hit .314 and posted an OPS of 1.056 in the Pioneer League in 15 games this summer.

ASU 2023 MLB Draftees:

Rd. 2, Pick 49: Luke Keaschall, Minnesota Twins

Rd. 10, Pick 297: Ross Dunn, Minnesota Twins

Rd. 12, Pick 347: Khristian Curtis, Pittsburgh Pirates

Rd. 12, Pick 360: Timmy Manning, San Francisco Giants

Rd. 16, Pick 469: Josh Hansell, Kansas City Royals

Rd. 19, Pick 560: Blake Pivaroff, Detroit Tigers

Rd. 19, Pick 565: Wyatt Crenshaw, Arizona Diamondbacks

Rd. 19, Pick 573: Owen Stevenson, Tampa Bay Rays