One of the biggest storylines for the Texas Longhorns in the 2023 MLB Draft was the status of Los Angeles (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake outfielder Will Gasparino, a 2022 signee and the No. 75 prospect in the draft, according to MLB.com.
As the second day of the draft closed in on the final rounds, Gasparino appeared to indicate his intent to follow through on his National Letter of Intent and play for the Longhorns.
“It was the right fit for me and had everything I was looking for in a college,” Gasparino said when he signed last fall.
The No. 44 prospect nationally and the No. 6 outfielder, according to Perfect Game, Gasparino’s big leap from 2021 to 2022 made him one of the crown jewels of head coach David Pierce’s 2023 recruiting class and one of the strongest candidates to skip college baseball in favor going pro.
So it was somewhat unexpected to see Gasparino fail to come off the board on Monday — the 6’6, 215-pounder has some holes in his swing with his long levers, but also possesses incredible upside thanks in part to his unique athleticism for his size.
Teams searching for a combination of big tools and the confidence of having grown up around the game have been heading to California and high school powerhouse Harvard-Westlake to evaluate Gasparino. The son of Dodgers scouting director Billy Gasparino, Will Gasparino was a mainstay on the summer showcase circuit and is hoping to join Harvard-Westlake alums like Max Fried, Lucas Giolito, Jack Flaherty and, most recently, 2020 first-rounder Pete Crow-Armstrong as an early-round selection.
Gasparino screams projection from his 6-foot-6 body, with raw tools aplenty and a high baseball IQ. His bat is a little bit of a work in progress, with long levers that can lead to some swing-and-miss. It often takes guys this size a bit longer to figure it out, but he has tremendous raw power that could be plus in time, and when it’s clicked at the plate, he’s shown he can do real damage from the right side.
A plus runner, Gasparino moves like a much smaller guy, with the potential for him to be a threat on the bases and be a plus defender. His performance over the summer was uneven, but he’s been watched carefully this spring in SoCal as the Texas recruit has tremendous upside with the chance to be a five-tool standout.
If Gasparino does indeed make it to the Forty Acres, he projects as an immediate starter who significantly enhances the upside of the 2024 team as he embarks on the first season in what will be a three-year college career.