Kielar’s MLB Mock Draft 1.0

Kielar’s MLB Mock Draft 1.0

by May 11, 2022 0 comments

With the 2022 MLB Draft quickly approaching, now is as good a time as ever for our first MLB mock draft. This year’s draft will take place in Los Angeles from July 17 to July 19. There are a lot of potential wild cards this year and top pitchers on the shelf, as there might not even be a pitcher taken in the top 10-15 picks. The Baltimore Orioles are on the clock. Let’s get into the first edition.

1. Baltimore Orioles – Druw Jones, SS, Wesleyan HS (GA)

The Orioles have been rebuilding for a while but are nearing the end with the talent coming up through their farm system. To even further their farm system development, Baltimore needs to add as much top-level talent as possible. For the fourth year in a row, they are picking in the top five of the draft including at first overall for the second time. Jones, the son of Atlanta Braves great Andruw Jones, is rated by many outlets as the top overall player in the draft. Jones projects as being potentially better than his father, with a combination of speed, athleticism, and bat-to-ball skills, as well as being a premium defender in center field.

For more on Jones, check out our draft profile on him.

2. Arizona Diamondbacks – Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (FL)

There are several routes the Diamondbacks could go at the second overall pick, but they have taken a prep bat three times over the last five years. Two of those selections were Corbin Carroll and Jordan Lawler who have been terrific in their system so far. Not only does Green have arguably the rawest power in this class, he adds plus speed and plus arm strength on top of that. How does a future outfield of Alek Thomas, Carroll, and Green sound to Diamondbacks fans?

3. Texas Rangers – Jacob Berry, 3B/OF/1B, LSU

After drafting Jack Leiter last season, the Rangers need more pitching to pair with him. But with no pitcher worth taking this early, they will have to wait until a later round. While it looked like Texas was going to tear it all down this offseason, they went out and signed both Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. That has tremendously backfired so far, although it is still early. The Rangers already have Josh Jung in their system, who came in as a third baseman but has played some second, short, and outfield. Berry projects better at first base after playing third and some right field in college. He is a power-hitting switch hitter and has an advanced approach at the plate, spraying the ball to all fields. The sophomore is hitting .378 with 15 homers and a .462 on-base percentage this season.

For more on Berry, check out our draft profile on him.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates – Termarr Johnson, SS/2B, Mays HS (GA)

The Pirates have selected a college bat the last three drafts and will now look to pile up as much high-upside prep talent as possible. Johnson has perhaps the best pure hit tool in not just this draft class, but in several years. He has lightning-quick bat speed and a compact swing to hit to all fields. Pittsburgh needs to go for the best player available with the best upside, and that’s Johnson. He profiles as a second baseman in the long-term and has some raw power in his game as well.

For more on Johnson, check out our draft profile on him.

5. Washington Nationals – Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly

Even after trading away Trea Turner and Max Scherzer last season, the Nationals still have a very thin farm system. They have some solid prospects at the top, but it’s a bit top-heavy and a majority of their top prospects are pitchers. Lee is all but a lock for a top-five pick and could go number one. The son of the head coach of Cal Poly, Larry Lee, he has tools across the board including being an impressive switch hitter at the plate. Lee has the skills to stick at shortstop long term but could also transition to third base in the future. So far this season, the 21-year-old is slashing .366/.474/.629 with nine homers, 40 RBI, and 40 walks to 20 strikeouts. Washington gets their potential future franchise shortstop with this pick.

For more on Lee, check out our draft profile on him.

6. Miami Marlins – Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech

Parada has been raking this season for the Yellow Jackets and has proven that he can stick behind the plate long-term. The 20-year-old is slashing .361/.446/.745 with an ACC-leading 23 homers and 74 RBI. The Marlins’ only other top catching prospect is Joe Mack, who they drafted last year, and he is still a few years away. Parada is fairly pro-ready with an advanced feel at the plate and has shown strides with his defense at the backstop. Even if he doesn’t stick behind the plate, his potential with the stick makes it not much of an issue.

For more on Parada, check out our draft profile on him.

7. Chicago Cubs – Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech

The younger brother of Josh Jung, the 2021 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year is primed to go in a similar spot to his brother. Josh actually went one spot later, to the Rangers in 2019, while Jace took over for him at third for the Red Raiders. He shifted to second base last season and has more power than his brother while also being a well-rounded hitter. After the Cubs tore it down last year, they need to add top talent everywhere on the diamond. Jung doesn’t provide any more than average defense at second, but has the power and hitting potential to hit over .300 and mash 30-plus homers a season.

For more on Jung, check out our draft profile on him.

8. Minnesota Twins – Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech

Cross is all but certain to become the first Hokie hitter to go in the first round since 1982 when Franklin Stubbs was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has some swing-and-miss in his game but is a strong power hitter and has the defensive skills to stick at a corner spot. This season, the Virginia native has slugged .657 and 11 homers while also swiping nine bags. The Twins don’t have much outfield depth in their system and Cross could move quickly through the ranks with his above-average hit and power tools.

For more on Cross, check out our draft profile on him.

9. Kansas City Royals – Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford (GA)

The Royals have gone on a run of drafting top-level pitching, as they have taken five pitchers in the first round over the last four years. That includes four college arms, Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, and Asa Lacy, and prep arm Frank Mozzicato last year. In between the first three, who they took in 2018, and Lacy, Kansas City took Bobby Witt Jr. in 2019. Now there are other options here, but with their depth, they could go with a high ceiling pitcher in Lesko coming off of Tommy John surgery. The right-hander has premium stuff with an arsenal of 92-95 mph fastball, low-80s changeup, and upper-70s bending curveball.

For more on Lesko, check out our draft profile on him.

10. Colorado Rockies – Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater HS (OK)

When he doesn’t try to sell out for homers and just focus on hitting, Holliday is one of the best pure hitters in the draft. The son of former All-Star Matt Holliday, Jackson has a strong bloodline. His father was actually drafted by the Rockies in the seventh round of the 1998 MLB Draft. He will certainly have bragging rights over his dad for where he was drafted. Holliday hits the ball hard consistently, and as he fills out he will grow into more of his raw power. He also has plus speed and plus arm strength, making him an all-around talent. That is something the Rockies need more of as they continue to rebuild. His bat will certainly play up at Coors Field.

For more on Holliday, check out our draft profile on him.

11. New York Mets – Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee

With the pick they received as compensation for not signing Kumar Rocker last year, the Mets take another pitcher. Tidwell lights up radar guns with a mid-to-high-90s fastball and has improved command of his pitches through eight appearances – five starts – this season. He’s been pretty lights out, striking out 27 and walking just five in 17 innings. The Mets have a hitter-heavy farm system and need to add quality pitching to it. Tidwell has the makings of a mid-level starter with proper development.

For more on Tidwell, check out our draft profile on him.

12. Detroit Tigers – Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary’s Prep (MI)

The Tigers have some quality arms in their system, including Jackson Jobe who they selected third overall last year. Porter is top talent from their own backyard, so they would be smart to go the same route as the Lions who took Aidan Hutchinson in the NFL Draft. Porter has a similar profile to Jobe and he has a flaming fastball that sits 94-97 mph and tops out at 100 mph. He also has a strong changeup and has made progress with his slider for a solid array of stuff.

For more on Porter, check out our draft profile on him.

13. Los Angeles Angels – Daniel Susac, C, Arizona

The Angels took a pitcher with all their selections last year and could find their future battery mate in Susac. The Arizona product was a power-first bat coming out of high school but has since improved his bat-to-ball skills to be an all-around hitter. Behind the plate, he has a strong arm and is an athletic defender.

For more on Susac, check out our draft profile on him.

14. New York Mets – Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (FL)

The Mets add another arm, this time going the prep route by taking one of the top left-handers in Ferris. The best pitcher out of IMG Academy this year, he has already reached 97 mph with his fastball and is very projectable with his 6’3″ frame. His secondary pitches in his changeup and mid-70s curveball both produce whiffs and are above average.

For more on Ferris, check out our draft profile on him.

15. San Diego Padres – Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola JC

The Padres have been drafting plenty of high upside prep bats of late. In the last three years, they have drafted high ceiling prep bats in C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell, and Jackson Merrill. Now this year, they could do the same with Collier, because despite him being in junior college, he is still just 17. Collier hits the ball to all fields and will add more power as he gets stronger. He has the arm strength to stick at third but could also move to first in the future.

For more on Collier, check out our draft profile on him.

16. Cleveland Guardians – Andrew Dutkanych, RHP, Brebeuf Jesuit (IN)

Cleveland is a team that has a long track record of developing pitchers very well. Dutkanych has three pitches that flash plus, in his tight mid-80s slider which is his best pitch, mid-90s fastball, and an upper-70s slider that has solid depth. He is athletic and at 6’3″, is projectable. The Guardians love their projectable arms and the right-hander has performed well on the showcase circuit.

17. Philadelphia Phillies – Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga

The Phillies need to develop more pitching and Hughes checks a lot of boxes as he has been consistent with his electric stuff. The right-hander fills the strike zone with all three pitches in his repertoire, in his wipeout slider, high-90s fastball, and a changeup. He can reach 100 mph with his fastball and has a great feel for pitching.

For more on Hughes, check out our draft profile on him.

18. Cincinnati Reds – Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison University

The Reds tore it all down in the offseason and have been the worst team in the majors this season by a large margin. They can go in any direction with their picks in the draft. A broken foot cut DeLauter’s season short, but he has a strong hit tool and can hit for power. He can be a middle-of-the-order type bat and has solid speed for his size which will help him play anywhere in the outfield. DeLauter has a strong arm which projects him as a good fit in right field.

19. Oakland Athletics – Cole Young, SS, North Alleghany HS (PA)

The Athletics lost Marcus Semien after the 2020 season and will look to develop their future shortstop. They did draft Max Muncy last year, but obviously, depth never hurts especially in this league. Young has a lot of strong tools including the ability to hit to all fields and not swing and miss much. He doesn’t have huge power, but the potential is there to develop the power tool further. The Pennsylvania native is an above-average runner and has an above-average arm to stick at shortstop long term.

For more on Young, check out our draft profile on him.

20. Atlanta Braves – Jett Williams, SS, Rockwall-Heath (TX)

Williams has a solid skill set and has gotten stronger since coming back from shoulder injuries he dealt with over the last two years. He has the ability to play both shortstop and the outfield with an athletic build. The Mississippi State commit has the ability to hit the ball hard consistently to all fields and has good arm strength. The further he develops; he will grow into more power as his hit tool comes naturally.

For more on Williams, check out our draft profile on him.

21. Seattle Mariners – Cayden Wallace, 3B, Arkansas

Following the retirement of Kyle Seager before this season, the Mariners have to look for their future man of the hot corner. Wallace has been performing well at Arkansas and could move swiftly through the minor leagues. He is one of the better power hitters in this class and has solid arm strength. After playing right field in his freshman year, he transitioned to third base in his second season. He might not stick there, but he provides the Mariners with options.

22. St. Louis Cardinals – Dylan Beavers, OF, California

Beavers has shown off his power tool this season, smashing 15 homers and putting up a 1.082 OPS so far. He has sported an advanced approach, with a .429 on-base percentage while raising his walk rate. The Cardinals build around their power hitters and Beavers is certainly one they can do the same.

23. Toronto Blue Jays – Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage (FL)

Pitching has been a shortcoming for the Blue Jays for a while, outside of a Cy Young season from Robbie Ray in 2021. They need to add much more pitching depth in their system and Barriera is a strong prep arm with tremendous stuff and a feel for the strike zone. His size, at 6’1″, 170 pounds is a cause for concern that he won’t stick as a starter, but pitchers his size has worked out. All three of his pitches in his fastball, slider, and changeup have plus potential. Match that up with his ability to throw strikes and he can develop into a solid major league starter.

24. Boston Red Sox – Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina

The Red Sox have a very thin system, especially on the pitching side, and need to build it up with high potential arms. Whisenhunt could have been drafted much sooner, as he was viewed as the top left-hander in the draft class going into the season. But he received a season-long suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. He has a dominant mid-80s changeup that drops and generated a 59 percent swing-and-miss rate in 2021. The southpaw has a good feel for working both sides of the plate and has a high floor of a potential midline starter.

25. New York Yankees – Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee

The Yankees have drafted a college bat in the first round for two straight years after taking top prospect Anthony Volpe out of high school with their regular first-round pick in 2019. The last time they drafted an outfielder in the first round was Blake Rutherford in 2016 and before that, it was Aaron Judge in 2013. Recently, they have gone the international route for outfielders – signing Everson Pereira in the 2017-18 signing period and Jasson Dominguez in the 2019-20 signing period. This year, there are a ton of solid outfielder names that could be available at this pick. Gilbert is one of them and the Tennessee product has solid bat speed and strength to give him a lot of raw power. He also has the speed, instincts, and arm strength to play anywhere in the outfield. Make it three straight years of taking a college bat for the Yankees.

26. Chicago White Sox – Logan Tanner, C, Mississippi State

The White Sox have very little catching depth in their system after trading away Zack Collins before the season for a return of fellow catcher Reese McGuire. The former Blue Jay has actually been catching more often than not recently following the injuries to Andrew Vaughn and Eloy Jimenez causing Yasmani Grandal to DH. The only top 30 catching prospect Chicago has in their system is defensive-minded Adam Hackenberg (No. 30). Tanner was a two-way prospect coming out of high school but transitioned to a full-time catcher when he got to Mississippi State. He has an uber-strong arm behind the dish and hits for power to all fields, with the potential to hit 20-25 homers a season.

27. Milwaukee Brewers – Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama

The Brewers have quickly become one of the better systems in the majors in developing pitching and Prielipp could give them much-needed pitching depth. 2019 first-rounder Ethan Small is currently the only pitcher in their top ten prospects list and he should be up this season as he is pitching well in Triple-A. Prielipp has a devasting slider that drops off the table and a swing-and-miss fastball. The southpaw won’t pitch for the Crimson Tide this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last May, causing him to slip in the draft. But he might throw in a summer collegiate league before the Draft. With a return to form after the surgery, he has the makings of a frontline starter.

28. Houston Astros – Kumar Rocker, RHP, No School

The Mets drafted Rocker last year but didn’t sign him, and the 11th pick of Tidwell was compensation for that. The former top Vanderbilt pitcher decided against returning to school and will instead try to pitch for an Independent League team. He reportedly signed with one, but the team is not yet known. While there is a lot of risk in drafting him, the Astros are known for their pitching development and if Rocker shows better command along with good health in the independent league, he is a risk worth taking.

29. Tampa Bay Rays – Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State

Name one pitcher the Rays haven’t been able to develop into a stud for their rotation and/or bullpen. Before being forced to miss the majority of this season to undergo Tommy John surgery, Sims could have gone in the top ten of this draft. He has the stuff and stamina to be a mid-rotation starter but also has the makings to be a high-leverage reliever or closer. With the Rays’ history of using their pitchers in a variety of different ways, he could be their next swingman who can pitch in any inning as a starter, opener, long-man, or high-leverage arm. Sims has swing-and-miss stuff and sports solid control.

30. San Francisco Giants – Jud Fabian, OF, Florida

Fabian was drafted by the Red Sox last year, but the two sides weren’t able to come to a contract agreement, so he returned to school for his senior season. This season, the power has continued to show up as he has mashed 19 homers and slugged .647. His strikeouts have also gone down as he has more walks (50) than strikeouts (47) at this point in the season. The Giants have been strong at developing hitters and with the maturity Fabian has shown at the plate, he is a no-brainer pick.


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Main Image Credit: From The Athletic

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