We are just three weeks away from the 2022 MLB Draft. As teams get ready to scour over hundreds of players, I will take a look at how the draft will play out. Here is just the first round, but there will be more rounds added as we move closer to July 17. Right before the draft, you can expect a final mock covering the first three rounds along with some notable players to keep an eye out for over the next few years as they develop.
#1 Baltimore Orioles – Brooks Lee, Shortstop, Cal Poly
Lee has arguably the most advanced bat in the draft. Whether it was at Cal Poly playing for his father or in the Cape Cod league with a wood bat, the switch-hitter has been raking everywhere he goes. While there are a few high-upside prepsters here at the top, the Orioles go with the college bat as they hope to make some noise in a tough American League East very soon.
For more on Lee, check out our draft profile on him.
#2 Arizona Diamondbacks – Termarr Johnson, Second Base, Mays HS (GA)
While Lee has an advanced batting profile, Johnson may have the highest ceiling at the plate. The kid just rakes, and with the Diamondbacks already looking at two future stars in the outfield, they will go with an infield bat to pair with last year’s first-round pick, Jordan Lawlar.
For more on Johnson, check out our draft profile on him.
#3 Texas Rangers – Elijah Green, Outfield, IMG Academy (FL)
The Rangers have a choice to make here as both of the top outfielders will be there when they pick at number three. They go with Green who may not quite have the hit tool that Jones has, but he has similar speed with a bit more power. Texas can’t go wrong here with either one of them.
For more on Green, check out our draft profile on him.
#4 Pittsburgh Pirates – Druw Jones, Outfield, Wesleyan HS (GA)
Predicted by some to go first overall, the Pirates have to be thrilled that Jones is here at four. He does everything well and may be better than his dad when it’s all said and done. 17 years ago, the Pirates drafted a High School kid out of Florida and Andrew McCutchen has had a pretty good career.
For more on Jones, check out our draft profile on him.
#5 Washington Nationals – Brock Porter, Right-Handed Pitcher, St. Mary’s Prep (MI)
Here goes the first pitcher off the board probably a little earlier than some predict. However, Porter is exactly what teams look for in a prep arm. He has size, sound mechanics, and an excellent three-pitch mix. With experience, health, and some fine tuning, the right-hander could be an ace for years to come.
For more on Porter, check out our draft profile on him.
#6 Miami Marlins – Kevin Parada, Catcher, Georgia Tech
Parada has an odd batting stance, but it seems to work for him. Whether he stays behind the plate defensively is still to be determined, but the Georgia Tech catcher can hit. He has worked hard on his receiving skills and could be an adequate backstop at the major league level.
For more on Parada, check out our draft profile on him.
#7 Chicago Cubs – Jackson Holliday, Shortstop, Stillwater HS (OK)
Another name you may recognize gets taken here by the Cubs. Holliday is a well-rounded athlete who should come into more power as he fills out his 6-foot-1 frame. His quickness, decent arm strength, and baseball IQ all suggest he could be solid at a premium position which makes him that much more attractive.
For more on Holliday, check out our draft profile on him.
#8 Minnesota Twins – Gavin Cross, Outfield, Virginia Tech
Cross has had two excellent seasons for the Hokies and improved his plate discipline this year. He has solid tools across the board, and while he may be an average defender in centerfield, he could be a plus with the glove in right or first base.
For more on Cross, check out our draft profile on him.
#9 Kansas City Royals – Jacob Berry, Third Base/Outfield, LSU
Berry is a bat-first prospect. But that bat has scouts excited for the future. The switch-hitter handles both sides of the plate equally well and has excellent plate discipline. This season for LSU, Berry had more extra-base hits than strikeouts.
For more on Berry, check out our draft profile on him.
#10 Colorado Rockies – Jace Jung, Second Base, Texas Tech
If Jace goes here, his brother Josh will have family bragging rights as the older brother went eighth overall in 2019. Jace has a bit more pop than his senior sibling but doesn’t offer quite the same defensive prowess. Wherever the younger Jung winds up in the field, his bat will do the talking as he profiles as a regular .300, 30-HR player.
For more on Jung, check out our draft profile on him.
#11 New York Mets – Gabriel Hughes, Right-handed Pitcher, Gonzaga
Finally, another pitcher, and the first college one off the board. Hughes is a big, polished right-hander who doesn’t have a glaring weakness. Using the pick they received this year as compensation for Kumar Rocker, the Mets get a better pitcher anyway.
For more on Hughes, check out our draft profile on him.
#12 Detroit Tigers – Jackson Ferris, Left-Handed Pitcher, IMG Academy (FL)
Now here comes the first southpaw. Ferris is a tall, lanky pitcher who fills up the strike zone with three pitches. Many believe he will add a few ticks to his already low-to-mid 90s fastball. He has held his velocity and command deeper into games than many high schoolers, and with added strength, that should improve as well.
For more on Ferris, check out our draft profile on him.
#13 Los Angeles Angels – Daniel Susac, Catcher, Arizona
Susac and Parada are the best two catchers in the draft. Which one is better is up for debate, so the Angels are happy to get the Arizona backstop here at 13. Susac moves well for his size at 6-foot-4 and has a plus arm. He also put up a 1.013 OPS this season which gives him a well-rounded profile.
For more on Susac, check out our draft profile on him.
#14 New York Mets – Carson Whisenhunt, Left-Handed Pitcher, East Carolina
While Whisenhunt was suspended for the 2022 season because of testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, he still gets selected here as the Mets double down on their pitching. His size and delivery point toward at least a regular starter in the majors with top of the rotation upside.
For more on Whisenhunt, check out our draft profile on him.
#15 San Diego Padres – Cam Collier, Third Base, Chipola JC (FL)
While his bat at just 17 years old is Collier’s best tool, he also has the chance to be a very good defender at third base. He has a plus arm that reaches low 90s and good instincts for the hot corner. His bat-to-ball skills are excellent, and the power is expected to come as he fills out.
For more on Collier, check out our draft profile on him.
#16 Cleveland Guardians – Zach Neto, Shortstop, Campbell University
The versatile infielder has an unorthodox approach at the plate. He has a huge leg kick and uphill stroke from the right side. However, his pitch recognition is exceptional, and he manages to barrel the ball well. He has the chops to stick at shortstop with a cannon for an arm, but he may improve his defensive profile by shifting to third or second.
For more on Neto, check out our draft profile on him.
#17 Philadelphia Phillies – Dylan Lesko, Right-Handed Pitcher, Buford HS (GA)
Going into the season, Lesko was nearly a lock to be the first pitcher off the board. Tommy John Surgery in April put a wrinkle in that. However, the right-hander showed his rare talent when he did pitch. The Phillies grab him here and keep him away from his commitment to Vanderbilt. While there is always risk in recovery from TJS, if Lesko comes back strong, the Phillies may have gotten the steal of the draft.
For more on Lesko, check out our draft profile on him.
#18 Cincinnati Reds – Kumar Rocker, Right-Handed Pitcher, No School (formerly Vanderbilt)
Rocker’s fiasco after last year’s draft was well-documented. This year he drops only eight spots to the Reds. He signed with Tri-City of the Frontier League to show his stuff is still there. He has a 1.80 ERA in four starts and carries a 25/3 K/BB rate in 15 innings. The power combo of Hunter Greene and Rocker has to give Reds fans a glimmer of hope.
For more on Rocker, check out our draft profile on him.
#19 Oakland Athletics – Drew Gilbert, Outfield, Tennessee
Gilbert seems to play with a chip on his shoulder and goes at 100 mph 100 percent of the time. He may have to calm down a bit as he gets to the upper levels, but the talent is undeniable. He is an interesting prospect in the sense that he can actually use a three-pitch repertoire off the mound and has experience pitching at the college level. His bat is very solid, and he has a good shot at sticking in centerfield. While he won’t be Shohei Ohtani, it will be intriguing to see how the A’s use Gilbert as he ascends the minors.
For more on Gilbert, check out our draft profile on him.
#20 Atlanta Braves – Jud Fabian, Outfield, Florida
After Fabian couldn’t reach an agreement with the Boston Red Sox in 2021 after they selected him 40th overall, he went back to Florida to hone his skills for another year. It paid off with him cutting down on his strikeouts and realizing he doesn’t need to sell out for power at the expense of hard contact. The Braves haven’t drafted a college outfielder in the first round since Mike Kelly in 1991.
For more on Fabian, check out our draft profile on him.
#21 Seattle Mariners – Chase DeLauter, Outfield, James Madison
Although he has picked on lesser pitching in the Colonial Athletic Conference, DeLauter has shown enough to scouts. He has at least average tools across the board, and his defense may be good enough for him to stay in centerfield. How he handles upper tier pitching will be the difference between a good major league career or struggling to get there.
For more on DeLauter, check out our draft profile on him.
#22 St. Louis Cardinals – Brandon Barriera, Left-Handed Pitcher, American Heritage HS (FL)
The talent is there for the lefty as he has a knack for the strike zone and attacks hitters. His fastball is already touching 96 at just 18 years old and he may have more than that in the tank as he fills out. If he can develop an above average changeup which he already has a feel for, Barriera could be a starter in the big leagues despite some doubting his durability.
For more on Barriera, check out our draft profile on him.
#23 Toronto Blue Jays – Jordan Beck, Outfield, Tennessee
Comparisons to Hunter Renfroe abound as they are both big power-hitting outfielders. Both were also taken by the Red Sox out of High School. Beck went back to school as Renfroe did and he looks to become another first-round pick like his baseball doppelganger.
For more on Beck, check out our draft profile on him.
#24 Boston Red Sox – Blade Tidwell, Right-Handed Pitcher, Tennessee
Tidwell has an exciting mix of pitches that starts with a fastball that sits in the mid-90s. His slider and changeup are plus, and his curveball is average and could turn into an above-average fourth pitch. Tidwell has the stuff to be a frontline starter and would’ve likely gone higher if not for a shoulder injury earlier in the year.
For more on Tidwell, check out our draft profile on him.
#25 New York Yankees – Peyton Graham, Shortstop, Oklahoma
When a kid hits 20 home runs and steals 34 bases in college, you have to take notice. Graham did that while playing primarily shortstop this season. He has impressed with his defensive skills at third base and in the outfield which gives him a rare versatility that major league teams love. Hitting consistently at the upper levels is a concern, but the power, speed, and defense is there already.
For more on Graham, check out our draft profile on him.
#26 Chicago White Sox – Jett Williams, Shortstop, Rockwall-Heath HS (TX)
Williams had a shoulder injury that haunted him this season. He makes solid contact and is a line-drive hitter now with 15-homer power in the future. While some think he can stick at shortstop if his shoulder issues are behind him, he could make an excellent second baseman in the mold of Dustin Pedroia.
For more on Williams, check out our draft profile on him.
#27 Milwaukee Brewers – Tucker Toman, Third Base, Hammond HS (SC)
The switch-hitter is better from the left side but is quite adequate batting right-handed. Like many prepsters, he can get too pull-happy and try to blast balls 500 feet. When Toman is hitting well, he sprays the ball with solid contact gap to gap. Third base is his defensive home for now, and he may stick there with below-average range but a good arm. Left field may wind up as his ultimate spot.
For more on Toman, check out our draft profile on him.
#28 Houston Astros – Cole Young, Shortstop, North Allegheny HS (PA)
Getting a true shortstop this late is a good pick. The Astros love guys like Young who rarely strikeout and play good defense while being good on the bases. All of his tools are above-average except for power. He doesn’t project as much more than 10 homers a year, but he could pair that with 40 doubles and a .300 average.
For more on Young, check out our draft profile on him.
#29 Tampa Bay Rays – Connor Prielipp, Left-Handed Pitcher, Alabama
The Rays develop pitching like few other teams. Prielipp already gives them a plus-plus fastball and arguably the best slider in the draft. He is coming off TJS last May and pitched at the MLB Combine. He didn’t disappoint dropping a few signature sliders and registering the highest spin rate at the showcase. Prielipp may wind up going higher than this, but I am going to slot him here for now.
For more on Prielipp, check out our draft profile on him.
#30 San Francisco Giants – Robby Snelling, Left-Handed Pitcher, McQueen HS (NV)
Snelling is an all-around athlete who was slated to play both sports at Arizona. Jay Johnson was named LSU’s baseball coach and Snelling switched his commitment to stick to the diamond. He has a starter’s build and is very athletic. Snelling can hit 97 on his heater and may be able to touch triple digits with a few more pounds. His curveball is devastating, and he spins it well. The left-hander’s little used changeup could become a solid third pitch.
For more on Snelling, check out our draft profile on him.
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