Notable Picks: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater HS (OK); Dylan Beavers, OF, California; Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
Analysis: I’m still in shock after they selected Holliday with the number one pick over Druw Jones. I could be wrong, but Holliday didn’t pass the vibe check for me. I keep getting Mickey Moniak flashbacks. Beavers was a great followup pick, and while I think Fabian’s ceiling and floor have been figured out, maybe Baltimore’s development unlock some things to his game we couldn’t see.
BOSTON RED SOX
Notable Picks: Mikey Romero, SS, Orange Lutheran HS (CA); Cutter Coffey, SS/3B, Liberty HS (CA); Noah Dean, LHP, Old Dominion
Analysis: Shortstop is definitely a position the Sox didn’t need to draft for, unless they feel between Romero, Coffey, who can also play third, and last year’s first rounder Marcelo Mayer might not stick there permanently. Noah Dean was a hell of a steal in the fifth. Overall, though, I felt the Red Sox had better options the first four rounds they passed over.
NEW YORK YANKEES
Notable Picks: Spencer Jones, OF, Vanderbilt; Drew Thorpe, RHP, Cal Poly; Trystan Vrieling, RHP, Gonzaga
Analysis: I love, love, love the the Spencer Jones pick. I think this guy has a sneaky high ceiling, and in a handful of years we could be debate over him being one of the better picks in this draft. Besides Jones, the rest of the Yankees’ picks don’t move the needle. Thorpe could develop into a nice arm for them. He has a fastball that sits between 92-94 mph and his changeup shouldn’t’ be slept on, but these these picks are depth pieces. Probably future relievers. Which, I’m not a fan of drafting destined-relievers in the first few rounds.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
Notable Picks: Xavier Isaac, 1B, East Forsyth (NC); Brock Jones, OF, Stanford; Dominic Keegan, C, Vanderbilt
Analysis: I was surprised the Rays reached for Isaac with the 29th pick in the first. He’s a 6’4″, 240 pound masher, who I can’t believe is only 18-years old. He’ll take a while to develop on the farm, but if it all comes together could become a pretty special player. Still, though, he might’ve fell to them in the next rounds. The rest of his game isn’t nothing to brag about. I do like the Brock Jones pick, as he should fly through the minors and add instant depth. Keegan is a better catcher than were he was ranked in other mocks. The rest of their draft, they took a lot of pitchers but no one that sets them above where they are now with their farm system.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Notable Picks: Brandon Barriera, Tucker Toman, SS/3B, Hammond School (SC); Cade Doughty, 2B/3B, LSU
Analysis: Two picks, Toman and Doughty, I was shocked fell to them. With the good stuff that Brandon Barriera brings to the bump and the value they found in the later rounds, overall the Blue Jays turned in a solid draft.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Notable Picks: Noah Schultz, LHP, Oswego East HS (IL); Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas; Jonathan Cannon, RHP, Georgia
Analysis: I like the Pallette pick, but I’m so-so on the Schultz pick in the first round. I feel Schultz’s stock rose the last week before the draft, which happens a lot with prep arms, so the Sox made a knee jerk reaction to snag him. It’s no question they fell in love with his 6’9″ size as well as his ceiling. His floor is pretty low. Schultz is a project that’ll take a while, which is fine if they aren’t worried about what they have up with big club now. Problem is, aside from Dylan Cease, I don’t trust a single arm in that rotation. Picking a college arm early would’ve been more beneficial to suit the Sox’s needs in the next year or two.
Notable Picks: Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison University; Justin Campbell, RHP, Oklahoma State; Parker Messick, LHP, Florida State
Analysis: The Guardians continue to stock up on high-projected outfielders, and DeLauter could be among the best they have. They followed that pick with Justin Campbell, who was a gift from God that he fell that far. Campbell stands 6’7″ and his fastball spin rate keeps hitters looking, if not, a meaningless amount of contact.
Notable Picks: Jace Jung, 2B/3B, Texas Tech; Peyton Graham, SS, Oklahoma; Luke Gold, 3B, Boston College
Analysis: GM Al Avila was drafting for his job. Last year he should’ve went out and got the necessary bats needed. This year he made up for it, selecting angry hitter Jace Jung and right-handed shortstop Peyton Graham, who is a splendid splinter of a hitter and has work ethic and baseball IQ out of this world. They followed that up with high ceiling infielders Luke Gold out of Boston College and North Carolina shortstop Danny Serretti. Avila finished the last day of the draft by selecting nine pitchers. It’s clear he’s playing the odds game there, trying to find a diamond in the rough in case former first rounders Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Alex Faedo don’t work out.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Notable Picks: Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech; Cayden Wallace, 3B, Arkansas; Hayden Dunhurst, C, Ole Miss
Analysis: Yet again, the Royals turn in another gem of a draft class. They started with Gavin Cross, an outfielder out of Virginia Tech. He very well could be the best left-handed collegiate hitter in this class. Superb exit velocity off his bat aside, there isn’t one tool that really stands out about him, but he should turn into an all-around every day outfielder who straight up produces. Love among scouts dropped for Cayden Wallace as they considered him an average fielder who was more of a pull hitter that lacked opposite field ability. But it shouldn’t be ignored that every year he has improved his game. While most are out on Dunhurst after a less than stellar 2022, compared to his 2021 season, I still believe with the right development he could turn into an offense-producing backstop.
Notable Picks: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly; Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama; Tanner Schobel, SS, Virginia Tech
Analysis: Brooks Lee will probably move to second or third, as shortstop is former number one pick Royce Lewis‘ to lose. Regardless, Lee is the most advanced hitter in this class. Personally, I think he should’ve went one, because he’ll rocket through the minors to join the big club in a couple short years. How did Connor Prielipp fall to them? This was a projected middle-of-the-first round pitcher. Unreal. The Twins didn’t bat an eyelash and made their future rotation even better on Monday afternoon.
Notable Picks: Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee; Jacob Melton, OF, Oregon State; Andrew Taylor, RHP, Central Michigan
Analysis: Drew Gilbert’s stock took a dive leading up to the draft. Overall, he’s a player that should move through the minors steadily, but might hit a snag at Triple-A. He’s a hitter without a lot of power. But he’s got field and base path speed and a strong arm in the field to provide the Astros good depth. They followed their first round selection with outfielder Jacob Melton who fell to them at pick 68. How he wasn’t a first rounder is beyond me.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Notable Picks: Zach Neto, SS, Campbell; Ben Joyce, RHP, Tennessee; Jake Madden, RHP, Northwest Florida State JC
Analysis: The Angels need pitchers. Pitchers! While they went all in on pitchers later in the draft, they might’ve jumped the gun on selecting Zach Neto in the first. I love Neto. I think he’s a fine shortstop. But the Angels have needed relevant arms in their system since forever.
Notable Picks: Daniel Susac, C, Arizona; Henry Bolte, OF, Palo Alto HS (CA); Clark Elliott, OF, Michigan; Brennan Milone, 3B, Oregon
Analysis: Susac is a catcher that can make a name for himself in Oakland. He’s sort of like a Nick Swisher type of prospect with shades of Brian McCann. Henry Bolte was a reach I actually liked. He’s got elite speed in the field and on the bases and can hit a mile. If he limits the swings-and-misses to his game to up his hit tool, he could be a steal here. Brennan Milone, a one-time top 100 list prospect a year ago saw a dramatic slide in 2022. I never give up on prospects with upside, and Milone has plenty of it.
Notable Picks: Cole Young, SS, Allegheny HS (PA); Tyler Locklear, 3B/1B, VCU; Walter Ford, RHP, Pace HS
Analysis: Cole Young was the best player available at 20. Did Seattle need another shortstop in their system? Not necessarily, but Young is a good piece to the farm that will take time to develop. There isn’t a rush with him. His bat-to-bat skills on the left side of the plate draw comps to Adam Frazier. I wasn’t in love with the Locklear pick that they followed up with. Same with Walter Ford. Each of these guys are projects, which again, isn’t a bad thing, but don’t give Seattle a real boost.
Notable Picks: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Tri-City Valleycats; Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary’s Prep (MI); Chandler Pollard, SS, Woodward Academy (GA)
Analysis: Rocker being chosen third overall blew everyone’s hair back. I couldn’t be happier for him and the Rangers. They got themselves a gamer. He’s just built different. Then the best prep pitcher in the draft, Brock Porter, fell to them in the fourth. At this point, unless they open up the checkbook, I don’t see Porter signing. He’ll most likely join the Clemson Tigers instead. Regardless, it’s clear the Rangers have a plan by their last few drafts. This is a club that wants to win now, with their spending, and sustain it with their marvelous draft selections.
Notable Picks: Owen Murphy, RHP, Riverside Brookfield (IL); JR Ritchie, Bainbridge HS (WA); Drake Baldwin, C, Missouri State
Analysis: Owen Murphy was an okay pick. Nothing to go nuts over. I think if Kumar Rocker was there they would’ve selected him fast, but instead, they went with the Illinois high school product. Murphy’s stock rose leading up to the draft. If you want a hot take, I think their next pick JR Ritchie was better. Ritchie’s repertoire is better. His fastball is way above his, too. There are comps here to last year’s first round pick Ryan Cusick, who they ended up trading to Oakland for Matt Olson. The real steal of their draft, though, was drafting catcher Drake Baldwin. He’s a mature hitter with 20-30 home run potential.
Notable Picks: Jacob Berry, 3B, LSU; Jacob Miller, RHP, Liberty Union HS (OH); Karson Milbrandt, RHP, Liberty Senior HS (MO)
Analysis: They started out hot by selecting Jacob Berry from LSU, then grabbed prep arm Jacob Miller who might have the best curveball in this draft. The rest of their draft they played it safe by selecting pitchers. This is a move here in hopes of finding a gem or two and restocking the farm fresh with arms. Plus, if they lose any of their current rotation to free agency, they’ll have plug and play guys to not skip a beat.
NEW YORK METS
Notable Picks: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech; Jett Williams, SS, Rockwall-Heath HS (TX); Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee
Analysis: The Mets might’ve had the best draft out of any team. When Texas chose Kumar Rocker at three, everyone suddenly started wondering if the Mets screwed up by not signing him after drafting him in 2021. They stood steadfast and chose the best-catching prospect Kevin Parada, then followed that up with a shortstop some are considering the next Jose Altuve in Jett Williams. I don’t think Williams has as much power in his bat as Altuve, but the comps are there, regardless. The rest of their draft they chose stud after stud. Blade Tidwell was one of my favorite pitchers out of this year’s crop and somehow, someway he fell to them in the second round. Hell of a draft, Mets. Hell of a draft.
Notable Picks: Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS (NV); Gabriel Rincones Jr., OF, Florida Atlantic; Alex McFarlane, RHP, Miami
Analysis: I expected the Phillies to come out swinging this year. And that wasn’t what happened. The Justin Crawford pick to me makes sense, because he was the best available at 17. The rest of the draft, however, I had a hard time following what they were trying to do. I’ve followed Dave Dombroski’s career pretty closely and this looks exactly like his sort of draft strategy. He kept the money down by drafting bargain picks that he can sign under value. If they develop well on the farm, he’ll flip them in the trade market. It’s straight out of his playbook. I gave the Phillies a D+, because in the longterm of the club this strategy doesn’t work.
Notable Picks: Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy; Jake Bennett, LHP, Oklahoma; Trey Lipscomb, 3B, Tennessee
Analysis: When we look back at the 2022 draft, Elijah Green could become one of those picks that we all wonder why he never went first overall. Green’s approach to the game is mature beyond his years compared to most. The tools are what jump out at you, though. He’s your typical five-tool player. I think he’s more advanced than Druw Jones and definitely Jackson Holliday. If he has a Riley Greene launch through the minors and makes the bigs in two years, I wouldn’t be shocked.
Notable Picks: Cade Horton, RHP, Oklahoma; Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy; Christopher Paciolla, SS, Temecula Valley HS (CA)
Analysis: The Horton pick floored me. I understand he had a lights out College World Series postseason, but I felt there was better value elsewhere with this pick. I do like that he’s uber athletic and has a pretty solid fastball that touches the upper-90s. And his fading changeup will only get better with time, sure, but for the Cubs, I felt they needed a home run on this pick. Jackson Ferris was good insurance but the rest of the draft underwhelmed.
Notable Picks: Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola College (FL); Sal Stewart, 3B, Westminster Christian School (FL); Logan Tanner, C, Mississippi State
Analysis: Early on, the Reds had a plan going into the draft and that plan was to draft hitters who are good in the field too. Starting with Collier, who surprisingly dropped out of the top-10, they doubled-down on third base with power-hitting prep player Sal Stewart, and then later had catcher Logan Tanner fall into their laps. Great value. Great picks. Each will have a spot on this team.
Notable Picks: Eric Brown Jr., SS, Coastal Carolina; Robert Moore, SS, Arkansas; Jacob Misiorowski, RHP, Crowder College; Jurrangelo Cjintje, RHP/LHP, Champagnat Catholic School (FL)
Analysis: The Brewers played it safe. They nabbed two high IQ infielders in Brown and Moore, while also taking a chance on ambidextrous pitcher Jurrangelo Cjintje. There have been ambidextrous pitchers in the league before, but it’s an incredibly rare thing to see. Cjintje has upside with both arms, and I’m anxious to see in his development how he uses this gift to his advantage.
Notable Picks: Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays HS (GA); Thomas Harrington, RHP, Campbell; Hunter Barco, LHP, Florida; Jack Brannigan, RHP, Notre Dame
Analysis: Here we are again. The Pirates have had an incredible draft. Hold for applause… They see value and talent and aren’t afraid to go all in. Problem is, will they keep any of them down the road when they become too expensive? Termarr Johnson is the type of prospect who could turn a franchise around. He’s humble, he’s talented and fun to watch, he’s a team guy and he makes the most of his opportunities. Much like Elijah Green, I see this high schooler flying through the system.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Notable Picks: Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State; Brycen Mautz, LHP, University of San Diego; Pete Hansen, LHP, Texas
Analysis: Who am I to judge a great organization like the Cardinals? On the outside looking in, their draft fell flat for me. But I’ve said that before about them and have been wrong. They are just one of those organizations that have top line development. If I can say anything about their draft, is that they went with a lot of college arms, which means they want help in the pitching area sooner than later.
Notable Picks: Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (GA); Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State; Ivan Melendez, 1B, Texas; Nate Savino, LHP, Virginia
Analysis: Boy oh boy, did the Diamondbacks luck out. How Druw Jones fell to them, I’m still in shock over. Baltimore went with a lower cost option in Holliday, and were fine letting Jones slide from their grasp. While it will take Jones a handful of years to go through the system, this is a pick that I believe will pay off down the line. He’s got everything you want in a five-tool player, and he’s charismatic as they come. A star in the making, the log jam in the outfield won’t be a problem. One of my favorite later picks in this draft was when the Diamondbacks selected Ivan Melendez out of Texas. True, he’s a destined DH in the bigs, but you only get this guy for his bat anyway. Considering his power is among the best out of this class, he led the NCAA D1 in just about every slugging category. He’s also got whip-fast bat speed to boot.
Notable Picks: Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga; Sterlin Thompson, OF, Florida; Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee
Analysis: The Gabriel Hughes pick was meh. There were three-to-four other righties I liked better at 10. But this pick is about a Rockies pick as a Rockies pick could get. They followed that up with selecting two high upside, athletic outfielders with sneaky pop in Sterlin Thompson out of Florida and Jordan Beck out of Tennessee. Without them they would’ve gotten a D-grade from me.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Notable Picks: Dalton Rushing, C, Louisville; Alex Freeland, SS, Central Florida; Chris Newell, OF, Virginia
Analysis: I actually got to see Alex Freeland play a lot when he was in travel ball at a young age. The kid has always been in the spotlight of every team he played on. I think he has untapped power that scouts overlooked him on. The Dalton Rushing pick in the first was a bit of a head-scratcher when I first heard his name called, but the more I look at that pick the more I like it. If Will Smith doesn’t turn out how they hope he does, Rushing is an offensive-minded catcher who could be a Mike Piazza/Russell Martin type of player they have longed for. Newell was once a top-50 prospect. A dicey 2022 made him fall very far down the list, much like Alex Binelas in 2021. I still believe there is a lot in the tank here and we shouldn’t sleep on the Virginia product.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
Notable Picks: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Burford HS (GA); Robby Snelling, LHP, McQueen HS (NV); Adam Mazur, RHP, Iowa
Analysis: I knew Lesko would drop, I just didn’t think he’d make it to 15. Teams such as the Cubs, Rockies, Mets and Angels, who all need pitching help, looked past him. Their loss could become the Padres gain. And the fact that Robby Snelling, who I believe is the best southpaw in this class, dropped to them is luck at its finest. The Padres went all in on pitchers this year, which when they look back at this draft in years to come they will be thankful for.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Notable Picks: Reggie Crawford, LHP/1B; UConn; Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina; William Kempner, RHP, Gonzaga
Analysis: Choosing Crawford in the first was a risky pick, but whoever wanted that within San Fran’s front office must’ve fought hard for him. You don’t pick Crawford this early unless you’re absolutely in love with him. The Giants will most likely keep him on the hill, unless they find his hard throwing style will lead to more injuries. On the other side, he rakes at the plate, so there is that option too. Overall, I thought they followed the rest of the draft up with security picks that won’t make the Crawford pick such a hard blow if he fails to live up to expectations.