This is my mock draft of the New Year, and just in time before the college season. Let’s go!
1. Baltimore Orioles: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
Between Carter Young and Brooks Lee, 2022 might turn into another Mayer/Lawler debate like 2021 had. I like that Brooks Lee can hit very well from both sides of the plate and displays the same type of power each side he’s swinging. He’s got the size you like to see for a shortstop of his caliber, and he displays quick hands at the plate and in the field. On the base paths he leaves little to be desired, but the rest of the package is there. I still think Green is in play here, but Baltimore needs a stud shortstop in their system.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks: Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy
Much like 2020’s top pick Spencer Torkelson, Elijah Green has been the consensus number one pick in 2022 for quite some time now. It pains me to drop him to two here, but his stock is seeing a tiny dip. Green is the sort of player scouts drool over. At 6’3″, 215 pounds, he already has a major league body. Think Barry Bonds swing with Ronald Acuna Jr.’s defense and speed. Plus-plus raw power, hit-ability is there. 70-arm with 70-run too. Come on! He’s about to become a star.
3. Texas Rangers: Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (FL)
Why does this dude remind me of former MLB star Andruw Jones? Because it’s his son, that’s why! Welcome to the prospect ranks Druw Jones. His name is rising through the ranks at them moment. His athletic ability is among the best in this year’s crop. He’s 6’3″ and has the skills and instincts to stay in centerfield full-time. Much like a few other prospects on this list, he has plus-plus speed and amazes in the field and at the plate. The exit velocity off his bat is eye-popping for his age. Much like Green, he has five-tool potential.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Termarr Johnson, 2B/SS, Mays HS (GA)
Johnson has a strong and athletic build. He absolutely attacks the ball and sees the zone extremely well for a high-schooler. Much like Jazz Chisolm is with the Miami Marlins, Johnson has a huge personality and leadership skills on and off the field. I may be overstating this right now, but if he has a good season, Johnson could become a top-five pick.
5. Washington Nationals: Jace Jung, 2B/3B, Texas Tech
His last name rings a bell, I’m sure. His older brother Josh Jung was drafted by the Rangers in 2018. Jace Jung’s profile is comparable to Josh’s. He’s a thick, absolute masher whose maturity is starting to elevate at the dish. While he is a bat-first prospect, that’s all you really need to see out of this type of player.
6. Miami Marlins: Jacob Berry, 1B/3B, LSU
As a freshman last spring, Berry busted onto the scene like the Kool-Aid Man. He transferred to LSU in the offseason to follow his coach Jay Johnson. Berry can hit for average and has intriguing pop in his bat to which he can hit to all fields. There is talk he could move to first base, since teammate Cade Doughty‘s emergence at the position.
7. Chicago Cubs: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS (GA)
Lesko has a good feel for the strike zone and paints it with three main pitches: a fastball that stays in the upper-90s, a sweeping slider that’s his finishing pitch and a sneaky changeup that’s also become a go-to finisher. The only downside about Lesko is that he’s committed to Vanderbilt, so that means if he drops in the draft, he’ll most likely not sign and try to win a title with Vandy, all while improving his draft stock at the same time.
8. Minnesota Twins: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
This year’s draft is stacked with catchers. Parada, Arizona’s Susac and Mississippi’s Hayden Dunhurst, right now, are the very best this class has to offer. From the get, his plus raw power stands out. His swing is electric and should be the model for any young ball player trying to improve their hitting. Behind the plate, he calls a solid game and his mental mindset is the best we’ve seen in the past two drafts.
9. Kansas City Royals: Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison
DeLauter is a lefty bat, who has the potential to hit 40 home runs at the next level. He’s a centerfielder at the moment, but could move to one of the corners in the near future.
10. Colorado Rockies: Brock Porter, RHP, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s HS (MI)
I gotta show some love for my fellow Michigander, who also happens to be one of, if not thee, top high school pitcher coming into the 2022 draft at the moment. Porter’s fastball has been clocked at 99 mph, but usually rides in the mid-90s for most of the game. He’s got a plus-change up to go along with a decent curve. His slider needs some work, though. If he can keep his command in check and perfect his breaking stuff, he’ll headlining all pitchers in this class.
11. New York Mets: Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas
Pallette was the Razorbacks’ best pitcher. If he hadn’t went down in May, we might be talking about him and Arkansas as national champs. His fastball sits 93-95 mph and has touched 99 at times. He’s got a hammer curveball to look out for this upcoming season.
12. Detroit Tigers: Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS (PA)
Young is a twitchy athlete with good speed in the field and on the base paths. I can see him becoming a fast riser in this draft. He has a sound approach to the box and gets the barrel through the zone with ease.
13. Los Angeles Angels: Brock Jones, OF, Standford
A two-sport athlete, Jones played for Stanford’s football team in 2019, before he opted to focus on baseball. He’s got an above-average left-handed power and plus speed.
14. New York Mets: Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia
The Hokies hitter is one of the bigger bats in this class and his swings come with massive exit velocities. He’s also become a more mature hitter at the plate. I expect him to be a future middle-of-the-order bat from the left side.
15. San Diego Padres: Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee
Tidwell was the best freshman starter in the College World Series last season. He went 10-3 with a 3.74 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 98 innings pitched. He’s got a lot of expectations now. Will he rise to the occasion?
16. Cleveland Guardians: Robert Moore, 2B, Arkansas
Moore has great baseball instincts which makes him play above his tools. Arkansas was a powerhouse in college baseball last season, so expect Moore and many of his teammates in the spotlight this next season. As my mock drafts go during their campaign, these Arkansas players will continue to be thinned out of the first round. I see Moore hanging on, though.
17. Philadelphia Phillies: Nate Savino, LHP, Virginia
Savino was a heavily-scouted prep pitcher, who easily could’ve opted to turn pro early on, but decided to attend Virginia instead. He throws a mid-90s fastball with some exploding sink action that I can’t stop watching in his scouting videos. His slider is strong and seems to be his punch out pitch more times than not.
18. Cincinnati Reds: Carter Young, SS, Vanderbilt
Carter Young took over shortstop after Austin Martin was drafted over a year ago. He can do a little bit of everything. He reminds me of a Trea Truner/Dansby Swanson type of player with less pop. He’s taken a backseat this past season due to the star power of Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker, but now it’s his time to shine.
19. Oakland Athletics: Daniel Susac, C, Arizona
Susac as raw power and a hit tool that’ll lure more teams to his games next season. Much like Harry Ford was for the 2021 draft, I expect Susac to garner the same hype.
20. Atlanta Braves: Kumar Rocker, RHP, N/A
Kumar Rocker isn’t done yet. He looks in phenomenal shape and I’m told he’s throwing harder than he had before his Vanderbilt exit. While the future hasn’t quite taken shape for him, he’s still a star in the making in my opinion. The Braves get a steal here at 20.
21. Seattle Mariners: Hayden Dunhurst, C, Mississippi
In 2021, Dunhurst hit .280 with 43 RBIs and a .385 OBP. If you ask him, he won’t settle for this. Expect big things from Dunhurst in 2022. He’s got amazing work ethic and well-rounded skills that make him hard to forget about. His arm strength is elite and he has refined his hit tool, so I’m excited to see when he enters the 2022 season as one of three best catching prospects how he will perform. On the flip side of that, if he maintains and not improves his hit tool, he could see a drop as there will be an influx of high school catchers that will join this list once prep seasons begin.
22. St. Louis Cardinals: Hunter Barco, LHP, Florida
I feel like Barco has been on our radar for years, but he really hasn’t. His name keeps popping up because he’s a talent that has potential to become the best Florida pitcher in the last 10 years, and that’s saying something.
23. Toronto Blue Jays: Cayden Wallace, 3B/OF, Arkansas
Wallace has above-average power at the moment, but I see that improving this season. Arkansas loves this guy. His arm isn’t nothing to brag about in the outfield, but what makes him a first-rounder is his bat.
24. Boston Red Sox: Tristan Smith, LHP, Boiling Springs HS (PA)
His fastball and breaking ball are what got him into my first round mock draft. To stay, he’s going to have to add more to his repertoire.
25. New York Yankees: Dylan Beavers, OF, California
Beavers plays to his 6’4″, 206-pound size. He has lefty raw power and an above-average arm to go along with his above-average speed to make him a legitimate centerfielder. At the next level, he could really turn heads.
26. Chicago White Sox: Cade Doughty, 3B, LSU
A one-time second baseman, Doughty was moved to third in 2020 and it fit him well. His barrel always finds the baseball, and his right-handed stroke is smooth. He’s also got a plus arm in the field.
27. Milwaukee Brewers: Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage Plantation HS (FL)
He sits between 92 and 94 the later innings he goes. I love his finishing slider, and he can top his heater out at 97 right now. He stands 6’1″ presently, but is still growing into his frame. He comes right at hitters and isn’t afraid to throw inside. And if you read my articles, you know I say that pitchers who aren’t afraid to throw inside have good success in the pros.
28. Houston Astros: Jayson Jones, 3B, Braswell HS (TX)
Some people don’t like to compare prospects to other pro players. Over time I started to. This is because a comparison gives people, who don’t or can’t watch their games, what the player is like before they mold into their own player on the field. Jayson Jones, to me, compares to Alec Bohm of the Phillies. Good size, raw power, all-around electric bat. If he can keep this up, he’ll easily become a top-10 selection.
29. Tampa Bay Rays: Bryce Hubbart, LHP, Florida St.
A smaller pitcher, but his control and spin rates make him legit. He’s hit 96 with his fastball, so if he comes firing that consistently 2022, expect him to remain in the first round.
30. Los Angeles Dodgers: Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (FL)
There is always a spotlight on IMG pitchers. Here comes the latest, Jackson Ferris. He stands 6’4″and is still growing. His curveball has produced spin rates in the 2600-2700 rpm range with late life. If he drops it’s because his command, which he has been working on since last summer.
31. San Francisco: Logan Tanner, C, Mississippi State
There are mock drafts that have Logan Tanner higher, but he hasn’t earned that yet. I need to see more. His development over the summer looks great, but with the bigger catcher names of Parada, Susac and Dunhurst, Tanner could lose momentum as a first round selection. There’s talk Joey Bart might not play catcher long term, if they took Tanner here, that’d make the Giants feel better about moving him out of that position.