We’re still three months out. I repeat. We’re still three months out. While the draft is starting to shape a little more now that high school and college baseball are off to the races, we’re starting to see risers and and droppers.
1. Baltimore Orioles: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
I’m not sorry and I’m not coming off this ledge. While Druw Jones is the hot prospect lately, Brooks is establishing himself as the next Manny Machado for the Orioles. I like that Brooks Lee can hit very well from both sides of the plate and displays the same type of power on each side. 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: Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (FL)
It’s hard not to fall in love with what Druw Jones brings to the game, let alone any team willing to draft him. 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.
3. Texas Rangers: 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 he’s starting to slide, but that doesn’t take away from the potential he has. Green is the sort of player scouts drool over. At 6’3″, 215 pounds, he already has a major league body. Think Ronald Acuna’s swing with Byron Buxton‘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.
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. Right now, Parada, Arizona’s Susac and Mississippi State’s Logan Tanner are the very best this class has to offer. From the get, his plus raw power stands out. His swing is pretty and should be the model for any young ball player trying to improve his 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: Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
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.
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: Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (FL)
Let the high risers begin. I originally had Ferris going to the Dodgers at 30, but scouts are starting to key in on him more and more. 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.
12. Detroit Tigers: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater HS (OK)
Debuting in my mock draft, Jackson Holliday broke from being my top-50 prospect to my top-15 prospect in the 2022 draft. Many are putting him in the top-five, but I can’t put him there yet. There’s a lot to love about Holliday. First off, good bloodlines. He’s the son of seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday. At the young age of 18, Jackson Holliday has an advanced approach to the plate. While he has a very thin frame that needs to add more muscle, he’s shown he is gaining muscle with age, which teams love to see. While he’s not Bobby Witt Jr., there is an ability for him to rise to those comps in the next few months.
13. Los Angeles Angels: Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee
I love, love, love high-potential players out of UT. Jordan Beck has broke out and is one of the many reasons the Volunteers sit atop the NCAA rankings. There’s many comps to Hunter Renfroe to his game, and that’s fair. He’s solid defensively and runs very well too.
14. New York Mets: 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.
15. San Diego Padres: Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee
As of April 24, Tidwell came back from an injury and led the Vols to a 3-0 shutout win. It was his first of his season. While others are dropping Tidwell, I’m hanging on strong. He’s got great stuff. 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. The high expectations remain, however. Will he rise to the occasion?
16. Cleveland Guardians: 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.
17. Philadelphia Phillies: 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.
18. Cincinnati Reds: Daniel Susac, C, Arizona
Susac has 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.
19. Oakland Athletics: 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.
20. Atlanta Braves: 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.
21. Seattle Mariners: Jett Williams, SS, Rockwell-Heath HS (TX)
When it’s all said and done, I’m leaning towards Seattle filling out their infield for the first handful of rounds. Their future there is far from complete, but drafting someone like Jett Williams would instantly put them ahead of schedule. Jett is the smallest shortstop in this draft. He stands at 5’8″ and profiles as more of a David Eckstein or Nick Allen type of player, but I feel his ceiling as a hitter is higher than theirs was/is.
22. St. Louis Cardinals: Andrew Dutkanych, RHP, Brebeuf Jesuit (IN)
As is the case with all mocks leading up to the draft, insiders like to drool over the new flavor the scouts are raving about. Andrew Dutkanych is the latest flavor. He’s Indiana’s top prep pitcher with two plus pitches. His upper-70s curve needs a little work on its location and consistency, but there are signs of good improvement for that pitch.
23. Toronto Blue Jays: 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 Blue Jays get a steal here at 23. They’re young and hungry and are taking chances. Rocker would be a splash.
24. Boston Red Sox: Logan Tanner, C, Mississippi State
His development over the summer looks great, but with known catcher names of Parada and Susac, Tanner could lose momentum as a first round selection. So far, though, he’s living up to preseason expectations.
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: Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga
Hughes sneaking into the first round is a pleasant surprise. He’s a big right-hander who can fill the zone with an array of breaking stuff, corner painting, and impressive command that you see from front-end starters in the bigs. His fastball is a mid-to-upper 90s electric pitch that comes complete with a wipeout slider he has that will most certainly become his finisher.
28. Houston Astros: Zach Neto, SS, Campbell
There’s the possibility of a run on shortstops early in this draft. If that happens, don’t be shocked if Neto gets selected by a nervous team wanting to pull the trigger sooner than later. For now, he drops to the Astros in this mock. They need to stock up their infield again anyway.
29. Tampa Bay Rays: Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee
Make way for another Tennessee gem. Drew Gilbert debuts on my list, and at no surprise. He is the lightning to Jordan Beck’s thunder. If you want a comparison, 2021’s Sal Frelick is in his wheelhouse. Gilbert doesn’t have the speed that Frelick has, but he can turn on the jets when he needs to. And he finds the barrel to the ball flawlessly, making it look easier than it is off mid-90s throws.
30. Los Angeles Dodgers: 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.
31. San Francisco: Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola College
Son of former big leaguer Lou Collier, Cam profiles a lot like his father– surprise, surprise. At 6’2″ 210 pounds, he’s still growing, which will help his already 60-grade power. I’m predicting a rise in future mock drafts for him.