2022 MLB MOCK DRAFT 5.0; Brooks Lee, Druw Jones

With nearly a month away, the draft is showing who will be in the first round. The top-10 picks appear locked, but the rest are starting to come into focus.

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: 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.

5. Washington NationalsJace 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: 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.

7. Chicago CubsDylan 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 RoyalsJacob 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.

10. Colorado RockiesCam 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 predicted a rise in future mock drafts for him and I was right. He went from 31 to top-10. He’s having a killer year in Marianna, Florida.

11. New York Mets: 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.

12. Detroit Tigers: 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. A left-handed hitter, he is easily the best hitter in the ACC.

13. Los Angeles Angels: Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (FL)

Let the high risers begin. I originally had Ferris going to the Dodgers at 30 in my first couple mocks, 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.

14. New York Mets: Jordan Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS (NV)

Welcome to the first round Jordan. Right off the bat, Crawford’s bloodlines come into play when evaluating him. He’s the son of former All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford. What stands out most, though, is his speed, defense, and arm. While he does fit the mold of a classic leadoff hitter who can just get on base, I want to see more from the high-riser before I go all in on a top-12 pick. His bat, while effective, doesn’t blow me away. Mostly because the ball doesn’t explode off it. He’s more of a slap hitter who needs to add muscle to his 6’3″, 175 pound frame.

15. San Diego Padres: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Tri-City ValleyCats

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 Padres get a steal here at 15. They like making headlines and this will be another one. Rocker would be a splash at Petco park.

16. Cleveland Guardians:  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.

17. Philadelphia Phillies: 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.

18. Cincinnati RedsBrandon 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. Only down side to him is his decision to not pitch regularly his senior season. We don’t get enough looks at him.

19. Oakland Athletics: 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.

20. Atlanta Braves: 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. The Braves haven’t had a great catcher since Brian McCann.

21. Seattle Mariners: 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 Mariners in this mock.

22. St. Louis Cardinals: Spencer Jones, OF, Vanderbilt

Jones could very well be my favorite prospect in this draft. He never gets any love, and I just don’t understand why. He produces and produces. Any hype on him deadened a bit when he underwent Tommy John surgery during his underclass years. If there were any doubts about whether the surgery would affect his game, those should be tossed aside now. His exit velocities are among the best in the entire class, and he can hit all over the field. At one-time he was a pitcher, but Vanderbilt found his bat more valuable, and the scary thing is he’s just starting to tap into what he is capable of offensively. At 6’7″ we could be seeing Aaron Judge 2.0.

23. Toronto Blue Jays: 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?

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 YankeesDylan 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 SoxGabriel 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.

27. Milwaukee Brewers: Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State

Hjerpe has a full arsenal of pitches, his best being his curveball, which is more of a slow sweeping curve, but it does the job nicely as a finishing pitch. What has put him in the first round to date is his consistency and control.

28. Houston Astros: Jett Williams, SS, Rockwell-Heath HS (TX)

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.

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. San Francisco Giants: Robby Snelling, LHP, McQueen (NV)

Snelling has a solid fastball and curve, which he’s able to paint all over the plate with ease. He’s a relentless worker on and off the field, and is destined to be a rotation starter who can eat up innings.

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