Can you believe we are less than a week away from the draft? I’m still on the fence about a few picks below, so I might release another mock the day of. In the meantime, here is mock 6.0.
- Baltimore Orioles: Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (FL)
Finally did it. I’m not proud I did it, but Druw Jones makes sense as the number one pick in 2022. I still believe Brooks Lee suits Baltimore’s needs right now, and is more in line with their timeline for winning, but it’s hard to pass on the ceiling that Jones has. He could become a 70-hit and 70-power tool in the minors. It’s hard not to fall in love with what he 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.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
While most have Lee dropping to four or five, and even in the top eight, I still believe Lee is the best shortstop in this draft. He will fly through the minors, and for a team that needs talent right now, he brings more upside in terms of timeline, than someone like Jackson Holliday, who will take time to develop. 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 too.
3. Texas Rangers: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater HS (OK)
Jackson Holliday broke from being my top-50 prospect to my top-15 prospect, and now he’s a top three pick. What a jump! First off, like Druw Jones, he has 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.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: 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. But when 2022 hit, he started to drop. 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.
5. Washington Nationals: 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. Also, his leadership skills stand out on and off the field.
6. Miami Marlins: 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 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 down in Marianna, Florida.
7. Chicago Cubs: 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.
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. A left-handed hitter, he is easily the best hitter in the ACC.
10. Colorado Rockies: 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 Rockies get a steal here at 10.
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: 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. He’s dropping due to his uneven performance in the Big 12 Tournament.
13. Los Angeles Angels: 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.
14. New York Mets: Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS (NV)
Welcome to the first round Justin. 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: 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. Only down side to him is his decision to not pitch regularly his senior season. We don’t get enough looks at him.
16. Cleveland Guardians: 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. He’s gained ground in my mock and could gain more before the draft.
17. Philadelphia Phillies: Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee
I love, love, love high-potential players out of Tennessee. 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 Reds: 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’s been working on since last summer.
19. Oakland Athletics: 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.
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: 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.
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: 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.
24. Boston Red Sox: Jett Williams, SS, Rockwell-Heath HS (TX)
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: 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.
27. Milwaukee Brewers: 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?
28. Houston Astros: Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama
His slider is one of the best pitches in college, sitting in the mid-80s and touching 90 mph with two-plane break that has it drop off the table as it approaches the plate. His quick arm could add more velocity after completing his rehabilitation from elbow reconstruction. I’d also like to see him use his changeup more.
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.