- Ben Hall
2022 MLB Mock Draft - Ben Hall
The 2022 MLB Draft is scheduled for July 17-19. It will get underway at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and MLB Network, as well as online streaming on the ESPN app and MLB.com. The draft will take place in Los Angeles as it will be apart of All Star Weekend. A few of the top prospects to look for in this years draft are Druw Jones OF (Wesleyan, Ga.), Jackson Holliday SS (Stillwater, Okla.), Elijah Green OF (IMG Academy, Fla.), Termarr Johnson 2B (Mays, Ga.), Brooks Lee, SS (Cal Poly), Jacob Berry, 3B/OF (Louisiana State), Jace Jung, 2B (Texas Tech), and Kevin Parada C (Georgia Tech).
MLB Draft's are always much more difficult than the other major sport drafts as guys are drafted from both high school and college. Players can always turn down the contact and attend/return to college if they still have eligibility. If a prospect decides to attend college, they're only eligible three years after first enrolling in a four-year college or after they turn 21, whichever one comes first. Over the past few years, we have seen some odd situations like Kumar Rocker in 2021 and Carter Stewart in 2018.
In 2021, Rocker was drafted 10th overall by the New York Mets. After reaching an agreement on a $6 million signing bonus, the Mets had concerns about Rocker's elbow health following a physical. Because of that, they attempted to negotiate him down from their agreed-upon deal, which resulted in the deadline passing without a signed contract. The Mets now will receive the No. 11 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft as compensation. Rocker is eligible for the 2022 Draft and is currently pitching in the Independent League.
For Carter Stewart, heading into the draft, there were reports that he had some wrist issues. The Atlanta Braves drafted him 8th overall and offered him around $2 million which was less money than usual due to the wrist issues. Instead, Stewart decided to sign a six-year deal with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Pacific League in Japan. This gave Stewart the opportunity to prove himself in Japan, skip the years of low pay and uncertainty in the minor leagues. He will now be eligible to sign a big deal with the MLB once his contract in Japan is up.
For the 2022 MLB Draft, who will be the No. 1 pick is currently up in the air. Orioles general manager Mike Elias has gone under slot multiple times in his career as an executive, most notably in 2012, where the Houston Astros drafted Carlos Correa with the No. 1 pick and then selecting Lance McCullers at No. 41. The extra money left over from their first selection gave them much more to offer McCullers. Both Correa and McCullers in Houston worked out well as both guys played a major role in their 2017 World Series victory.
Here is my 2022 MLB mock draft:
1. Orioles - Druw Jones, OF (Wesleyan, Georgia)
While there have been some reports where the Orioles could go with Termarr Johnson or Brooks Lee here as they could be cheaper than Jones, Baltimore has to go with the best player available here. Jones is a can't miss prospect who is phenomenal in all aspects. Jones has great speed and instincts for the ball which give him the ability to be a great center fielder in the MLB. Hitting wise, Jones showed his strong swing with a ton of bat speed. Once he fills out, we could be viewing him as one of the top prospects over the past few years.
2. Diamondbacks - Termarr Johnson, 2B (Mays, Georgia)
The Diamondbacks would jump out of their seats to get Drew Jones with the No. 2 pick, but I don't think they will have the chance. Johnson is not Many big scouts view Johnson as the best hitting prospect in this years draft. Johnson has an explosive, smooth swing with lots of pull-side power. He has great discipline at the plate as well. In the field, Johnson played shortstop in high school, but most teams view him as a second baseman. He has good hands fielding, but not the best arm or quickness, which is a big reason for moving him to second base.
3. Rangers - Jackson Holliday, SS (Stillwater, Oklahoma)
Jackson Holliday would instantly become one of the Rangers top prospects I their system. Over the past few months, Holliday has built his draft stock quickly. Holiday was the High School Baseball Player of the Year by numerous sports media outlets. He has a smooth swing and consistently finds the barrel. The power in his swing is decent now, but will improve a ton as he fills out. Fielding wise, Holiday has a strong arm and is extremely quick, which is why he is still a protected shortstop for the Majors.
4. Pirates - Elijah Green, OF (IMG Academy, Florida)
The Pirates farm system doesn't have too much talent in the outfield. At this time last year, Green was the favorite to be the No. 1 pick. Green has great size with a ton of power in his swing. As we typically see with big power hitters, Green swings and misses a decent amount. Green is fast and covers a ton of ground in the outfield, so he should be able to center field in the Majors.
5. Nationals - Kevin Parada, C (Georgia Tech)
At the plate, Parada has an explosive, controlled swing that will translate to the Majors. He was one of the best hitters in college baseball this season. He's performed well at high levels including the Team USA collegiate national team last summer. His fielding isn't the best and concerns some teams. He has shown improvements behind the plate which is encouraging.
6. Marlins - Cam Collier, 3B (Chipola College)
Collier is actually the youngest hitter in this draft as he doesn’t turn 18 until November. After his sophomore year of high school, Collier earned his GED and reclassified in the class of 2022 while also enrolling at Chipola College. Collier is viewed as one of the best hitters in this draft. From the left side, Collier has a calm, powerful swing.
7. Cubs - Brooks Lee, SS (Cal Poly)
If Brooks Lee is on the board at No. 7, the Cubs would be ecstatic. Lee is another one of those players who was projected as the No. 1 pick a few months ago. Hitting wise, Lee is an all around guy who excels at hitting the ball where it's pitched and has really gained some pop in his swing over the past year. Lee was the best college hitter in 2022 and has performed well with Team USA and in the Cape Cod League.
8. Twins - Gavin Cross, OF (Virginia Tech)
From the land side, Cross is a terrific hitter and he can do everything. Not only does he hit for average, but he hits for some power as well. Although he played center field this spring at Virginia Tech, Cross projects more as a corner outfielder, but a good one. He's another one who had success with Team USA.
9. Royals - Brock Porter, RHP (St. Mary’s, Michigan)
Here I have Porter as the first pitcher off the board going to the Royals. I think the Royals will choose between outfield and pitcher here ultimately going with Porter. He's got a strong fastball that sits around 95-97 MPH and has even gotten it up to 100 MPH. His best pitch is likely the changeup which is nearly unhittable.
10. Rockies - Jacob Berry, 3B/OF (LSU)
Berry could go anywhere from 4-10, but whoever gets him will be lucky. As a switch hitter, Berry brings on a great balance of average and power. He see's all pitches very well and showed that throughout his college career. He's not the best fielder and doesn't have great speed, so he'll be much more of a hitter in the pros.
11. Mets - Jace Jung, 2B (Texas Tech)
Similarly to Berry, Jung will be drafted for his bat as he's not an amazing fielder. He's an awkward hitter with his stance, but he gets results. While he has a ton of power, his bat-to-ball skills are great as well. He has great plate discipline and limits strikeouts when at the plate. Jung struggled a bit later in the college season which is why he has dropped a bit on draft boards.
12. Tigers - Justin Crawford, OF (Bishop Gorman, Nevada)
The son of former MLB star Carl Crawford, Justin has gained a ton of hype over the past few months. Crawford has the ability to be a high average hitter as he is more of a base hit guy for now. With his great speed, he could be a tremendous leadoff hitter in the Majors. As a fielder, Crawford has the tools to be a great center fielder.
13. Angels - Daniel Susac, C (Arizona)
Susac is a guy who could be ready for the Majors in a shorter amount of time. At the plate, Susac can spray the ball to both sides of the field and has great plate discipline. Behind the plate, he has shown some tools as well. He has a great arm which many scouts have raved about.
14. Mets - Dylan Lesko, RHP (Buford, Georgia)
If it weren't for Tommy John surgery in late April, we would be seeing Lesko get drafted much higher. The Vanderbilt commit's fastball sits around 94-96 MPH and can get up to 97 MPH. His best pitch is likely his changeup which sits around 82-84 MPH and he throws it a ton. The Mets have just one pitching prospect in their top eight prospects per MLB.com, so they will likely draft a pitcher with one of their two first round picks.
15. Padres - Chase DeLauter, OF (James Madison)
At the major league level, the Padres outfield situation has been a tough one. Of the prospects who could be drafted here, DeLauter could likely be up the soonest. With three picks in the first 65 picks last year, the Padres selected two outfielders, both of which are rated towards the top of their prospect list. He's an all around prospect as he's a great hitter with both power and speed. He's also a solid defender who can play anywhere in the outfield.
16. Guardians - Zach Neto, SS (Campbell)
The Guardians could use a proven college bat at shortstop in their system. Neto is a great hitter who has a great approach at the plate. His swing looks certain to fit right in moving from college to the pros. In the field, Neto can play anywhere in the infield, but some scouts think he will have more success at second base or third base.
17. Phillies - Cole Young, SS (North Allegheny, Pennsylvania)
Young is a project for sure. He has a great swing, but the power is not there yet at all. He has the tools to continue playing shortstop in the pros. Aside from all that, he has good speed which stands out when watching him. Young would give the Phillies their second infield prospect in their top 10 prospect list. On MLB.com, Luis Garcia is their 7th rated prospect, but is the only middle infield prospect in the top 10.
18. Reds - Jett Williams, SS (Rockwall-Heath, Texas)
This pick will likely be between a shortstop and pitcher, but they have a ton of pitching prospects who are high on their top prospect list. It's unlikely that three shortstops are actually drafted in a row, but you never know. Williams is a very good hitter, who does a great job avoiding strikeouts. Many scouts like his bat-to-ball skills.
19. Athletics - Brandon Barriera, LHP (American Heritage, Florida)
With this pick, I fully expect the Athletics to go with a pitcher, more specifically a left handed pitcher as their system doesn't have many highly rated LHP. Barriera fills the strike zone and has good stuff. We see a lot of high school prospects who throw hard, but don't have great command. Barriera's fastball sits around 93-95 MPH, but has gotten it up to 97 MPH. He also has a wipeout slider that sits around 83-85 MPH. The area of concern with him is whether or not he can be a starting pitcher in the pros.
20. Braves - Dylan Beavers, OF (California)
With the Braves trading away Drew Waters, their system doesn't have many outfielders ranked towards the top. Beavers would give them a matured prospect who may not be too many years away from getting a call up to the Majors. Beavers has a solid frame and a powerful swing. In the field, Beavers is versatile, but more than likely will play right field in the pros.
21. Mariners - Jordan Beck, OF (Tennessee)
Beck is a great power bat and showed that throughout his college career. Although he never hot above .300, Beck can hit the ball far to both sides of the field. He got under the ball a lot in college, but that's not a hard fix at all for a major league club. He has good athleticism and instincts, but won't wow anybody with his speed. Should be an above-average outfielder.
22. Cardinals - Peyton Graham, SS (Oklahoma)
Graham showed major improvements at Oklahoma this season and his draft stock shot up because of that. At the the plate, he has a clean swing with some pop in his bat. He will need to improve with the swing-and-miss. In the field, he's currently listed as a shortstop, but could move over to third base in the pros.
23. Blue Jays - Robby Snelling, LHP (McQueen, Nevada)
Snelling is a highly recruited two sport athlete (baseball and football). Some teams are worried about what his decision will be, but if he's drafted in the first round, I would expect him to sign with the team who drafts him. He has a fastball that sits around 94-96 MPH and can get up to 97 MPH. A left handed pitcher who fills the zone would be a great pick here by Toronto.
24. Red Sox - Sterlin Thompson, OF (Florida)
Thompson is an all around hitter who will add more power as he moves through the minors. He has a good approach and can drive the ball to both sides of the field. The Red Sox don't have many top tier outfielders in their system and Thompson would immediately give them one. He will likely be a corner outfielder in the pros.
25. Yankees - Connor Prielipp, LHP (Alabama)
The Yankees will probably take a college outfielder or arm with the pick here. Prielipp is coming of Tommy John surgery forcing him to miss the majority of the 2021 season and the entirety of the 2022 season. His fastball sits in the low-90s and can get up to 95 MPH. Scouts rave about his slider which is his go to pitch. MLBPipeline described his slider as "one of the most devastating pitches coming out of the college class."
26. White Sox - Carson Whisenhunt, LHP (East Carolina)
In the White Sox system, they don't have many highly rated left handed pitchers at all. Most scouts/reporters fully expect the White Sox to take a pitcher here. This season, Whisenhunt was suspended after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug he said came from a supplement he bought at a nutrition store. He has one of the best changeups of all the pitchers in the draft which sits around 82-85 MPH.
27. Brewers - Blade Tidwell, RHP (Tennessee)
In the Brewers system, there are a ton of highly viewed outfielders. One thing their system lacks is right handed pitching. Tidwell would give them a legitimate pitching prospect who could be an ace in the future. He has an electric fastball which he showed this past season. His best pitch is likely his slider which he's not afraid to throw in any count.
28. Astros - Drew Gilbert, OF (Tennessee)
This is the perfect fit for both sides in my opinion. Gilbert is an exciting prospect with lots of upside and we all know how good the Astros have been over the past five years. Gilbert has a sweet swing and is constantly finding the barrel. He also has great plate discipline which could lead to him being a leadoff hitter in the future.
29. Rays - Gabriel Hughes, RHP (Gonzaga)
Hughes had major improvements over the last year which boosted his draft stock in a major way. He had struggled with pitch command in previous years, but filled the zone this past season and also improved his secondary pitches. While his fastball sits around 95-96 MPH, he has a slider that is in the high 80's with a ton of movement.
30. Giants - Kumar Rocker, RHP (Tri-City ValleyCats)
Rocker is a dominant pitcher who I think we will see as a star in the MLB in the next few years. The situation that occurred last season definitely affected his stock a bit, but I think teams at No. 20 or higher would be unintelligent to pass on him. He's got a fastball that sits around 96-97 MPH and a devastating slider. Rocker is a true competitor who has the ability to be an ace in the future.