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2022 MLB Draft Top Prospects



Baseball America’s draft rankings are an attempt to capture the industry’s consensus on the 2022 draft class. The list is compiled in consultation with major league scouts, front office executives, coaches and other professional evaluators. Ben Badler, Teddy Cahill, JJ Cooper, Kyle Glaser, Joe Healy, Tom Lipari, Bill Mitchell and Geoff Pontes contributed to the reporting. Chris Trenkle contributed to editing.

April is winding to a close and despite being 10 weeks into the college baseball season, the 2022 draft is still more than 80 days away.

While there’s still plenty of time for more players to make moves on draft boards, there’s also a lot of action to react to and plenty of changes on today’s update of our 2022 draft board. We’ve expanded the list to the top 300 players in the country, which is roughly the top 10 rounds.

There’s an above-average crop of high school and college hitters at the top of the class, and because of that and the significant attrition rate of many of the top college pitchers, scouts expect the first round to be position player heavy.

How teams respond to the lack of college pitching is an interesting question. Will they push college pitchers who would typically be second or third round talents up into the first? Will they be more aggressive with a riskier demographic but a very deep high school pitching class? Or instead do teams avoid pitching entirely and try and grab elite bats while they can—taking their pick among depth pitching options in subsequent rounds.

The likely answer is that some combination of all of those strategies play out on draft day, with different teams leaning more into one or another.

There’s a large group of hitters who seem to be locking themselves into top-of-the-first round range at this point, with high school outfielders Druw Jones (Ga.) and Elijah Green (Fla.) and Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee getting the most attention at the very top.

Teams picking in the middle of the first round feel that college hitters Kevin Parada (Georgia Tech), Jace Jung (Texas Tech), Jacob Berry (Louisiana State) and Gavin Cross (Virginia Tech), and high school infielders Termarr Johnson (Ga.) and Jackson Holliday (Okla.) have already played themselves out of their range or will do so shortly.

High school righthander Dylan Lesko (Ga.) remains the clear top pitching prospect in the class and certainly pitched himself into top-five consideration this spring. If he’s healthy he should go in a great spot, but if the 2022 injury curse bites him next that will throw his profile into more uncertainty. He was outstanding at USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational but has dealt with a sore arm since then.

Baseball America will update and expand our rankings regularly throughout the spring, culminating in a final list of the top 500 players in the country closer to the draft. Below you will find scouting reports and information on the top 300 players in the 2022 draft class.

300 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 4/27/2022
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    Druw Jones

    Wesleyan HS, Norcross, Ga. OF
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 6-4 | Wt: 180 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Vanderbilt
    Age At Draft: 18.6
    Perhaps it’s no surprise that the son of former big leaguer Andruw Jones—one of the best defensive center fielders ever—is excellent as a defender in center field as well. On top of his defensive acumen, though, Druw Jones has perhaps the best combination of tools, projection and present baseball skills in the 2022 class. Jones has a lean, athletic frame at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds and while his swing isn’t always the most fluid or ‘hitterish’ presently, he has a knack for making contact and driving the ball hard, with quality swing decisions and an approach that some scouts place near the top of the class. Jones has posted loud exit velocities now and scouts think he can grow into above-average power as he fills out his frame. He could need some swing adjustments to fully unlock that future power—his bat path is level and at times Jones doesn’t fully incorporate his lower half with a wide base—but when he’s synced up and extended, Jones has shown an impressive ability to drive the ball deep to the right-center gap. He’s the best defensive center fielder in the class, with tremendous instincts and athleticism, as well as 70-grade speed. He should cover plenty of ground with an elite first step and intimidate runners with a howitzer throwing arm that some scouts have given top-of-the-scale grades. Jones has also shown impressive actions at shortstop in workouts, and it wouldn’t be crazy for a team to try him there, but most evaluators view him as such a natural defender in center that it will be easiest to put him there and let him focus on hitting. Jones is committed to Vanderbilt but should be one of the first players drafted and has a chance to be the No. 1 pick.

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    Brooks Lee

    Cal Poly SS
    Notes:

    HT: 6-2 | Wt: 205 | B-T: B-R
    Commit/Drafted: Giants '19 (35)
    Age At Draft: 21.4
    The son of Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee, Brooks has been a highly-regarded hitter since his prep days at San Luis Obispo High in California, where he rated as the No. 38 player in the 2019 draft class. Scouts then saw Lee as one of the best pure hitters in the region, and he’s only further established his reputation as a standout switch-hitter over his collegiate career. After missing the 2020 season due to injury and Covid, Lee has only played 57 games with Cal Poly, but he’s posted a .344/.385/.629 line with 10 home runs and 28 doubles, and last summer he blitzed through the Cape Cod League to the tune of a .405/.432/.667 line over 21 games. He also ranked as the No. 1 prospect on USA Baseball’s collegiate national team. He’s an easy plus hitter with a repeatable swing from both sides of the plate, he rarely swings and misses (just 17% of the time last spring, per Synergy) and has more than held his own against quality velocity and secondaries. While he doesn’t profile as a slugger, it’s easy to see some of those doubles turning into home runs in the future and he should be able to tap into all of the raw power he has in the tank considering his bat-to-ball skills. Scouts are skeptical that Lee will stick at shortstop long term. He has reliable hands, adjusts on bad hops and has a solid, accurate arm but evaluators note his range is quite limited compared to what you want in a big league shortstop. Perhaps an increasingly shift-heavy MLB game will make his range less of an issue, but most see him settling in best at either third or second base in the long run.

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    Elijah Green

    IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. OF
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 6-3 | Wt: 214 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Miami
    Age At Draft: 18.6
    The son of former 10-year NFL tight end Eric Green, Elijah has the sort of physicality and athleticism that would pop on a football field—and is almost unheard of on a baseball field. A 6-foot-3, 214-pound outfielder, Green has tremendous strength and power with a physique that would look perfectly normal next to the best sluggers in the big leagues today. He’s not a slow-moving slugger either, as he has posted 70-grade run times and as one scout remarked, “Guys that big and that strong aren’t supposed to be running 6.5 in the 60.” Given his toolset, a case could be made that Green has the best pure upside in the class. He has shown exceptional power at his best and went on a home run binge with USA Baseball’s 18U National team in the fall of 2021, homering four times in just seven games. Green does have some swing-and-miss questions and scouts have wondered about his ability to drive both quality fastballs and secondary pitches. He struggled against velocity over the showcase circuit in 2021 and scouts who’ve seen him with IMG Academy noted his whiffs against secondaries last spring as well. Because of that, some scouts think he’ll be more of a power-over-hit bat. He has the speed to stick in center field but it’s rare to see someone of his size there in the big leagues and he’ll need to clean up his route-running and instincts to stick there long term. His plus arm strength will allow him to move to right if necessary, where he would be an above-average defender.

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    Termarr Johnson

    Mays HS, Atlanta SS
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 5-8 | Wt: 194 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Uncommitted
    Age At Draft: 18.1
    Johnson has one of the most unique profiles for a top-of-the-class high school prospect in many years. He’s a 5-foot-8, 194-pound shortstop who most scouts view as a professional second baseman, but his incredible feel for hitting and lightning quick bat make him a legitimate candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick. There have only been six prep second basemen taken in the first round in the draft’s history, and if he is selected as a second baseman on draft day, Johnson has a great chance to top Delino DeShields (2010, No. 8) as the highest-ever drafted prep player at the position. Johnson has the best pure hit tool in the 2022 class, with an extensive track record of performance over the showcase circuit in 2021, as an underclassman and with USA Baseball’s national teams. He has the rare amateur combination of excellent bat-to-ball skills, an advanced approach at the plate with impressive pitch recognition and zone awareness and more power than you would expect given his frame. He can show plus power when he turns on a ball but is equally capable of slapping an outside pitch the other way for an opposite field single or double. He’s unfazed by quality velocity, he tracks breaking balls and offspeed offerings well and he can confidently spit on pitches just off the plate. His supplemental tools are more average, though he does have quick hands and instincts as a defender in the infield. He has a solid first step, but his speed is average, and he should fit best at second base, where he has the tools to be a fine defender. Scouts skeptical of Johnson will point to limited projection and supplemental tools; others point to 70-grade hit and plus power projections from a lefty bat who should stick on the dirt. Johnson is uncommitted but should be one of the first picks off the board.

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    Kevin Parada

    Georgia Tech C
    Notes:

    HT: 6-1 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 20.9
    Parada was viewed as one of the best pure hitters in the 2020 prep class and ranked No. 48 on the BA 500 but made it to campus at Georgia Tech after going undrafted. After a strong freshman campaign with the Yellow Jackets in 2021 (.318/.379/.550 with nine home runs and 20 doubles), Parada will have a chance to be the first catcher selected in 2022 as a draft-eligible sophomore. Over the summer, Parada looked worn down at times and struggled in a nine-game stint in the Cape Cod League (.665 OPS) but played well with USA Baseball’s collegiate national team. Parada has impressive bat-to-ball skills and scouts believe he has a chance to hit for a high average thanks to a clean bat path that stays in the zone for a long time. There are some questions about what sort of impact he’ll make over a full season. He has the strength to drive the ball when he gets extended—and he did homer against 2021 No. 2 overall pick Jack Leiter last spring—but most of his power comes to the pull-side and some scouts think he’ll be more of a doubles hitter than power bat. There are defensive questions as well, which date back to his time as a prep player, though the scouting industry seems mixed currently. Those who like him buy into his work ethic, athleticism and arm strength and cite improved actions last fall, while others worry about what his profile will be like if he can’t stick behind the plate. Parada enters the season solidly in the middle of the first round and can play himself higher with a strong year. He is the next in a strong line of Georgia Tech catchers that includes first-rounders Jason Varitek, Matt Wieters and Joey Bart.

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    Dylan Lesko

    Buford (Ga.) HS RHP
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 6-3 | Wt: 195 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Vanderbilt
    Age At Draft: 18.8
    Lesko has been paving his way as the top pitching prospect in the 2022 class for years now. He was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2021 as an underclassman and last spring with Buford High in Georgia, posted a 0.35 ERA with 112 strikeouts in 60 innings. He has been equally dominant on the travel ball and showcase circuits throughout his high school career with three pitches that get plus projections and outstanding fastball and changeup command. Lesko has regularly been in the mid-90s and has touched 97 mph, with an ease on the mound that one scout described as “poetry in motion.” He spots the fastball to both sides of the plate and has outstanding feel for a low-80s changeup that is undoubtedly his best secondary currently. The pitch is arguably the best changeup in the class—high school or college—and has earned 70-grade projections thanks to his ability to locate it and generate whiffs. He will throw it in any count, to batters on either side of the plate and still finds success while doubling and tripling up on the pitch. Lesko’s curveball was less consistent than either his fastball or changeup last summer, but it’s a high-spin offering (2700-3000 rpm) that varies in shape but at its best shows depth and hard finish. Lesko is a standout athlete who fields his position well and is an impressive defensive shortstop in his own right, with a lean, projectable 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. The only knock on Lesko is that he’s a high school righthander and teams are skeptical of that demographic. He’s committed to Vanderbilt, but as the top pitching prospect in the 2022 class, it would be surprising to see him get to campus. His track record as a prep pitcher is simply exceptional.

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    Jace Jung

    Texas Tech 2B
    Notes:

    HT: 6-0 | Wt: 215 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.7
    The younger brother of current Rangers prospect and first-rounder Josh Jung, Jace will look to top his brother’s eighth overall selection in the 2019 draft and could have the offensive chops to do it. The 2021 Big 12 Player of the Year, Jung hit 21 home runs and 10 doubles last spring, while posting a .337/.462/.697 line. That sort of power production as a lefthanded-hitting infielder will have Jung among the top group of college bats in the class, despite a unique hitting setup that might turn some evaluators off. Jung has an upright stance and tilts the bat head back towards the backstop with an unusual lower-hand placement, but it’s hard to argue with his production. He’s handled 93-plus mph velocity well, in addition to breaking balls and off-speed offerings and has shown all-fields power. Defensively, Jung has limited range at second base, but he makes the plays that come to him and could become an adequate defender at the position. He’s not a great athlete and has fringe-average arm strength, so gains in those departments could help his supplemental tool profile. He has the hitting ability and power to profile nicely at a corner spot if he does have to move down the defensive spectrum in pro ball and profiles as one of the best offensive players in the 2022 class.

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    Jackson Holliday

    Stillwater (Okla.) HS SS
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 5-11 | Wt: 176 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Oklahoma State
    Age At Draft: 18.6
    The son of former big leaguer Matt Holliday, Jackson is a toolsy, lefthanded-hitting shortstop who added more strength last summer and looked like he was trying to tap into it regularly. Scouts with history on Holliday as an underclassman note that he is an instinctual hitter who used the entire field and was always a tough out in previous summers. On the 2021 circuit Holliday looked to do damage regularly and swung and missed frequently with bigger hacks. He has a still lean, 5-foot-11, 176-pound frame that should add more height and weight in the future and has a chance to grow into more natural power as he gets older. Scouts highest on him believe his approach and natural bat-to-ball skills are enough to be an above-average hitter with the right approach. Defensively, he has solid hands at shortstop with big-time arm strength and lots of carry on his throws that seem to climb into another gear on the way to first base. He’s got a solid first step and has turned in above-average and plus run times in the 60-yard dash. Holliday is committed to Oklahoma State but has a top-two round toolset and could easily climb into the first with a loud spring and more physical development.

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    Jacob Berry

    Louisiana State 3B/1B
    Notes:

    HT: 6-0 | Wt: 212 | B-T: B-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.2
    Perhaps without a Covid year in 2020 and a full high school season, Berry would have never made it to campus at Arizona, where he turned in a freshman All-American season in 2021 with 17 home runs and 19 doubles. As a high schooler, Berry impressed Four Corners area scouts with his swing from both sides of the plate and loud exit velocities. He was trending in the right direction, but with the season cut short, he finished as the No. 220 player in the 2020 class and made it to college. Berry will play with Louisiana State this spring—following head coach Jay Johnson from Arizona to LSU—where he will look to continue showing his offensive chops in the SEC. Berry has one of the best overall offensive profiles in the class, with all fields power from both sides of the plate as well as solid on-base and bat-to-ball skills. He has a simple swing from both sides of the plate, initiated by a slight toe tap, with minimal pre-pitch hand movement and a swing that’s leveraged for power and slightly uphill. While scouts feel as confident in Berry’s offensive ability as almost any player in the class, his defensive profile is a question mark. He’s not a great runner and only played nine games as a third baseman in 2021—everything else was at the DH spot. His speed certainly makes him a corner player in some capacity, but he’ll have to prove a lot to stick at third base and most view him as a likely first baseman in the long run. If Berry hits in the SEC like he did in the Pac-12 a year ago, defensive questions won’t stop him from coming off the board quickly.

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    Gavin Cross

    Virginia Tech OF
    Notes:

    HT: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.4
    Cross was one of the breakout stars in college baseball in 2021 with Virginia Tech. He hit .345/.415/.621 with 11 home runs, 13 doubles and five triples, then followed that up by being the most consistent hitter with USA Baseball’s collegiate national team. Over the summer with USA Baseball, Cross hit .455/.474/.879 with four home runs in 11 games and he was one of the best hitters against the Olympic national team. Cross has a large, 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and a corner outfield toolset with plus raw power and arm strength. He still has some room to add more weight to his frame, which could boost his power moving forward and he has a long striding, low-ball bat path that some scouts think is indicative of a power-over-hit lefthanded-hitting profile. Cross expands the zone occasionally, and he has struck out at a 19% clip with Virginia Tech, compared to a 6.9% walk rate, but he does have the sort of power to live with that swing and miss if he’s doing damage when he does connect. Cross has plus arm strength and could fit in right field, but he’s more of an average runner and that grade could back up as he continues to fill out. He fits somewhere in the middle or upper end of the first round and could continue to move up boards with a loud spring.

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    Daniel Susac

    Arizona C
    Notes:

    HT: 6-4 | Wt: 218 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.1
    Susac was a power-oriented prep prospect who showcased raw power with the bat and arm strength from behind the dish. He was also a solid quarterback for his Jesuit High team and is the younger brother of Andrew Susac, who caught five years in the big leagues. The 6-foot-4, 218-pound catcher had a freshman All-American campaign last spring in 2021 (.335/.392/.591, with 12 home runs and 24 doubles) and was named the 2021 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year for his efforts. Despite his length, Susac has managed to hit for high average and solid contact so far in his collegiate career, with power that played mostly to the left-center gap last spring. He’s shown a solid ability to produce against 93-plus mph velocity and has swung and missed more against breaking and offspeed stuff. Susac’s arm still gets plus grades and should be an asset for him behind the plate, and while he’s a bit taller than your average catcher, scouts think he should be able to stick behind the plate given his athleticism and arm. Susac split time with Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada last summer with USA Baseball’s collegiate national team and should battle him for the top catcher spot in the 2022 class this spring.

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    Jackson Ferris

    IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. LHP
    Notes:

    HT: 6-3 | Wt: 199 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Mississippi
    Age At Draft: 18.5
    Ferris was previously a Mount Airy High product in North Carolina, but transferred to IMG Academy, where he wowed scouts as a junior, posting a 0.55 ERA over 50.2 innings and striking out 86 batters while walking just 13. Ferris has a fastball that sat in the 92-94 mph range this summer and has been up to 96-97 mph at peak from the left side. On top of that, he’s shown feel for a mid-70s curveball with impressive depth and spin rates in the 2400-2600 range. He also throws a mid-80s changeup that comes out of his hand similar to the fastball at best, giving him three above-average or better future pitches. Ferris didn’t seem to have everything together as consistently this summer as he showed his junior spring. Some outings he would have feel for his fastball, but not his secondaries and vice versa, and his control was up and down as well. There’s some funk in Ferris’s delivery with a bit of tilt and drift in his leg left, and cross-firing action in his finish, but Ferris’ arm is fast, and his arm action is generally fluid as well—if a bit long in the back at times. Ferris is committed to Mississippi but has the ingredients to become a first-round pick with a solid spring.

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    Brandon Barriera

    American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. LHP
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 5-11 | Wt: 171 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Vanderbilt
    Age At Draft: 18.3
    A small and compact, 5-foot-11, 171-pound lefthander, Barriera isn’t the most physically projectable lefthander in the 2022 class, but he has electric arm speed and the stuff to match. He’s been up to the 95-96 mph range at peak and sat in the 92-93 mph range in short outings last summer. He throws a slider in the low to mid 80s as well and the pitch gets plus grades, with hard lateral movement and two-plane bite at its best. While he threw a changeup less frequently than his fastball/slider combination, scouts with history on him believe it’s a real weapon that he throws with fastball arm speed and could become an above-average offering. Barriera draws praise for his fiery and competitive demeanor on the mound. He’s committed to Vanderbilt.

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    Brock Porter

    St. Mary Prep, Orchard Lake, Mich. RHP
    Notes:

    HT: 6-3 | Wt: 188 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Clemson
    Age At Draft: 19.1
    Porter is the top prospect on a talented St. Mary Prep high school team and established himself as one of the top arms in the 2022 class last summer by showcasing an impressive mix of size, stuff and command. The 6-foot-3, 188-pound righthander pushed his fastball to 97 mph and sat in the 93-95 mph range in short stints over the showcase circuit and backed that heater up with two breaking balls and one of the best changeups in the class. The change has earned double-plus grades and features tremendous velocity separation from his fastball. It sits in the upper 70s and features tremendous arm-side fading action and he’s shown an impressive amount of feel for the pitch. It’s a weapon against both righthanders and lefthanders and regularly stymied some of the best prep hitters in the class last summer. There’s some length to Porter’s arm action, and he features a bit of tilt in his delivery, but scouts have generally liked his accuracy, even if they believe for now he’s more of a control-over-command pitcher. Porter’s still-projectable frame and arm speed should give him even more velocity in the future and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him touch 100 mph. He’s committed to Clemson but has first-round talent.

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    Andrew Dutkanych

    Brebeuf Jesuit Prep, Indianapolis RHP
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 6-2 | Wt: 212 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Vanderbilt
    Age At Draft: 18.9
    Dutkanych dominated in his two-inning outing at Perfect Game National, striking out all six hitters he faced, while running his fastball up to 95 mph and flashing two impressive breaking balls. One is a mid-80s slider with tilt and late break and the other is a mid-70s curveball with more top-to-bottom shape that he threw with depth and landed for strikes. Scouts think the slider is a no-doubt plus offering and it frequently is described as the best breaking ball in the high school class. On top of his spin, Dutkanych showed an improved changeup with USA Baseball’s 18U national team during the fall—where coaches raved about his competitive demeanor on the mound and where he also touched 96-97 mph. Dutkanych doesn’t have the easiest delivery—there is some stabbing action in the back of his arm stroke and a bit of effort in his finish—but there are no red flags with the operation either. He’s committed to Vanderbilt.

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    Noah Schultz

    Oswego (Ill.) East HS LHP
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 6-9 | Wt: 225 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Vanderbilt
    Age At Draft: 18.9
    Extremely tall and lanky, Schultz pairs present stuff, deception and eye-popping spin rates to put together an attractive and rare package of traits for any pitcher—let alone a 6-foot-9 prep lefty. Schultz throws from a lower, three-quarter arm slot that is a nightmare angle for lefthanded hitters and creates difficulties for righties as well. Typically, pitchers of his size struggle to repeat their deliveries and throw strikes consistently, but Schultz is an impressive athlete with excellent body control who has shown a great ability to command a three-pitch mix and field his position. He throws a fastball in the low 90s, as well as a slurvy, mid-70s breaking ball that has slider shape but curveball velocity separation. Both pitches have high spin rates, and he also throws a straight change in the 78-80 mph range that could develop into a reliable third offering. Schultz is committed to Vanderbilt but is viewed as a potential first-round pick and is solidly inside the top tier of prep lefties in a 2022 class deep in that demographic.

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    Jordan Beck

    Tennessee OF
    Notes:

    HT: 6-3 | Wt: 213 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Red Sox '19 (14)
    Age At Draft: 21.2
    Beck is a powerful athlete with a 6-foot-3, 213-pound frame and impressive raw power that led to 15 home runs and 16 doubles last spring in his second year with Tennessee. That power didn’t fully translate to a wood bat, as Beck hit just .267/.377/.400 with a pair of homers and four doubles with Harwich this summer in the Cape. Beck will chase out of the zone at times, and he swings and misses at a decent clip—particularly against sliders and changeups—but some scouts see him with the best raw power in the college class. That power has played to the pull side and the right-center gap in his first two seasons. Beck played a few games in center last summer but has spent most of his time in right field for Tennessee, where he has a chance to profile nicely with a strong arm.

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    Chase DeLauter

    James Madison OF
    Notes:

    HT: 6-4 | Wt: 235 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 20.7
    No prospect elevated his profile more this summer than DeLauter, whose toolset and performance with Orleans in the Cape Cod League (.298/.397/.589, nine home runs, 21 walks, 18 strikeouts) has vaulted him into the top tier of 2022 draft prospects, with some evaluators viewing him as the top player in the class. DeLauter’s raw toolset rivals recent college hitters like Garrett Mitchell and Kameron Misner and pairing that with his exceptional contact rate and swing decisions at James Madison have scouts drooling about his upside. DeLauter is a .385/.488/.657 career hitter with James Madison, with seven home runs and 19 doubles over 42 games, and he’s walked (34) more than he’s struck out (24) while showing better in-game power production with a wood bat over the summer. DeLauter has plenty of strength in a 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame that gives him plus raw power and while his swing isn’t described as fluid, he gets himself into good hitting position consistently. He’s uniquely athletic for his size and has posted double-plus run times in the 60-yard dash. That surprising speed has led some evaluators to think he can stick in center field, at least initially. He has a plus throwing arm and should have enough power to profile in right or even at first base in the future depending on how his athleticism and body develop as he ages. DeLauter will get small conference criticism playing in the Colonial Athletic Conference, but hitters like Colton Cowser and Travis Swaggerty have shown you can become a top-10 pick with the right summer hitting track record and DeLauter certainly checks that box. DeLauter has a chance to become the highest-drafted player out of James Madison, with outfielder Kellen Kulbacki (2007, 40th overall) currently holding the title.

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    Cam Collier

    Chipola (Fla.) JC 3B
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 6-1 | Wt: 219 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Louisville
    Age At Draft: 17.6
    The son of former big leaguer Lou Collier, Cam is one of the youngest players in the 2022 class and was originally a member of the 2023 group. Collier was a Georgia high school product, but he’ll play this spring at Chipola (Fla.) JC where his youth will stand out even more. There hasn’t been a first-round junior college hitter since Tim Anderson was selected with the 17th pick in 2013, but Collier has the talent to join that club—which also includes Cory Spangenberg, Bryce Harper, Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Markakis this century. Collier has strength and athleticism in a strong, physically mature 6-foot-1, 219-pound frame. He’s shown solid bat-to-ball ability and a swing geared for line drives to both sides of the field, and impressive raw power that plays to the left-center gap. Scouts think he has a chance to grow into above-average power with above-average hitting ability as well. Collier has a wide, crouched and open setup with a low handset, and at times will let his loose and quick hands take over in the swing, slapping the ball the other way rather than getting his lower half fully involved. He has a chance to stick at the hot corner with above-average arm strength and solid actions. There’s a split in the industry on his defensive profile, as those high on him think he can be an above-average defender at third, while those more skeptical wonder if he’ll move to first base in the long run. Collier is committed to Louisville and will be one of the more interesting storylines in the draft class given his age and juco status.

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    Blade Tidwell

    Tennessee RHP
    Notes:

    HT: 6-4 | Wt: 200 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.1
    Tidwell was a projection righthander out of the same Loretto high school in Tennessee that produced 2018 first-rounder Ryan Weathers. He ranked as the No. 408 prospect on the 2020 BA 500, but now possesses some of the most electric stuff in the 2022 draft class and looks like a first round arm. Tidwell posted a 3.74 ERA during the 2021 spring with Tennessee, striking out 90 batters and walking 34 over 98.2 innings. He continued to impress over the summer and a fastball that sat 93-95 mph last spring was touching 98 mph in the fall. He mostly works with that fastball and a low-to-mid-80s slider that generated whiffs at a 37% rate last spring. Tidwell has also been effective with a low-80s changeup when he’s used it, but that and a slower curveball have been infrequent offerings to this point. Tidwell’s control has wavered at times and that’s an area scouts are looking to see him improve this spring. That control was part of the reason he allowed 12 home runs in just 18 starts, so he’ll need to spot his pitches better to take more advantage of his velocity. Still, Tidwell has the sort of physicality and stuff teams covet and he also has a lengthy track record as a starter in a draft class light on such players.

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    Cole Young

    North Allegheny HS, Wexford, Pa. SS
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 5-11 | Wt: 179 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Duke
    Age At Draft: 18.9
    Young separated himself last summer as the best shortstop in the 2022 prep class and perhaps the best pure hitter not named Termarr Johnson. There aren’t many explosive tools to be found with the 5-foot-11, 179-pound lefthanded hitter, but Young does most things on the field well, headlined by a sound offensive approach and a clean, flat bat path that he uses to spray the ball all over the field. He handles 90-plus mph velocity well and he has a solid understanding of the strike zone, tracking the ball well and keeping his barrel in the hitting zone for a long time. Young has a slightly crouched setup, with a lower handset and good rhythm before taking a small step and firing a fast and direct swing to the ball with intent. He has a chance to be a plus hitter, though power isn’t a huge part of his game and isn’t likely to become so in the future given his physique. Young has a chance to stick at shortstop, where he's a capable and fluid defender, if not an explosive one. He plays low to the ground, has a solid first step—and above-average speed underway—with above-average arm strength and good instincts. Young has a solid-average all-around toolset that’s led by impressive hitting chops and while his upside isn’t gaudy, he’s viewed as a first-round talent now and could rise with strength gains this spring. He is committed to Duke.

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    Connor Prielipp

    Alabama LHP
    Notes:

    HT: 6-2 | Wt: 205 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Red Sox '19 (37)
    Age At Draft: 21.5
    If Prielipp were healthy, there’s a chance he could rank as the top overall player in the 2022 class. Prior to an elbow injury that ended his season in 2021 and required Tommy John surgery, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound lefthander was nothing short of dominant for Alabama. He pitched just four times as a freshman in 2020 before Covid ended the season and just once in 2021 before being shut down but owns a career 0.96 ERA in 28 innings and has outstanding strikeout (15.1 K/9) and walk (2.3 BB/9) numbers. When healthy he’s thrown a 91-93 mph fastball that touches 95-96 and a devastating slider in the mid 80s that has generated whiffs 50% of the time, per Synergy. He’s also racked up whiffs (42%) with a low-80s changeup, though that pitch has been thrown much less frequently than his fastball/slider combination. Prielipp’s injury and lack of track record in college will make him a bit of a conundrum for teams this spring, but his rehab has reportedly gone well, and he should have a chance to throw bullpens and potentially pitch in summer leagues before the draft.

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    Cade Doughty

    Louisiana State 3B
    Notes:

    HT: 6-1 | Wt: 195 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Tigers '19 (39)
    Age At Draft: 21.3
    Doughty was a well-rounded, gamer-type player coming out of high school and has been a solid performer in two seasons with Louisiana State, hitting .302/.368/.520 for his career, with 13 home runs and 11 doubles last spring. Doughty will expand the zone more often than he should, but his contact ability is such that he hasn’t been punished for that with high strikeout totals—he has a career 12.4% strikeout rate with LSU. He’s played mostly second and third base in the SEC and has more than enough arm strength for second and can capably handle either position.

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    Logan Tanner

    Mississippi State C
    Notes:

    HT: 6-0 | Wt: 215 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.6
    Tanner ranked as the No. 312 prospect in the 2019 draft class out of high school, when he showed impressive ability on both sides of the ball. In addition to being a polished catcher, Tanner was an interesting pitching prospect who could run his fastball up to 95 mph. After making it to campus at Mississippi State, though, he settled into a full-time catching role and enters the 2022 season as the top catch-and-throw backstop in the class. His arm is a clear tier ahead of most other catchers in the class, with double-plus grades and should allow him to keep the running game in check. He’s gotten favorable reviews for his receiving ability and work ethic behind the plate dating back to his prep days and most view him as a future above-average defender at the game’s most premium position. While defense comes first when discussing Tanner, he did just come off a 2021 season where he homered 15 times. Tanner has yet to hit over .300 in college, and scouts don’t see an above-average hit tool, but he has strength and all-fields power that could allow him to clear the offensive bar of the position. He does a solid job getting on base (14% career walk rate) but if he can swing and miss a bit less this spring—particularly against sliders—he could climb boards.

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    Walter Ford

    Pace (Fla.) HS RHP
    Video
    Notes:

    HT: 6-2 | Wt: 193 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Alabama
    Age At Draft: 17.5
    Ford previously ranked as a top-10 player in the 2023 high school class but reclassified for 2022 last fall. He’s now one of the youngest players in the class and doesn’t turn 18 until December and has a fastball that’s touched 97 and could easily get into the triple digits in the future. He also throws a sharp slider and some scouts have put plus control on him as well. Ford could shoot up lists more when scouts see him in extended outings this spring, but he immediately joins the class as a top-two round talent. He’s committed to Alabama.

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