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2022 MLB Draft Top Prospects

Draft500 (1)

The BA 500 is an attempt to capture the industry’s consensus on the talent of the 2022 draft class—not to predict where players will be selected. The list was compiled in consultation with major league scouts, front office executives, scouting directors, college coaches and other professional evaluators. Ben Badler, Teddy Cahill, JJ Cooper, Kyle Glaser, Joe Healy, Tom Lipari, Bill Mitchell and Carlos Collazo contributed to reporting and writing. Chris Trenkle contributed to editing.

Related: 2022 MLB Mock Draft Version 4.0

July 15: A last-minute rankings update to account for player movement and prospects removing themselves from the draft.

Georgia high school outfielder Druw Jones continues to lead the class in the No. 1 spot, as the industry’s consensus top prospect.

Given the extreme attrition to the top-end pitching talent of the class, it’s a hitter-heavy group up top, with high-upside high school players like SS Jackson Holliday, SS Termarr Johnson and OF Elijah Green.

For teams more inclined to chase the safer college demographic, there are plenty of proven bats to be found among the top 10 as well: SS Brooks Lee and C Kevin Parada have cases as the best pure hitters in the college class, while 3B/1B Jacob Berry, 2B Jace Jung, OF Gavin Cross and 3B Cam Collier have varying degrees of high-level hitting ability and power.

Prep righthanders Brock Porter and Dylan Lesko lead the pitching class, with power arms and elite changeups to go with them, while former Vanderbilt star Kumar Rocker ranks at the top of the non-prep pitching demographic.

BA Grades

Baseball America has used BA Grades and risk factors for minor league prospects as part of our team top 30 rankings and annual prospect handbook for more than a decade. Starting in 2021, we assigned the top draft prospects BA Grades as well. This is an attempt to further contextualize the talent of the class and create a more seamless transition from amateur to professional talent rankings.

Below is a brief overview of BA Grades:

For the BA Grade, we used a 20-to-80 scale, similar to the scale scouts use, to keep things familiar. However, most major league clubs put an overall numerical grade on players, called the Overall Future Potential or OFP. Often the OFP is merely an average of the player’s tools.

The BA Grade is not an OFP. It’s a measure of a prospect’s value, and it attempts to gauge the player’s realistic ceiling. We’ve continued to adjust our grades to try to be more realistic, and less optimistic, and keep refining the grade vetting process.

BA Grade Scale


Hitter Role

Pitcher Role


Franchise Player

No. 1 starter


Perennial All-Star

No. 2 starter


Occasional All-Star

No. 3 starter, Game's best reliever


First-Division Regular

No. 3/No. 4 starter, Closer


Solid-Average Regular

No. 4 starter, Setup reliever


Second-Division Regular/Platoon

No. 5 starter, Middle reliever



Fill-in starter, Low-leverage reliever


Quality Org Player

Quality Org Player

Risk Factors

Low: Likely to reach realistic ceiling, certain big league career barring injury.

Medium: Some work left to refine their tools, but a polished player.

High: Most top draft picks in their first season, players with plenty of projection left, players with a significant flaw left to correct or players whose injury history is worrisome.

Very High: Recent draft picks with limited track record of success or injury issues.

Extreme: Teenagers in Rookie ball, players with significant injury histories or players who struggle with a key skill, especially control for pitchers or strikeout rate for hitters.

2 Matches
Expand Collapse All Updated on: 7/15/2022
  1. 53
    Last: 53

    Cayden Wallace

    Arkansas 3B

    HT: 6-1 | Wt: 205 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 20.9
    BA Grade: 50/High
    Tools: Hit: 50. Power: 50. Run: 50. Field: 50. Arm: 70.

    The younger brother of former Angels infielder Paxton Wallace and the son of a college quarterback, Cayden Wallace has one of the best infield arms in college baseball. He doesn’t need to set his feet to get something on his throws, which makes him a wiz at charging into bare-hand bunts. When he does set his feet, his throws seem rocket powered. He is comfortable leaving his feet, knowing he has the arm to pop up and make the play. In addition to having a plus-plus arm and above-average defense at third, Wallace is a heady baserunner. He has average speed, but he swiped a team-best 11 stolen bases in 12 tries. Wallace has above-average bat speed and has shown he can catch up to velocity. He has an average bat with average power. He hit .299/.394/.561. He likes to drop the bat head to pull the ball, but he also has shown he can drive the ball to right-center. He can be busted up and in on his hands. Wallace had an up-arrow as the draft neared—he hit nine of his 15 home runs in Arkansas’ last 11 games of the season and hit better during the conference schedule than he did during the non-conference slate.

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  2. 144
    Last: 143

    Jalen Battles

    Arkansas SS

    HT: 6-2 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Phillies '19 (34)
    Age At Draft: 22.5
    BA Grade: 40/High
    Tools: Hit: 40. Power: 45. Run: 50. Field: 55. Arm: 55.

    Battles teamed with third baseman Cayden Wallace this year to give Arkansas one of the best left sides of the infield in college baseball. It was extremely hard to sneak a ground ball past the duo. Battles has given scouts plenty of chances to see him handle all the demands of shortstop. He plays the position under control, with a solid internal clock, but he also has the quick hands and actions to get rid of the ball quickly when needed. He has an above-average arm and above-average range. His glove should make him an excellent senior sign, although his bat will limit how high he will go. He can turn on a fastball with his fringe-average power, but he’s generally been an easy mark for pitchers who induce him to chase sliders, and especially changeups, away. He pulls off those pitches too often, although his average hand-eye coordination keeps him from being a massive liability as a bottom-of-the-order bat.

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