BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

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

Grade

Hitter Role

Pitcher Role

75-80

Franchise Player

No. 1 starter

65-70

Perennial All-Star

No. 2 starter

60

Occasional All-Star

No. 3 starter, Game's best reliever

55

First-Division Regular

No. 3/No. 4 starter, Closer

50

Solid-Average Regular

No. 4 starter, Setup reliever

45

Second-Division Regular/Platoon

No. 5 starter, Middle reliever

40

Reserve

Fill-in starter, Low-leverage reliever

35

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.

1 Match
Expand Collapse All Updated on: 7/15/2022
  1. 56
    Last: 57

    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
    BA Grade: 50/High
    Tools: Hit: 55. Power: 50. Run: 50. Field: 45. Arm: 55.

    Doughty has been a pillar for LSU baseball since arriving on campus in the fall of 2019. Following the shortened Covid spring in 2020, Doughty’s second year in the purple and gold was an impressive one. He hit .308 with 13 doubles and 11 home runs. The 2022 campaign began where 2021 ended. With Doughty adding strength to his frame, the 6-foot-1 195-pound righthanded hitter has worked himself into a solid-average raw power grade, driving balls into gaps with higher exit velocities than seen before, adding additional power to an already-potent LSU lineup. Doughty stands in with a slight crouch and the barrel rested on his shoulder. Prior to the release of the pitch, he likes to sink in to his lower half before letting his hands work. Doughty doesn’t possess the lightning-quick bat speed seen in other high-round prospects, but more times than not, his timing is right, and his barrel stays in the zone with slight lift and proper extension. He has expanded the zone a bit more in 2022, as the punchouts increased from a year ago, with 49 in 238 at-bats. Seeing a heavy dose of plus sliders with high-velocity fastballs that the SEC has to offer, Doughty has proven in his time at Baton Rouge he can perform against the country's top arms. When his plate discipline is on point, he is in the discussion of the upper-tier bats in this year’s class. On the defensive side, the Tigers have used Doughty primarily at second base with a start at third on occasion. His range isn’t quite there for shortstop, but his solid-average arm is more than capable to handle third. There is room for improvement on the dirt—Doughty has a .931 fielding percentage—but his athleticism and baseball IQ are enough to be hopeful that Doughty will be able to stay on the infield moving forward. An average runner, Doughty won’t collect a high number of stolen bases but will capitalize on defensive mishaps as he has throughout his career at LSU. Doughty is a gritty, high-makeup player on and off the field. He suffered a dislocated shoulder diving after a grounder in late May, but made it back for regionals. Look for Doughty to come off the board quickly in July due to the resume he’s produced in college baseball’s toughest conference.

    More Less
Loading
Close

Are you a member?

In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account. 

Login or sign up  


Additionally, you can subscribe to Baseball America's newsletter and receive all of our rankings, analysis, prospect insight & more delivered to your inbox every day. Click here to get started. 

of Free Stories Remaining