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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. 25
    Last: 25

    Jacob Melton

    Oregon State OF

    HT: 6-3 | Wt: 208 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.8
    BA Grade: 50/High
    Tools: Hit: 50. Power: 55. Run: 60. Field: 50. Arm: 50.

    An All-Pac-12 honorable mention in 2021 after slashing .404/.466/.697 with six home runs, Melton has continued to produce at a high level during his 2022 draft year while moving from first base and right field to the everyday center field role for the Beavers. A 6-foot-3, 208-pound lefthanded hitter, Melton hit .371/.435/.684 over his first 57 games, with 15 home runs and 21 doubles, while going 20-for-21 (95.2%) in stolen base attempts. Melton’s production is prettier than his swing, which is described as “unorthodox” and features plenty of moving parts. He starts with an open stance and features a leg kick in his load, with a long load that includes a barrel dump on the back half and an arm bar. Despite those mechanics, Melton has plenty of bat speed and the athleticism to make it work. While his bat path might not be ideal, his barrel stays in the zone for a long time and he has the strength to drive the ball with authority, with a frame that suggests more could be coming. Melton will expand the zone at times and there’s some swing and miss—particularly against breaking balls and offspeed pitches—but he has hammered fastballs, produced against 93-plus mph velocity and displayed all-fields home run power. Some scouts have given him plus raw power grades. Melton has turned in 70-grade run times from home to first and is a plus runner consistently who should be able to stick in center field, with an average throwing arm. While Melton is a bit on the older end for the college class (he turns 22 in September), his power-speed tool set, Pac-12 production and lefthanded-hitting center field profile will check plenty of boxes for teams and he has a chance to be selected at the back of the first round and shouldn’t get out of the second.

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  2. 101
    Last: 102

    Troy Melton

    San Diego State RHP

    HT: 6-4 | Wt: 190 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.6
    BA Grade: 45/High
    Tools: Fastball: 60. Slider: 45. Changeup: 50. Control: 45.

    Melton possessed some of the best stuff in last year’s draft class but couldn’t get teams to meet his bonus demands after a poor season. He opted to return to school and made the decision look wise with a dominant showing at the front of San Diego State’s rotation. Melton is a physical, athletic 6-foot-4 righthander with a quick arm and physical projection still remaining. His four-seam fastball sits 93-95 mph, touches 98 and has room to tick up further as he gets stronger and fills out his frame. He added a two-seamer in the low 90s this season that gets under rigthhanded batters’ hands and is at least an above-average pitch. Melton’s short, mid-80s slider with late break flashes average, but is often only on one plane, leaving it vulnerable to getting hit hard. His firm, 87-88 mph changeup is an average third pitch. Melton’s stuff previously played down because hitters could track the ball easily out of his glove, but he shortened his arm action to create more deception this spring and fixed the issue. After allowing a 6.14 ERA and 10.7 hits per nine innings last year, he logged a 2.07 ERA with 7.9 hits per nine this season. The change also helped Melton repeat his release point better and improve his control to fringe-average. Melton still struggles with consistency at times, but he is trending in the right direction. His improved stuff, deception and control have him in top-three rounds consideration.

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