2022 MLB Mock Draft V 6.1
July 17 Update: Carlos Collazo shares the latest news and rumblings in the hours leading up to the 2022 draft.
Unlike our last mock draft, which was released during a relatively quiet week for industry chatter, there has been plenty of draft chatter and rumor mongering that is reflected in V 6.0 today. With the draft starting on Sunday, this will serve as Baseball America’s final mock draft—though we will add more information to capsules and tweak names as we gather information.
The last few years it has gotten incredibly quiet leading up to the draft as teams huddle in draft rooms, attempt to finalize their draft boards and figure out signability. That hasn’t quite been the case this week, as there is plenty of buzz going around the industry—though sorting out the smoke from the fire is a challenge in its own right.
It seems like there are eight players most teams feel confident will come off the board early, before the draft descends into utter chaos in the middle of the first round. The names up top who seem unlikely to fall outside of the top 10 picks are the top eight players on the BA 500: OF Druw Jones, SS Brooks Lee, SS Jackson Holliday, SS Termarr Johnson, OF Elijah Green, C Kevin Parada, 3B Cam Collier and 3B/1B Jacob Berry.
There’s not a lot of separation with players in the middle of the first round, going down through the second round of this draft. That, combined with the lack of a typical healthy college pitching pecking order in the first round has thrown the draft wide open, with teams bearing down on large groups of players and plenty of uncertainty about who will be available when.
On Baseball America’s draft board, we have employed BA Grades for the top 200 players to try to contextualize the draft talent beyond what ordinal rankings allow. From players ranked No. 21 to No. 65, there’s virtually no difference in value. While that range and the specific players will vary from team to team, hopefully that provides an idea of what teams are attempting to sort through in this draft class and why we expect plenty of chaos and under-slot deal hunting on draft day.
In our final mock we have also included a few names as potential later picks (dart throws) for teams where applicable. We will add names where applicable throughout the weekend.
Jackson HollidayStillwater (Okla.) HS SSNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $16,924,000
Pick Slot Value: $8,842,200
Earlier this week I heard the Orioles were down to five names they were debating for the first overall pick. I don’t know the names with 100% certainty, but my assumption is the following: Druw Jones, Jackson Holliday, Termarr Johnson, Brooks Lee and Elijah Green.
I feel reasonably confident that Kevin Parada is not in this group for Baltimore at this point and so the five names would also be the top-five players on the BA 500. I think there’s a chance Green isn’t one of the five and instead a lower ranked college bat like Jacob Berry is still in the mix, but again—I assert my uncertainty.
Over the past few days, most people seem to think Jones and Holliday are coming off the board among the first two picks in some order, though most people also acknowledge they don’t have much confidence in who the player is going to be. It’s possible Baltimore itself won’t decide who it is taking until draft day.
In my last mock I stuck with the best player on the board. Today I am going with the tooled-up shortstop in Holliday. A high school option feels most likely at this point, but the Orioles have only selected college players while picking among the top five picks in the last three years so it feels foolish to completely rule out that demographic.
Update: I continue to hear a wide range of answers on who is most likely to go 1-1, with sources alternatively saying Jones, Holliday, Lee and Johnson. I think they are still on five players, but one name I did hear in recent days was Cam Collier. I am not sure how much stock to put in that one. Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross would represent a dark horse for this pick and would be similar to what Baltimore did with Heston Kjerstad in 2020.
Dart Throw Later Picks: Oklahoma SS Peyton Graham, Oklahoma RHP Cade Horton, Illinois HS RHP/SS Owen MurphyMore Less
Druw JonesWesleyan HS, Norcross, Ga. OFNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $15,112,100
Pick Slot Value: $8,185,100
If Baltimore does go with Holliday, I would expect Arizona to grab Jones. This would make the second straight year the D-backs find themselves with BA’s top-ranked draft prospect despite not picking first overall.
It’s no secret that the D-backs really like the athletic center fielder and it sounds like they have had plenty of discussions with him in recent days. If the Orioles do select Jones, Holliday would then be the favorite for this pick.
The top two college hitters both make sense at this spot from my point of view, and have plenty in common with other first round bats Arizona has liked in recent years, and Termarr Johnson still seems to be in play, though not at the same level as Jones and Holliday.
Update: It feels like there are more scenarios that could play out with Jones being the No. 2 pick than with Holliday being the No. 2 pick, so this feels like a strategic mock draft selection on my part. By all accounts it sounds like Druw is the guy, so if Baltimore goes any direction other than him at No. 1, I think the D-backs would get him here.More Less
Kevin ParadaGeorgia Tech CNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $9,640,700
Pick Slot Value: $7,587,600
It continues to sound like the Rangers would grab either of Jones or Holliday if they make it beyond the first two picks. So that could be an option if the Orioles do decide to cut a deal with a different player at No. 1.
If those two are both off the board, it sounds like Parada and Florida outfielder Elijah Green are getting the most attention at this spot.
What’s interesting here for the Rangers is the fact that they don’t pick again until the fourth round and the 104th overall pick in the draft. Their bonus pool ($9,640,700) is smaller than any of the teams picking among the top nine picks. Will that create an incentive to go with a safer profile? A draft class could blow up fairly quickly if you whiff on your first pick and don’t have another pick among the top three rounds so the perceived safety of a college hitter might make sense.
Additionally, Texas has been fairly aggressive on college players in the first round in recent years—Josh Jung in 2019, Justin Foscue in 2020 and Jack Leiter in 2021. For all those reasons Parada could make plenty of sense, but it’s hard to deny how exciting Green’s pure upside is.
Update: I am continuing to stick with Parada here, but I have very little confidence in who they prefer between Green and Parada if those are indeed the top choices. If Baltimore doesn’t go with Holliday or Jones, I could see Holliday being the pick here as well.
Draft Throw Later Picks: California HS SS Christopher PaciollaMore Less
Termarr JohnsonMays HS, Atlanta SSNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $13,733,900
Pick Slot Value: $7,002,100
The hottest landing spots for Johnson might be No. 1, No. 4 and No. 7. We have him fourth in this version of the mock draft and it sounds like Pittsburgh has been all over Johnson and juco third baseman Cam Collier over the last few weeks.
Johnson is the best pure hitter in the class and is one of the most advanced high school hitters the industry has seen in around 20 years. There are a few teams who have been checking in on almost every game Johnson has played for the Atlanta Blues in the Sunbelt Baseball League in Georgia, and Pittsburgh is one of those teams.
The Pirates are frequently mentioned throughout the industry as one of the bigger wild card teams among the first ten picks (along with Baltimore) and most expect them to try and use a similar strategy to their 2021 draft, where they underslot their first pick and spread bonus pool money to later picks. Brooks Lee is a candidate here as well and we previously mentioned that Pittsburgh was scouting Pennsylvania shortstop Cole Young, though Young’s landing spot is likely to be somewhere in between its first two picks at No. 4 and No. 36. It doesn’t sound like Kevin Parada is a strong option here.
Update: No real reason for me to come off this selection.More Less
Elijah GreenIMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. OFNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $11,007,900
Pick Slot Value: $6,494,300
It has felt like the Nationals and Rangers are on the same players, so there’s a decent chance Washington takes whoever Texas doesn't grab at pick No. 3. In this scenario that means Elijah Green fits with the Nationals, but if Green does go in front of this pick, Kevin Parada makes a ton of sense as well. Parada has been frequently linked to the club throughout the spring, but with him not being available here we have the Nationals getting the biggest upside player in the class at pick No. 5.
Update: I wonder how the Juan Soto contract news impacts this draft pick, if it does at all. Green is the best shot at getting a superstar-caliber player with this pick considering his massive upside. College bats like Brooks Lee and Jacob Berry make sense. I would imagine that means Cam Collier as well but I have not heard that specifically.More Less
Brooks LeeCal Poly SSNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $10,486,000
Pick Slot Value: $6,034,300
I’ve heard every demographic outside of college arms linked to the Marlins at this spot. Miami is the second team that I have specifically heard of as heavily scouting Termarr Johnson in the Sunbelt League, in addition to the Pirates. So if he’s here I would imagine he is an option, and I am also guessing all the other prep hitters in front of this pick would make sense if they fell.
None of them do in this iteration, and it’s trickier to project some sort of underslot high school arm like lefthander Brandon Barriera (who I have heard specifically linked to Miami) or righthander Brock Porter (who I have not heard, but could be the first pitcher off the board) than just giving it the best player available in Brooks Lee. Kevin Parada could make some sense if available here and if neither Parada or Lee are on the board, perhaps Miami takes the all-around offensive game of Jacob Berry.
Update: I continue to hear that the Marlins just take whoever the best player is who gets to them, so that could represent a number of different players depending on what happens in front of them. In this scenario, that player is Lee—who is arguably the best pure hitter in the college class and has more defensive value than players like Jacob Berry, Jace Jung and Gavin Cross, who would be next up on the college side.More Less
Cam CollierChipola (Fla.) JC 3BNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $10,092,700
Pick Slot Value: $5,708,000
I would be surprised if Johnson makes it past this spot, but he also has plenty of potential landing spots before here. It sounds like Collier’s most likely homes among the top 10 picks are No. 4 to Pittsburgh, No. 7 to the Cubs or No. 8 to the Twins. Those have been the most aggressively linked to the juco 17-year-old.
If both Collier and Johnson are off the board, my assumption is the Cubs take whoever falls to them or grab Jacob Berry.
Update: Collier’s most likely landing spots still feel like No. 4, No. 7 and No. 8 so I am not tweaking anything here.
Dart Throw Later Picks: California HS OF Henry Bolte, Illinois HS LHP Noah SchultzMore Less
Jacob BerryLouisiana State 1B/3BNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $10,036,000
Pick Slot Value: $5,439,500
Many experts in the industry have talked about a group of eight players who are expected to be the first off the board in some order: Druw Jones, Brooks Lee, Jackson Holliday, Termarr Johnson, Elijah Green, Kevin Parada, Cam Collier and Jacob Berry. If that is the case, the Twins could just grab whoever of the group falls to this spot, and I have no reason to think they would be out on any of the players in that group. In this version that means Berry.
Other names include high school hitters Jett Williams and Justin Crawford and there has been a bit more chatter lately about Alabama lefthander Connor Prielipp sneaking into the first half of the first round on an under-slot deal. I have no idea if Minnesota is in on Prielipp this high, but his name is at least coming up in conversations a bit more.
Another dark horse candidate could be James Madison outfielder Chase DeLauter, who I have heard linked to Minnesota—but it’s a bit tougher to see it taking DeLauter with one of the top eight players still on the board.
Update: Gavin Cross is another name that I have heard mentioned to the Twins in recent days. It continues to be mostly college players linked to Minnesota, but most of the industry views Berry within this top eight grouping of players expected to be off the board early so he remains the pick here.More Less
Gavin CrossVirginia Tech OFNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $9,466,200
Pick Slot Value: $5,200,200
There are a few college bats that would make sense at No. 9 to Kansas City—with Texas Tech second baseman Jace Jung and Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross foremost among them—but I’ve also continued to hear high school outfielders linked with the Royals, including Justin Crawford and Henry Bolte. We’ve previously mocked Bolte at this pick, but it’s perhaps a bit bold and I haven’t heard much about that one in recent days.
Jett Williams could make sense as well as a potential center fielder (though I imagine whoever drafts him does so as a shortstop) with hitting ability, but Crawford is as solid a link as I have at this point.
If you couldn’t tell, this is around the range where my confidence in the picks and the player pool itself starts to fall off.
Update: Cross is getting more and more buzz, and while I do still think Justin Crawford would make plenty of sense here, I am flipping this pick based on the different ranges of landing spots expected for both players. It feels like Cross is more likely to go in the top 10. So he’s the pick now.More Less
Jace JungTexas Tech 2BNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $13,660,700
Pick Slot Value: $4,980,400
I’ve mostly heard college names linked with the Rockies. I don’t think we’ve projected a single high school player for this pick the entire year—though there are plenty who make sense based on talent and are discussed in this range. So I’m not ruling it out, just haven’t heard about it if that’s the direction they are going.
I would imagine if any of the top eight players fall to this spot they would be scooped up here. It would be difficult to see a Brooks Lee or a Jacob Berry getting outside of the top 10 with the Rockies picking here. With that not an option, how about Gavin Cross, who has power, moves around the outfield well and has been a consistent ACC producer.
Update: Jung’s landing spot is difficult to peg but I have continued to hear Colorado as one of the teams in on him. I think the Rockies are increasingly a more likely spot for Arizona catcher Daniel Susac as well.More Less
Brock PorterSt. Mary's Prep, Orchard Lake, Mich. RHPNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $13,955,700
Pick Slot Value: $4,778,200
We mocked Jett Williams to this pick in our last version and there’s nothing I am more confident in to make a switch. It will be fascinating to see what the Mets do with their massive bonus pool—it’s the third largest of any team behind only Baltimore and Arizona—and multiple picks among the top 15.
Update: I am simply flipping the landing spots for Porter and Williams to the Mets in this version because it feels more likely that the teams in between would go pitcher than hitter. Considering I think both Porter and Williams are players the Mets still like, taking Porter with the first pick seems to make more sense for them. This is another spot where Daniel Susac could fit and the Mets are best-positioned to scoop up one of the top players who slides if that does happen.More Less
Connor PrielippAlabama LHPNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $8,024,900
Pick Slot Value: $4,587,900
The Tigers have consistently been one of the trickier teams for me to figure out or feel confident about a strong player-team link. I originally had Cole Young in this spot and he is one of the few real links that I have with Detroit, but late Thursday night I heard some real buzz on Alabama lefthander Connor Prielipp with the Tigers. Prielipp, like all of the other college pitchers among the top 50 with injury questions, is extraordinarily hard to place this year. The number of injured college pitchers creates plenty of confusion for how the middle and back of the first round will play out.
High school arms Brandon Barriera and Brock Porter could make sense here, as could a college bat like Jace Jung or Gavin Cross if they slip.
Update: The Tigers are tough to figure out, but they typically like going for pitchers, physical players, power stuff and track record. Prielipp checks a lot of those boxes except the last, as does Cade Horton.More Less
Cade HortonOklahoma RHPNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $7,024,300
Pick Slot Value: $4,410,200
There are a lot of arms linked with the Angels on both the high school and college sides. I originally placed Kumar Rocker in the 20s in this mock draft, but received feedback that was too low. The Angels are a team that makes sense for a player like Rocker, who should be able to move as quickly to the bigs as anyone in this class. A year ago he was viewed as one of the potential quick-movers and given the stuff he showed with Tri-City there’s no reason to think that has changed. I think the Angels could like Porter or Barriera, and perhaps they are one of the teams who is in on Arizona catcher Daniel Susac as well.
Update: Cade Horton feels more likely to go in the top 15 at this point than Rocker does. Both make sense here but just based on how frequently Horton’s name is brought up in this range, he feels like the safer option to mock to the team most frequently tied to arms.More Less
Jett WilliamsRockwall-Heath HS, Rockwall, Texas SS/OFNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $13,955,700
Pick Slot Value: $4,241,600
Brock Porter to the Mets is probably one of the most consistent pairings I’ve had throughout our mock drafts this spring so it’s bound to not actually happen on draft night. That said, I do know that the Mets were one of the more aggressive teams in scouting the flame-throwing righthander, so I am sticking with it.
Update: Again, just flipping the picks with Porter and Williams for the Mets. If Williams does not go in this spot or to the Padres or Guardians right behind he might slip a bit. I think the Red Sox would be another potential landing spot for him if that happens.More Less
Justin CrawfordBishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas OFNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $10,088,900
Pick Slot Value: $4,082,900
There’s a problem in mock drafts where you don’t feel like you have a strong player/team connection, but it’s equally problematic when you have a large number of player/team connections. I think San Diego routinely falls into the latter category because GM AJ Preller is a notoriously aggressive scout himself for someone in his position and when he shows up to see a player—people take notice.
So the Padres have been tied to all sorts of names: The middle of the first round prep bat trio of Justin Crawford, Cole Young and Jett Williams are linked; Daniel Susac is mentioned; Preller was in to see Kumar Rocker with Tri-City and they could be another team that makes sense with a player like him, as could Dylan Lesko for similar but also different reasons.
Update: With Crawford now being available in this mock he feels like a good option here as a player with traits the Padres have liked in the past. Whether or not the Padres current competitive window changes their draft philosophy is interesting to think about, but I still think they will simply take who they view is the best player on the board. Daniel Susac is another possible fit here and I got some buzz late that Robby Snelling could be an interesting under-slot option for San Diego if it wanted to push more money to its later picks. It sounds like Preller was in to see Snelling multiple times.More Less
Dylan LeskoBuford (Ga.) HS RHPNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $9,980,900
Pick Slot Value: $3,935,500
Similar to San Diego, Cleveland also gets linked to a ton of different player types because of its draft model and success with certain player types. Super young player? Cleveland. Command-oriented pitcher? Cleveland. Middle infielder with contact skills and not a ton of power? Cleveland.
Names like Jett Williams, Zach Neto, Cade Horton, Justin Campbell, Gabriel Hughes, Landon Sims and Chase DeLauter would all make plenty of sense here. But in this version we have the Guardians stopping the slide of Jung, who for whatever reason does seem to be the most common name among top 10-ranked players who could fall a bit.
Update: The previous name was Jace Jung, but we have him going off the board before this pick. In this scenario I think Cleveland would be interested in Lesko, Zach Neto, Chase DeLauter and Cooper Hjerpe with Lesko perhaps the most likely of that grouping.
Dart Throw Later Picks: Campbell RHP Thomas Harrington, Illinois HS RHP/SS Owen Murphy, Texas LHP Pete Hansen, Monmouth LHP Trey Dombroski, Cal Poly RHP Drew Thorpe, Florida HS C Brady NealMore Less
Chase DeLauterJames Madison OFNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $6,307,000
Pick Slot Value: $3,792,800
Barriera seems to have plenty of potential homes throughout the middle of the first round, but we’ll take him off the board here with the Phillies like our previous mock draft. All the other college pitchers are getting some buzz with the Phillies here and they were apparently one of the teams scouting Gonzaga righthander Gabriel Hughes quite aggressively.
Update: DeLauter’s name has picked up a bit of steam in the last few days and it feels like he is going to be the second college outfielder off the board after Gavin Cross. If he doesn’t go here he has a ton of interest in the 19-23 range, but I also heard Saturday night that this is the floor for him, so he’s the new pick.
Dart Throw Later Picks: California HS OF Henry Bolte, North Carolina HS 1B Xavier IsaacMore Less
Zach NetoCampbell SSNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $10,794,100
Pick Slot Value: $3,657,900
I get the feeling the Reds want either a pitcher or an infielder at this pick and have heard that echoed by others in the industry when asking around about it. Cole Young makes plenty of sense if he makes it this far, but in this version we have Campbell SS Zach Neto, who has a chance to get closer to the top 10.
Update: There is plenty of buzz that Neto goes in front of this spot, but there aren’t many super locked-in teams that I feel confident putting him with. Pittsburgh and the Rockies make some sense, but that’s an aggressive selection without having more information on it, specifically. I continue to hear the Reds in on pitchers and infielders and with Cole Young and Neto both on the board I imagine they would be happy with this version. I am torn on whether or not they would take Daniel Susac if he was here.More Less
Cole YoungNorth Allegheny HS, Wexford, Pa. SSNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $8,315,800
Pick Slot Value: $3,529,400
Update: The names buzzing around Oakland include Beavers, Drew Gilbert, DeLauter and Cole Young. It is mostly college names, but I also heard late the A’s are in pretty good on Young as well from multiple sources so I’m making a pivot on this selection to the polished lefthanded-hitting shortstop.More Less
Justin CampbellOklahoma State RHPNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $10,224,300
Pick Slot Value: $3,407,400
Between this mock and our last one, the Braves traded RHP Andrew Hoffman, OF Drew Waters and 3B CJ Alexander to the Royals for the No. 35 pick in the draft—and the $2,202,100 bonus pool money that comes with it.
Update: I’ve heard some people say that Cade Horton’s floor would be around this pick, so if he’s on the board potentially he is an option. I’ve previously connected Atlanta with Gabriel Hughes, but heard recently that might not be a good pairing given Hughes’ fastball characteristics. The buzz of late has been Oklahoma State righthander Justin Campbell, so he’s now the pick with Lesko unavailable. College pitching continues to come up here. Cooper Hjerpe is another possible name.
Dart Throw Later Picks: North Carolina HS C Brooks Brannon, Washington HS RHP JR Ritchie, Oklahoma State RHP/3B Nolan McLeanMore Less
Cooper HjerpeOregon State LHPNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $7,254,400
Pick Slot Value: $3,291,200
Update: Hjerpe is getting a ton of attention in the 16-23 range and I would guess he goes off the board somewhere within that range as of now. Productive college lefthanders are in plenty of demand and short supply this spring. Other names with the Mariners include Neto and DeLauter if they are here and Drew Gilbert and Jake Bennett. I would assume Dylan Beavers is in the mix as well considering where he is mentioned and with teams who are in on a similar group of players but that last one is an assumption from me rather than anything I’ve gotten directly from teams. Jett Williams could also be in play if he makes it here.More Less
Daniel SusacArizona CNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $6,842,300
Pick Slot Value: $3,180,600
Update: No one that I’ve spoken with has great feel for St. Louis at this point, but it has been tied to a lot of the same names mentioned on either side of this pick. Peyton Graham is one that I think could be interesting, but mostly with no great info I need to get Susac off the board. He could go much higher than this and I am routinely told “that feels low” when he’s placed in the 20s, but there’s not a great option I feel confident about with him in this mock draft.More Less
Dylan BeaversCalifornia OFNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $8,367,700
Pick Slot Value: $3,075,300
Update: I think Toronto could go with many different demographics depending on how the board plays out, but with many of the same names in play we have been discussing: Chase DeLauter, Drew Gilbert, Dylan Beavers, Cooper Hjerpe and Cade Horton. It feels like Beavers and Gilbert are going to be the college outfielders off the board soon after DeLauter goes. We've changed this from Gabriel Hughes in our previous mock.
Dart Throw Later Picks: Ohio HS RHP Jacob MillerMore Less
Kumar RockerTri-City (Frontier) RHPNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $8,078,300
Pick Slot Value: $2,974,900
Update: A lot of college names continued to be tied to the Red Sox, including both Tennessee outfielders Drew Gilbert and Jordan Beck, with Gilbert seemingly more likely to be the first chosen of the two. I have also heard the Red Sox linked with Louisiana State infielder Cade Doughty, but that feels like a later pick. Rocker is tough to place and seemingly has the widest range of outcomes of any of the non-high school arms, but I have heard him connected to Boston. So he’s off the board here in this mock.
Dart Throw Later Picks: Georgia HS SS Eric Snow, Tennessee HS SS Henry GodboutMore Less
Spencer JonesVanderbilt OFNotes:
Total Bonus Pool: $6,425,100
Pick Slot Value: $2,879,300
It sounds like there is a good amount of truth to this Spencer Jones/Yankees connection and why wouldn’t there be? He is a large, physical, lefthanded-hitting college outfielder with tons of power. Jones is among the more polarizing players in the class who we have in the first round and many teams might not take him for quite a bit longer than this, but certainly a handful are all in on Jones’ upside and unique athleticism for a 6-foot-7 hitter.
I’ve heard the Yankees linked to Gabriel Hughes as well as Cole Young and Justin Crawford, though it’s harder to see those high school hitters getting this far.
Update: This continues to be one of the most frequent player/team connections I have heard and when that is the case in the 20s of a mock draft it’s hard not to just stick with the connection. I am doing so here.
Dart Throw Later Picks: North Carolina HS 1B Xavier Isaac, Connecticut HS RHP Matt ScottMore Less