2022 MLB Draft Day One Analysis For All 30 Teams
Los Angeles—As a blanket of sun beamed down from the California sky the 2022 entry draft kicked off on Sunday afternoon in downtown Los Angeles. There was plenty of chaos leading up to the kickoff of this year’s edition of the annual entry draft, and it got really interesting when former Vanderbilt starter Kumar Rocker went off the board at pick three to the Rangers. There were some other shockers throughout the day but several teams came away with a strong first day. Below we analyze the picks on day one for all 30 teams.
1. Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater (Okla.) HS
33. Dylan Beavers, OF, California
42. Max Wagner, 3B, Clemson
67. Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
The Orioles continue to employ Belichickian tactics each season with their early first-round picks. This year rumors swirled throughout the day, but in the end they selected Holliday as we had anticipated based on our reporting. While he’s not ranked as the top player in the draft it was undeniable that Holliday was one of the top prep players in this year’s class and the considerable strength gains he showed this spring skyrocketed his stock to the top of the draft. He’s a player with bloodlines and an innate ability to make contact on a variety of pitches and locations within the zone. Holliday has strong baseball bloodlines, as his father is former major league all-star Matt Holliday, while his uncle and grandfather are both well-known managers in the college circuit.
With their remaining three day one picks the Orioles added three college position players in Beavers, Wagner and Fabian. They fit a particular profile that the Orioles have targeted in recent drafts. Position players with low chase rates, above-average or better power, and contact questions. A year after missing out on Fabian in the second round the Orioles were able to land him this year in the competitive balance round B. Fabian has struggled to make consistent contact in the SEC for two years but has continued to show plus game power with the ability to handle center field.
2. Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS, Norcross, Ga.
34. Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State
43. Ivan Melendez, 1B, Texas
It’s completely reasonable to argue that the D-Backs landed two top-15-level talents at picks two and 34, as Jones was ranked as the top player in the class while Sims prior to his injury was considered for a time period as the top college pitcher in the class. With Sims on the shelf until the middle of next summer it will take a little while for D-Backs fans to get eyes on him, but Jones should likely debut this summer in the Arizona Complex League with a shot at a late-season assignment to a full-season affiliate. Ivan Melendez, the 2022 Baseball America College Player of the Year, should see an assignment to a full-season affiliate almost immediately. It’s a potential standout class with the best player in the draft, arguably the top college pitcher and the best statistical college player of 2022.
- Kumar Rocker, RHP, Tri-City (Frontier)
The biggest surprise of the first round, Rocker joins former Vanderbilt teammate Jack Leiter in the Rangers organization. Rocker walks away as one of day one’s big winners as he re-entered the draft after failing to sign with the Mets at pick 10 last July and moved up seven spots to No. 3 overall in the 2022 draft. Rocker showed his signature stuff this summer with the Tri-City Valleycats, sitting 94-97 mph on his fastball and mixing his hard, upper-80s cutter, mid-to-low-80s slider and changeup. While health remains a question, Rocker looks like he’s back to peak form.
4. Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays HS, Atlanta
36. Thomas Harrington, RHP, Campbell
44. Hunter Barco, LHP, Florida
The Pirates had a solid haul highlighted by Termarr at the top, a player many consider one of the most advanced prep hitters in recent memory. With the following two picks the Pirates dove into the deep pool of quality college pitching. Harrington, the second Campbell Camel taken on day one, had a breakout spring where he showed a strong four-pitch-mix led by a low-90s fastball up to 96 mph, a low-80s slider, a changeup and a curveball. Barco was a member of the wounded collegiate pitching class, as he had Tommy John this spring. When Barco is healthy he pairs a low-90s fastball with a plus slider, and a changeup he shows feel for.
5. Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
45. Jake Bennett, LHP, Oklahoma
There’s a chance Green immediately ascends to the top spot in the Nationals system just based on his explosive power and athleticism. Green was considered one of the premier prep players in the class as early as three years ago, and has an illustrious track record as a prep player. The Nationals arguably got the best athlete in consecutive prep classes with Elijah Green this year and Brady House last year. Jake Bennett is a pitchability arm who performed well this spring, using a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a sweepy slider and a changeup he throws exclusively against righthanders. The Nationals had a high-reward pick at five followed by a high-floor pick at 45.
6. Jacob Berry, 3B, Louisiana State
46. Jacob Miller, RHP, Liberty Union HS, Baltimore, Ohio
Many view Berry as the top college bat in the class, as a power-hitting switch-hitter who’s performed in games. There’s some defensive questions as many believe he will slide across the infield from third to first base. He shows a strong combination of bat-to-ball-skills, swing decisions and power in-game. He’s a high-floor pick for a team that’s had some risky picks in recent draft classes. Jacob Miller is a projectable prep righthander with an innate feel for spin, featuring a low-to-mid-90s fastball and two distinct breaking balls. It’s not the most exciting class, but one with high-end talent and some added depth to both the Marlins’ pitching and positional corps.
7. Cade Horton, RHP, Oklahoma
47. Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy
If you had said months ago that Cade Horton would be a top-10 pick you likely would question your sanity. After a standout College World Series Horton rode the performance and elite stuff he showed in the postseason into the top 10. Horton has a nasty combination in his fastball and slider and showed the ability to miss bats. Coming off of Tommy John surgery entering the season, it’s a question of whether you trust the recent performance or not. Ferris is a high upside high school lefthander who saw a big increase in stuff last season, adding velocity onto his fastball, sitting 93-94 mph and touching 97 mph. He also features a high-spin breaking ball and a mid-80s changeup he shows feel for. Some risk and reward with both picks, but the Cubs could end up with two premium arms.
8. Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
48. Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama
68. Tanner Schobel, SS, Virginia Tech
The Twins typically value college performers more than other clubs and in this way they stayed on brand. Lee fell to them at eight after being considered an option at 1.1 as early as Sunday morning. Lee is a switch-hitting infielder with the ability to hit for power, while Prielipp was another early favorite on draft boards coming out of 2020, but injuries and lack of college track record allowed him to slip. Schobel was a member of the high-powered Hokies offense this season as he hit .362/.445/.689 with 19 home runs while starting 59 games at shortstop. It’s a strong class overall with a lot of upside, but some injury risk as well among the first two picks.
Kansas City Royals
9. Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
49. Cayden Wallace, 3B, Arkansas
The Royals added a strong pair of college performers in Cross and Wallace, as both have a strong combination of power and bat-to-ball skills, as well as defensive profiles at premium positions. Cross has the ability to play center field long term with good athleticism. He’s a well-rounded player at the plate who could see increased power production with added loft to his fairly linear bat path. Wallace is a strong-armed slugger who has played third base as well as the corner outfield positions. While there’s certainly going to be some swing and miss as he climbs the minor league ladder, Wallace was able to keep his strikeouts in check while hitting for power in college baseball’s toughest conference. The Royals landed two fast-moving college position players with upside.
10. Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga
31. Sterlin Thompson, OF, Florida
38. Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee
50. Jackson Cox, RHP, Toutle Lake HS, Toutle, Wash.
With four picks in the top 50, the Rockies added two of the top SEC bats in Thompson and Jordan Beck, as well as two pitchers, one from the college class and another from the prep ranks. Hughes saw his stuff jump this season as he showed increased fastball velocity, touching 97 mph at peak. He pairs his fastball with a low-80s slider that at its best will flash plus but hasn’t been consistent and a changeup that showed bat-missing potential. Thompson and Beck are well-established college hitters with performance track records in college baseball’s best conference. Cox is the most intriguing of the Rockies four picks as an undersized prep arm that showed increased velocity on his fastball to go along with a 3,000 rpm curveball sitting in the 79-81 mph range.
New York Mets
11. Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
14. Jett Williams, SS, Rockwall-Heath HS, Rockwall, Texas
52. Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee
75. Nick Morabito, SS, Gonzaga HS, Washington D.C.
With two first round-picks due to Kumar Rocker going unsigned with their 2021 first-round pick, the Mets added a premium positional talent from the college class and the prep class. After a standout season for Georgia Tech, Parada has one of the most established track records of any college hitter in the draft and a high-end pedigree dating back to his prep days. While question remains around his ability to stick at catcher, his bat is tough to question. Jett Williams was one of the more explosive athletes in the prep class. He also has plus bat speed with the ability to impact the ball. He’s a power and speed threat with the ability to stick at short. Blade Tidwell entered the season with one of the better track records among the college pitching class but missed two months with shoulder soreness. When he returned he showed the power stuff he’s known for, sitting mid-to-high 90s on his fastball with a high-spin slider. It’s primarily a two-pitch mix as Tidwell’s changeup sees low usage in comparison to his fastball-slider combination. Morabito was a mid-Atlantic pop-up who showed well this spring, with bat speed and the ability to generate impact with the torque generated by his swing. He has defensive questions, primarily around his arm strength.
12. Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech
51. Peyton Graham, SS, Oklahoma
While things haven’t gone according to plan for the Tigers at the major league level in 2022, fans should take solace in a well-executed day one. Jung was expected to fall, and the Tigers took the bat-first second baseman at pick 12. While he struggled late in the season with Texas Tech Jung has a track record of performance in a power five conference and pedigree. Graham is a tooled-up and athletic player with a projectable frame that can add good weight and the type of athleticism that portends success at a variety of premium defensive positions. The Tigers have a track record of valuing college hitters, and they stayed true to their draft brand on day one.
Los Angeles Angels
13. Zach Neto, SS, Campbell
After a breakout campaign during the first few weeks of the Cape, Neto suffered an injury, but returned to Brewster during the Cape League playoffs to help lead the Whitecaps to the CCBL title. Neto continued his inspired play at Campbell in the spring where he showcased a plus arm and plus defense at shortstop while hitting .407/.514/.769. While the Angels had just a single day one pick this year, they selected one of the highest helium college position players entering draft day with some buzz he could slide into the top ten.
San Diego Padres
15. Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford (Ga.) HS
39. Robby Snelling, LHP, McQueen HS, Reno, Nev.
53. Adam Mazur, RHP, Iowa
The Padres added two premium pitching prospects to their farm system with their top two picks. First, they got Lesko, the No. 2 pitcher in the country (and 15th overall on the BA 500). Next, they picked up Snelling, the No. 2 lefthander in the draft class and 21st overall. The upside with Lesko is a front-end starter, who before his Tommy John surgery this year that knocked down his status had just about everything you could ask for in a high school pitcher between his fastball, secondaries, command and track record. Snelling is another pitcher with potential plus control, working in the low-to-mid 90s with his fastball and a sharp curveball that should be a big bat-misser in pro ball. With Mazur, the Padres get another pitcher who can spin his breaking stuff, with Mazur using both a slider and curveball to complement his fastball that he can run up to 97 mph.
16. Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison
37. Justin Campbell, RHP, Oklahoma State
54. Parker Messick, LHP Florida State
The Guardians continue to add talented players to an already deep system. While there were some early season bumps, followed by a season-ending injury, DeLauter was one of the top handful of players in the Cape Cod League last summer and is a strong athlete with power and the ability to stick in center field. Campbell has one of the better changeups in the college class with a four-pitch mix and some projection remaining. Messick is a college performer with a deceptive lefthanded operation and feel for his entire arsenal. He has questions regarding his fastball velocity but the Guardians have done well targeting this type of player in recent years.
17. Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas
The son of former all-star Carl Crawford, Justin is a tooled-up athletic player with a projectable frame who showed considerable strength gains this spring. Crawford is a 70 runner with the ability to hit balls into the gaps and make plays with his legs. Crawford should continue to add strength to his frame in the coming years and could unlock more of the above-average power he flashes in batting practice.
18. Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola (Fla.) JC
32. Sal Stewart, 3B, Westminster Christian HS, Miami
55. Logan Tanner, C, Mississippi State
73. Justin Boyd, OF, Oregon State
If you’re a Reds fan, how can you not be excited about Cincinnati’s first-round pick? Collier is a better prospect than a lot of the players who went ahead of him in the draft and could have easily gone in the top 10 picks. Instead, he slid to the Reds, who are getting a young but polished lefthanded hitter who generates easy power with an excellent track record swinging wood bats. They got another third baseman with their next pick in Stewart, who could end up at first base, but has big strength and power to drive the ball with impact. Tanner projects to stick behind the plate, where he has the catch-and-throw skills to project as a solid-average defender with a plus-plus arm, with an offensive game that’s steady but probably projects toward the bottom of a lineup. Boyd hit .373/.490/.577 and drew 52 walks in 62 games this year at Oregon State, but he hasn’t hit for typical power that teams prefer in a corner outfielder.
19. Daniel Susac, C, Arizona
56. Henry Bolte, OF, Palo Alto (Calif.) HS
69. Clark Elliott, OF, Michigan
The Athletics certainly like high-end catching prospects at the moment, and they added another in Daniel Susac, a college bat with a track record of performance but questions around his aggressive approach at the plate. Bolte was one of the most athletic players in the draft class, scoring extremely high on athletic testing that teams value. He has a ways to go from a baseball skills standpoint but is a high-reward pick with big upside if it all clicks in the coming years. Elliott won the Cape Cod League batting title in 2021 and performed well for Hyannis over the course of the summer. He followed that up with a career year at Michigan.
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20. Owen Murphy, RHP, Riverside-Brookfield HS, Riverside, Ill.
35. JR Ritchie, RHP, Bainbridge HS, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
57. Cole Phillips, RHP, Boerne (Texas) HS
76. Blake Burkhalter, RHP, Auburn
The Braves loaded up on pitching, an area where they’ve done well in the draft in recent years. Owen Murphy has some of the highest upside of any prep arm taken on day one, while righthander JR Ritchie isn’t too far behind. Prior to undergoing season-ending Tommy John Surgery Phillips was flashing some of the biggest stuff in the prep class, significantly raising his stock prior to the injury. Burkhalter was the best reliever in the SEC this year. He pairs a plus fastball-slider combination with impressive power and angle. It was a risky draft as the Braves came away with three prep righthanders and a college reliever.
21. Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS, Wexford, Pa.
58. Tyler Locklear, 3B, Virginia Commonwealth
74. Walter Ford, RHP, Pace (Fla.) HS
There’s a lot to like here with the Mariners draft so far. They started by picking Young, one of the most polished high school hitters in the country. He has a smooth, compact swing from the left side and a great track record of hitting and getting on base with his knack for barreling balls and controlling the strike zone. With their last pick of the day, they got Ford, an athletic 17-year-old righthander who reclassified from the 2023 class. He’s a strike-thrower with a power arm and a chance to add even more to a fastball that reaches 97 mph, complementing it with a tight, sharp slider that could be a plus pitch. In between, they got Locklear, who has big power but more risk with his swing and miss and the possibility he ends up at first base.
St. Louis Cardinals
22. Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State
59. Brycen Mautz, LHP, San Diego
Few pitchers performed as well this season as Oregon State’s Cooper Hjerpe. He has a true three-pitch mix with a plus slider, unique fastball with a variety of interesting analytical traits and a changeup he throws for strikes and misses bats with at a high rate. While there are questions around his velocity he’s thrown in the high 90s in flashes. Mautz took to a starting role this spring, racking up strikeouts at a high rate. He pairs a low-90s fastball with deceptive angle with a plus slider that dominates in left-on-left matchups. The Cardinals added two lefties from the West Coast that showed improved performance this spring.
Toronto Blue Jays
23. Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.
60. Josh Kasevich, SS, Oregon
77. Tucker Toman, SS, Hammond HS, Columbia, S.C.
78. Cade Doughty, 2B, Louisiana State
The Blue Jays have made a trend of targeting high contact hitters and they landed a trio in Kasevich, Toman and Doughty. Kasevich has some of the best combination of approach and bat-to-ball skills in the college class, while Toman provides a high-end power and contact combination. Doughty performed throughout his career at LSU and is another high contact hitter lauded for his hit tool. With their first pick they drafted one of the top high school lefthanders in the class, adding another talented arm to a slowly growing stable of projectable and powerful young pitchers. While the Blue Jays draft lacks fireworks they selected players that fit their recent formula.
Boston Red Sox
24. Mikey Romero, SS, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS
41. Cutter Coffey, SS, Liberty HS, Bakersfield, Calif.
79. Roman Anthony, OF, Stoneman Douglas HS, Parkland, Fla.
The Red Sox leaned in heavily to the prep positional class, selecting prep positional talents with all three of their picks on day one. Romero has a clean lefthanded swing that generates lots of contact but lacks impact. He has limited range and a fringy arm, putting his future defensive position in question. Coffey on the other hand is a standout athlete who starred as a two-way player before developing into a legitimate positional prospect. He’s in many ways the opposite of Romero, a toolsy infielder with potential plus defense and arm strength. There are some questions around his ability to hit, however. Anthony hails from powerhouse Stoneman Douglas and has some of the biggest raw power in the prep class. He’s struggled with swing and miss, but has shown improvements in that area this spring.
New York Yankees
25. Spencer Jones, OF, Vanderbilt
61. Drew Thorpe, RHP, Cal Poly
A 6-foot-7 outfielder with surprising athleticism and big raw power, Jones is due to draw plenty of Aaron Judge comparisons whether fair or not. He has shown in-game performance dating back to last summer, but has been plagued by swing-and-miss issues. He’s a plus runner that is a threat to steal on the basepaths and has the range to handle any position in the outfield. He’s still regaining arm strength after an elbow injury his senior year of high school. Thorpe has a true three-pitch mix, highlighted by a devastating changeup. He has plus command and pitchability. His fastball lacks power and is often curbed for his slider and changeup. If Thorpe can get his low-90s fastball to an average level, he has a chance to be a solid back-of-the-rotation arm.
Chicago White Sox
26. Noah Schultz, LHP, Oswego (Ill.) East HS
62. Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas
Schultz is oozing with upside. He’s 6-foot-9 with an electric fastball/slider combination and the body control to throw more strikes than you would typically associate with a teenage pitcher his size. Going from a pitcher who was sitting in the low 90s last year to now more regularly reaching the mid 90s and scratching higher makes him even more exciting, especially at the back of the first round. Pallette ranked No. 38 on the BA 500 and the White Sox got him at No. 62 overall. He didn’t pitch in 2022 because of Tommy John surgery, but when healthy last year he ran his fastball up to 99 mph and was flashing a plus curveball.
27. Eric Brown, SS, Coastal Carolina
63. Jacob Misiorowski, RHP, Crowder (Mo.) JC
72. Robert Moore, 2B, Arkansas
Not that they’re alone in this regard, but the Brewers value their hitters who make frequent contact and have a disciplined feel for the strike zone. They get that with both Brown and Moore. With Brown, there’s no one loud carrying tool that jumps off the page, but he could have five average tools across the board in a bat-driven profile, even with his unorthodox hitting style. Moore is an impressive defensive second baseman and didn’t seem like a player who would last this long coming into the season. But after hitting .283/.384/.558 last year at Arkansas, he returned and hit just .232/.374/.427 this season. Moore entered college a year early out of high school, so he’s still 20 and even with his struggles, he still posted a 14% walk rate and didn’t whiff all that much with a 15% strikeout rate, so there are reasons to believe he can rebound. In between, the Brewers added to their collection of junior college pitchers (Aaron Ashby, Antoine Kelly and Logan Henderson from recent years) with Misiorowski. He’s 6-foot-7, throws 100 mph and flashes a plus slider, but he was available still at No. 63 overall because of his control issues.
28. Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee
64. Jacob Melton, OF, Oregon State
80. Andrew Taylor, RHP, Central Michigan
The Astros for the first time in several seasons had a first-round pick. They did well, landing one of the top position players in the college class in Gilbert. He was a catalyst for a Tennessee club that was ranked No. 1 for a good chunk of the spring. He has all-around abilities and can handle all three outfield positions while displaying contact, approach and power. Jacob Melton is a similarly high-performing college center fielder from a top program and a catalyst for his school’s offense. Melton has received plus raw power grades from some scouts and has clocked 70-grade home-to-first times. He has an unorthodox swing but has the bat-to-ball skills to make it work. Taylor has an invsiball fastball that baffles hitters. The rest of his four-pitch mix is comprised of average to fringe-average offerings. The Astros have done well with college pitchers of this archetype in recent years.
Tampa Bay Rays
29. Xavier Isaac, 1B, East Forsyth HS, Kernersville, N.C.
65. Brock Jones, OF, Stanford
70. Chandler Simpson, 2B, Georgia Tech
71. Ryan Cermak, SS, Illinois State
Isaac was arguably the shock of the first round as he ranked well outside the top 50 on public lists. It’s rumored that several teams coveted Isaac due to his power and analytical data, and it’s possible the Rays took him here for an under-slot deal to land Brock Jones in round two. All four of their draft picks possess a standout skill. Isaac’s impact, Jones’ athleticism, Simpson’s top-of-the-scale speed and Cermak’s on-base ability and power. It’s a class that bucks conventional trends but falls in-line with what the Rays covet, power and athleticism.
San Francisco Giants
30. Reggie Crawford, LHP/1B, UConn
66. Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina
The Giants took two high-upside college pitchers that each missed all of the 2022 spring season, but for very different reasons. Crawford is an explosive two-way talent who flashed some of the best feel for spin in the college class on the Cape and with Team USA last summer before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He pairs a high-spin four-seam fastball that grades as plus with a hammer breaking ball. He’s played mostly as a first baseman as an amateur, where he’s shown plus power but some swing-and-miss concerns. Whisenhunt missed all of 2022 due to a PED suspension but resurfaced in the Cape, where he showed all three of his average or better pitches in flashes but struggled with consistency. It’s a surprisingly high-risk, high-reward college pitching class for the Giants.
Los Angeles Dodgers
40. Dalton Rushing, C, Louisville
Rushing was a standout last summer in the Cape Cod League with Bourne, where he hit .314/.401/.542 with six home runs while displaying impressive bat speed. He answered questions around his catching ability this spring by showing improved skills behind the plate, with some evaluators even saying they prefer his catching to 2021 first overall pick Henry Davis.