2022 MLB Draft Stock Watch: 14 Notable Up/Down Movers On The Top 200 Update
Welcome to Baseball America’s 2022 Draft Stock Watch. This is a recurring feature we’ll bring throughout the draft season to explore rising and falling prospects and dig into different themes and topics with the class at greater length.
Today we updated and expanded our 2022 draft list, ranking the top 200 players in the class and folding in feedback from the first few weeks of the season.
Below are 14 players who have made notable up/down swings as we enter the fifth week of the college baseball season.
Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
Current Rank: 7
Previous Rank: 15
Parada has started the season extremely hot with the bat and after 16 games he is hitting .455/.556/.909 with eight home runs and six doubles. He has tallied a hit in every game this season except one—a March 5 game against Georgia—and has eight multi-hit games. That additional power is a key factor in Parada’s profile and he is already one homer away from tying the nine he hit during the 2021 season over 52 games.
Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater (Okla.) HS
Current Rank: 10
Previous Rank: 32
Feedback from the industry so far seems to indicate Holliday is now viewed as the top high school shortstop in the class. He’s now moved into that position on our draft board and has plenty of teams picking in the first round bearing down on him early this spring.
Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee
Current Rank: 13
Previous Rank: 50
Beck is one of the bigger college movers on yesterday's update, going from the second-round range to solidly in the middle of the first. Scouts believe if he keeps hitting throughout the spring he has a real chance to be the first college outfielder taken, and he is currently ranked as the No. 2 player of that demographic, behind only Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross. Beck is hitting .323/.357/.554 with four home runs through 16 games.
Robert Moore, 2B, Arkansas
Current Rank: 19
Previous Rank: 11
Moore’s move down is more representative of the process of putting together draft rankings than his performance so far this spring. After all, he’s hitting .278/.391/.481 with almost as many walks (eight) as strikeouts (10) through his first 14 games this spring. Instead, the feedback we have gathered this season indicates Moore is a bit of a polarizing player in the industry, with respect to his exact placement in the first round. Many evaluators thought he belonged more in the late teens of the first round and closer to another college second baseman who is making moves …
Cade Doughty, 2B, Louisiana State
Current Rank: 24
Previous Rank: 42
Doughty started in the early second-round range on our pre-draft board but has been red hot out of the gate with LSU and is hitting .393/.480/.852 with six home runs, 10 doubles, 10 walks and seven strikeouts. Scouts will likely compare and contrast Doughty and Moore throughout the spring as two of the better college second basemen in the class, but Doughty’s approach and early-season power showing have scouts raving.
Cole Phillips, RHP, Boerne (Texas) HS
Current Rank: 25
Previous Rank: NR
Phillips was one of the players who just missed our top 100 preseason list and in hindsight, we would have forced him on the list. He’s been electric this spring with increased strength that has led to better velocity on his fastball and more power on his breaking ball and has received first round grades overall. High school righthanders are one of the trickier demographics to place, as they typically move down draft boards throughout the spring and often get selected later and paid more. At this point, Phillips’ ascent is somewhat reminiscent of Orioles righthander Grayson Rodriguez during the 2018 draft season.
Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas
Current Rank: 29
Previous Rank: 43
Crawford, like Holliday, was a scout-favorite pick to rise on draft boards this spring thanks to easy physical projection and a solid foundation of baseball skills and tools. We touched on why Crawford and Holliday are moving up boards in our stock watch from last week, but at this point we have Crawford ranked as the top prep outfielder not named Druw Jones or Elijah Green.
Brock Jones, OF, Stanford
Current Rank: 34
Previous Rank: 9
Jones hasn’t been tallying a ton of hits and he’s still waiting on his first home run of the season and is sitting with a 26.6% strikeout rate. Still, he is getting on base at a .438 clip thanks to 15 walks. Feedback from the industry indicated that we started Jones off on our list too high, and it sounds like many area scouts in Northern California are trying to decide whether or not they prefer Jones or Dylan Beavers, who is ranked in a similar supplemental first-round range.
Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga
Current Rank: 39
Previous Rank: 63
Hughes has been one of the common pitching names trending up boards this spring thanks to an arsenal of stuff that grades out well by scouts and data. After four starts, Hughes has racked up 36 strikeouts while walking just eight and he’s sitting with a 2.52 ERA. If the new control is here to stay over a full season, he’ll continue moving higher from this spot as well.
Carter Young, SS, Vanderbilt
Current Rank: 52
Previous Rank: 33
Young was a polarizing player entering the year given his swing-and-miss tendencies and so far this spring he has continued to strike out at a high clip (25%). His series against Wagner last weekend was the best weekend performance he’s tallied this year and he is still getting on base (.406) and hitting for extra-base pop (two doubles, three triples, two home runs), but scouts haven’t had their hit tool questions answered just yet. He feels like a player who will have wide ranging opinions throughout the spring.
Sterlin Thompson, OF, Florida
Current Rank: 53
Previous Rank: 79
Thompson started the year in the third-round range and has jumped a round already after showing impressive in-game power, seemingly without sacrificing his hit tool or approach. Thompson has already tied his previous high of five home runs in just 17 games and he is hitting .358/.423/.642 with more walks (nine) than strikeouts (eight). If he keeps this up during SEC play, he’ll move further up boards.
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Justin Campbell, RHP, Oklahoma State
Current Rank: 54
Previous Rank: 82
Campbell pitched and hit in his first two seasons with Oklahoma State, but has exclusively been a starter this spring and is off to a good start, with a 2.31 ERA over 23.1 innings, with 39 strikeouts (15.0 K/9) and just six walks (2.7 BB/9). There is a notable lack of healthy college starters in this class, but Campbell checks both of those boxes.
Adam Mazur, RHP, Iowa
Current Rank: 56
Previous Rank: NR
Mazur is throwing harder this spring than what he showed in 2021 and that’s also coming after a strong showing in the Cape Cod League in 2021. He’s allowed a few runs in each of his last two starts and also walked four batters in his most recent outing against UC Irvine, but the early feedback from scouts on his stuff has been positive. Through four starts and 24 innings, Mazur has a 3.00 ERA with 28 strikeouts (10.5 K/9) and seven walks (2.6 BB/9).
Jared McKenzie, OF, Baylor
Current Rank: 87
Previous Rank: 40
McKenzie started in the early second-round range after a loud 2021 campaign where he hit .383/.453/.626 with 10 home runs and 14 doubles. He has struggled out of the gate this season with an elevated strikeout rate (25.4%) compared to a year ago (16.4%) while hitting just .200/.333/.273 in 15 games. He also went 1-for-11 with three strikeouts during the Shriners Classic, against UCLA, Tennessee and LSU, which was a big test in front of plenty of decision-makers.