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2022 MLB Mock Draft Version 2.0

Image credit: Brooks Lee (Photo by Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

We’re just shy of two months into the amateur baseball season this spring, which means we have a decent amount of new information to work with when it comes to projecting the first round of the 2022 draft.

So, we’re back with another scout making alternating picks with Baseball America for mock draft V 2.0. You can see V 1.0 here.

Like we’ll mention with all of our mocks this far out, it’s important to remember this is still more of a thought exercise to see how the class is shaping up today. Plenty will still change between now and July when the Orioles make the first pick, and teams still don’t know which player they are locking in on for their first selection—there’s too much time for things to change.

But, perhaps our scout can offer some insight into where players are fitting on draft boards and the movement from one mock to another could give a more clear sense of the up/down movement of prospects throughout the spring.

Our scout has the first selection once again and will pick for every odd draft choice, and I will pick for every even-numbered team. Let’s get into it.

1. Orioles — Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS, Norcross, Ga. 

Scout’s Take: Druw has added strength that has improved the stability to his hitting mechanics and impact. He’s a very advanced player who has grown up around an MLB batting cage. You can’t find any real weaknesses to his game.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: no change

2. D-Backs — Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly 

Carlos’ Take: Lee played 10 games before his first strikeout of the season, and after 24 games he has only whiffed six times compared to 24 walks. There are a few players in this draft who have a case for best pure hitter in the class, but Lee is potentially the safest bet of all of the candidates. His swing is terrific and even if he’s not a shortstop at the next level, he should be able to handle second or third nicely while bringing plenty of average, on-base percentage and slugging to the table.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: +2

3. Rangers — Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford (Ga.) HS 

Scout’s Take: Lesko is the most complete high school pitcher in the draft. There have been few prep pitchers with fastball command like his since Josh Beckett. He also has one of the top two high school changeups in the draft (along with Brock Porter). The data, statistics and tools are all immensely impressive. He’s also a really athletic position player who can play all over the field.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: +4

4. Pirates — Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays HS, Atlanta 

Carlos’ Take: It feels like Johnson is slipping a bit this spring with more and more scouts expressing concern with his unique profile and tool set at the top of the draft. For me, the deciding factor is simply that he’s one of the best pure hitting high school players we’ve seen in years and he’ll play the infield as a lefthanded hitter. It’s as simple as that. No one would be surprised if he wound up the best hitter in this class. A player with that combination of skills and potential should be taken high, in my opinion.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -2

5. Nationals — Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.  

Scout’s Take: Green is by far the most athletic player in this draft and no one else is even close. He’s struggled at times in the showcase format. However, in meaningful game competition he has excelled. He has the tools and skill to be the most dominant player out of this draft.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -2

6. Marlins — Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech 

Carlos’ Take: Parada has done everything scouts wanted to see him do this spring. He’s shown more power, continued to look like one of the best pure hitters in the class, has gotten stronger and improved on the defensive side of the ball. He’s a legitimate candidate to go among the top five picks at this point and considering how the college catcher profile gets pushed up draft boards, that should surprise no one.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: +7

7. Cubs — Daniel Susac, C, Arizona  

Scout’s Take: If you want a top-flight catcher, you have to go get him. You can’t ignore his offensive ability and improved defensive skill. While Susac might not be a plus defender behind the plate, the offense he brings to the table should be more than enough to merit this selection.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: +15


8. Twins — Jacob Berry, 3B/1B, Louisiana State 

Carlos’ Take: I think the fact that Berry is going off the board at the No. 8 spot speaks to the strength of this class at the top. Along with Brooks Lee, Termarr Johnson and Kevin Parada who have all gone in front of him in this version, Berry has a case as the best pure hitter in the class.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -3

9. Royals — Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech 

Scout’s Take: Jung is an on-base machine who can also hit for power. His limited defensive profile is offset by his impressive offensive ability. His swing mechanics are a bit unorthodox but functional and have produced results.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -3

10. Rockies — Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee 

Carlos’ Take: Beck looks like a big league right fielder now, and he has the athleticism to be a very good defender at the position, while profiling nicely offensively. He’s been one of the more prominent college risers early this spring and I’ve heard he has a chance to be the first college outfielder selected.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: previously not mocked

11. Mets* — Noah Schultz, LHP, Oswego (Ill.) East HS 

Scout’s Take: Schultz answered the velocity question with his first start when he pitched 93-98 mph. His ability to throw strikes and his feel for secondary offerings from that size is so unique. The Randy Johnson comparison is a fair one. He also throws so many more strikes than Ryan Anderson (Mariners first-rounder in 1999 and a 6-foot-10 lefthander) ever did.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: +8

12. Tigers — Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech 

Carlos’ Take: So far in this mock I’ve been put in a position to just keep snatching up college bats that I really like and that continues here with Cross, who is probably the other candidate (along with Beck) to be the first college outfielder off the board. It’s a bit surprising to see him with just two home runs after 19 games, but his contact rate is up compared to his previous performance and that was one of his question marks entering the season.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -3

13. Angels — Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. 

Scout’s Take: Ferris was the top high school lefthanded pitcher coming into the draft. He has held serve with his ability and performance. Schultz came out so strong that he could be ahead of Ferris now on some boards, but that’s not an indictment of Ferris’ play.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: +4

14. Mets — Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison 

Carlos’ Take: There’s no doubt that DeLauter’s opening weekend performance against Florida State impacted his stock, but since that three-game series he has done nothing but mash. In the 15 games since, he’s gone 24-for-50 (.480) with five home runs and 21 walks to nine strikeouts. I’ve spoken to some scouts who think the FSU series is extremely important and others who view it as more of just another data point in an otherwise sterling overall resume of production. How teams view his performance against smaller school competition will be important, but given his Cape production and general tool set, I don’t see how he could last much longer than this range.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -6

15. Padres — Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater (Okla.) HS 

Scout’s Take: The continued progression of Holliday’s power potential and the refinement of his defensive ability at shortstop has been great to see. He is stronger, smoother and showing better actions in the field. He’s always been able to barrel the ball, but now those barrels come with more power.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: previously not mocked

16. Guardians — Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola (Fla.) JC 

Carlos’ Take: Collier is hitting over .300 with more walks than strikeouts and solid in-game power production at one of the best junior college programs in the country as a 17-year-old. That should look fantastic on every team’s model and draft board, but Cleveland especially has been a department that covets youth and pure hitting ability. Collier checks both those boxes well and feels like a nice fit here on talent and with the team’s drafting tendencies.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -1

17. Phillies — Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary Prep, Orchard Lake, Mich. 

Scout’s Take: Porter stacks up well against Lesko, with fastball command being the only part of the pitching repertoire where Lesko has an advantage. Porter’s bugs bunny changeup is as lethal as Lesko’s changeup. With projection left in Porter’s frame, who knows how hard he will throw in the future? The one knock on Porter is his fastball quality and the contact he’s allowed against it given its velocity.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -6


18. Reds — Hunter Barco, LHP, Florida 

Carlos’ Take: This spot for the first college pitcher selected would represent the lowest point since 1971 for the demographic coming off the board. In that 1971 draft  no college pitchers were taken in the first round at all. Perhaps that makes sense given the massive attrition the 2022 pitching class has seen this spring. Perhaps that means we should be expecting a team ahead of this range to force one of the healthy and performing arms further up. The Reds seem to like picking from the Sunshine State and Barco has been excellent this season. He has a 1.41 ERA over six starts and recently shut out a strong LSU lineup, with excellent strikeout and walk rates. Barco has a lower ceiling than other college arms in this class, but he’s also one of the better bets to have a big league career as well.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: previously not mocked

19. A’s — Justin Campbell, RHP, Oklahoma State 

Scout’s Take: Campbell is a strong college performer. He has a solid four-pitch mix with plus command. I do have concerns about his athletic motor and if there is more power left to come with his fastball. (Carlos’ note: this spring Campbell has mostly sat in the 91-92 mph range with his fastball.)

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: previously not mocked

20. Braves — Cade Doughty, 3B, Louisiana State 

Carlos’ Take: This is about as aggressive as I think I can get for Doughty at this point, but I also believe he’s the exact sort of profile who’s going to continue climbing draft boards with sustained performance. So far he’s been fantastic with the bat, with an advanced approach, plenty of contact and more power than he’s shown in previous years as well. A college infielder with an approach and swing like this shouldn’t last long on day one, and increased impact will continue to help Doughty look good. Doughty could surprise some people with where he ends up if they haven’t been paying attention. 

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: previously note mocked

21. Mariners — Zach Neto, SS, Campbell 

Scout’s Take: Neto is an offensive performer with sneaky power. He has done a nice job with his two-strike approach. He’s an average runner but has plus range due to his first step and plus instincts. I think he will be able to stay at shortstop.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: +10

22. Cardinals — Robert Moore, 2B, Arkansas 

Carlos’ Take: Here’s a small run of college middle infielders, and the fact that Moore is going behind Doughty and Neto is a bit surprising to me given his performance this spring—but the two in front of him do have slightly gaudier numbers to this point. He might be the best defensive infielder taken so far in a class that doesn’t have many sure-fire defensive shortstops at the top.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -12

23. Blue Jays — Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. 

Scout’s Take: Barriera has a nice combination of present physical ability with projection. He started a bit slower than you would have wanted him to, but he has really come on as of late. If he had started the season pitching the way he is now, I don’t know that he makes it this far down the board.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: +6

24. Red Sox — Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS, Wexford, Pa. 

Carlos’ Take: This pick would represent solid value for the Red Sox in my mind. After the showcase circuit, many evaluators viewed Young as the best pure hitter in the class after Termarr Johnson, and with solid tools across the board, solid actions at shortstop and a polished lefthanded bat there’s a lot to like here that typically profiles higher than the 20s.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -12

25. Yankees — Sterlin Thompson, OF, Florida 

Scout’s Take: Lefthanded-hitting bats are the Yankees sweet spot and in the last two drafts they have taken Trey Sweeney and Austin Wells in the first round—both impressive lefty hitters. Thompson is swinging it the best of any college lefthanded hitter still on the board.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: previously not mocked

26. White Sox — Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State 

Carlos’ Take: I do think there are going to be a few injured college pitchers who go in the back half of the first round given their talent, and Sims was pitching like a top-of-the-first sort of arm before he went down with a UCL injury that required Tommy John. This pick would be reminiscent of the Garrett Crochet selection that has looked quite good for the White Sox, and on talent and stuff alone, Sims could move to the big leagues as quickly as anyone in this class. His health obviously changes that timeline, but he should still be an impact arm when he comes back. 

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -12

27. Brewers — Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga 

Scout’s Take: Hughes is a Corbin Burnes type of pitcher who has power stuff and posted strong numbers early this spring. He has a fastball up to 97 and a strong breaking ball and changeup in addition to a strong and physical frame.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: previously not mocked

28. Astros — Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama 

Carlos’ Take: Part of me feels like this spot is too low for Prielipp, considering his handedness and the stuff he showed when healthy. Another part of me realizes he hasn’t pitched since May of 2021 and understands how uneasy that makes scouts. Unlike other injured college arms like Sims and Peyton Pallette, Prielipp has a chance to throw before the draft and give teams some confidence in the stuff he is showing.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -8

29. Rays — Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina 

Scout’s Take: The only way he gets here is because of the off the field issue at East Carolina. Last summer he showed a four-pitch mix with a plus changeup and command that fit solidly in the first round. 

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: -13

30. Dodgers — Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas 

Carlos’ Take: I think there’s a chance Crawford doesn’t make it to this pick given his running ability, defensive aptitude and the immense physical projection he has remaining on a lean, athletic frame. Early feedback has been that Crawford’s swing looks better and he’s showing physical gains compared to last summer. Pairing a player with Crawford’s upside with a player development group like the Dodgers is tantalizing.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: previously not mocked

31. Giants — Jud Fabian, OF, Florida 

Scout’s Take: Fabian’s age is still good even though he was eligible a year ago as well. He has figured out the strikeouts so far and has a bag of plus tools. This pick is a no-brainer if you believe he has finally matured at the plate. Plus, the Giants hitting development has been exceptional.

V 1.0 to V 2.0 change: previously not mocked


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