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2022 MLB Mock Draft Version 4.0

We’ve got a month and a half until the 2022 draft is here, and with the NCAA Tournament getting started today, it’s time for Version 4.0 of the Baseball America mock draft.

There’s been plenty of time between Version 3.0 and 4.0, with plenty of movement occurring on draft boards. One thing that has remained consistent, however, is the heavy presence of hitters at the top and throughout the first round.

In this edition, 22 of the 30 first-round picks are hitters and the first pitcher doesn’t come off the board until the 14th pick. That would represent the longest shutout of pitchers in the history of the draft. Additionally, the first college pitcher doesn’t come off the board until the 17th pick, which would be the longest shutout of college pitchers since the 1960s—back when teams treated college players like a disease that could be caught if you got too close.

Twenty-two hitters would tie the 2019 draft for the most hitters ever selected in the first round and the 2019 class was notably panned for being a historically weak year at the top of the draft for college pitching.

There’s a group of six or seven hitters at the top of the draft that seems to be forming into a consensus top tier of players, including up the middle high school hitters Druw Jones, Jackson Holliday, Termarr Johnson and Elijah Green and proven college mashers Brooks Lee, Kevin Parada and Jacob Berry.

1. Orioles — Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater (Okla.) HS

Total Bonus Pool: $16,924,000

Pick Slot Value: $8,842,200

Ah, the Orioles. Will we ever really have confidence in what they’re going to do in the draft? If the last several years are any indication I would guess no. Baltimore likes to keep its options open and multiple directors have commented “that’s the smart move” when you’re picking at the top.

In each of the last two years while picking among the top five picks, the Orioles took college players further down the board on under-slot deals to create more financial flexibility for later picks. At the same time, the last time Baltimore was picking in the No. 1 spot there was a consensus top prospect in the class—current top prospect Adley Rutschman—and the Orioles had no issue taking him and giving him the highest bonus of the 2019 draft.

There is a fairly clear top talent in this year’s class in Georgia outfielder Druw Jones, though it isn’t to the same level that Rutschman was the clear No. 1 in 2019. Also, how heavily does the college versus high school demographic matter to the Orioles, who are hoping to come out of a lengthy rebuild and have picked a college hitter in each of the last three years?

All the names you would expect here (Druw Jones, Holliday, Termarr Johnson, Elijah Green, Brooks Lee, Jacob Berry) seem to be in play and given how the Orioles have operated the last few years, I would be surprised if any clarity on the direction they are headed was gleaned in the next few weeks.

2. D-Backs — Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS, Norcross, Ga.

Total Bonus Pool: $15,112,100

Pick Slot Value: $8,185,100

It feels like this is the ideal outcome for the D-backs at No. 2, getting the top prospect in the class to fall to them. Arizona has done well with high school hitters in recent drafts (Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Jordan Lawlar) and this would be similar to 2021, where the top player on the BA 500 falls into their lap.

Termarr Johnson makes sense for a lot of reasons at this spot if Jones is off the board, as do Jackson Holliday and the top two college hitters in the class, Brooks Lee and Kevin Parada. Elijah Green’s talent fits in this range, but it would not surprise me if Arizona shied away from him given his swing and miss relative to the other hitters who are options here.

3. Rangers — Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.

Total Bonus Pool: $9,640,700

Pick Slot Value: $7,587,600

There’s a lot of Elijah Green and Jackson Holliday chatter for the Rangers at No. 3. With Holliday off the board we have them taking Green, who has the most pure upside in the class. That player profile fits with the Rangers of old, but it has been mentioned that a college player at this pick might make some more sense given what the Rangers have done recently on the free agent market (signing Corey Seager and Marcus Semien) and at the top of the draft (selected college players like Josh Jung, Justin Foscue and Jack Leiter).

Both Brooks Lee and Kevin Parada make plenty of sense in that regard and it would be surprising if they aren’t options here.

Most chatter seems to indicate that both Jackson Holliday and Druw Jones will be off the board among the first three picks—though keep in mind, that was the thought with Marcelo Mayer even on draft day in 2021.

4. Pirates — Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly

Total Bonus Pool: $13,733,900

Pick Slot Value: $7,002,100

Like all of the teams in this range, it seems like the Pirates are thinking hard about each of the top six players in the class: Druw Jones, Brooks Lee, Jackson Holliday, Termarr Johnson, Elijah Green and Kevin Parada. Yes, Parada might be surprising here given the team’s selection of Henry Davis a year ago, but Parada’s bat is good enough for him to profile in a non-catching position if the Pirates decide he’s the best player on the board—and since when is having two great catching prospects a bad thing?

It sounds like the Pirates have been doing some work on Pennsylvania high school shortstop Cole Young as well, but this spot seems high for him considering the players available. Pittsburgh does have the fourth-largest bonus pool (behind the Orioles, D-backs and Mets) at $13,733,900 so they have the financial muscle to get a bit creative.

Whether that’s forcing a player they prefer past the Rangers at No. 3 (No. 14 bonus pool at $9,640,700), spreading money around their draft pool a la 2021 or playing things straight up remains to be seen.

5. Nationals — Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech

Total Bonus Pool: $11,007,900

Pick Slot Value: $6,494,300

It sounds like the Nationals have been sending in some heavy hitters to see Parada, including recently during the ACC Tournament. Parada is solidly in the elite tier of hitting prospects in this class after going from nine home runs and 20 doubles in 2021 to 26 home runs and nine doubles this spring.

He gets mixed reviews about his defensive work behind the plate, but most scouts seem to think he’s made improvements this spring and at a strong, 6-foot-1, 210 pounds he fits the sort of physical profile we think the Nationals like. Parada could easily go in front of this spot, but he probably doesn’t make it out of the first 10 picks.

With Termarr Johnson and Parada the best two available players on the board here, Parada seems like the more likely option currently.

6. Marlins — Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays HS, Atlanta

Total Bonus Pool: $10,486,000

Pick Slot Value: $6,034,300

Unsurprisingly, it sounds like the Marlins are doing a lot of work on Johnson and with the way the board has played out in this mock, he makes the most sense to go in this spot. Johnson’s high school season has finished but he is currently playing with the Atlanta Blues in the Sunbelt Baseball League, so he’ll continue to get scouted against better pitching than what he’s been facing this spring—not that he needs to prove his hitting chops any more than he already has.

7. Cubs — Jacob Berry, 3B/1B, Louisiana State

Total Bonus Pool: $10,092,700

Pick Slot Value: $5,708,000

We’ve heard plenty of noise about the Cubs wanting Termarr Johnson to get to them at No. 7, but there are so many real options in front of them and behind them (we’ll touch on that later) that it could be difficult to make that happen.

In this scenario we have the Cubs taking one of the best hitters available in Jacob Berry, who doesn’t have the sort of upside that other players with more defensive value have, but is nonetheless a proven, polished and impactful switch-hitter coming off a strong SEC season. There’s also been some chatter that Chicago is interested in junior college third baseman Cam Collier and California high school outfielder Henry Bolte.

8. Twins — Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola (Fla.) JC

Total Bonus Pool: $10,036,000

Pick Slot Value: $5,439,500

It sounds like the Twins are heavy on Collier, and as a model-heavy team that’s not a huge surprise given the performance Collier managed at Chipola as the youngest hitter in the draft class. Collier hit .333/.419/.537 with eight home runs over 52 games with Chipola as a 17-year-old and he doesn’t turn 18 until November.

He’s also going to play with Falmouth in the Cape Cod League, where he can continue testing his bat against quality pitching. Even if this isn’t the spot, there’s been enough buzz about Collier among the top 10 picks that he has a chance to top Cory Spangenberg (2011, No. 10) as the highest-drafted juco hitter this century not named Bryce Harper.

9. Royals — Henry Bolte, OF, Palo Alto (Calif.) HS

Total Bonus Pool: $11,668,300

Pick Slot Value: $5,200,200

This is perhaps the most aggressive selection of this edition of the mock draft, but Bolte’s name has gotten plenty of buzz in recent days and the Royals are one of the primary teams linked to him. This would represent an off-the-board selection that presumably comes with an under-slot bonus, but it’s not any further off the board than Kansas City’s first-round pick from just last year, when it took No. 41 Frank Mozzicato No. 7 overall and signed him for $3,547,500.

Bolte is a tooled-up, physical power hitter with exciting upside but teams throughout the industry are quite split on the quality of his hit tool and his swing. Perhaps this selection makes more sense for the Royals with their second pick at No. 35, but there’s a real chance he doesn’t make it back to that pick.

It sounds like the Royals would love for Termarr Johnson to get to them as well but that feels unlikely—though Kansas City does have a bigger bonus pool than each of the three teams picking in front of them.

10. Rockies — Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech

Total Bonus Pool: $13,660,700

Pick Slot Value: $4,980,400

Jung has an unorthodox swing but it’s hard to argue with the numbers he has produced over three seasons in the Big 12 with Texas Tech. He’s managed a 1.000 or better OPS in every season, and while he didn’t quite manage to tally the 21 home runs he hit in 2021 this spring, he reached base almost half the time (.487) and his 1.02 walks per game were good for fourth among all Division I hitters.

His power and on-base ability as a lefthanded hitter who should stick on the infield should be an attractive package for teams. The Rockies do have plenty of bonus pool money to work with (fifth most) and more than each of the teams picking 5-9, so they could have an opportunity to flex some of that financial muscle if they want.

This is the first spot we’re hearing much of any buzz about pitchers, but unless Colorado wanted to take a shot on Michigan high school righthander Brock Porter or is unfazed by Georgia prep righty Dylan Lesko’s Tommy John surgery, no pitcher on the board seems to make a ton of sense here on talent. Pairing an elite changeup pitcher (which both Porter and Lesko are) with Coors Field could be interesting.

11. Mets — Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech

Total Bonus Pool: $13,955,700

Pick Slot Value: $4,778,200

We’ve talked about financial maneuvering throughout this mock draft and that should certainly come into play with the Mets, who have picks 11 and 14 after failing to sign Kumar Rocker a year ago.

New York’s $13,955,700 bonus pool tops any club outside of Baltimore and Arizona, so how they decide to use that will be fascinating. They would be an obvious landing spot for a top talent that starts to unexpectedly slide for whatever reason on draft day (see Watson, Kahlil in 2021 or Liberatore, Matthew in 2018) and they could get aggressive with an overslot by floating a deal if one of the top six players starts falling out of the top five picks.

This is all pure speculation and more informing how the draft dynamics could play out. With the way our board has gone, Gavin Cross feels like the top player available, so we’ll give the Mets that pick here.

12. Tigers — Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas

Total Bonus Pool: $8,024,900

Pick Slot Value: $4,587,900

Crawford’s name is getting plenty of buzz in this 10-15 range and it seems like all of the teams in the middle of the first round are checking in on him and prep bats Cole Young and Jett Williams.

13. Angels — Daniel Susac, C, Arizona

Total Bonus Pool: $7,024,300

Pick Slot Value: $4,410,200

There’s plenty of buzz about the Angels going with a pitcher here, but with pressure to be competitive at the big league level now, a college arm seems to make more sense than a high school arm and it doesn’t feel like the range where any of those should come off the board.

Perhaps that changes when Kumar Rocker and Carson Whisenhunt start throwing again, but all of the options for healthy college arms who have pitched regularly this spring feel like stretches or under-slot deals in this spot.

It could make sense for the Angels to just take Susac if the board falls this way, as he could be the best talent available, move a bit quicker than the prep options on the board and also fills an organizational need—the only catcher among their Top 30 Prospects is No. 25 Edgar Quero.

Susac himself seems a bit more polarizing within the industry than the other college hitters who have come off the board, but he has the tools to stick at the position, has good power and has turned in two quality seasons with Arizona.

14. Mets — Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary Prep, Orchard Lake, Mich.

Total Bonus Pool: $13,955,700

Pick Slot Value: $4,241,600

This mock would have the Mets getting the best healthy pitcher in the draft class and one of the biggest upside arms available, period. That’s the sort of draft we’re talking about in 2022 when that happens at pick No. 14.

Perhaps pairing a higher risk demographic and profile like Porter with a college hitter like Cross would be a bit more palatable for the Mets. Porter does have a chance to come off the board sooner than this, but at the moment most insiders believe he’ll be the first pitcher selected.

15. Padres — Jett Williams, SS/OF, Rockwall-Heath HS, Rockwall, Texas

Total Bonus Pool: $10,088,900

Pick Slot Value: $4,082,900

Williams gets lumped into the same sort of range that Crawford does, and as an up-the-middle athlete with plus speed and electric hands it’s no surprise why. All of the high school players mentioned around this range—Justin Crawford, Brock Porter, Dylan Lesko, Robby Snelling—would make plenty of sense given how San Diego has consistently operated in the draft, though we’re solidly in the speculation range at this point (and have been here for a while).

16. Guardians — Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS, Wexford, Pa.

Total Bonus Pool: $9,980,900

Pick Slot Value: $3,935,500

Like the Padres in front, this pick tracks with player profiles Cleveland has targeted in previous drafts. Young is a polished, hitterish middle infielder with good instincts and solid tools across the board. He fits somewhere in the middle of the first round, though it’s worth wondering if his age (he’ll be 19 just after the draft) would take him out of the equation for an organization that has been among the most youth-conscious in the game.

Cleveland is another team who has been OK taking high school pitchers, so Dylan Lesko, Robby Snelling and Brandon Barriera could make some sense here as well. The Dylan Lesko angle is interesting because Cleveland also took Brady Aiken in 2015 and Daniel Espino in 2019 despite injury concerns for both pitchers—and Lesko is a better prospect than either at the same time.

17. Phillies — Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga

Total Bonus Pool: $6,307,000

Pick Slot Value: $3,792,800

After taking Mick Abel and Andrew Painter in back-to-back drafts, plenty of people are going to speculate that the Phillies do that again in 2022. It’s certainly possible. We don’t have any specific info saying the Phillies won’t do it and there are high school arms that make a lot of sense in this spot and should be available here, with Dylan Lesko, Robby Snelling and Brandon Barriera still on the board in this mock.

But if the Phillies do triple up on high school pitchers in the first round in three consecutive years, they will be only the third team this century to make such an extensive run on this risky demographic. The other two? The Dodgers from 2006-2008 with Clayton Kershaw, Chris Withrow and Ethan Martin; and the Padres from 2010-2012 with Karsten Whitson, Joe Ross and Max Fried.

Instead of that route, we have the Phillies taking the first college pitcher off the board in Gabriel Hughes. Hughes is big and physical, has performed well and taken the ball all spring and will still be just 20 years old on draft day. On top of that, it sounds like Philadelphia has been scouting him pretty heavily.

18. Reds — Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford (Ga.) HS

Total Bonus Pool: $10,794,100

Pick Slot Value: $3,657,900

The Reds are another big bonus pool team to watch out for thanks to a few extra picks (via compensation for Nick Castellanos signing with the Phillies and a second supplemental-round pick) and their $10,794,100 is more than all the teams in front of them picking in the 12-17 spots, aside from the Mets.

With that pool money, how about getting a talent like Dylan Lesko, who may have been a top-five pick if healthy, at pick 18? That would represent tremendous value if all goes well with Lesko’s recovery, but it’s an interesting situation to think through.

Without knowing Lesko’s specific signing bonus demands, it seems safe to assume they would be quite high given his previous standing in the class and a commitment to Vanderbilt. While most in the industry believe he’ll still find a landing spot and get paid, Vanderbilt has gotten talents like Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker to campus despite first round evaluations in the past.

19. A's — Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison

Total Bonus Pool: $8,315,800

Pick Slot Value: $3,529,400

We’ve got the A’s taking the best player available on the board in this version and that means a uniquely tooled-up college player with gaudy performance numbers throughout his entire career with James Madison. DeLauter’s name is brought up plenty throughout the teens and feels like a good value pick here.

20. Braves — Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State

Total Bonus Pool: $8,022,200

Pick Slot Value: $3,407,400

Hjerpe is another popular name to be one of the first college pitchers selected because 1) he has performed and 2) he is one of the rare college pitchers in this class healthy and pitching. Hjerpe is an analytical darling and while many teams view him as a late first or second round talent in an average college pitching class… this isn’t an average college pitching class. He could be a fast-mover as well and perhaps Atlanta is interested in that given its competitive window.

21. Mariners — Zach Neto, SS, Campbell

Total Bonus Pool: $7,254,400

Pick Slot Value: $3,291,200

Neto should appeal to model heavy teams and the Mariners seem to fit that designation, as well as being a team that typically hunts in the college demographic. Neto can play shortstop, has performed at a high level with Campbell and in the Cape Cod League and has sneaky power for his size. He fits at any point around the middle of the first round and would be a pretty good value in the 20s given his hit tool and defensive versatility.

This would give Campbell its first-ever first round player.

22. Cardinals — Robby Snelling, LHP, McQueen HS, Reno, Nev.

Total Bonus Pool: $6,842,300

Pick Slot Value: $3,180,600

It sounds like there’s some real interest in Snelling throughout the teens, but his most likely landing spot still might be in the back third of the round. Snelling was a massive helium pitcher this spring and stood out for his command and impressive feel for a sharp breaking ball.

23. Blue Jays — Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee

Total Bonus Pool: $8,367,700

Pick Slot Value: $3,075,300

Gilbert keeps forcing his way up draft boards with a tremendous season as the top performing hitter on the best team in college baseball. He checks plenty of boxes as a plus runner who profiles in center field and has shockingly impressive exit velocities. His teammate, Jordan Beck, looks more of the part as a big league outfielder, but it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see Gilbert go in front of him given his production. If he keeps performing in front of the right people during the NCAA Tournament he could keep climbing.

24. Red Sox — Dylan Beavers, OF, California

Total Bonus Pool: $8,078,300

Pick Slot Value: $2,974,900

There are a number of outfielders who fit in the back third of the first round and Beavers is a popular name around this range, with exceptional bat speed and plenty of impact ability. Boston has had a lot of success identifying high school hitters in recent years, but there are more college hitters available in this range on this mock.

List Manfred Draft Rangers Alextrautwiggetty

2022 MLB Draft Order, Slot Values And Bonus Pools For All 30 Teams

The schedule for the 2022 draft as well as the draft order, slot values and bonus pools for all 30 teams.

25. Yankees — Brock Jones, OF, Stanford

Total Bonus Pool: $6,425,100

Pick Slot Value: $2,879,300

The Yankees get tagged with lefthanded-hitting bats as much as any team in the industry, so why not Jones, who has been on a torrid pace of late and put a slow start to the season behind him. He’s quietly hitting .329/.464/.667 with 17 home runs and some of the best athleticism in the class.

26. White Sox — Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee

Total Bonus Pool: $6,289,100

Pick Slot Value: $2,788,000

Earlier this season, there was some buzz throughout the industry that Beck had a chance to be the first college outfielder taken. He’s cooled off a bit since then and there are some swing-and-miss issues to wonder about, but he is a standout athlete and physical hitter with plenty of raw power.

27. Brewers — Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee

Total Bonus Pool: $7,070,900

Pick Slot Value: $2,700,500

Tired of Tennessee players yet? Hopefully not. Tidwell has one of the better fastballs in the class and has averaged 95-96 on his heater this spring, while posting a 2.54 ERA over 28.1 innings and striking out 41 batters (13.0 K/9) while walking 11 (3.5 BB/9). There’s some refinement that Tidwell could use, but the Brewers have proven to be an adept organization when it comes to pitching development.

28. Astros — Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State

Total Bonus Pool: $6,837,000

Pick Slot Value: $2,620,400

Sims’ injury status makes him one of the many college wildcards in the class, but when he was healthy and pitching it looked like he could have been well on his way to the top half of the first round. Sims’ arsenal makes analysts drool and perhaps the Astros would be in on his underlying metrics as well and willing to take a shot on one of the most explosive arms in the class.

29. Rays — Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.

Total Bonus Pool: $7,795,100

Pick Slot Value: $2,547,600

Barriera fits throughout the entirety of the second half of the first round on talent and there are plenty of landing spots that make sense, but high school pitchers do tend to move down the board as we get closer to the draft so we have taken a conservative approach with him in this mock. Still, this gives the Rays an impressive upside talent at No. 29 and one that hails from Florida.

30. Giants — Jacob Melton, OF, Oregon State

Total Bonus Pool: $5,793,200

Pick Slot Value: $2,485,500

Melton has plenty of buzz at this point and is being scouted throughout the back of the first round. Like Drew Gilbert and Brock Jones, he’s been one of the better performers on one of the better teams in college baseball and is playing an up-the-middle, premium position. His swing isn’t the cleanest you’ll see, but he is hitting .375/.439/.694 with 15 homers, 21 doubles and 20 stolen bases. That’ll play.

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