2022 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Top MLB Draft Prospects 11-25

Image credit: Wake Forest third baseman Brock Wilken (Photo courtesy of Wake Forest)

For the first time since 2019, USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team completed a normal summer schedule. 

After the training camp roster of 50 players played a series of five intrasquad games in North Carolina, the final 26-man roster traveled to the Netherlands to compete in Honkbalweek Haarlem, a biannual international baseball competition, where they earned the bronze medal. 

As always, the talent level was off the charts on the CNT, with many of the players who donned the stars and stripes in the Netherlands projected to be early draft picks the next two years. Here are the prospects ranked 11-25, with the top 10 prospects slated to follow Wednesday.

11. Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest

With 40 home runs in two seasons at Wake Forest, Wilken has lived up to the 70-grade power potential some scouts put on him coming out of high school in 2020. He has a career .275/.363/.609 slash line at Wake, and his average has been under .300 in both seasons in large part because of some of the swing and miss in his game, but he did hit .302 in the summer of 2021 in the Cape Cod League, a famously difficult environment for hitters. Wilken went 6-for-20 in the CNT scrimmages in North Carolina but was one of the toughest cuts for the coaching staff to make before heading to Haarlem. Power is Wilken’s standout tool and his 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame makes him look right out of central casting for a power-hitting corner infielder. Cutting down on his strikeouts—he whiffed 71 times during the 2022 season—and turning himself into a more complete hitter in 2023 could push Wilken further up draft boards. 

12. Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami

A highly-regarded shortstop in Miami’s No. 1 ranked 2020 recruiting class, Morales has settled in at third base for the Hurricanes and been productive the last two seasons. A .308/.380/.594 career hitter in Coral Gables, Morales’ production jumped in 2022, including raising his average 45 points and slugging 18 home runs. One of the perceptions of Morales is that he can run a little bit hot and cold, and you saw that in his time with the CNT. After going just 3-for-15 in North Carolina, he went 8-for-20 in the Netherlands to lead the team in average and he was one of just two CNT players to hit a home run overseas. But even then, of the 14 outs he made in Haarlem, eight were strikeouts and he didn’t draw a single walk. Morales has plus power potential, which has only increased as he has put on weight at Miami, and by nearly doubling his walk rate year over year, he’s showing improved plate discipline. While he might have been a bit over his skis at shortstop, he is a good fit defensively at the hot corner, where his plus arm, plus athleticism and good speed for his size (6-foot-4, 208 pounds) are assets. 

13. Cade Kuehler, RHP, Campbell

The next in line in what is now a proud tradition of Campbell players developing into elite draft picks, Kuehler moved from a swingman in 2021 to the rotation in 2022 and shined, putting up a 4.07 ERA, a .184 opponent batting average and 111 strikeouts in 84 innings. In four appearances with the CNT, he gave up four hits and three runs (one earned) with four walks and five strikeouts in 4.2 innings. Kuehler, from a strong 6-foot, 205-pound frame, has some of the most electric stuff on the CNT, and by extension, in college baseball. The righthander has a fastball that averaged 94 mph last season and touched as high as 98 with two distinct breaking balls, a slider that had a whiff rate approaching 50% last spring and a curveball that had a 37% whiff rate. Kuehler pitches with a lot of intensity on the mound, which can work for him at times, especially in relief outings, but in the long term, it might be something he has to manage if he wants to be successful as a starting pitcher. 

14. Maui Ahuna, SS, Tennessee

Ahuna is coming off of batting .396/.479/.634 with 16 doubles and eight home runs at Kansas, which was a big jump from a solid freshman season when he batted .314/.413/.422 with 11 doubles and one homer. The shortstop went 4-for-17 with the CNT and now is set to head to Tennessee this fall, where he transferred at the end of last season after the retirement of longtime KU coach Ritch Price. While Ahuna looks the part of a slap hitter at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds—with his freshman power production matching that perception—he worked on his body between his first two seasons in college and reaped the benefits by impacting the baseball to a much greater degree in 2022. Combined with his advanced hit tool, he now looks the part of a fairly complete offensive threat, up to and including stealing bases, which he’s done 21 times in two seasons. Defensively, his athleticism, soft hands and strong arm give him a chance to stick at shortstop at the next level as well. 

15. Braden Montgomery, RHP/OF, Stanford

Montgomery lived up to his billing as a blue-chip recruit during his freshman season at Stanford, batting .294/.361/.596 with 16 doubles and 18 home runs. And while his value to the Cardinal was largely tied to his offense last season, he also showed potential on the mound on the way to putting up a 5.79 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 18.2 innings. At the plate for the CNT, Montgomery went 1-for-8 and he gave up three hits and one run with two walks and five strikeouts in 2.2 innings on the mound before being cut prior to the trip to the Netherlands. Simply put, Montgomery is one of the most exciting talents in college baseball. He already shows plus power, and though he struck out 73 times last season in 245 at-bats, he showed good bat-to-ball skills out of high school, so there is reason for optimism that he improves in that regard as time goes on. He’s just as exciting on the mound, though, and it will be interesting to see how he progresses over the next two seasons. He had one of the best fastballs on the CNT pitching staff, as that pitch averaged nearly 94 mph last season and touched as high as 97. Control has been an issue, as he walked 21 batters in 18.2 innings in 2022 and limiting that number moving forward will be his challenge. There are some rough edges for Montgomery to smooth out, but as a 2024 draft prospect, he has plenty of time to do so. 

16. Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida

After throwing just 16.1 innings as a freshman, Waldrep broke out for Southern Mississippi as a sophomore, putting up a 3.20 ERA with 140 strikeouts in 90 innings of work, good for 14 strikeouts per nine innings, which placed him third in the country. With the CNT, he threw three scoreless innings in North Carolina before giving up four hits and three runs in 2.1 innings in a loss against Curacao in Haarlem. There’s no doubting Waldrep’s stuff, and that’s a big reason why he transferred to Florida this offseason. Last season, his fastball averaged nearly 95 mph and touched as high as 98, his high-80s slider had a 55% whiff rate, and albeit in a much smaller sample size, his mid-80s changeup had a 64% whiff rate. Where some evaluators see room for improvement for the 6-foot-2, 205-pound righthander are in the finer points of the craft like mound presence and fielding his position, which aren’t so much weaknesses as they are areas in which he didn’t quite stack up with some of the elite of the elite on the CNT. 

17. Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina

Honeycutt last season went through some of the ups and downs you would expect out of a freshman getting acclimated to college baseball, but it ended up with him putting together one of the best seasons of any first-year player. He batted .296/.409/.672 with 25 home runs and 29 stolen bases, all while playing a very good center field. He struggled with the CNT, going 1-for-16 in North Carolina before missing the cut for the final roster heading overseas. Honeycutt’s impressive tool set has led some to describe him as a George Springer-type player with better speed. If you’re nitpicking what Honeycutt did as a freshman, you can do so by looking at his 90 strikeouts, but many of those came during an extended midseason swoon that he eventually worked his way out of to finish strong. Otherwise, Honeycutt looks the part, both physically with an athletic 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame and in terms of his skills, as he’s already tapped into the considerable power potential evaluators saw from him coming out of high school and he uses his plus speed effectively on the bases and in the outfield. The expectation is that Honeycutt will be among the most electric players in college baseball over the next two seasons before being selected early in the 2024 draft. 

18. Carson Montgomery, RHP, Florida State

The highest-ranked 2020 high school draft prospect to make it to a college campus the ensuing fall, Montgomery has lived up to his advanced billing in terms of his stuff, if not quite in terms of his performance. Over two seasons at FSU, he has a 4.83 ERA and a 101-to-46 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 82 innings and has yet to emerge as a rotation centerpiece for the Seminoles. With the CNT, he threw the ball extremely well, putting up six scoreless innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. Montgomery’s fastball last season averaged just under 93 mph and touched as high as 98, his mid-80s slider had a 47% whiff rate, and though it was used fairly sparingly, he also had a 40% whiff rate on his high-80s cutter. Despite not having the performance track record that might have been expected to this point, Montgomery is still highly regarded because of his stuff and he looks the part at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds. Now, he’ll look to take the momentum from a successful summer with the CNT back to Tallahassee. 

19. Tre’ Morgan, 1B, Louisiana State

Morgan has shown real feel to hit in his two seasons at Louisiana State, putting up a combined .341/.427/.494 slash line in 502 at-bats as a regular in the Tigers’ lineup from the moment he arrived in Baton Rouge. Morgan went 4-for-13 in North Carolina to earn the job as the CNT’s primary first baseman, but cooled off in the Netherlands, going 2-for-15 there. Morgan is a non-traditional first baseman in a couple of regards. For one, his offensive profile is hit over power, though he does have occasional pop with 34 career doubles and 11 home runs to show for it. He’s a pesky hitter who has the combination of a discerning eye and quick hands that allows him to take and foul off tough pitches to extend at-bats. But beyond that, he’s also a slick enough defender at his position that some coaches who have worked with him see him as the best defensive first baseman they’ve ever coached. He’s athletic enough with a strong enough arm that it’s easy to see him being able to play the outfield, but he’s such a value add defensively at first base that it’s fair to wonder if a team would be better off leaving him there to help stave off infield throwing errors. 


20. Drew Beam, RHP, Tennessee

Beam took to college baseball nicely as a freshman, going 8-1 with a 2.72 ERA and .186 opponent batting average in 76 innings. With the CNT, he threw three scoreless innings in one start during training camp before being cut prior to the team heading overseas. Nicknamed “QB1” because of his time spent quarterbacking Blackman (Tenn.) High during his high school days and for the leadership skills and moxie that come along with that experience, Beam’s intangibles helped him succeed as a first-year pitcher in the SEC despite not yet having elite swing-and-miss stuff, with none of his pitches having a whiff rate greater than 33%. That’s not to say that he doesn’t have very good stuff, because he does. His fastball last season averaged over 92 mph and touched as high as 96 and both his breaking ball and changeup are usable offerings that have potential for more down the line. His ability to locate, athleticism and moxie give him a high floor moving forward, but how far his stuff comes along over the next two seasons will likely determine how far he moves up draft boards in 2024. 

21. Teddy McGraw, RHP, Wake Forest

By virtue of sharing a weekend rotation with Rhett Lowder, McGraw was perhaps a bit overlooked at Wake Forest last season, but he had a very good campaign in his own right, putting up a 4.08 ERA and a .203 opponent average in 70.2 innings. As far as stuff goes, McGraw was in the middle of the pack on the CNT and he did give up two runs in four innings in training camp, but he made the final roster thanks in large part to his steady performance throughout the entirety of camp, plus rave reviews from some around the team about his attitude and demeanor during the process. That paid off in the Netherlands, where he gave up one hit and no walks with four strikeouts in three scoreless innings. McGraw’s fastball, which features sinking action that leads to loads of ground balls, averaged just under 94 mph last season and touched as high as 98. He complements the heater with a low-to-mid-80s slider and a high-80s changeup, neither of which have proven to be high-end swing-and-miss pitches yet. With a step forward for McGraw in 2023, he and Lowder have a chance to be the best one-two rotation punch in the country and first-round picks next summer. 

22. Jake Gelof, 3B, Virginia

Gelof parlayed a scalding-hot finish during Virginia’s run to the College World Series into a breakthrough 2022 campaign where he led the country in home runs through his first 20 games on the way to batting .377/.477/.764 with 21 home runs. He struggled with the CNT, going 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts, struggles that actually began when he went 2-for-23 to begin the summer in the Cape Cod League. Gelof’s power is his standout tool at the plate, but his 41 walks compared to 49 strikeouts last season also represents an improvement in that regard. Gelof’s offensive bonafides are well established at this point, and the 2023 season will simply provide one last stage for him to add new wrinkles to his game and provide one last pitch to be among the first college position players taken in the draft next summer. 

23. Jack Hurley, OF, Virginia Tech

Hurley made a big jump from 2021 to 2022, going from batting .251/.354/.411 with 10 doubles and six home runs to .375/.452/.664 with 23 doubles and 14 home runs, while also cutting down his strikeout total from 64 in 175 at-bats to 51 in 232 at-bats. Hurley earned his place on the final CNT roster by going 5-for-14, but in limited opportunities overseas, went just 1-for-5. Hurley is a dynamic hitter who has increasingly learned to use his aggressive approach for him rather than against him but concerns about strikeouts against good breaking stuff persist, especially given that he has a bit of an unorthodox swing. He’s a good runner, but that hasn’t necessarily manifested in his stolen base totals—he has 14 steals in two seasons in Blacksburg. At 6-feet and 185 pounds, Hurley doesn’t have a classic power hitter’s frame, but there’s no arguing the production last season. Defensively, he has the athleticism, speed and arm to play all three outfield positions, but in a particularly athletic outfield at Virginia Tech that also included first-round pick Gavin Cross, Hurley was relegated to left field. 

24. Chase Davis, OF, Arizona

The No. 55 player on the BA 500 coming out of high school in 2020, Davis struggled in a small sample as a freshman before breaking out as a sophomore, batting .289/.414/.583 with 18 home runs. He went 3-for-12 with the CNT during training camp and did not make the final roster. Davis is one of the toolsiest position players in college baseball. His plus raw power stands out, and he showed enough ability to work counts and make contact against good pitching to allow that power to shine through in his home run total last season. Defensively, he has the plus arm strength to be a right fielder and the speed to play center field, at least at the college level, but thus far he has mostly played left field. On raw skills, Davis is one of the best players in the class, and he’ll have the 2023 season to apply more polish and show off additional facets of his game. 

25. Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas

Smith took to college baseball well as a freshman, and though he seemed to wear down in the latter portion of the SEC schedule, he still put up solid numbers in the end, including a 4.66 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 77.1 innings. In one hitless, scoreless two-inning appearance with the CNT, he walked three and struck out four. A physical, athletic 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame makes Smith extremely projectable at the next level. His fastball averaged 91 mph last season and touched 97, and his low-80s slider had a whiff rate of nearly 50%. His third offering is a mid-80s changeup that he uses a healthy percentage of the time, albeit less than his slider. After issuing 46 free passes in 77.1 innings in 2022, he’ll have to reduce his walk rate moving forward, but as a member of the 2024 draft class, he has ample time to smooth that out. 

Best Tools: 

Best hitter: Dylan Crews, LSU
Best power: Dylan Crews, LSU
Best plate discipline: Brayden Taylor, TCU
Fastest runner: Enrique Bradfield Jr., Vanderbilt
Most exciting player: Enrique Bradfield Jr., Vanderbilt
Best pitcher: Rhett Lowder, Wake Forest
Best fastball: Hurston Waldrep, Florida
Best breaking ball: Cade Kuehler, Campbell
Best changeup: Tanner Hall, Southern Mississippi
Best control: Joseph Gonzalez, Auburn
Best defensive catcher: Kyle Teel, Virginia
Best defensive infielder: Tre’ Morgan, LSU
Best defensive outfielder: Enrique Bradfield Jr.., Vanderbilt

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