Cleveland Guardians 2022 MLB Draft Report Card
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Best Pure Hitter: OF Chase DeLauter (1) has an exemplary track record of hitting throughout college. He hit over .400 for his career with James Madison (a .402/.520/.715 slash line) and also proved his hitting chops in the Cape Cod League in 2021, where he hit .298/.397/.589. He has a long track record of excellent contact and strong swing decisions, rarely expanding the strike zone. While DeLauter is the clear choice, OF Joe Lampe (3), 2B Nate Furman (4) and OF Guy Lipscomb (5) have all showcased solid contact skills and swing decisions.
Best Power Hitter: DeLauter’s (1) pure home run totals likely underestimate his actual power potential. Scouts viewed him as having 70-grade raw power in the future and his career ISO at James Madison was north of .300. His 15 career home runs have more to do with the fact that he only played in 66 games thanks to shortened seasons and injury. DeLauter homered nine times in 34 games with a wood bat in the Cape Cod League.
Fastest Runner: The Guardians drafted a number of plus runners at up-the-middle positions, including Lampe (3), Furman (4), Lipscomb (5) and SS Tyresse Turner (13). Lipscomb stole 42 bags in 48 tries (87.5%) during the 2022 season with Belmont and is a career 48-for-56 (85.7%) basestealer.
Best Defensive Player: As mentioned above, Cleveland took a number of players who profile at premium up-the-middle positions, but the standout here might be Lampe (3), who has shown the athleticism and closing speed to be an impact defender in center field. Amateur scouts viewed him as a plus-plus runner and an above-average defender at the position.
Best Fastball: The Guardians drafted a number of refined, college strike throwers, which is to be expected of the organization, but RHP Javier Santos (7) has elite arm strength and has thrown a fastball that touched 98 mph in high school, with plus life to go with it. Another prep righthander, Jacob Zibin (10), touched 97 mph during the spring after turning just 17 in January and being one of the youngest players in the class. Day three picks RHP Magnus Ellerts (11) and Geo Rivera (19) both ran their fastballs into the mid and upper 90s in junior college.
Best Secondary Pitch: Both RHP Justin Campbell (1s) and LHP Parker Messick (2) showed plus changeups in college, while Zibin’s (10) best secondary pitch was also a changeup that he has shown impressive feel to land in the bottom of the zone. LHP Jackson Humphries (8) needs more consistency, but both of his breaking balls are high-spin offerings with swing-and-miss potential, while LHP Shawn Rapp (20) throws a high-efficiency, high-spin sweeping slider in the low 80s that was responsible for more than 80% of his strikeouts in 2022. There are a number of good options here.
Best Pro Debut: Cleveland only activated three players from the 2022 draft this year with the later date. Of that group, Lampe (3) continued to show improved impact ability with a 90.5 mph average exit velocity—in an admittedly small 11-game sample. LHP Adam Tulloch (15) and RHP Zach Jacobs (18) were the only other players who made their pro debuts in 2022. We’ll give the category to Lampe for his underlying hitting data, which is key for his overall profile.
Best Athlete: DeLauter is a unique athlete thanks to his combination of size (6-foot-4, 235 pounds), power (double-plus raw power) and speed (plus running ability). The fact that he played center field as capable as he did in 2022 speaks to that athleticism.
Most Intriguing Background: Zibin (10) was one of the youngest players in the 2022 draft class after reclassifying and moving from British Columbia to Florida in order to face better competition this spring. The move paid off for him to the tune of a $1.2 million bonus. Lipscomb (5) was an All-State high school football player in high school with Franklin (Tenn.) High and Rapp’s (20) brother, Brian, pitched three minor league seasons with the Twins and Blue Jays organizations.
Closest To The Majors: Cleveland’s top pitching selections, Campbell (1s) and Messick (2), could both move quickly. They each have strong track records against quality college competition, deep arsenals and above-average or plus control—and that combination of traits with Cleveland has been a successful one for many pitchers.
Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): The Guardians are excited about the fastball characteristics that Ellerts (11) brings to the table, as well as RHP Jack Jasiak’s (12) excellent strikeout-to-walk ratio with South Florida and Turner’s (13) speed, contact ability and defensive versatility.
The One Who Got Away: The Guardians signed each of their 21 selections in the 2022 draft.