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More Draft Tidbits From SHIFT

Image credit: Rob Manfred at the 2022 MLB Draft

Baseball America is partnering with Pramana to use the company’s SHIFT tool. SHIFT helps companies find instant answers to a wide variety of questions by using natural language search and free text to turn data into content and insights. Pramana used the SHIFT tool to find a variety of insights and nuggets about each of the first-round picks in the 2022 draft.

There’s a good chance that Termarr Johnson, the No. 4 pick in the 2022 draft, will end up playing second base, but he was announced by the Pirates as a shortstop. And when that happened, it set in motion a semi-historic drought. This year’s draft was the eighth time in MLB draft history that no high school second baseman was picked in the entire draft. In 1971, a record 13 prep second basemen were picked.

With their second first-round pick, the Mets drafted 5-foot-8 shortstop/center fielder Jett Williams. With their 12th-round pick, the Mets drafted 6-foot-10 righthander Paul Gervase. Gervase is the tallest player the Mets have drafted, while Williams is only one inch taller than the shortest Mets draftee of all time as best we can determine (heights for players in the early years of the MLB Draft are not always easy to ascertain).

There were 13 players 6’7″ or taller selected in the 2022 #MLBDraft (20 rounds), including Jared Beck (7’0″), the tallest player ever drafted. The all-time record is 24 players 6’7″ or taller through 20 rounds, set in 2016. 

This year’s MLB draft saw 349 pitchers taken – good for second most all-time through 20 rounds. That was only topped by last year’s 360 through the same number of rounds. 

Along those lines, this year’s 11th round set a record for most pitchers picked in a single round, with 23. The 12th round saw 21 pitchers selected. Both topped the previous record for most pitchers in a single round (19, set in 2021).

That 349 total pitchers drafted doesn’t come anywhere close to setting an all-time record however. There are records that will never be broken. The draft record for most pitchers selected in a single draft was 859 in 1994. At the time, there was no limit to how many rounds teams could pick. There were only 616 total picks in the 2022 MLB Draft.

Here’s a look at the top 10 drafts for most pitchers selected.

The Dodgers smashed the previous MLB draft record for shortstops taken through 20 rounds. They took 8. No team had ever taken more than six before this year. But as we often mention, one of the reasons teams pick shortstops is because they can play almost anywhere around the diamond.

The Rockies can safely be considered a team that focuses almost entirely on college draftees. Righthander Jackson Cox (second round) was the only prep player the Rockies picked this year. Last year, first rounder Benny Montgomery was the only high school player the Rockies picked. The Rockies picked three prep players in 2020 (Zac Veen, Drew Romo and Case Williams), but in 2019 the Rockies didn’t pick any prep players in the top 20 rounds and in 2018, they only took one (supplemental first rounder Grant Lavigne).

Eric Karros (Dodgers) and Marquis Grissom (Expos) were both drafted in the 1988 MLB Draft. Their sons Jared and Marquis Jr. were both drafted today by the same franchises as they were 34 years ago, although the Expos have move to Washington, D.C. in the intervening years.

Oklahoma State led all schools with 11 players picked this year, but second-place Tennessee tied a record. The Vols had nine players picked in the top 10 rounds, which tied 2011 Vanderbilt for the most players picked in a single draft in the top 10 rounds.

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