Philadelphia Phillies 2022 MLB Draft Report Card
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Best Pure Hitter: OF Gabriel Rincones (3) was the second player the Phillies picked—in the third round, however, with no second-round pick—and amateur scouts were high on his offensive ability. Rincones set the St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC program record with a 36-game hitting streak in 2021 and with Florida Atlantic in 2022 he hit .346/.451/.658.
Best Power Hitter: While the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Rincones (3) has massive raw power (some scouts gave him future 70 raw power grades) he has impressive natural hitting tendencies and zone control, which allowed him to hit 19 home runs during the 2022 season. His exit velocities were reportedly some of the best in the 2022 draft class as well.
Fastest Runner: The Phillies have a few burners in their class. OF Justin Crawford (1) and OF Emaarion Boyd (11) are both 70 runners who have turned in top-of-the-scale run times and were viewed as two of the fastest runners in the prep class. On the college side, OF Cade Fergus (13) has also received 70-grade run evaluations. Crawford went 10-for-14 (71.4%), Boyd went 8-for-10 (80.0%) and Fergus went 6-for-7 (85.7%) in stolen base attempts in their 2022 pro debuts.
Best Defensive Player: All of the players mentioned above have a chance to be elite-caliber pro center fielders, but the Phillies think Fergus (13) might actually be the most advanced right now, with exceptional range. Crawford (1) rated as the No. 2 defensive center fielder among high school outfielders behind only Druw Jones and should be an exceptional defender as well.
Best Fastball: The Phillies have a handful of pitchers who can get their fastballs into the upper 90s. RHP Alex McFarlane (4) sat 95-96 with Miami and has been up to 99, with high spin rates and sinking life. RHP Alex Rao (8) is close behind with a fastball that’s been up to 98, while RHP Orion Kerkering (5) and RHP Daniel Harper (17) have both touched 97. Harper’s fastball has some of the best riding life of the group, with high raw spin and more than 17 inches of induced vertical break.
Best Secondary Pitch: Kerkering (5) earned plus grades with a high-usage, mid-80s slider that has spin in the 2,700-2,900 rpm range out of college. The Phillies think it’s one of the best breaking balls in this class, as is McFarlane’s (4) slider—which flashes wipeout potential—and Rao’s (8) 60-grade split-change.
Best Pro Debut: The track record of high school players out of Mississippi is not great, but Boyd (11) is off to a great start. The South Panola High (Batesville, Miss.) product only played 11 games—nine in Rookie ball, two at Low-A—but slashed .361/.477/.389 with as many walks (five) as strikeouts (five). While he didn’t show much in the way of impact, Boyd managed a 158 wRC+ and played all three outfield positions.
Best Athlete: This category is a toss up between the speedsters: Crawford (1), Boyd (11) and Fergus (13). We’ll give the edge to the son of former big leaguer Carl Crawford for now.
Most Intriguing Background: Crawford’s big league bloodlines make him a candidate for this category, but how about Rincones—who was born in Venezuela but grew up in Scotland and didn’t move to the United States until high school to pursue his baseball career.
Closest To The Majors: Kerkering (5) bounced back and forth between the starting rotation and bullpen in college and never got to develop a consistent routine. Scouts thought he could do well in a consistent reliever role in pro ball, and he’s looked good so far in a brief pro debut in that capacity in 2022. He has the velocity and slider to move quickly as a pen arm.
Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): Boyd (11) is a great candidate here, especially given his strong debut, but he also signed for a bigger deal ($650,000) than most day three picks. A deeper pick for this category could be SS Bryan Rincon (14), who is a switch-hitting shortstop with above-average speed and plus potential as a defender.
The One Who Got Away: The only player the Phillies didn’t sign was SS Braylen Wimmer (18), who showed impressive power and speed at South Carolina.