B/R's 2022 MLB Mock Draft 2.0 for Every 1st-Round Pick
The MLB draft is still one month away, and a lot will likely change before then. While the high school and college seasons are winding to a close, scouts will still get a chance to evaluate talent at the MLB Draft Combine.
We published our first mock draft of the year May 19, and plenty has changed since, as players have risen and fallen based on the latest industry speculation and on-field results.
The Baltimore Orioles will be on the clock with the first pick when the draft gets underway July 17, with the event spanning three days and 20 rounds.
We'll update this a few more times before the big day, but for now, here's version 2.0 of Bleacher Report's 2022 MLB mock draft.
Note: The Los Angeles Dodgers' first selection was moved back 10 spots to No. 40 overall as a result of luxury tax penalties, so they will not have a first-round pick in the 2022 draft.
1. Baltimore Orioles: OF Druw Jones, Wesleyan High School (GA)
After cutting below-slot deals with Heston Kjerstad (No. 2 overall in 2020) and Colton Cowser (No. 5 overall in 2021) the last two years, the Orioles are a wild card. If they view Druw Jones or Jackson Holliday as the clear No. 1 player in this class, they'll take a straightforward approach, but don't rule out someone like Jacob Berry if they decide to go the cost-saving route again.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks: 2B Termarr Johnson, Mays High School (GA)
Jones won't get past the No. 2 pick if the Orioles decide to go in a different direction, but this scenario gives the D-backs a handful of prep standouts to choose from. Despite his limited defensive profile, Johnson is the best pure hitter in the 2022 class with a 70-grade hit tool and the potential for plus power.
3. Texas Rangers: SS Jackson Holliday, Stillwater High School (OK)
The son of former MLB All-Star Matt Holliday has a more well-rounded profile than his dad with plus athleticism and the defensive chops to stick at shortstop. He has gone from first-round candidate to top-five pick this spring with a stellar senior season, showing more strength and agility as he's grown into his 6'1" frame.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: SS Brooks Lee, Cal Poly
The Pirates are focused on college hitters, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com, and Lee is the best of the bunch this year. The Cal Poly shortstop hit .357/.462/.664 with 25 doubles, 15 home runs and more walks (46) than strikeouts (28) this spring, and he has successfully boosted his stock after ranking as the No. 38 prospect in the 2019 draft class.
5. Washington Nationals: C Kevin Parada, Georgia Tech
The Nationals were heavily scouting Parada during the ACC tournament, and the draft-eligible sophomore hit .360/.452/.709 with 10 doubles, 26 home runs and 88 RBI in 60 games this spring. His defense has improved during his two years on campus, but he's still average at best behind the plate. Luckily, he has a bat that can carry his value.
6. Miami Marlins: OF Elijah Green, IMG Academy (FL)
Green has a lot of loud tools, including plus power, top-of-the-scale speed and potentially elite defense in center field. However, he has shown enough swing-and-miss that there are still some reservations surrounding his hit tool. That said, the upside here at No. 6 would be too good for the Marlins to pass up if he slips.
7. Chicago Cubs: 3B Cam Collier, Chipola JUCO
One of the top prospects in the 2023 draft class, Collier got his GED, enrolled at JUCO powerhouse Chipola College and reclassified to the 2022 draft. With a smooth left-handed swing and plenty of power potential in his 6'2", 210-pound frame, Collier has one of the highest offensive ceilings in this class, and he won't turn 18 until November.
8. Minnesota Twins: 3B/OF Jacob Berry, LSU
Berry followed up Co-Freshman of the Year honors with an equally productive sophomore season after transferring from Arizona to LSU. He hit .370/.464/.630 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI while trimming his strikeout rate from 19.5 to 8.9 percent. He will likely need to shift to a corner outfield spot or first base as a pro because of his limited athleticism after primarily playing third base in college.
9. Kansas City Royals: OF Justin Crawford, Bishop Gorman High School (NV)
The Royals have shown a willingness to get creative with their bonus pool over the years, including reaching for Frank Mozzicato at No. 7 overall in 2021. Kiley McDaniel of ESPN noted that Crawford "might be the undercut option if the Royals want to take a similar path to last year" and his stock has climbed enough this spring that he's not a major reach inside the top 10. The bloodlines are certainly there as the son of former All-Star Carl Crawford.
10. Colorado Rockies: 2B Jace Jung, Texas Tech
There are some question marks with Jung, from his unorthodox swing mechanics to his future defensive home to a slight dip in production down the stretch. However, he remains one of the best college hitters in this class and was productive throughout his three seasons at Texas Tech. The 21-year-old hit .335/.481/.612 with 18 doubles and 14 home runs this spring, and the Rockies have never shied away from a college bat.
11. New York Mets: RHP Brock Porter, Orchard Lake St. Mary's High School (MI)
Are we really not going to see a pitcher taken inside the top 10 picks? The Royals and Rockies are a possibility, but don't be surprised if the Mets are the first to pull the trigger on a pitcher. Since they're picking again at No. 14 overall, they can afford to take a chance on a high-ceiling prep arm. Porter is the best of the bunch with four plus pitches, including a fastball that touches 100 mph and a strong 6'4" frame.
12. Detroit Tigers: OF Gavin Cross, Virginia Tech
Cross hit .328/.411/.660 with 14 doubles, 17 home runs, 50 RBI and 12 steals this spring to solidify his standing as one of the best collegiate hitters in the class. With an improved walk rate and more consistent contact, he has forced his way to the top of the second tier of college bats. The Tigers could also consider in-state prospect Brock Porter if he's still on the board.
13. Los Angeles Angels: C Daniel Susac, Arizona
Susac can flat-out hit with a .366/.429/.582 line and 100 hits in 64 games this season, including 19 doubles, 12 home runs and 61 RBI. He doesn't have the same offensive ceiling as Kevin Parada, but he's a better defensive catcher with the potential to be a two-way contributor. Catching is a glaring hole in the Angels system, and he's the best player on the board.
14. New York Mets: RHP Dylan Lesko, Buford High School (GA)
This would be a high-risk, high-reward move for a Mets team with the third-largest bonus pool at just under $14 million. Lesko was a candidate to go No. 1 overall before undergoing Tommy John surgery in April, showcasing an upper-90s fastball and an elite changeup with smooth, repeatable mechanics. The payoff here could be huge.
15. San Diego Padres: SS Jett Williams, Rockwall-Heath High School (TX)
An up-the-middle player with quick-twitch athleticism and some late helium, Williams fits the type of player the Padres have targeted in the past. His 5'8" frame means he'll likely always have a hit-over-power offensive game, but with good contact skills, plus speed and a solid defensive profile at shortstop, he doesn't need over-the-fence power to make an impact.
16. Cleveland Guardians: LHP Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State
The Division I strikeout leader with 161 punchouts in 103.1 innings, Hjerpe fits the type of polished collegiate arm the Guardians have targeted in years past. The 6'3" southpaw has three quality pitches, plus command and clean mechanics despite a funky delivery that helps his stuff to play up. He should move quickly.
17. Philadelphia Phillies: RHP Gabriel Hughes, Gonzaga
Amid an onslaught of injuries to some of the draft's top pitchers, Hughes was a consistent force at the top of the Gonzaga rotation. The 6'4", 220-pound right-hander finished his junior season with a 3.21 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 138 strikeouts in 98 innings, and he would slot nicely alongside Mick Abel and Andrew Painter atop the Philadelphia farm system.
18. Cincinnati Reds: SS Cole Young, North Allegheny High School (PA)
Young is among the players the Reds are targeting, according to Kiley McDaniel of ESPN, and he could fit anywhere in the back half of the first round. The Pennsylvania prep has a 60-grade hit tool and solid potential across the board both offensively and in the field, where he should have no problem sticking at shortstop.
19. Oakland Athletics: OF Chase DeLauter, James Madison
Assuming the Athletics go the best-available route, they'll be choosing from a handful of college outfielders, shortstop Zach Neto and a few different pitchers. With a strong 6'5", 235-pound frame and a strong arm, DeLauter has significant upside and a prototypical right fielder profile. He hit .437/.576/.828 in 118 plate appearances this spring.
20. Atlanta Braves: LHP Connor Prielipp, Alabama
With a lethal 70-grade slider and a mid-90s fastball, Prielipp has some of the best raw stuff in the 2022 draft class, and he was on track to be a top-10 pick before undergoing Tommy John surgery last May. He threw a bullpen session for scouts last month and will be one of the most closely monitored players at this year's draft combine. This could be a major steal if his arm issues are behind him.
21. Seattle Mariners: SS Zach Neto, Campbell
After hitting .405/.488/.746 as a sophomore and then impressing in the Cape Cod League, Neto hit .407/.514/.769 with 23 doubles, 15 home runs and just 19 strikeouts in 256 plate appearances this spring. The Mariners generally skew toward the college crop in the first round, and Neto is the best available in this hypothetical.
22. St. Louis Cardinals: LHP Robby Snelling, McQueen High School (NV)
"There are too many teams pursuing Snelling for him to last much longer than this," wrote Jim Callis of MLB.com while also mocking him to the Cardinals at No. 22 overall. The 6'3" southpaw is also a 4-star football recruit, but his mid-90s fastball and terrific curveball have sent his stock soaring on the baseball diamond.
23. Toronto Blue Jays: 3B Tucker Toman, Hammond High School (SC)
Toman is a popular name as a potential below-slot reach earlier in the first round, and he is being mentioned as high as No. 7 overall to the Chicago Cubs. If he doesn't cut a deal with someone early, he'll be in play at the back of the first round. The switch-hitter has boosted his stock with a strong spring, and his offensive ceiling stacks up against any of the college players still on the board here.
24. Boston Red Sox: OF Dylan Beavers, California
The Red Sox have done a great job mining the high school hitting ranks in recent years, but they will likely be steered toward a college hitter at No. 24 overall. Despite some swing-and-miss, Beavers still slugged 17 home runs this spring while raising his walk rate from 12.7 to 18.8 percent en route to a .426 on-base percentage.
25. New York Yankees: OF Brock Jones, Stanford
Left-handed-hitting college outfielders Brock Jones, Sterlin Thompson and Drew Gilbert should all be on the Yankees' radar. Jones is hitting .327/.455/.665 with 20 home runs and 56 RBI in 63 games this spring, though he also racked up 75 strikeouts. He'll have a chance to further improve his stock at the College World Series.
26. Chicago White Sox: RHP Blade Tidwell, Tennessee
The White Sox took a hard-throwing Tennessee pitcher in the first round two years ago when they drafted Garrett Crochet, and Tidwell presents similar upside. He missed time early with shoulder soreness and was knocked around by Notre Dame in his final collegiate start, but with a fastball that touches 99 mph and a wipeout slider, there is no question his stuff will translate to the next level.
27. Milwaukee Brewers: OF Drew Gilbert, Tennessee
Gilbert raised his OPS a whopping 350 points this spring, hitting .362/.455/.673 with 36 extra-base hits and more walks (33) than strikeouts (32) as one of the breakout players of the college season. He is a clean fit in center field defensively, and his bat speed gives him some sneaky power potential despite an unassuming 5'9", 185-pound frame.
28. Houston Astros: RHP Kumar Rocker, Tri-City ValleyCats
The Astros have always had an affinity for top-of-the-scale velocity, and Rocker has provided that dating back to his time in high school. Unsigned as the No. 10 overall pick last year after concerns arose over his elbow and shoulder in his post-draft physical, Rocker is playing indy ball with the Tri-City ValleyCats to try to rebuild his stock. He's been clocked at 99 mph and looks healthy, and he could be an absolute steal for whoever rolls the dice.
29. Tampa Bay Rays: OF Henry Bolte, Palo Alto High School (CA)
A late pop-up prospect in a draft class that is relatively thin on high school bats, Bolte has loud raw tools that will require patience and refining. There is ample room for physical development in his 6'3", 195-pound frame, and he already shows huge power, albeit with significant swing-and-miss as well. The Rays have always been willing to gamble on upside.
30. San Francisco Giants: OF Jacob Melton, Oregon State
Melton has become a popular name at the back end of the first round after he hit .360/.424/.670 with 22 doubles, 17 home runs, 83 RBI and 21 steals in 63 games this spring at Oregon State. Add to that the fact that he has proved capable of handling center field, and he could be a great value pick to close out Round 1.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and accurate through Monday's games.