B/R's 2022 MLB Mock Draft 3.0 for Every 1st-Round Pick

Joel ReuterJuly 6, 2022

B/R's 2022 MLB Mock Draft 3.0 for Every 1st-Round Pick

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    OMAHA, NE - June 26: Cade Horton #9 of the Oklahoma Soooners pitches during Men's College World Series game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Charles Schwab Field on June 26, 2022 in Omaha, Nebraska. Ole Miss defeated Oklahoma in the second game of the championship series to win the National Championship. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
    Cade Horton (Eric Francis/Getty Images)

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's 2022 MLB mock draft 3.0!

    The event is less than two weeks away, and it's time to unveil our latest iteration.

    We published our initial first-round mock of the year May 19 and provided our first update June 15. Plenty has changed since, as players have risen and fallen based on the latest industry speculation and the combine.

    The Baltimore Orioles will be on the clock when the draft gets underway July 17, and the event will span three days and 20 rounds.

    We'll update this once more before the big day, but for now here's version 3.0.

    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.

Nos. 1-3

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    Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada (4) competes during an NCAA baseball game against Georgia on Friday, March 4, 2022 in Atlanta. Georgia Tech won 11-7. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
    Kevin Parada (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

    1. Baltimore Orioles: OF Druw Jones, Wesleyan High School (Ga.)

    It's with a certain level of hesitance that Jones is penciled into the No. 1 spot, not because of ability and upside, but because of the Orioles' recent draft history and willingness to reach for a below-slot deal.

    To that point, Carlos Collazo of Baseball America wrote: "With almost $2 million more in pool money than the No. 2 team (D-backs) do the Orioles really need to cut a deal with the first pick to get creative later? I don’t think so. They will have a lot of money to work with regardless."

    2. Arizona Diamondbacks: SS Jackson Holliday, Stillwater High School (Okla.)

    The consensus seems to be that Holliday has moved ahead of Elijah Green as the No. 2 prep player in the 2022 class, with the elite hit tool of Termarr Johnson also part of that conversation. If the Orioles go a different route, it's hard to see Jones falling any further than No. 2.

    3. Texas Rangers: C Kevin Parada, Georgia Tech

    With a .361/.453/.709 line that included 26 home runs and 88 RBI in 305 plate appearances, Parada is a rare offensive player at catcher. He does have work to do to refine his defense, especially his throwing accuracy, which is important given his fringy arm, but few players in the crouch can hit like he does.

Nos. 4-6

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    Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee throws during an NCAA baseball game against Southern California on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
    Brooks Lee (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

    4. Pittsburgh Pirates: SS Brooks Lee, Cal Poly

    The Pirates have zeroed in on college bats, according to Kiley McDaniel of ESPN, and that includes reclassified JUCO standout Cam Collier, who has been steadily moving up draft boards. This could be Collier's ceiling, but for now we'll stick with Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee as the pick. The No. 38 prospect in the 2019 draft class made it to campus and boosted his stock considerably in three years, hitting .357/.462/.664 with 41 extra-base hits and more walks (46) than strikeouts (28) this spring.

    5. Washington Nationals: OF Elijah Green, IMG Academy (Fla.)

    How far will questions about his hit tool cause Green to slip? Despite the swing-and-miss he showed this spring, he still has arguably the highest ceiling of any player in this draft class if everything clicks. The rebuilding Nationals make sense as a team positioned to swing for the fences on upside.

    6. Miami Marlins: 2B Termarr Johnson, Mays High School (Ga.)

    According to MLB.com, one scout described Johnson's hit tool as "a combination of Wade Boggs' plate discipline and Vladimir Guerrero Sr.'s bat-to-ball skills" which is both absurd and tantalizing. His defensive limitations are the only reason he's not a slam dunk to go No. 1 overall, and after Kahlil Watson fell into their laps a year ago, the Marlins are in a great position to scoop up an elite-level talent once again.

Nos. 7-9

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    Virginia Tech's Gavin Cross cannot reach a home run by Oklahoma's Peyton Graham in the first inning of an NCAA college super regional baseball game Sunday, June 12, 2022, in Blacksburg, Va. (AP Photo/Scott P. Yates)
    Gavin Cross (AP Photo/Scott P. Yates)

    7. Chicago Cubs: 3B Cam Collier, Chipola JUCO

    The consensus seems to be the Cubs will end up with either Johnson or Collier, provided they're still available, which is becoming increasingly less of a sure thing. Collier won't turn 18 until November, and he reclassified from 2023 and enrolled at JUCO powerhouse Chipola College. He's competing as one of the youngest players in the history of the Cape Cod League, where he has a .379 on-base percentage through nine games.

    8. Minnesota Twins: 3B/OF Jacob Berry, LSU

    Berry offers the best mix of floor and ceiling among this year's college crop, and the Twins have gone to that well frequently in recent years. It's unclear where he'll wind up defensively—a corner outfield spot might be the best fit—but his bat will play anywhere. The draft-eligible sophomore hit .370/.464/.630 with 15 home runs this spring while showcasing some of the best raw power in the country.

    9. Kansas City Royals: OF Gavin Cross, Virginia Tech

    The Royals have been a popular pick for a below-slot reach after they took a similar approach last year when they selected Frank Mozzicato at No. 7, but here we have them going the best-available route. Cross hit .328/.411/.660 with 14 doubles, 17 home runs and 12 steals this spring after an impressive showing with Team USA last summer.

Nos. 10-12

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    PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 5: Jace Jung (2) Texas Tech Infielder  smiles as he runs the bases after a home run during a baseball game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Grand Canyon Lopes on April 5, 2022, at GCU Ballpark, AZ. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Jace Jung (Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    10. Colorado Rockies: 2B Jace Jung, Texas Tech

    The Rockies could have their pick of pitchers at No. 10, but it's hard to see Jung slipping much further than this even after some inconsistency down the stretch this spring. The 21-year-old hit .328/.468/.647 with 39 home runs, 147 RBI and more walks (126) than strikeouts (102) in 136 games at Texas Tech.

    11. New York Mets: SS Jett Williams, Rockwall-Heath High School (Texas)

    A quick-twitch athlete who should have no problem sticking up the middle and has excellent bat-to-ball skills and plus speed, Williams has some late helium. The Mets pick again at No. 14, so they can afford to take a chance on a player who is generating considerable buzz.

    12. Detroit Tigers: OF Justin Crawford, Bishop Gorman High School (Nev.)

    The Tigers could pair top high school pitcher Brock Porter with 2021 first-round pick Jackson Jobe in the lower levels of the minors, and they've been linked to some of the college hitters already mocked here such as Cross and Jung. That said, the upside Crawford possesses alongside a projectable frame, advanced hit tool and excellent outfield defense could be too good to pass up if he falls this far.

Nos. 13-15

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    DENVER, CO - JULY 09:  Dylan Lesko #17 of the National League Team pitches during the MLB USA Baseball All-American Game at Coors Field on Friday, July 9, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
    Dylan Lesko (Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

    13. Los Angeles Angels: RHP Brock Porter, Orchard Lake St. Mary's High School (Mich.)

    Could we really not see a pitcher taken until No. 13? The consensus seems to be that the Kansas City Royals at No. 9 is the ceiling for the first pitcher to be selected, but it's not a stretch to think it might be even longer. This is the ideal situation for an Angels team that used all 20 picks on pitchers a year ago, and Porter would immediately become the No. 1 prospect in their farm system.

    14. New York Mets: RHP Dylan Lesko, Buford High School (Ga.)

    One of the most compelling storylines of the 2022 draft is where Lesko will land, as he was firmly in the conversation to go No. 1 overall before he underwent Tommy John surgery in April. The Mets are in a prime position to take a risk thanks to their two picks inside the top 15, and they have a big enough bonus pool to sign him away from his Vanderbilt commitment.

    15. San Diego Padres: LHP Robby Snelling, McQueen High School (Nev.)

    A 247 Sports 4-star football recruit, Snelling is the type of prospect who could take off once he turns his full attention to baseball. With a fastball that touches 97 mph, a high-spin curveball and good overall command, he has a strong foundation to build on. There's not much projection left in his 6'3", 210-pound frame, but his present stuff is already good enough to play at the next level.

Nos. 16-18

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    Campbell's Zach Neto plays against Georgia Tech in an NCAA baseball game on Friday, June 3, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/John Amis)
    Zach Neto (AP Photo/John Amis)

    16. Cleveland Guardians: SS Zach Neto, Campbell

    Neto hit .407/.514/.769 with 40 extra-base hits and 19 steals in 53 games this spring, and he erased concerns about his level of competition last summer when he put together an excellent Cape Cod League showing. Prep shortstop Cole Young is also a name to watch at No. 16, and Cleveland knows how to develop middle infield talent.

    17. Philadelphia Phillies: RHP Gabriel Hughes, Gonzaga

    One of the few top-tier college pitchers who remained healthy this spring, Hughes went 8-3 with a 3.21 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 138 strikeouts in 98 innings thanks to a mid-90s fastball and a wipeout slider. He slumped down the stretch, allowing 22 hits and 14 runs in 20.2 innings over his final three starts, but his 6'4", 220-pound frame should be able to hold up to a starter's workload.

    18. Cincinnati Reds: C Daniel Susac, Arizona

    Susac hit .366/.430/.582 with 19 doubles, 12 home runs and 61 RBI in 64 games as a draft-eligible sophomore, and he's a better bet than Parada to stick behind the plate long-term. He could easily go closer to No. 10, but in this mock he's an excellent value pick for a Reds team in a position to go with the best available player.

Nos. 19-21

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    Oregon State pitcher Cooper Hjerpe pitches to Auburn during the first inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game on Sunday, June 12, 2022, in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)
    Cooper Hjerpe (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

    19. Oakland Athletics: OF Drew Gilbert, Tennessee

    There is a large collection of college outfielders in the mix to go in the late teens and throughout the back end of the first round, and Gilbert is the safest bet of the bunch to stick in center field. The 21-year-old raised his OPS more than 300 points while hitting .362/.455/.673 with 21 doubles and 11 home runs as one of the spring's breakout performers.

    20. Atlanta Braves: LHP Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State

    Hjerpe led Division I pitchers with 161 strikeouts this spring while going 11-2 with a 2.53 ERA and 0.87 WHIP as the Friday starter for Oregon State. Despite his impressive strikeout total, he doesn't have overpowering stuff, and it's his overall polish that helped him dominate college hitters. That should also allow him to move quickly through the minors toward his ceiling as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

    21. Seattle Mariners: SS Cole Young, North Allegheny High School (Pa.)

    The Mariners generally skewed toward the college crop before they took Harry Ford and Edwin Arroyo at the top of their 2021 draft class, and the strong early returns from those players could pave the way for another high school pick. With an advanced hit tool and strong defensive skills at shortstop, Young fits anywhere in the bottom half of the first round.

Nos. 22-24

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    James Madison outfielder Chase DeLauter (22) jogs off field during an NCAA baseball game on Wednesday, April 2, 2022 in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Mike Caudill)
    Chase DeLauter (AP Photo/Mike Caudill)

    22. St. Louis Cardinals: OF Chase DeLauter, James Madison

    The Cardinals have seemingly struck gold with Nolan Gorman and Jordan Walker, so why not continue the trend of targeting big raw power in the first round? DeLauter looks the part with a strong 6'4", 235-pound frame, and he was hitting .437/.576/.828 with eight home runs and 35 RBI in 24 games this spring before a broken foot ended his season.

    23. Toronto Blue Jays: 3B Tucker Toman, Hammond High School (S.C.)

    A switch-hitter with a 55-hit, 50-power offensive profile and a strong arm, Toman profiles well at third base or a corner outfield spot, despite his limited athleticism. Kiley McDaniel of ESPN named Toman and Neto as the two players most often linked to the Blue Jays.

    24. Boston Red Sox: OF Sterlin Thompson, Florida

    Thompson has a better hit tool than some of the other college outfielders expected to go in this range, and there's plenty of reason for optimism that he'll develop more power as he grows into his 6'4", 200-pound frame. He hit .354/.443/.563 with 16 doubles, 11 home runs and 10 steals in 66 games this spring.

Nos. 25-27

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    California's Dylan Beavers during an NCAA baseball game against Southern California on Sunday, March 20, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
    Dylan Beavers (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

    25. New York Yankees: OF Dylan Beavers, California

    With 51 walks and a .427 on-base percentage in 56 games this spring, Beavers showed a good enough approach to inspire confidence he can produce despite the swing-and-miss he's shown throughout his college career. That said, the 6'4", 206-pound outfielder will always have a power-over-contact approach, and he slugged 35 home runs the past two seasons for the Golden Bears.

    26. Chicago White Sox: RHP Cade Horton, Oklahoma

    After missing 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Horton saw more action at third base than he did on the mound during the regular season. However, with a 2.61 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 31 innings in five postseason starts to help Oklahoma reach the College World Series finals, he boosted his stock as much as any player in the draft class. His upper-90s fastball and wipeout slider would play at the back of an MLB bullpen right now, but he checks all the boxes to be developed as a starter.

    27. Milwaukee Brewers: RHP Blade Tidwell, Tennessee

    Tidwell missed the first six weeks of the 2021 season with shoulder soreness, joining a long list of top-tier college arms who dealt with injury issues this spring. With a fastball that touches 99 mph and a 60-grade slider, his pure stuff stacks up to any pitcher's in the class, and the Brewers have done a great job developing high-octane arms in recent years.

Nos. 28-30

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    Vanderbilt starting pitcher Kumar Rocker (80) throws against North Carolina State in the first inning of a baseball game at the College World Series, Friday, June 25, 2021, at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
    Kumar Rocker (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

    28. Houston Astros: RHP Kumar Rocker, Tri-City ValleyCats

    The Astros have a long history of targeting and developing pitchers with elite velocity, and that makes this the most likely landing spot for Rocker in the first round. The burly 6'5", 245-pound right-hander can light up the radar gun, and he's shown no signs of arm issues while posting a 1.35 ERA and a 32-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 20 innings with the indy ball Tri-City ValleyCats.

    29. Tampa Bay Rays: LHP Brandon Barriera, American Heritage High School (Fla.)

    No team does a better job of developing pitching talent than the Rays, so it's always tempting to give them a high school pitcher in any mock draft. Barriera is more polished than most of this year's prep class, as he fires three above-average pitches, advanced command and smooth mechanics all from an athletic 6'2", 180-pound frame. It might take an above-slot deal this late to sign him away from his Vanderbilt commitment.

    30. San Francisco Giants: LHP Connor Prielipp, Alabama

    With a 70-grade slider that might be the best breaking pitch in the entire draft class and a mid-90s fastball, Prielipp was in the No. 1 overall pick conversation before undergoing Tommy John surgery last May. He returned in time to throw a bullpen session in front of scouts this May, and he showed even better stuff at draft combine. He could be off the board long before the Giants pick, but for now he's one of the tougher players to slot.

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and accurate through Monday's games. Prospect tool grades via MLB.com.