B/R's Final 2022 MLB Mock Draft 4.0 for Every 1st-Round Pick
Welcome to Bleacher Report's final 2022 MLB mock draft 4.0!
three-day, 20-round event kicks off Sunday, July 17 at 7 p.m. ET on MLB
Network. Day 1 of the draft will encompass the first 80 picks, which span the first round, compensation picks, Competitive Balance Round A, second round, Competitive Balance Round B and additional compensation picks.
We've mapped out our best guesses for the 30 picks that make up the first round based on draft prospect rankings, team draft trends, rumors and speculation.
Let's get to it!
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.)
We're not going to overthink this, but there's no guarantee the Orioles will do the same. Jones is the consensus top player in this class and has the potential to develop into a five-tool center fielder. He also has an extremely high floor thanks to his contact skills, speed and elite outfield defense. The Orioles' recent history of cutting below-slot deals in the first round has led to speculation they could turn elsewhere, but this is an opportunity to land a cornerstone player. Plus, they went chalk when they took Adley Rutschman No. 1 overall in 2019.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks: SS Jackson Holliday, Stillwater High School (Okla.)
There's no chance Jones would fall further than No. 2 overall if the Orioles go a different route with the top pick. If he is no longer available as predicted here, Holliday seems to have moved ahead of Termarr Johnson and Brooks Lee as the target for a D-backs team that has done a nice job developing position-player talent in recent years.
3. Texas Rangers: 2B Termarr Johnson, Mays High School (Ga.)
The Rangers have not often been linked to Johnson, and Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada remains a very real possibility, but a potential top-of-the-scale hit tool could allow Johnson to move faster than most prep prospects. The assumption is that after splurging in free agency last offseason, the Rangers would prefer a prospect closer to the majors to line up with their contention window. But Johnson can be that guy if he's as good as advertised in the batter's box.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: 3B Cam Collier, Chipola JUCO
This is the highest we've had Collier in any of our mock drafts, but he continues to have as much buzz as any prospect in the first round thanks to the fact that he's still just 17 years old and more than held his own this spring at JUCO powerhouse Chipola College after reclassifying from the 2023 draft. Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee has been a popular rumored target here if they prefer a safer pick.
5. Washington Nationals: C Kevin Parada, Georgia Tech
Even with questions about his defensive game, Parada is one of the draft's elite players after hitting .361/.453/.709 with 26 home runs and 88 RBI in 60 games this spring. His bat would still play at first base if he needs to move defensively, but he did show improvement in his receiving ability and could still be an offensive-minded catcher who makes some serious noise in the middle of an MLB lineup.
6. Miami Marlins: SS Brooks Lee, Cal Poly
Lee is a candidate to go No. 1 overall if the Orioles decide to cut a deal, and he's also been a popular name for the Pirates at No. 4, so this might be his floor if those two teams go a different route. One of the most polished college hitters in the country, he could join Jazz Chisholm Jr. up the middle in short order. The Marlins would be getting great value for the second year in a row after Kahlil Watson fell into their laps in 2021.
7. Chicago Cubs: OF Elijah Green, IMG Academy (Fla.)
Questions about his hit tool have Green primed to slide after he was slotted right alongside Druw Jones when the spring began, but he still has perhaps the highest ceiling in the entire class with a rare 70-power/70-speed profile. The top-tier of talent in this year's draft goes seven deep, and barring an early reach, the Cubs can sit back and take whoever is still on the board.
8. Minnesota Twins: 3B/OF Jacob Berry, LSU
The Twins have once again been heavily linked to college bats, and Berry might be the safest of the bunch this year. He has huge raw power and hit .370/.464/.630 with more walks (27) than strikeouts (22) while playing in the SEC, and he also trimmed his strikeout rate from 19.5 to 8.9 percent this spring. Even if he slides down the defensive scale and winds up at first base or a corner outfield spot, his bat still gives him an extremely high floor.
9. Kansas City Royals: OF Justin Crawford, Bishop Gorman High School (Nev.)
After trading their Competitive Balance Round A pick to the Atlanta Braves and losing $2 million in bonus-pool allocation in the process, the Royals now seem even more likely to cut a below-slot deal. They did it a year ago when they reached for Frank Mozzicato at No. 7 overall, and Crawford has been the go-to name for teams looking to save some money early this year. The son of former All-Star Carl Crawford, he has had as much helium as any high school player in the country this spring, to the point that No. 9 overall is not a huge stretch.
10. Colorado Rockies: OF Gavin Cross, Virginia Tech
There's a good chance the pitching-needy Rockies will have their pick of arms at No. 10 overall, but they have gone with a bat time and again when a pitcher seemed like the obvious choice. After a breakout sophomore season and a stellar run with Team USA last summer, Cross is one of the best college bats in the country, and he has some of the same qualities as recent first-round picks David Dahl and Zac Veen.
11. New York Mets: 2B Jace Jung, Texas Tech
With the No. 11 and No. 14 overall picks, the Mets can sit back and see who falls before rolling the dice on a higher-risk selection with their next pick. In this scenario, it's Jung who saw his stock slide when he struggled down the stretch, but he still stands as one of the most productive college hitters in the nation. He hit .328/.468/.647 with 39 home runs, 147 RBI and more walks (126) than strikeouts (102) in 136 career games at Texas Tech.
12. Detroit Tigers: RHP Brock Porter, St. Mary's Prep (Mich.)
The Tigers took prep right-hander Jackson Jobe with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft, and this hypothetical gives them an opportunity to once again snag the top high school pitcher in the class. With a 70-grade fastball, a terrific changeup, two breaking pitches and clean, repeatable mechanics—all from a 6'4", 208-pound frame—Porter is the consensus best pitcher in a class that has been decimated by injuries.
13. Los Angeles Angels: LHP Connor Prielipp, Alabama
Prielipp threw just 28 innings at Alabama before undergoing Tommy John surgery last May and missing his entire junior season. But he returned in time for a scout showcase and the draft combine, where his electric stuff shined once again. The 6'2" southpaw has a lethal slider that might be the best breaking pitch in the entire 2022 class, and he pairs it with a mid-90s fastball and average changeup. The Angels need pitching in the worst way, and while there's risk given his lack of track record, Prielipp could easily wind up being the best arm in the draft.
14. New York Mets: SS Jett Williams, Rockwall-Heath High School (Texas)
After going with a high-floor college player in Jace Jung at No. 11 overall, the Mets can afford to take a player with a riskier profile in this slot. Despite an undersized 5'8", 175-pound frame, Williams has been creeping up draft boards all spring. He's a quick-twitch athlete with a great hit tool and plus speed, and whether he winds up at shortstop or in center field, he has the potential to be a dynamic up-the-middle player.
15. San Diego Padres: RHP Dylan Lesko, Buford High School (Ga.)
Lesko was among the leading candidates to go No. 1 overall before an elbow injury in April led to Tommy John surgery. That said, the Padres are not afraid to roll the dice on an injury risk: They took Cal Quantrill with the No. 8 pick in the 2016 draft while he was recovering from Tommy John. Armed with a mid-90s fastball and one of the best changeups in organized baseball, Lesko has future ace potential if he can make a smooth recovery.
16. Cleveland Guardians: C Daniel Susac, Arizona
Susac has been one of the tougher players to slot in mock drafts. Just on talent, he has a case for being a top-10 player in the 2022 class, but he's also a safer college pick in a group filled with high-ceiling prep players. The Co-National Freshman of the Year in 2021, he followed up his stellar debut by hitting .366/.430/.582 with 19 doubles and 12 home runs this spring. His offensive ceiling is not as high as Kevin Parada's, but he's a much better defender with a rocket arm. The value here might be too good for Cleveland to pass up.
17. Philadelphia Phillies: LHP Brandon Barriera, American Heritage High School (Fla.)
After taking Mick Abel (No. 15 in 2020) and Andrew Painter (No. 13 in 2021) the last two years, the Phillies might prefer to shy away from the high school pitcher approach, but they're also picking in a spot where it makes sense. Barriera is the best of this year's prep lefties with a polished three-pitch repertoire, plus command and a strong track record against high-level competition.
18. Cincinnati Reds: SS Zach Neto, Campbell
Unless the Reds are enamored with one of the high school arms still on the board, this is where the second tier of college hitters figures to start coming off the board. Neto hit an absurd .407/.514/.769 with 23 doubles and 15 home runs in 53 games this spring, and a strong showing in the Cape Cod League last spring helped ease concerns about the level of competition he faced in the Big South Conference.
19. Oakland Athletics: OF Dylan Beavers, California
There are more than a half-dozen college outfielders all in the same range on big boards, with Dylan Beavers, Drew Gilbert, Chase DeLauter, Sterlin Thompson, Brock Jones, Jordan Beck and Jacob Melton all candidates to go in the Nos. 20-30 range. Considering their thin system, the A's make sense as a "best available" team. With plus raw power and an improved approach, Beavers has the highest ceiling of the bunch as a potential middle-of-the-order bat.
20. Atlanta Braves: RHP Cade Horton, Oklahoma
No one did more to boost their stock during the College World Series than Horton, who finished the regular season with a 7.94 ERA before posting a 2.61 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 31 innings over five postseason starts. His fastball and slider are both plus pitches, and the athleticism that made him a two-way standout in high school translates well to the mound. There's plenty of risk, but the Braves know how to develop pitching.
21. Seattle Mariners: OF Chase DeLauter, James Madison
As usual, the Mariners have been mostly tied to college players, even after plucking Harry Ford and Edwin Arroyo from the prep ranks at the top of last year's draft class. Between Kyle Lewis (Mercer University), Logan Gilbert (Stetson University) and George Kirby (Elon University), they have had good luck rolling the dice on small-school standouts in the first round. The 6'4", 235-pound DeLauter has as much power potential as anyone.
22. St. Louis Cardinals: RHP Gabriel Hughes, Gonzaga
The Cardinals have a long history of targeting high-floor college pitchers at the back of the first round—Marco Gonzales (No. 19 in 2013), Luke Weaver (No. 27 in 2014), Dakota Hudson (No. 34 in 2016), Griffin Roberts (No. 43 in 2018), Zack Thompson (No. 19 in 2019) and Michael McGreevy (No. 18 in 2021) all fit the bill. The two prime candidates this year are Hughes and Oregon State lefty Cooper Hjerpe, with Hughes offering a bit more upside.
23. Toronto Blue Jays: OF Drew Gilbert, Tennessee
The Blue Jays have been consistently connected to prep third baseman Tucker Toman, but they could try to float him to No. 60 overall with an above-slot guarantee. Gilbert is the only slam-dunk center fielder from the second-tier outfield group, and he took as big a step forward as anyone this spring, raising his OPS over 300 points while hitting .362/.455/.673 with 36 extra-base hits playing for the best team in the country.
24. Boston Red Sox: RHP Kumar Rocker, Tri-City ValleyCats
The Red Sox were in on Rocker with the No. 4 overall pick last year before Marcelo Mayer fell to them, and there's plenty of reason to think they'll be interested again even after undisclosed concerns about his shoulder and elbow caused his deal with the New York Mets to fall through. He's been lighting up radar guns pitching in the independent league in preparation for the draft, and he still has the same electric stuff that racked up 321 strikeouts in 236.1 innings at Vanderbilt.
25. New York Yankees: SS Cole Young, North Allegheny High School (Pa.)
Young has drawn comparisons to current top prospect Anthony Volpe at the same point in his development, and he could be long gone before the Yankees are on the clock. He has a plus hit tool that could wind up being one of the best in the draft class, and he's a solid bet to stick at shortstop, where he has the arm and the range necessary to make all the plays. A lack of over-the-fence pop limits his ceiling, but he can still be an everyday shortstop.
26. Chicago White Sox: LHP Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State
Hjerpe used polish, pitchability and deception to go 11-2 with a 2.53 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and an NCAA-leading 161 strikeouts in 103.1 innings as the ace of the Oregon State staff. His stuff is far from overpowering, but he knows how to pitch; he's a very safe bet to at least be a back-of-the-rotation starter with the potential for a bit more. The White Sox have generally targeted loud tools, but the value here could be too good to pass up given the lack of pitching in their system.
27. Milwaukee Brewers: OF Sterlin Thompson, Florida
The Brewers already have an impressive collection of outfield talent rising the ranks in the minors, but that shouldn't stop them from taking the best player available on their board. Thompson fits the type of player they have targeted in the past, with a smooth swing and a disciplined approach that doesn't sell out for power. He hit .354/.443/.563 with 29 extra-base hits this spring while splitting his time between right field and second base.
28. Houston Astros: LHP Carson Whisenhunt, East Carolina
A positive PED test attributed to supplements purchased at a national chain led to Whisenhunt being suspended for his entire junior season, but he was a potential top-10 pick heading into the spring. He has a mid-90s fastball and a playable curveball, but it's his elite changeup that separates him from the pack. The Astros develop pitching as well as anyone, and there's a ton of potential value here.
29. Tampa Bay Rays: LHP Robby Snelling, McQueen High School (Nev.)
The Rays have never been afraid to bet on upside, especially picking late in the first round, and Snelling is a 4-star football recruit who is finally poised to turn his full attention to baseball. The 6'3", 210-pound left-hander played quarterback and linebacker, and that physicality is present on the mound, where he can overpower hitters with a mid-90s fastball and a terrific high-spin curveball. He doesn't offer much physical projection, but there's still upside given his split focus in high school.
30. San Francisco Giants: SS/3B Peyton Graham, Oklahoma
Graham has some swing-and-miss to his game with 69 strikeouts in 67 games this spring, but he impacts the game in enough ways to overlook that. He hit .335/.417/.640 with 17 doubles, 20 home runs and 71 RBI while stealing 34 bases in 36 attempts and successfully making the transition from third base to shortstop defensively. His versatility fits the type of player that team president Farhan Zaidi has targeted over the years.