2022 MLB Draft Results: Hot Takes for Druw Jones, Elijah Green, Top Prospects

Joel ReuterJuly 18, 2022

2022 MLB Draft Results: Hot Takes for Druw Jones, Elijah Green, Top Prospects

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    Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

    The first day of the 2022 MLB draft is in the books, and 80 of the nation's top amateur players have now realized their dream of being drafted into the professional ranks.

    The Baltimore Orioles selected Oklahoma prep shortstop Jackson Holliday with the No. 1 overall pick, and things were off and running from All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

    Consensus top prospect Druw Jones went No. 2 overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks, while highly touted prep outfielder Elijah Green was the Washington Nationals' pick at No. 5 overall.

    Ahead, we've provided some early hot takes for five of the draft's biggest names as they get set to embark on the next step in their development.

Druw Jones Will Win Multiple Gold Gloves Just Like His Father

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    Photo Credit: Kate Adent

    Andruw Jones slugged 434 home runs in 17 MLB seasons, but he's perhaps best remembered for his stellar defense in center field.

    After finishing fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1997 at the age of 20, he went on to win 10 straight Gold Glove Awards, a total that trails only Willie Mays (12) and is matched by Ken Griffey Jr. (10) among center fielders.

    Expect his son Druw Jones to add more hardware to the family trophy case.

    "Jones is the best defensive center fielder in the 2022 high school crop and might be the best defender in the entire draft," wrote MLB.com. "His speed and instincts combine to give him tremendous range and his well-above-average arm strength stands out at a position not known for many cannons."

    The No. 2 overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks has legitimate five-tool potential, but right now, it's his outfield defense that stands out above all else.

Elijah Green Will Have a Huge Pro Debut in Rookie Ball

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    Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images

    Elijah Green is one of the most hyped prospects in this year's draft, but he also comes with more of a boom-or-bust profile than any of the other top-tier prospects in the 2022 class.

    The 6'3", 225-pound slugger has arguably the best raw power in the draft, and he pairs it with 70-grade speed for a power-speed mix that is virtually unmatched across any level of professional baseball.

    However, there is also considerable swing-and-miss to his game, raising questions about whether he'll be able to fully tap into that power at the next level.

    Expect him to enter pro ball with a chip on his shoulder after hearing those criticisms throughout the predraft process, and while it may take him some time to adjust to full-season ball, he could put up some gaudy numbers in rookie ball this summer after he signs.

    That would go a long way in helping Washington Nationals fans stomach the potential loss of Juan Soto at the trade deadline.

Cooper Hjerpe Will Be the First 2022 Pick to Reach the Majors

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    AP Photo/Amanda Loman

    With a deceptive delivery that hides the ball well and some of the best pitchability among this year's college crop, Cooper Hjerpe is as MLB-ready as any player in the 2022 draft class.

    The Oregon State ace led the nation with 161 strikeouts in 103.1 innings this spring while going 11-2 with a 2.53 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and a .180 opponents' batting average.

    His fastball sits in the low 90s, and he backs it up with a good curveball and an average changeup. But his crossfire delivery makes all of his pitches play up, and he commands his entire repertoire well in the zone.

    He doesn't have the same upside as some of the other top pitchers in this draft class, but he might have the highest floor and is as safe a bet as anyone to fill a spot in the middle of an MLB rotation for a decade.

    The St. Louis Cardinals have fast-tracked polished college arms like Luke Weaver and Dakota Hudson in the past, so a 2023 debut is possible.

Carson Whisenhunt Will Be the Steal of Day 1

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    AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

    With a mid-90s fastball, decent curveball and one of the best changeups in the 2022 class, Carson Whisenhunt was a potential top-10 pick heading into the season.

    However, he was hit with a season-long suspension following a positive PED test that he attributed to supplements purchased at a nationwide chain, and he was knocked around in four starts in the Cape Cod League while shaking off the rust in front of scouts.

    As a result, his draft stock slipped like so many other pitching prospects in this class, but unlike the others, his was not a result of injury.

    The results in the Cape Cod League don't tell the whole story, as his stuff was every bit as good as it was during the 2021 season when he racked up 79 strikeouts in 62 innings at East Carolina.

    However, he didn't hear his name called until the end of the second round when the San Francisco Giants selected him with the No. 66 overall pick.

    The 6'3", 209-pound southpaw has a chance to be as good as any pitcher in this draft.

Daniel Susac Will Make More All-Star Teams Than Kevin Parada

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    Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada is one of the top-tier players in the 2022 draft class after hitting .361/.453/.709 with 26 home runs and 88 RBI In 60 games.

    However, there are serious questions about his defensive skills behind the plate, which means he's either going to spend significant time in the minors honing his skills or he's going to switch positions—likely to first base—to fast track his bat to the majors. With Francisco Alvarez blocking his path as the catcher of the future for the New York Mets, the smart bet is on the latter.

    While there is no question he has a higher offensive ceiling than Arizona catcher Daniel Susac, it's fair to wonder who will be the more valuable MLB player if Parada does in fact move out of the crouch and to a first base spot that is loaded with star talent.

    The catcher position is so thin right now that Susac could be a perennial All-Star behind the plate as a potential two-way standout, while Parada would be just another power bat at a position stacked with sluggers.

    This is not necessarily a prediction that Susac will put up better numbers, but pencil him in for more All-Star appearances when all is said and done.

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference


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