The Orioles got some good bats in their farm system on a team that needed help everywhere. Batters like Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman Baltimore's number one overall pick in 2019, High School third baseman Gunnar Henderson, Stanford left fielder Kyle Stowers, Sam Houston State center fielder Colton Cowser Baltimore's fifth overall pick in 2021, and Arkansas right fielder Henry Kjerstad Baltimore's second overall pick in 2020. Baltimore needs a pure shortstop after moving Gunnar Henderson who played shortstop in High School to third base to round out this amazing core of future MLB prospects. Baltimore got their shortstop at 1.
Baltimore has narrowed their options for the first pick down to five players. Those players are Druw Jones, Jackson Holliday, Elijah Green, Brooks Lee, and Jacob Berry. Baltimore went with Jackson Holliday my top ranked infielder first overall.
MLB Agent Scott Boras has told the Orioles he wants 8.5-million for Druw Jones and 8 million for Jackson Holliday. Boras represents the top two prospects in the 2022 MLB Draft. Baltimore opted towards Jackson Holliday at 1.
The 6-1 185 lb Jackson Holliday gained 10 lbs of muscle after being 175 lbs. Jackson Holliday had a .685 batting average, 17 home runs, 89 hits breaking a record set by JT Realmuto, 33 walks, and a .749 on base percentage in 2022. Jackson Holliday, like Brooks Lee and Druw Jones is a 5-tool batter in the 2022 MLB Draft.
Drafting Jackson Holliday first overall gives Baltimore an infielder that can play anywhere in the infield. Jackson Holliday is versatile enough to play at shortstop, third base, second base, or first base giving the Orioles another blue chip prospect for their infield.
The 6-2 175 lb Druw Jones is the son of former Atlanta Braves center fielder Andruw Jones. He's already heading down an All Star path. Like the top four picks in the 2022 MLB Draft, he's a batter with 5-tool qualities. Druw Jones emerged as the consensus number one prospect after posting a .570 batting average, 65 hits, 7 doubles, 3 triples, 13 home runs, 39 RBI's, 72 runs, 32 stolen bases, 3 walks, and 9 strikeouts in 2022. Druw Jones can play center fielder, left fielder, right fielder, and shortstop with his versatility.
If Baltimore doesn't want to pay him the $8.5-million his agent Scott Boras requested, then Arizona will be happy to pay that since Jones is my top prospect in this draft despite the salary demands via Boras. Arizona would probably take Jackson Holliday second overall if Baltimore took Druw Jones, whose still favored to go first overall with the first pick among oddsmakers in the 2022 MLB Draft.
Kumar Rocker was drafted tenth overall in thne 2021 MLB Draft after entering the 2021 College Baseball Season as the unanimous top prospect after leading Vanderbilt to a Championship in the 2019 College World Series. The Mets didn't sign Rocker due to failing a team physical with the New York Mets making him eligible for the 2022 MLB Draft.
The 6-5 245 lb Kumar Rocker entered the season as the number one pitcher on the Vanderbilt Commodores. He was also the favorite to go first overall in the 2021 MLB Draft after pitching a no hitter during the 2019 College World Series. The New York Mets got a steal at 10 before opting not to sign Rocker since he didn't pass his team physical. Rocker only threw 91-miles-per-hour on his fastball in some of his 2021 starts which is why he's dropping on boards.
Kumar Rocker went 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA, 122 innings pitched, and 179 strikeouts in 2021 dominating every game of the College World Series except game 3 of the Championship against Mississippi State which was the deciding game. Rocker had a 98-mile per hour 4-seam fastball coming out of North Oconee High School, but the rest of his pitches were a project.
Since enrolling at Vanderbilt Rocker developed a 96-mile per hour cutter fastball, a 85-mile per hour slider which has been his secondary pitch since his freshman season, and an 82-mile per hour curveball to compliment his other three pitches. His fifth pitch is his changeup with his sixth pitch being a sinker. He has four MLB pitches compared to the one he had coming out of High School three years ago, but still has two pitches with his changeup and sinker that will need additional development in the minor leagues before he makes the jump to the MLB.
Kumar Rocker signed with the Tri City Valley Cats in Single A leading up to the 2022 MLB Draft since he didn't want to return to Vanderbilt following the 2021 season. Kumar Rocker went 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings pitched with the Tri City Valley Cats, who coincidentally are the Houston Astros Single A Team. I mocked Kumar Rocker to the Astros at 28 because of the value he'd provide there, but the Texas Rangers took my number one overall prospect from the 2021 MLB Draft third overall in 2022 because the Mets refused to sign him after failing his physical, but Rocker pitched in Single A and showed that the Mets made a major miscalculation.
Rocker's agent Scott Boras wasn't surprised by Rocker pitching so well after the Mets didn't sign Rocker last year for failing his physical. Kumar Rocker is now re-united with Vanderbilt teammate Jack Leiter who Texas drafted second overall in the 2021 MLB Draft. Kumar Rocker is a guy who could have up to seven different pitches if he develops a changeup, a 2-seam fastball, plus a sinker to compliment his 4-seam fastball, cutter fastball, slider, and curveball. His pitches have great command and pinpoint accuracy even though the velocity on some of his throws needs to be refined.
Kumar Rocker's best game was a 7 inning scoreless contest against the SEC East Champion Tennessee Volunteers in 2021. I posted a film cut of that game on our Youtube Channel. Now he'll play rookie ball against minor league prospects rather than returning to Vanderbilt, but it's worth pointing out that I had Rocker graded ahead of Leiter in 2021, and now both Vanderbilt pitchers from that 2021 Vanderbilt baseball team are on the Texas Rangers with Cole Winn as a good number three starter to those two. Check out Kumar Rocker and subscribe to Draft Utopia.
Ben Cherrington has reloaded the Pittsburgh Pirates prospect pool with strong drafts in the 2020 and 2021 MLB Draft where Pittsburgh dominated in the first three rounds of the MLB Draft in each of the last two seasons. If the Pirates get the right player with their top 5 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, they could turn things around as early as 2025.
The 5-10 175 lb Termarr Johnson won the High School Home Run Derby as a junior in 2021. He's versatile enough to play shortstop or second base. He's also another 5-tool batter that can hit home runs, line drives, grounders, or bunts like the top 3 picks in the 2022 MLB Draft.
Termarr Johnson gives your 2021 third round pick Bubba Chandler who can play both shortstop and pitcher competition. I think if the NL moves ot having designated hitters in a few years, Johnson would become the DH for the Pittsburgh Pirates which would give Pittsburgh the flexibility to put both Johnson and Chandler into their lineup if the National League does in fact add a designated hitter like the American League currently has which is underway in 2022.
The 6-3 220 lb Elijah Green entered the 2022 MLB Draft as the consensus top prospect. The Washington Nationals get my third best player in this draft at 5 obtaining a steal for a 5-tool batter with Elijah Green whose the son of former Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Green. Elijah Green had a .321 batting average, 10 stolen bases, and 6 home runs with IMG Academy in 2021. Elijah Green had a .462 batting average, 15 stolen bases, 9 home runs, and a 1.000 slugging percentage with IMG Academy in 2022.
The Miami Marlins draft their future first baseman here. The 6-0 212 lb Jacob Berry had a .352 batting average and 17 home runs with Arizona in 2021. Jacob Berry transferred to LSU for the 2022 College Baseball Season where he posted a .370 batting average and 15 home runs in 2022. Jacob Berry is just as lethal as the other 5-tool batters projected to go in the top 7. He's also versatile enough to play third base or first base making him a fantastic addition for the Miami Marlins at at 6.
The Chicago Cubs took my twenty ninth best player available and my second best College pitcher with the seventh overall pick. The 6-1 211 lb Cade Horton had a 7.94 ERA in the regular season, but a 2.61 ERA in 5 postseason starts where Cade Horton had 49 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched. Cade Horton's postseason success has him creeping into the top thirty with him being the second NCAA pitcher being drafted in the top 30.
Grades for this pick are going to vary, but this was the first questionable selection in the 2022 MLB Draft. If you had Cade Horton in the top 30 you could argue this is a C grade. If you had him outside the top 30, but in your top 40 then you could make a case for this being a D grade. Some will say this is an F grade since the Cubs drafted a pitcher with a 7.94 ERA in the regular season seventh overall, but I disagree with that since he did well in the postseason despite having an ERA of nearly 8 with a 7.94 ERA in the 2022 College Baseball season which is why I'm giving the Cubs a C- grade at 7.
Minnesota drafts the 6-2 205 lb Brooks Lee eighth overall. Brooks Lee had a .342 batting average, 10 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and a .974 fielding percentage in 2021. Brooks Lee had a .357 batting average, 15 home runs, 3 stolen bases, and a .951 fielding percentage in 2022. Brooks Lee is a 5-tool batter that can hit home runs, line drives, grounders, and bunts. He's also got a laser quick arm.
Minnesota's shortstop prospects include Carlos Correa the first pick in the 2012 MLB Draft who Minnesota got in the 2022 MLB Free Agency Period, Nick Gordon who Minnesota drafted fifth overall in the 2014 MLB Draft, Royce Lewis who Minnesota drafted first overall in the 2017 MLB Draft, and now Brooks Lee who I mocked to the Baltimore Orioles at 1 with the eighth overall pick. Minnesota now has enough shortstops to form a New Kids on the Block band with former Twins catcher Joe Mauer.
All kidding aside, this was a fantastic pick for Minnesota. Easily an A+ grade since Minnesota got the top College batter as well as a player I mocked first overall who was fifth on my big board at 8 with everyone in the top 4 ahead of Brooks Lee gone.
The Royals have Brady Singer, Kris Bubic, Daniel Lynch, and Jackson Kowar as starting pitchers. You also got Asa Lacy the Kansas City Royals 2020 first round pick as a future prospect. Kansas City grabs Virginia Tech right fielder Gavin Cross at 9.
The 6-3 210 lb Gavin Cross became the first Virginia Tech freshman to be named to the All-ACC First Team in program history. He's versatile enough to right fielder, first baseman, or designated hitter.
Gavin Cross led Virginia Tech with a .345 batting average and a .621 slugging percentage in 2021. Gavin Cross also had 70 hits, 48 runs, 35 RBI's, 23 multi-hit games, 13 doubles, 11 home runs, 9 stolen bases, and 5 triples in 2021. Gavin Cross posted a .328 batting average, 17 home runs, and 12 stolen bases as as sophomore redshirt in 2022. Gavin Cross showed the traits you want in a 5-tool batter.
The 6-4 220 lb Gabriel Hughes went 8-3 with a 3.21 ERA and 138 strikeouts as the number one starter in 2022. Gabriel Hughes has a 99-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 95-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 90-mile per hour slider, and a changeup. Gabriel Hughes is consistent pitching at least 6 innings in every start in 2022, but he's just as big of a reach at 10 as Cade Horton was at 7. Hughes managed to pitch 6 innings in every game he started with Gonzaga in 2022 taking immense pressure off of the bullpen.
Gabriel Hughes was thirty second on my big board three spots behind Oklahoma pitcher Cade Horton on my board. However Hughes was far more consistent then Horton despite going this early which is why the worst grade I can give the Colorado Rockies here is a C- grade.
The 6-1 197 lb Kevin Parada had a .318 batting average and 9 home runs in 2021. He improved on that with a .360 batting average and 26 home runs in 2022. Kevin Parada is Georgia Tech's best catcher since Joey Bart.
Kevin Parada finally demonstrated traits of a 5-tool batter. New York drafts a catcher who may end up being the Mets best catcher since Mike Piazza at eleven here by drafting the sixth best player on my board at eleven. Fantastic first pick by the New York Mets here as everyone in my top seven overall is now off the board.
Texas Tech infielder Jace Jung fits the bill for Detroit since Josh Jung's younger brother is versatile enough to play anywhere in the infield whether that's third base, shorstop, second base, or first base.
The 6-0 200 lb Jace Jung had a .337 batting average, 21 home runs, 55 runs, 67 RBI's, 70 hits, 10 doubles, 1 triple, 4 stolen bases, and a .967 fielding percentage in 2021. Jace Jung like every other prospect in the top 10 is a 5-tool batter that checks off all the boxes. Jace Jung had a .335 batting average and 14 home runs in 2022. I'd also argue that Jace Jung is the most versatile player among the top 10 picks since you can plug him anywhere in your infield.
The 6-0 185 lb Zach Neto is a player who started all 53 games at shortstop where he had a .407 batting average hitting 15 home runs while demonstrating the ability to be a 5-tool batter. The Angels were looking at Bubba Chandler at 9 a year ago, and they get their future shortstopby drafting the 2021 and 2022 Big South Player Of The Year at 13.
The 5-8 178 lb Jett Williams improved his batting average in all four seasons with Rockwall-Heath High School. Jett Williams had a .310 batting average as a freshman in 2019, a .346 batting average as a sophomore in 2020, a .347 batting average as a junior in 2021, and a .423 batting average as a senior. He also has the ceiling to develop into a 15-20 home run hitter in the MLB once he fills out his frame. Jett Williams has 5-tool ability.
Cole Young would have been a better fit, but you can argue Jett Williams has more upside because he can develop into a 15. Jett Williams was my twenty sixth best player, and I mocked him at twenty seven.
The 6-2 197 lb Dylan Lesko went 11-0 with a 0.35 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched. His dominant pitching was a big reason why the Buford Wolves went 32-2 as Lesko got his team to the second round of the 6A playoffs in 2021. He had Tommy John's Sugery in April of 2022. He was a top 10 player and the top pitcher in the 2022 MLB Draft prior to receiving Tommy John's Surgery.
Dylan Lesko has a 94-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup. Lesko dominated showing elite velocity with throwing power, command with throwing accuracy on his pitches, and mechanics that you want to see from a future big league ace.
Dylan Lesko also has a 4.0 GPA and a baseball scholarship to Vanderbilt. The San Diego Padres now have a third long-term starting pitcher next to Benny Snell and MacKenzie Gore with the other guys in their starting rotation in contract years.
The 6-4 235 lb Chase DeLauter gives Cleveland a future College Batter. His upside is big though as he had a .386 batting average and 6 home runs as a freshman redshirt in 2021. Chase DeLauter had a .437 batting average and 8 home runs as a sophomore redshirt in 2022. Chase DeLauter is currently a top 15 pick with 5-tool ability for a batter and he'll join Steven Kwan and maybe Myles Straw down the road in Cleveland allowing Straw to move to right fielder.
Philadelphia drafts a the best player on the board at 14. The 6-3 175 lb Justin Crawford is the son of Carl Crawford. Justin Crawford had a .484 batting average, 5 home runs, 40 RBI"s and 17 stolen bases in 2022. Justin Crawford also had a .553 on-base percentage in 2022 while demonstrating 5-tool ability. Justin Crawford is the only outfielder versatile enough to play all three outfielder spots at center fielder, left fielder, or right fielder with center fielder being his main position.
The Reds grab Chipola third baseman Cam Collier at 13. The 6-2 210 lb Cam Collier ha a .333 batting aveage, 8 home runs, and 47 RBI's in 2022. Cam Collier can come up to the MLB in 2025 when Mike Moustakas has an expiring contract at third baseman.
Oakland drafts a the best player on the board at 19 getting my eleventh best overall player here. The 6-4 205 lb catcher had a .335 batting average and 12 home runs as a freshman in 2021. Daniel Susac had a .366 batting average and 12 home runs while demonstrating 5-tool ability in 2022. Daniel Susac is the best player on the board and an awesome upgrade for a team that wants a home run threat at catcher.
Oakland now has Sean Murphy, Sean Langliers the Baylor catcher that Oakland got in the Matt Olsen trade with the Atlanta Braves, and Daniel Susac now. It will be interesting to see how the Athletics approach this situation at catcher.
The 6-1 190 lb Owen Murphy is a two-way player. He can bat or pitch like Shohei Ohtani. I see him as more of a pitcher though and I don't see him as someone with Ohtani's ceiling.
Owen Murphy had a .401 batting average 1.69 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 2019 as a freshman. He missed his 2020 sophomore season mainly due to Covid-19. Owen Murphy came back as a junior with a .453 batting average, a 6-1 record, 0.33 ERA, and 97 strikeouts in 2021. Owen Murphy had a 0.12 ERA 137 strikeouts, a .548 batting average, and 18 home runs as a senior before winning Gatorade player of the year in the State of Illinois. Owen Murphy gives Atlanta a prospect to develop for the future.
Owen Murphy has a low 90's fastball, an 85-mile per hour slider, and a cutter fastball which is his third pitch. Owen Murphy has one of the better cutter fastballs in this draft.
The 5-11 162 lb Cole Young is versatile enough to play shortstop, second base, or center fielder. In 2014, he won MLB's national Pitch, Hit, and Run Competition for 9-10 year olds. Eight years later, Cole Young is eligible for the 2022 MLB Draft. Cole Young led my former High School North Allegheny to a 6A WPIAL Title in Baseball in 2021.
Cole Young had a .437 batting average, 33 runs, 31 hits, 25 walks, 23 RBI's, 19 stolen bases, 6 home runs, 4 doubles, and 4 triples. Cole Young only struck out 5 times in 71 at bats in 2021 during North Allegheny's run to a WPIAL. He's extremely disciplined as an academic and an athlete with a baseball scholarship to Duke.
Cole Young had a .433 batting average, 2 home runs, and 8 stolen bases in 2022. Cole Young got off to a hot start, but cooled off down the stretch. I scouted him in person for two games against Mt. Lebanon and the WPIAL Tournament game against Upper St. Clair. Seattle needed a shortstop and they got their man with Cole Young. Cole Young has the defensive ability to be future Gold Glove candidate plus Young may have 5-tool potential if he can improve the power in his bat.
St. Louis takes a pitcher here with no depth in their starting rotation outside of their ace Adam Wainwright. The 6-3 220 Cooper Hjerpe went 11-2 in 17 starts with a 2.53 ERA. Cooper Hjerpe led the NCAA with 160 strikeouts in 2022 striking out 10 or more batters on ten different occasions.
Toronto grabs the best pitcher on the board with Cy Young candidate Robbie Ray now on the Seattle Mariners. The 6-2 180 lb Brandon Barriera went 5-0 with a 2.27 ERA in 2022. Brandon Barriera has a 99-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 95-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a curveball, changeup, and slider that he learned from 2021 first round pick Andrew Painter who used to throw bullpen sessions with Brandon Barriera growing up.
The 6-0 165 lb Mikey Romero is versatile enough to play shortstop and third base. He's got a baseball scholarship to LSU as well if he wants to try to boost his draft stock assuming he fails to go in the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft. Realistically, Mikey Romero could go anywhere between the second and third round of the 2022 MLB Draft. Boston drafted a shortstop for the third year in a row.
The New York Yankees get a player with a similar build to Aaron Judge. The 6-7 225 lb Spencer Jones had a .370 batting average, .460 on-base percentage, 85 hits, 62 runs, 12 home runs, 60 RBI's, and 14 stolen bases in 2022. Spencer Jones was only picked off once on 15 stolen base attempts demonstrating traits of a potential 5-tool batter.
Spencer Jones is versatile enough to play both right fielder and first base. I'm guessing the Yankees are grooming Spencer Jones to succeed Anthony Rizzo at first base.
The White Sox get the best player on their board in the second round with Noah Schultz. Noah Schultz is an interesting High School pitcher prospect with the floor of reliever Andrew Miller and the ceiling of Randy Johnson.
The 6-9 220 lb Noah Schultz has an MLB ready 98-mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 97-mile per hour 2-seam fastball, an 84-mile per hour changeup and an 83-mile per hour slider slider that have improved in terms of velocity and command. I've seen Noah Schultz mocked as high as ninth overall to the Kansas City Royals. He's a second round prospect thanks to getting mononucleosis. He recovered from that, but needed some time to regain his form. I felt like Chicago reached.
The Brewers get a nice shorstop prospect at 27 who some had graded as high as thirty third overall. One person who ranked infielders in College baseball believes Eric Brown Jr. has a higher ceiling than any infielder in the 2022 MLB Draft.
The Astros get their replacement to George Springer here. The 5-9 185 lb Drew Gilbert had a .362 batting average, 60 runs, 11 home runs, and a .991 fielding percentage in 2022. The 2022 SEC Tournament MVP has 5-tool potential if he can improve his ability to steal bases.
Drafting Drew Gilbert allows the Astros to reload at center fielder here. This is the best center fielder Houston has drafted since taking George Springer out of Connecticut eleventh overall back in 2011.
The Tampa Bay Rays took the 113th best player here. Xavier Isaac was the ony player that didn't make my two round mock draft to get picked in the first round. Tampa Bay could have drafted this player later.
The 6-4 235 lb Reggie Crawford can pitch out of the bullpen or start, but he's got more experience out of the bullpen. He also led Connecticut with 13 home runs despite playing first base as well as pitcher. San Francisco is probably drafting Reggie Crawford, hoping for a starting pitcher at 30. Tommy John's Surgery kept Reggie Crawford from pitching in 2022 and he just feels like a bulllpen guy. Crawford was a top 10 pick for me in 2021 before his Tommy John's Surgery which is why the Giants got a C- grade at 30.