The 2022 MLB draft is about five months away. But it is never too early to look at the top prospects available in the draft, especially with the Division I college baseball season starting this week.
A lot will change between now and draft day. The outlook on the first round has already changed since the fall, with numerous pitchers suffering injuries and more information available on top prospects.
Below is a first-round mock draft based on the team records and current CBA rules. This mock draft was constructed based on industry conversations and player evaluations. You can view the BPJ 2022 MLB Draft: Mock Draft 1.0 here.
1. Baltimore Orioles: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
The last two years, the Orioles have selected college position players and used the signing bonus savings on picks later in the draft. Will that strategy change this year since they own the top overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft?
Right now, don’t be surprised if they pick Lee, the best college hitter in this year’s class. Lee is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound switch-hitting shortstop who is a well-rounded player. He’s an aggressive hitter who loves to swing at the first pitch. He also has respectable power, possesses an above-average hit tool and drives the ball to all fields.
Read a detailed feature story on Lee and his skills here.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks: Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Fla.)
Green is an elite prep prospect who has an exciting toolset. There aren’t many holes in Green’s game. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound outfielder has elite speed and exceptional arm strength. He is a refined prep talent who might be the best draft-eligible prep player in the last five years.
3. Texas Rangers: Andruw Jones, OF, Wesleyan (Ga.) HS
Jones is the son of former MLB outfielder Andruw Jones. He is a quality defensive outfielder with above-average speed and plenty of potential remaining in his game. The right-handed hitter consistently barrels up pitches and has improved his power potential over the last year.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Termarr Johnson, 2B, Mays (Ga.) HS
Johnson, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound infielder, has quick hands at the plate and consistently barrels up pitches from the left side of the plate. He profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter with an ability to hit for some power in the pro ranks. Scouts believe he has the talent to play shortstop, second base and center field at the next level.
5. Washington Nationals: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford (Ga.) HS
Lesko is the best prep arm in the 2022 MLB draft class. He is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, and throws a mid-90s fastball from an athletic and repeatable delivery. The righty has consistently performed well on the showcase circuit and has all the tools to be a high-end starter in pro ball.
6. Miami Marlins: Jace Jung, 2B/3B, Texas Tech
Jung is a tremendous hitter who uses a slightly unusual setup from the left side of the plate. He hits for average and power and had a breakout 2021 campaign. Defensively, scouts are split on Jung’s future defensive position. He is a bat-first player who profiles at second or third base long-term.
Read a detailed feature story on Jung and his skills here.
7. Chicago Cubs: Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison
DeLauter, a left-handed hitter, has thrived at the plate during his college career. He is a quality hitter who hits for power. He has experience playing all three outfield positions and deserves a shot to play center field in pro ball.
Read a detailed feature story on DeLauter and his skills here.
8. Minnesota Twins: Jacob Berry, 3B, LSU
Berry had a tremendous freshman season at Arizona last spring. He transferred to LSU in the offseason, following coach Jay Johnson. Berry hits for average and above-average power to all parts of the field. His biggest question is his future defensive position, as he might be better suited for first base.
9. Kansas City Royals: Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
Cross is a 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-handed hitting outfielder who drives the ball to all parts of the field. He also hits for plenty of power. Cross might have the best hit tool in the college class. Defensively, Cross will likely play right field.
Read a detailed feature story on Cross and his skills here.
10. Colorado Rockies: Brock Jones, OF, Stanford
Jones is an athletic outfielder who started his college career as a two-sport athlete. He is now a baseball-only athlete and has five-tool potential. Jones has an intriguing blend of power and speed.
Read a detailed feature story on Jones and his skills here.
11. New York Mets: Daniel Susac, C, Arizona
Susac is a well-rounded catcher who can impact the game offensively and defensively. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound catcher is athletic and has a strong arm. Offensively, Susac hit for average and power in 2021. He has solid strike zone discipline and a feel for hitting. Susac will remain behind the plate long-term.
Read a detailed feature story on Susac and his skills here.
12. Detroit Tigers: Carter Young, SS, Vanderbilt
Young is an advanced defensive player with arm strength and the athleticism, footwork, and hands to make all the necessary plays. Last season, the switch hitter displayed an ability to drive the ball with power. But, he needs to refine his approach and plate discipline.
Read a detailed feature story on Young and his skills here.
13. Los Angeles Angels: Brock Porter, RHP, Orchard Lake St. Marys (Mich.) HS
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound righty throws a mid-90s fastball that has touched 99 mph and features movement. His slider and curveball are quality-breaking pitches. He also shows a tremendous feel for his above-average changeup.
14. New York Mets: Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee
Tidwell has an above-average fastball that consistently hits the high-90s. Tidwell’s slider is his best secondary pitch. It generates plenty of swings and misses, and he has confidence throwing his slider in any count.
Tidwell will mist the start of the season with shoulder soreness. When healthy, he has the skills and potential to be the best pitcher in this year’s class.
Read a detailed feature story on Tidwell and his skills here.
15. San Diego Padres: Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny (Pa.) HS
The 6-foot, 180-pound shortstop is a left-handed hitter with an easy swing that allows him to drive the ball to the gaps. He currently possesses below-average power but likely will add more to his game as he matures. Either way, his hit tool will be his calling card at the next level.
16. Cleveland Guardians: Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina
Whisenhunt is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound lefty whose top pitch is his changeup. It is an above-average offering that scouts believe is the best changeup in this year’s draft class. Last year, the Guardians selected Whisenhunt’s teammate, righty Gavin Williams.
Read a detailed feature story on Whisenhunt and his skills here.
17. Philadelphia Phillies: Robert Moore, 2B, Arkansas
The switch-hitter uses a short compact swing and is more of an average over power hitter. Defensively, Moore was a high school shortstop but hasn’t played the position in college. He will play second base for Arkansas again this season. Despite scouts not seeing him at the position, some scouts believe he can handle shortstop in pro ball.
Moore has one of the highest floors among the college position player group.
18. Cincinnati Reds: Ian (JR) Ritchie, RHP, Bainbridge Island (Wash.) HS
Richie is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-hander who throws a mid-90s fastball with movement from a low-effort and repeatable delivery. He has a feel for his changeup and slider and commands both pitches well. His firm slider features late-breaking action and serves as his outpitch.
19. Oakland Athletics: Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola Junior College
Collier reclassified, graduated high school early and enrolled at Chipola Junior College. He is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound left-handed hitter with an impressive and advanced swing that looks effortless. Collier consistently squares up the ball and drives the ball to all parts of the field. He originally was one of the top prep players in the 2023 class.
Read a detailed feature story on Collier and his skills here.
20. Atlanta Braves: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
The 6-foot, 192-pound catcher is a right-handed hitter who consistently barrels up pitches. He is a complete player who has the athleticism and above-average arm strength to stick behind the plate. He also has a solid track record against the high-end competition.
Read a detailed feature story on Parada and his skills here.
21. Seattle Mariners: Jordan Sprinkle, SS, UC Santa Barbra
Sprinkle is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound shortstop who has the tools to remain at the position long-term. He has noticeable range and consistently makes more than just the routine plays. Offensively, Sprinkle offers an intriguing power and speed combination for a shortstop.
Read a detailed feature story on Sprinkle and his skills here.
22. St. Louis Cardinals: Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)
Ferris, 6-foot-4, 190-pound lefty, is a rising arm in the 2022 MLB draft class. His above-average fastball sits 93-95 mph and touches 97 mph. He has a solid curveball and changeup and displays some of the best command in the prep class. Scouts believe Ferris still has plenty of potential left to develop into a quality starter in pro ball.
23. Toronto Blue Jays: Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama
Prielipp was a draft prospect out of the Wisconsin high school ranks in 2019 but attended Alabama instead. He has served as Alabama’s top starter when healthy but has rarely pitched in his first two years due to the pandemic and then suffered an elbow injury in his first start last year.
Prielipp likely won’t pitch for Alabama this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May. If he was healthy, Prielipp would be in the conversation to go first overall. His slider is elite, while he also deploys an above-average fastball that sits in the mid-90s.
24. Boston Red Sox: Noah Schultz, LHP, Oswego East (Ill.) HS
Schultz is a 6-foot-9, 220-pound lefty who has a deceptive delivery. He repeats his delivery well. His fastball sits in the low-90s but features plenty of life.
25. New York Yankees: Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State
Sims primarily uses his elite fastball, slider combination. His fastball sits in the high-90s. This spring, he will transition to a starting role after working as a multi-inning reliever last year. Scouts are split on if Sims profiles better as a starter or closer in pro ball. If he wants to start in pro ball, he will need to develop his changeup into a quality pitch.
Read a detailed feature story on Sims and his skills here.
26. Chicago White Sox: Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas
Pallette is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-handed pitcher who has an electric arm. He uses a low-effort and repeatable delivery. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and tops out at 98 mph. Pallette’s late-breaking curveball serves as his outpitch.
Pallette will miss this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
27. Milwaukee Brewers: Zach Neto, SS, Campbell
Neto is a 6-foot, 195-pound right-handed-hitting shortstop with a short, compact swing that allows him to barrel up pitches and hit for average and power. He uses a leg kick as a timing mechanism and shows plenty of feel at the plate. He is a confident and disciplined hitter who doesn’t strike out a ton.
Defensively, Neto has above-average athleticism and plenty of range at shortstop. He also has played first base, second base and third base at Campbell. Neto, a relief pitcher at Campbell, has solid arm strength.
Read a detailed feature story on Neto and his skills here.
28. Houston Astros: Andrew Dutkanych, RHP, Brebeuf Jesuit (Ind.) HS
Dutkanych is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-handed pitcher who throws a four-seam fastball, slider, curveball and changeup from a high arm slot and athletic delivery.
He is a prototypical starting pitcher, possessing a repeatable delivery and a quality mix of pitches. His fastball hits 96 mph and features plenty of riding action.
Read a detailed feature story on Dutkanych and his skills here.
29. Tampa Bay Rays: Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage (Fla.) HS
Barriera, 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, throws from a three-quarters arm slot and uses a low-effort and repeatable delivery. He attacks the strike zone with his low-to-mid-90s fastball, advanced changeup and solid breaking pitch.
Barriera has some of the best stuff in the prep class. Scouts rave about his willingness to pitch aggressively and fill up the strike zone.
30. Los Angeles Dodgers: Hunter Barco, LHP, Florida
Scouts project Barco as one of the top prospects in the 2022 MLB draft class at the beginning of the 2021 season. But a mediocre season caused that perspective to change. Barco has plenty of talent and potential, but he needs to show that in the spring season. His fastball sits in the mid-90s.
Read a detailed feature story on Barco and his skills here.
31. San Francisco Giants: Jared McKenzie, OF, Baylor
McKenzie was a consistent producer for Baylor in his first two years. He showed improvement with his power and ability to use all parts of the field last year. The left-handed hitter also has displayed solid plate discipline.
Read a detailed feature story on McKenzie and his skills here.
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.