The 2022 MLB draft begins on July 17 in Los Angeles. This year’s class is deep with position players. The pitching crop has multiple high-end prep arms while the college class is less talented, especially after numerous pitchers suffered season-ending injuries.
With the draft rapidly approaching, there is becoming more clarity on where players might fall in the draft. Since my last mock draft in May, numerous players have enhanced their draft stock. Below is a look at a mock draft of the first round.
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1. Baltimore Orioles: Druw 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. He has five-tool potential.
The top of the prep class is deep, but most talent evaluators believe Jones is the top prospect in the draft.
If the Orioles decide to go underslot, they could turn to junior college third baseman Cam Collier or prep second baseman Termarr Johnson.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater (Okla.) HS
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound left-handed hitting shortstop has notable bat-to-ball skills. His hitting ability and bat speed cause scouts to believe he will hit for above-average power in pro ball.
Defensively, Holliday is athletic and possesses solid arm strength.
Holliday has notable bloodlines, as he is the son of seven-time MLB All-Star Matt Holliday. He is an Oklahoma State commit where his uncle, Justin, is the head coach.
Holliday has soared up draft boards this year. I ranked him as the 30th-best prospect before the season. But now, Holliday has solidified himself as a top-three pick and is in the mix to go first overall.
3. Texas Rangers: Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola College
Collier was one of the top prep prospects in the 2023 class until he reclassified in August 2021. He then graduated high school early and enrolled at Chipola College for the spring semester. He is just 17 years old and performed at the junior college level this spring.
Collier consistently squares up the ball and drives the ball to all parts of the field. He is an exciting prospect who can hit and might move quicker than a typical teenager through the minor leagues.
Read a detailed feature story on Collier and his skills here.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Fla.)
Green is a quality prep prospect who has an exciting toolset. A year ago, scouts thought Green was one of the top prep players in the last five years. Other players have played themselves ahead of Green this spring, but it doesn’t diminish the ability and potential Green possesses.
There aren’t many holes in Green’s game. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound outfielder has elite speed and exceptional arm strength. He has five-tool potential. It would not surprise scouts if Green became the top player from this year’s draft class.
5. Washington Nationals: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
Parada is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound catcher known for his offensive ability. He uses a mature approach and drives the ball to all fields with authority. He displays an impressive ability to hit for average and power. Scouts are split on if he can remain at catcher long term.
Read a detailed feature story on Parada and his skills here.
6. Miami Marlins: Termarr Johnson, 2B, Mays (Ga.) HS
Johnson has one of the best pure hitting abilities in this draft class. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound left-handed hitter has the best pure hitting ability in the class. He also has exceptional bat speed and uses his compact swing to drive the ball with authority.
7. Chicago Cubs: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
Lee is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound switch-hitting shortstop with a well-rounded toolset. He’s an aggressive hitter with respectable power, an above-average hit tool and the ability to drive the ball to all fields.
He is athletic and possesses plenty of arm strength. I believe he can remain at shortstop long term, but some scouts feel he is better suited at third base.
Read a detailed feature story on Lee and his skills here.
8. Minnesota Twins: Jacob Berry, 1B/OF, Louisiana State
Berry hits for average and above-average power to all parts of the field. He is an offensive-first player with all his value tied to his bat. While he is one of the top hitters in this class, scouts are split on what position he profiles at in pro ball.
9. Kansas City Royals: Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama
Prielipp, a Wisconsin native, has hardly pitched in his college career. He is working his way back from Tommy John surgery but has thrown recently for scouts.
Scouts rave about Prielipp’s potential. If he was healthy and dominating opposing hitters, he would be in the mix to go first overall. The Royals aren’t afraid to draft pitchers high, and Prielipp has frontline starter potential when healthy.
10. Colorado Rockies: Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
Cross hits for plenty of power and might have the best hit tool in the college class. Defensively, Cross will stick in right field long-term, as he has above-average arm strength and athleticism.
Read a detailed feature story on Cross and his skills here.
11. New York Mets: Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman (NV) HS
Carl Crawford’sCrawford’s son has a huge upside with above-average speed and quality defensive skills. At the plate, the left-handed hitter hits more for average than power but has the potential to be an exciting hitter in the pro ranks. He will stick in center field long term.
12. Detroit Tigers: Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech
Jung is a 6-foot, 200-pound left-handed hitter with above-average skills at the plate. He has an advanced approach and hits for average and power. He also displays impressive plate discipline.
Read a detailed feature story on Jung and his skills here.
13. Los Angeles Angels: Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage (Fla.) HS
Barriera attacks the strike zone with his low-to-mid-90s fastball, advanced changeup and solid breaking pitch. Scouts rave about his willingness to pitch aggressively and fill up the strike zone. He has some of the best stuff in the prep class.
14. New York Mets: Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary’s (Mich.) Prep
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound righty throws a mid-90s fastball that has touched 99 mph and features movement. Porter throws his fastball with ease. It is the best fastball in the prep class. Porter’s slider and curveball are quality-breaking pitches. He also shows a tremendous feel for his above-average changeup. The Mets have had plenty of interest in Porter throughout the draft cycle.
15. San Diego Padres: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford (Ga.) HS
Lesko was the clear-cut top prep arm in the draft until undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. Some still believe he is worthy of going in the top 10 due to his pitches and ace potential, according to sources.
He is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, and throws a mid-90s fastball from an athletic and repeatable delivery. Lesko’s fastball, curveball and changeup are all above-average offerings. His changeup might be the best in the 2022 draft.
16. Cleveland Guardians: 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.
17. Philadelphia Phillies: Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga
Hughes has improved his draft status this spring, moving into the conversation as the top college arm. He has the intangibles, repertoire, and makeup scouts seek in a starting pitcher.
Read a detailed feature story on Hughes and his skills here.
18. Cincinnati Reds: Zach Neto, SS, Campbell
Neto uses a short, compact swing to barrel up pitches and hit for average and power. 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. Some scouts believe Neto profiles best at second base. But Neto’s skills and athleticism give him a chance to remain at shortstop long-term.
Read a detailed feature story on Neto and his skills here.
19. Oakland Athletics: Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee
Gilbert is a 5-foot-9, 185-pound center fielder with a well-balanced toolset and a team-first and energetic personality that teammates gravitate towards.
Offensively, the left-handed hitter drives the ball to all fields. He shows a nice blend of power and speed. He profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter in pro ball and has a solid approach and plate discipline. Defensively, Gilbert has all the attributes to remain in center field long term.
Read a detailed feature story on Gilbert and his skills here.
20. Atlanta Braves: Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State
Hjerpe is a funky pitcher who has plenty of deception on the mound. He uses a low three-quarters arm slot. His fastball sits in the low-90s, while his slider is a devastating pitch due to his arm slot. An analytically-focused team will value Hjerpe and his potential.
21. Seattle Mariners: Jett Williams, SS, Rockwall-Heath (TX) HS
Williams has a quick and compact swing and drives the ball to the gaps with ease. He doesn’t swing-and-miss a lot and hits for some power.
Scouts believe Williams has a chance to stick at shortstop long-term. But they feel he can handle second base and center field in pro ball if he doesn’t remain at shortstop.
Read a detailed feature story on Williams and his skills here.
22. St. Louis Cardinals: Daniel Susac, C, Arizona
Susac is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound right-handed-hitting catcher who is an advanced player in all aspects of the game. Offensively, Susac projects as a middle-of-the-order bat with above-average power and hitting ability. He uses a simple setup at the plate and drives the ball to all parts of the field.
Read a detailed feature story on Susac and his skills here.
23. Toronto Blue Jays: Robby Snelling, LHP, McQueen (NV) HS
Snelling is soaring up draft boards this spring after a tremendous senior season. He has a notable fastball, curveball combination. Snelli has the potential and makeup to thrive in pro ball. He drew interest as a two-sport student-athlete out of high school but is only committed to LSU for baseball.
Read a detailed feature story on Snelling and his skills here.
24. Boston Red Sox: Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee
Beck is a notable athlete with five-tool potential. He is a strong, physical player who hits for above-average power to all fields due to his strength and bat speed. Defensively, Beck profiles as an above-average right fielder due to his solid speed and above-average arm strength.
Read a detailed feature story on Beck and his skills here.
25. New York Yankees: Sterlin Thompson, OF, Florida
Thompson has a strong feel for hitting and an advanced approach at the plate. He has a strong hit tool and notable raw power. Thompson moved to the outfield in college after playing the infield in high school. He profiles in right field long term.
Read a detailed feature story on Thompson and his skills here.
26. Chicago White Sox: Dylan Beavers, OF, California
Beavers is a 6-foot-4, 206-pound left-handed hitting outfielder and an aggressive hitter who hits for average and power. He sometimes expands the zone due to his aggressive approach, but he has made strides at the plate to become a more polished hitter.
Read a detailed feature story on Beavers and his skills here.
27. Milwaukee Brewers: Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison
DeLauter’s season ended early due to an injury. When healthy, DeLauter is a 6-foot-4 and 235-pound outfielder with five-tool potential. He has an easy left-handed swing and hits for average and power. Scouts project him as an above-average hitter with above-average power in pro ball.
Read a detailed feature story on DeLauter and his skills here.
28. Houston Astros: Cade Horton, RHP, Oklahoma
Horton was a well-regarded prospect out of high school. After missing last year with an injury, Horton posted average results in the regular season. But during Oklahoma’s deep postseason run, Horton excelled and drastically improved his draft stock.
He boasts an above-average fastball-slider combination. There is some risk involved with Horton due to his limited track record, but he has considerable potential.
29. Tampa Bay Rays: Tucker Toman, 3B, Hammond (S.C.) HS
Toman is a switch hitter with a balanced toolset at the plate. He consistently squares up the baseball and uses all parts of the field. Defensively, scouts believe Toman possesses the potential to play numerous positions at the next level.
30. San Francisco Giants: Peyton Graham, SS, Oklahoma
Graham excelled offensively this spring, despite sometimes expanding the strike zone. He hit for plenty of power while also displaying impressive speed on the bases. Defensively, Graham presents some position versatility, but teams will give him a chance to stick at shortstop long term.
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.