The 2022 MLB draft class is one of the best classes in recent years. This year’s class features high upside prep prospects and established well-rounded college players.
With the draft about six months away, below is a look at the top 30 prospects in this year’s draft class. This list is based on personal evaluations and discussions with industry talent evaluators and advisors. The list includes 18 college and 12 high school players, with 18 position players and 12 pitchers.
1. Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays (Ga.) HS
Johnson is one of the most talented prep hitters in recent memory. 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. Johnson thrived against quality arms on the showcase circuit, showing plate discipline and an ability to hit quality-breaking pitches.
Defensively, Johnson plays shortstop in high school. Most scouts believe Johnson will move to second base. He currently has average athleticism and arm strength. Regardless of Johnson’s position, his hitting ability is his calling card at the pro level.
2. Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
Lee is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound switch-hitting shortstop with the potential to be a five-tool player in pro ball. His best traits are on the offensive side, as he is an aggressive hitter who loves to swing at the first pitch. He has respectable power, possesses an above-average hit tool and drives the ball to all fields.
Lee prefers to hit left-handed, as he has more experience against right-handed pitchers. Besides his on-the-field tools, scouts rave about his instincts, makeup and leadership traits.
Defensively, Lee plays shortstop at Cal Poly. He is athletic and possesses plenty of arm strength, but some scouts believe Lee is better suited for third base. Scouts question his range and foot speed, but Lee feels he can stick at shortstop long-term due to his baseball I.Q.
3. Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison
DeLauter, who is 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, has 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.
One skill that draws rave reviews is his plate discipline. DeLauter has a notable eye and feel for the strike zone. He has drawn 55 walks and struck out 42 times in his college career at JMU and in the Cape Cod League.
Defensively, DeLauter has a strong arm that profiles in all three outfield spots. He also has the range, athleticism and overall skills to play solid defensively. DeLauter profiles best in right field but deserves an opportunity to prove he can play center field in pro ball.
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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.