2022 MLB Draft: Day One Recap

© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Below is team-by-team analysis of last night’s draft activity. Remember that you can find more detailed scouting reports and tool grades for the players drafted over on The Board.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
2 1 60 Druw Jones CF 18.6 Wesleyan HS (GA) Everything
34 59 40+ Landon Sims MIRP 21.5 Mississippi State Plus FB/SLD combo
43 84 40 Ivan Melendez 1B 22.5 Texas Elite Raw Power

Arizona got the consensus best player in the draft in Druw Jones, and he stands a chance to help alter the course of their franchise. Folks in the game think drive and determination is a separator when it comes to successfully rehabbing from Tommy John, and if his on-mound presence is any indication, Comp Pick bulldog righty Landon Sims seems to have that. Ivan Melendez has among the most raw power in this draft and was the most outstanding player in college baseball in 2022 after making adjustments that led to fewer strikeouts.

Atlanta Braves
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
20 38 45 Owen Murphy SP 18.8 Riverside-Brookfield HS (IL) FB/CRV, Athleticism
35 39 45 JR Ritchie SP 19.0 Bainbridge HS (WA) FB/CRV, Projection
57 120 35+ Cole Phillips SP 19.1 Boerne HS (TX) Velocity
76 HM 40 Blake Burkhalter MIRP 21.8 Auburn Velo, Plus Cutter

Atlanta had a remarkable first day, taking three high school pitchers and a late-season pop-up college arm. Owen Murphy and JR Ritchie both have prototypical prep pitching profiles as projectable righties with vertically-oriented fastball/breaking ball combinations. Phillips had a huge velo boost this spring, into the upper-90s, then blew out. The Braves will need to polish his secondaries after his TJ rehab. Burkhalter’s stuff was incredible during the College World Series, another “tip-of-the-iceberg” prospect for the Braves. He could end up with three above-average pitches. Part of why he fell is because his delivery features a lot of effort that points to the bullpen.

Baltimore Orioles
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
1 2 55 Jackson Holliday SS 18.6 Stillwater HS (OK) Everything
33 45 45 Dylan Beavers RF 20.9 California Power, Speed, Frame
42 72 40 Max Wagner 3B 20.9 Clemson Hitter’s Timing/Hands
67 26 45 Jud Fabian CF 21.8 Florida Power, CF Glove

The Orioles probably didn’t cut a ton with Jackson Holliday up top, and might just think he was the best player in the draft. They then took three college hitters, two with hit tool risk (Dylan Beavers’ swing is odd, while Jud Fabian struggles with velo at the letters) but big power and upside. The other, Max Wagner, keeps with Baltimore’s recent penchant for college hitters who had a great draft year without a long-term track record (Reed Trimble and John Rhodes last year).

Boston Red Sox
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
24 37 45 Mikey Romero SS 18.5 Orange Lutheran HS (CA) Contact, MIF Fit
41 HM 35+ Cutter Coffey SS 18.2 Liberty HS (CA) Bat Speed, Arm
79 HM 35+ Roman Anthony OF 18.2 Stoneman Douglas HS (FL) Power

The Red Sox took three prepsters here. The first, Mikey Romero, fits with Boston’s recent hit tool-driven high school picks. He is probably a second baseman. I liked Cutter Coffey better as a pitcher during his showcase summer, but he’s grown and so has his bat speed. I had hit tool questions last summer, which is part of why I liked him on the mound. SoCal high school pitching is typically quite good, and data-oriented teams seem to be more confident in on-paper hitter production during varsity play. Roman Anthony is a lefty-hitting outfield version of a similar offensive skill set.

Chicago Cubs
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
7 12 45+ Cade Horton SP 20.9 Oklahoma Fastball/Slider Combo
47 43 45 Jackson Ferris SIRP 18.5 IMG Academy (FL) Projection, 3-Pitch Mix

I don’t know for sure whether the Cubs cut an under-slot deal with Cade Horton, but based on the pre-draft rumors about them looking to cut at pick No. 7, and the Jackson Ferris pick in round two, I’d guess they did. Horton was rumored to be ticketed for close to $4 million before the draft, which would be a $1.7 million cut. Jackson Ferris, I’m told, was looking for “Top 20 money,” which means about $3.5 million, about $2 million above slot at his pick.

Chicago White Sox
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
26 56 40+ Noah Schultz SP 18.9 Oswego East HS (IL) Projection, Slider
62 69 40 Peyton Pallette SP 21.2 Arkansas FB/CRV Combo

The White Sox went back to the prep pitching well after their last couple of tries have ranged from “fine?” (Matthew Thompson) to “not fine” (Jared Kelley and Andrew Dalquist). I had Noah Schultz ranked where I did because of how I tend to feel about prep pitching in general, more than anything specific about him. His size and arm slot are unique. Peyton Pallette, who is coming off of TJ, gives the Sox a shot to acquire more upside in the second round than you would ordinarily expect to, because he fell due to his injury. There are some teams that are skeptical of him because even when he was healthy and touching 99 mph, he wasn’t dominating.

Cincinnati Reds
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
18 9 45+ Cam Collier 3B 17.6 Chipola JC Youth, Performance, Arm
32 75 40 Sal Stewart 3B 18.6 Westminster Christian HS (FL) Hit/Power Combo
55 78 40 Logan Tanner C 21.7 Mississippi State Defense, Power
73 NR 35 Justin Boyd CF 21.3 Oregon State Speed

Cam Collier’s bonus sounds like it’s close to $5 million, $1.4 million over slot. Sal Stewart was rumored to be considering pulling his name out of the draft to go to Vanderbilt; I have to think his deal is going to be for slot. Let’s assume Logan Tanner is under slot for about the gap between where he was picked and where I ranked him (roughly $500,000). That leaves another $900,000 to cut the rest of the way, which seems doable, and a chunk of it was probably recouped via the Justin Boyd pick.

Cleveland Guardians
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
16 21 45 Chase DeLauter RF 20.8 James Madison Cape Stats, Hit/Power Combo
37 42 45 Justin Campbell SP 21.4 Oklahoma State Changeup, Projection
54 31 45 Parker Messick SP 21.7 Florida State Changeup, Command

The Guardians continue to stick to their guns and execute a similar draft-day plan every year. Chase DeLauter’s big picture profile (crushed the Cape) is better than he looked recently (Florida State arms made him look silly, and he got hurt), which has been Cleveland’s M.O. several times in the past (Ethan Hankins, Shane Bieber, and a few that didn’t pop like Andrew Calica). Then they followed that up with strike-throwing college pitchers who have good secondary stuff, but don’t throw all that hard, players who they tend to make throw hard. They might be one of the teams on Tucson high school infielder Demetrio Crisantes during Day Two.

Colorado Rockies
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
10 33 45 Gabriel Hughes SP 20.9 Gonzaga Velocity, Size
31 46 40+ Sterling Thompson RF 21.0 Florida Sweet Lefty Swing
38 70 40 Jordan Beck RF 21.2 Tennessee Power
50 111 35+ Jackson Cox SP 18.8 Toutle Lake (WA) Curveball

I like the players the Rockies took, I’m just not sure I like where they got them. It’s possible I totally miscalculated what Gabriel Hughes’ market was, but he seemed ticketed for the back third of the first round, and I assumed when he was picked that it was going to be for less than slot. It’s possible it was, and the Rockies still have money to play with, but if that’s true, they didn’t put it anywhere on Day One. Sterling Thompson went where I think he should have. I’m lower on Jordan Beck relative to the industry because of how frequently he swings inside sliders. Both Hughes and Jackson Cox have sinker-oriented fastballs.

Detroit Tigers
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
12 20 45 Jace Jung 2B 21.8 Texas Tech Hit/Power Combo
51 10 45+ Peyton Graham SS 21.5 Oklahoma Power, Frame, 70 Arm

I actually had Peyton Graham ranked ahead of Jace Jung despite legitimate concerns about the former’s hit tool because I think that Graham can not only stay at shortstop, but might be special there, and he has rare power for such a good defender. It’s possible Jung is for less than slot, as teams picking close to 20 thought he had a chance to fall to them. Some teams had “round this guy down” thoughts on Graham’s makeup (sorry, I know that folks don’t like vague bad makeup talk, but that’s what I was told and it was kept vague), which might have contributed to his fall. Even with that in mind, I thought Detroit had a great first day.

Houston Astros
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
28 16 45 Drew Gilbert CF 21.8 Tennessee Contact, Speed, Compete
64 68 40 Jacob Melton CF 21.8 Oregon St. Power, Speed
80 124 35+ Andrew Taylor SP 20.8 Central Michigan Fastball Carry

I had Drew Gilbert ranked in the middle of the first round and the Astros got him at the back. He has a chance to move quickly. I’m not the biggest Jacob Melton fan because his swing and propensity to chase scare me, but I had him ranked almost exactly where he was picked. If they can dial in either the swing or approach, Melton’s power and speed will play. Andrew Taylor’s vertical action fastball is right in the Astros’ wheelhouse. Watching Michael Bourn, whose big league debut I witnessed, announce Houston’s picks sent me through the Stargate.

Kansas City Royals
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
9 15 45 Gavin Cross CF 21.4 Virginia Tech Well-Rounded, Bat-to-Ball
49 47 40+ Cayden Wallace 3B 20.9 Arkansas Power, Arm Strength

Nothing too cute here, the Royals just took two good college hitters in about the spots I had them ranked. Gavin Cross has a well-rounded offensive skill set and a decent shot to stay in center field. Cayden Wallace, who is young for the college class, hit for power against SEC pitching for two years, though he has some whiff risk.

Los Angeles Angels
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
13 5 50 Zach Neto 2B 21.4 Campbell Everything

I think the Angels got arguably the steal of the first round in pint-sized powder keg Zach Neto, who I had ranked fifth and consider one of the top 100 prospects in baseball. He’s athletic enough to maintain his high-octane swing and still make tons of contact, and the full-body swing enables him to surprise you with power despite his size.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
40 32 45 Dalton Rushing C 21.4 Louisville Bat-to-Ball, Def Projection

Like the Braves, the Dodgers are another team that likes “tip-of-the-iceberg” types, and Dalton Rushing, who sat behind Henry Davis in previous years, is exactly that. He’s a bat-first catcher who needs polish on defense, but that might only be due to a lack of reps.

Miami Marlins
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
6 8 50 Jacob Berry DH 21.2 LSU Hit/Power Combo
46 63 40+ Jacob Miller SP 18.9 Liberty Union HS (OH) Breaking Ball Quality

Chalk pick with Jacob Berry, who rakes and could be the fastest-moving hitter in this draft if it weren’t for his defensive issues, which will be the developmental focal point for me as he traverses pro ball. Jacob Miller has one hell of a breaking ball, and the moment of friendship he shared with his high school teammate was one of the night’s highlights. He’s another example of the Marlins being on guys with hittable fastball shape.

Milwaukee Brewers
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
27 35 45 Eric Brown Jr. 2B 21.6 Coastal Carolina Bat-to-Ball, Athleticism
63 24 45 Jacob Misiorowski SP 20.3 Crowder College Frame, Arm Strength
72 44 45 Robert Moore 2B 20.3 Arkansas MIF Fit, Switch-Hit

I’m over the moon for the Brewers’ first day. I believe in Eric Brown Jr.’s bat and athleticism, though I don’t think he’s a shortstop. He still belonged toward the back of the first round. Jason Misiorowski has some of the best pure stuff in the draft, and there’s not another pitcher in this class (except maybe for some of the lankier high schoolers, like Noah Schultz) who has his physical projection. The power, athleticism and balance of his delivery at the Combine was incredible, and he probably has developmental meat on the bone coming out of a JUCO. His command badly needs to level up, but if it does, he’s going to be a monster. While Robert Moore slid down my rankings from the fall (he was inside my top 10), I barely moved his FV (45+ to 45) because I still really like his overall profile as a young, switch-hitting, up-the-middle player who seems driven to make himself strong enough to do damage.

Minnesota Twins
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
8 3 55 Brooks Lee SS 21.4 Cal Poly Breaking Ball Recog, MIF Fit
48 27 45 Connor Prielipp SIRP 21.5 Alabama Slider
68 66 40 Tanner Schobel SS 21.1 Virginia Tech Defense, Compete

After all the “Brooks Lee wants a West coast/AZ spring training team” talk, he’s won an annual February trip to lovely Fort Myers (ride a rented bike across Sanibel Island, you’ll love it). He was simply too good for the Twins to pass on despite concerns about his injury history. Given how bad the Twins bullpen has been, I do wonder if they’d consider pushing Connor Prielipp and his great slider up the ladder quickly, but that’d be a tough ask of someone who hasn’t pitched in any competitive setting for a couple of years. Tanner Schobel is one of the best shortstop defenders in the draft and a high-probability big league utility man.

New York Mets
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
11 6 50 Kevin Parada LF 20.9 Georgia Tech Hit/Power Combo
14 17 45 Jett Williams CF 18.7 Rockwall-Heath HS (TX) Speed, Bat-to-Ball
52 34 45 Blade Tidwell SP 21.1 Tennessee Arm Strength
75 NR 35 Nick Morabito OF 19.2 Gonzaga HS (DC) Bat Speed, Foot Speed

Kevin Parada falling this deep is one of the shockers of Day One, in line with Brady House’s fall last year. For all of the hand-wringing over how creative the Mets might be, a great hitter just fell into their laps. They took Jett Williams, as expected, with their next pick. Williams is in the “short but not small” body type bucket, as he’s made himself big and strong over the last eight months or so. Hard-throwing Blade Tidwell was solid value in the second round after he entered the spring as one of the better college arms, then got off to a delayed start due to a shoulder issue. He was throwing very hard once he returned, but his delivery is rather violent. I’m not a huge Nick Morabito guy due to his body composition (he’s projectionless) and swing, but he’s adept at getting on top of high fastballs and runs pretty well.

New York Yankees
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
25 28 45 Spencer Jones RF 21.2 Vanderbilt Elite Power Projection
61 22 45 Drew Thorpe SP 20.8 Cal Poly Slider/Changeup, Command

I think Spencer Jones is a worthy late-first round gamble because there’s going to be ridiculous power here at physical maturity. He’s more athletic than anyone his size has a right to be, and his underclass struggles were due to a lack of reps and because he was still growing into his body. I had Drew Thorpe ranked toward the back of the first round because of his secondary pitch quality and command, and now he’s with an org that’s going to help his fastball play better, which will help him really take off.

Oakland Athletics
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
19 30 45 Daniel Susac C 21.2 Arizona Hit/Power Combo
56 HM 35+ Henry Bolte OF 19.0 Paolo Alto HS (CA) Power, Speed
69 HM 35+ Clark Elliott RF 21.8 Michigan Well-Rounded, Compete

There’s swing-and-miss risk in this contingent. Daniel Susac has rare power for a catcher and also has pretty good tactile feel to hit, with a 2-to-1 ball-in-play to whiff ratio. He also had a high rate of chase (36% is pretty big), and either of those elements could make or break him. The track record of U of A hitters not named Kenny Lofton or J.T. Snow (since I’ve been alive, anyway) is middling, and I think Pac pitching isn’t good and Tucson is friendly to hitters. Henry Bolte is a big, strong, athletic kid with huge power and speed, but he didn’t make my pre-draft 125 due to hit tool concerns. Clark Elliott has a more polished, well-rounded game and continues a recent run of Michigan Men heading to Oakland; his predecessors (Blake Beers, Jack Weisenburger, Jeff Criswell) have looked good when healthy.

Philadelphia Phillies
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
17 13 45+ Justin Crawford CF 18.5 Bishop Gorman HS (NV) Speed, Bat-to-Ball, Proj.

Boy oh boy, the Phillies have had three straight years of taking extreme variance/upside prospects in the first round, and here they land Justin Crawford, who is like a Ferrari with bat control.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
4 4 55 Termarr Johnson 2B 18.1 Mays HS (GA) Everything
36 65 40 Thomas Harrington SP 21.0 Campbell Command, Slider, Athleticism
44 71 40 Hunter Barco SP 21.6 Florida Deception, Slider, Splitter

If you haven’t seen Termarr Johnson’s on-air interview, go watch it. This kid has a special way about him, and he is coming to your city to hit dingers into the river and rearrange your summer evening plans. Pittsburgh took two lower-slot (Harrington is low-ish) college arms with their next two picks. Thomas Harrington is one of the best on-mound athletes in this draft class, while we might see more splitters from Hunter Barco in pro ball (I thought it was his best pitch in high school) once he’s back from TJ.

San Diego Padres
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
15 7 50 Dylan Lesko SP 18.8 Buford HS (GA) Everything
39 64 40+ Robby Snelling SP 18.6 McQueen HS (NV) Curveball, Compete
53 50 40+ Adam Mazur SP 21.2 Iowa Athleticism, Breaking Ball

The Dylan Lesko buzz around San Diego was true. If not for his TJ, he’d have been a top 10 (maybe top five) pick, and if not for the very last phone call I made Saturday night, I’d have left him in the Padres’ spot on my mock. Robby Snelling’s delivery scares me to death, but the Padres love pitchability lefties with (insert Sam Cassell celebration .gif) and Snelling is absolutely that, a tough guy with a plus breaking ball. They need to help Adam Mazur throw hard consistently to get the most out of him. For a while, he looked like a late first rounder, then his velo tanked late in the year.

San Francisco Giants
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
30 88 40 Reggie Crawford SIRP 21.6 UConn Arm Strength, Power
66 18 45 Carson Whisenhunt SP 21.7 East Carolina Changeup

Reggie Crawford was announced as a two-way player. As he was throwing very hard with Team USA, I assumed he would be considered a pitcher only, and because he struggled so badly to land his slider and his delivery was so violent, I was skeptical of him. He has a sweet-looking lefty swing, but swung and missed a ton against changeups and breaking balls (a handful more whiffs than balls in play at UConn, on the Cape, and with Team USA in 2021) before he blew out and didn’t have a junior year. I’m on the lower end of the spectrum on Crawford, but am prepared to eat crow if it means the Giants can actually turn him into a two-way player. While he builds innings coming off of TJ rehab, he’ll have an opportunity to spend part of the season hitting, and the Giants have become great at dev, so this might work. Pitchers like Carson Whisenhunt typically go in the back third of the first round.

Seattle Mariners
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
21 19 45 Cole Young SS 19.0 North Allegheny HS (PA) Defense, Contact
58 23 45 Tyler Locklear 1B 21.6 VCU Hit/Power Combo
74 61 40+ Walter Ford SP 17.5 Pace HS (FL) Projection, Breaking Ball

A killer Day One for the Mariners. Cole Young’s glove and contact ability should enable him to at least be a good utility man, and if he ends up with a plus bat, he’ll just be a good everyday shortstop. I had Tyler Locklear in the back of the first round, and think he has one of the best hit/power combos in the draft, just locked at 1B/DH. Walter Ford’s frame and breaking ball are exciting in a system that has been good at developing pitchers.

St. Louis Cardinals
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
22 29 45 Cooper Hjerpe SP 21.3 Oregon State Deception, Command
59 73 40 Brycen Mautz SP 21.0 San Diego Slider Command

The Cardinals took two pitchability lefties with average stuff. Cooper Hjerpe’s delivery is weird, but he’s loose, athletic, and disorients hitters (especially lefties), while Brycen Mautz commands the heck out of a slider and is yet another sinker-oriented pitcher drafted by the Cardinals.

Tampa Bay Rays
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
29 HM 35+ Xavier Isaac 1B 18.6 East Forsyth HS (NC) Power
65 HM 35+ Brock Jones RF 21.3 Stanford Power, Speed
70 77 40 Chandler Simpson 2B 21.6 Georgia Tech Bat-to-Ball, Speed
71 109 35+ Ryan Cermak RF 21.1 Illinois State Power

Tampa Bay has had maybe the weirdest draft so far. First rounder Xavier Isaac is an unathletic first baseman with power to all fields, an interesting player who probably took an under-slot deal as part of a grander plan. I am bearish about both Brock Jones and Ryan Cermak’s ability to actually hit; we should watch how their swings evolve in pro ball. Jones can’t get on top of pitches at the top of the zone, and Cermak doesn’t track the baseball well. All Chandler Simpson does is put the bat on the ball and haul ass to first; he could not be a more different baseball player than the Rays’ other three picks.

Texas Rangers
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
3 60 40+ Kumar Rocker SP 22.7 Vanderbilt Velo, Slider, Compete

It sounds like Kumar Rocker’s deal is for a little north of $5 million, saving the Rangers about $2.5 million in pool space. Because they don’t pick again until 109, it’s unlikely that they can target any individual player there, and I think they’re more likely to spread that out to many players in the mid-six-figure bonus range. Rocker going this high was a surprise, and it was absolutely delightful to tell the chat and those sitting around me at the draft that things were about to go off the rails. I hope Rocker stays healthy and shoves, but it’s very strange to me that his arm slot is nearly 90 degrees lower than it was 12 months ago.

Toronto Blue Jays
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
23 25 45 Brandon Barriera SP 18.4 American Heritage HS (FL) Athleticism, Velo, Slider
60 36 45 Josh Kasevich 3B 21.5 Oregon Bat-to-Ball
77 54 40+ Tucker Toman 2B 18.7 Hammond HS (SC) Switch-Hit, Power
78 48 40+ Cade Doughty 3B 21.3 LSU Power, SEC Performer

Brandon Barriera is supposed to be over slot, but there’s no obvious under-slot guy mixed into Toronto’s first day. Barriera and his delivery are similar to Ricky Tiedemann with less physicality. Josh Kasevich has one of the best hit tools in the draft. Tucker Toman’s pre-draft number was supposedly close to $2.5 million, which means he might also be way over slot, and Cade Doughty isn’t an obvious cut. I expect Toronto’s second day to be heavy on seniors.

Washington Nationals
Pick Rank FV Name Position Age School Strengths
5 11 45+ Elijah Green CF 18.6 IMG Academy (FL) Elite Power, Speed
45 55 40+ Jake Bennett SP 21.6 Oklahoma Frame, Changeup

I’m a little skeptical of Elijah Green’s ability to play center field, but he is immensely talented, has huge upside, and is fine pick at No. 5. Jake Bennett gives the Nationals yet another pitcher from Oklahoma with an ideal frame and burgeoning arm strength.

Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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1 year ago

How in the world did you publish this so fast? Great work as always.