2022 MLB Mock Draft

© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Here is a mock draft compiled using a combination of industry rumors, deductive reasoning, and pattern recognition of teams’ past behavior. I go down to pick 40 so that I get to touch on every team at least once, but there is only verbiage explaining why I’ve mocked a player to a team for the first round. If you’d like to learn more about the players mentioned here, head over to The Board for rankings and scouting reports. I’ll be chatting live during the draft this evening at 4 PT/7 ET. In the event that I learn pertinent info in the middle of the day, I’ll have a mock of just names up shortly before the draft.

1. Baltimore Orioles
Pick: Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays HS (GA)
Baltimore likely won’t know who they’re taking until closer to draft time, as they still have about a half-dozen names in the mix. It’s possible they, like most, view Druw Jones as the best player in the draft, but general manager Mike Elias’ modus operandi has, with the exception of Adley Rutschman, been to cut an under-slot deal and reallocate the bonus pool space he saves to other picks. This draft is especially deep, and there is significant opportunity to do that. The key variable in forecasting this pick is: who among the handful of players Baltimore is considering has incentive to cut the friendliest deal for the team’s strategy? There are other important factors (more on that in a minute), but largely because Johnson seems to have landing spots a little later than others in the Orioles’ mix (Jackson Holliday could go No. 2 or 3, Brooks Lee could go No. 2 at a cut of his own and stay closer to the West Coast, and Elijah Green is in the mix at No. 3), he has more incentive to cut a deal but still make more money than he otherwise would if he falls below that group.

The other stuff? The names that seem to be in the Orioles’ mix have attributes that are a little scarier to use a 1.1 pick on (Elijah Green’s hit tool and Brooks Lee’s injury history, namely). Johnson’s bat-to-ball skills make him feel safer, he’s as likely (if not more so) to stay up the middle of the field than everyone but Jones, and from my point of view, Termarr’s personality is the kind that’s suited to deal with the pressure and attention that comes with being the first pick. Not that the others don’t — Johnson just has a way about him that I think is a separator. This pick projection is more about triangulating the best fit for this situation rather than anything coming out of the Orioles, who, like Pittsburgh last year, haven’t said a thing. Again, based on how things are being discussed right now, we won’t be sure who they’re taking until very close to draft time.

2. Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick: Druw Jones, CF, Wesleyan HS (GA)
If Jones goes first, then Jackson Holliday is the “best player available” course of action for Arizona, and the player I’d consider most likely to go here. Given how cleanly Termarr Johnson fits into what Arizona has typically targeted (compact, lefty-hitting, up-the-middle), I’m surprised how infrequently he’s mentioned as an option here. But if sincere desire were known, it might make it more likely that Jones goes first overall rather than falls here, as Termarr would have less incentive to cut a deal with Baltimore. If Arizona wants Jones, they’d be smart to have kept interest in Johnson off the radar, and maybe we’re underrating the possibility that this is true, but if you told me Druw goes No. 1, I’d still mock Holliday here.

3. Texas Rangers
Pick: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater HS (OK)
If Druw Jones goes first, and Jackson Holliday goes second, then the two names I’ve heard mentioned here are IMG HS (FL) center fielder Elijah Green and Georgia Tech thumper Kevin Parada.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates
Pick: Zach Neto, SS, Campbell
Baseball folks think Pittsburgh is either going to cut an under-slot deal here or draft with relative certainty in mind. Neto presents a combination of the two. Kevin Parada is the safer option but probably signs for slot, as he’s likely to go fifth if not here. Chipola JC third baseman Cam Collier gets mentioned with the Pirates a lot, and because his next potential landing spot seems to be the Cubs at pick No. 7, there would be about a $1.3 million difference between the slot here and what sounds like Collier’s next slot. But that’s also true of Neto, who is also next mentioned with the Cubs. The Marlins are generally described as being on “college bats,” but Neto hasn’t been specified in conversations. Also, Pittsburgh has played their cards extremely close to the vest under Ben Cherington, and the fact that Collier is freely and confidently mentioned for them indicates misdirection to me.

5. Washington Nationals
Pick: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
Too good to pass up in this situation, Parada is the only player whose name has been mentioned with Washington during my calls. LSU “third baseman” Jacob Berry has been described as “having homes all over the top 10” and it’s feasible for him to go here, but less likely if Parada is still on the board.

6. Miami Marlins
Pick: Jacob Berry, DH, LSU
This has been described to me as Termarr Johnson’s floor. As I mention in the Pirates blurb, teams are putting Miami on college bats, with Jacob Berry mentioned specifically. This is also the first place Virginia Tech center fielder Gavin Cross is suggested as a possibility.

7. Chicago Cubs
Pick: Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola JC
I’m not sure who they’d prefer if both Collier and Neto are here. Age was a key variable during Carter Hawkins’ days in Cleveland and Collier checks that box in bold, perhaps more than any player in the history of the draft (a 17-year-old playing on the Cape!?). Connor Prielipp has also come up here, but I’m skeptical of that considering his stuff is less data-friendly than it is visually explosive, especially his fastball. The Cubs would have to talk about Brooks Lee here, as even though they’re not a West Coast team, they do train in Arizona. I have to think Berry is also a possibility here, just based on value/likelihood, but that’s entirely speculation on my part.

8. Minnesota Twins
Pick: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
Lee would probably be too good to pass on here, and if not, look for the Twins to cut with a college bat. Based on talk later in the round, I don’t think Jace Jung is one of those.

9. Kansas City Royals
Pick: Elijah Green, CF, IMG Academy (FL)
Bishop Gorman (NV) center fielder Justin Crawford has also been mentioned here on an under-slot deal, but that feels less likely now that the Royals traded a comp pick away, giving them a less obvious place to reap the benefits from rolling that pool space.

10. Colorado Rockies
Pick: Cade Horton, RHP, Oklahoma
Horton is rock solid value here, though the Rockies had a ton of heat in to see Michigan high school right-hander Brock Porter late in the year.

11. New York Mets (Pick for not signing 2021 first-round pick Kumar Rocker)
Pick: Brock Porter, SP, Orchard Lakes St. Mary’s HS (MI)
The Mets need to do whatever they can to ascertain what the Angels and Tigers are doing in between their two picks, so they can take the player more likely to get popped in between here, and let whomever they view as less likely to be taken fall. Justin Crawford and Rockwall-Heath HS (TX) SS/CF Jett Williams are mentioned as possibilities, though I doubt they’d do both of them, and are more likely to diversify their class. Jace Jung might make sense for that reason, as he’s been mentioned with Detroit.

12. Detroit Tigers
Pick: Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech
I think they’d happily take Jacob Berry if he fell here and they’ve also been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Alabama left-hander Connor Prielipp.

13. Los Angeles Angels
Pick: Kumar Rocker, SP, Tri-Valley Cats (Indy)
My sources mentioned mostly high school pitching here (Brock Porter, Dylan Lesko, Brandon Barriera, Robby Snelling), but this makes a lot of sense. The Angels seem motivated to move college pitching through the minors very quickly, and Rocker may only have so many bullets left. He’s also performed under immense pressure and attention in the past — this isn’t someone who might be overwhelmed by suddenly joining an underachieving, star-studded team in one of our largest media markets.

14. New York Mets
Pick: Jett Williams, CF, Rockwall-Heath HS (TX)

15. San Diego Padres
Pick: Gavin Cross, CF, Virginia Tech
I’ve also heard the Padres on Dylan Lesko and Kumar Rocker, though that might be folks in baseball just assuming the Padres would do the splashiest possible thing.

16. Cleveland Guardians
Pick: Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS (PA)
This is more about profile than sourced dope, as Young is a slam dunk up-the-middle defender who performed from a bat-to-ball standpoint throughout his amateur career. Dylan Lesko and Jett Williams have also been mentioned here.

17. Philadelphia Phillies
Pick: Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage HS (FL)
I don’t know if team personnel keep suggesting the Phillies will take a high school pitcher because they have actual intel or because the Phils have done it in the last two years. While Barriera, Brock Porter, and Robby Snelling in my opinion are all scarier from a delivery standpoint than Andrew Painter and Mick Abel, some would consider them to be strong value here on upside.

18. Cincinnati Reds
Pick: Daniel Susac, C, Arizona
It sounds like Jace Jung would be in the mix if he were still around, as is Oklahoma shortstop Peyton Graham (though maybe in the comp round). Graham and Susac both have hit tool risk. The Reds have comp picks (and they’re one of a couple teams who have called around trying to trade for another one — the deadline to acquire one is 5 PM), but they haven’t gone out of their way to move pool space around in the past. It’s possible a team is trying to move Cade Horton into the comp round but the Reds have the pool space to play ball if that’s the case, and they’d have to discuss him if he were still here.

19. Oakland Athletics
Pick: Justin Crawford, CF, Bishop Gorman HS (NV)
I have no specific dope here — this is me speculating based on Oakland’s past drafts. Crawford has a chance to become the sort of player Oakland couldn’t otherwise acquire, and he’s no less risky than the college outfielders who are generally seen in this range.

20. Atlanta Braves
Pick: Dylan Lesko, SP, Buford HS (GA)
There is lots of buzz that part of Atlanta’s comp pick acquisition was to help ensure that they could land Lesko, and that Lesko is motivated to be a Brave. If their pocket gets picked, then Oklahoma right-hander Cade Horton (a tip-of-the-iceberg guy with a two-way history, both Braves draft trends) and Tennessee right-hander Blade Tidwell are possibilities. Tidwell’s fastball shape is a little less Braves-y.

21. Seattle Mariners
Pick: Drew Thorpe, SP, Cal Poly
Athletic, young, command-oriented, and wielding good secondary stuff, Thorpe (as well as Gonzaga righty Gabe Hughes, and several other college pitchers) fits this mold. Seattle hasn’t shied from guys with sink/tail fastball shape.

22. St. Louis Cardinals
Pick: Dylan Beavers, RF, California
Lots of college outfielders are rumored to be in the Cardinals’ mix, including Chase DeLauter and Drew Gilbert. Gabe Hughes or Drew Thorpe are both St. Louis’ recent type, similar to the traits mentioned with Seattle.

23. Toronto Blue Jays
Pick: Cooper Hjerpe, SP, Oregon State
Hjerpe gives Toronto the quick-moving college arm they lost in the Matt Chapman trade.

24. Boston Red Sox
Pick: Chase DeLauter, RF, James Madison
I also have Jordan Beck attached to Boston, but with their second pick.

25. New York Yankees
Pick: Tyler Locklear, 1B, VCU
The Yankees don’t shy away from small conference hitters if they think that they can hit.

26. Chicago White Sox
Pick: Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama
Prielipp presents more upside than is typically available down here, and could also be a candidate for the Garrett Crochet Treatment.

27. Milwaukee Brewers
Pick: Drew Gilbert, CF, Tennessee
Milwaukee loves contact-oriented up-the-middle players and low-release pitchers (Cooper Hjerpe is an extreme version but off the board here).

28. Houston Astros
Pick: Tucker Toman, 2B, Hammond HS (SC)
This is right in the area where Toman would be considered signable for slot.

29. Tampa Bay Rays
Pick: Carson Whisenhunt, SP, East Carolina
For reasons similar to Prielipp and the White Sox.

30. San Francisco Giants
Pick: Sterling Thompson, RF, Florida
Thompson has the most stable hit tool of the college outfielders remaining.

31. Colorado Rockies (Compensation for losing Trevor Story in free agency)
Pick: Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga

32. Cincinatti Reds (Compensation for losing Nick Castellanos in free agency)
Pick: Jud Fabian, CF, Florida

33. Baltimore Orioles
Pick: Owen Murphy, SP, Riverside-Brookfield HS (IL)

34. Arizona Diamondbacks
Pick: Dalton Rushing, C, Louisville

35. Atlanta Braves (Received from Royals via trade)
Pick: Cayden Wallace, 3B, Arkansas

36. Pittsburgh Pirates
Pick: Josh Kasevich, 3B, Oregon

37. Cleveland Guardians
Pick: Eric Brown, 2B, Coastal Carolina

38. Colorado Rockies
Pick: Blade Tidwell, SP, Tennessee

39. San Diego Padres
Pick: Peyton Graham, SS, Oklahoma

40. Los Angeles Dodgers (The Dodgers’ first pick dropped 10 spots due to exceeding competitive balance tax thresholds)
Pick: Jacob Misiorowski, SP, Crowder College





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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Josh
2 months ago

I for one am not looking forward to Washington picking a C if they do. They can’t predict the future but in real terms I have never heard anybody say “it’s better to have 2 catchers who can hit than Trea Turner. “ I hope the Lerners (conservative goons in their own right) sell the team, so somebody will finally fire Mike Rizzo. He seems like a nice man, but his “ideas” have played out to be 75/25 horrible mistake/win.

sadtrombonemember
2 months ago
Reply to  Josh

Parada is strong value even as a left fielder. He absolutely rakes.

Last edited 2 months ago by sadtrombone
Dmjn53
2 months ago
Reply to  Josh

I think I speak for everyone reading your comment when I say…..Huh?