Archive for 2022 MLB Draft

2022 MLB Draft Roundup

© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Below is the last chunk of notes I’ll publish on players taken in the 2022 draft, as it’s time to gear up for the trade deadline while also laying foundation for the 2023 class, the evaluation of which is already underway throughout the industry, with the Cape Cod League, Team USA activity, MLB’s PDP program and other summer showcase ball all having begun. Each of the top 125 picks from the 2022 class has a record with a scouting report over on The Board. Below, I have at least a quick one-sentence scouting blurb on the players selected between picks 125 and 250 overall; for the sake of brevity, players who were on The Board prior to the draft and were picked after 125 are only on The Board rather than appearing here. I also included some players picked beyond 250 overall who I like in the below analysis. The number in parentheses indicates the round in which a player was drafted.

I’ve moved the draft class over to the pro side of The Board so you can see where each org’s new players fall within the system; I have also made some low-hanging fruit changes to the pro lists, including the Top 100. I’ll have more details on the pro changes early next week, but for now you can look at who has a “trend” arrow to see where I’ve made tweaks. Also remember that the Farm System rankings update live, and that this draft class is now factoring into those. There are some players taken late on Day Three (Brady Neal, Andrew Walters, etc.) who I don’t think will sign. Who I anticipate will sign is at my discretion (I’m basically assuming everyone through round 11 will); if I’m wrong on deadline day, I’ll remove or add the player(s) who end up surprising us. Now on to my notes. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs 2022 Day One Draft Chat

Eric A Longenhagen: Hello from sunny LA and the MLB Draft. Here I am to chat. It’s quite full of people here, I’m sitting between the two sets. I won’t be tweeting out picks before they happen this year, instead I’ll be Woj’ing here. May presence may be variable as Meg and I have a bunch of site-related tech stuff to juggle with regard to adding picks to The Board.

Eric A Longenhagen: If you’re here I’m guessing you know how to navigate over to The Board to see rankings and reports.

Eric A Longenhagen: let’s get to some questions before festivities start. If other folks are breaking picks on Twitter and you guys feel like posting it in the chat queue, that’d be cool and would mean I get to be in this space more consistently. I’m off there for reasons I’m sure are obvious to most of you.

Oddball Herrera: Starting to hear some “Twins should go with Rocker so he can whiz to the major league bullpen”.  Is that realistic at all or just click bait?

Eric A Longenhagen: I haven’t heard that at all, think they’re in position to scoop someone who falls unexpectedly or cut with a college bat they like

Ethan: Any small college guys you like?

Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Updated 2022 Draft Rankings Are Now On The Board

© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Updated 2022 Draft Rankings are now available on The Board. I have 125 players ranked right now, with a few names to know below them, and I may add a few more over the course of the next couple of days (if you see weird ages or tool grades or what have you, it’s because I’m pecking away behind the scenes).

A couple of things to keep in mind as you peruse the updated rankings. Scouting reports on each player can be viewed by clicking the clipboard. Each player with a 50 FV grade or above has also been given an approximate Top 100 ranking, which is within a couple spots of where they’ll rank once the draft class migrates to the pro side of The Board.

A reminder as you look at the draft prospects’ tool grades that I standardize present hit and game power evaluations. Teenage hitters either have a 20 or 25 present hit tool grade, where 25 is meant to indicate that they are advanced, and a 20 is meant to indicate that this skill is either neutral or raw. This extends to college-aged hitters, except with 30 and 35. I don’t think you can watch a high school hitter and have a real idea of how he’d hit if he were dropped in the big leagues tomorrow; consider this tact to be more informative. You can sort The Board by present and future grades to see which individuals I think will separate themselves down the line. I take this approach on the pro side of The Board and only put present hit tool and game power grades on hitters who’ve reached Double-A (this helps with sorting since players near the big leagues float to the top when you sort by a present grade), but that doesn’t apply to anyone in the draft.

I’ve begun to take a similar approach with defense. Present 40 grades indicate up-the-middle defensive projection (players I think can be special defenders will get a 45), corner projections will be in the 30s, and players where there’s risk that their defense bottoms out entirely will have a present 20. Again, sorting by the future grade will show where the real gaps in projection are. Also, the draft is the realm where the physical attributes tab is a much more important part of the player assessment.

I’ll have a mock draft up this weekend, then will live chat during the draft here at the site, where I’ll be Woj’ing picks as usual.

FanGraphs Audio: Broadcaster Geoff Arnold on the Scorching Orioles

Episode 983

On this episode, we discuss the surging underdogs of the AL East before a chat about finishing up prospect lists in time for one of the most eventful weeks on the baseball calendar.

  • At the top of the show, David Laurila welcomes Geoff Arnold, broadcaster for the Baltimore Orioles. We hear about the club’s recent win streak, exceeding expectations in a very challenging division, and how doing so has made for an entirely different environment at the ballpark. Arnold tells us how stoked the team is for All-Star Jorge López, and how Tyler Wells deserved a nod as well. We also hear about the team’s strong farm system, why Brandon Hyde deserves consideration for Manager of the Year, how the team might handle the trade deadline, and who the O’s might take first overall in the upcoming amateur draft. [3:22]
  • In the second segment, lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen and managing editor Meg Rowley discuss the herculean task that was finishing the 2022 prospect lists. We hear about how the sausage is made when it comes to this annual feat, including how the process has changed over the years. The duo also look ahead to the crowded field of All-Star events, including the Futures Game and the amateur draft, and discuss what they are excited about while also lamenting the week’s imperfect scheduling. Finally, we hear suggestions for how the draft and Futures Game could be marketed differently at a time when fans seem more interested than ever in prospects. [34:34]

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Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @dhhiggins on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximate 91 minute play time.)

Pre-Draft Farm System Rankings Are Now Live

© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

All 30 Top Prospect lists are now in the books. They spanned roughly 260,000 words of analysis and opinion regarding roughly 1,500 prospects and the systems they occupy, plus the tool grade components on The Board. Thanks to Kevin Goldstein, Brendan Gawlowski, and Tess Taruskin for their help, to Sean Dolinar for building the tools that allow me to produce these lists with such detail by removing a huge part of the technological burden, and to managing enabler editor Meg Rowley, who edited every word of every list and with whom I’m lucky to share enough pathological traits to make this all possible.

Every word of those write-ups is cemented on The Board’s 2022 Report section, which is now set in stone on the site for future reference. As players are traded and drafted over the next few weeks, or if their Future Value grade changes throughout the rest of the season, those alterations will be found in the 2022 Updated option on the dropdown menu. Players who graduate (i.e. lose rookie eligibility within this season) will move from the 2022 Updated page to the 2022 Graduates page, which already includes the players who have played enough this season to move off the prospect end of things. This is accessible through the Seasonal tab on The Board, though the default for the Seasonal tab at the moment takes you to the Futures Game rosters, so until next week you’ll have to use the dropdown to access the graduates. Read the rest of this entry »

Atlanta Acquires 35th Overall Draft Pick From Royals for Upper-Level Prospects

© Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Trades for competitive balance round picks happen a couple of times every year. Often, there are a lot of different moving parts involved, which can make it a little harder to nail down what teams think a comp pick is worth — there are so many variables associated with each player that it becomes hard to isolate the weight that the pick is carrying in the trade. Every once in a while, we get trades where one side of the deal is exclusively the comp pick, which makes it a little easier to get a feel for pick’s value. Yesterday, when the Braves acquired the 35th overall pick from the Royals for prospects Drew Waters, Andrew Hoffmann, and CJ Alexander, we had one of those instances.

The pick is the most significant aspect of this trade, but it’s value is more abstract since it not only represents a player, but also the draft flexibility it affords the Braves, as they add the bonus pool space associated with the pick (a shade over $2.2 million) to their pool. While it might seem counterintuitive for the Braves, who have a relatively thin system, to move three pieces for one, this trade feels great for them (not that it’s bad for KC). Atlanta doesn’t need Waters, who is likely carrying the most weight in the deal for the Royals. With everyone now healthy, the team has an everyday right fielder in Ronald Acuña Jr., an everyday center fielder in Michael Harris II, and a left field platoon in Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall, while Guillermo Heredia, the Platonic ideal of a fifth outfielder, can pinch run, make the occasional start for Harris against a lefty, or serve as a late-game defensive upgrade for Duvall/Rosario/Marcell Ozuna. If injury occurs, Atlanta has other ways of moving pieces around to create a better lineup than one that would otherwise heavily feature Waters. Even if you think he’ll eventually be good (more on that in a minute), he was a superfluous in Atlanta. Read the rest of this entry »

FanGraphs Audio: Chaim Bloom Chats Secret Sauce, Jim Callis Talks Combine

Episode 980

This episode, we sit down with the head honcho of the Red Sox before an old friend comes by to talk about the state of the amateur draft landscape.

  • At the top of the show, David Laurila welcomes Chaim Bloom, chief baseball officer for the Boston Red Sox. Bloom shares his journey from a Latin Classics degree at Yale to contributing at Baseball Prospectus to an internship with the Rays in 2005 to eventually being in charge of a major league front office. The duo also talk about the past and future of knuckleballers in the game, the significance of starting pitchers going the distance, the Andrew Benintendi trade, Jackie Bradley Jr. moving off of center field, and how the club has improved at developing pitchers. [3:45]
  • In the second half, Eric Longenhagen is joined by Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline. The pair were both just at the MLB Draft Combine in San Diego and discuss the event they have dubbed the Winter Meetings of the draft. They also talk about the College World Series, the ironically named Kumar Rocker rule, how new technology and data is continuing to influence amateur scouting, and how their mock drafts are going so far. Finally, Jim shares an anecdote about the Kyler Murray pick. [32:30]

To purchase a FanGraphs membership for yourself or as a gift, click here.

To donate to FanGraphs and help us keep things running, click here.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @dhhiggins on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximate 85 minute play time.)

Prospect Notes from Live Looks, Headlined by Jack Leiter

Below are snippets of our notes from our in-person looks over the last few weeks, including thoughts on Rangers prospect Jack Leiter as well as six amateur prospects eligible for the 2022 draft. If a player’s ranking on The Board has been impacted by these looks, we’ve indicated that within the player’s writeup.

Jack Leiter, RHP, Texas Rangers

Leiter needs no introduction — he’s one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. He pitched two innings in relief of Cody Bradford (whose velo is up, by the way) last Friday against an upper-level Royals minor league contingent. Leiter had scattershot command of a 95-98 mph fastball that featured his trademark carry through the zone. His two breaking balls – a mid-80s slider and mid-70s curveball – had somewhat more distinct shape Friday than they did throughout most of his career at Vanderbilt, and he used his slider pretty frequently during this outing. The most striking aspect of Leiter’s look on this day was his changeup quality and velocity. Leiter’s cambio was in the 84-86 mph range during his draft spring at Vanderbilt but was 88-90 mph on Friday and had power tailing action. He ran a couple of them off the front hip of left-handed hitters and back into the zone for a looking strike. If he can do this consistently, it might become his best secondary weapon over time, though his curveball has that distinction for now, in part because of how well its shape pairs with his fastball. — EL Read the rest of this entry »