With the College World Series and Major League Baseball season in full swing, it is MLB Draft season. Many questions still need to be answered like who will go number one? We have the answer.
MLB Draft Begins
The MLB Draft begins in a matter of days. When the Baltimore Orioles are announced as on the clock, hundreds of baseball players lives will change. None more so than potential first round picks.
A first round pick comes with a multi-million dollar signing bonus and enormous expectations from the drafting organization and external sources. Some players are drafted as early as the age of 17 or 18 and have to immediately learn how to deal with adult pressures. Other players, in the 20-22 age range, have experience playing amongst bigger crowds and have an understanding of enormous expectations while playing for a Division I program.
No pick is concrete. Nobody knows — from scouts to pundits — whether any of these players will pan out. Even so, it is fun studying these players and determining what their basement or ceiling could be. Even more fun is guessing who these organizations are targeting in the MLB Draft.
At Stadium Rant, we will take a look at potential first round picks throughout the week and will have reaction pieces to the major picks in the first round
1. Baltimore Orioles – Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (Ga.)
The son of Andruw Jones, Druw Jones has been on scouts’ radar for years. Could he be the first pick in the 2022 MLB Draft? In the last year, his stock has risen to enormous levels as evidenced by us projecting him as the number one pick. The 6’4” Vanderbilt commit will not make the trip to Nashville — barring unforeseen circumstances.
The Baltimore Orioles are in the middle of the rebuild phase (and have been for decades). With some top prospects getting a taste of the major leagues (we see you, Adley Rutschman), now is the time to capitalize on some talent that can push the organization to the next level.
By drafting Druw Jones, the Orioles will be getting a player who already possess plus-plus speed as well as, arguably, the best defensive player in the draft. Jones has some skills that are well developed (defense, running). He has shown willing to improve his swing and will fill out his 6’4” frame over the coming years to improve his raw power. A slam dunk pick for the Baltimore Orioles.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks – Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Fla.)
The first pick began the run on high school athletes and the second pick will continue with outfielder Elijah Green headed to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 6’3” Miami commit is a solid defender in the outfielder with a plus arm.
Green has legitimate batting potential with power to all fields. One question coming into his senior year was if Green could handle elevated velocity and above average breaking balls. In 25 games, Green hit .462 and reached base almost 59% of the time limiting some scouts fears that Green could not adjust. He can and could be a perennial all-star for the Diamondbacks in three or four years.
3. Texas Rangers – Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater HS (Okla.)
Jackson Holliday, like the first overall pick, has a major league pedigree linked back to his father; Matt Holliday. Jackson, a left hand hitting shortstop, improved dramatically over the last year making him a top-5 pick in the MLB Draft.
Jackson brings a developed approach to the plate with consistent barrel contact. Interestingly, Jackson struggled on the showcase circuit two years ago. Scouts and sources have reported it was because he became too focused on the power aspect of his game. Since that spell two summers ago, scouts have not mentioned this. It appears Jackson has matured to the point where he knows where to pick his spots for a big homerun.
His ability to remain at shortstop is in question but his baseball IQ is without question. Holliday will be a major league player but the question remains whether he can hit enough or has enough athleticism to stick at shortstop.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates – Termarr Johnson, 2B, Mays HS (Ga.)
Hall of fame comparisons. An elite bat. A high-schooler. Three descriptors of potential top-five pick Termarr Johnson.
The 5’10” middle infielder has player second base most of his high school career and will most likely stick there throughout his professional career. However, Termarr Johnson will be in the lineup no matter what with his advanced hitting skills and IQ. Scouts have stayed conservative with Johnson’s ratings but we still have seen consensus 70-grades for his hitting ability.
Johnson’s defense is not on par with his offensive skills but with offensive skills as great as his, that is a high bar to hit.
5. Washington Nationals – Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
Is Brooks Lee the Nationals’ replacement for Trea Turner? Possibly but do not expect the level of production Turner provided the Nationals.
Lee is a switch hitting shortstop standing at 6’2” and 205 pounds. His frame has caused concern amongst scouts for his long-term viability at shortstop. If he fills out or the athleticism does not translate, Lee is an easy candidate for a transition to thirdbase.
Most importantly, like the player picked before him, Lee’s bat skills are phenomenal. Whether he is hitting from the left or right side of the plate, Lee’s talents and skills are even. He can drive the ball from both sides. Lee has showcased power from both sides as well. His best skill is the ability to put a bat on the ball. This year, Lee walked 46 times and only struck out 28; a key indicator of his mastery of the strike zone.
6. Miami Marlins – Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
7. Chicago Cubs – Jacob Berry, 3B/OF, Louisiana State
8. Minnesota Twins – Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
9. Kansas City Royals – Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary’s Prep (Mich.)
10. Colorado Rockies – Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech
11. New York Mets – Daniel Susac, C, Arizona
12. Detroit Tigers – Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola JC
13. Los Angeles Angels – Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS (Ga.)
14. New York Mets – Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman (NV)
15. San Diego Padres – Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage (Fl.)
16. Cleveland Guardians – Robby Snelling, LHP, McQueen HS (NV)
17. Philadelphia Phillies – Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (Fl.)
18. Cincinnati Reds – Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS (PA)
19. Oakland Athletics – Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison
20. Atlanta Braves – Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga
21. Seattle Mariners – Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama
22. St. Louis Cardinals – Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee
23. Toronto Blue Jays – Dylan Beavers, OF, California
24. Boston Red Sox – Zach Neto, SS, Campbell
25. New York Yankees – Jett Williams, SS, Rockwall-Heath (TX)
26. Chicago White Sox – Sterlin Thompson, OF, Florida
27. Milwaukee Brewers – Logan Tanner, C, Mississippi State
28. Houston Astros – Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee
29. Tampa Bay Rays – Andrew Dutkanych IV, RHP, Brebeuf Jesuit (IN)
30. San Francisco Giants – Brock Jones, OF, Stanford