MLB’s top prospects in 2022
While the 2021 draft is still very fresh in everyone’s memories, the Scouts are not resting on their laurels. After taking a minute of congratulations for putting a rough draft on the books, they almost immediately have to turn around and start grading the Class of 2022.
Throughout the summer, Boy Scouts will be browsing events like the recently completed National Perfect Game, the upcoming PDP League, the East Coast Professional Showcase for high school players, and tours like the Cape Cod League for varsity players, all the while overseeing USA Baseball’s work with both groups. . They’ll start creating watchlists for next spring, which eventually leads to next year’s draft.
Obviously, it’s far too early to know what the top of this class will look like, but here’s a first look at what the top 20 might look like based on some early feedback. The projected draft order is based on the league rankings entering on Tuesday, July 20.
1. Dos D: Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Florida)
There are those who already crown Green as the No.1 pick, and some who say he would have been the No.1 pick in this year’s draft. The tools are undeniable, although the Miami rookie has a few swing and chess issues he’ll need to work out to be the slam-dunk pick next year.
2. Orioles: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS (Ga.)
The best arm in the class so far, some believe Lesko is talented enough to engage in 1-1 conversations, although the fact that a high school right-hander was never picked with the top pick is hurting his chances. Gatorade National Player of the Year as an underclass in 2021, Lesko was up to 96 mph during the recent MLB / USA Baseball All-American game in Denver, showing his change in addition and his solid breaking stuff. The Vanderbilt rookie showed a combination of tricks now, pitching, size and throwing sensations.
3. Rangers: Jacob Berry, 3B, State of Louisiana
After a very solid freshman year in Arizona, where the corner infielder hit .352 / .439 / .676 with 17 homers and 70 RBIs in 63 games, Berry heads to LSU, past the coach. Jay Johnson over there. He’s a switch hitter fortunate enough to be medium and powerful hitting and a true top-level run producer who has continued to hit well for USA Baseball this summer.
4. Pirates: Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (Florida)
Teams will flock to revisit IMG Academy in 2022 to see Green and Ferris, a 6-foot-4, throwable left-hander who has engaged in Mississippi. Transplanted to North Carolina, Ferris now had plenty of fastballs, until the mid-90s, to go along with a ’70s breaking bullet and a change in the’ 80s. It’s easy to dream that he there is more in the tank as it adds strength.
5. Royals: Termarr Johnson, SS / 2B, Mays HS (Ga.)
One of the best hitters of the entire class, Johnson is a left-handed center fielder with an innate ability to find the cannon. While only 5ft 10in tall, he has shown both at the MLB All-American Game and the High School Home Run Derby that his speed and bat strength can deliver more pop than you might think, thanks to an extremely strong lower half. He’s running well too, the only thing holding him back is some uncertainty about a permanent defensive home.
6. Twins: Andruw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (Ga.)
That’s right, he’s the son of former All-Star Andruw Jones. The 6-foot-3 right-handed hitter has a super high ceiling and premium athleticism that goes hand in hand with a great hitting feel. He can drive the ball over any terrain with more raw power coming and has more speed which should make him a threat on basic paths and allow him to cover a ton of ground in the outfield.
7. Marlins: Jace Jung, 2B / 3B, Texas Tech
Jace’s older brother Josh was the 2019 Rangers first-round pick and he comes from the same Texas Tech program. He hit 21 home runs and walked more than he hit in 2021 and currently plays in the Cape Cod League. He spent more time in second than anywhere else, but he played third and could have the offensive profile to play the hot turn to the next level, just like his brother.
8. Rockies: Jayson Jones, SS, Braswell HS (Tex.)
It’s not a draft without a big Texas high school shortstop, right? Following Jordan Lawlar in this year’s draft, Jones is growing into his 6-foot-2 frame with power now and more to come. The Arkansas rookie can drive the ball across any court and is likely shaping up as a run-producing third baseman to the next level.
9. Tigers: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
A solid prospect in high school in California in 2019, Lee went to play for his dad at Cal Poly and has just had a really strong 2021 season in which he posted a .342 / .384 / .626 slash line. . He continues to comb the Cape so far. A hitter with elite hand-eye coordination, he continues to grow in his power. A stable infielder who is reliable off the shortstop with good hands and a strong arm, Lee could potentially come out better in second place at the big-league level.
10. Nationals: Carter Young, SS, Vanderbilt
Young, a 2019 USA Baseball 18U National Team star, had a strong freshman year in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but struggled with his plate in his first season complete with Vanderbilt. He tried to do too much, so even though he did a homer 16 times, he also had a 30% strikeout rate.
11. Cubs: Daniel Susac, C, Arizona
Susac reached .335 / .392 / .591 with 12 homers and 24 doubles as a true rookie, winning several national accolades in the process. Andrew Susac’s younger brother, Daniel is a former high school quarterback with huge raw pop, some punching feel, and a really strong arm behind the plate.
12. Braves: Brock Porter, RHP, Orchard Lake St Marys HS (Michigan)
At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Porter is the prototype of a high school right-hander with some exciting stuff now and a lot of projection. Committed to attending Clemson, Porter has a fastball approaching the upper ’90s to accompany a mid’ 70s snap ball and a low ’80s change.
13. Angels: Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage Plantation HS (Florida)
Hailing from the same high school as Eric Hosmer and Zack Collins, Barriera is a 6-foot-1 left-hander with great stuff (a fastball that goes all the way to the mid-90s to accompany his change and spin a break ball) and excellent proficiency. He made a commitment to Vanderbilt.
14. Cardinals: JR Ritchie, RHP, Bainbridge Island HS (Wash.)
Best player in the Pacific Northwest, Ritchie is a 6-foot-2 throwing right-hander signed up at UCLA. It has a loose, whipped arm action that shoots fast balls up to 95 mph with good life to accompany a solid ball and a sense of change.
15. Phillies: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
Parada was one of the top 50 prospects in the draft a year ago and was not drafted due to his commitment to Georgia Tech. A sophomore eligible for the 2022 draft, he maintained his reputation as an advanced hitter with a .929 OPS and continued to bat the bat well this summer for USA Baseball, although the jury may still be on his ability to stay. behind the plate.
16: Reds: Hunter Barco, LHP, Florida
One of the best high school arms of the 2019 class, Barco has been a part of the Gators rotation since joining the school. He relies heavily on his fastball and slider, although he has a potential mix of four lengths, all coming from a 6-foot-4 frame.
17. Indians: Jared Jones, C, Walton HS (Ga.)
A 6-foot-5 safety net engaged in LSU, Jones has about as much raw horsepower as anyone in the class. His right-handed pop was on display as he tied with Sal Stewart for the High School Home Run Derby victory during the All-Star break in Denver. He also showed his arm more behind the plate during the High School All-Star Game.
18. Yankees: Brock Jones, OF, Stanford
College power bats are often hard to come by, and left-handed ones are really in demand. Jones’ bat took a big leap forward in 2021 as he hit 18 home runs and recorded 62 points. He also swept 14 bases, using that speed to play on central court.
19. Blue Jays: Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS (Pa.)
A Pittsburgh-area star committed to Duke, Young shows an innate ability to beat baseball and he demonstrated an advanced approach from the left side of the plate at the High School All-American Game in Denver. There’s power to come, he’s running well and he’s got great defensive moves.
20. Navigators: Sal Stewart, 3B, Westminster Christian HS (Florida)
The Vanderbilt rookie can strike full out from the right side of the plate and he showed his power by tying up Jared Jones for the High School Home Run Derby victory in Denver. He has a lot of arms for third base, with strong hands as well.