The 2022 MLB Draft is right around the corner with top prospects Druw Jones and Termarr Johnson leading an intriguing class of young talent. In our updated MLB mock draft 2022, it becomes clear why this pool of talent is a bit unique from other years.
It’s important to note that the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft isn’t like the NBA and NFL Draft. Every year, you can often count on the team with the No. 1 pick taking the best prospects. Things are different in baseball. Because of bonus pools and allotted pick values, how much it costs to sign a player impacts where they are picked.
- 2022 MLB Draft date: July 17-19
The 2022 MLB Draft order is already set based on the regular-season standings from 2021. It means the Baltimore Orioles, a franchise famous for taking below-slot players with their top pick, could pass on an elite talent out of high school for a safer and cheaper pick from the collegiate level.
Related: MLB standings 2022
1. Baltimore Orioles: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
As we mentioned above, the recent Baltimore Orioles draft history points to the organization’s interest in spreading their money out. Instead of taking either of the top MLB Draft prospects – Druw Jones or Termarr Johnson – they save on the No. 1 pick with Brooks Lee. He’s the best collegiate hitter in the 2022 draft class and his bat profiles nicely long-term at third base or second base. The 21-year-old carries a 65-grade hit tool from MLB Pipeline and could progress through the minors quickly. He’d likely sign for below-slot value, allowing Baltimore to spend more on its picks outside of Round 1.
While a majority of mocks will put Druw Jones in Baltimore, putting the best player No. 1 overall, the talent depth of this class and past trends suggest the Orioles go another direction.
- Baltimore Orioles bonus pool: $16.924 million
2. Arizona Diamondbacks: Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS
While the Arizona Diamondbacks top prospects – Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll – are outfielders, it won’t stop them from taking an elite talent at the position. Druw Jones, son of legendary outfielder Andruw Jones, can be a superstar. He’s one of the best defensive outfielders to enter the draft in years and he brings 60-grade raw power and 70-grade speed to the table. If you’re looking for an All-Star center fielder who can drive in runs and rob opponents of hits, that can be Jones.
- Arizona Diamondbacks bonus pool: $15,112,100
3. Texas Rangers: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stilwater HS
Jackson Holliday drew rave reviews from The Athletic’s Keith Law for his swing and he also brings the combination of feel for hitting and athleticism that his father had in his prime. The 2022 season has seen his stock improve from a likely top-20 pick into a top-five talent in the 2022 MLB Draft and the upside warrants Texas spending a significant chunk of its bonus pool on him. If all goes well, we could look back on this draft in 2026 and wonder why Holliday wasn’t the no-doubt No. 1 selection.
- Texas Rangers bonus pool: $9,640,700
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola Junior College
Both MLB.com and The Athletic reported that there is significant buzz connecting Cam Collier to the Pittsburgh Pirates. It would be difficult to blame them for the selection. Even as a 17-year-old, Cam Collier looks like one of the best players in the country. The son of former player Lou Collier, Cam Collier’s left-handed bat is showing even more pop than expected. The raw tools are there to become an All-Star and at such a young age, the projections are worth betting on with the No. 4 pick.
- Pittsburgh Pirates bonus pool: $13,733,900
5. Washington Nationals: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
Look at the best prospects in baseball and you’ll notice the trend of catchers receiving a lot more attention. Even with speculation about an automatic strike zone in the years ahead, teams want a leader behind the plate who can also deliver great production with the bat. Kevin Parada, who hit 26 homers in 60 games this past season, is reportedly high on Washington’s radar.
- Washington Nationals bonus pool: $11,007,900
6. Miami Marlins: Termarr Johnson, 2B, Mays HS
Termarr Johnson is my personal favorite among the 2022 MLB Draft prospects. He’ll get knocked down draft boards by some teams because he’s a 5-foot-10 second baseman that is coming out of high school. While the smaller size and diminished positional value are knocks, everything else is outstanding. Johnson is the best hitter in the 2022 MLB Draft and there is 30-homer power.
Think of a bigger Jose Altuve (.300 BA, 25+ home runs) as a stylistic MLB comparison. Miami wouldn’t let an elite talent slide. It’s a difficult choice between Johnson and Elijah Greene, but the decision in our latest MLB mock draft comes down to the player with the skill to contribute more immediately.
- Miami Marlins bonus pool: $10.486 million
7. Chicago Cubs: Elijah Greene, OF, IMG Academy
This is the dream scenario for the Chicago Cubs. Positional needs don’t matter, you take the best player available and Elijah Greene is one of the elite talents in the draft and he offers arguably the highest upside for stardom. The 6-foot-3 outfielder boasts even more athleticism than his father, former NFL tight end Eric Green. When Green’s right-handed swing connects, he can hit baseballs out further than just about anyone in the draft class. Defensively, his speed arn plus-arm strength can make him a quality center fielder.
- Chicago Cubs bonus pool: $10,092,700
8. Minnesota Twins: Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
Gavin Cross, a 21-year-old outfielder, brings a well-rounded skill set and held up well in center field at Virginia Tech this season. He’s made tremendous strides this season with his plate discipline, elevating his draft stock further. Once a top-three pick in our first MLB mock draft, this is a reasonable landing spot for Cross and the Twins’ farm system could use the talent.
9. Kansas City Royals: Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS
Consider the 2022 MLB Draft as the year of baseball bloodlines. The son of Carl Crawford, who stole 480 bases with 123 triples in his career, is an enticing player. He brings the same speed, both on the base paths and covering ground in the outfield. He also has an above-average hit tool and there could be some power to unlock that one day makes him a 20-20 player. He’d be a fun batter to plug in front of Bobby Witt Jr. in future Royals’ lineups.
10. Colorado Rockies: Jacob Berry, OF, LSU
Jacob Berry keeps slipping in our MLB mock draft 2022, but the Colorado Rockies are happy to take advantage of the situation. While Berry might have cooled off late in the season, the talent hasn’t diminished. He boasts outstanding power and has a chance for a ‘plus’ hit tool, just imagine that in Coors Field and the pick makes even more sense.
11. New York Mets*: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS
- *Mets receive compensatory 2022 first-round pick for Kumar Rocker not signing
Dylan Lesko is the best pitcher in the 2022 MLB Draft. He recently underwent Tommy John surgery, but that’s a theme for many of the top MLB draft prospects this year. Given most pitchers will all now undergo TJS at some point, at least the New York Mets would know it already happened for Lesko. He’s a top-five talent thanks to his electric stuff, command and feel for pitching. There’s a chance he slides, but this felt like the perfect landing spot in our MLB mock draft.
- New York Mets bonus pool: $13,955,700
12. Detroit Tigers: Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary’s Prep
The Detroit Tigers have a variety of interesting directions to take. If we made this pick months ago, the choice would have been a college bat. However, the number of injuries to the Tigers’ young arms serves as a reminder that an organization can’t have enough arm talent. Capable of hitting 97 mph with a 6-foot-4 frame, this is a profile worth a top-15 pick and we’d bet on Detroit developing Porter correctly.
- Detroit Tigers bonus pool: $8,024,900
13. Los Angeles Angels: Daniel Susac, C, Arizona
A top-10 pick in the first MLB mock draft, Daniel Susac only takes a small slide. It now comes to an end with the Los Angeles Angels landing a switch-hitter who can help lead this pitching staff for years to come. Between his arm strength and an impressive ability at 21 to frame pitches, Susac is an unquestioned top-15 talent.
- Los Angeles Angels bonus pool: $7,024,300
14. New York Mets: Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech
After taking a gamble with their top pick, the Mets come back around and take the safer selection. Jace Jung might not have set the world on fire to end his collegiate career, but MLB teams know he hits and he hits with authority. He won’t be the best fielder at second base, but the offensive value will outweigh any defensive limitations.
2022 MLB mock draft – Round 1 projections
15. San Diego Padres: Zach Neto, SS, Campbell
There is a strong possibility that Kumar Rocker could be the pick here for the San Diego Padres. Straying from our last MLB mock draft, though, we send Zach Neto to San Diego. Fernando Tatís Jr. is likely moving off shortstop with C.J. Abrams handling the position. Neto (.1.283 OPS in 53 games) profiles as an excellent second baseman.
16. Cleveland Guardians: Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS
The Cleveland Guardians certainly have a wealth of infield prospects, but some of them could be moved out by the MLB trade deadline for players who can help immediately. If that happens, it would only make sense as a target. He brings a feel for the game at 18 that is most commonly seen out of college. Pair that with his plus hit tool and he could be the Guardians’ future second baseman.
- Cleveland Guardians bonus pool: $9,980,900
17. Philadelphia Phillies: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Tri-City Valley Cats
This could certainly be viewed as a very risky move by the Philadelphia Phillies. However, Kumar Rocker proved early this summer that he still boasts the stuff to become a front-line starter. He is also the only player in this class who could pitch for the Phillies immediately. If Rocker is available, Philly should roll the dice with his medical risk and take him.
- Philadelphia Phillies bonus pool: $6,307,000
18. Cincinnati Reds: Robby Snelling, LHP, McQueen HS
Even if the Cincinnati Reds didn’t plan to be sellers at the deadline, this is a team that needs to keep developing pitching in the pipeline. Robby Snelling, an enticing 18-year-old southpaw, brings a balanced repertoire with plus command for his age. Given his frame, there’s also reason to believe Snelling could build up to hit 97-plus mph more consistently with the helps of the Reds’ minor league staff.
- Cincinnati Reds bonus pool: $10,794,100
19. Oakland Athletics: Dylan Beavers, OF, California
The Oakland Athletics farm system needs all the help it can get, but there is also a bit of a desire for immediacy Dylan Beavers, a California lifer, profiles as an above-average right fielder with a well-rounded skill set. Given he could make his MLB debut by 2024 and he’s an affordable sign, that might check off a lot of boxes for the Athletics.
- Oakland Athletics bonus pool: $8,315,800
20. Atlanta Braves: Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage HS
The Atlanta Braves have demonstrated they can be trusted with developmental arms. There’s a ton of risk with southpaws out of high school, the success rate just isn’t especially high. But Barriera’s pure stuff, including the three-pitch mix, are far too enticing to ignore.
- Atlanta Braves bonus pool: $8,022,200
21. Seattle Mariners: Jett Williams, SS, Rockwall-Heath HS
One of the smallest players in the 2022 MLB Draft, a 5-foot-8 frame is a knock on Jett Williams. The thing is, height shouldn’t matter as much when a player offers an intoxicating combo of athleticism and hits for a high average. Likely a long-term second baseman, Williams’ hit tool is good enough to be picked in Round 1.
- Seattle Mariners bonus pool: $7,254,400
22. St. Louis Cardinals: Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama
There are few organizations better at identifying and developing pitching talent than the St. Louis Cardinals. Coming out of Alabama, Connor Prielipp devastated batters with a sickening fastball-slider combo. He only falls in the 2022 MLB Draft because of Tommy John surgery in May 2021. We should see him on the mound late this year and the Cardinals are an enticing destination for him.
- St. Louis Cardinals bonus pool: $6,842,300
23. Toronto Blue Jays: Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison University
A case of drafting for need and best player available. The Toronto Blue Jays farm system lacks any standout outfield prospect, Chase DeLauter can change that. At 6-foot-4, DeLauter hits for the kind of power you’d expect from a right fielder and he actually moves fairly well for his frame. If all goes well, his MLB debut could come in 2025.
24. Boston Red Sox: Blake Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee
It seems the Boston Red Sox would be quite pleased if Kumar Rocket made it to this spot. That’s not happening in this scenario. Instead, the Red Sox grab a 6-foot-4 righty. Considering Boston’s top pitching prospects are largely all at Triple-A or already saw time in the majors, Tidwell could be an up-and-comer in two years.
- Boston Red Sox bonus pool: $8,078,300
25. New York Yankees: Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina
Carson Whisenhunt missed an opportunity to improve his draft stock this season, receiving a suspension after a positive test for a banned substance. He did look good during some outings in June and as a healthy southpaw with an accelerated MLB ETA, there is appeal for New York.
- New York Yankees bonus pool: $6,425,100
26. Chicago White Sox: Sterlin Thompson, 2B, Florida
As the Chicago White Sox start looking towards the future, it’s apparent there is a need for more sluggers in the 2025 lineup and beyond. Sterlin Thompson doesn’t profile as an above-average defender at second base, but his ability to hit for plenty of pop and a respectable average could make him a No. 4 or 5 hitter in a good lineup.
- Chicago White Sox bonus pool: $6,289,100
27. Milwaukee Brewers: Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State
The Milwaukee Brewers always know how to draft-and-develop pitching, but the organizational depth is getting a bit thin. Cooper Hjerpe won’t blow anyone away with his fastball, but he checks a lot of other boxes Milwaukee likes. This would be a great landing spot for Hjerpe’s long-term outlook and would offer him the highest chance of becoming a mid-rotation starter.
- Milwaukee Brewers bonus pool: $7,070,900
28. Houston Astros: Brock Jones, OF, Stanford
- Houston Astros bonus pool: $6.837 million
29. Tampa Bay Rays: Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy
- Tampa Bay Rays bonus pool: $7,795,100
30. San Francisco Giants: Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee
- San Francisco Giants bonus pool: $5,793,200
Let us know what you think of our 2022 MLB mock draft.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.