The 2022 MLB Draft is here. Day 1 is underway right now with the top 80 picks, covering Rounds 1 and 2, plus eight compensation picks and Competitive Balance Rounds A and B. Watch live right now on ESPN and MLB Network.
Follow here all night for a look at each pick with analysis by MLB Pipeline experts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo.
1) Orioles: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater, Okla. HS
Despite all the talk that the Orioles could strike a cut deal and select a player who would sign for a lower bonus than the recommended allotment, they opted for the talent at No. 1 overall. Holliday is the best combination of hitting ability and ceiling in this project, and is a great fit for a solid Orioles truss system. He’s a legitimate five-tool shortstop, who has improved in all phases of his game this spring. MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds compared him to Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. on the show and I like that lineup. – Callis More >
2) D-backs: Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS, Peachtree Corners, Ga.
Everyone knew the D-backs coveted Jones, and they pounced on the highest-rated player in MLB Pipeline’s Top 250. It’s an easy comparison, but he reminds so many reviewers of his father, Andruw Jones, at the same age. He has the same Gold Glove potential in center field and he has one of the best power-speed combinations in this draft. I know everyone focuses on the tools first, and rightly so, but he also has an advanced approach and feel to his swing. This is the first time that the first two draft picks have been the sons of former major leaguers. – Callis More >
3) Rangers: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Tri-City ValleyCats (Frontier League)
Well, we knew this draft was going to be unpredictable, but we didn’t know it was going to turn out like this so quickly. Rocker, of course, was a contender to become No. 1 overall in the 21 draft and went No. 10 to the Mets, who decided not to offer him a signing bonus due to concerns about his medicals. That meant he had to come back to the draft this year. He has been throwing well at freelance ball this summer, although it was recently revealed that he underwent shoulder surgery last fall. Rangers obviously felt comfortable enough to take him high, and they don’t resume until the fourth round after losing a string of picks to sign premium free agents (such as Marcus Semien and Corey Seager) l last winter. Rocker reunites with Vanderbilt teammate Jack Leiter, who represented Rangers at the Futures Game in Los Angeles on Saturday. – Mayo More >
4) Pirates: Termarr Johnson, INF, Mays HS, Ga.
The Pirates must be happy here because it looks like they locked Johnson late if he didn’t go No. 1 to the Orioles. He’s the best clean hitter in the draft, and many scouts say he’s the best high school clean hitter they’ve ever seen. Yes, he’s probably a second baseman as a pro despite being listed as a shortstop now, but if he’s producing in the way of Robinson Canó — and he’s capable — it works great for Pittsburgh. . – Callis More >
5) Nationals: Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
The Nationals have increased here with Green, who may have the highest cap of any player in the draft. The son of former NFL Pro Bowl tight end Eric Green, Elijah has some amazing tools. There were some swing and miss issues in his offensive game last summer, but he addressed them enough this summer at IMG Academy to crack the top five. Green’s selection ensured this is the first draft since 1971 where no college player has been selected among the top five picks. – Mayo More >
6) Marlins: Jacob Berry, 3B/OF, Louisiana State
The Marlins had the best combination of batting ability, power, and home plate discipline in college baseball with Berry. One comp I’ve heard that I like is that he’s a hard-hitting version of White Sox outfielder Andrew Vaughn, who went No. 3 overall in 2019 out of Cal. There are some questions about his defensive home, but to his credit, he wants to work to stay at third base. Even if he ends up in the outfield or first base or even as a designated hitter, this bat will play. – Callis More >
7) Cubs: Cade Horton, RHP, Oklahoma
There was a lot of late buzz that Horton could sneak into the top 10 pick after his stellar playoff run and the Cubs made the move here at seven. Although he missed the entire 2021 season after Tommy John’s surgery and didn’t really catch fire until his last five starts this year, he showed enough that in my mind he was the best pitcher university available. He’s a quality athlete with a fastball that hits 98 mph and a wipeout slider that hits 90. A two-way player at Oklahoma, he could really take off now that he’s healthy and will just focus on throwing . – Callis More >
8) Twins: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
Lee was a strong prospect in high school, but wanted to play for his father at Cal Poly. After coming back from a horrible hamstring and knee injury, he turned out to be perhaps the best college hitter in this draft class. He has an extremely forward approach at home plate and almost never knocks. There’s a lot of power to harness, which should serve him well since he’s probably looking better at third base at the next level. – Mayo More >
9) Royals: Gavin Cross, DE, Virginia Tech
After a huge summer as Team USA’s top hitter, Cross headed into the spring as one of the best all-around college hitters in this class. He did nothing to dampen the excitement by showing off five average or better tools across the board. He has a chance to hit and with a lot of power. The Royals can send him as center fielder because he has the speed right now to play there. Even if he ends up sliding into a corner, he also has the attacking profile to adapt to it. – Mayo More >
10) Rockies: Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga
Hughes is the first perfectly healthy pitcher to leave the board as he took the ball every Friday for Gonzaga this year. He fatigued late in the season as he passed his career innings total, but he’s a rare college arm with a cap and potential three-pitch mix to go along with a prototypical starting pitcher build. – Mayo More >
11) Mets: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
With the upsets in the top 10 picks, Parada lasted longer than expected. The latest blue chip catching prospect to come out of Georgia Tech after Jason Varitek, Matt Wieters and Joey Bart, he is an offensive-minded safety net. He set a school record with 26 homers this spring and has good gun feel using the whole court, while letting his power come naturally. He catches well enough to stay behind home plate, but he will need to improve his throws. – Callis More >
12) Tigers: Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech
The Tigers really wanted a varsity bat at 12 and must be thrilled that Jung got in on them. A potential top-five pick heading into the season, he was a bit physically battered at Texas Tech this spring, but continued to rake and control the strike zone as he always has. He’s a similar hitter to his older brother Josh, who Rangers took eighth overall in 2019. It’s questioned if Jung can stay at second base, but his bat is expected to loom in various positions. – Callis More >
13) Angels: Zach Neto, SS, Campbell
The shocker here is that virtually everyone who made a fake draft had the Angels – who took pitchers with their 20 picks a year ago – taking a pitcher. Instead, they ended up with one of the best hitters in college baseball and the first first-rounder in Campbell’s history. He has an unconventional setup with a huge leg kick and uphill swing, but he’s a career .403 hitter thanks to his exceptional hand-eye coordination. He has a strong arm at shortstop and his instincts can keep him in position, although he could end up as an offensive second baseman. – Callis More >
14) Mets: Jett Williams, SS, Rockwall-Heath (Texas) HS
He’s the smallest player in our Draft Top 250, but Jett Williams (listed at 5-foot-8, 175 pounds) is also the personal favorite of a huge number of scouts. He’s one of the best hitters in the high school class with a quick right-hand hit and good feel for the barrel. He’s a runner more with a bit of sneaky pop and while there’s talk of him staying at shortstop, he should be able to play second base, and at worst he’s a center fielder. – Callis More >
15) Fathers: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS, Ga.
Before Lesko had surgery from Tommy John in April, he was the heavy favorite to be the first pitcher selected. An ultra-polished high school arm, he has a 92-97 mph fastball and one of the best high school changes in years. It also has an improved curveball and advanced control. Even though he had his elbow reconstructed, he should move quickly once back. – Callis More >
16) Goalkeepers: Chase DeLauter, DE, James Madison
Wherever DeLauter has been, he’s been hit, whether at James Madison or in the Cape Cod League (a summer league of wooden bats for top college prospects). Not all scouts like his mechanics at home plate, but he showed an ability to hit and power, with one of the most advanced approaches of any hitting prospect in the draft. –Mayo
17) Phillies: Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas
Son of longtime player Carl Crawford, Justin Crawford has many of the same tools as his father, especially elite gear. That speed should allow him to be a base stealing threat throughout his career, and he has a good chance of staying in center field, as the only tool he has better than his dad is his throwing arm. . He’s a high-end profile with a chance to be an above-average hitter. –Mayo
18) Reds: Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola (Florida) JC
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