2022 MLB Draft

The draft is now 6 months away and the Astros won’t be missing any draft picks. Some notes/observations…

  • Folks that are paid to write about these things say hitting is the strength of this draft (at least at the top). MLB Pipeline only has one pitcher among its top 12 draft prospects. Among it’s Top 100 prospects, 61 are hitters.

  • The same folks are saying college pitching is pretty weak (even before Arkansas’s Peyton Pallette and Duke’s Henry Williams recently went down with bum elbows needing TJS).

  • Prep arms are always the riskiest category of course in any draft but the talent there is considered strong this year with Georgia HSer Dylan Lesko, Florida HSers Jackson Ferris and Brandon Barriera, Michigan HSer Brock Porter, South Carolina HSer Tristan Smith, Indiana HSer Andrew Dutkanych, Illinois HSer Noah Schulz and Washington HSer JR Ritchie all considered possible 1st round material. Florida prepster Walter Ford is another intriguing name, possessing a FB that hits 97 while at the same time being one of the youngest players in the class at just 17 years 6 months on draft day.

  • Given their underrepresentation in the game, it’s interesting to see that the top 3 prospects in the draft are all African-American kids: Georgia HSers Druw Jones (son of Andruw) and Termarr Johnson and Florida HSer Elijah Green (son of NFL Pro Bowl tight end Eric).

  • Besides Green and Ferris, sports factory IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida has another top prospect in C Brady Neal on its squad.

  • Kumar Rocker is still floating around out there. He’s not in school. Whether he does showcases for scouts or signs with some independent league is not known currently. The 10th overall pick in last year’s draft is currently listed at #25 on BA’s draft board and #30 by MLB Pipeline. Rocker and the Mets had agreed on a $6MM deal last year but NY backed away after reviewing his medicals.

  • Signability issues aside, the guys listed below are currently projected to go in the Top 3 rounds.

  • Some Big 12 and Texas names to know:

    1. 2B Jace Jung, Texas Tech (brother Josh went 8th overall in '19 & Jace is as talented)
    2. SS Peyton Graham, Oklahoma (listed at 6’4" but just 171 lbs)
    3. OF Jared McKenzie, Baylor (ex-Round Rock HSer struggled in the Cape last summer)
    4. SS/OF Jett Williams, Rockwall-Heath HS (Miss St commit listed at just 5’7")
    5. 3B Nolan McLean, Okla St (QB prospect out of HS who tried to play both sports at OSU)
    6. 3B Jayson Jones, Braswell HS (Little Elm) (Arkansas commit who might not stick at 3rd)
    7. RHP Chase Shores, Legacy HS (Midland) (6’8" & already tosses 97)
    8. RHP Victor Mederos, Okla St (up to 99 on FB but control shaky at times)
    9. RHP Justin Campbell, Okla St (6’7" & drafted by Astros in 18th round back in '19)
    10. OF Jace Grady, DBU (CF profile & hit .346/.378/.538 in 19 games in the Cape last summer)
  • Some SEC names of note:

    1. 3B Jacob Berry, LSU (U of Arizona transfer followed coach Jay Johnson to the Tigers)
    2. 2B Robert Moore, Arkansas (5’9" switch-hitting son of Royals’ head honcho Dayton Moore)
    3. RHP Blade Tidwell, Tennessee (6’4" dude has a FB touching 99 but control issues)
    4. C Logan Tanner, Miss St. (arm cannon highlights his well above average defense)
    5. RHP Landon Sims, Miss St (123 Ks in 69 IP as reliever & moves into rotation this spring)
    6. LHP Connor Prielipp, Alabama (won’t pitch this spring after having TJS in May of last year)
    7. SS Carter Young, Vandy (slick fielder but questions about the bat)
    8. 3B Cayden Wallace, Arkansas (decent numbers in Cape in '21/possible RFer as a pro)
    9. C Hayden Dunhurst, Ole Miss (solid defender who can draw a walk and has some pop)
    10. OF Jordan Beck, Tennessee (RFer who put up solid if unspectacular numbers in Cape)
    11. 2B Cade Doughty, LSU (positional flexibility & a bat that showed improvement last spring)
    12. OF Jud Fabian, Florida (elite CFer who draws walks, has pop but whiffs a lot)
    13. LHP Hunter Barco, Florida (6’4" hurler has a ceiling of a #3/#4 starter says the reports)
    14. RHP Jonathan Cannon, Georgia (6’6" & had success in limited IP in the Cape)
    15. SS Ryan Ritter, Kentucky (elite D plus hit .330 last summer in the CCBL)
    16. OF Sterlin Thompson, Florida (6’4" lefty hitter profiles as a corner OFer)
    17. OF Drew Gilbert, Tennessee (5’9" lefty hitter is a true CFer)
    18. RHP Derek Diamond, Ole Miss (touched 97 on the heater in early '21 before fading)
    19. RHP Brandon Sproat, Florida (triple digits but lots of walks)
  • Some ACC guys to know:

    1. OF Gavin Cross, Virginia Tech (lefty hitter w/ a big bat and outside chance to stick in RF)
    2. C Kevin Parada, Georgia Tech (strong bat but some questions about his defense)
    3. LHP Parker Messick, Florida St (FB up to 95 resulted in 126 Ks in 90 IP last year)
    4. LHP Bryce Hubbart, Florida St (45 Ks vs 8 BBs in 31 IP w/1.16 ERA in Cape last summer)
    5. LHP Carson Palmquist, Miami (75 Ks vs 8 BBs in 45 IP last spring out of the pen)
    6. RHP Marcus Johnson, Duke (6’6" reliever transitioning to starter w/FB touching 97)
    7. LHP Nate Savino, Virginia (viewed as 1st rounder out of HS but has disappointed at UVA)
    8. RHP Alex McFarlane, Miami (US Virgin Islander hits 99)
    9. 2B Luke Gold, Boston College (outstanding in the Cape last summer)
    10. OF Tres Gonzalez, Georgia Tech (OBP machine but little pop who has CF/LF profile)
    11. RHP Jack Brannigan, Notre Dame (99 on the FB but few strikes)
    12. RHP Eric Adler, Wake Forest (terrific spin & up to 98, 29 Ks in 16 IP in Cape last summer)
    13. RHP Zach Maxwell, Georgia Tech (6’6" & triple digits w/terrific spin but extremely wild)
    14. C Dalton Rushing, Louisville (a stud in the Cape but inexperienced behind plate)
  • And some PAC 12 guys:

    1. OF Brock Jones, Stanford (also played football as freshman but now focusing on baseball)
    2. C Daniel Susac, Arizona (brother of ex-MLB catcher Andrew)
    3. OF Dylan Beavers, Cal (corner OF/lefty hitter who posted 1.031 OPS as freshman in '21)
    4. RHP Adam Maier, Oregon (FB touching 95 & plus slider)
    5. SS Josh Kasevich, Oregon (strong bat tho limited pop/might stick at shortstop)
    6. OF Anthony Hall, Oregon (LF profile who is slowly progressing with the bat)
    7. RHP Will Frisch, Oregon St (mostly a reliever who is transitioning to full-time starter)
    8. 2B Sean McLain, Arizona St (brother Matt was a 1st round pick of the Reds in '21)
    9. LHP Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon St (not a fireballer but funky delivery confuses hitters)
  • Dudes in weaker conferences:

    1. SS Brooks Lee, Cal Poly (won’t stick at SS at next level but bat is elite)
    2. OF Chase DeLauter, James Madison (.298/.397/.589 in Cape w/21 BBs vs 18 Ks)
    3. LHP Carson Whisenhunt, East Carolina (FB hits 95 & plus change-up)
    4. LHP Reggie Crawford, UConn (triple digits but now out with TJS)
    5. SS Jordan Sprinkle, UCSB (plus D at SS while bat is more of a question mark)
    6. SS Zach Neto, Campbell (outstanding in Cape last summer)
    7. RHP Gabriel Hughes, Gonzaga (3 plus pitches and gets high grades for makeup)
    8. SS Eric Brown, Coastal Carolina (decent numbers in the Cape/should stay at short)
    9. OF Clark Elliott, Michigan (CF profile who put up huge numbers in the Cape)
    10. RHP Adam Mazur, Iowa (FB up to 97 and was dominant in Cape last summer)
    11. LHP Noah Dean, Old Dominion (reliever who hits triple digits)
    12. RHP Drew Thorpe, Cal Poly (might have the best CU in the class)
    13. RHP Sebastian Keane, Northeastern (FB up to 96)
  • And one JUCO name:

    1. 3B Cam Collier (son of ex-MLBer Lou & will be just 17 yrs 8 mos old on draft day)

I hate that Josh Jung is a Ranger, he was really impressive in college and I think he’ll mash in MLB at whatever corner position he ends up playing.

I had no idea there was another Jung in the works.

I was able to see quite a few of Cam’s games. Solid at third defensively, easy power to all fields & oh by the way…was the ace of the staff, throwing low 90’s as a sophomore. Impressive kid.

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The Astros’ 4th round pick last year Alex Ulloa is at Yavapai JC. Obviously he went the juco route with the intent of getting drafted again this year so it will be interesting to see how high he goes. Suffice to say it won’t be the Astros doing the drafting this time around.

Yes these kinds of things are pretty silly particularly this far out in advance of the draft but…

In their Mock Draft 1.0, BA had the Astros taking injured Arkansas RHP Peyton Pallette.

I realize Faltine’s numbers don’t inspire draft watchers, but I’m bullish on him. I’m expecting noticeable improvement at the plate which will presumably get the attention of scouts.

Three true outcomes indeed…

The Horns’ Ivan Melendez in his 15 plate appearances in that series versus Rice: 5 walks, 5 whiffs and 2 hits both of which which were home runs. The Hispanic Titanic (apparently he has embraced that moniker) was a 16th round pick of the Marlins last year but did not sign.

He did look competent at first base all series. Not sure how much it improves his stock, but it’s a step above pure DH. His HRs were no-doubt bombs.

I’m not totally sure they’ve come down yet.

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Moreland said end to end would be 900+ feet.

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/wrong thread

Ben Joyce, 21 year old red-shirt junior pitcher for the Tennessee Vols who is listed at 6’5" 225 lbs:

  • High school: went undrafted despite throwing triple digits
  • JUCO 1st year: went undrafted after seeing no game action
  • JUCO 2nd year: went undrafted after appearing in 5 games & whiffing 35 in 20 IP (also walked 14 tho)
  • Tennessee 1st year: went undrafted after missing season due to TJS
  • Tennessee 2nd year: in 2nd appearance of the season this past Wednesday, 10 of the 15 pitchers he threw was faster than 100 mph with one hitting 103.5.
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Pitching Ninja posted some of that outing:

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Wow, that’s an easy delivery for that speed. Last pitch I think was his change.

Always interesting seeing one top draft prospect go up against another. Palmquist had been outstanding in his previous 3 starts for the Canes but got blitzed tonight by BC and lasted just 3 and 2/3 frames. Leading the charge for the Eagles was Gold who is currently 4-4 with 2 homers, a double and a single. He homered and doubled off Palmquist.

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Rocker is going the indy ball route and will play in the Frontier League with the Tri-City ValleyCats. Yes, those V-Cats.

Curious about Ulloa after a humbling JUCO performance this year. Apparently a Gator scholarship gives him options depending on how he much falls in this year’s draft.

If your son was in this situation, would you encourage him to go to FL rather than hoping better 2023 JUCO stats would restore draft interest next year?

Not sure what you mean by “better JUCO”. I believe that Yavapai is considered one of the top JUCO programs, although they had a so-so year this year.

Good catch, Mark!
Fixed it.

Recapping the mock drafts seen thus far this spring…

Baseball America
Version 1.0: RHP Peyton Pallete, Arkansas (underwent TJS in Jan.)
Version 2.0: LHP Connor Prielipp, Alabama (underwent TJS in May '21)
Version 3.0: RHP Justin Campbell, Okla St (6’7" & drafted by Astros in 18th round back in '19)

MLB Pipeline
Version 1.0 OF Jud Fabian, Florida (elite CFer who draws walks, has pop but whiffs a lot)
Version 2.0 OF Jud Fabian
Version 3.0 OF Brock Jones, Stanford (also played football as freshman but now focusing on baseball)

The Athletic/Keith Law
Version 1.0 OF Jud Fabian