2022 MLB Draft

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MLB.com top 10 prospects:

1. Druw Jones OF, Wesleyan (GA)

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 70 | Arm: 65 | Field: 70 | Overall: 60

While Jones' right-handed swing is still somewhat of a work in progress, he understands it well, shows the ability to make adjustments and does damage against quality pitching. He already has plenty of bat speed and drives balls to the gaps, and as he fills out his 6-foot-4 frame he should develop plus power. He's a plus-plus runner when he turns on the jets and is capable of beating out ground balls to the left side.

Jones is the best defensive center fielder in the 2022 high school crop and might be the best defender in the entire Draft. His speed and instincts combine to give him tremendous range and his well-above-average arm strength stands out at a position not known for many cannons. Scouts who have seen the Vanderbilt recruit take infield say he has the tools and actions to play a fine shortstop as well.


2. Elijah Green OF, IMG Academy (FL)

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Run: 70 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 60

A right-handed hitter, Green is capable of doing just about everything very well. He can make very loud contact and has proven he can drive the ball to all fields and hit the ball out of the park just about anywhere with at least plus raw power, and he’s done that this spring in front of a lot of decision makers. . The one question that had arisen about his offensive upside had been about the swing-and-miss in his game. He’s struggled in the past against elevated velocity and there are some concerns about his ability to adjust to offspeed and breaking stuff, but had assuaged many of those fears with how he has swung the bat this spring.

Green is an elite-level runner who can steal bases and cover a ton of ground in the outfield, where he should be able to man center field, with a plus arm, for a very long time to come. His complete toolset doesn’t come around very often, so it’s likely someone in the top of the first round will call his name even if there are remaining questions about his hit tool.


3. TermarrJohnson 2B, Mays (GA)

Scouting grades: Hit: 70 | Power: 60 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 60

Though he's a high schooler who projects as a second baseman, Johnson is a potential No. 1 overall choice because he might be the best pure prep hitter in decades. He has a track record of pummeling pitchers on the showcase circuit and some evaluators give his bat top-of-the-scale 80 grades. One scout gave him a double Hall of Famer comparison by calling him a combination of Wade Boggs' plate discipline and Vladimir Guerrero Sr.'s bat-to-ball skills.

Johnson's hand-eye coordination and swing decisions make him an elite contact hitter from the left side of the plate. He isn't fazed by mid-90s fastballs or quality breaking balls, using his quick, compact stroke to drive the ball to all fields. Though his listed 5-foot-10 height might be a bit generous, his ability to barrel balls along with his bat speed and strength could make him a 25-30 homer threat in the big leagues.

A shortstop in high school, Johnson will change positions as a pro because his quickness and arm are more average than plus. His hands work well in the field as well as at the plate and he profiles best at second base, where he should be at least a solid defender. He has yet to commit to a college but it's likely a moot point because he'll get drafted in the first few picks.


4. Jackson Holliday SS, Stillwater (OK)

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 60

Holliday has an advanced approach, no surprise given his roots, and a knack for putting the barrel on the ball. He usually makes consistent hard contact, though he didn't during the summer when he let his simple left-handed stroke get too long. After getting bigger and stronger, he's hitting the ball with more authority than ever this spring, and he also looks more relaxed at the plate and is letting his considerable power come naturally.

Holliday has gotten faster as he has gotten stronger, and he now flashes plus-plus run times as a senior and is a consistent plus runner. He's throwing better too, and his solid to plus arm strength and enhanced quickness give him a better opportunity to remain at shortstop. His high baseball IQ also helps his chances after many evaluators previously believed he was destined for second or third base.


5. Brooks Lee SS, Cal Poly

Scouting grades: Hit: 65 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 60

Talk to any scout about the switch-hitting infielder and the first thing that comes up are his otherworldly bat-to-ball skills. He almost never strikes out and has made consistent hard contact everywhere he’s been, including his 21-game stretch with a wood bat on the Cape, where he hit .405/.432/.667 with six homers in just 84 at-bats. He can drive the ball from both sides of the plate and as he’s gotten more physical, it’s easy to project him having better-than-average power in the future.

That physicality will mean he’s very likely to move off of shortstop at the next level, with third the most likely destination to take advantage of his above-average arm. As the son of a coach, he thinks like one on the field and plays like a veteran, giving more certainty that he’s going to maximize all of his tools as a pro.


6. Jacob Berry 3B/OF, Louisiana State

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 65 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 40 | Overall: 60

Equally productive from both sides of the plate, Berry has drawn some comparisons to a switch-hitting version of Andrew Vaughn (the No. 3 choice in 2019) for his ability to hit for power and average while controlling the strike zone. He hammers fastballs and handles breaking balls and changeups well. He has a quality swing and approach from both sides, makes repeated hard contact and shows a propensity for driving the ball in the air.

Berry spent most of his freshman season as a DH and played just nine of his 63 games in the field at third base, which has been his primary position with the Tigers. He has below-average speed and average arm strength and he's rigid at the hot corner, so most scouts believe he'll have to move elsewhere as a pro. He has looked decent in a brief look in right field but there's a good chance that he winds up at first base -- where he'll have no problem fitting the offensive profile.


7. Jace Jung 2B, Texas Tech

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 45 | Field: 45 | Overall: 60

Jung's upright setup at the plate is unorthodox but doesn't prevent him from destroying all types of pitches and pitchers. The left-handed hitter has no discernible weakness at the plate, drawing more walks than strikeouts in each of his first two college seasons while making repeated hard contact to all fields. His hitting ability, strength and bat speed produce home runs from foul pole to foul pole and he makes two-strike adjustments without sacrificing much power.

Most of Jung's value will come from his bat, which is fine because he may hit .300 with 30 homers on an annual basis. His aggressive nature helps him play better than his below-average speed on the bases but his defensive home remains in question. He has fringy arm strength, was erratic at third base and may not be more than adequate at second base.


8. Kevin Parada C, Team Larkin

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 45 | Field: 50 | Overall: 60

Parada doesn't try to do too much at the plate, keeping his right-handed swing under control and lashing line drives all over the park. He has good feel for the barrel, makes repeated hard contact against all types of pitching and he's showing increased power to all fields this year. He projects as a potential .280-.300 hitter with 20-25 homers per season who could fit into the middle of a big league batting order.

Parada runs well for a catcher but isn't the most agile or physical behind the plate, and he wore down over the course of last spring and summer with Georgia Tech and Team USA. He has looked better as a sophomore and scouts credit him for working diligently on his defense. He earns average to solid grades for his receiving and needs to improve his fringy arm strength and his throwing accuracy after erasing just 12 percent of basestealers as a freshman.


9. Dylan Lesko RHP, Buford (GA)

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 70 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

Lesko already works at 92-95 mph and tops out at 97 with his fastball, which features good carry up in the strike zone and armside run and sink when he keeps it down, and he should add more velocity as he gets stronger. He has the best changeup in the Draft, a dastardly low-80s offering that scoots sideways and also has some depth. His curveball is his least reliable pitch, but his upper-70s bender has high spin rates and the potential to become a plus weapon.

Lesko generates premium stuff with ease and locates it well thanks to his ability to repeat a sound delivery with little effort. He gets good extension, making him even tougher on hitters, and draws praise for his intelligence and maturity. He has ace potential and may need little more than a return to health and innings against pro competition to finish refining his stuff and reach his lofty ceiling


10. Daniel Susac C, Arizona

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

Now a Draft-eligible true sophomore, Susac has the chance to be an impact player on both sides of the ball. A switch-hitter when he joined the Wildcats, he’s hit almost exclusively right-handed, which scouts thought was his better side as a prepster anyway. Big and physical, Susac has shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields, using the gap very well during his freshman season. There’s legitimate power to tap into as well. A former high school quarterback, he’s a better athlete and moves better than you’d think given his size.
 
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Keith Law top 10 prospects:

1. Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan School (Suwanee, Ga.)

Andruw Jones’ son is the consensus No. 1 player in the draft class, rising to the top as much because of the high floor he offers for a high school player as his ceiling. He’s a plus defender in center now, with similar feel for the position to his father, gliding to catch fly balls thanks to strong reads off the bat. He is a plus runner with at least 60 raw power, with strength to drive the ball out to center, but his swing can get long and he can try too hard to get to that power on pitches he should just put into play. He does have a solid feel for the strike zone for his age, however, and doesn’t expand the zone on himself when he falls behind. He has All-Star upside and it’s easy to see how he could settle in as a soft regular even if we’re all too high on the hit tool.

2. Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola College

Collier finished high school early to go to two-year Chipola, probably the best junior college baseball program in the country. As a 17-year-old, he hit .333/.431/.525 despite facing pitchers who were mostly two-to-four years older. He has a plus-plus arm and the athleticism to stay at third base, although ultimately it’s his feel to hit that makes him a top-five talent in this draft. Look for teams that weigh age heavily in their draft models to target him in July.

3. Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays High (Atlanta)

Owner of the best pure hit tool in the draft class, Johnson has outstanding feel for the game and, despite a brief hitch at the beginning of his swing, has shown he can hit all kinds of pitching and spray the field with hard line drives. He also brings elite makeup, often acting as an additional coach on his high school team. He’ll move to second base in pro ball, and probably ends up more of a hitter for high averages but with 50 power.

4. Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy

For pure tools and upside, Green is probably the top pick among the high school crop, but lacks the present skills of Jones or the hit tool of Johnson. Green is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, and still has room to fill out, with plus power now and plus-plus speed, with a 30-30 centerfield upside. He has shown a lot more swing and miss than his peers atop the draft board, but playing for IMG Academy this spring he has also faced better competition than any other high school hitter.

5. Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly

Lee is the best hitter in the college class this year whether you ask scouts or look at his performance, which includes a .367/.476/.633 line and just an 8 percent strikeout rate for the Mustangs. He could have been a top 30-40 pick out of high school, but his commitment to go play for his dad at Cal Poly and injury questions during his senior year pushed him to school, which is going to pay off for him in July. There’s very little chance he stays at shortstop, lacking the footwork or agility for the position, but he should be fine at second or third, with excellent hands and a good internal clock.

6. Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater (Okla.) High

Matt Holliday’s son – yes, that’s three sons of former big leaguers in the top six, along with Jones and Collier (son of Lou Collier) – has one of the best swings in the class and has shown great feel to barrel up all kinds of pitching. He put on some good muscle this offseason and impressed scouts and executives when his team went to Arizona during spring break in March, shooting him up draft boards thanks to the fresh look against better competition in the Valley. He’s an above-average runner who has a chance to stay at shortstop, as well.

7. Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech

Parada has had an unbelievable season at the plate for the Ramblin’ Wreck, hitting .381/.467/.794, leading Division I with 23 homers, and walking more than he’s struck out (22 walks and 21 strikeouts, as I write this). It’s a bizarre approach where he starts with the bat slung over his left shoulder like it’s a sack of potatoes, but he gets the bat to the zone on time. He’s an offense-first catcher, maybe a 45 glove with a 45 arm if you like him, and there are scouts who think he won’t stay behind the dish.

8. Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech

Jung’s best position is in the batter’s box, but he can hit, despite a weird approach of his own where he starts with the bat held way behind his left shoulder, pointing up at the press box. He’s hitting .375/.522/.702 so far, ranking eighth in Division I in on-base percentage (with twice as many walks as strikeouts), and he hits the ball hard despite that strange setup. He’s going to be stretched to stay at second in pro ball and may end up in left.

9. Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech

Cross crushes fastballs with good ball/strike recognition and above-average power, showing some athleticism and 55 speed, hitting very well in ACC play this year while cutting down on his strikeouts over previous seasons. He does have some issues with breaking ball recognition and hasn’t had to face a lot of left-handed pitching this spring. He’s played primarily center field for the Hokies but is more likely to end up in right field in pro ball, where he projects as a solid-average regular.

10. Sterlin Thompson, OF, Florida

Thompson would have been a high pick, probably in the second-round range, out of high school had the pandemic not cut short his senior year in 2020, but the draft-eligible sophomore has impressed with his sweet left-handed swing and ability to square up fastballs. He’s a below-average runner who’ll probably stick in an outfield corner, but he might end up at first base.
 

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Keith Law’s mock draft:

The MLB draft is just about two months away — which still seems ridiculous to say when we’re about to see the college conference tournaments begin, yet here we are. There are at least some indications of what might happen in the top half of the round now, enough rumors to make this mock something more than just wild speculation (which longtime readers know I hate doing). As the mock goes on, I rely more on my own intuition and less on specific rumors, because the teams down in the 20s still don’t have a good sense of who might get to them.

1. Baltimore Orioles: Jacob Berry, 3B/OF, LSU

The current betting has the Orioles taking a college position player and cutting a deal with him, as they did when picking second (2020) and fifth (2021) in the last two drafts, in part because they don’t believe that Druw Jones is head-and-shoulders above the remainder of the draft class. I will point out, however, that GM Mike Elias had the first overall pick in 2019 and took the best available player, Adley Rutschman; he had it three times while with Houston, and took the best available player twice (neither of which worked out). The other time was the most analogous to this year: the Astros thought four players were all roughly equal in value, or close enough to treat them as such and try to strike the best deal among them. They ended up with Carlos Correa, who was, in fact, the best player in the draft. That said, I think Berry is a future DH and wouldn’t take him anywhere near this high. The Orioles could also go with Brooks Lee, the Cal Poly shortstop who’ll at least stay on the dirt and can really hit.

Scouting report: “On bat alone, Berry would be a top-10 pick, as the transfer from the University of Arizona has mashed for two years, and drastically cut his strikeout rate even with the move to LSU and a less favorable home park … He has plus power and good pitch recognition, showing no trouble the few times he’s seen good velocity this year. He has no position, though – he’s been well below average at third and in left field.”

2. Arizona Diamondbacks: Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS, Gwinnett, GA

The Diamondbacks take Jones if he’s here, and I think they’d take either Elijah Green or Jackson Holliday if he’s not. They seem far less interested in the college bats than the teams around them.

Scouting report “Andruw Jones’ son is the consensus No. 1 player in the draft class, rising to the top because of the high floor he offers for a high school player as much as for his ceiling. He’s a plus defender in center now, with similar feel for the position to his father, gliding to catch fly balls thanks to strong reads off the bat. He is a plus runner with at least 60 raw power, with strength to drive the ball out to center, but his swing can get long and he can try too hard to get to that power on pitches he should just put into play. He does have a solid feel for the strike zone for his age, however, and doesn’t expand the zone on himself when he falls behind. He has All-Star upside.”

3. Texas Rangers: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater (OK) HS

The Rangers seem to be on the same three high school bats as Arizona is, presumably taking Jones in the unlikely event he gets there, then taking Holliday or Green if he’s not.

Scouting report: “Matt Holliday’s son – yes, that’s three sons of former big leaguers at the top, along with Jones and Collier (son of Lou Collier) – has one of the best swings in the class and has shown great feel to barrel up all kinds of pitching. He put on some good muscle this offseason and impressed scouts and executives when his team went to Arizona during spring break in March, shooting him up draft boards thanks to the fresh look against better competition in the Valley. He’s an above-average runner who has a chance to stay at shortstop, as well.”

4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly

The Pirates seem more inclined to go college with Lee, Berry, or maybe Jace Jung, but they’ve been all over local product Cole Young, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they went with Cam Collier, who’ll fare well in draft models because he’s 17 in junior college.

Scouting report: “Lee is the best hitter in the college class this year whether you ask scouts or look at his performance, which includes a .367/.476/.633 line and just an 8 percent strikeout rate for the Mustangs. He could have been a top 30-40 pick out of high school, but his commitment to go play for his dad at Cal Poly and injury questions during his senior year pushed him to school, which is going to pay off for him in July. There’s very little chance he stays at shortstop, lacking the footwork or agility for the position, but he should be fine at second or third, with excellent hands and a good internal clock.”

5. Washington Nationals: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech

The Nats have been linked to Parada for a few weeks here, although I imagine they’d consider one of the guys above (Holliday?) if they dropped.

Scouting report: “Parada has had an unbelievable season at the plate for the Ramblin’ Wreck … It’s a bizarre approach where he starts with the bat slung over his left shoulder like it’s a sack of potatoes, but he gets the bat to the zone on time. He’s an offense-first catcher, maybe a 45 glove with a 45 arm if you like him, and there are scouts who think he won’t stay behind the dish.”

6. Miami Marlins: Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays HS, Atlanta

Could be Elijah Green here too. They were one of the teams highest on Dylan Lesko before he got hurt, not that that means much now.

Scouting report: “Owner of the best pure hit tool in the draft class, Johnson has outstanding feel for the game and, despite a brief hitch at the beginning of his swing, has shown he can hit all kinds of pitching and spray the field with hard line drives. He also brings elite makeup, often acting as an additional coach on his high school team. He’ll move to second base in pro ball, and probably ends up more of a hitter for high averages but with 50 power.”

*7. Chicago Cubs: Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola College

Collier’s realistic range probably starts here and runs into the early teens; I’ve also heard them with Zach Neto. It sounds like it’s more likely a college bat than a high school one, although that may assume that Jones/Green/Johnson/Holliday are all gone.

Scouting report: “Collier finished high school early to go to two-year Chipola, probably the best junior college baseball program in the country. As a 17-year-old, he hit well despite facing pitchers who were mostly two-to-four years older. He has a plus-plus arm and the athleticism to stay at third base, although ultimately it’s his feel to hit that makes him a top-five talent in this draft. Look for teams that weigh age heavily in their draft models to target him in July.”

* FWIW, Keith Law has Cam Collier as the 2nd best prospect in the draft behind Drew Jones.

8. Minnesota Twins: Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS, Wexford, PA

Young has played extremely well this spring and pushed himself from late in the first round to a possible top 10 pick, with his age (he turns 19 in August) about the only thing working against him. The Twins could also go with Collier and might be the high mark for Gavin Cross.

Scouting report: “Young impressed scouts this spring with a slightly quieter approach and a good swing path that produces a ton of contact. He’s an above-average runner and has the arm strength to stay on the left side of the infield, although he’ll need some work to remain at shortstop.”

9. Kansas City Royals: Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy

This seems to be Green’s floor, although there are rumors of some team outside the top 10 trying to push him down with a big offer. They’re also linked to Collier and the most likely team in the top 10 to take a pitcher, possibly Brock Porter.

Scouting report: “For pure tools and upside, Green is probably the top pick among the high school crop, but lacks the present skills of Jones or the hit tool of Johnson. Green is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, and still has room to fill out, with plus power now and plus-plus speed, with a 30-30 centerfield upside. He has shown a lot more swing and miss than his peers atop the draft board, but playing for IMG Academy this spring he has also faced better competition than any other high school hitter.”

10. Colorado Rockies: Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech

Jung seems to be “sliding,” although I’m not sure why that would be true; the current sentiment is that he might slip out of the top ten entirely despite a great year for the Red Raiders. The Rockies are also a possible home for Porter.

Scouting report: “Jung’s best position is in the batter’s box, but he can hit, despite a weird approach of his own where he starts with the bat held way behind his left shoulder, pointing up at the press box … he hits the ball hard despite that strange setup. He’s going to be stretched to stay at second in pro ball and may end up in left.”
 

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Jim Bowden’s top 10 prospects:

This draft class is so front-loaded with position players that I don’t have a single pitcher listed in my top 10, at least not yet. But the early picks are particularly exciting because they will include four prep bats who could go in any order, and I think they all will develop into All-Star caliber players.

1. Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan School (Ga.)

Age: 18 B: R T: R
Height: 6-4 Weight: 180
Scouting grades: Hitting: 55 Power: 65 Fielding: 70 Running: 70 Arm: 65

Jones is the five-tool outfielder who does everything above average: hit, hit for power, run, field and throw. An elite defender in center field, he is arguably the best defensive outfielder in this draft, with special range in all directions and a strong arm. Jones has shown he can hit high velocity and stay back on off-speed pitches. I think he’ll develop 25-home run game power and probably end up as an average or slightly above-average major-league hitter in terms of BA and OBP.

2. Jackson Holliday, SS/2B, Stillwater (Okla.) High

Age: 18 B: L T: R
Height: 6-1 Weight: 180
Scouting grades: Hitting: 60 Power: 55 Fielding: 55 Running: 60 Arm: 55

Like his father, Holliday has a special hit tool and baseball instincts. He has shortened his left-handed swing considerably this spring, which has led to consistent sweet-spot contact with barrel awareness. Holliday has the raw power to develop into a 20-home run bat. He’ll probably end up at second or third base, especially if shifts are banned in the majors as expected. He made great strides physically during his senior year, adding strength, speed, flexibility and power.

3. Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Fla.)

Age: 18 B: R T: R
Height: 6-3 Weight: 225
Scouting grades: Hitting: 50 Power: 65 Fielding: 60 Running: 65 Arm: 60

Green, the son of former NFL tight end Eric Green, is a tremendous athlete who looks more like a running back than a baseball player. Last year I thought he’d be the first pick in the 2022 draft, and it might still happen. The best part of his game is that he uses the whole field, foul pole to foul pole, and generates the kind of loud contact that makes you take notice in batting practice even if you weren’t watching him. Green has game-changing speed and raw power that’ll have teams drooling. I ranked Jones and Holliday above him mainly because I like their hit tools more.

4. Termarr Johnson, 2B/SS, Mays (Ga.) High

Age: 17 B: L T: R
Height: 5-10 Weight: 175
Scouting grades: Hitting: 70 Power: 60 Fielding: 55 Running: 50 Arm: 50

Johnson has arguably the best hit tool in this draft class and projects as a player similar to Jose Altuve but without as much speed. Although listed at 5-foot-10, Johnson is probably closer to 5-8. He has excellent plate discipline. He takes a short, direct path to the ball, displaying special quickness and flexibility in his wrists. I made the Altuve comparison because I think Johnson will eventually have that kind of power along with the ability to lead the league in batting average. Johnson played shortstop in high school, but I see him as a second baseman in the major leagues.

5. Brooks Lee, SS/3B, Cal Poly

Age: 21 B: B T: R
Height: 6-2 Weight: 205
Scouting grades: Hitting: 65 Power: 55 Fielding: 55 Running: 50 Arm: 60

One of the best college bats in the draft, Lee played at Cal Poly for his father, Larry Lee, who’s the head coach. Brooks Lee has the best track record of any position player in this class after showing his ability in the Cape Cod League, with Team USA and in college. He’s a switch hitter who puts the ball in play and has proven he can hit with wood bats. Lee probably can stay at shortstop, but a move to third base is possible down the road. He’s one of the lowest-risk picks in this draft and should reach the majors relatively fast. He has great poise and leadership qualities.

6. Jacob Berry, 3B/OF/1B/DH, LSU

Age: 21 B: B T: R
Height: 6-0 Weight: 215
Scouting grades: Hitting: 60 Power: 65 Fielding: 40 Running: 40 Arm: 50

The team that drafts Berry will get a legitimate bat with power. He can mash all types of pitches. He destroys high-velocity fastballs at the top or bottom of the zone. He stays back on off-speed pitches, and you better not hang one because he’ll crush it. Third base has been Berry’s main position at LSU but he’s a below-average defender wherever you put him. He will probably end up at first base in the majors. He’s a well-below-average runner. But his bat and power tools are in “can’t miss” territory.

7. Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola College

Age: 17 B: L T: R
Height: 6-2 Weight: 210
Scouting grades: Hitting: 60 Power: 50 Fielding: 50 Running: 55 Arm: 65

At 17, Collier might be the highest-risk pick among my top 10, but he also has one of the highest ceilings in this draft. He’s a 6-foot-2, left-handed hitter with a lot of room to grow, physically and mentally. Collier, the son of former major leaguer Lou Collier, gives you goosebumps with his bat speed and the looseness in his hands and wrists. His hit tool is exciting.

8. Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny (Pa.) High

Age: 18 B: L T: R
Height: 6-0 Weight: 180
Scouting grades: Hitting: 60 Power: 40 Fielding: 50 Running: 55 Arm: 55

Longtime manager Jim Leyland used to preach to me to never overlook “baseball players” who don’t have the elite tools because they often become the standouts we watch in the World Series. Young looks like one of those players to me. He has committed to Duke but is expected to sign if he goes in the top half of the first round. I love his left-handed swing and that he doesn’t strike out. He has above-average speed on the bases and a solid arm from shortstop.

9. Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech

Age: 20 B: R T: R
Height: 6-1 Weight: 197
Scouting grades: Hitting: 60 Power: 65 Fielding: 50 Running: 40 Arm: 45

Parada is the best overall catching prospect in this draft, mostly because of his power bat. He projects as a .300 hitter with 25-home run power. He’s improved a lot defensively but still needs to speed up his footwork and release times. His arm is slightly below average. His accuracy is getting better with a ways to go. However, Parada is intelligent and works hard on his game. With the automated ball and strike system (aka robo umps) coming to the big leagues in the future, Parada’s value increases because offense will become more important for catchers when that’s adopted, and pitch framing and foot speed won’t be as important.

10. Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech

Age: 21 B: L T: L
Height: 6-3 Weight: 210
Scouting grades: Hitting: 55 Power: 55 Fielding: 50 Running: 55 Arm: 50

By now, you’ve figured out that I put more emphasis on hitting than any other tool, and Cross is another player who has a special hit tool with above-average power. He’s also a solid base runner who might play center field initially in pro ball but could end up in a corner spot, like Starling Marte did with the Mets. Cross was recently named first-team All-ACC for the second time in his career.
 

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Because it’s the cubs, I expect them to pass on any talented power arms their system so desperately needs (cue csf77 with names of middling specs that can hit 96 on the gun) for another high obp middle infielder.

Rounds 2-10 comes the ol’ tried and true method to find pitching that’s been not good for a decade of throwing buckets of shit against the wall and hoping something sticks with soft tossing college arms whilst they disappear into obscurity in the minors and we seldom hear their name after draft day.
 

SilenceS

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Because it’s the cubs, I expect them to pass on any talented power arms their system so desperately needs (cue csf77 with names of middling specs that can hit 96 on the gun) for another high obp middle infielder.

Rounds 2-10 comes the ol’ tried and true method to find pitching that’s been not good for a decade of throwing buckets of shit against the wall and hoping something sticks with soft tossing college arms whilst they disappear into obscurity in the minors and we seldom hear their name after draft day.
What? The Cubs drafted three pitchers in the first round in the past 5 years and have paid over slot for first second round talents with bonus money. They all touch mid 90's. This post is completely wrong.
 

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What? The Cubs drafted three pitchers in the first round in the past 5 years and have paid over slot for first second round talents with bonus money. They all touch mid 90's. This post is completely wrong.

Funny you bring up the 1st round selections, because 3 out of the last 6 years have been middle infielders, but I see you slickly stopping the buck at 5.

The only thing completely wrong is your assumption that my definition of “power arm” is what yours is. I want a consistent mid-upper 90s/TOR potential, but I suppose the ability to merely ‘touch’ mid-90s and some other nonsense about being under slot value ticks the box of power arm for the dumbest mod on the board and I’m sure some other fans.

Wicks consistently hits low 90s but has ‘touched’ 94. That’s a power arm if I’ve ever seen it.

Jensen is 94-96 but touched 98-99, which is better, until you look at his time in the minors then him signing under slot for that extra amount for a 2nd rounder talent makes more sense because he’s target practice.

Brendon Little also touches mid 90s with his 2 seam. He looks great in 8 minors appearances this year, which I guess is a positive sign until you see he was drafted 5 years ago out of college.

I can still list all the 2nd round/beyond college arms I assume are MIA at this point.
 

SilenceS

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Funny you bring up the 1st round selections, because 3 out of the last 6 years have been middle infielders, but I see you slickly stopping the buck at 5.

The only thing completely wrong is your assumption that my definition of “power arm” is what yours is. I want a consistent mid-upper 90s/TOR potential, but I suppose the ability to merely ‘touch’ mid-90s and some other nonsense about being under slot value ticks the box of power arm for the dumbest mod on the board and I’m sure some other fans.

Wicks consistently hits low 90s but has ‘touched’ 94. That’s a power arm if I’ve ever seen it.

Jensen is 94-96 but touched 98-99, which is better, until you look at his time in the minors then him signing under slot for that extra amount for a 2nd rounder talent makes more sense because he’s target practice.

Brendon Little also touches mid 90s with his 2 seam. He looks great in 8 minors appearances this year, which I guess is a positive sign until you see he was drafted 5 years ago out of college.

I can still list all the 2nd round/beyond college arms I assume are MIA at this point.
So, half the time they are drafting pitchers. Wicks sits at 91-94 and tops out at 97 as a left hander. The rest of your post just shows how wrong your first one was in the first place. The Cubs dont lack power arms.

You seem upset though. You should write a stern letter to Jed about how you would have 5 Verlanders on the team by now
 

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Law: Kumar Rocker Looked the Part in Frontier League Debut
We learned last month that Kumar Rocker inked a deal with the Tri-City Valleycats, where he’ll pitch before the MLB Draft during the All-Star break, and according to Keith Law of The Athletic, Rocker looked the part of a top-10 pick in his Frontier League debut on Saturday night.

According to Law, Rocker was hitting 98 on Saturday night and sitting 95-98 in four innings of work against the Trois Rivières in Troy, N.Y.:

“Rocker’s velocity was as good as ever on Saturday, as he hit 98 mph multiple times and was 95-98 mph over his four innings, racing through the Trois Rivières order the first time before running into a little trouble in the fourth inning. Rocker showed four pitches, just as he did when I saw him last year, with two breaking balls that kind of run into each other and a changeup that’s clearly the fourth pitch in his repertoire. He showed a better feel for his breaking stuff after the first inning when he threw a few curveballs without a lot of conviction, but both pitches were above-average when he got rolling, with the slider up to 89 mph and the curveball showing tighter rotation.”



Ok so seeing how this draft is hitter top 10. Cubs at #7. Rocker IMO would be a strong play from Jed. He would be almost MLB ready. It would create a outstanding rotation with him, Kilian, Wicks, Hertz and Marquez.

The best play off teams are built around starting pitching and not stocking up on a other bat to store away for a rainy day.
 

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Keith Law mock draft 2.0. Interestingly, Law thinks Dylan Lesko gets drafted somewhere between pick 30-45. He would have been a top 5-10 pick before the Tommy John Surgery:

1. Baltimore: Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan High (Suwanee, Ga.)

I think the only thing we know about Baltimore’s pick is that nobody outside of maybe three people in that organization will know who they’re taking until about five minutes before the pick. That was true every time the Astros drafted first with Mike Elias as scouting director, and it has been true with Elias as GM in Baltimore. We’re just offering educated guesses. Elias did indicate over the weekend that they’re probably not taking a pitcher, but – waves theatrically at imaginary draft board with no pitchers ranked in the top 10 – duh.

Even just limiting it to position players, though, I could still give you seven guys I think they might be considering, and acknowledge I might be missing someone. Jones, Jackson Holliday and Elijah Green seem obvious. Termarr Johnson and Cam Collier are possibilities – Collier just seems so much like someone who’d fit the criteria we can infer from Baltimore’s picks from the last four drafts. Brooks Lee and Jacob Berry are the two most likely college bats to go here. But right now I’d guess it’s one of the first three on this list, and since Jones is the best player in the draft by a modest margin, I’m putting him here for this mock.

Scouting report: Jones is the son of Andruw Jones, and his game bears many resemblances to his father’s, not least in the outfield, where Druw is already a plus defender and could work his way up to an elite level with experience. At the plate, he shows 70 power thanks to the strength in his wrists and forearms, with more power possible as he fills out further. And he has shown some bat control against amateur competition, with some understanding of when to pull the ball and when to try to go the other way. He’s a plus runner right now but may lose some of that down the road as he gets bigger, as his father did by age 24-25. The real question on Druw is whether he’ll hit – if he does, he’s a superstar, with 30/30 potential and a glove that should save 10 or more runs a year in center. If he’s more of a 45 bat, he still has plenty of major-league value due to the secondary skills, so he could be worth several WAR per year even with a .300ish on-base percentage. He’d have to be a worse hitter than even that to be something less than a regular, and the unlikeliness of that outcome combined with his very high ceiling make him the top prospect in this year’s draft class.

2. Arizona: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater (Okla.) High

I believe if the Orioles don’t take Jones, the Diamondbacks will; and if the Orioles do take Jones, the Diamondbacks will cry for one-tenth of a second and take Holliday. They’re in a pretty good spot for this class.

Scouting report: I’m not sure anyone has helped himself more than Holliday has this spring, notably during his team’s spring break trip to Arizona in March, where Holliday showed incredibly well in front of a lot of decision-makers in town for spring training. He has one of the best swings in the draft, even with a slight bat wrap, with strong plate coverage and above-average power, more likely to be a high-doubles guy with 15-20 homers than a 30-homer guy even at his peak. He’s been hard to strike out as an amateur, only showing occasional weakness against fastballs up, and so far his pitch recognition has been strong for his age and experience level. He’s improved his defensive skills at shortstop, although there’s also been talk of him moving to centerfield to take advantage of his speed if he can’t stay at short, rather than moving him to second or third. It also hasn’t hurt that his father, Matt, was a longtime big-leaguer and seven-time All-Star, and that scouts have been just as impressed by Jackson’s younger brother, Ethan, who may become a top-5 pick in the 2023 draft. Jackson’s heading for the same range this year.

3. Texas: Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)

Green would be a reversal of form for the Rangers, who’ve gone college in the first round in the last three years, including Vanderbilt’s Jack Leiter in 2021.

Scouting report: Green looks the part of a future star in size, frame, and especially tools, with a strong, athletic 6-3 build, explosive speed, and plus power already that projects to 70 in the future. It’s easy, easy power, with fantastic hand acceleration after a quiet start, and when he gets his arms extended the ball jumps off his bat. All his power comes on pitches on the middle or outer thirds, although he can still make contact on the inner third, just without the same sort of impact. The concern on Green has always been his tendency to swing and miss, especially on stuff in the zone; he doesn’t chase fastballs, but will miss fastball strikes, especially up, and can expand for breaking stuff down and away. He has the most pure upside of the high school position players in the class, with 30/30 potential in a true centerfielder who throws well enough to play right, with a bit more risk than some of the other hitters in the top echelon.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola College

This rumor has been picking up steam the past two weeks, especially with Collier going to the Cape Cod League as a 17-year-old, reaching base six times in 12 plate appearances, and then going out to the MLB Combine and playing well there. The Pirates have also come up as a possible home for Brooks Lee.

Scouting report: Collier is one of the youngest players in this draft class, as he won’t turn 18 until November, but he pulled a Bryce Harper by leaving high school after his sophomore year to attend Chipola College, one of the best junior college baseball programs in the country. It is paying off, as he’s hitting for average and getting on base this spring with solid power production despite being the youngest player on the Chipola roster and younger than every pitcher he’s faced. Collier, whose father Lou played in the majors for several years as an extra outfielder, is 6-foot-2 and may still grow a little with a ton of room to fill out. He’s a third baseman now and good enough to stay there with a 70 arm and the agility to handle the position as the game speeds up. At the plate, he’s more than held his own against much better pitching than what he saw in high school; he’s had some expected issues with breaking stuff but also shown he can adjust to some of those pitches and stay back to take them the other way. He needs to add some more strength to better control the barrel as well as make harder contact, as his hands work well enough at the plate for him to be a plus hitter with average power. He’s committed to Louisville but should be a top-five pick in the draft.

5. Washington Nationals: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech

This connection keeps coming up – I don’t feel like anything is certain but I have more confidence in this name/team link than most in this mock. If Jones is here, or maybe Holliday, that could change their plans.

Scouting report: Parada has been one of the best hitters in college baseball this year, tying for sixth in Division 1 with 26 home runs while walking nearly as often as he struck out on the season (32:30 K:BB), and does so despite one of the more bizarre setups you’ll see in a hitter and while handling the most difficult position on the diamond. Parada sets up at the plate with the bat slung over his shoulder like a bag of golf clubs, but gets the bat to the zone on time, even against better velocity. His plate discipline and pitch recognition are both advanced for an amateur and he’s shown some ability to make adjustments in-season already. Behind the plate, he’s adequate as a receiver with fringy arm strength, good enough to stay there because he hits so well. With 20-25 homer power and a potential 60 hit tool at a position of permanent scarcity, he offers some of the best pure value in the draft class.

6. Miami Marlins: Termarr Johnson, 2B, Mays High (Atlanta)

I’d heard all spring the Marlins wanted one of Johnson, Dylan Lesko or Green. I don’t think they’d pop Lesko here after Tommy John, and Lesko may end up someone’s second-pick overpay. Johnson shouldn’t get much farther than this, not with him No. 1 on many scouts’ individual lists.

Scouting report: Johnson has the best pure hit tool in the draft class, with scouts saying it’s the best hit tool they’ve seen on a high school kid in a decade or more. Despite a small hitch in his swing, he does hit all pitch types and controls the zone, with outstanding hand-eye coordination and great bat speed, making good quality contact but with only average power. He’s a shortstop now but will move to second base in pro ball, with good hands but not the footwork to handle short. I think the present hit tool is a 60, at best, rather than a 70, although perhaps it will get there in time, but he’s swung and missed enough against good competition that the higher grade doesn’t apply just yet. He has exceptional makeup in every evaluation, from his feel for the game to the way he acts as an additional coach on the field to the interviews he’s had with scouts and team executives, so there’s greater confidence that he’ll reach his ceiling than there is for just about any high school player. That ceiling is tied to just how good his hit tool can become.

7. Chicago Cubs: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly

The Cubs have been thrown around as Collier’s floor, and I think they’d be in on Parada if he gets this far. If Lee is gone, they could go with Zach Neto, staying in the college infielder ranks.

Scouting report: Lee has been the best pure hitter among college prospects this year, running a walk-to-strikeout rate over 2.00 all season and punching out well under 10 percent of the time. He controls the zone well and rarely misses fastballs within it, thanks to exceptional hand-eye coordination. His swing is unorthodox and kind of noisy, with some evident effort, but with all that hip and torso rotation he doesn’t always make the high-quality contact teams are looking for in elite prospects. I don’t think Lee is a shortstop long term; he has outstanding hands that will play anywhere on the field, but his ankles are thick and he’s a 40 runner, so the lateral agility that position demands may just be beyond his physical ability. Put him at third base and he should be fine. It’s a bet on the bat, and that a pro department can take this foundation of contact skills and help him get to more consistent contact quality; it’s easier to teach someone to hit the ball harder than it is to teach him to hit the ball in the first place. Lee should be a strong regular who makes some All-Star teams as a third or second baseman
 

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Law: Kumar Rocker Looked the Part in Frontier League Debut
We learned last month that Kumar Rocker inked a deal with the Tri-City Valleycats, where he’ll pitch before the MLB Draft during the All-Star break, and according to Keith Law of The Athletic, Rocker looked the part of a top-10 pick in his Frontier League debut on Saturday night.

According to Law, Rocker was hitting 98 on Saturday night and sitting 95-98 in four innings of work against the Trois Rivières in Troy, N.Y.:

“Rocker’s velocity was as good as ever on Saturday, as he hit 98 mph multiple times and was 95-98 mph over his four innings, racing through the Trois Rivières order the first time before running into a little trouble in the fourth inning. Rocker showed four pitches, just as he did when I saw him last year, with two breaking balls that kind of run into each other and a changeup that’s clearly the fourth pitch in his repertoire. He showed a better feel for his breaking stuff after the first inning when he threw a few curveballs without a lot of conviction, but both pitches were above-average when he got rolling, with the slider up to 89 mph and the curveball showing tighter rotation.”



Ok so seeing how this draft is hitter top 10. Cubs at #7. Rocker IMO would be a strong play from Jed. He would be almost MLB ready. It would create a outstanding rotation with him, Kilian, Wicks, Hertz and Marquez.

The best play off teams are built around starting pitching and not stocking up on a other bat to store away for a rainy day.

I just don’t see any way that Rocker gets drafted higher than he did last season. He’ll probably go mid first round.
 

CSF77

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I just don’t see any way that Rocker gets drafted higher than he did last season. He’ll probably go mid first round.

Cubs really don't need a SS moved off position. They have a boat load of that.

Cubs should target Kumar like they did with Schwarber and then use that to over slot HS hard to sign types.
 

CSF77

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So, half the time they are drafting pitchers. Wicks sits at 91-94 and tops out at 97 as a left hander. The rest of your post just shows how wrong your first one was in the first place. The Cubs dont lack power arms.

You seem upset though. You should write a stern letter to Jed about how you would have 5 Verlanders on the team by now

Wicks was the first pitcher Jed or Theo ever pick with a top 20 pick with the Cubs. Before that Jenson was high 20's. The other two were sandwich picks.

So ya Wicks was the First guy picked with a quality slot. That was post Theo so who knows with a new GM change tends to happen.

Like I said. Kumar makes sense as he should be pretty damn close and fits into the time frame that the wave of starters hits.

It also becomes a under slot signing this giving Jed more cash to sign guys like Cease
 

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