Updated: Jun 24
Welcome to 2022, everyone, and welcome to the 2022 college baseball season!
College Baseball Nation has waited over half a year for the opportunity to introduce our 2022 1st and 2nd All-America Teams. It was an extra special honor to select both squads, as the collection of draft eligible talent might very well be among the best in the history of college baseball, rivaling 1985, 2005, and 2011. And if that’s not enough, the 10 players from the ’23 class give credence to the widely held belief that next year’s draft could be a bonanza as well.
The strength of this year’s crop is evidenced not just by the ability of the 20 ’22 eligible players on this list, but also by the players who barely missed the cut. Stars like Ole Miss backstop Hayden Dunhurst, LSU IF Cade Doughty, and Arkansas 3B/OF Cayden Wallace would have easily been honored prior to last season but this year are forced to take a back seat.
And if any of our readers wanted more proof that the SEC is by far college baseball’s most talent-laden conference, how about trying this stat on for size? Twelve of our 30 All-Americans, or 40 percent, play at SEC schools. The Pac-12, ACC, and Big 12 combined drew just 15 players.
Although we certainly pay attention to each player’s performance in selecting both squads, we base our picks predominantly on each candidate’s projected upside and big-league potential.
Please join us again in several weeks when we introduce College Baseball Nation's Freshman All-America Teams.
Daniel Susac (2022 draft eligible), RHH, Arizona—Susac has leapfrogged Georgia Tech’s Kevin Parada in a tight race for best catcher in a draft class that’s loaded with talented backstops. Susac’s strong batted ball metrics, burgeoning power, and the likelihood that he can stick behind the dish could make him a top-10 pick in July.
Caden Grice (2023), LHH, Clemson—If power’s your thing, then Grice is your guy. The 6-06/235 man-child has more voltage in his swing than any other collegiate and frequently makes jaws drop with his majestic home runs. However, as his 32.9% K-rate suggests, contact is Grice’s Achilles heel and a facet of his game he’ll have to improve in order to assert himself as a 1st rounder in 2023.
Jace Jung (2022), LHH, Texas Tech—The jury is still out as to whether Jung will play 2B or 3B long-term, although no one doubts his prowess at the plate. Jung combines excellent pitch selection (49/45 BB/K ratio in 2021) with power to all fields, as evidenced by last year’s 45.7 XBH%.
Brooks Lee (2022), SH, Cal Poly—Is there anything Lee can’t do? After OPSing 1.010 last spring with a minuscule K-rate of 13.6%, Lee wowed observers on the Cape by improving that mark to nearly 1.100. Then he promptly homered off AA arm Simeon Woods-Richardson in a Team USA exhibition against the Tokyo-bound pro squad. Oh, and he should be able to stick at SS as a pro.
Brock Wilken (2023), RHH, Wake Forest—Expect Wilken and LSU slugger Dylan Crews to keep duking it out for the next two seasons as each tries to assert himself as the best college bat in the run-up to the ’23 draft. Wilken followed a monster freshmen campaign at Wake Forest with an equally impressive showing in the Cape Cod League—he slugged 16 XBHs in just 158 PAs while posting an easy-on-the-eyes 15.8% BB rate. Wilken doesn’t offer world-class range at the hot corner, but his arm’s at least a 60 and he’s sure-handed.
Brock Jones (2022), LHH, Stanford—A former gridiron star, Jones has athleticism oozing out of his pores. He slugged 16 home runs, stole 14 bases and robbed hit after hit in CF. In addition, Jones’ 19% BB rate portends a dynamic leadoff hitter at the next level.
Chase DeLauter (2022), LHH, James Madison—Don’t be fooled by the mid-major program. DeLauter is a 6-04/230 behemoth with a refined offensive game who shined on both sides of the ball on the Cape and also impressed observers with his ability to play CF.
Gavin Cross (2022), LHH, Virginia Tech—Cross’ batted ball data, including a 95 MPH average exit velocity (EV) and a max EV approaching 115 MPH, place him in the pantheon of college baseball’s best hitters. He also showed well in CF in last summer’s Team USA Stars and Stripes Series and should see some time there in 2022.
Jacob Berry (2022), SH, LSU—Berry tore up the Pac-12 as a true freshman at Arizona and then followed coach Jay Johnstone to LSU. But not before smashing seven XBHs in just 31 ABs during the Stars and Stripes Series. A draft-eligible sophomore, Berry’s stock will soar if he proves he can handle the hot corner.
Blade Tidwell (2022), RHP, Tennessee—With plenty of present stuff, including a fastball he can run up to 99 MPH, remaining physical projection, and clean mechanics, the draft eligible sophomore has as much upside as any pitcher in the country. His hammer curveball and low-spin changeup are excellent secondaries.
Bryce Hubbart (2022), LHP, Florida State—Though the current trend is for pitching prospects to set Rapsodo machines ablaze with out-of-this-world pitch metrics, Hubbart is more of an old school lefty who relies primarily on deception and pinpoint control and command of his traditional fastball-curveball-changeup mix. He started throwing a slider against left-handed batters last summer on the Cape.
Landon Sims (2022), RHP, Mississippi State—One of the more intriguing stories of 2022 will be how Sims takes to starting. The Georgia native’s mid-90’s heat and lethal slider made him a force out of the Bulldogs’ pen in ‘21, as evidenced by his 100 punch outs and just 29 hits allowed in 56 IP, and if he demonstrates increased stamina and growth with his changeup he could be the first college arm off the board.
Hunter Barco (2022), LHP, Florida—At 6-04/220, Barco is a big, durable lefty who projects as a mid-to-back-of-the-rotation stalwart. His low-90’s fastball lacks explosive movement, but he makes up for it with a swing-and-miss inducing low-80’s slider and equally nasty splitter. Many envision him to be the Gators’ Friday night ace in ‘22.
Tanner Witt (2023), RHP, Texas—A highly coveted recruit, Witt impressed with a banner ’21 operating out of the Longhorns’ bullpen. He should transition to a weekend starting role this year, where his mid-90’s heater and knee-buckling deuce should catapult him into top-10 consideration for 2023. His changeup is still a work-in-progress.
Eric Adler (2022), RHP, Wake Forest—Adler has added nearly 20 pounds to his frame and over 5 MPH to his heater since arriving at analytics bastion Wake Forest. Despite pedestrian numbers in 17 games with the Demon Deacons last spring, he dominated on the Cape with 16.7 and 3.4 K/9 and 3.4 H/9, respectively. Adler’s primary objective this season will be establishing better control of his 95-96 MPH cheddar and 82-85 MPH slider.
Kevin Parada (2022), RHH, Georgia Tech—The sophomore-eligible Parada was one of the top preps to forego the 2020 draft, and it looks like this decision will pay huge dividends. Though still raw on defense, Parada’s strong arm and mobility make him a good bet to remain a catcher in the pro ranks. His bat is his calling card—he makes excellent contact and is expected to mature into a 15-20 HR power threat.
Tre Morgan (2023), LHH, LSU—Morgan’s advanced hit tool earned rave reviews from the moment he took his first swing at The Box, and his slick defense has nearly as many admirers.
Robert Moore (2022), SH, Arkansas—Moore, the son of Royals’ GM Dayton Moore, has attained celebrity status in Fayetteville for his clutch hitting and superb defense. Though a bit undersized at 5-09/165, Moore has plenty of power from both sides of the plate. Because he arrived at Arkansas a year early, Moore will barely be 20 by the time the draft rolls around.
Jacob Gonzalez (2023), LHH, Ole Miss—While Wilken and Crews pack more punch at the plate, Gonzalez’ refined hit tool and buttery smooth actions at shortstop may catapult him to the front of the ’23 draft class before all is said and done.
Peyton Graham (2022), RHH, Oklahoma—Graham is an athletic third sacker who could be a Gold Glove candidate at the hot corner or move all over the field if needed. He came back to earth last season after bursting out of the gate with the bat during the shortened 2020 campaign. There’s plenty of room to add muscle to Graham’s 6-04/185 frame.
Dylan Crews (2023), RHH, LSU—The highest-rated prep to set foot on a college campus following the 2020 draft, Crews was a star from day one after arriving in Baton Rouge. The 6-01/200 slugger put up an Atari-esque .362/.453/.663 slash line while striking out just 15.3% of the time. He then hit .350 with plenty of pop during an abbreviated stay with Team USA. In addition to his offensive heroics, Crews plays a strong RF and should even see time in CF as the remainder of his college career unfolds.
Enrique Bradfield (2023), LHH, Vanderbilt—The Kenny Lofton comps have come fast and furious and they’re not unjustified. Bradfield has top-shelf speed and covers more ground in CF than a late model Toro. At the plate he’s a line drive machine with a selective eye. Power will never be his strong suit, but he has become much more adept at impacting the baseball since arriving in Nashville.
Dylan Beavers (2022), LHH, California—Beavers burst onto the scene in 2021 when he led the Pac-12 in home runs and showcased impressive athleticism and a good arm in both CF and RF. The lefty slugger is relatively young for the draft class, not turning 21 until August.
Zach Neto (2022), RHH, Campbell—Neto has quickly risen up draft boards despite his small-school affiliation. He’s able to tap into plenty of power even though he uses a simple, contact-based approach, and his soft hands and above-average range and arm should make staying at the “6” a near certainty.
Patrick Reilly (2023), RHP, Vanderbilt—It was just two starts, yet Reilly’s 10-scoreless-inning cameo on the Cape has scouts salivating at what the future may hold for the 6-03/210 righty. Reilly can reside in the mid-90’s for innings at a time with his 2500+ RPM 4-seamer and his 84-87 MPH slider and fading changeup are equally as dangerous.
Christian Little (2023), RHP, Vanderbilt—With his early matriculation at Vanderbilt, Little will be barely 20 when the 2023 draft rolls around. That said, his current repertoire, which already features a fastball that can hit 95 MPH and three above-average secondary offerings, is on par with hurlers many years his senior. Little will team with Reilly and (most likely) Nick Maldonado to give the Commodores the makings of the SEC’s best weekend rotation.
Justin Campbell (2022), RHP, Oklahoma State—Much like former 16-game winner Doug Fister, Campbell is a lanky (6-07/220) righty who impresses with command of a vast array of pitches as opposed to a flame-throwing enforcer. He put up exceptional numbers with the Cowboys last spring and then acquitted himself nicely against the nation’s top bats on the Stars and Stripes circuit.
Teddy McGraw (2023), RHP, Wake Forest—A raw Northeast arm when he arrived on campus, McGraw experienced some growing pains as a freshman, as evidenced by his 19 BBs in just 18.1 IP. However, he righted the ship on the Cape and in the Perfect Game Collegiate League this summer and by fall ball was hitting 99 MPH with his heater, while featuring a plus slider (with a spin rate up to 2900 RPMs) and a solid changeup.
Parker Messick (2022), LHP, Florida State—Reliable. That’s the word mentioned most when scouts discuss Messick. Nothing about his repertoire stands out—he sits in the low 90’s with his fastball and neither of his secondaries are considered plus. However, Messick’s command combined with the deception in his delivery have made him successful at the college level and have observers believing he could carve out a Wade Miley-type career in MLB.
Ben Joyce (2022), RHP, Tennessee—Joyce is by far the most unheralded player on either team, never having thrown a pitch for a 4-year school after playing for Walters State CC then missing last season due to injury. The lack of high profile experience notwithstanding, he regularly threw 100 MPH pellets in the fall with an above average slider and changeup.