With the dust barely settled from the 2021 draft, College Baseball Nation looks ahead to next year. And what a year it could be! Unlike this year’s draft, next year should provide a rich bounty of offensive talent and might possibly rival 2005 in terms of providing the greatest haul of positional talent ever (for those keeping score at home, the 1st round of the 2005 draft produced seven college hitters who tallied a career WAR of at least 10). On the pitching side of things, there is a little more uncertainty, however, as two of the top three hurlers on the list have already succumbed to arm injuries. That said, 2022 looks to be a bonanza and we can’t wait for next February to get here!
Here are the best available players from the college ranks:
8. Reggie Crawford, LHP, Connecticut: A two-way player who has exhibited plenty of pop as a 1B, but with a heater approaching the century mark and promising slider, he should go early as a southpaw enforcer. Best MLB Comp: Amir Garrett who tries his hand at starting.
9. Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama: With command of three plus pitches he had established himself as the consensus best college pitcher for 2022, but succumbed to Tommy John surgery this spring. If Cal Quantrill in 2016 is any indication, should still be a 1st round selection next year. Best MLB Comp: Mark Langston, but with better control.
10. Robert Moore, 2B/SS, Arkansas: A high voltage player on both offense and defense with a penchant for big plays in the biggest moments. Likely to man 2B long-term. Best MLB Comp: A switch-hitting Scooter Gennett with a better eye and defense.
12. Justin Campbell, RHP, Oklahoma State: Two-way player whose future is undoubtedly on the mound. 6-07/220 frame is deceiving; relies more on command and well-developed secondaries than intimidating velocity. Best MLB Comp: Doug Fister.
14. Hayden Dunhurst, C, Ole Miss: Has a great approach at the plate, which results in impressive batted ball metrics. Behind it, is a quiet receiver with a strong arm and quick release. Best MLB Comp: Jason Varitek.
15. Jonathan Cannon, RHP, Georgia: Lanky righthander was slowed by mononucleosis and went undrafted in 2021 after failing to live up to expectations. Best MLB Comp: A slider-centric version of Adam Wainwright.