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2022 MLB Draft: A Peek Ahead

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:

1. Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly: Slick-fielding SS who can rake from both sides of the plate. Best MLB Comp: Mid-2000’s Carlos Guillen.

2. Brock Jones, OF, Stanford: Front-of-the-order dynamo who can draw walks, hit with power, and run, all while playing a world-class CF. Best MLB Comp: Souped-up Brett Gardner.

3. Jacob Berry, 3B, LSU: Switch-hitting transfer from Arizona should set the SEC ablaze as a draft-eligible sophomore. Best MLB Comp: If he proves he can handle 3B, Robin Ventura.

4. Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech: Prototype right fielder with massive power and a howitzer for an arm. Best MLB Comp: Austin Meadows who plays defense.

5. Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech: LHH with explosive bat speed and great plate discipline. Best MLB Comp: A less smooth, less athletic Chase Utley.

6. Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech: Excellent all-around backstop who flirted with .400 for much of the season before tailing off. Best MLB Comp: Will Smith.

7. Carter Young, SS, Vanderbilt: Electric player who displayed a massive uptick in power in 2021; however, high fastballs have been his kryptonite. Best MLB Comp: Jazz Chisholm.

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.

11. Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas: Tremendous mid-90’s fastball/sharp slider combo from a slight frame, but his health is currently a huge question mark. Best MLB Comp: Walker Buehler.

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.

13. Jared McKenzie, OF, Baylor: Strong hit tool with burgeoning power despite lack of physicality, but he will likely have to move to a corner in pro ball. Best MLB Comp: David Peralta.

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.

16. Peyton Graham, 3B, Oklahoma: Uber-athletic third sacker who could be a Gold Glove candidate at the hot corner or move all over the field if needed. Best MLB Comp: Matt Duffy, but with more power.

17. Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison: Immense power-hitting currently tearing up the Cape. Best MLB Comp: Ryan Klesko.

18. Hunter Barco, LHP, Florida: Big lefty with quality three-pitch mix who impressed with Team USA this summer. Best MLB Comp: Jon Lester.

19. Logan Tanner, C, Mississippi State: Intimidating presence behind the plate with a cannon arm who should also be good for at least 15-18 HR a season: Best MLB Comp: Jake Rogers.

20. Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State: Mid-90’s heater and toxic slider; will shoot up this list if he proves he can start next year. Best MLB Comp: Zach Plesac.

21. Dylan Beavers, OF, California: Burst on the scene in 2021 to lead the Pac-12 in HR. Lefty slugger is relatively young for his class. Best MLB Comp: A more athletic Trevor Larnach.

22. Bryce Hubbart, LHP, Florida State: Throwback lefty whose breaking stuff is equally as impressive as his low 90’s heater. Making hitters look foolish on the Cape. Best MLB Comp: Danny Duffy.

23. Adam Stone, RHP, Harvard: Large and still-projectable fireballer with optimal metrics on all his pitches. Best MLB Comp: James Taillon.

24. Daniel Susac, C, Arizona: Bat-first catcher with plenty of pop and should be able to stick behind the dish. Best MLB Comp: Mitch Garver.

25. Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, ECU: Fastball sits in the low 90’s and is supported by the nation’s best changeup and a solid deuce. Best MLB Comp: Cliff Lee.

26. Cayden Wallace, 3B/OF, Arkansas: Draft-eligible sophomore should return to his natural 3B and will offer suitors steady defense and above average power. Best MLB Comp: Casey Blake.

27. Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee: Lanky right was a weekend starter for an Omaha-bound team. Pitches in mid-90’s with plenty of projection left. Best MLB Comp: John Lackey.

28. Victor Mederos, RHP, Oklahoma State: Transferring out of Miami (FL) after a tough first year on campus. Big stuff but has been plagued by inconsistency. Best MLB Comp: Pablo Lopez.

29. Cade Doughty, 2B/3B, LSU: Versatile infielder who has showcased above average hit tool. Best MLB Comp: Chris Taylor.

30. Owen Diodati, OF/1B, Alabama: LHH Canadian is young for his class and offers big power but also serious swing-and-miss. Best MLB Comp: Ryan Klesko.


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