With the draft less than 36 hours away, College Baseball Nation has completed its final formal mock draft before Sunday’s festivities. As readers will see, there’s still a tremendous amount of uncertainty heading into the draft with a good chance much of the ambiguity will not be cleared up until early Sunday evening.
Please stay tuned to my Twitter feed for the latest real-time updates. Otherwise, enjoy!
1) Baltimore Orioles; Termarr Johnson, 2B, Atlanta, GA (HS)—When there’s a clear candidate for 1-01, GM Mike Elias isn’t afraid to pay full freight. Otherwise, he’s apt to strike a deal and use the extra cash later in the draft. Of the “Big Four” prep bats, Johnson is the best bet to strike a well below slot deal.
2) Arizona Diamondbacks; Druw Jones, OF, Suwanee GA (HS)—With Baltimore popping Johnson, the Diamondbacks are waiting with open arms for Jones. He’s the highest ranked player on their board.
3) Texas Rangers; Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater, OK (HS)—Texas would take Jones if he falls, but they’ve been smitten with Holliday since his meteoric rise began in March.
4) Pittsburgh Pirates; Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola JC—Pittsburgh also likes Brooks Lee a lot, but they’ve been on Collier all spring.
5) Washington Nationals; Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech—GM Mike Rizzo and the Nats have had their eye on Elijah Green, Gavin Cross, and Jacob Berry, but Parada’s historical ’22 campaign tips the scales in his favor.
6) Miami Marlins; Elijah Green, OF, Windermere, FL (HS)—Green’s price tag is reportedly in the $7 million range, but the Marlins showed last year with Khalil Watson that they’re not afraid to go big game hunting.
7) Chicago Cubs; Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly—Many were certain Lee was bound for the top 3, but questionable medicals will trigger a slight drop.
8) Minnesota Twins; Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech—The pick here will boil down to a debate between Cross and Jacob Berry.
9) Kansas City Royals; Jacob Berry, 3B/OF, LSU—Up until earlier this week, all indications were that KC would “go rogue” and take a player further down the list then float a high-priced prep to their comp pick at 35. But after giving up the latter in this week’s Drew Waters trade, the Royals will likely take a college bat at or near slot here. Cross, if he’s still available, is another possibility.
10) Colorado Rockies; Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech—We’re hearing it’s a toss-up between Cross and Jung for the Rockies.
11) New York Mets; Daniel Susac, C, Arizona—This pick, compensation for the Mets’ inability to sign their 1st round pick from last year, Kumar Rocker, is unprotected. Therefore, all signs point to a college player, and the Mets have been in on Susac all spring.
12) Detroit Tigers; Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama—Detroit is in a weird spot—the Tigers like Cross, Jung, and Berry but those are no longer options in this scenario. With no other bats that scratch their itch available, GM Al Avila & Co opt for the rehabbing Prielipp. Zach Neto remains a possibility.
13) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Kumar Rocker, RHP, (non-affiliated)—The Angels always need pitching and have been flirting with Rocker for several weeks. Susac, if he drops, and Robby Snelling are also high on their board.
14) New York Mets; Brock Porter, RHP, Milford, MI (HS)—With their protected pick, the Mets select Porter, who has a pro body, a high-octane arm, and a much-improved slider. There’s been some talk of Justin Crawford here as well.
15) San Diego Padres; Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford, Georgia (HS)—GM A.J. Preller is not deterred by pitchers who’ve gone under the knife for Tommy John surgery (see Quantrill, Cal), and this would present San Diego with the opportunity to land a potential ace deep into the 1st round.
16) Cleveland Guardians; Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison—Cleveland, always on the hunt for value, sees a massive (6/04-230) five-tool talent who’s young for the draft class. This is also a rumored landing spot for a number of college and prep arms such as Thomas Harrington, Justin Campbell, Owen Murphy, and Brandon Barriera.
17) Philadelphia Phillies; Cade Horton, RHP, Oklahoma—Phillies GM Dave Dombrowski loves power righties and Horton’s tour de force late in the season earned him plenty of suitors. Barriera and Snelling are also on the menu for Philadelphia.
19) Oakland A’s; Dylan Beavers, OF, Cal Berkeley—Simply put, Oakland’s interest in Beavers is the worst-kept secret in the draft.
20) Atlanta Braves; Thomas Harrington, RHP, Campbell—The Braves spent their 2020 and 2021 1st round picks on college arms from the southeast and drink from the same fountain in 2022. As is par for the course for a number of teams picking in this neighborhood, Campbell and Gabe Hughes are also strongly considered. Keep in mind, the extra money Atlanta garnered from the Waters deal will enable them to be creative with subsequent picks.
21) Seattle Mariners; Zach Neto, SS, Campbell—This is a steep drop for a guy in play in the single digits. As many teams’ 2nd or 3rd favorite player on the board, Neto has trouble finding a place to land. The Mariners have been frequently spotted at Camels games all spring. Payton Graham is another viable option here.
22) St. Louis Cardinals; Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State—Full disclosure: we have no concrete intel linking St. Louis to Hjerpe, but this is enough of a fall for a guy deemed by many to be the best college pitcher in the country in 2022.
23) Toronto Blue Jays; Justin Campbell, RHP, Oklahoma State—The Blue Jays are serious about a number of college pitchers here, among them Campbell, Hughes, Blade Tidwell, and the recovering Landon Sims.
24) Boston Red Sox; Tucker Toman, 3B, Columbia, SC (HS)—The Red Sox are considering players representing all four draft demographics, but Toman’s late surge catapults him past the competition.
25) New York Yankees; Justin Crawford, OF, Las Vegas, NV (HS)—The Yankees are following a gaggle of college hitters like Brock Jones, Jordan Beck, and Dalton Rushing, but Crawford’s upside is too enticing to pass up.
26) Chicago White Sox; Cole Young, SS, Wexford, PA (HS)—The Southsiders are said to be enamored with Toman, but are forced to “settle” for Young.
27) Milwaukee Brewers; Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee—The Brew Crew is another organization keying in on college bats, with DeLauter, Drew Gilbert, Peyton Graham, and Sterlin Thompson all getting long looks.
28) Houston Astros; Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas—Houston never minds a good value play, and in Pallette they have a guy who may be the best sum-of-the-parts pitcher five years after he’s recovered from Tommy John surgery. Otherwise, the Astros are all over the map with their preferences.
29) Tampa Bay Rays; Brandon Barriera, LHP, Hollywood, FL (HS)—No one mines value quite like the Rays, and in Barriera, Tampa Bay has struck draft night gold—even if they’ll have to go over slot here.
30) San Francisco Giants;Robby Snelling, LHP, Reno, NV (HS)--The Giants have enjoyed overwhelming success with prep lefties the last two decades and they hope this run continues.