Major League Baseball’s 2022 amateur draft will kick off on Sunday, July 17, when the Baltimore Orioles make the No. 1 pick for the third time in their franchise history. CBS Sports has spent the past few weeks previewing this year’s class in a variety of ways, including by ranking the year’s top 30 prospects and by mocking the first round.
Today, we’re continuing that work by highlighting five players whose stocks have improved or declined since the spring, or even within the past several weeks. As always, this is more of an art than a science, and the players are presented in alphabetical order.
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Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison
DeLauter was No. 2 on our board entering the season. That didn’t work out so well. He struggled in his only exposure to top-notch competition, and then suffered a broken foot that ended his spring prematurely. DeLauter still mashed in-between (and by mashed we mean hit .437/.576/.828 with seven more walks than strikeouts), and there’s no denying his overall track record, including last summer’s Cape Cod League, or his physical qualities. Scouts do have qualms about his cupcake quality of opponent, however, as well as unusual hitting mechanics that see his back foot kick out on his swing. DeLauter is expected to come off the board at some point in the first round, but it’s fair to write that he’s no longer in the running for a top-five selection.
Cade Horton, RHP, Oklahoma
Horton, a draft-eligible sophomore who missed the 2021 season because of Tommy John surgery, put himself into first-round consideration with a phenomenal run during the College World Series that culminated with a Finals record 13 strikeouts. His arsenal is all about power, including a high-spin fastball that can touch into the upper-90s and a slider that was clocked as high as 90 during that aforementioned start. Horton has a limited track record (he threw just over 50 regular-season innings for the Sooners), and scouts still have lingering doubts about whether he’ll be a starter for the long haul. Still, some team seems destined to take him in the top 30-35 picks.
Robert Moore, 2B, Arkansas
Moore was ranked No. 13 coming into the season. That proved to be an error. The unexpected over-the-fence power he showed in 2021, when he homered 16 times, proved to be a fluke as he was limited to just eight in 2022. His batting average also dropped more than 50 points year-to-year, from .283 to .232. Woof. Moore still has a chance to be a top-100 pick thanks to his second-base defense and his track record (he’d hit at every prior turn, including in the 2020 Northwoods League), but he’s certainly not going in the first round and probably not in the second round, either.
Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, ECU
Whisenhunt entered the spring ranked by CBS Sports as the class’s top collegiate arm. Then he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance prior to the start of the season and was banned for the rest of the year. He’s resurfaced this summer in the Cape Cod League, where he’s posted some unusual numbers through his first three appearances. Whisenhunt has allowed 13 runs on 13 hits in 11 innings, but he’s done so while striking out 19 of the 50 batters he’s faced and touching into the mid-90s. The point of a Proof of Life Tour is to demonstrate that he’s healthy more so than it is to fill up the box score. As such, we think Whisenhunt’s stock is trending upward as teams remember why they liked him so much in the first place.
Jett Williams, SS, Rockwall-Heath High School (TX)
When we ranked Williams as the eighth-best prospect in the class, we noted that he was enjoying as much helium as anyone else in the draft. (Helium being a fancy way of saying a prospect is moving up boards.) With that in mind, it wouldn’t make sense to write a piece like this without including him. Williams is on the short side (5-foot-8), but he’s strong and athletic and his supporters adore him — to the extent that they throw a 70 on his hit tool and think he could become the second-best prep hitter in the class. If Williams is still available as late as pick No. 16, it would be a surprise.