Thursday, August 11, 2022

2022 MLB Mock Draft: Orioles take Termarr Johnson at No. 1; Padres scoop up Kumar Rocker

1

Pick: 2B Termarr Johnson, Mays HS (Georgia) ($8,842,200 slot value)  

Not even the O’s know who they’re taking with the No. 1 pick right now. Elias says they’ve narrowed the list down to five players — Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee, LSU slugger Jacob Berry, high school shortstop Jackson Holliday, and high school outfielders Druw Jones and Elijah Green are the most rumored names — though there’s been some smoke involving Johnson the last month or so. Johnson has a lot of fans in the industry and is regarded as the best pure hitter in the draft class, college or high school.

If he’s not the No. 1 pick, there’s a chance Johnson falls to the No. 6 pick or even later. In that case taking an underslot deal at No. 1 will be more financially lucrative than a slot deal at No. 6 or later, plus Johnson would get to say he is the No. 1 pick in the country. For the O’s, cutting a deal with Johnson at No. 1 would allow them to spend big on later picks (Nos. 33, 42, and 67) and add multiple top talents to their farm system. That all said, confidence in this mock pick is low even with the draft only days away. Baltimore tends to keep things very close to the vest and this year is no different. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 4)

June 16 mock pick: SS Jackson Holliday, Stillwater HS (Oklahoma)

June 30 mock pick: OF Druw Jones, Wesleyan School (Georgia)

2

Pick: OF Druw Jones, Wesleyan School (Georgia) ($8,185,100 slot value)  

This is the most predictable pick in the top five. If Jones is available, as he is in our mock draft, the Diamondbacks will take him. If not, they are very likely to go with Jackson Holliday over Termarr Johnson or Brooks Lee. Jones is Andruw’s son and is the consensus No. 1 prospect in the draft class. He fits Arizona’s preferred profile of loud tools and elite athleticism. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 1)

June 16 mock pick: Jones  

June 30 mock pick: SS Jackson Holliday, Stillwater HS (Oklahoma)

3

Pick: SS Jackson Holliday, Stillwater HS (Oklahoma) ($7,587,600 slot value)  

Like every other team the Rangers want Druw Jones, but the odds are against him making it this far. Holliday and to a lesser extent Elijah Green are said to be high on their board as well, and given how college heavy Texas has gone in the last few first rounds, I wouldn’t rule out Brooks Lee or Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada either. Signs point to the Rangers preferring Holliday over Green, so we have them taking Matt’s son. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 3)

June 16 mock pick: OF Elijah Green, IMG Academy (Florida)

June 30 mock pick: Green

4

Pick: 3B Cam Collier, Chipola JC (Florida) ($7,002,100 slot value)

The Pirates have been connected to Collier, the son of former big leaguer Lou Collier, throughout the spring and the rumors have grown louder in recent weeks. Collier is a fascinating prospect as a 17-year-old who got his GED and finished high school early, and enrolled in a junior college to become draft-eligible as what amounts to a high school junior. He’s held his own against college kids in the prestigious wood bat Cape Cod League this summer. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 6)

June 16 mock pick: SS Brooks Lee, Cal Poly

June 30 mock pick: Lee

5

Pick: OF Elijah Green, IMG Academy (Florida) ($6,494,300 slot value)

The most consistent connection throughout the spring has been the Nationals and Kevin Parada, the draft’s best catcher. Parada is still very much in the mix, but given Washington’s longstanding obsession with high ceiling in the first round, I think the Nats would pivot to Green should he still be available here, which he is in our mock draft. It seems Parada will be the guy if none of the top high school players make it this far. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 5)

June 16 mock pick: C Kevin Parada, Georgia Tech

June 30 mock pick: Parada

6

Pick: 1B/3B/OF Jacob Berry, LSU ($6,034,300 slot value)

Last year the Marlins pounced on Kahlil Watson, a projected top 5-10 pick who fell into their lap at No. 16. The expectation is they would jump on Jackson Holliday or Termarr Johnson here, less so Elijah Green, but none of those players are available in our mock draft. There’s been some buzz around Miami and Berry lately, and while he’s a divisive prospect given his lack of defensive value, there are some who think he is the best all-around offensive talent in the draft class. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 19)

June 16 mock pick: 2B Termarr Johnson, Mays HS (Georgia)

June 30 mock pick: Johnson

7

Pick: SS Brooks Lee, Cal Poly ($5,708,000 slot value)

It is no secret the Cubs covet Cam Collier, who is not available in our mock draft. Lee is great consolation price though. Nabbing the draft’s best college player outside the top five picks doesn’t happen often, and Lee has the ingredients to zoom up the minor-league ladder and accelerate Chicago’s rebuild. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 2)

June 16 mock pick: 3B Cam Collier, Chipola JC (Florida)

June 30 mock pick: Collier

8

Pick: C Kevin Parada, Georgia Tech ($5,439,500 slot value)

The Twins are an analytics model-driven team and they have been linked to Cam Collier a bunch because his age relative to competition makes him a model favorite. With Collier (and Jacob Berry, another model darling) off the board in our mock draft, we’ll give them Parada, who seemed unlikely to be available this deep into the draft most of the summer. Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross is another name frequently connected to Minnesota. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 7)

June 16 mock pick: SS Zach Neto, Campbell

June 30 mock pick: OF Gavin Cross, Virginia Tech

9

Pick: SS Zach Neto, Campbell ($5,200,200 slot value)

The only thing we know about the Royals’ draft strategy is they are the first team seriously considering a pitcher. That doesn’t mean they will draft a pitcher, just that they’re considering it, unlike the clubs ahead of them. With so many good bats on the board, the bet here is the Royals will go that route, and Neto fits their M.O. as an extreme contact hitter and up-the-middle athlete. Gavin Cross makes sense here too. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 14)

June 16 mock pick: OF Justin Crawford, Bishop Gorman HS (Nevada)

June 30 mock pick: RHP Brock Porter, St. Mary’s Prep (Michigan)

10

Pick: OF Gavin Cross, Virginia Tech ($4,980,400 slot value)

The Rockies have been connected to college bats most of the spring — for what it’s worth, there have been rumblings they’ll grab one of the top high school pitchers — and Cross is the best, most well-rounded college position player still on the board. Jacob Berry could fall all the way to this pick and I think Colorado would pounce on him in that case. It should be noted the Rockies also hold the No. 31 pick (compensation for losing Trevor Story to free agency). Saving a few bucks on a college hitter at No. 10 would put Colorado in position to land a talented high schooler player who falls out of the first round due to bonus demands at No. 31. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 10)

June 16 mock pick: 1B/3B/OF Jacob Berry, LSU

June 30 mock pick: Berry

11

Pick: SS Jett Williams, Rockwall-Heath HS (Texas) ($4,778,200 slot value)

This is the pick the Mets received as compensation for failing to sign Kumar Rocker last year and that’s notable because if they fail to sign whoever they select here, they don’t get another compensation pick next year. This player is a must sign. The Mets have been connected to Williams all spring and putting him here is just me playing the odds. Also, if the Mets don’t take Williams, there’s a chance he slides into the 20-30 range. Taking an underslot deal at No. 11 might be his best move financially, and it would also give the Mets peace of mind knowing they have this pick locked up. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 8)

June 16 mock pick: Williams

June 30 mock pick: SS Zach Neto, Campbell

12

Pick: C Daniel Susac, Arizona ($4,587,900 slot value)

The Tigers have been linked to a wide range of players and, given their desire to contend sooner rather than later, a college player seems most likely. There are other college players available in our mock draft with more upside than Susac, particularly on the mound, but position scarcity always leads to catchers coming off the board earlier than expected. Susac is an offense over defense backstop who would benefit from the automated strike zone. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 18)

June 16 mock pick: OF Gavin Cross, Virginia Tech

June 30 mock pick: LHP Connor Prielipp, Alabama

13

Pick: LHP Brandon Barriera, American Heritage HS (Florida) ($4,410,200 slot value)

All signs point to the Angels taking another pitcher in the first round, though they (probably) won’t take pitchers with all 20 picks again like last year. Just about every pitcher with a chance to go in the first round has been connected to the Halos at one point or another. For what it’s worth, they seem undeterred by the current plight of the major-league team, and won’t take a college player simply because he’ll climb the ladder quickly. They’ll take whoever they consider the best player and let him develop at his own pace. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 21)

June 16 mock pick: LHP Robby Snelling, McQueen HS (Nevada)

June 30 mock pick: Barriera

14

Pick: RHP Brock Porter, St. Mary’s Prep (Michigan) ($4,241,600 slot value)

The Mets have extra picks at No. 11 (compensation for failing to sign Kumar Rocker) and No. 75 (compensation for losing Noah Syndergaard to free agency) and thus a very big bonus pool. We have them taking Jett Williams on an underslot deal at No. 11 in our mock draft, paving the way for the Mets do something big here. That something big is Porter, arguably the best healthy pitcher in the draft class. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 11)

June 16 mock pick: RHP Dylan Lesko, Buford HS (Georgia)

June 30 mock pick: SS Jett Williams, Rockwall-Heath HS (Texas)

15

Pick: RHP Kumar Rocker, Tri-City ValleyCats ($4,082,900 slot value)

Even with the news he had a shoulder cleanup procedure in September, Rocker has climbed draft boards these last few weeks because he’s looked fantastic with his independent league team. Rumors persist that several teams are looking at him as a possible bullpen piece in the second half and the Padres seem like the perfect candidate for such a move. GM AJ Preller loves to be bold and they have the need. Rocker in the big-league bullpen a few weeks after the draft a la Chris Sale in 2010 is a distinct possibility, regardless of whether he lands in San Diego or elsewhere. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 25)

June 16 mock pick: LHP Connor Prielipp, Alabama

June 30 mock pick: RHP Dylan Lesko, Buford HS (Georgia)

16

Pick: RHP Dylan Lesko, Buford HS (Georgia) ($3,935,500 slot value)

The Guardians are one of the few teams with a discernible “type” in the first round and it is high school hitters who are younger than their peers and pitchers with advanced command and pitchability. Lesko is the latter and he was the draft’s best pitching prospect prior to having Tommy John surgery in April. Cleveland has a competitive balance pick (No. 37) and thus the bonus pool space necessary to pay Lesko a top-10 bonus, which is where he was expected to go before elbow reconstruction. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 12)

June 16 mock pick: LHP Brandon Barriera, American Heritage HS (Florida)

June 30 mock pick: LHP Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State

17

Pick: RHP Gabriel Hughes, Gonzaga ($3,792,800 slot value)

It’s easy to think the Phillies will go after another high school pitcher after hitting so big on Mick Abel and Andrew Painter with their last two first-round picks, but with Brandon Barriera, Dylan Lesko, and Brock Porter off the board in our mock draft, it makes more sense to go with the best available college arm than shoehorn a prep pitcher to Philadelphia just because. Hughes stumbled a bit late in the season but offers a great combination of upside and probability. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 23)

June 16 mock pick: RHP Brock Porter, St. Mary’s Prep (Michigan)

June 30 mock pick: LHP Robby Snelling, McQueen HS (Nevada) 

18

Pick: SS Cole Young, North Allegheny HS (Pennsylvania) ($3,657,900 slot value)

The Reds have extra picks at No. 32 (compensation for losing Nick Castellanos to free agency) and No. 73 (competitive balance pick) and thus a lot of bonus pool money to play with. I think they’d jump on Dylan Lesko and it’s very possible he makes it this far. Cincinnati has been connected to Young all spring, so he’s our mock pick. The Reds could then use the No. 32 pick on whichever top high school pitcher slips out of the first round (there’s always a few), and pay him a top 15-ish bonus. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 20)

June 16 mock pick: Young

June 30 mock pick: C Daniel Susac, Arizona 

19

Pick: OF Dylan Beavers, Cal ($3,529,400 slot value)

The question is which college hitter will the Athletics take, not will the Athletics take a college hitter. Beavers plays in their backyard and they’ve been connected to him all spring, though pundits (myself included) always overrate geography leading up to the draft. The larger point is second-tier college hitters figure to dominate the final 10 picks of the first round, and the A’s will have their pick of the litter at No. 19. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 29)

June 16 mock pick: 2B Jace Jung, Texas Tech

June 30 mock pick: Beavers

20

Pick: RHP Cade Horton, Oklahoma ($3,407,400 slot value)

Horton is the draft’s biggest riser and he fits what the Braves want in their pitchers, which is overpowering raw stuff (think Spencer Strider). The trade with the Royals earlier this week netted Atlanta an extra $2.2 million in bonus pool space and they can afford to meet Horton’s asking price, which is rumored to in line with 10-15 range. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: Unranked)

June 16 mock pick: LHP Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State

June 30 mock pick: LHP Carson Whisenhunt, East Carolina

21

Pick: LHP Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State ($3,291,200 slot value)

The Mariners have been tied to college hitters more than anything this spring, but the case can be made Hjerpe (pronounced “Jerpy”) is the best healthy college pitcher in the draft class, and it doesn’t make sense to pass on him to take a second-tier college bat. Hjerpe could come off the board a good 10 picks before Seattle’s selection. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 13)

June 16 mock pick: OF Jordan Beck, Tennessee

June 30 mock pick: SS Cole Young, North Allegheny HS (Pennsylvania)

22

Pick: OF Chase DeLauter, James Madison ($3,180,600 slot value)

It’s never easy to pin down what the Cardinals will do because they tend to pick later in the first round and thus cast a wide net. They’ve had quite a bit of success with hitters who are power over hit, like Nolan Gorman and top prospect Jordan Walker, and DeLauter fits the mold. He is a divisive prospect but one with considerable ceiling. St. Louis is as good a bet to help him reach reach that ceiling as any team. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 15)

June 16 mock pick: RHP Gabriel Hughes, Gonzaga

June 30 mock pick: 2B Jace Jung, Texas Tech

23

Pick: 3B Tucker Toman, Hammond HS (South Carolina) ($3,075,300 slot value)

The Blue Jays are not afraid to take big swings in the first round (they selected projected top-10 pick Gunnar Hoglund with the No. 19 pick last year, a few weeks after he had Tommy John surgery) and Toman is one of the higher upside hitters in the draft class. If there were more certainty about his long-term defensive home, Toman might have found himself in the top 10-15 picks somewhere. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: Unranked)

June 16 mock pick: OF Chase DeLauter, James Madison

June 30 mock pick: RHP Kumar Rocker, Tri-City ValleyCats

24

Pick: OF Sterlin Thompson, Florida ($2,974,900 slot value)

This is where the run of second-tier college bats is expected to begin. The Red Sox have been connected to all the college hitters expected to go in this range this spring, especially the offense over defense players. Thompson is a sweet swinger who held his own when put at second base at times this season, and Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom loves versatile players. It fits. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: Unranked)

June 16 mock pick: OF Dylan Beavers, Cal

June 30 mock pick: OF Drew Gilbert, Tennessee

25

Pick: OF Spencer Jones, Vanderbilt ($2,879,300 slot value)

Every year the Yankees are connected to all types of players (college, high school, hitter, pitcher, etc.), then come draft day they always seem to wind up with a polished hitter who posts strong exit velocities. Jones is not the most refined hitter in the draft class, but he has serious power, and he’s an excellent athlete. The Yankees lean on analytics as much as any team and Jones checks those boxes with to his power. Scouts love his athleticism too, so he offers something for everyone. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: Unranked)

June 16 mock pick: RHP Jacob Miller, Liberty Union HS (Ohio)

June 30 mock pick: OF Sterlin Thompson, Florida

26

Pick: OF Jordan Beck, Tennessee ($2,788,000 slot value)

The White Sox tend to seek out elite tools in the first round, such as Nick Madrigal’s contact ability and Garrett Crochet’s fastball. Beck doesn’t offer that one top of the line tool but he could wind up with three or four well-above-average tools between his speed, power, and defense. Chicago’s not afraid to take risks and Beck is one of the riskiest college bats in the draft class, but the potential reward is enormous. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 27)

June 16 mock pick: OF Drew Gilbert, Tennessee

June 30 mock pick: RHP Gabriel Hughes, Gonzaga

27

Pick: OF Jacob Melton, Oregon State ($2,700,500 slot value)

Like many others, the Brewers are an analytics model team on draft day, but the most model-friendly prospects (Chase DeLauter, Cooper Hjerpe, Spencer Jones) are off the board in our mock draft. Melton doesn’t have DeLauter’s or Jones’ raw pop, but he has strong contact rates and some believe he’s a swing tweak away from really discovering his power stroke. Milwaukee could pivot to a college arm, like Blade Tidwell or Oklahoma State’s Justin Campbell, if there are no model-friendly bats available.(CBS Sports top 30 rank: Unranked)

June 16 mock pick: RHP Blade Tidwell, Tennessee

June 30 mock pick: OF Chase DeLauter, James Madison

28

Pick: SS Peyton Graham, Oklahoma ($2,620,400 slot value)

A sluggish start to the spring had Graham on the outside of the first-round mix at one point, but by the end of the season he was back in first-round consideration because he does many things well. The Astros are not as analytics model-reliant as they were under the previous front office regime but they certainly lean on measurables. Graham offers them in his contact rates and hard-hit ability, and he passes the eye test too. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: Unranked)

June 16 mock pick: SS Eric Brown, Coastal Carolina

June 30 mock pick: 3B Max Wagner, Clemson

29

Pick: LHP Connor Prielipp, Alabama ($2,547,600 slot value)

Once a candidate to go No. 1 overall, Prielipp had Tommy John surgery last May and recently began throwing showcases for scouts. All indications are he’s looked very good and has a chance to go in the back half of the first round. The Rays have extra picks at No. 70 (their competitive balance pick) and No. 71 (Detroit’s competitive balance pick, which came over in the Austin Meadows trade) and can afford to pay Prielipp a bonus more in line with his pre-Tommy John surgery draft stock. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: Unranked)

June 16 mock pick: 3B Tucker Toman, Hammond HS (South Carolina)

June 30 mock pick: OF Justin Crawford, Bishop Gorman HS (Nevada)

30

Pick: OF Drew Gilbert, Tennessee ($2,485,500 slot value)

The Volunteers went 59-7 with a plus-421 run differential this season (yes, plus-421) and they could have as many as three players selected in the first round: Gilbert, Jordan Beck, and righty Blade Tidwell. Gilbert is the “safest” bet among those three players to carve out a big-league career thanks to his drive and well-rounded skillset, which invokes Brett Gardner comparisons. The Giants have generally gone for louder tools with their recent first-round picks (Joey Bart’s and Hunter Bishop’s power, Will Bednar’s slider, etc.), but Gilbert does so many things well and would fit in the spacious Oracle Park outfield. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: Unranked)

June 16 mock pick: OF Jacob Melton, Oregon State

June 30 mock pick: RHP Cade Horton, Oklahoma

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