If you like hitting, the 2022 Draft Class will be the one for you.
MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Draft prospects list for 2022 is hot off the presses. And while a lot can happen between now and the actual Draft in July, it seems bat-heavy, especially at the top. There are 61 hitters (and 39 pitchers), our highest total for hitters on a Draft Top 100, breaking the previous high of 54 in 2019 and 2021.
The first eight prospects and nine of the top 10 are hitters. The top three are high-school bats, followed by a run of five college hitters. Here’s the Top 10:
1. Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (Ga.)
2. Termarr Johnson, 2B, Mays HS (Ga.)
3. Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Fla.)
4. Jacob Berry, 3B, Louisiana State
5. Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
6. Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech
7. Brock Jones, OF, Stanford
8. Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison
9. Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS (Ga.)
10. Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
Complete list »
“I wouldn’t sum it up any other way,” Orioles scouting director Brad Ciolek said about the hitting-heavy top of the class on a recent episode of the Pipeline Podcast. “It’s a very exciting group of players. There are some interesting high school players up at the top with Elijah, Termarr and Druw. And there’s also a lot of college hitters with proven track records and who have put up big numbers. It’s very exciting to see what our options are. It’s an encouraging sign. The 2019 class has had a lot of success out of the gate, and a couple of years down the road, we might be saying the same thing about this crop of players.”
Ciolek and the Orioles last picked No. 1 overall in 2019, when they selected Adley Rutschman, now the No. 1 prospect in baseball. Baltimore has taken a college hitter with its first selection in three straight Drafts. Whether the O’s make it four in a row remains to be seen, though it seems at this point that a hitter of some sort is likely, given that Dylan Lesko is the first pitcher on the list, and a high-school right-hander has never gone No. 1 overall in the history of the Draft. Arkansas right-hander Peyton Pallette is the first college arm at No. 13, one of four who show up in the 11-20 range. Jackson Ferris is the first prep left-hander four slots later.
“In terms of the quality of players at the top of the Draft, it’s very encouraging from what I’ve seen over the past few months,” Ciolek said. “There’s going to be a lot of good options and we’re going to have our hands full as far as trying to figure out who’s the best fit for us there. We just have to go ahead and hit the ground running and get to work.”
High school: 43
Louisiana State: 8
IMG Academy: 3
Oklahoma State: 3
Players are given grades on the 20-to-80 scouting scale for all tools or pitches. These are future grades, a reflection of what the scouting industry thinks the amateur players can become in the future. Here are the top grades for each tool and pitch. Players are listed in order of their overall Top 100 rank.
Hit: 70 -- Termarr Johnson
Power: 65 -- Jacob Berry
Run: 70 -- Druw Jones; Elijah Green; Gavin Turley, OF, Hamilton HS (Ariz.); Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS (Nev.)
Arm: 70 -- Logan Tanner, C, Mississippi State; Nolan McLean, 3B, Oklahoma State; Nazier Mule, SS/RHP, Passaic County Tech HS (NJ); Adonys Guzman, C, Brunswick HS (Conn.)
Field: 70 -- Jones
Fastball: 70 -- Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary’s Prep (Mich.); Reggie Crawford, LHP, Connecticut; Nazier Mule, SS/RHP, Passaic County Tech HS (NJ)
Curveball: 65 -- Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas
Slider: 70 -- Connor Prielipp, LHP, Arkansas; Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State; Kumar Rocker, RHP
Changeup: 65 -- Dylan Lesko; Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina
Control: 55 -- Lesko; Prielipp; Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage HS (Fla.); Parker Messick, LHP, Florida State; Carson Palmquist, LHP, Miami; Michael Kennedy, LHP, Troy HS (NY); Jonathan Cannon, RHP, Georgia; Justin Campbell, RHP, Oklahoma State