Here are the Top 200 prospects for the 2022 Draft

May 25th, 2022

We’re just over seven weeks away from the start of the 2022 Draft. Much has happened since we expanded our Draft rankings to 150, so this seemed a perfect time to update the rankings and provide even more names -- 200 to be exact.

Not much has changed at the very top of the new Top 200 list, where the first eight names remain the same, albeit in a slightly different order. The Top 10 now looks like this:

1. Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (Ga.)
2. Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Fla.)
3. Jackson Holiday, SS, Stillwater HS (Okla.)
4. Termarr Johnson, 2B, Mays HS (Ga.)
5. Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
6. Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
7. Jacob Berry, 3B/OF, Louisiana State
8. Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech
9. Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
10. Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary’s Prep (Mich.)
Complete list »

Just outside of the Top 10 land two of the larger jumpers from the Top 150, and both are high schoolers from Nevada. Outfielder Justin Crawford, from Bishop Gorman in the Las Vegas area, is now at No. 13, up from No. 37. Left-hander Robby Snelling, a McQueen High School star in Reno, goes from No. 79 to 16 to reflect where the scouting industry thinks they belong.

There will be one more expansion, out to 250, in the coming weeks, with updates to show what the buzz is about players up and down the list.

The biggest question, of course, starts at the very top. Because Orioles general manager Mike Elias and company like to keep things close to the vest, who they will take No. 1 overall from that Top 10 will likely remain unknown, perhaps right up until they make the selection on July 17. One thing we can be certain of: It’s going to be a hitter.

With the lone pitcher in the Top 10 a high school right-hander (a demographic yet to go 1-1 in the history of the Draft), it’s not exactly a courageous prediction. The choices, then, fall into two buckets: One of the top prep hitters at the top of our rankings or an advanced college bat who ranks right behind them.

The high school hitters

If the Orioles decide to go the "best player on the board" route, it’s going to be a high schooler, with prep hitters filling in the top four. While not everyone agrees on just how much separation there is between Nos. 1 and 2 on our list, there is strong consensus that Druw Jones -- Andruw’s son -- is the top player in the class.

This would not come with that much of a discount, though it should be noted that only once in the last five Drafts has the No. 1 pick signed for full pick value (Spencer Torkelson in 2020). That includes the last time the Orioles had the top pick and took Adley Rutschman, the best player in the class. The small savings there helped them get Gunnar Henderson in the second round. Keep in mind, the O's have two extra picks this year, meaning an even larger bonus pool to work with, and perhaps less reason to strike a bargain at the top.

If for whatever reason, Jones isn’t the guy, the other high schoolers could be in the conversation. Elijah Green has a ridiculous ceiling and to many, has answered questions about the swing-and-miss in his game against good competition this spring.

If Baltimore wanted to find a bit of a hybrid approach, they could take Jackson Holliday, Matt’s kid. He’s made the largest leap from the offseason to now, coming in at No. 3. There’s a ton of talent here, and the chance that since he isn’t as much of a sure thing to go in the top 2 as Jones, there could be a little more money savings to be had.

It’s unclear if Termarr Johnson, the best pure high school bat we’ve seen in a while, is still a serious contender. There is no doubt he can hit, with surprising power. The feeling is he’d be more of a discount than the other three, and as much as scouts love the bat, it would take a special level of conviction to take a smaller prepster who is likely a second baseman at the next level.

The college hitters

As the spring has gone on, there has been plenty of talk about the Orioles going the money-saving college bat route. There’s history, with Baltimore having drafted college hitters the last two years well under slot, hoping to go aggressively after talent (typically high school) later on in the Draft. In 2020, the O's were able to go over slot to get slugging third baseman Coby Mayo and right-hander Carter Baumler. They went over pick value on a number of players last year -- the biggest one being Texas prep catcher Creed Willems in the eighth round.

The danger is that a team might have some targets in mind, only to see them get taken before their next selection. So the Orioles best have Plans B, C and D at the ready should they go in this direction.

The two main names that have been brought up have been Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee and LSU standout Jacob Berry, though it remains to be seen if Berry’s broken finger will have an impact on those conversations. Both are very advanced hitters with plenty of power.

Lee is a better all-around player because even if he has to move off shortstop, he’ll stick on the dirt at third or second, and be very good in either spot. The question mark with him is his injury history -- he had a fairly gruesome knee and hamstring injury in 2020 that required major surgery -- but he’s answered most concerns by playing every day the last two years and hitting everywhere he’s been, including last summer in the Cape Cod League.

Berry transferred from Arizona to LSU this year and mashed in both places. He has a career .365/.454/.670 slash line through 112 collegiate games. The finger injury this year kept decision-makers from seeing him down the stretch, but there’s more than enough track record here. What he doesn’t have is a true defensive home. Not everyone is sold on his ability to play third, but he’ll be fine in left or first base and that bat is going to play wherever a team puts it in the lineup.