Top high school prospects for '22 Draft

August 31st, 2021

USA Baseball wrapped up its final trials for its 18-and-under national team in Florida on Tuesday, marking an unofficial end to the high school showcase circuit. Scouts from all 30 teams have gotten fairly lengthy looks at the top competition for the Draft class of 2022 at these events all summer:

Perfect Game National
MLB High School All-American Game
East Coast Professional Showcase
Area Code Games
Perfect Game All-American Classic
PDP League and Team USA Trials

While the Baseball Factory All-Star Classic and Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association World Championship will take place this fall, scouts have seen enough to get a feel for this next Draft’s high school class. There are some exciting tools at the top, with a general consensus around a top four, three of them from Georgia: Termarr Johnson, Elijah Green (from Florida), Dylan Lesko (the one pitcher in this quartet) and Druw Jones.

A lot can and will change between now and the ’22 Draft, but this Top 20 provides a snapshot of where things stand as of now.

1. Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays HS (Ga.)
College commitment: Undecided

All summer, Johnson has cemented himself as the best pure high school bat in the class. There’s plenty of raw power in his left-handed swing, too -- he won the Perfect Game All-American Classic home run derby -- with the only questions coming about his defensive home. He’s not a runner and most see a move to second base, where he should be a solid defender.

2. Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Fla.)
College commitment: Miami

His tools are off the charts, with elite-level speed that will allow him to steal bases and play center field for a long time, to go along with impressive raw power. There have been some concerns about the swing-and-miss to his game, but he’ll have plenty of time to show it all works against good competition during IMG’s spring season.

3. Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS (Ga.)
College commitment: Vanderbilt

Lesko entered the summer as the perceived top prep arm in this class and he confirmed it at various stops. He’s 6-foot-3, athletic and has a very good feel for three pitches, with his mid-90s fastball and his plus changeup the standouts, though he definitely knows how to spin a breaking ball, too

4. Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (Ga.)
College commitment: Vanderbilt

Andruw Jones’ kid is athletic and tooled up, with no major weaknesses. Though there are some swing mechanics that don’t look perfect, he has a knack for barreling up the baseball, plus he can really run and defend in center field, with one scout saying you could give him 60 grades on the 20-to-80 scouting scale across the board.

5. Brock Porter, RHP, Orchard Lake St. Marys Prep (Mich.)
College commitment: Clemson

Scouts will be making many trips to Michigan to see Porter and his teammate, outfielder Nolan Schubart, who didn’t miss this top 20 by much. Porter's stuff is as good as anyone in the class, all coming from a physical 6-foot-4 frame. His fastball was up to 97 mph this summer and he has a big breaking ball and good feel for a changeup, with some thinking he could give Lesko a run for his money as the top high school arm in this class.

6. Tristan Smith, LHP, Boiling Springs HS (S.C.)
College commitment: Clemson

Smith might have been more impressive last summer as an underclassman, but he still showed off a fastball that touched 95-96 mph at times (though he sat more in the low-90s) and an 80-mph breaking ball, missing bats with both.

7. Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage HS (Fla.)
College commitment: Vanderbilt

He’s not as projectable as Smith, and he’ll have to show in the spring that his stuff will hold up in longer outings as a starter, but it’s pretty electric. His fastball was up to 96 mph this summer and he showed off a good low-80s slider and solid feel for a changeup.

8. Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)
College commitment: Mississippi

When he’s in sync, Ferris might be the best prep lefty in the class, but his unorthodox delivery can lead to some command issues. Still, he’s projectable at 6-foot-4, with a fastball easily in the mid 90s and a good breaking ball. He moved from North Carolina to attend IMG Academy for his senior year.

9. Ian Ritchie Jr., RHP, Bainbridge HS (Wash.)
College commitment: UCLA

Ritchie might have been more impressive last summer as an underclassman, but the top player from the Pacific Northwest still showcased a fastball that sat around 93 mph and touched 95. His curve had been a signature pitch in the past, but he used a solid low-80s slider more often this summer to go along with good feel for a changeup.

10. Andrew Dutkanych IV, RHP, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory (Ind.)
College commitment: Vanderbilt

There might be other right-handers with better pure stuff than Dutkanych, but it's still very good, and his feel for it stands out. He touched 95 mph at events like MLB’s High School All-American Game and the Perfect Game All-American Classic, and he has a mid-80s slider with cutter-like action to go along with a distinct curve.

11. Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS (Pa.)
College commitment: Duke

While Young doesn’t have any wow tools, he’s the kind of player who will grow on you the more you watch him. He has a very advanced bat from the left side, though he is definitely hit over power. He showed this summer that it looks like he can stay at shortstop, and he brings good energy and plus instincts to the table.

12. Malcolm Moore, C, C. K. Mcclatchy HS (Calif.)
College commitment: Stanford

Moore can really hit and has plenty of power from the left side of the plate. The question is whether or not he can stick behind it defensively, presenting a Kyle Schwarber-like profile.

13. Cam Collier, 3B, Mt Paran Christian HS (Ga.)
College commitment: Chipola Junior College

The son of former big leaguer Lou Collier, Cam reclassified from 2023 to this class and will be one of the youngest players in this group. He recently announced he’s getting his GED this fall and will attend Chipola JC in the spring, so scouts will have to travel to the panhandle of Florida to see his outstanding hit and power tools in action.

14. Gavin Turley, OF, Hamilton HS (Ariz.)
College commitment: Oregon State

From a raw tools standpoint, Turley belongs in the same neighborhood as outfielders like Green and Jones. He has ridiculous raw power and easily plus speed. The one thing holding him back is some question about the hit tool, with some big movement and actions in the box that worry some scouts.

15. Tucker Toman, 3B, Hammond HS (S.C.)
College commitment: Louisiana State

A switch-hitter who has a good baseball IQ and is a decent athlete, Toman’s left-handed swing might be right behind Johnson’s in terms of pure hit tool, with some wondering if he might be better suited to stick to hitting from that side only. His hands and feel work defensively, but he might be better off at second base because of his natural arm slot when throwing.

16. Sal Stewart, 3B, Westminster Christian HS (Fla.)
College commitment: Vanderbilt

Stewart’s power from the right side of the plate stood out all summer, including when he advanced in MLB’s High School All-American Game Home Run Derby, allowing him to take hacks during the big league derby over the All-Star break. He has the ability to stick at third with the potential run-producing profile teams like from the corner spot.

17. Ryan Clifford, OF, Pro5 Baseball Academy (N.C.)
College commitment: Vanderbilt

His summer was a bit uneven, but some of the tools are exciting, and there’s plenty of projection in his 6-foot-3 frame. He’s shown off a very good left-handed swing and a ton of raw power in BP, not to mention a very strong outfield arm. If it all clicks, he could fit the right-field profile very well.

18. Noah Schultz, LHP, Oswego East HS (Ill.)
College commitment: Vanderbilt

Teams that love spin rate will be interested in Schultz, who posted some impressive numbers at the MLB High School All-American Game and at other events. His fastball sits in the low-90s and he can throw his breaking ball for strikes, too. Oh, did we mention he’s 6-foot-9 and left-handed, throwing from a deceptive lower slot?

19. Paxton Kling, OF, Central HS (Pa.)
College commitment: Undecided

Yet another toolsy high school outfielder, one who also has the chance to have five above-average or plus tools when all is said and done. There is some length to his swing, so he’ll have to prove he can hit, but he has the skills to be an exciting up-the-middle player.

20. Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater HS (Okla.)
College commitment: Oklahoma State

There’s a lot to like about Holliday, starting with his bloodlines (son of Matt) and extending to his excellent tools. He’s a plus runner with good instincts and the ability to potentially be one of those super-versatile players who can play short, second or center field. He has a nice left-handed swing and projects to have more power, though he tried to do too much at times this summer to get to it.

Others in consideration: Nazier Mule, RHP/SS, Passaic Co Tech (N.J.); Chase Shores, RHP, Lee HS (Texas); Jayson Jones, SS, Braswell HS (Texas); Gavin Kilen, SS, Milton HS (Wis.); Nolan Schubart, OF, Orchard Lake St. Marys Prep (Mich.)