2022 Bowman Chrome Checklist Review – Part 1 (NL teams)

It’s Bowman time again! The Bowman Chrome release is always highlighted by prospects from the most recent international free agent signing period (J15), and this release is no exception with 20 such names. As you’ll see, there’s much more than that though!

There are 112 prospect subjects in this, and all but one has autographs. Every single one of them has no previous Bowman auto, but some have previous cards. All those that have previous cards were specifically in 2022 Bowman or 2021 Bowman Draft. I’ve noted those players, but I’ve probably written about them previously so there’s no detailed breakdown for those.

Since there are so many players, I’m keeping this piece simple (no media) and splitting it into two. Without further ado:

Arizona Diamondbacks

Jorge Barrosa – At AA this year, he looked like a future major league corner OF. His SwStr% was fantastic, which plays into his projected plus hit tool. There was even enough juice to pump his season OPS over .800 and his ISO to a respectable .160. If he can increase his LD% a little more he’ll have value near the top of a lineup, and that’s the dream.
Risk: 3, Ceiling: 5

Atlanta Braves

Tyler Collins – A Texas prep OF who signed as an overslot 8th-rounder in the 2021 Draft, he has top-of -the-scale speed. He looked raw in his 2021 debut, but in a small sample the results were excellent (.424 OBP, 12 SB). Unfortunately he only made it into a few games this year (undisclosed reasons).
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 4-6

Dylan Dodd – Senior signs don’t usually do well in the hobby, but the 2021 3rd-rounder has performed well and advanced quickly enough to beat that. It’s mostly a pitchability-lefty profile, but he has a changeup that is truly a plus pitch. He’s a starter all the way, even though it’s likely a back-end one.
Risk: 4, Ceiling: 4

Brandol Mezquita – showing almost no game power, but could still pan out to be fringe-average across the board.
Risk: 8, Ceiling: 3

Cal Conley has an auto here with previous cards in 2021 Bowman Draft.

Chicago Cubs

Alexis Hernandez – Like many of the other 2022 J15 signees, Hernandez is all projection. He does have hallmarks we like in the hobby – 5 tool potential, professional bloodlines (Cristian’s brother), and a seven-figure signing bonus. He passed his DSL test, but did not stand out statistically. I think his tools only have above-average across the board ceilings, but I could be wrong.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 6-8

Parker Chavers – Put a pin in the 2021 7th rounder. I don’t think he’ll be very hobby-interesting but it’s also not fair to evaluate him based on a 40 game stretch coming off a shoulder injury that had bothered him for years. He didn’t show much power at Coastal Carolina either, but again – the shoulder could have something to do with that. He was a senior sign, so hopefully the Cubs start him at High-A and see if he can prove anything in 2023.
Risk: 9, Ceiling: 4

Christian Franklin – I made a bold prediction before the season that Franklin would have a ‘2021 Joey Wiemer-esque’ breakout. Well, he tore his patellar tendon before the season started. Nuts. We’ll see how close he comes to fulfilling his 5-tool potential (hit being the biggest question) when he gets back on the field to start 2023.
Risk: 9, Ceiling: 7

B.J. Murray Jr – Talk about overperforming your Draft stock. The 2021 15th round pick out of FAU played his way all into the Arizona Fall League this year. That’s the positive. The negative is that he’s a 1B without much power. He hit well and should see AA in 2023, but there’s pressure on his bat to be even better than it’s been if he’s going to be a MLB regular.
Risk: 7 Ceiling: 3

Nelson Velazquez – Odd one here, as he doesn’t even have rookie eligibility anymore. There was a brief surge in his prospect status when he won AFL MVP in 2021, but that’s over and his role as a 4th outfielder for the Cubs looks fairly secure for 2023. If he ever cuts down his K%, he’d be a MLB regular.
Risk: 2, Ceiling: 4

Liam Spence – 24 YO 2021 senior sign who didn’t hit well this year in Complex/Single-A. The Australia-JuCo-Tennesse path is interesting though.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 2

Cincinnati Reds

Leonardo Balcazar – It was a great season at the Complex for Balcazar, who slashed .322/.411/.476. Small in stature, but there is some projection to both his hit and power – if he gains some good weight his line drive-approach could result in more XBH. That said, it’s all still very raw right now from a swing decision & defensive standpoint – there’s a reason he didn’t move to Single-A at the end of the year like some of the top talent in his 2021 J15 class did.
Risk: 8, Ceiling: 7

Graham Ashcraft – Having started 19 games for the big club, this is the definition of a no-risk “prospect”. Now, he also has a very limited ceiling. He showed himself to be an innings-eater type with a very low K%, but one that should stick at the back end of the rotation for at least a few years.
Risk: 1, Ceiling: 4

Yerlin Confidan – He missed 3 months due to a leg injury this year, which is a shame because he showed some truly great raw power in 2021. It looked like Single-A was a challenge but he hadn’t fully adjusted and never got going when he came back. The power remains a potential elite asset, but we really need to see his hit tool develop to compliment it. He’s a corner outfielder with little speed.
Risk: 9, Ceiling: 7

Ricardo Cabrera – A top-5 2022 J15 signing, Cabrera has the 5-tool potential the hobby loves. His hit is likely the strongest of his tools and in a very raw manner, it showed in his DSL performance. He won’t be a fast mover – he doesn’t have a strong defensive home, but for now he’s playing SS.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 7-9

Thomas Farr – 2021 5th round pick, lacks elite stuff, got hit a bit too much in High-A at 23. Could end up as bullpen piece. Risk: 7, Ceiling: 3

Colorado Rockies

Juan Guerrero – One of a handful of prospects stuck at Fresno all year this year despite being worthy of promotion, his main tool is his hit. There’s some speed & power to his corner-OF profile, but if he makes it it’ll be because he’s figured out how to make more consistent hard, line drive contact.
Risk: 8, Ceiling: 5

Yanquiel Fernandez – By almost any measure imaginable, Fernandez had a fantastic season. Hit over .280. Slugged over .500. Over 50 XBH with 20 HR. Only 2 other players close to his age hit those marks, and their names are Elly & Jackson. He’s a big guy with a ton of projectable power – and clearly, he’s already getting to it. If the name across his chest was different, this may already be a near Top-100 player who touched AA this year. As it is though, we have to be a little more cautious since he was in Single-A all year.
Risk: 7, Ceiling: 9

Braxton Fulford – 6th round 2021 pick, deserved better than spending all year at 23 in Single-A. Bat first catcher profile, could surprise but he’s now behind developmentally. Played in this year’s Arizona Fall League.
Risk: 8 Ceiling: 4

Los Angeles Dodgers

Gavin Stone – One of the most dominant pitchers in the minors this year, Stone is a consensus Top-75 prospect in baseball. He is 24 so the timer on his hobby relevance is a short one, but he should be up with the Dodgers in 2023. Will they find a spot for him in the rotation? Or is their depth such that he earns a long relief role? All this remains to be seen, but his stuff is not in question and he’ll be showing it off to the massive Los Angeles hobby market in short order.
Risk: 3, Ceiling: 8

Rayne Doncon – Great plate skill for an 18 year old, and already showing power, hitting 12 HR in 62 games. It could be even better – only 15.5% of his balls hit were line drives, leading to a .265 BABIP. He’s a dreamy prospect from a hobby perspective – maybe more so than real-life. He’s going to be a big bodied dude, so whether he sticks at even 2B is a question. If he keeps hitting at this trajectory though, it won’t matter.
Risk: 8, Ceiling: 8

Alex De Jesus (now Blue Jays) – He’s been on my radar for quite awhile now. His 2022 season was a bit underwhelming, but his underlying raw skills remain. De Jesus has plus power potential from an infield position (likely 2B or 3B). Everybody in the organizations he’s been in like him, so he’s moved quickly and stands to spend all of 2023 at High-A at 21. His hit tool looks like a big question at present, but could rebound quickly.
Risk: 8, Ceiling: 7

Samuel Munoz – The Dodger top signee of the 2022 J15 signing period. He’s got a body that could go the wrong way easily, but Munoz showed off one of the most advanced hit tools in the DSL this year, and it came with a solid (for a 17 YO) .145 ISO. There’s not much concern at all about his offensive profile – if I ever knocked down the risk of a DSL player, it’d be for someone like Munoz. He’s being used in the OF for now, but it’s more likely he ends up at 1B.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 6-8

Jorbit Vivas has an auto here with previous cards in 2022 Bowman – it will likely have the 1st Bowman logo.

Miami Marlins

Ian Lewis (was in 2022 Bowman) – Slim pickings for the Marlins, so let’s talk about Lewis again! His best tool is speed, but he’s more than that. The underlying metrics of his hitting looked solid. His power hasn’t shown up at all yet, but there should be some coming. Multiple injuries this year likely sapped his performance across the board, but there’s a nice prospect in there..
Risk: 8, Ceiling: 6

Junior Sanchez has an auto here with previous cards in 2022 Bowman – it will likely have the 1st Bowman logo.

Milwaukee Brewers

Jackson Chourio (was in 2022 Bowman) – Let’s take another shot here since my writing about him at the release of Bowman was, um, a bit off base. Being ranked as high as #1 in some overall prospect rankings, Chourio is easily the top chase in this product. He’s risen from being “just a decent DSL bat” before the season all the way to AA at 18 years old this season. There is no limit to his ceiling.
Risk: 5, Ceiling: 10

Joey Wiemer (no autos) – Wiemer had a great 2021 season, struggled at AA early this year,, then was good again when he was promoted to AAA? Sometimes things don’t make sense. Anyhow, he has power and some speed – if we’re to believe what he did in AAA, his hit will be good enough to make him a solid major leaguer to the tune of 30 HR/10 SB at peak.
Risk: 5, Ceiling: 7

Antonio Pinero – Elected free agency after serving an organizational utility role this year. Doesn’t have a strong offensive game.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 1

Jheremy Vargas has an auto here with previous cards in 2022 Bowman – it will likely have the 1st Bowman logo.

New York Mets

Simon Juan – Don’t look at the stats. There’s definite 5-tool projectability with Juan, and there were flashes of them in what he did in the DSL. The bad news is that there was no consistency whatsoever in his quality of contact, and it was mostly poor. He’s just super raw. He’ll likely head to the Complex next year – he showed enough to say that he likely won’t look worse there.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 7-9

Willy Fanas – Having his development set back a year by an (allegedly) reneged signing agreement with the Angels, Fañas spent the year in the DSL at 18. Like teammate Simon Juan, he has 5-tool potential. His power seems further behind at a year older than Juan, but we’re talking about a another very raw, young player here. His bonus was right behind Juan’s this year, at $1.5 MM.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 6-8

Kevin Kendall – Utility-type, hurt most of this year. Now 23, still needs to prove he can hit advanced pitching. Played in the Arizona Fall League.
Risk: 8, Ceiling: 3

JT Schwartz has autos here with previous cards in 2021 Bowman Draft.

Philadelphia Phillies

William Bergolla – A top-5 2022 J15 signee for $2.2 MM, Bergolla has been around the game his entire life, as his dad (of the same name) played in the minors for 12 seasons. The younger Bergolla got off to a late start in the DSL this year due to an injury, but he absolutely shined when he got going – he hit .380 & only struck out 3 times in his 24 games. Putting it all together, he seems like a great player for the hobby to speculate on.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 8-10

Gavin Tonkel – An injury wiped out most of Tonkel’s season, and he didn’t play in 2021 after being drafted in the 9th Round. So, we have to rely on what he was coming out of the Draft 18 months ago as a California prep OF. However, even that is clouded in mystery – he was a pop-up player who’s best tool was speed.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 4-6

Simon Muzziotti and Logan Cerny have autos here with previous cards in 2022 Bowman – they will likely have the 1st Bowman logo.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Mike Burrows – Drafted way back in 2018, Burrows developed wonderfully during the lost 2020 season, emerging with a truly plus curve. His fastball has come along nicely as well. He dominated AA this year before moving up and being challenged at the highest level of the minors. With a good spring, he could be with the Pirates from opening day next year, where he has mid-rotation upside.
Risk: 3, Ceiling: 5

Jack Herman – If this were 2019, Herman would be a fantastic sleeper to chase. As it is, he now has a lost 2020 and two injury-marred seasons behind him. It’s fair to question his ability to stay healthy at this point, but he’s also not hitting enough – the K-BB ratio is especially concerning for a guy who’s not a fantastic defender. There’s still a potential for a 20+ HR bat, but the red flags are piling up. Will the Pirates push him to AA to start 2023?
Risk: 8, Ceiling: 5

Yordany De Los Santos – The Pirates’ top 2022 J15 signer for $1.2 million, De Los Santos was a surprisingly good defender at SS in the DSL, which brings his potential count of tools to five. His power is lagging right now but that’s to be expected for a player that’s still not 18. Like others, his performance in the DSL was definitely a passing grade, but didn’t stand out.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 7-9

San Diego Padres

Yendry Rojas – Signing for $1.5 million out of the Dominican this year, Rojas’ main tools are his hit and defense at SS. There could be some power to come as he grows into his 6’+ frame, but it’s not likely to be above average. His hit tool was as advertised in the DSL, with more BB than K.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 5-7

Jarlin Susana (now Nationals) – There’s probably not another Eury Perez out there right now, but if there is, it’s Susana. With a 6’6” frame and a fastball topping out at 103, the Complex was no challenge. His secondaries are also very projectable and could end up as plus pitches. Already pushed to Single-A to close the season, he has all the hallmarks of a teenage hobby darling.
Risk: 8, Ceiling: 8

Samuel Zavala – Oh baby does the hobby ever love 18 year olds that hold their own in Single-A. That’s actually a conservative statement – a .254 ISO at that age, at that level is phenomenal. His power doesn’t project to be elite, but his hit tool does, and he’s already showing everything in-game. Can’t wait to see what he does in 2023.
Risk: 7, Ceiling: 8

Rosman Verdugo – Signed for a 700K bonus in January 2022, the Mexican Verdugo played at the Complex rather than the DSL. Between a lot of rawness (35 K%), he recorded an over .200 ISO – just as with Zavala, that’s excellent for his age. Right now he’s showing more power than hit, but both have above average potential. He should settle in as either a 2B or 3B. His brother Luis also had his first Bowman cards this year!
Risk: 9, Ceiling: 7

Jackson Merrill has autos here with previous cards in 2021 Bowman Draft. He’s especially interesting because this will be his first Bowman (non-insert) cards that actually has his photo on it. Merrill was an Arizona Fall League Fall Star.

San Francisco Giants

Alexander Suarez – The great surface numbers he put up in 2021 flipped over to reality this year, and the underlying ugliness only got marginally better. His K% was still near 30%, his BB% was still only around 5%. He made good improvements on swing decisions though, and he does hit the ball really hard when he connects. He has a long way to go, but the power at least is intriguing.
Risk: 9 Ceiling: 6

Ryan Reckley – Earning a whopping $2.2 million bonus in January 2022, he was the Giants top international signer. He has 5-tool potential but power is likely to be the least of them, as he’s sub-6’. An injury wiped out most of his season and he never got going in his 11 games.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 6-8

Adrian Sugastey and Diego Velasquez have autos here with previous cards in 2022 Bowman – they will likely have the 1st Bowman logo.

St. Louis Cardinals

Jonathan Mejia – A Top-20 2022 J15 signee, Mejia showed well in the DSL this year. He had 23 XBH with an OBP over .400 in 45 games – it’s emblematic of the type of dynamic offensive player Mejia has the potential to be. He might not stick at SS and speed isn’t a big part of his game, but his bat will play anywhere if he continues on this path.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 7-9

Won-Bin Cho – I love him. I just wish he played more. An injury limited him to 100 PA’s this year at the Complex, but he got on base in 40 of them. It’s likely a 5-tool profile with his power leading the way, but as expected, he’s raw and likely headed back to the Complex to start 2023. It’s still age appropriate, as he was a 2021 Korean HS graduate who opted out of the KBO Draft and will be just 19 most of next season.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 7-9

Washington Nationals

Cristhian Vaquero – Vaquero’s performance in the DSL was not a great exhibition. Make no mistake though, there’s a reason the Nationals used almost their entire bonus pool to sign him (4.95 MM), He is the single most projectable prospect from the 2022 J15 class – he might just be more raw than expected. His lack of performance so far means nothing to me.
Risk: 10, Ceiling: 8-10

Evan Lee – Forced to the majors with less than 150 minor league innings as a result of roster machinations, he looked OK in a swingman role before hurting his elbow. He did play again in the minors after recovering, but his future now looks to be in the bullpen where his plus curve should play well.
Risk: 5, Ceiling: 3

Daylen Lile and Brady House have autos here with previous cards in 2021 Bowman Draft.

Max Arterburn lives in the Milwaukee suburbs. He loves coaching baseball, karaoke, film, and spending time with his wife & 3 boys. He loves the Hobby & uses it as an avenue to obsessively follow prospects. He also loves critiquing card design & fancies 1998 UD3 as his favorite childhood set. He is not an Instagram model.

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