In recapping the draft, we are going to look at what I feel is each team’s best pick (often going to be the first round pick, but certainly not always), each team’s worst pick (a player I felt was drafted too high even if signed for under slot), a sleeper pick (top ten round pick that will likely outperform his draft slot) and deep sleepers (often a pick after the 10th round with a good chance to sign (if he hasn’t yet) that will bring great value, but sometimes a senior sign).
Best Pick: JR Ritchie, RHP, Competitive Balance Round A, Pick 35 – Had I done a mock draft, Ritchie would have gone pick 36 to the Pirates, but he is the highest-ranked player I had among the Braves selections. Overall they had an unspectacular draft, although they didn’t really have big swing and misses either for me. Ritchie has a plus fastball and above-average slider while showing a quality curve and change and a chance to command them all. I fully anticipate Ritchie being a future piece of the Atlanta rotation, and he better be as the Braves traded Drew Waters, Andrew Hoffmann, and CJ Alexander for the pick.
Worst Pick: Blake Burkhalter, RHP, Round 2 Compensatory, Pick 76 – I had Burkhalter 301 which was admittedly too low, but I don’t think I could have pushed him up beyond around 250 or so, making this a pretty big reach. He scrapped the slider for a cutter late in the season and looked really good in the NCAA regionals, but there were certainly outings early in the season that would have landed him as a questionable day two pick, much less day one.
Sleeper: Adam Maier, RHP, Round 7, Pick 215 – Seth Keller was a name that I gave real consideration to here, but he was ranked just two spots higher for me, Maier went a round later, and Maier was signed to a bonus nearly double that of Keller. Maier was the rare Canadian college prospect but wound-up transferring to Oregon and showed well. He has a fastball that has been up to 96, a plus slider, well above-average command, and both a change and curve that show promise. He is also still just 20 years old with a ton of upside despite his numbers at Oregon not being outstanding.
Deep Sleeper: Bryson Worrell, OF, Undrafted – With the draft being just 20 rounds vs. the previous 40, the undrafted signing has become a thing in recent seasons. Worrell is a five-year contributor at ECU and had his best season of his career this past season hitting .335 with an OPS of 1.032, 20 home runs (matching his previous four years combined) and playing excellent defense in center field. Overall, a great addition to the organization.
Best Pick: None – See Jacob Berry
Worst Pick: Jacob Berry, 3B, Round 1, Pick 6 – One could easily argue for Berry as both the best and the worst. He wasn’t necessarily drafted too high, but I had him ranked 8 and there were still 4 of my top 7 available at this spot, and all signed for smaller bonuses than Berry. His bat is real, but the defense is a massive question mark and could legitimately become a DH. Meanwhile Brooks Lee, Kevin Parada, Gavin Cross, and Jace Jung I believe will all be able to contribute similarly offensively, but also bring value on the defensive end.
Sleeper: Jared Poland, RHP, Round 6, Pick 172 – Poland was the ace of the staff for Louisville where he featured an average fastball but a quality change and a slider that has some promise to it. He is a senior sign with a quality track record at a top program. More of a safe sleeper pick, but getting any future value at a price tag under $150k is a plus.
Deep Sleeper: Tristan Stevens, RHP, Undrafted – It was a bit of a surprise to see Stevens go undrafted, but Miami wasted no time getting him signed after the draft. He is a sinker-change-slider pitcher from a high slot giving all of his offering plenty of drop. He was a jack-of-all-trades for the Longhorns appearing in 26 games, starting 12, and tallying 3 saves after all 18 of his appearances a season ago came in the rotation. His upside is a mid-reliever or spot starter.
New York Mets
Best Pick: Kevin Parada, C, Round 1, Pick 11 – A Dick Howser finalist, Parada absolutely mashed this past season for Georgia Tech, hitting .361 with 26 home runs in 60 games. There are some who aren’t fond of him behind the plate, but I saw a lot of growth in him this season and have little doubt he can stick there. With the DH now in the NL, a future pairing of Francisco Alvarez and Parada rotating between C and DH is a future Mets fans can get excited about.
Worst Pick: None – That is correct, I don’t have any real issues with a single one of the selections by the Mets. I guess you could argue Brandon Sproat was their worst pick simply because he did not sign.
Sleeper: Nick Morabito, OF/SS, Round 2 Compensatory, Pick 75 – There are plenty of arguments about whether or not Morabito can stick in the infield, but there aren’t a lot of arguments about whether or not he can hit. Morabito has a potential plus hit tool with the quickness in the bat suggesting he should develop into at least average power. He has plenty of speed, but the arm is a massive question so his future defensively may be limited to second or left, although his range could see him becoming a viable center fielder.
Deep Sleeper: Connor Brandon, RHP, Round 17, Pick 509 – The numbers won’t impress anyone, but the stuff is real. Coming from a sidearm slot with a fastball that has been as high 98 and a trio of secondary offerings is impressive. The problem is he is seemingly allergic to the strike zone with his massive command concerns. There are plenty of big league bullpen guys with below-average command, but he needs to improve significantly to get to below-average. If he can reign it in some, the Mets could have found a 17th round future bullpen piece.
Best Pick: Justin Crawford, OF, Round 1, Pick 17 – Every time I went back and looked at Crawford, he moved up my rankings. He ended up 18 but easily could have been higher. The upside with Crawford is massive, and may be second in the class only to Elijah Green. He can absolutely fly, is a plus defender, bordering on a plus arm and hit tool. The power is lacking but the other four tools are more than enough to be an easy starting center fielder in the future and has a high likelihood of multiple All-Star Game appearances.
Worst Pick: Gabriel Rincones, OF, Round 3, Pick 93 – Rincones can hit just fine, but he is below average or worse in speed, fielding, and arm. In fact, speed and arm are true minuses. I had him ranked 188 and he goes three rounds ahead of that. Beyond that, he signed for just a small amount under slot, so it wasn’t much of a savings. Overall, just many better options out there for me.
Sleeper: Orion Kerkering, RHP, Round 5, Pick 152 – The results were inconsistent for Kerkering but when on top of his game, he was dominant. He features a fastball that has hit 97 with plenty of run and a plus slider. He has enough command to suggest he could stick in a rotation, he would just need to see significant improvement in his change to give him a viable third option. I fully expect Kerkering to be a big league reliever with a shot at being a back-end starter within a few years.
Deep Sleeper: Emaarion Boyd, OF, Round 11, Pick 332 – May be a bit of a stretch to call Boyd a deep sleeper, but he is a day three signing so it counts. Only Justin Crawford had a higher signing bonus than Boyd in the Phillies class and may be the fastest player in the draft. There is little doubt Boyd can stick in center field and he has a quick bat and a good command of the zone. There is a real limit in the pop, but the athleticism will definitely be able to carry him to the upper minors and likely into the bigs in time.
Best Pick: Elijah Green, OF, Round 1, Pick 5 – Ranked two overall for me and undoubtedly the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft, Green fell to the Nationals at five. Green has plus power, plus speed, plus arm, and is a plus fielder. There are certainly some questions within the hit tool as there is plenty of swing and miss, but he has four plus tools! If he can make a little more contact as he progresses, Green could easily be the best player in this draft class.
Worst Pick: Brenner Cox, RHP, Round 4, Pick 111 – I had Cox ranked 287 and I may have been too high on him. Seeing him go at 111 was a surprise, seeing him sign for $1M, nearly double his slot value, was downright shocking. The bonus money is likely because he had a chance to play both baseball and football in college, and he is an excellent athlete, there just wasn’t the polish. He has a decent swing, may be able to stick in center but more than enough arm to move to right. The upside is there, but a ton of risk in this pick.
Sleeper: Riley Cornelio, RHP, Round 7, Pick 201 – It was a bit of a surprise when Cornelio didn’t get drafted in 2019 as he was the best arm to come out of Colorado in nearly a decade, but TCU got him to campus where he faired alright. Based on expectations, it may have been a bit of an underwhelming stint with the Horned Frogs, but there is plenty of stuff. He is into the mid-90s with a sinking fastball and combines that with a plus slider. He also has a change with late dip and a curve as well. There is a real shot the Nationals got themselves a future starter in round 7.
Deep Sleeper: Max Romero Jr., C, Round 9, Pick 261 – A 38th round pick in the final year of the 40 round draft era in 2019, Romero wound up attending Vanderbilt for two seasons before transferring to Miami. He was a higher-ranked prospect in HS than he was coming out of college, but he is a power-hitting catching prospect which is always valuable. He needs to improve his receiving, although his arm strength just may be enough to keep him behind the dish, and he struck out far too much this past season. Plenty of improvement is needed, but there is plenty of upside with Romero too.
Best Pick: Jackson Ferris, LHP, Round 2, Pick 47 – Ferris had a first round grade from me and ranked 19 overall, but the Cubs manage to move some money around and get him drafted and signed in the second round. He has a big fastball that has been up to 97 from the left side to go with a quality change and curve. At 6’4 and 195 lbs., there is plenty of projectability left in the frame and there is hope he will gain better control of his body as his command remains the lone question mark in his skill set. His delivery is not as repeatable as you want but, when all is in sync, he can truly be a dominant arm.
Worst Pick: Cade Horton, RHP, Round 1, Pick 7 – I, along with seemingly everyone else, fell in love with Horton in the NCAA tournament this past season, but it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise as he was extremely highly touted. The big surprise was just how fast he rose up the rankings, and how high he was drafted. I had him ranked too low just inside my top 50, but he has a very limited track record on the mound at the collegiate level and I believe he is a future reliever, not a starter. He did sign for under slot which allowed the Cubs to sign Ferris, so this is a pretty good pick to be considered the worst for the Cubs.
Sleeper: Nazier Mule, RHP/SS, Round 4, Pick 113 – Listed as a pitcher on the draft tracker, most feel his future is on the mound. While I am in that category as well, it is not yet time to give up on the bat. He has a plus arm defensively where he projects for third or right, although he could start at short. The bat also has plenty of pop, I just fear there will never be enough contact to be a viable part of a lineup. On the mound, he has touched triple digits and has a true plus-plus fastball with good feel for a slider and a developing change. My projection for him is as a power reliever as there is plenty of concern in his ability to keep up his stuff deep into a start.
Deep Sleeper: Haydn McGeary, C/1B, Round 15, Pick 443 – A D-II pick out of Colorado Mesa, the Phoenix area native is a big body catcher with plenty of power. He saw time at DH and 1B in addition to catcher at Colorado Mesa and there are plenty of questions about his ability to stick behind the plate, but there is no doubting his bat. Plus raw power with a shot to see time behind the dish is exactly what you are looking for on day three of the draft.
Best Pick: Cam Collier, 3B, Round 1, Pick 8 – Collier is one of the more intriguing players from this past draft as he got his GED before what would have been his junior year of high school and then enrolled in JuCo just so he could be eligible for the draft in 2022. His numbers at Chipola weren’t incredible, but that is to be expected from a 17-year-old college player. The hit tool is plus with a smooth stroke from the left side, he possesses raw power although he hasn’t really tapped into much of it yet as he needs to do a better job getting his hands in sync with his lower half. He has a plus arm defensively and is a very good defensive third baseman.
Worst Pick: Sal Stewart, 3B, Round 1 Compensatory, Pick32 – I had Stewart ranked 64, he went 32 in a large over draft even if he did sign for under slot, as did every one of the Reds’ top 10 round selections not named Cam Collier. There is plenty of raw power and the hit tool should be at least average, but there are real defensive questions. While he has plenty of arm to stick at third, he is slow twitch and lacks range which leads many to believe his future is limited to first base.
Sleeper: Logan Tanner, C, Round 2, Pick 55/Trey Faltine, SS, Round 7, Pick 213 – I couldn’t pick just one as Tanner was a steal going 15 spots behind where I had him ranked and Faltine is an elite defensive shortstop with some speed. While there are questions about Faltine at the plate, he showed up big in big games and flashed plenty of ability to hit. Even if he ends up a below-average hitter, he will be able to provide value to a big league club with his athleticism and defensive ability. Tanner has an absolute cannon of an arm behind the dish and is an average receiver which I believe improves to above average. At the plate, there is plenty of swing and miss and that led to less power production this past season than in 2021, he is another guy any production at the plate is a bonus.
Deep Sleeper: Mason Pelio, RHP, Round 12, Pick 363 – Had Pelio been eligible for the draft after his freshman season at Boston College in 2019, he may have gone in the top 5 rounds, but he has struggled since. His ERA and WHIP increased each season and his K/BB rate has gone down each of the past two seasons. He is really a fastball-changeup guy with the fastball having flirted with triple digits and a change that once had plus future potential on it. Not a fan of his breaking ball, but some good coaching and a move to the bullpen may lead to future big league success.
Best Pick: Eric Brown, SS, Round 1, Pick 27 – By far the strangest batting stance in the draft with his hands beginning on the pitcher’s side of his helmet and a big leg kick, Brown somehow keeps everything on time and ends up in the right spot. He doesn’t lack for contact and seems to find the barrel often, 20 home runs while holding down short is a real possibility. He is a high IQ baseball player that allows him to have more range than his speed would suggest and is one of the better defensive shortstops in the class.
Worst Pick: Jacob Misiorowski, RHP, Round 2, Pick 63 – It isn’t that I dislike the pick necessarily, but a $2.35M signing bonus?!?! The buzz in the scouting world was real as the draft approached and it was no surprise to see him end up selected well ahead of my ranking of 137. He has a legitimate plus fastball that has hit triple digits, which only plays up thanks to his length at 6’7”. Misiorowski has a slider that is average to better but struggles to command all his offerings thanks to being so long and still weighing in at just 190 lbs. He has shown a change and curve once in a blue moon, but they are used so infrequently it is near impossible to even have a future projection on either offering. In the end, I think Misiorowski ends up a reliever.
Sleeper: Robert Moore, 2B, Competitive Balance Round B, Pick 72 – Hard to consider a guy who was mocked in the top 10 overall a sleeper, but Moore slipped to pick 72 and signed for under slot there, so he certainly qualifies. He did not have the season many expected at Arkansas and he is limited to second base, but his baseball IQ is elite and he has shown plus bat skills in the past. If he can tap back into that, he will return first round value from a pick at the end of day one.
Deep Sleeper: Nate Peterson, LHP, Round 8, Pick 252 – A sub-6 foot college senior pitcher out of the University of Illinois at Chicago is the opposite of a sexy pick, but Peterson has the stuff to surprise people. He has a fastball that topped at 94 from the left side this season, but there is plenty of run to it. Both his slider and change grade out as potential average offerings, and a curve that needs some work. He commands all his offerings and struck out more than 5x the number of batters he walked. His ceiling is probably that of a quad-A journeyman in the end, but that is nothing to complain about this late in the draft.
Best Pick: Termarr Johnson, 2B, Round 1, Pick 4 – I was lower than most on Johnson but many scouts feel the best hit tool in the draft belongs to him. I have genuine concerns about the positional questions as I don’t believe he sticks in the dirt long term and I don’t think he has the range to play center or arm to play right. That means the bat must carry, and it just leaves little room for error. The Pirates had him as their target, and they got their guy, so they are happy with that no doubt.
Worst Pick: Jack Brannigan, 3B/RHP, Round 3, Pick 83 – Is he a reliever or is he a third baseman? He has a massive fastball and a plus slider to go with a decent change on the mound. He is an athletic third baseman with a cannon of an arm and some pop at the plate, but the hit tool is severely lacking. Overall, I think he winds up on the mound as a reliever, and there is just too much risk with him to justify a third round pick for me.
Sleeper: Derek Diamond, RHP, Round 6, Pick 170 – Talk about risk, Diamond might have the biggest gap between ceiling and floor of any player in the draft. Once ranked as a potential second round pick, Diamond didn’t even see the field in Omaha this year. If he can tap into his high-90s fastball and plus slider of 2021, then this is the steal of the draft and a potential mid-rotation arm. If he has the low-90s fastball and flatter slider of 2022 then he may not still be in affiliated ball after 2023.
Deep Sleeper: Tanner Tredaway, OF, Round 10, Pick 290 – A polished college contributor who can play some centerfield and a plus hit tool, it would be no surprise if he sticks around and makes a name for himself. He has little power to speak of so he would need to rely on athleticism, hit tool, and instincts to make it, he fits the mold of a Jake Mangum type.
St. Louis Cardinals
Best Pick: Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Round 1, Pick 22 – The best pitcher in college baseball in 2022 goes to one of the better developmental organizations in baseball. Hjerpe had one start at the end of the season that caused me some concern followed by a missed start due to illness but wound up bouncing back well and should be a full go come 2023. He has a low arm slot, good command, and three average to better offerings. The ceiling isn’t elite, but he has a relatively high floor. He probably won’t ever be more than a number three starter, but he has a high likelihood of reaching that level.
Worst Pick: Brycen Mautz, LHP, Round 2, Pick 59 – It isn’t that I have a big issue with this selection, but I just don’t see Mautz as a $1M+ signing bonus arm. Primarily a reliever until this season, Mautz just doesn’t have the track record against elite bats that I would like to see. He has a quality fastball and slider, but I am not sure the change will ever be enough to stick in a rotation and I don’t see him as an elite reliever.
Sleeper: Max Rajcic, RHP, Round 6, Pick 187 – Rajcic was a “veteran” presence in the UCLA Bruins rotation this past season on a team loaded with incredibly talented freshmen. His fastball and curve are more than good enough, the question remains whether the slider or change will ever develop enough to become a legitimate third/fourth option(s) to allow Rajcic to stick in a rotation. The Cards nearly tripled his draft slot allotment to get him signed, so clearly they believe he can do just that.
Deep Sleeper: Michael Curialle, SS, Round 12, Pick 367 – Did I mention the Bruins had a talented freshman class? Curialle was the veteran presence on the dirt where he can play second, short, or third, although not necessarily a great defender at any of the three. There are some who project him to move to the outfield, but the biggest question mark is if the bat will ever meet potential. He has a good swing with pop but is inconsistent. If he can improve his discipline at the plate and find more barrels, then there may be quite a few Cardinals fans out in LA.
Best Pick: Druw Jones, OF, Round 1, Pick 2 – The best player in the draft falls to number two is a massive win for the D-Backs. Granted, he has followed in Arizona first round pick tradition of immediately getting hurt and undergoing surgery, but that shouldn’t slow his development. Jones is an elite runner with a plus arm and Gold Glove defensive potential. At the plate, he makes plenty of contact and has plus power. His dad won 10 Gold Gloves and made five All-Star teams, and it would surprise no one if he matches his father’s production.
Worst Pick: Dylan Ray, RHP, Round 4, Pick 108 – I didn’t rank Ray in my personal top 638 despite the fact he has a massive fastball that has been up to 98, although it sits closer to 94-95. He is a pure reliever who doesn’t have a legitimate secondary offering yet. He was draft-eligible sophomore who I would have wanted to see more from at the college level, but the D-Backs clearly saw enough to justify spending over $500k on him to forego his final two seasons of college ball.
Sleeper: Landon Sims, RHP, Competitive Balance Round A, Pick 34 – If not for Tommy John surgery, Sims may well have been the top college arm off the board. He was off to a fantastic start to the season until the injury. This pick is far from without risk as he projects as a reliever given the lack of a third offering, questionable command, and a high-effort delivery that caused concern even before the injury. That said, he has a true plus-plus fastball and slider, meaning he is a guy who could absolutely dominate in the late innings out of the pen.
Deep Sleeper: Adrian Rodriguez, SS, Round 8, Pick 171 – A potential plus defender, the Puerto Rico product has good hands and a strong arm that suggests he will be able to stick at short long term. He has plenty of speed to give him range and is good on the bases. The question is at the plate where he lacks power and has a swing that needs refining. Despite the swing being less than desirable, he manages to get the barrel on the ball quite a bit, and some better pitch selection should push the bat to at least average if not a little better. It is rare to get a quality prep prospect in the eighth round, even more rate to get them to sign at slot value.
Best Pick: Jordan Beck, OF, Competitive Balance Round A, Pick 38 – I have some real concerns with Beck, but at pick 38 and the third selection for the team, it is hard to argue with it. There is plenty of power in the bat and he can hold down center or play right with his plus arm. The concern I have is the hit tool, with a long bat and poor plate discipline, there is a concern he won’t ever tap into the power in the bat. Even with a poor average, the contact he will make will be loud, especially if it is at Coors Field, and he is a run saving defender so there is still plenty of value there.
Worst Pick: Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Round 1, Pick 10 – I don’t actually dislike this pick, but it is the closest to a reach as there was for the Rockies, although he did sign for well below slot which makes it even harder to call it a “worst pick”. Hughes is a quality pitcher, but there were times I felt Trystan Vrieling was the better prospect in the Gonzaga rotation, and guys like Kevin Paraa, Jace Jung, Zach Neto, and Dylan Lesko were still on the board that I liked more.
Sleeper: Carson Palmquist, LHP, Round 3, Pick 88 – With a low arm slot from a long and lanky lefty, there are naturally a ton of comps to Chris Sale. Palmquist is in no way up to par with the likes of Sale, but the look is definitely real and the slider has plus action to it. The fastball really runs but he lacks a viable third option. There is a change but I just don’t know if it ever develops into an option that is good enough to be successful at the big league level. Still, with his low slot and two pitches that run in opposite directions, he is a guy who could certainly have success out of the bullpen, and may even be able to find himself in a rotation.
Deep Sleeper: Zach Agnos, 2B/RHP, Round 10, Pick 296 – A better position player than pitcher in college, Agnos likely has a better pro future on the mound than in the field. On the bump, his fastball is up to 95 and has an above-average changeup. He has a couple of breaking balls but neither are all that great at the moment, but there is still a real chance he finds himself in a big league bullpen. If he stays in the field, he is likely a second baseman who can hit a little, but his struggles in the Cape in 2021 don’t provide a lot of confidence.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Best Pick: Dalton Rushing, C, Round 2, Pick 40 – I don’t necessarily love this pick, it was 20 picks ahead of my ranking, but it was the best pick of the Dodgers draft on day one or two for me (more on that later). I don’t believe Rushing will stick behind the plate and I have not liked what I have seen from him at first base. If I was confident he could hold down a position other than DH, he would probably be ranked closer to this pick of 40 than the 60 I ranked him. The bat is real, plenty of contact, and bordering on plus power, so that isn’t the concern, only question mark I have on rushing is defensive.
Worst Pick: Nick Biddison, OF, Round 4, Pick 135 – I received a ton of mixed reviews on Biddison and I couldn’t get a great feel for him either, hence him landing just outside my top 400. He played all but two positions in college, those being pitcher and shortstop, and he wasn’t half-bad at any of those spots, catcher included. The ultimate utility guy, had he been a pick in round 8 or later, I may like it, but round four and not signing for much of a discount, there were simply better options at that point in the draft and at that price.
Sleeper: Logan Wagner, SS, Round 6, Pick 195 – A switch-hitting prep shortstop I had ranked 161, The Dodgers went more than double slot to lock up Wagner, and it could prove to be4 the best pick of the draft in the end for them. Granted, shortstop is unlikely the position of the future for Wagner, his arm will play well at third or he could move out to right and be just fine there. The bat is going to carry Wagner, he can barrel the ball well from both sides of the plate and possessed plus raw power, although future game power is probably more of an average variety.
Deep Sleeper: Chris Newell, OF, Round 13, Pick 405 – Was a little surprised to see Newell sign after slipping into day three, especially by the Dodgers with such a small pool available to them. He will likely be able to stick in center and has gap power to all fields. Coming out of high school Newell was a top three round prospect, he has certainly fallen in his time with Virginia, but that top 100 draft prospect is still there. He struck out too much in college and needs to cut that down as he is not a pure power hitter, but more of a doubles guy, so some tweaks to the bat and he can easily become a fourth outfielder if not a starter in time.
San Diego Padres
Best Pick: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Round 1, Pick 15 – Purely on value, Robby Snelling may be the better pick, but Lesko likely would have been a top 10 selection if not for TJ in April and the Padres snag him at 15. Lesko possesses the best change of all the prep arms, if not the best change in the draft, a genuine 70-grade offering. His fastball gets up to 97 while sitting mid-90s and has a curve that flashes plus. To go along with that, he projects for plus command and it would shock nobody if Lesko ends up turning in the best career of any arm in the draft.
Worst Pick: Isaiah Lowe, RHP, Round 11, Pick 330 – It is rare for a day three pick to be the worst, but the Padres had a really good draft, and the bonus numbers are driving this one. Reports are Lowe signed for $400K, which is fifth round bonus values, and I have spoken to nobody that had that high a report on him. I have minimal notes on Lowe but those I have are of a low-90s fastball, a curve mid-to-upper 70s that lacks sharpness, and an average at best change. I also dislike the arm bend and felt he would have benefited from time Wake Forest.
Sleeper: Adam Mazur, RHP, Round 2, Pick 53 – Again, I wrestled with Snelling here as he was an absolute steal, but a guy ranked 32 for me, and going 39 overall just doesn’t qualify as a sleeper. Mazur ranked 58 for me and ends up going just ahead that ranking, but I really liked Mazur at Iowa. He transferred there from South Dakota State and showed off his fastball that sits as high as 96 and has touched 99, while also featuring a two-seamer that has late sink to it. His change also falls late to go with a viable curve and a plus slider. He could be a quick mover that contributes at the back end of the Padres rotation within a few seasons.
Deep Sleeper: Austin Krob, LHP, Round 12, Pick 360 – There are plenty of opinions on Krob as to whether he is a starter or reliever, but at pick 360, getting a guy with a real shot at the big leagues is a win. He has a fastball that sits low-90s but gets up to 95 and a sharp slider that grades out above-average. The change is solid, but not special and may be the difference between starter and reliever. Krob has also had some trouble staying healthy which had some teams really concerned, but on day three and signing for the reported non-pool max of $125K, this is a pick that is pure upside.
San Francisco Giants
Best Pick: Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, Round 2, Pick 66 – There were few prospects I was looking forward to seeing more at the start of the college baseball season than Whisenhunt, unfortunately, nobody got to see him this college season as he was suspended for a positive PED test he said was from a supplement. Whatever the case, there is no denying Whisenhunt features one of the best changeups in this year’s class. There are few things I like more when scouting than a lefty with a plus fastball-change combination, and Whisenhunt is by far the best in this class. It is an easy comp to the Cubs’ pick of Jordan Wicks, but it is an accurate comp. Whisenhunt should be in the middle of the Giants rotation before too long.
Worst Pick: Reggie Crawford, 1B/LHP, Round 1, Pick 30 – A two-way player potentially who logged just 8 college innings on the mound, he did have 290 plate appearances in his career, although none of the innings or plate appearances came in 2022. After the season he transferred to Tennessee, which lasted less than a month before he signed a pro contract. There is plenty of upside here, but the track record is short and there are plenty of scouts who doubt his ability to stick on the mound, which would make him a first round 1B, and that is hard to justify.
Sleeper: Zach Morgan, C, Round 7, Pick 226 – A catcher who walked nearly 10% of the time while striking out less than 7% of the time, Morgan is an interesting prospect. He is nothing spectacular defensively, but a solid arm and decent receiving skills leave little doubt he will stick as a catcher. There is some raw power in the bat, but he is mainly a contact-focused hitter. While the Giants look to have their future pretty well spoken for at the catching position, it would not be a surprise to see Morgan become a quality backup backstop in time.
Deep Sleeper: John Bertrand, RHP, Round 10, Pick 316 – Bertrand was the top arm on the veteran Notre Dame staff and earned himself a draft selection thanks to his postseason performance. The upside isn’t really there for Bertrand, but he is a polished and successful college pitcher who should transition well to pro ball. His stuff isn’t electric, but he commands everything and should be able to get himself to the high minors and, potentially, a cup of coffee.
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