This year’s final MLB Draft rankings list is 400 names deep and has notes on each of the top 50 in this initial post, then a paragraph or two to sum up each grouping of 25 beyond that in a secondary post. This is not a mock draft. It is purely my rankings and based on players who are eligible for the draft, so there will be names in the list who have officially withdrawn from the draft, such as Andrew Dutkanych, as this is a list of talent rather than a projection of where they will fall in the Draft.
1) Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (GA) – Jones flashes the glove and power of his dad, Andruw Jones, and is as close to a true five-tool player as there is in the draft. Hoping he reaches the levels of his father may be asking a bit much, but the hit/power/field combo makes him a clear-cut number one on my board.
2) Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (FL) – 12 months ago Green was the favorite to go 1-1, and he likely would still be if not for the incredible Spring Jones put together. Green has the body reminiscent of his NFL Pro Bowl Tight End father Eric Green, and he uses his combination of size and speed well. He has plus raw power and can fly. He should be able to stick in center, but that isn’t a guarantee.
3) Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater HS (OK) – Yes, another former pro athlete’s son, Matt Holliday’s son, has rocketed up boards this Spring and is all but a lock to go top 5. The left-handed hitting shortstop has elite bat-to-ball skills and enough athleticism to stick at short.
4) Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly – The switch-hitting shortstop likely never would have made it to a college campus if it wasn’t for the fact his dad is the head man at Poly. Lee possesses one of the best hit tools in the class and there is plenty of pop in the bat as well. There is growing concern about his ability to stay at short, but the arm will allow him to be a very good 3B if he has to move off short where he will likely never be more than average defensively.
5) Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech – Parada had an outstanding season for Georgia Tech and has established himself as the top backstop in the draft as well as a Dick Howser Trophy finalist this season. Parada showed some improvement behind the plate and should be at least an average defender, although the arm is not a real weapon. At the plate, he barrels the ball well and has a smooth line-drive swing. He is more of a gap power bat currently, but could easily become a legit home run threat in time.
6) Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech – Not unlike his brother, Rangers prospect Josh Jung, Jace doesn’t get cheated at the plate, but he does have a very quick bat. The ball absolutely jumps off the bat and he makes plenty of contact. The position is a bit of a question mark as Jace doesn’t field or throw particularly well and has quite limited range. There may be a future move to first, but the bat will play at any position.
7) Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech – A quality bat that can drive the ball out to all fields, Cross once had real swing and miss concerns, but that has quieted a good amount. He has seen time at all positions in the outfield at Virginia Tech and can hold down center if really needed, but likely best suited for right, although limited time at first opened some eyes with his athleticism at the position.
8) Jacob Berry, CIF/OF, LSU – The switch-hitting power bat followed Jay Johnson to LSU from Arizona where he joined a stacked lineup. He had a very good season but hardly jaw-dropping numbers many were projecting. He does show very good balance, especially when adjusting to the ball vertically in the zone as a left-handed hitter, but he lacks a defensive position. All likelihood suggests first base is in his future, but he has had plenty of time at third and the corner outfield.
9) Termarr Johnson, 2B, Mays HS (GA) – This is one of the tougher ranks for me, at times Johnson absolutely shines, but other times there are holes that can’t be ignored. More and more outlets are listing him as a SS but I have talked to precisely zero scouts who believe he has a future there. The bat flashes plus contact and plus power, but I have had multiple scouts drop a Willie Calhoun comp on him, and not in a good way. The upside is great, but the bust potential is also very much there.
10) Daniel Susac, C, Arizona – Susac’s defense causes him to be my second-ranked catcher, as the bat could very well be the best bat among prospects who will stick behind the plate. He can be lazy to the backhand and his body does not stay square blocking the ball in the dirt allowing too many to get away. If he cleans that up, he has the upside of a future All-Star catcher.
11) Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola JC – Collier doesn’t turn 18 until November and already has a season of JuCo under his belt. Had he stayed in HS and been eligible for the 2023 class, he would be in the discussion to be the top prep bat off the board. He is a rare bat before power guy with an arm that is well above average at third.
12) Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS (GA) – There was little doubt Lesko would have been the first arm off the board before undergoing Tommy John this spring. Despite the injury, he still comes in as my top-ranked arm, just no longer a top 10 guy. He has a massive fastball and a fantastic hook, but his best offering is his change. Despite being just a three-pitch mix, it is a great three-pitch mix that will allow him to be effective against left and right-handed batters.
13) Zach Neto, SS, Campbell – Neto had a fantastic season for the Camels and is one of my favorite players in the draft. He has an advanced approach at the plate and has plenty of gap power that will lead to average HR numbers. He can stick at short at the next level based on baseball instincts more than raw ability. He won’t be a guy who ever puts up massive numbers, but he is the type of guy who will be incredibly valuable for a ball club and will likely become a future fan favorite.
14) Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary’s HS (MI) – Elite changeups are exceedingly rare among prep arms, which is why Porter sticks out along with Lesko. Porter has a prototypical ace body and has touched triple digits. His slider flashes plus but projects more above average while he has a solid curve that should be at least average. The release point gets inconsistent at times and needs to be cleaned up, but he has the upside of top half of rotation arm.
15) Jett Williams, SS/OF, Rockwall-Heath HS (TX) – Williams won’t scare anybody stepping off the bus, listed at 5’8” he is undeniably small. That said, he has a clean line drive swing with plus bat-to-ball skills and plus speed. He has the instincts to stick at short, but simply based on size plenty will speculate a move to second. He has seen some time in center and it could be the position he ultimately ends up at the next level.
16) Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage HS (FL) – I have seen Barriera listed everywhere from 5’11” to 6’2”, but one thing that isn’t debatable is the stuff. His fastball has flirted with triple digits, and the slider has some incredible spin. He has shown a decent feel for a change and has shown off a curve at times, but that either needs a lot of work or needs to be scrapped. He has good command and the body, no matter the height, has plenty of room to add weight.
17) Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga – Not sure there was anyone who would have predicted Hughes would be the top college arm come draft season, but here we are. The college pitching crop has been decimated by injuries and suspensions, but Hughes put together an excellent season. His fastball touches 97 with some run and he started to really command it this season. The slider has a chance to be his best offering and has a quality change. The upside isn’t massive, but the floor is high, making him a safe college arm which can be very attractive in the middle of the first round.
18) Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman HS (NV) – Carl Crawford’s son has the same blazing speed and feel for hitting that his dad did, but he may be a legit center field prospect too. Crawford does an excellent job adjusting the breaking balls throughout the zone and can handle top velocity. He is an above-average to plus defender in center with a solid arm, the only real limitation in his game is he lacks real power, but that isn’t his approach and he will thrive despite the lack of real pop.
19) Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (FL) – Standing 6’4” and just under 200 lbs., Ferris has a body scouts love, and the fact he has shown he can keep his best stuff deep into outing show can stick as a starter. The fastball is heavy while still reaching the mid-90s and has both a curve and change that project to be better than average. His arm goes from straight down to high 3/4 quickly and with some whip, along with effort in the finish, there are definitely some concerns in the delivery, but there is still plenty of raw stuff too.
20) Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee – The biggest question with Beck is whether or not he will make enough contact as he has struggled in past stints with a wood bat, but the toolsy athleticism is something easy to love. He flirts with plus arm and power while running well for a 225 pounder. He projects best in right field and has been a very productive player in the SEC, so he will likely be a quick mover early in his minor league career.
21) Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS (PA) – With a quick bat-to-ball swing with gap power and limited home run power, Young is a bit of a throwback approach player. His arm and wheels are above average and he should be able to stick at short at the next level. With his whole-field approach and plus hit tool, he is the type of guy who could easily find himself in the top part of a big league lineup in time.
22) Dylan Beavers, OF, Cal – Beavers is a massive risk-reward option but the reward is huge if it hits. That is the key work though, hits. Beavers is prone to massive cold streaks where making contact can seem like an uphill battle, but then he can hit a hot streak, and keeping a ball in the yard is a challenge for the opposing pitchers. Add to that the fact he can absolutely stick in center field, steal plenty of bases, and has an above-average to plus arm, there is a ton to like, he just needs to make contact at a higher rate for him to pan out.
23) Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State – Hjerpe may well have been the best pitcher in college baseball in 2022, but he doesn’t light up any radar guns and works on deception and command as much as stuff. He has been as high as 91-93 with his fastball but sat 87-89 in a late season series. He features a slurvy breaking ball and decent change, but a low 3/4 cross-body delivery makes all his pitches play up. He does not have ace upside, but he is as close to a lock to be a future mid-rotation starter as there is in the draft.
24) Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee – While most top college arms were performing early in the season, then getting injured halfway through it seemed, Tidwell did the opposite, opening the season injured and ending healthy. Like seemingly every arm in Knoxville this season, Tidwell has a power fastball, but it is the slider and sinking change that make him a genuine starting pitching prospect.
25) Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama – Prielipp put in 21 innings before COVID shut down the 2020 season, then 7 innings in 2021 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He opted not to pitch in 2022 while working his way back from injury, instead throwing bullpens for scouts and recently participated in the Draft Combine. He has shown a plus fastball and a true 70-grade slider to go with a change that has flashed a solid change. If a team is sold he is back to his pre-injury self, he could easily go in the top half of the first round, but the lack of recent game action leaves plenty of question marks.
26) Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee – The lasting image of Gilbert for most college baseball fans is likely his heated ejection in the Super Regionals against Notre Dame, but he should have plenty of opportunities to make a bigger name for himself at the next level. He is only 5’9”, and the power is limited, but he makes plenty of contact and has a plus arm in the field that once was a mid-90s fastball on the mound. He is a good enough fielder to hold down center, and his eye at the plate might be the best of any college hitter.
27) Kumar Rocker, RHP, Indy Ball – Is there a stranger case in this draft than Rocker? Doubtful! It isn’t exactly common for a guy playing Indy Ball professionally to be draft eligible, but that is what Rocker is after not signing with the Mets last season. I was about as low on Rocker as anyone heading into the draft a season ago, and most of the season off hasn’t exactly improved my take on him. I see him as a dominant reliever at the pro level, I don’t believe he sticks as a starter. He has a plus fastball and curve and is arguably the best slider in the class. That said, his stuff regularly ticks down deeper in the game and there are concerns in his delivery. I think he will have a productive and successful MLB career; I just don’t see it being as a starter or anywhere near the kind people were projecting 12-months ago.
28) Justin Campbell, RHP, Oklahoma State – The tall ace for Ok St threw a Maddux no-no in 2021 against Kansas and was one of the better hitters on the Cowboy’s team, but in 2022 he was a pitcher only. A good fastball that can get into the mid-90s, he possesses a plus change that really falls, above average slider, and decent curve, and he can command all four offerings. He has a loose 3/4 delivery and works with pace on the mound. There is little question he will be a starter at the next level with some upside.
29) Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina – Whisenhunt started the season on what was believed to be a team suspension but it later came out he tested positive for PED he claims was from a supplement he took over the winter and wound up be suspended the entire season. His changeup is probably the best in the class to go with a fastball that sits 92 and gets up to 95. His curve gives him a viable third option and he will be a starter at the next level, especially given he has an athletic low effort delivery. He likely would be a top 15 pick had he pitched at all this season.
30) Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State – Another starter that was unable to pitch the entire year, this one another Tommy John surgery. While it seems every pitcher these days ends up under the knife, Sims wasn’t much of a surprise as he does have plenty of effort and recoil in his delivery that causes concern and he has a reliever grade for me. His fastball and slider are plus or better offerings that he can command well. He has a change, but it is simply not good enough to consider it a viable third pitch. Sims will likely move to the bullpen after he gets healthy and he can be an arm that holds down high leverage innings.
31) Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison – I have massive concerns with DeLauter, as his swing has massive issues. His hips open early, his feet are too active, and nothing seems to be in sync, but his production is real. He absolutely mashed mid-major pitching and had a good stint in the Cape last summer. He did show some decent adjustments as the season progressed and has enough arm to stick in right. If he makes the adjustments at the next level, the power will absolutely play, but he also screams a guy who fizzles out at Double-A, so plenty of potential outcomes for DeLauter.
32) Robby Snelling, LHP, McQueen HS (NV) – At 6’3” and 220 lbs., there is no need to play the projection game in terms of the body as has a grown man’s body at just 18 years of age. His fastball has been up to 97 this summer and he has a plus curve that has sharp late action. He has shown a low-80s change that needs a ton of work and could be what keeps Snelling as a reliever long-term but should get plenty of chances to start early in his pro career thanks to the fact he does have a smooth and repeatable delivery.
33) Andrew Dutkanych, RHP, Brebeuf Jesuit Prep HS (IN) – Dutkanych has announced he will be attending college and is withdrawing from the draft, but this is a ranking of 2022 eligible players, so here he is. It may benefit him though as he has inconsistencies in his delivery and his changeup needs a lot of work. The fastball is mid-90s and he has a wipeout slider to go with a quality curve. With some polishing at Vandy, he could easily work his way into the top half of the first round of as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2024.
34) Eric Brown, SS, Coastal Carolina – Brown is as tough an evaluation as there is for me in this draft as he oozes athleticism and talent, but his swing drives me nuts. He actually starts with his hands on the pitcher’s side of his own helmet and has a massive bat wrap big leg kick, and does not get cheated, but the bat always seems to end up in the right spot. He can handle velo and all the movement in the swing helps lead to a tick above average power. In the field, he can absolutely hold down short as he has plenty of range, good hands, and enough arms to say on the left side.
35) Sterlin Thompson, OF, Florida – It is tough to flirt with a first-round grad when you have two tools that grade out at below average, but here is Thompson. He is slow and is not a great defender, but he has plenty of arm and an advanced approach at the plate. The power is currently below average in game, but has a bit above average raw power, so there is likely more to tap into there. His arm will fit just fine in right, but his lack of range could be a real concern.
36) Jacob Melton, OF, Oregon State – Melton has elite bat control and has shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields despite a slap-looking approach. He can open early and pull off the ball, so he is susceptible to swinging through balls on the outer half. Once he makes contact he has plenty of speed which also translates into the field where he is an above-average center fielder with a solid arm.
37) JR Ritchie, RHP, Bainbridge Island HS (WA) – Ritchie has absolutely dominated his fellow high school competition in the state of Washington, but he wasn’t really challenged with elite talent during his school season. He has shown well on the showcase circuit and has a potential plus fastball with real late arm-side run and a sharp two-plane slider that breaks late. His curve his a looper but his arm slot is consistent so it plays up and he has shown feel for a change as well. There is some effort late in the delivery and he isn’t the biggest of pitchers, but he should be a starter at the next level, although it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him struggle out the gate and then climb rankings in 2-3 seasons.
38) Brock Jones, OF, Stanford – Jones made plenty of noise in the NCAA tournament with some big hits and monster home runs, but there are real concerns in his swing. His hips open ahead of his hands and he sells out drive the ball, leaving him swinging over breaking balls too often and threw fastballs on the outer half. Multiple scouts have expressed this same concern and it is a big reason his production looks like a first-round guy but his draft slot will likely be in the second round. He runs and fields well and will probably stick in center defensively, which is a plus.
39) Peyton Graham, SS/3B, Oklahoma – Graham played 3B in 2021 and moved to short in 2022 where he fared well but left plenty of questions as well. He did not have a good defensive College World Series which will only add to the question marks on that side of the ball. I think he is a long-term third baseman where his cannon of an arm will play well and his range will only be a bonus. He is crazy skinny, but his quick wrists allow him to generate plenty of above-average power. Despite being 6’3” and only 185 lbs., there really doesn’t look to be a ton of weight to be added to his frame so, if a team does roll him out at short, I don’t see him losing much if any range.
40) Logan Tanner, C, Mississippi State – I am a sucker for catching prospects, so I may be higher than most on Tanner, but the arm is second to none at any position in this draft class. Most outlets have placed 70 grades on his arm, but there have been scouts I have spoken to who have dropped 80 grades on it. He is a quality receiver and does not get lazy too often blocking the ball, so overall he is an above-average defender. The bat has plenty of holes, but the ball jumps when he makes contact. This is really a defensive-driven ranking where any contribution with the bat being gravy.
41) Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas – Pallette has plenty of stuff, but consistency and durability are the real questions, and being another victim of Tommy John doesn’t help quiet those questions. He lacks extension in his delivery leading to his arm fighting against his body in the delivery and an inconsistent release point. When at his best he has three potential plus pitches in his fastball, curve, and change, with the curve being the best and the change trailing the other two offerings. One positive for Pallette is the fact he has seen success in both the starting rotation and the bullpen, as one of the biggest debates is where he will end up in his pro career.
42) Henry Bolte, OF, Palo Alto HS (CA) – While there is a shot two bay area college outfielders go ahead of Bolte, don’t be surprised if Bolte is the best bay area draftee of 2022. Bolte features four plus tools, but his hit tool is well below average. There is stiffness in the swing and he doesn’t handle the low ball all that well, but when he makes contact he makes LOUD contact. There is little doubt he can stick in center field, and he has enough arm to play right if he needs to in the future too. If a team thinks they can fix the plate discipline and improve the contact rate, expect Bolte to go early in the second round.
43) Tucker Toman, 3B, Hammond HS (SC) – Position questions surround Toman as he lacks range and isn’t a particularly good defender. He is a switch-hitter who makes plenty of contact and drives the ball, so he has all the ability to hit himself into a lineup. He has enough arm to play third, and he could easily be hidden in a corner outfield, so a team who believes he will defend anywhere close to average at any position will have no reservations picking him up late day one or early day two.
44) Noah Schultz, LHP, Oswego East HS (IL) – Schultz is a 6’9” low slow lefty with good extension and plenty of cross-body deception with a repeatable delivery. He has plenty of room on the frame to fill out and add velocity where scouts hope he can end up in the 92-94 he flashed in showcases rather than the 88-92 he typically sat in his starts. His slider has really good shape in the two-pane breaker and there is a change that is serviceable. He is absolutely a projection play as the stuff isn’t worthy of a top five round pick today, but the potential within it could see a team falling in love with him early.
45) Jud Fabian, OF, Florida – A second rounder selection a season ago by the Boston Red Sox, Fabian went unsigned and returned to Florida where he didn’t necessarily hurt or help his stock. He still showed plenty of power and plenty of swing and miss in the swing. In the field, he is as polished a center fielder as there is coming out of college and he has above-average wheels to go with his solid instincts. He is very much an up-the-middle defender with a prototypical corner outfield approach at the plate.
46) Walter Ford, RHP, Pace HS (FL) – Ford does not turn 18 until December and was originally a 2023 prospect but reclassified to become eligible in the 2022 draft. He likely would have really benefited from another year of development before the draft as he is a dominant two-way player who would be a draftable position player, but on the mound is where his future is. It is not uncommon to see a prep arm with only two real pitches and a change that needs a lot of work, and that is the case here too. His high slot creates a heavy downhill action on his fastball that has been up to 97 while he has a quality slider that can really keep hitters off balance.
47) Owen Murphy, RHP, Riverside Brookfield HS (IL) – Another legit two-way prospect who is just too good an arm to reasonably believe he will get a shot to hit at the next level, his athleticism as a football player and third baseman translates on the mound. He has a compact delivery that ends up with good extension, it is a delivery that requires plenty of athleticism to repeat as well as he does. The fastball isn’t big as it sits low-90s, but the 3/4 delivery does allow for plenty of arm-side run helping it play up. His cutting slider and curve are his best pitches, but he does also feature a change that has shown promise.
48) Jonathan Cannon, RHP, Georgia – Cannon was a draft-eligible sophomore who I ranked 85 last year, he has improved his stock after going undrafted in 2021. He really took a big step forward in his command and that may very well be his best tool. He features two hard breaking balls, one a slurvy slider and another a sharp cutter, has a fastball that sits mid-90s and a quality change. The stuff does not make for massive upside, but the polish and command gives him about as high a floor as there is in the draft this year. If I were placing bets on what arm in this class gets the first debut as a starting pitcher, my money would be on Cannon.
49) Cade Horton, RHP/3B, Oklahoma – I was almost upset to see him dominate in the postseason as Horton is no longer a sleeper of any kind. He has a massive fastball, hard slider with late vertical action, and loopy curve that saw hitter off-balance in both his Omaha appearances. Seeing him early in the season playing third base he played solid defense and his arm was definitely a plus tool at the position, but it is unlikely he sees any time there as a pro. While he was able to hold his stuff late into his starts, the delivery leaves me with some doubt in his ability to stick as a starter, instead I see him as a future dominant closer.
50) Cayden Wallace, 3B, Arkansas – Part of an all-world infield for Arkansas, Wallace may very well have been the lowest ranked infield prospect for the Hogs at the start of the season, but he ends as the top prospect in this year’s class from the group. At about 90% of the schools in the country, Wallace probably would have seen time at short, but Jalen Battles is enough to make sure that didn’t happen. The arm is a plus tool and does play best at third base where he can be an above-average defender with plenty of range. His bat is inconsistent when it comes to contact, but he really showed off the power late in the season. He is at his best as a pull hitter when he can get his arms extended but can get jammed too often.
Shaun Kernahan is the MLB Draft correspondent for Prospects1500. When not at a game, chances are the TV and/or tablet has a game on and he has a notepad out taking notes. When not scouting draft prospects, he is the Director of Baseball Operations for the Mile High Collegiate Baseball League, a collegiate wood bat league in Colorado. Shaun can be found on Twitter at @ShaunKernahan.