The annual MLB draft is scheduled for July 17-19 in Los Angeles, California, host of the 2022 All-Star game. Based on the newest CBA, the 2022 MLB Draft will be reduced to 20 rounds with compensation and competitive balance selections.

This draft class is widely considered deep but lacks the top-tier pitching talent we have seen in other recent draft classes due in large part to numerous injuries to top-tier talent. The top of the class is layered college hitters and several MLB bloodlines players that should come off of the board. It’s a good year for teams in need of catching depth or left-handed pitching in the first several rounds.

Scouting and scouting departments continue to evolve. COVID paired with an increased ability to capture data has created a time of transition from the old school model.  This leads to less reliance on numerous in-person views. Some scouting departments have transitioned toward a focus more on consuming video, collaboration, and data than ever before. Resulting in some teams reducing their scouting departments, and becoming more reliant on tech and analytics to identify talent that fits their draft model.

Change is part of the game, and so too is the consumption of quantifiable metrics. Combining and implementing these into talent identification models will continue to grow as teams experience success. Leading to more teams relying on their draft models. This will undoubtedly impact how teams draft.

The following pieces (parts 1-10) are a series of notes and projections that have been influenced by various sources. Those sources include (but are not limited to) the following: Baseball America, Perfect Game, ProspectsLive.com, MLB Pipeline, Fangraphs, The Athletic, ESPN, YouTube videos, and various other baseball-related sources.

Druw Jones – CF Wesleyan HS, GA

Ht: 18.6; Wt: 180; Age: 18.6

Bats: Right; Throws: Right

A dynamic center fielder with speed, power, and excellent defense. The son of Andruw Jones, there’s star potential here, just like his father. The Georgia native has a natural ability to put the bat on the ball. There’s more power to come for the young outfielder as he fills out his frame. Already an exceptional defender with a strong arm, there are possibilities of multiple Golden Gloves in his future. He is a Vanderbilt commit and a top few talents that will require a handsome signing bonus to forego his collegiate commitment. Jones seems destined for the largest payday of the 2022 MLB Draft class.

Projection: Round 1, picks 1-5

Kevin Parada- C Georgia Tech

Ht: 6’1; Wt: 210; Age: 21

Bats: Right; Throws: Right

The soon-to-be-former Yellow Jackets backstop was one of the top players available in the draft in 2020. However, he honored his collegiate commitment, by choosing to go to school, and it should pay off in a big way for the talented hitter. Defensively, Parada has gleaned the experience of calling the game behind the dish, no small feat for many college catchers. That experience opens the opportunity to continue to stick behind the dish. While he’s certainly passable, he likely won’t be anything more than an average defender. At the plate, Parada has great zone awareness with the potential to hit for a high average and draw plenty of walks. There’s plus to double-plus power potential. The right-handed-hitting backstop should hear his name called quickly on draft day.

Projection: Round 1, picks 1-5 

Brooks Lee – SS Cal Poly

Ht: 6’2; Wt: 205; Age: 21.4

Bats: Both; Throws: Right

Perhaps the best player overall in the draft right now, it never hurts to be a coach’s kid or to play for your dad (Cal Poly Coach Larry Lee) when he’s a gifted coach himself. All that said, Lee is a player that should move quickly thanks to his advanced tools offensively and defensively. The switch-hitting California native displays excellent instincts at the plate, with enough pop in the bat should he move over to the hot corner at some point. Lee should be a high average hitter with plenty of walks to his name. Defensively, he’s not an elite caliber athlete like many shortstops but gets by on high IQ plays and instincts. Lee should quickly go off the board this July.

Projection: Round 1, picks 1-5

Termarr Johnson- 2B

Ht: 5’8; Wt: 194; Age: 18.1

Bats: Left; Throws: Right

Johnson has one of the best hit tools in the draft class, with pro player comparisons to Jose Ramirez for his frame and hitting abilities. The Georgia native displays top-of-the-class hitting abilities with plus power potential and good zone awareness at the plate. Defensively, he plays shortstop in high school but projects to second base, with some speculation he could handle third base. While he is a quality defender, his lack of foot speed and big arm will push him away from shortstop in pro ball. He performed at a high level for USA baseball last summer. Johnson should hear his name called quickly this summer.

Projection: Round 1, picks 1-5

Jace Jung – 2B Texas Tech

Ht: 6’0; Wt: 215; Age: 21.8

Bats: Left; Throws: Right

The Red Raiders’ second bagger is more than just the brother of Josh Jung, Jung the younger is a gifted hitter himself. It’s a unique stance at the dish with his bat tilted backward toward the catcher, but he gets the bat through the zone quickly. The left-handed-hitting Texas native takes plenty of walks, with more free bases than strikeouts to this point in his collegiate career. He should be a high average hitter with plus power potential. Defensively, Jung currently finds himself at second base but he could find himself at a corner position in pro ball. He could go in the first five picks but is a pretty safe bet to not get outside the top 10 selections.

Projection: Round 1, picks 1-5

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