The NFL just wrapped up their event known as the NFL Draft, which is wildly popular among football fans nationwide. July 17-19th MLB will carry on their own amateur talent draft aka the MLB Draft. In the spirit of both raising prospect awareness and the fun/energy encapsulated in the event which is the draft this is our first Mock Draft of 2022. For this version GBI’s own Willie Hood partnered with NorthSide Bound’s Greg Zumach ( with each alternating selections as noted below.

Note: to see picks 1-15 and the respective selections and succeeding notes click HERE.

Pick 16 Willie: Cleveland – C Logan Tanner

  • The MSU product is an average bat with some pop but has the best arm among draft-eligible backstops with quality defense too. The Guardians typically go under slot with their first pick of the draft setting up opportunities down the board. This pick creates that opportunity while grabbing perhaps the best defensive catcher in the draft. Watch for Cleveland to redistribute their savings across several selections. Last year they paid nine of 21 choices over-slot bonuses. I look for a similar approach unless a top 10 talent slips to them at 16 like Khalil Watson sliding to 16 last year. This organization likes college arms with control and bats with zone awareness and bat to ball skills. Players that fit those basic descriptions fit here. That could be anyone who slips like Cross, Berry, or someone like Fabian with a lengthy collegiate career and track record of performing in the SEC. If Cleveland goes college arm here it could be someone like Blade Tidwell, Cooper Hjerpe, Gabriel Hughes. The club could go with one of the injured arms like Landon Sims, Conner Prielipp, and Hunter Barco here to save money and extract value. Don’t sleep on Cleveland grabbing at least one injured arm in this draft class that includes prep arm Dylan Lesko if he slides that far. It’s something the club has done over the years most recently with Ryan Webb (Round 4, 2021).
  • Pick 17 Greg: Philadelphia – OF Jud Fabian
    • Outside of prioritizing prep pitching, Philly consistently picked players with power over hit profile early in recent drafts. Fabian has really turned it around this season and looks like a first-rounder if his K% stays below 20%. The power, defense, and athleticism are still there. 
  • Pick 18 Willie: Cincinnati – INF/OF Jacob Berry
    • Berry’s landing spot is anyone’s guess there’s a top 10 bat here and he could go anywhere between picks 5-20. The hold-up with Berry is his defensive home. He’s barely played third, has some outfield experience and projects to first where his bat would play. Cincinnati has acquired several upper-level starters via trades, watch for the Reds to grab a talented college bat here like Berry, Cross, Tanner, Fabian, etc.
  • Pick 19 Greg: Oakland – OF Brock Porter
    • Oakland has taken a player from Michigan every year since 2018 and a pitcher since 2019. Clearly, they believe in the scouting process for the players from that state. Porter has been impressive in the early going of the season. His stuff is right up there with any of the prep pitchers in the class. Oakland is known to roll the dice.
  • Pick 20 Willie: Atlanta – OF Gavin Cross
    • The World Series Champions have a great opportunity to add to their system with this selection. A college performer here makes a lot of sense. In this scenario, Gavin Cross slipped down the board. The Braves could go Cross, Fabian, Tanner, Hjerpe, Hughes, Prielipp, Sims, etc.
  • Pick 21 Greg: Seattle – LHP Cooper Hjerpe
    • Hjerpe is a player that would be in a much better position in an organization with a strong pitching development program. Seattle absolutely fits that bill. He isn’t a premiere velocity pitcher at this stage, but one that shines with metrics/features such as a flat vertical approach angle, spin, and sweeps in his slider. 
  • Pick 22 Willie: St. Louis – OF Roman Anthony
    • The Redbirds are no stranger to drafting prep talent early. They have gone with young bats Jordan Walker and Joshua Baez in recent history. Both of those young prepsters offered huge upside and strong arms. Roman Anthony has been a big riser this spring showing off huge power and a plus arm. 
  • Pick 23 Greg: Toronto – RHP Gabriel Hughes
    • Hughes is a cerebral pitcher who is pre-med. On the mound, he’s turning it up as of late featuring an upper 90s fastball, hard-braking slider, and a workable changeup. Toronto has a good pitching infrastructure that could get the best out of Hughes.
  • Pick 24 Willie: Boston – INF Mikey Romero
    • The Red Sox typically grabs middle infield talent early and often. This mock is no different with the BoSox grabbing Cali prepster Mikey Romero. The California native displays an advanced approach and increased power this spring. He needs to add strength to stick at shortstop long term, but there’s a safe floor here for a prep player. He could be an option for a team like Cleveland at 16 or their subsequent picks. A few others that make sense here include the following Cade Doughty, Robert Moore, Jett Williams, Eric Brown, Zach Neto, and Tucker Toman.
  • Pick 25 Greg: Yankees – LHP Noah Schultz
    • Despite calling them “whirlies”, the Yankees are one of several teams who promote sweep in their sliders. Before Noah Schultz was shut down with a case of mononucleosis, he showcased mid-90s velocity and a sweeper slider. It’s a frontline profile from a 6’9” frame.
  • Pick 26 Willie: Chicago White Sox – 3B Sal Stewart
    • The White Sox went Colson Montgomery last year followed by Arizona third baseman Wes Kath (high school teammate of Guardians prospect Carson Tucker). This scenario has the South siders grabbing Florida prep product Sal Stewart third baseman Sal Stewart. The right-handed-hitting Stewart displays big power potential and a strong arm suitable for the hot corner. Chicago could go several ways with this pick.
  • Pick 27 Greg: Milwaukee – LHP Jackson Ferris
    • Asking around, it’s very possible Jackson Ferris goes much higher. He is a strong mover (biomechanically) and generates easy velocity (92-97 mph) with a dynamite high 70s to low 80s curveball. I’ve heard mixed reports on Ferris’s changeup. The Brewers also are a club that isn’t shy from taking a pitching prospect and letting them just be elite contributors out of the pen. Milwaukee could be a club to get the most out of Jackson Ferris.
  • Pick 28 Willie: Houston – INF Cade Doughty
    • The Astros haven’t had a first-round selection since the cheating scandal unfolded in 2020. That said, this is a big selection for the organization to add depth and talent. The Astros like big exit velocities and big arms watch for a player that fits one of those descriptors.
  • Pick 29 Greg: Tampa Bay – INF Jett Williams
    • Tampa Bay targets middle-infielders with above-average or better hit tools. Williams fits this profile extremely well. He’d be in the running for teams several selections above this. 
  • Pick 30 Willie: San Francisco – INF Eric Brown
    • An excellent defensive shortstop with the potential to stick there long-term, Brown brings a unique stance similar to Julio Franco. He takes plenty of walks adding value to his profile. The Giants typically draft college performers one of Doughty, Neto, Prielipp, Sims, etc., could make sense here.

Check back on Friday for part 2 of this mock draft as GBI’s Willie Hood and Northside Bound’s Greg Zumach make selections 31-54 covering Cleveland’s next two selections.


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