Nationals Arm Race

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2022 Draft Coverage: Early Mock Drafts


Here’s the first collection of this year’s Mock Drafts.  We usually see the first crazy-early mock just after the 2021 draft (from Baseball America), then again after the end of the 2021 season when the draft order is more or less determined, then it really starts to heat up in April/May.

I’ll keep adding to this list as Mocks come in; they’re generated all the way up to the day of the draft by the major pundits.  If i’m missing a ranking here, please let me know. I generally try to capture every mock from a handful of credible scouting websites: Baseball America, MLBpipeline, Keith Law/The Athletic, Kiley McDaniel/ESPN, and Eric Longenhagen/Fangraphs. I also try to include CBSSports/Mike Axisa and D1Baseball folks because they have good insight. I generally do NOT include fan-boy team-blog mock drafts that just arbitrarily pick players without any insight that the professionals do, nor do I put much credence into fantasy site-driven mocks.

Here’s the Mock draft collection.  The Nats pick at #5 this year, so no need to scan down and project deep into the 1st.  This year i’m ordering them Chronologically as rec’d instead of grouping by pundit…. this should let us see kind of an evolution of the top of the draft.  Players are bolded the first time they’re mentioned, not again afterwards.

  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Way too Early 2022 Mock, 7/14/21, done the day after the 2021 draft. top 5: Elijah Green, Jace Jung, Brooks Lee, Kevin Pareda, Terrmar Johnson. I have to admit … this mock is darn accurate to what the pundits continue to predict 10 months later. Bravo.
  • MLBpipeline (Jonathan Mayo): Top 20 projected 2022 Mock 7/22/21: Green, Dylan Lesko, Jacob Berry, Jackson Ferris, Johnson.
  • MLBpipeline (Jim Callis) top 10 Mock Draft 2022 published 12/16/21: Johnson, Druw Jones, Berry, Lee. Nats take Green. First mention of Druw Jones, who only continued to rise from here on out.
  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) v1.0 Mock Draft 2/11/22: Jones, Johnson, Green, Lee, Nats take Berry.
  • Baseball America (Collazo) 2.0 Mock draft 4/1/22: Jones, Lee, Lesko, Johnson, Nats take Green.
  • Baseball America (Collazo and an anonymous industry insider) Mock Draft 3.0. 4/28/22: Lee, DJones, Green, Lesko. Nats get Jung.
  • MLBpipeline top 10 Mock draft 5/11/22: Jones, Green, Jackson Holliday, Lee, Nats take Parada.
  • The Athletic (Keith Law) first mock draft 5/18/22: Berry, Jones, Holliday, Lee. Nats take Parada. His thinking; O’s take Berry at 1-1 to save a ton of money (he’s not really projected this high at this point), then use that on a prep kid in the supplemental and 2nd rounds to overpay. Nats reportedly “on Parada” heavily, despite his being a catcher and despite having just acquired what looks to be their starting Catcher for the next 6 years last off-season in Kiebert Ruiz. Repeat after me: you don’t draft in baseball based on what’s on your current MLB roster; you take the best player available, always. Parada might very well be the collegiate player of the year this year, and if he works his way up the minors in 2 years and suddenly you have two starting catchers … you deal with that problem then.
  • MLBPipeline (Callis) Mock Draft May 2022: Holliday, Jones, Parada, Lee. Nats take Elijah Green.
  • Baseball America Mock 4.0 6/2/22: Holliday, Jones, Green, Lee, Nats take Parada. BA notes that the Nats are heavily focused on Parada right now, and take him over Terrmarr Johnson in this scenario.

So, we’re starting to see a pretty clear consensus from the regular mockers.

  1. O’s seem to be going the under-slot deal to save enough money to overpay a prep kid who’s fallen early in round 2 or in the supplemental draft. The O’s pick 1st, 33rd, and 42nd this year, meaning they’ll get basically three “first round” talents out of this draft if they spend wisely.
  2. Arizona/Texas/Pittsburgh then have their choice of the top talents, and those seem to be three of Drew Jones, Jackson Holliday, Brooks Lee, and Elijah Greene.
  3. It seems like most think its going to be Jones, Holliday and Lee, leaving us to choose between Parada and Green.
  4. I’d be ecstatic if Brooks Lee fell to us; he was a mid-1st rounder out of HS, and has only improved since.
  5. Green by most accounts has the “highest upside” in the draft, but is of course 3-4 years away.
  6. Parada at #5, if Lee is gone, seems like the safer/faster pick.
  7. Termarr Johnson is also on the board in most of these mocks, and was projected higher earlier in the season, but he’s a little more risky as a prep SS.
  8. Anyone else would be a reach that the team shouldn’t do.

Written by Todd Boss

June 9th, 2022 at 3:17 pm

20 Responses to '2022 Draft Coverage: Early Mock Drafts'

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  1. You forgot to mention there will probably not be a pitcher taken in the top 10, they all blew out their arms in college this year.

    The Nats badly need to take a college infielder with their pick. It looks like the Nats f.o. doesn’t agree.

    Mark L

    9 Jun 22 at 5:05 pm

  2. Callis’s latest mock moves Holliday to #1. He has the Nats on Parada, with Green or Lee if Parada is gone:

    I think it would be interesting for the Nats if Lee is still on the board at #5, with Lee vs. Parada. They probably are assuming that Lee won’t be. It’s a safe assumption that Jones won’t be available, and probably not Holliday either. I don’t see him getting past the Rangers.

    As much as Green’s toolshed interests me, I think he would be a real gamble. Johnson would be the safer HS bat (if there is such a thing), although everyone has him moving off of SS. He does intrigue me, as the descriptions make him out to be something similar to Rendon when he was coming out of HS — smallish but drives the crap out of everything. (Rendon subsequently grew more, but he was pretty small in HS.)


    9 Jun 22 at 7:04 pm

  3. To me, Parada only makes sense for the Nats if they see him as a LF/1B/DH with big power. Ruiz is going to be an All-Star, and they paid an exorbitant price to get him. Parada stole 11 of 12 bases this season, so he should have more than enough speed to transition to OF, and presumably has a pretty good arm.

    At one point, Lee, Berry, and Jung were thought to be the trio of top college bats, but the latter two seem to have dropped a little despite solid seasons. There are positional questions about all of them, and Berry may be even more positionally limited than Parada, as he may only be 1B/DH. There’s not a consensus that Lee can stay on SS. All would be drafted based heavily on projection of their bats.

    Parada had 26 homers in 60 games in one of the better conferences. That’s a huge homer number at the college level. He also struck out only 32 times, so he’s disciplined at the plate. So if we’re drafting a guy pretty much strictly on his hitting projection, he looks like a solid bet.


    9 Jun 22 at 7:44 pm

  4. And I’m SOOO glad that all the top pitchers are injured. No temptations for the Nats. At least in the 1st round. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if they’re back to their old ways of drafting wounded wings in the 2d. If Kumar Rocker is still on the board at #45, a Boras client with arm questions sounds a whole lot like a bunch of other Nats we know . . . (And I would make that bet at #45. If Rocker is allowed to get healthy, his ceiling is probably as high as anyone in the draft.)


    9 Jun 22 at 7:49 pm

  5. I didn’t talk about the lack of pitchers …. but its a clear known factor in this draft class. Which is great b/c it means we’ll get a bat, which our system needs.

    Rocker, per scouting reports, looked great in his Indy league debut and is now projecting as a mid-1st rounder again. If Rocker is on the board at #45 … he’d be an absolute steal.

    Todd Boss

    10 Jun 22 at 9:05 am

  6. Lee would certainly be a better fit; he’s exactly what they need. The Nats are set at catching for the next 5-6 years at least.
    That said, Parade looks like a real stud.

    Mark L

    10 Jun 22 at 9:11 am

  7. I haven’t seen Lee but I watched Parada and he’s plenty athletic to play the field. I’ll say it again, Harper was a catcher.


    10 Jun 22 at 10:10 am

  8. I asked KLaw specifically about drafting Parada based on the fact we have Ruiz and he basically said (paraphrasing) that Baltimore drafting Parada 1-1 with Rutschmann in place for 6 years would be a mistake … but if Parada is the “best player available” at 5th overall, then it isn’t a mistake to draft him there. Even if he’s a catcher. Catchers have such awful rates of depreciation, you just never know.

    Yes, harper was a Catcher in HS. But everyone knew his bat was so good he wasn’t going to stay there, and it took about 5 minutes after him getting drafted to move him to the OF. He did not play ONE GAME at catcher for us in the minors;

    Now, Parada isn’t the hitter Harper was. But he’s a hitter. he just slashed .360/.453/.715 playing in the ACC. 26 homers, 12 SBs, 31/30 K/BB rate in 59 games. that’s a great line.

    Todd Boss

    10 Jun 22 at 10:33 am

  9. FWIW, Ruiz is well ahead of Rutschman developmentally right now, and he’s five months younger. Certainly Rutschman could end up better on down the road, but based on where they are at this particular moment, one is more established as a major-leaguer than the other. Their AAA stats last season were pretty comparable.

    I say that to say that it’s false logic to say that it would be a mistake for the O’s to spend a high pick on a catcher, but not for the Nats. All things being equal, the Nats have a top catching prospect who is more established than the O’s do. No, Ruiz isn’t a 1/1 pick with tons of hype, but he sure looks like he’s going to be good.

    All of which to say that it would be head-scratching to me for the Nats to draft Parada and keep him behind the plate. But since the Nats are platooning in LF and probably will soon trade their 1B and DH (who is only on a one-year contract anyway), and since they don’t really have any real 1B/DH prospects of any note in the minors (sorry, Drew Mendoza), I would be fine having Parada being groomed in any of those slots.

    The Nats do have a number of 3B/SS/2B prospects in whom they’ve invested a lot: House, Cruz, Garcia, and Infante in particular. Not all of them probably will make it, of course, but I have a harder time seeing where Lee or Jung would fit into the Nats’ “needs” right now. That said, at least Lee and maybe both would come in with a bat more advanced at this moment than any except (possibly) Garcia. They would be farther along toward making the majors than the other three . . . if they can actually hit pro pitching. There are no guarantees. Just ask Drew Mendoza, Nick Banks, Rhett Wiseman, and Ricky Hague, all of whom were pretty darn good college hitters.


    10 Jun 22 at 1:00 pm

  10. But I buried the lede, didn’t I? Ultimately, you take the guy with the best chance to hit as a pro. Is that more likely to be a college hitter? Maybe/probably?

    Ghost at NatsTalk made an impassioned plea several weeks ago that they draft as college bat because they can’t risk not having this high of a pick pan out. That’s pretty good logic. And I’m usually all in on collegiates over high schoolers. Termarr Johnson probably is the “safest” of the high school bats. I do think I would be concerned about Green being too boom or bust. They already took a risk on House and his “swing and miss” issues, although it was “safer” to take that risk with the #11 pick.


    10 Jun 22 at 1:16 pm

  11. Agreed, Parada is no Harper but I still would be trilled if they got him. Lee may be better but I haven’t seen him.

    It seems to me like most of their hitting prospects are young so as long as a college bat is in the discussion for best player available I’d like to see them go that way.


    10 Jun 22 at 2:40 pm

  12. My wish list out of this draft, if we had our choice: Druw Jones, Elijah Green, Brooks Lee, Kevin Parada … i don’t rate Holliday or Terrmarr Johnson quite as high as the other two prep guys … so if we get Parada at 5 we’re getting value.

    Todd Boss

    10 Jun 22 at 3:18 pm

  13. I actually think that Johnson has the “safest” high school bat. He was #1 on the now somewhat dated FanGraphs board that still hasn’t been updated:,1&type=0

    Jace Jung, their #3, has now dropped down to the bottom of top-10 projections and possibly a little beyond.

    There’s such a herd mentality in the MLB draft. Sometimes there are a few surprises, such as House dropping out of the top 10 last year, but they’re rare. Solid players drop from suddenly discovered alleged deficiencies. Jung and Berry seem to have dropped mostly from positional questions, from what I can tell. Everyone wants to draft a SS or CF who will hit 40 homers. One of the descriptions says that about Green: could stick in CF and hit 40. Um, just for the record, Trout has only reached 40 homers twice. Harper has only done it once and couldn’t stick in CF. You’re much more likely to get the next Buxton, who has never hit more than 19, a decade after being drafted.

    I do share Todd’s skepticism of Holliday, but he has so much helium that he’s likely not getting to the Nats. I don’t think Druw Jones does either. It does seem likely that they may have a choice from among at least two of Green, Parada, and Lee. I’m seeing some indication that Green will have a big price tag that may scare off some teams like the Pirates (at #4). But the Pirates took a catcher #1 overall last year, so Parada doesn’t make a lot of sense for them.

    We know the Nats have a fairly established young catcher. What’s not being mentioned is that they’ve also spent a lot (top 10 domestic draft money) on a CF with power in Vaquero. De la Rosa also has spent all of this season in CF and is starting to look like a real prospect. In other words, the Nats don’t have to be desperate to overdraft/overpay for the premium “CF” option.


    11 Jun 22 at 10:23 am

  14. And then there’s this guy:

    If he really is healthy — and it sure looks like he is — do you blow up conventional wisdom and take him at #5? As bad as the Nats’ starting pitching is, it would be tempting. And it’s not crazy to think that Rocker could be in the majors in 2023.


    11 Jun 22 at 10:29 am

  15. There’s zero reason not to draft a CF just because we bought an expensive CF in the IFA market. You pick the best one, and move the others to corner OF spots. Same thing with SS; if you have two guys who can play short, then one of them moves to ither 3B or 2B.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jun 22 at 11:04 am

  16. I’m not saying don’t draft them; I’m more saying that there seems to be an overinflated part of draft stock based on whether a kid might stay playing SS/CF/catcher. Yes, those are premium defensive positions. But most high school players (and internationals) drafted/signed at SS or CF don’t stay on those positions. House isn’t going to stay at SS. Heck, Ryan Zimmerman played SS through college but still didn’t end up there.

    A lot of college players have already been moved off of those positions, though, which is why there are questions about the draft stock of Berry and Jung in particular even though they have stellar bats. Lee has stayed at SS playing for his dad in a non-major conference, but most don’t think he is a pro SS.

    So . . . you had better believe in the bat, regardless of position. And there’s a big difference between actual batting results vs. projecting batting results. To me, there are questions about Green’s batting consistency, and Jones’s too, for that matter. The college guys plus Johnson are all much more polished hitters. Parada has a 26 HR year in college, Jung 21, and Berry 19. They’ve shown power at a higher level in addition to solid K/BB ratios. Lee’s 15 HRs at San Luis Obispo don’t impress me as much that his power might translate to the pros. At the same time, with 46 walks, it’s likely that he wasn’t being given a lot to hit, and he did have an impressive 25 doubles.

    In other draft news, one of the higher rated college pitchers who is actually healthy, Blade Tidwell of Tennessee, got clobbered last night by Notre Dame. Any thought that he might creep into the top 15 just got pretty murky.


    11 Jun 22 at 1:51 pm

  17. Nice thing about drafting so high is that we’re pretty much guaranteed to get someone we really like with a lot of upside. I’d be thrilled with Lee or Parada, and I could get excited about Green or Johnson. Seems obvious Druw Jones and Jackson Holliday, the legacy guys, are going off the board before we pick, but if one of them somehow falls to us, even better.


    12 Jun 22 at 2:23 am

  18. Since the DH is now a thing, please spend a pick between round 5 and 10 on Sonny DiChiara of Auburn, who clubbed #21 at Oregon State in the super regional last night. He actually could have significantly more but he’s been pitched around a lot, with 67 walks in 55 games. He’s a large human (listed at 263) who is totally 1B/DH, and there’s no guarantee that he can continue to mash in the pros, but he’s probably the only guy in the draft with more than 60 collegiate homers (currently 62 and counting).


    12 Jun 22 at 8:29 am

  19. And down go the cocky Vols:

    The CWS now is going to be wide open. And the #2 and #3 seeds are facing elimination games today.


    13 Jun 22 at 9:29 am

  20. I’m still trying to wrap my head around whether I would be pleased if the Nats end up with Elijah Green. Like House was, he has probably been the most talked about high schooler in the year leading up to the draft. Like House, he will have a big price tag and also swing-and-miss issues that may scare off some teams. Like House, he may have the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft. But I’m also concerned that Green’s bust potential is more than House’s, maybe significantly more.

    This summation from Green’s FanGraphs profile hits on a lot of the key points, both pro and con:

    “He is as gifted as any player in this draft, a 70 runner with 70 future raw power, but Green also has a gigantic amount of hit-tool risk that seems likely to dilute his game power, and threatens to bust him entirely. He can only consistently make contact with pitches down and away from him, and fouled off or misses pitches in most of the rest of the strike zone. Still, Green’s ceiling is as high as any player in this draft if his whiff issues are remedied, in which case he could be a 40-homer center fielder.”

    Bottom line: for me, there’s too much risk here. If the Nats draft him, I’ll certainly root for him to be all that he can be, but my thinking is that the Nats can’t afford to whiff on a pick this high. Just ask the Royals about superstar Bubba Starling (the #5 pick before Rendon went at #6).

    From the in-the-know mocks, it doesn’t seem like Green is the Nats’ first choice. But if Parada and Lee are gone, and so are Jones and Holliday, do they stay chalk on Green, or consider one of the college bats or Johnson? Among the high schoolers, I think Johnson has the safest bat by far, although I could see arguments for taking Berry, Jung, or even Collier ahead of him.


    13 Jun 22 at 2:28 pm

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