Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

2022 Draft Coverage: Review of Candidates for top of the Draft

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This is a review of the marquee names that have been in discussion for the top-end of the 1st round for the 2022 draft.  Since (especially high schoolers) guys constantly are moving up or down draft boards, each section is divided into two areas: those 4-5 names really in talks to go 1-1 overall (“1-1” means 1st round, 1st overall) and then those who have fallen to “just” being 1st or 2nd rounders.

First draft of this post was in July of 2018, when several 1st rounders didn’t sign and thus became 2022 eligible. then the next major draft of this post was in July of 2021, when BA did their first mock for the 2022 draft.

The consensus on this class initially was that it would be loaded, thanks to Covid impacts compressing the last two drafts. But, as its turning out, a spate of arm injuries have really thinned the arm ranks, meaning that this class is weaker than normal, will feature a ton more bats, and a lot more prep draftees in the upper first round.

College Upper 1st round names in the mix for 1-1

  • Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly. Highly regarded prospect in 2018, but went to school to play for his father, the coach at Cal Poly. Projected top 35 pick in 2019. Switch hitter, Missed FR year, destroyed at the plate his Sophomore year .342/.384/.626 with 10 homers. Switch hitter. Fared very well in Cape Code summer of 2021 with wood. Risent to near #1 talent in the 2022 draft.
  • Jace Jung, 2B/3B Texas Tech. Will be draft-eligible Sophomore in 2022. Slashed .337/.462/.697 line with 21 home runs his Freshman year. #1 per BA in fall 2021, still top 5 Jan 2022. Some concern about defensive capabilities; might be 2B limited due to fringe arm and defense. Biggest concern is odd swing mechanics (see here).
  • Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech. Draft eligible sophomore in 2022. Solid bat in 2021, team USA. Offense first C who should stay at the position, increasing his value considerably.
  • Logan Tanner, C, Mississippi State: plus defensive C in an SEC program with decent hit tool is a lock to go first round.
  • Daniel Susac, C, Arizona. 1st Team AA as a freshman in 2021. .335/.392/.591 with 12 home runs as freshman.

College Candidates who have fallen out of  1-1 contention

  • Brock Jones, OF, Stanford. hard to think a Stanford bat is upper 1st round territory, given the way they neuter power bats.
  • Jacob Berry, corner OF/1B, Louisiana State. Xfer from Arizona. .352/.439/.676 with 17 homers in 2021. Needs to firm up defensive position and show he can play third adequately, but projected top 5 right now. Challenge will be; if he’s already a corner OF/1B, he’ll have to hit like crazy to overcome that. Dropping his draft pedigree
  • Chase DeLaughter, OF JMU. Legit upper 1st round talent as of Dec 2021. #6 on BA’s Jan 2022 list. Spring 2022; got exposed by FSU lefties; book is out on him and he got hurt. Falling.
  • Gavin Cross, OF/Croner Virginia Tech. LH power hitter who slashed .345/.415/.621 in 2021 and then impressed with the CNT. moving up.
  • Cameron Collier, 3B/SS, Chipola College (JUCO): went the Bryce Harper route, graduating HS early and enrolling at a JuCo to get into an earlier class. Solid power, lefty swing, top-5 draft potential. Spring 2022 falling.
  • Reggie Crawford, 1B/LHP UConn. Big guy who pitched very little in 2021, but then hit 100 for College National team and has shot himself into conversations of the top of the draft.
  • Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas. 4.02 ERA in rotation for #1 Arkansas team in 2021, sits mid-90s with upper 90s peak. Will need to show more dominance to move up.
  • Hunter Barco, LHP, Florida. Projected top 50 pick in 2019, fell and attended school. Weekend starter from the moment he walked onto Campus.
  • Carter Young, SS, Vanderbilt. Struggled in 2021 but showed tons of power. Could be a riser in spring of 2022.
  • Peyton Graham, 3B, Oklahoma.
  • Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama
  • Hayden Dunhurst, C, Ole Miss.
  • Nate Savino, LHP from UVA via Potomac Falls HS.  Potomac District POTY in 2018 as a sophomore.  UVA commit.  Was projecting as upper 1st rounder in 2020 draft, then graduated early to head to UVA.  Spring 2021 did not break into UVA’s weekend rotation, lowering his draft stock.
  • Owen Diodati, OF, Alabama
  • Brandon Sproat, RHP, Florida
  • Spencer Jones, 1B/LHP Vanderbilt (via CA HS).  Projected top 35 pick in 2019, fell and attended school.
  • Maurice Hampton, OF (CF) LSU (via TN HS).  Projected top 50 pick in 2019, fell and attended school.  Also a WR for LSU football, unclear if he’ll continue playing baseball.
  • Jerrion Ealy, OF (CF) Ole Miss (via Miss HS).  Projected top 75 pick in 2019, fell and attended school.
  • Bryce Osmond, RHP Oklahoma State.  Projected top 75 pick in 2019, fell and attended school.  Nats pick in 2019.
  • Chris Newell, OF (corner): UVA (via Malvern Prep in PA): Projected top 100 pick in 2019, fell and attended school.  Exploded in 2020, named 1st team pre-season All American in 2021.
  • Robert Moore, SS, Arkansas son of KC GM Dayton Moore

High School Upper 1st round names in the mix for 1-1

  • Andruw “Druw” Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS (Ga.). Son of the original Andruw Jones. 6’3″ RH hitter has his father’s combination of speed and power. Vanderbilt commit. By Jan 2022 had risen to #1 in class on BA’s board.
  • Termarr Johnson, 2B/SS, Mays HS, Atlanta, GA. Great defender at SS, 2B or CF. PG 14U POTY 2018. Undersized (5’8″ ??) but with smooth hit tool. Georgia Tech commit as of July 2021. BA ranks him #1, best bat in the class, as does MLB. Might not stick at SS, which would lower his draft stock.
  • Elijah Greene, OF (CF), IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. Transfer from NXL Academy (Windermere, FL). Currently the top prep player in the class and outclassing any potential college competitors for 1-1 per some shops, #2 per MLB. Miami commit. Big guy, corner OF projection but currently plays CF. Off the chart tools per MLB.
  • Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford (Ga.) HS. Gatorade 2021 National POTY as a junior (!!) and #2 ranked player in the class behind Greene. 11-0, 0.35 ERA with nearly a 2K/inning rate his junior season. Vanderbilt commit.
  • Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary Prep (Mi.). 97mph, great separation in velocity, Clemson commit.

High School guys whose stock has fallen:

  • Turner Spoljaric
  • Tristan Smith, LHP, Boiling Springs HS (S.C.). Clemson commit, mid 90s on FB, has regressed a bit since stellar 2020 summer.
  • Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (Fla.). Ole Miss commit. Big guy 6’4″, funky mechanics that drop him slightly.
  • Jayson Jones, SS, Braswell HS (Tex.). Big Texas SS, Arkansas commit.
  • Tucker Toman, OF. switch hitter starred at 2021 Area Code Games. LSU commit, could be improving his stock.
  • Javier Santos Tejada, RHP, Albany (Ga.). undersized with power arm, Juco commit, excelled at Program 15’s Future Stars Series in october.


Written by Todd Boss

April 13th, 2022 at 1:47 pm

Posted in Nats in General

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