Not much is known about the 2022 MLB Draft. As of today, no location has been set nor has a date been selected.
There were several complaints last year from front offices about the draft being so late in the season (during the All-Star Break) and so close to the trade deadline. One exec told CBS Sports that, “Moving to the All-Star Break added a month of prep that we didn’t need and put everyone behind for the trade deadline.” Hopefully, that jammed packed schedule of the draft, trade deadline, summer showcases, summer wooden bat leagues, and more will go back to the old June Draft schedule. We shall see what is planned after the new CBA is announced.
Normally, I tend to do some draft coverage/profiles in the spring after D1 baseball gets cooking in late March. However, I sometimes take a look at rankings and mock drafts in the winter just to get a few possible names to watch for in the spring. This year, those rankings take on a little more importance as the Cubs will be picking seventh.
When it comes to actual breakdown and deep dives on players, I will be leaving those posts and articles to our own Greg Zumach, who actually published his first 2022 Mock Draft a little over a week ago along with a Draft Q & A before that.
Today’s post, however, will simply be about who some major publications and websites are ranking near the number 7 spot.
For me, the MLB Draft season will really kick off on January 1 when MLB Pipeline releases their top 50 Draft Prospects list. Baseball America, on the other hand, already has a top prep players ranking and a separate list for college players while Prospects Live has 200 short profiles already up. Let’s see who is where so far.
Their top 50 Board has Termarr Johnson at the top, followed by Druw Jones, Jace Jung, and Chase DeLauter. Any of those four could be number one by summer. Peyton Pallette, a SP from Arkansas, was listed at 7 and prep phenom Elijah Green was at 8. When I saw Green’s placement, my eyes popped out of my head a bit. He was ranked number one on several lists early in the fall. Then again, I saw Dylan Lesko at 14 and my attitude continued to perk up at the Cubs’ chances. Still this list was a bit bat heavy at the top. That’s going to be the norm for most lists heading into 2022.
Their prep list also has Termarr Johnson at the top followed by Green, Lesko, and Druw Jones. The college list, on the other hand, had Jace Jung at the top with two catchers in the top 5 in Daniel Susac and Kevin Parada, As well, Brooks Lee, a SS from Cal Poly, is in the top 5 as well as Pallette. BA usually waits until late in the spring to combine the two lists When that happens, we will get a better idea of which group they like when it comes to the hitters.
When it comes to 2022 Draft coverage, PL might have everyone beat so far with a top 200 list already out. In fact, it has been out for a couple of months. Anyway, DeLauter is at the top followed by Jones, Lee, and Green next. That trio is followed by Susac, Lesko, and Johnson while Jace Jung comes up next. I sort of tilted my head at that list with Jung as a possible guy for the Cubs.
These rankings will go through a lot of incarnations between now and whenever the draft actually does take place as will any mock draft you may come across in the next six months. I was afraid to look at some mocks because signability and underslot deals are becoming a huge part of the draft process. It’s sad, but it could also benefit the Cubs if a player slated to go higher falls to the Cubs because the Pirates don’t want to spend a lot of money.
As a result, I am looking at these rankings to get a good glimpse of what kind of talent could be available when the Cubs pick as well as who could fall to them as an aspect of teams being cheapskates. Right now, I would be more than happy seeing Lasko, Jung, Jones, Green, or Johnson staring the Cubs in the face when it is their turn to pick. It is very much a hitting heavy top of the first round no matter the list you examine. Those top-of-the-rotation pitchers are few and far between now. That could change a lot between now and the draft.
As for looking at Mock drafts, I did sneak a peek at a few, but it’s still a little early for me. Once the spring gets here, I might be more interested.
For now, though, these three rankings are a nice place to start thinking about the possibilities of what could be available for the Cubs and who might be the next number one Cub prospect once Brennen Davis graduates from prospect status. Yeah, the Cubs are going to get that good of a prospect. And, that’s just how important this pick is for the Cubs.