It’s officially less than three months till the 2022 MLB Draft and the class is becoming clearer. Players have played their way from second/third-rounders all the way to top 10 overall talents, while others have been sidelined by injury. We’ll take a look at players who have been moving and shaking.
MLB Pipeline’s recently released Top 150 mirrors a good deal of industry consensus right now. Certain players have continued to cement their status as elite players. High schoolers Druw Jones and Termarr Johnson along with college hitters Brooks Lee and Jace Jung all continue to play like top 10 overall players. While there have been impressive leaps made by two hitters that could be in the consideration for even the top overall selection.
Kevin Parada, Catcher, Georgia Tech
Report: Parada has an incredible bat and is on a torrid pace. He has an unusual loading stance but gets into a solid hitting position at the launch position. I don’t know if he’s a catcher in the long term, but the bat will play anywhere. It’s worth noting that he has made strides defensively during his sophomore year. Parada combines solid contact and excellent exit velocity. One scout noted that Parada’s improvements could make him the top overall hitter in the class.
Pipeline moved Parada from 25th to 8th. Parada will rank 6th in North Side Bound’s upcoming re-rank.
Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater High School
Report: I lacked data on Jackson Holliday during my pre-season ranking, but one note that stuck with me from prior to the season was a note he “swung and missed”. I don’t know where that note originated, but it simply wasn’t the case on the showcase circuit. Based on available data I charted him with a 90.8% contact rate, which is upper echelon and causes him to rank very high in my model. He’s displaying power as well and limited looks suggest he has a shot to stick at shortstop. This is a player who looks like he’s worthy of being drafted in the top 10.
If you’ve read North Side Bound’s draft reports and mocks, Jackson Holliday should be no stranger to you. We here at NSB are big on the young SS. MLB Pipeline moved Holliday up from 73 to 4th overall (by far the biggest mover in their rankings). NSB ranks Holliday 5th overall.
Thomas Harrington, RHP, Campbell
One of the top-ranked college pitchers is now Thomas Harrington. MLB Pipeline lists him at 53, but that feels a bit light on the overall profile. He may be an option for teams towards the back half of the first round or into the second. The projectable righty from Campbell (North Carolina) sits 6’2″ and is listed at 185 lbs. He features a low 90s fastball, and an impressive changeup. MLB Pipeline notes his slider is inconsistent and I would agree with that assessment. When it’s on, it looks like an MLB pitch, but there are times he loses a significant feel for it. He will throw an occasional curveball, but he could be a prime candidate for a spike curveball option. Campbell throws strikes and in a class devoid of impact college pitching, don’t be surprised if he’s on a lot of teams’ boards fairly early.
The Shakers (Injuries)
Unfortunately, an already tepid pitching class has been rocked by more injuries.
Consensus top overall pitcher Dylan Lesko has been shut down with “arm soreness”. Not much is confirmed, but it certainly adds risk to an already risky demographic (prep pitching). After being mocked consistently to the Cubs at 7 by other outlets, it remains to be seen just how MLB organizations will view Lesko’s valuation this summer. In an upcoming collaborative North Side Bound mock draft (NSB joined forces with another blog – Guardians Baseball Insider – on a 55 pick mock draft), we evaluated possible landing sports for Lesko.
Update: it has now been confirmed that Dylan Lesko indeed had Tommy John surgery.
In a college pitching class that was screaming for first-round talent, Florida’s Hunter Barco had been making his way up the draft charts only to be shut down “indefinitely with elbow soreness”. Barco was 5-2 with a 2.50 ERA wth a 12.3 K/9 and a 2.0 BB/9 pitching for Florida..
On the other end of the shaker spectrum, Noah Schultz is currently recovering from mononucleosis. Thankfully before his absence, Schultz showcased some wicked stuff with added velocity and his sweeper slider to scouts. It’s questionable whether Noah will be able to be back on the mound before his season ends, but we wish him all the best as he recovers. His personal health is ultimately the most important consideration. I don’t anticipate this prevents teams from realizing what a special arm Schultz has this July.
Upcoming Draft Coverage
As teased above, North Side Bound will be teaming up with a fellow blog to produce a collaborative mock draft of the first 55 selections. We factored in rankings, how teams have historically drafted, injuries, slot figures, and possible signing demands to bring this to you. Look for the first round to be released May 3rd with picks 1-15 on NSB and 16-30 on Guardians Baseball Insider.