Prep Baseball Report

2022 Overall Rankings Update: Names to Know

Shooter Hunt
Vice President, Scouting

For the first time in its history, the MLB Draft is taking place in July. Not only did that lengthen the evaluation period for currently eligible players, it also created some crossover with the summer circuit getting underway before the previous cycle is complete. It will be interesting to see how major league clubs handle finishing up one class while starting on another. As we head into another summer season, an important time for rising seniors with their sights set on the draft, these are some of the big names you need to know about--whether you're a scout or simply a fan of the MLB Draft.

***UPDATED TOP 500***

The Top 10

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Elijah Green (FL)

This collection of prospects is so jam-packed with talent, that it easily could shake out in any order depending on summer circuit performances as important eyes and decision makers with checkbooks get better (first?) looks at each of them. CF Elijah Green (IMG Academy, FL), a Miami recruit, continues to set the pace as a true five-tool prospect whose power potential, athleticism, and pro-ready frame (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) are impossible to miss. His carrying tools are immense, and his performance on the national stage the past two summers helps boost his profile even more.

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JR Ritchie (WA)

It has been several years since a group of right-handed arms have had a chance to make an impact on a draft class like the 2022 group can. RHP Dylan Lesko (Buford HS, GA), a Vanderbilt recruit, has been one of the more polished arms in any class for three-plus years, and continues to elevate his game/repertoire to new heights. The athletic 6-foot-3, 180-pounder was up to 97 mph in the spring with his usual plus changeup, but more intriguingly demonstrated an even better feel for spin with both a curveball and slider. A Michigan product and Clemson recruit, RHP Brock Porter (Orchard lake St. Mary’s HS, MI) is sure to have the scouting community buzzing from the first pitch out of his hand this summer. At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds with broad, square shoulders and long limbs, Porter was up to 99 mph this spring with a similarly impressive plus changeup and feel for spin. He is dynamic down the mound with a quick arm and oozes potential and upside. Rounding out the top 10 as the third right-handed pitcher is J.R. Ritchie (Bainbridge Island HS, WA), a UCLA recruit, who is similar to Lesko with his polish, and sports a loose arm that runs fastballs up to 96 mph. His moxie and ability to pound the zone with three pitches will have scouts flocking to the Pacific Northwest to see the next-in-line of what has become an impressive pipeline of talent.

Each of the position players in the top 10 go into the summer with early Day 1 potential, thanks to impressive carrying tools that promise great value to professional clubs. The most exciting player in the class, IF Termarr Johnson (Mays HS, GA), has excelled at every point and against every form of competition since he first stepped foot into high school. His baseball IQ helps elevate his overall game, which includes the top plate discipline and strike zone awareness in the class. Though the frame might be unassuming (5-foot-10, 175 pounds), there is elite athleticism and compact strength that provides for electric bat speed and ultra-impressive ability to sync up a more complex approach. The ball jumps off his barrel to all fields and he is a nightmare on the basepaths. Fellow Georgia product and the son of former MLB All-Star Andruw Jones, CF Druw Jones (Wesleyan HS, GA) is a Vanderbilt recruit and silky smooth on both sides of the ball with easy, gliding strides in the outfield and a flat path at the dish. The right-handed hitter is wiry-athletic with room to add considerable strength, but already produces some eye-opening power thanks to quick hands and strong wrists.

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 Jayson Jones (TX)

The final three position players are all vying for the title of having the biggest raw power in the class. C Malcolm Moore (McClatchy HS, CA), a Stanford recruit, exploded last summer as the marquee left-handed bat in the class thanks to an ability to send balls sailing high in the air with astounding distances. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound backstop has the ability to make adjustments from pitch to pitch, and shows signs of sticking behind the plate longterm. Side-by-side with Moore is fellow catcher, Jared “Bear” Jones (Walton HS, GA). The Louisiana State recruit performs at a high level at all times, and the present power that he showcases matches the imposing 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame. Beyond the frame and power, Jones’ athleticism allows him to move well, and should help for future advancements. 3B Jayson Jones (Braswell HS, TX), an Arkansas recruit, will likely electrify the summer circuit thanks to the ability to drive the ball to all fields with authority. A persistent threat to leave the yard with each swing, Jones’ profile as a power-hitting, middle-of-the-order third baseman will likely help carry his stock high over the next year.

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 Brandon Barriera (FL)

There is a strong collection of left-handed pitchers vying to separate themselves from the pack this summer, but LHP Brandon Barriera (American Heritage Plantation HS, FL) carries the torch as the top one to know. The wiry-athletic, 6-foot-1, 165-pounder was up to 95 mph early on in the spring with swing-and-miss stuff, including a sharp slider. The Vanderbilt recruit has displayed big arm talent since his freshman year, but it is the recent progress and polish that should make him even more enticing to the scouting community. Adding to his electric arsenal, Barriera is a competitive pitcher who never backs down from a big situation.

The Challengers

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Sal Stewart (FL) 

Recent (and most) draft classes have shown just how much value hitters and position players in general have. IF Jackson Holliday (Stillwater HS, OK), an Oklahoma State recruit, only gets better with each look, and when breaking down his ability to track pitches and get off aggressive swings in all counts, his upside becomes even more exciting. The 6-foot, 165-pound left-handed hitter utilizes all fields with natural barrel accuracy, and he has demonstrated a proficiency for handling elite arms. 3B Sal Stewart (Westminster Christian HS, FL), a Vanderbilt recruit, heads into the summer after one of the most impressive spring showings in the country. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound power hitter has been a force on the national circuit, and while his power holds plenty of value, it is his ability to put it to use in game and the ability to simply hit that will likely continue to draw praises from the scouting community. A northern bat, SS Cole Young’s (North Allegheny HS, PA) success on the summer circuit and especially in front of a host of professional scouts last summer at Lakepoint should help aid in his notoriety this summer. The 6-foot, 180-pound Duke recruit is one of the top pure hitters in the class with a sweet left-handed stroke and advanced approach. His glove-to-hand capabilities and all-around athleticism provide a chance to stick at shortstop long-term although the bat makes him valuable at any spot on the dirt.

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 Ryan Clifford (NC)

A trio of back-to-back-to-back left-handed power-bats sit on the heels of the previous three, and could easily skyrocket this summer thanks to the ability to drive the ball in the air. OF/1B Ryan Clifford (Leesville Road HS, NC), a Vanderbilt recruit, is a clear challenger for having the biggest raw power in the class, and as a left-handed hitter, will be valued and given plenty of looks. He has had success competing against upperclassmen on the national circuit in the past, and is a threat to leave the yard at all times. 3B Tucker Toman (Hammond HS, SC), an LSU recruit, first exploded on the national scene with a standout performance at the PBR Future Games in 2019 where his power was on full display for all watching eyes. The two years since then have only seen Toman take his game to new heights, and the separation between him, Jones, and Stewart, is minimal heading into the summer. Finally, 1B/OF Nolan Schubart (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s HS, MI), a Michigan recruit, has demonstrated the ability to drive the ball to all fields for three years, and there is a chance that even more power is seen this summer from the 6-foot-5, 210-pounder. A teammate of a potential first-round pick in this year’s draft, 2021 SS Alex Mooney, MLB decision makers likely got a head start on him this spring.


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