Prep Baseball Report

N.J. Natives Drafted or Signed in 2022

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

The 2022 MLB Draft has come and gone and again New Jersey has proven as a breeding ground for baseball talent. Year in and year out, New Jersey boasts some of the top high school players as well as some top college prospects that made a name for themselves in the spring and early summer.

New Jersey Prep Stars

The highest chosen New Jersey native this year was 2022 RHP Nazier Mule (Passaic Tech HS, NJ). Mule tore up the summer circuit in 2021 with a fastball hovering around the triple digits and a true wipeout slider. Injuries in the spring barred him from really showing off his electric stuff over the course of a full season, but that certainly did not deter the Cubs from selected him in the 4th round at $1 million, which was nearly $500k over slot value. Clearly the Cubs valued Mulé's talent despite the injuries in 2022.

With Mulé chosen early, all eyes turned to 2022 RHP Caden Dana (Don Bosco Prep HS, NJ). Dana, fresh off a season in which he led Don Bosco Prep to a Non-Public A state championship, its first in 7 years, Dana had all the momentum going into the draft. Overall, scouts were not sure where Dana would be selected - had the stuff to be a true day 1 selection, but would signability and school become a factor? As the first 11 rounds came and went, it was looking more and more like the latter.

Alas, Dana heard his name selected in the 11th round by the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels, evaluating Dana as a true day 1 talent, provided him with a $1.497 million signing bonus - which is, by far, the highest signing bonus ever given to a player after the 10th round in draft history. With the way the slot values work, the Angels were able to play the system by drafting and signing players in the first 10 rounds under slot value, thereby having enough money left over to entice Dana.

Mulé and Dana were the only prep stars from NJ selected in this year's draft.

Top 10 Round College Draftees

Monmouth's LHP Trey Dombroski (Wall, 2019) was chosen in the 4th round by the Astros, shortly after Mulé. Dombroski boasted the top overall command of any arm in the top 10 rounds.

The 5th round seemed to be very accommodating to NJ natives. In total, four players from the Garden State were selected. Central Florida's RHP Connor Staine (West Morris Central, 2019) was the third NJ native off the board, followed by Virginia Tech's C Cade Hunter (Lenape, 2019), Old Dominion LHP Noah Dean (Pinelands Regional, 2019), and Notre Dame RHP Liam Simon (Freehold Township, 2019). Staine was dominant early in the season for Central Florida, with a fastball approaching 97-98 and power breaking stuff, before an injury sidelined him for a big chunk of the year. Cade Hunter was consistently in the heart of Virginia Tech's lineup - leading the team with 66 RBI and second in HRs with 17. Noah Dean was one of the top closers in college baseball this season, with a fastball hovering around 95-98, punching out 46 in 26IP with a minuscule .141 batting average against. Finally, Notre Dame's Simon is another electric arm, primarily used out of the bullpen for the Irish, but yet another guy who sits in the upper 90s with the fastball. 

North Carolina's SS Danny Serretti (Governor Livingston, 2018) was picked in the 6th round by the Tigers after a successful bounce back campaign in 2022.

North Carolina State's INF Josh Hood (St. Augustine Prep, 2018) - the 2018 NJ Player of the Year, was chosen by the Mariners in the 6th round, too.

Elon's OF Alex Iadisernia (Jackson Memorial, 2019) was a top bat in 2021 and tore it up in the summer circuit too. The Jackson native was chosen in the 7th round by the Cardinals.

Valparaiso's LHP Jake Miller (Don Bosco Prep, 2019) had one of the highest ceilings in his early college days, and certainly blossomed into a true draft pick with a fastball in the 90-93 range. Miller was selected in the 8th round by the Tigers.

The Rest of the Draft

- 11th Round: RHP Caden Dana (Don Bosco Prep, 2022) 

- 12th Round: Mississippi State RHP KC Hunt (Ramapo, 2019)

- 13th Round: Maryland LHP Ryan Ramsey (Pascack Hills, 2019)

- 16th Round: UConn OF Casey Dana (Don Bosco Prep, 2017)

- 18th Round: Villanova RHP Cole Patten (Sparta, 2018)

- 19th Round: Xavier INF Luke Franzoni (Princeton Day, 2018)

- 20th Round: LIU RHP Josh Loeschorn (Butler, 2019)

- 20th Round: Seton Hall RHP Drew Conover (Voorhees, 2020)

- 20th Round: Rowan LHP Andrew Vail (Gloucester Catholic, 2018)

- 20th Round: North Carolina LHP Shawn Rapp (Delbarton, 2019)

- Free Agent Signee: Villanova LHP Danny Wilkinson (Scotch Plains, 2019)

- Free Agent Signee: Virginia Ut. Devin Ortiz (St. Joseph's Montvale, 2017)