Prep Baseball Report

Initial Overall 2022 Rankings Release

Shooter Hunt
National Crosschecker

There has been no backing down from the 2022 class as many of the prospects have already shined on a national stage against older competition. The talent and tools of the freshmen have been on display across the country, and the hype is quickly feeling validated, even though none have played a varsity inning.

The Prep Baseball Report and its long list of scouts—which includes a multitude of former college recruiting coordinators and MLB scouts—have put together a modest list of 100 prospects in the 2022 class. After summer and fall seasons that were packed with action, PBR’s boots-on-the-ground forces were able to identify and evaluate a large group of talented players. It is important to note that the PBR Overall Rankings only reflect the states that we intimately cover.

A year ago at this time, the initial 2021 Overall Rankings went live with nearly half of the 50 prospects already pledging commitments to college programs. After a flurry of rule changes to recruiting by the NCAA, the initial 2022 Overall Rankings is down to 14 commits (at print) in the top 50 and 29 in the overall 100. Programs are obviously finding ways to commit players, but the early trend shows that there may be some slowing to the process. The numbers do not, however, correlate with the talent, as the 2022 class stacks up similarly, if not better than that of its predecessor.

Priding itself on being the most trusted and reliable source for all amateur baseball news, the Prep Baseball Report is constantly out scouting and evaluating players. The 2022 Overall Rankings is sure to evolve, develop, and change over the course of the next four years, much like the players in the class, and PBR is committed to supplying the most credible coverage of that progression.

The class is led at the top by OF Ryan Clifford (Leesville Road HS, NC). Already an elite left-handed hitter, Clifford stands at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds with long limbs on an athletic frame. While the frame is already impressive, there is still plenty of room for him to add more strength in the future. Balanced in his approach with quick hands and strikingly strong wrists, Clifford showcases the ability to effortlessly drive the ball from gap to gap with advanced barrel awareness. He has performed exceptionally well on the national stage with no drop off against older competition, and is still getting better. His maturity as a hitter combined with the likelihood of adding even more power in the future makes Clifford the premier prospect in the 2022 class.

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Holding down the second spot is exciting SS Termarr Johnson (Drew Charter, GA). Packing an impressive amount of strength and twitch into a 5-foot-8, 140-pound frame, Johnson may not be the biggest player in the class, but he certainly does not lack talent. An immediate draw to watch in any game that he plays, Johnson’s glove work and quick, strong arm give him a chance to be a special defender. At the plate, the left-handed hitter features natural flow to his hands throughout the load as a leg kick pushes them down and back. Though he is still developing strength, there is already some impressive barrel lag in the zone, and he demonstrates the ability to utilize the entire field. Johnson’s charisma and confidence on the diamond only serve to help his all-around game as he looks the part of a top-of-the-order bat and middle-of-the-field defender.

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At No. 3 is a two-way talent in C/RHP Luke Davis (Cypress HS, CA), who is already a Southern California recruit. A switch-hitting catcher with a proportionally-strong, 6-foot, 165-pound frame that projects to add plenty more strength in the future, Davis shows feel for the barrel from both sides of the plate with a flat path through the zone, and the ability to drive the ball from gap to gap. While his bat and skills behind the dish may ultimately keep him as a position player, his quick, loose arm on the mound currently allows him to run his fastball into the upper 80s on a downhill plane that jumps through the zone.

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Rounding out the top five are a pair of southpaws in Tristan Smith (Boiling Springs HS, SC) and Blaise Grove (McDonogh HS, MD). Smith’s loose arm features some whip with quickness out front as he releases from a high-3/4 slot with fastballs running up to 89 mph with even more velocity likely in the future as he fills out his athletic, 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame. Grove, a South Carolina recruit, is an imposing presence standing 6-foot-4, 215-pounds with a longer arm stroke that allows him to drive fastballs into the zone in the upper 80s, and will likely be above 90 in the spring. Both left-handers have impressive current arm strength at a young age, and should progress quickly moving forward.

Bouncing around the Top 100, a plethora of standouts from PBR’s Junior Future Games can be found including:

Michael Lippe OF / 3B / Whitefish Bay, WI / 2022

Lippe, now a Louisville recruit, possesses a naturally-strong and athletic frame that currently stands at 6 feet, 170 pounds. His 91 mph exit velocity off the tee immediately stands out given his age, and his strength at the plate is impressive. The right-handed hitter has quick hands that allow him to drive through the ball on an uphill plane with minimal effort. High-waisted with athletic movements in the outfield, Lippe should progress quickly as his frame continues to mature.

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Devin Taylor OF / 3B / LaSalle, OH / 2022

Taylor’s wide shoulders and lean, athletic frame combined with a fluent, left-handed stroke will likely have recruiters following him closely over the next few years. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound outfielder has a flat path through the zone with natural loft, and exhibits the ability to spray line drives all over the diamond. While his frame is clearly still developing, the movement patterns and set-up have a strong foundation that will likely make quick progress as strength comes. In the outfield, he moves around gracefully with confident hands. With more game action and experience, expect Taylor to quickly progress, and for college coaches to be locked-in on him throughout.

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Tyler Cerny SS / 2B / Center Grove, IN / 2022

Cerny’s long-limbed, athletic, 6-foot, 150-pound frame is still developing, but his natural actions on the diamond stand out at a young age. The shortstop crisply and routinely fields ground balls with confidence, and his quick release and accuracy will give him a chance to stick at the position in the future. At the dish, the right-handed hitter has a direct path to the ball on a level plane with current line drive power that will increase with more strength in the future. Cerny has a strong foundation of skills and ability, and should continue to reach his high ceiling as he matures.

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Colton Sims SS / RHP / Russellville, AR / 2022

Sims, an Arkansas recruit, has a highly projectable, wiry, 6-foot-1, 140-pound frame that is filled with athleticism. He is balanced in his approach from the left side with a direct path to the ball, and his nimble actions in the field lend well to the future progressions that he will make. On the mound, his loose, quick arm runs fastballs up to 83 mph, and there is likely much  more on the way as he slings out of a 3/4 slot and shows advanced feel for both a curveball and a slider. The elastic, two-way prospect has a chance to make bigger jumps in the future, especially as he continues to add strength.

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James Lordi LHP / OF / Jim Thorpe Area, PA / 2022

Lordi, a Penn State recruit, sports some defined strength in the upper-body of his 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame, and utilizes it well at the plate where he works uphill through the zone to drive the ball. His quick hands work the barrel short to the ball while allowing it to stay long in zone, and his current pull side power should continue to increase as he gets even stronger. On the mound, the potential two-way prospect controls his fastball to the bottom of the zone as it features heavier arm side life in the low 80s with more on the way. The athletic, two-way prospect has a chance to quickly develop as he continues to mature and gain more experience against higher level competition.

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Reese Ratchford C / RHP / Sulphur , OK / 2022

Ratchford’s broad-shouldered, 6-foot, 180-pound frame features some defined strength throughout, especially in the lower-half. A potential two-way player moving forward, his raw strength allows him to impact balls on an uphill plane at the plate as well as produce fastballs that run up as high as 86 mph. Given his overall athleticism and current arm strength, Ratchford should have a chance to continue progressing at a rapid rate, and will likely be followed closely by college recruiters moving forward.

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1 Ryan Clifford NC Leesville Road 2022 OF  
2 Termarr Johnson GA Drew Charter 2022 SS  
3 Luke Davis CA Cypress 2022 C Southern California
4 Tristan Smith SC Boilings Springs 2022 LHP  
5 Blaise Grove MD McDonogh 2022 LHP South Carolina
6 Dylan Lesko GA Buford 2022 RHP  
7 Elijah Green FL TNXL Academy 2022 OF  
8 Calvert Clark NC Charlotte Christian 2022 OF  
9 Logan Forsythe MS DIberville 2022 RHP  
10 Jace LaViolette TX Tompkins 2022 OF


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