For the third time in franchise history, the Orioles have the No. 1 pick in the MLB Draft. The previous two times the Orioles had the top pick, the club drafted catcher Adley Rutschman out of Oregon State (2019) and pitcher Ben McDonald out of LSU (1989). Who will it be this year? Leading up to the 2022 MLB Draft (July 17-19), a number of draft analysts have shared their insight on the potential picks on Glenn Clark Radio. Here’s what they had to say.

Carlos Collazo on Elijah Green

Baseball America draft writer Carlos Collazo said that although Atlanta-area high school outfielder Druw Jones is the best prospect in the 2022 MLB Draft class, Orlando-area high school outfielder Elijah Green has the biggest upside in the draft.

“Just physically, Elijah Green is one of the more unique athletes that we have had come out of the draft in a very long time. You just don’t see baseball players that look like him, who have the sort of power that he has with the speed that he has, and he’s done a fantastic job of showing that power in games throughout the summer showcase circuit last year and this spring against good competition in Florida. I think if you look at just in terms of overall upside, if all of these players came out to the best of their tools, his tools are the most explosive.”

Jonathan Mayo on Brooks Lee

MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo said that Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee is “without question” the best college hitter in the 2022 draft class and will have the bat to profile wherever he ends up in the infield once he makes his way to the major leagues.

“I think if I were a team, I’d let him play short. I’d have him get time at third or second. I think he could be a Gold Glove-caliber player at either of those positions. The arm certainly works for third and he’s going to hit enough wherever you put him. … He won’t have huge range. He’ll continue to fill out some as he physical matures, but he makes all the plays he’s supposed to. When he gets to it, he makes the play.”

Kiley McDaniel on Druw Jones

ESPN baseball insider Kiley McDaniel sees center fielder Druw Jones as a unique prospect. Jones is the son of five-time All-Star Andruw Jones, who is considered one of the best defensive center fielders ever.

“He’s got all those things you want in terms of performance and now skills, but he has the frame and the twitch and athleticism. I saw Fernando Tatis Jr. as a 15-year-old. He was just pretty good. And then by about 17, it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a totally different guy,’ because he was long and lanky and projectable and sometimes that stuff can explode. Druw Jones has some of that same stuff. Now, it’s still one in five, one in six that he hits anywhere near those heights, but he’s the only guy that has a chance to be that kind of guy.”

Kiley McDaniel on Jacob Berry

If the Orioles choose to continue down the road of taking a college player, ESPN baseball insider Kiley McDaniel sees LSU outfielder Jacob Berry as an option.

“If you’re just looking for the most advanced hit and power tool in the draft, it’s this guy. The problem is there’s not a ton of speed and defense. He’s played a little third base in the past. It’s probably more right field and maybe just fringy in right field, so you better get a lot of savings and be really sure the bat’s going to play because you’re getting toward that [Spencer] Torkelson, Andrew Vaughn thing where if they come to the big leagues and don’t hit, then what do you really have?”

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Perfect Game, Cal Poly Athletics, LSU Athletics

Issue 275: June/July 2022

PressBox

For more from PressBox, read the latest news here.