Baseball Prospect Journal

2022 MLB Draft: Prep Players to Know

2022 MLB Draft Elijah Green Perfect Game

The 2022 MLB draft is shaping out to be one of the better draft classes in recent memory. We still are a year away from the draft, though, so a lot could change between now and then.

The prep and college classes feature a lot of high-end prospects. Below is a look at some of the top prep prospects in the 2022 MLB draft class.

Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy (Fla.)

Green is an elite prep prospect who has an exciting toolset. The five-tool prep player is the early favorite to go first overall next year due to his athleticism and power potential. There aren’t many holes in Green’s game. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound outfielder has elite speed and exceptional arm strength. He is a refined prep talent who might be the best draft-eligible prep player in the last five years.

Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford (Ga.) HS

Right now, Lesko is the best prep arm in the 2022 MLB draft class. He is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds who throws a mid-90s fastball from an athletic and repeatable delivery. The righty has consistently performed well on the showcase circuit and has all the tools to be a high-end starter in pro ball.

Termarr Johnson, SS, Mays (Ga.) HS

Johnson, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound infielder, has quick hands at the plate and consistently barrels up pitches from the left side of the plate. He profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter with an ability to hit for some power in the pro ranks. Scouts believe he has the talent to play shortstop, second base and center field at the next level.

Ian Ritchie Jr., RHP, Bainbridge Island (Wash.) HS

Richie is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-hander who throws a mid-90s fastball with movement from a low-effort and repeatable delivery. He has a feel for his changeup and slider and commands both pitches well. His firm slider features late-breaking action and serves as his outpitch. He has a quality repertoire and control of his pitches that allow scouts to project him as a starter in pro ball.

Brock Porter, RHP, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (Mich.) HS

Porter dominated opposing hitters this spring to move him in the conversation as one of the top prep arms in the 2022 MLB draft. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound righty throws a mid-90s fastball that has touched 99 mph and features movement. His slider and curveball are quality-breaking pitches. He also shows a tremendous feel for his above-average changeup.

Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan (Ga.) HS

Jones is the son of former MLB outfielder Andrew Jones. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound prep star is a similar player to his father, possessing five-tool ability. He is a quality defensive outfielder who has above-average speed and plenty of potential remaining in his game. The right-handed hitter consistently barrels up pitches and has displayed an improved power potential over the last year.

Tristan Smith, LHP, Boiling Springs (S.C.) HS

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound lefty throws a fastball that hits 95 mph from a cross-body and deceptive delivery that looks effortless. Smith throws a high-70s slider that serves as his outpitch. He also has a feel for a changeup. His fastball and slider have quality spin rates that analytically-driven teams will appreciate.

Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage (Fla.) HS

Barriera isn’t the biggest kid on the mound at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, but he has a quality mix of pitches that has caused scouts to list Barriera as a name to watch over the next year. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot and uses a low-effort and repeatable delivery. Barriera attacks the strike zone with his low-to-mid-90s fastball, advanced changeup and solid breaking pitch.

Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny (Pa.) HS

The 6-foot, 180-pound shortstop is a left-handed hitter with an easy swing that allows him to drive the ball to the gaps. Defensively, Young has solid footwork and athleticism to handle shortstop. He also has plenty of arm strength to make all the plays at shortstop.

Jayson Jones, 3B, Braswell (Texas) HS

Jones is a power-hitting third baseman, as he displays a loose swing with a natural ability to square up the baseball from the right side of the plate. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound third baseman moves well defensively and has the skills and arm strength to handle third base long-term.

Others to Know

Nolan Schubart, OF, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (Mich.) HS; Jackson Ferris, LHP, IMG Academy (Fla.); Nazier Mule, RHP/SS, Passaic County Tech (N.J.); Tucker Toman, 3B, Hammond (S.C.) HS; Gavin Kilen, SS, Milton (Wis.) HS.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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