The first round of the 2022 MLB Draft gets all the attention. For good reason. It was an historic draft for a few reasons. The main one though was that for the first time in MLB history, four sons of former players went in the first round. We’re not talking about any sons either. Jackson Holliday, Druw Jones, Cam Collier, and Justin Crawford were the headliners but there was also Elijah Green as the son of an NFL Pro Bowl Tight End and two brothers of MLB players as well. That’s a lot of lineage boosting draft stock. Those guys though, have all been talked about ad nauseam at this point, including in previous prospect reports of mine and on my Twitter timeline in real-time on Sunday.

So what are we talking about this week then? How about the guys who are the most intriguing who were taken on Monday and Tuesday. That is to say Rounds 3-20. While going in the first round clearly helps your chance to make the majors, let’s not forget that stars can be found anywhere in the draft if the scouting pans out. With that, our goal this week is to get you a head start on nabbing the next top prospect before anyone knows they’re a guy i.e. Daniel Espino a few years ago who is know near the top-10.



Rounds 3-10

Brandon Sproat — RHP, New York Mets

The lineage of University of Florida Gators heading to the majors from the mound has been a strong one over the last decade or so. Sproat might be the most interesting one yet. He mainly pitched out of the pen for the Gators the last few years but shows the ability to start when stretched out. The stuff is also electric. His 65-grade fastball has touched triple-digits and can average 97 mph for long stretches of appearances. Sproat has two breaking pitches in a slider and curveball with the slider grading out as the better pitch and flashing plus. The changeup is still coming around but he shows good feel and fade on the pitch. Sproat has had problems controlling his stuff however. In Gainesville he averaged nearly six free passes per nine out of the pen. There is some that believe his stuff will get better when starting as he has to pace himself and dial back the all-out-effort. If that’s the case he could be a mid-rotation starter for the Mets.

Jonathan Cannon — RHP, Chicago White Sox

The White Sox need a reboot of their farm system, especially in the pitching department. That’s what they attacked in this draft with Cannon being a very interesting part of it. Had he been healthy for all of the last two years at Georgia, Cannon would’ve gone in the middle of the first round. Instead we’re talking about him in Round 3 to Chicago. The Bulldog, both in mascot and nature, has a four-pitch mix anchored by a sinking mid-90s fastball and then includes a cutter about 7-8 mph slower than the fastball, a changeup with the ideal 10 mph difference off the fastball, and a low-80s biting slider. The theme of his last college season was utilizing a better pitch-mix and changing up the repertoire while still getting results. The 6’6”, 213-pound righty filled up the strike zone and rarely walked anyone. Just how rarely? He gave up 12 total free passes in 13 starts for Georgia this year. A few of the pitches are plus, though more hittable when the velocity drops some, and all are at least average. He should sit squarely in the middle of the White Sox rotation and could be a fast climber to the majors.

Brock Porter — RHP, Texas Rangers

So this was a close call between Chandler Pollard who the Rangers took in the fifth round and Porter. However, based on a talent standpoint, it has to go for Porter. He was ranked inside the top-15 prospects in the draft by everyone, including myself, as a Michigan prep pitcher. And why not? He’s the national player of the year and had MacKenzie Gore type numbers coming into the draft with one bonus, three no-hitters in his senior year. The stuff is impeccable and really just needs time to refine it and learn better pitch sequencing in the pros. That’s it. So why was he a fourth-round pick? Perhaps it’s the commitment to Clemson that scared teams off but Texas has a big enough pool to offer WAY over slot to pry him away from the Tigers. If Porter signs with the Rangers, He could be the number two starter in the big league rotation sandwiched between Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker (their third overall pick this year) with Cole Winn and whoever else finishing the rotation. For any other team, Porter would be the future ace-in-waiting.

Nazier Mule — RHP, Chicago Cubs

Mule is perhaps the most interesting player on this list. Why? He was scouted as a two-way player in high school who can have a legitimate impact on both sides of the game. However, as he’s listed above, the Cubs are focusing on him as a pitcher-only player right now. The upside is tremendous on the mound and higher than at the plate as well. Still just 17 years old, the 6’3”, 210-pound right-hander already shows the ability to hit triple-digits on the fastball with regularity but in fairness, the pitch works better in the mid-90s. His secondary offerings are a slider and changeup with the former being ahead of the latter at this point. Right now all Mule needs is more innings on the mound and the benefit of a professional development system. The three-pitch mix made up of a 70-grade fastball, 60-grade slider, and 50-grade (not-oft-thrown) changeup is more than enough to be a front half of a rotation starter.

Cade Hunter — C, Cincinnati Reds

What a difference a year makes. Hunter has always had the underlying analytics to draw the attention of scouts regardless of the nameplate stats. He also managed to stay healthy this year. Hunter had double-digit homers this year for Virginia Tech from the left side of the dish for the first time. The only real question about his skills is the defense at this point and specifically the receiving skills. However, with an average hit tool, above-average power, and average run skills, the offense will be the part that carries his profile while he develops the defensive side. Let’s also not leave out the good pop times he put up this spring as well. A lefty-hitting power bat in Great American Ball Park is enticing for sure.




Rounds 11-20

Torin Montgomery — 1B, Miami Marlins

It’s been a road for Montgomery since he was first drafted in 2019. He went to Boise State then transferred to Missouri after Covid but all the while he kept producing. This past year he hit .365 with a .462 OBP for Missouri with 12 doubles, seven homers, and 49 RBI. Montgomery has a solid approach at the plate and knows how to control the zone and then uncork his power at opportune times. The defense is adequate at first and certainly won’t cost him time on the field. All the better for the bat. Overall, he profiles as a middle-of-the-order bat at first who adds to his value in OBP formats.

Malachi Witherspoon — RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

A 17-year-old projectable high school righty with high spin rates and improving velocity? That’s exactly what’s tantalizing about Witherspoon and why the Diamondbacks took the shot on him in the 12th round. At 6’3” and 205 lbs., there’s just a bit of weight for him to put on to finish physically maturing, which should also add some velocity consistently. Right now, he’s a two-pitch pitcher for the most part with a mid-90s, high spin fastball and a very good curveball — both of which are 55 or higher in scouting grades. The changeup is still burgeoning but should reach plus grades when all is said and done. There’s the making of a number two pitcher here for the Diamondbacks.

Chris Newell — OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

If Newell had shown the best of his raw tools in games, he wouldn’t have been a 13th-round pick on Tuesday. Everything but the hit tool is at least average if not better. The hit tool is just below-average at worst as well. The power-speed combo is intriguing with him as long as things show up consistently and the defense should keep him in center field long-term. Given how good the Dodgers’ player development program has been in the last decade, there is a pretty good chance he’ll realize his potential sooner rather than later.

Ethan Long — 1B, San Francisco Giants

Long had a great freshman year at Arizona State University breaking the home run total posted by Giants’ legend Barry Bonds. However, that was his one outstanding year. Injuries and a decline in performance knocked him down to the 20th round of the draft. The power is real though and grades out at a tick below plus. The hit tool is a tick below-average. That’s basically the quintessential first baseman profile. He did play a tad at the hot corner in college with his plus arm, but the defense better fits at first in the long run. Granted there’s not a lot of projection or upside with a righty-hitting first baseman but as long as the floor is a .255-.260 hitter with 28-32 homers, who needs a ceiling?

Beau Brewer — 3B, New York Yankees

A Savannah Banana is heading to the majors. That funky team filled with college players isn’t just the Harlem Globetrotters of baseball, they have talent too. Brewer comes out of Paris (TX) Junior College and had a very final season at that JUCO. He hit .411 with 25 doubles and six homers over the course of the year with 74 RBI. He also stole 12 bags in 14 attempts. The impressive part of the line though is his eight strikeouts in 246 plate appearances. At 6’3” and 215 lbs. he has the body to remain at third base and has improved his defense. The bat-to-ball skills are solid and he certainly is worth watching as he progresses through the Yankees’ system.



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