The 2022 MLB Draft is upon us, so we asked three of our very own MLB experts to join the fun by selecting their own teams made up of the top 2022 draft picks.
The rules were simple: Jeff Passan, David Schoenfield, and Bradford Doolittle Snake drafted 10 rounds (30 picks total) to compile the best possible list of 2022 draft prospects.
Each roster included a full lineup: two pitchers, catchers, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, and three outfielders. They were allowed to create positions in any order and show their strategies for which positions are the deepest – and the most superficial – in this year’s class.
After making their 30 picks — mixed in with a healthy dose of trash talk — ESPN MLB draft analyst Kiley McDaniel broke down all three teams to declare a dueling mock draft champion.
Now for the design!
Draft Coverage: Mock Draft 2.0 | Top 300 | Guide for all 30 teams
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1. Druw Jones, CF (Doolittle)
2. Jackson Holiday, SS (passers)
3.Cam Collier, 3B (Schonfeld)
Schoenfield: I’ve managed three direct sons of former major leagues with the top 3 picks, which would be pretty awesome if that actually happened. Druw and Jackson were easy 1-2 picks, but I think Cam has a shot at being the top hitter of the three because he’s only 17 — which draft models love. Think of players like Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor, who were 17 when they were drafted. So it looks like I’m already winning.
McDaniel: I think it’s a three-man draft and Mr. Schoenfield didn’t get any of the three.
4. Kevin Parada, C (Schonfeld)
5. Termar Johnson, 2B (passers)
6. Elijah Green, LF (Doolittle)
Doolittle: If I were to do that in real life, I’d be terrible – because I’d be scared of players with a lot of swing and misses like Green and I’d miss out on a whole class of high-upside players. But you kind of dropped it in my lap, so I’ll just stick it next to Jones and hope to play in a big stadium with lots of outfield grass. – Doolittle
Passan: If I did that in real life, I wouldn’t be terrible… as long as you two are my competitors.
McDaniel: Fixed some mistakes here, but Jeff takes an early lead with the second and third players on my board.
7. Brooks Lee, 3B (Doolittle)
8. Jacob Berry, 1B (passers)
9. Jace Young, 2B (Schonfeld)
McDaniel: We’ve now reached the “yawn, college hitter” portion of the draft.
10. Justin Crawford, CF (Schonfeld)
11. Daniel Susac, C (passers)
12. Gavin Cross, 1B (Doolittle)
Doolittle: It looks like humility doesn’t go well with the Leo Durocher of the mock design room, so we’re just focusing on team building here. Winning is its own reward.
McDaniel: Schoenfield separates the college hitters with perhaps the most electrifying player in the draft, and Cross slipped in a few picks. Is Passan fading?
13. Dylan Lesko, RHP (Doolittle)
14. Brandon Barriera, LHP (passers)
15. Jett Williams, SS (Schonfeld)
Schoenfield: Damn right, I’ll pick someone named Jett. He may only be 5ft 8, but as our man Kiley states, he can run, punch and catch. Good luck with your high school pitchers!
McDaniel: Brad grabs the 8th guy on my board at pick 13 for the biggest steal yet while Jeff acts fast to grab the next pitcher on my board and Dave into my “smaller guys who are my pick to click” area “ appears the board. Love it.
16. Connor Prielipp, LHP (Schonfeld)
17. Chase DeLauter, LF (passers)
18. Brock Porter, RHP (Doolittle)
Passan: I was hoping Prielipp would fall. That just goes to show that you can get caught even in played drafts. I suppose I can take comfort in knowing that I drafted the only pitcher not currently on the shelf due to Tommy John’s surgery.
McDaniel: That’s where everyone’s boards start to get completely different. A respectable choice, but I have two college clubs in my top 15 that are still on the board and Jeff skipped them both to pick another. Fading!
19. Cole Young, SS (Doolittle)
20. Jordan Beck, RF (passers)
21. Drew Gilbert, RF (Schonfeld)
Schoenfield: Turns out my husband and Passan’s husband were teammates in Tennessee. My guy hit .362/.455/.673 with more walks than K’s and Passan’s guy hit .298/.391/.595 with 62 K’s and 37 walks. My guy pitched 93 mph as a pitcher, so he also has a right fielder arm. Jeff’s scouting director may love Beck, but his analyst isn’t a happy camper right now.
McDaniel: Gilbert is 11th on my board and Beck is 25th. Passan went from a no-no to a get up in the fifth inning.
22.Sterlin Thompson, LF (Schonfeld)
23. Zach Neto, 3B (passers)
24. Dylan Beaver, RF (Doolittle)
Passan: I agree to go up in the seventh round. Dave can go ahead and pull in Sterling while I hunt for Sterling. I finally prefer to take Gs with my picks. And Neto, a guy with a shortstop glove who can also jump 93mph off the mound — and would actually use it at third base — qualifies.
McDaniel: Passan is back! Neto is 12th on my board and has a sneaky buzz in the top 10 picks. How did he make it this far? Must be an anti-mid-major bias.
25. Peyton Graham, 2B (Doolittle)
26. Kumar Rocker, RHP (passers)
27.Gabriel Hughes, RHP (Schonfeld)
Doolittle: Pretty much my entire team is 6-foot-3 or 6-4, so if the baseball part doesn’t work, I’m going to dominate the intramural basketball league.
Passan: I mean, Rocker didn’t have Tommy John, so I think what I said above technically stays true.
Doolittle: For a prep guy like Lesko, the fact that he had TJ surgery just means he was facing disaster.
Schoenfield: I’ll put it this way: Gonzaga’s top draft prospect this year is going to be Hughes, not Chet Holmgren.
Passan: Such analysis makes me feel much more comfortable with my design.
McDaniel: Jeff might be in a big league in about a month, but I chose Graham and Hughes over Rocker at this point for long-term value.
28. Tucker Toman, 1B (Schonfeld)
29. Brock Jones, CF (passers)
30. Dalton Rushing, C (Doolittle)
McDaniel: Toman is 15th on my board, consolidating my picks for the click group (Gilbert, Jett Williams, Neto), while Jones and Rushing are outside of my top 45.
Why is your team the best?
Doolittle: I love balance and my team has tools across the board as well as a good mix of perks and polish. Between Jones’ speed and defense, Lee’s hitting, Green’s power-speed combo, and Lesko’s and Porter’s fastballs, I’ve created a virtual monopoly of this draft’s best tools. And if Jones and Green both hit their limits, I’ll have the top two players in the draft.
passers-by: Because with four left-handed stompers and a pair of switch-hitters in my starting nine, my lineup will destroy right-handed pitching. In terms of sheer substance, none of the other pitcher pairs come close to me. But mostly because of the balance: power and speed, racquet-to-ball and patience, left-handed and right-handed, prep and college. You have the here and now in Rocker, Berry and Susac. You have the future in Holliday, Johnson and Barriera. you have everything
Schoenfield: Hmm, I LOVE left handed batters too. In Collier, Gilbert, and Thompson, I’ve picked three with excellent hit tools – the most important tool, you know, because if you can’t hit, don’t make majors (compare Jones and Green, for example, who have questionable hits at this point tools). Also making appearances in the SEC were Gilbert and Thompson, and Parada raked at Georgia Tech, hitting .356 with 26 homers and more walks than strikeouts. The design models—and teams use them for a reason—must love this group.
McDaniel’s Final Verdict
Doolittle grabbed five of my top 10 players while Schoenfield got 8 of my top 21. I only liked about half of Passan’s picks, but he got two of my top 3s. It’s not an outlier, but I nod to Schoenfield.
All but one of his players are in my top 30 and the other is probably in the top 30 picks in the real draft. I love the quality from top to bottom he was able to achieve by taking Parada with his second pick so he didn’t have to reach for a catcher.