MLB Pipeline Top 250 Draft Prospects


MLB Pipeline Top 250 Draft Prospects

Teams are starting to align their boards as the July 17-19 draft nears, and we’re doing the same at MLB Pipeline. We’ve expanded into a Draft Top 250 while revamping our previous rankings and reports.

The first seven players are the same as in our last update a month ago and there is only one change in order. Georgia High School outfielder Druw Jones remains at No. 1 while Oklahoma Prep shortstop Jackson Holliday jumps over Florida High School outfielder Elijah Green for No. 2. Georgia Prep middle infielder Termarr Johnson, Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee, Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada and Louisiana State third baseman/outfielder Jacob Berry remain in 4th through 7th.

The Orioles own the No. They are considering five players, a group believed to consist of the top five prospects in the Draft Top 250: Jones, Holliday, Green, Johnson and Lee. We predicted they’d take over Johnson in our last mock draft, and we’ll be releasing a new one Thursday night.

There are a lot of family ties in this draft, starting with the top three players in the top 250. The industry consensus top talent, Jones, nods to his father Andruw, a five-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glover. Holliday, who broke JT Realmuto’s national high school record for single-season hits at 89, is the son of seven-time All-Stars Matt. Green’s father, Eric, was a two-time Pro Bowl tight end in the NFL.

No player has made a bigger step on the new list than Oklahoma right-hander Cade Horton, who debuts at No. 24 after failing to make the draft top 200. When we published this previous edition he was sporting a 7.94 ERA and looking rusty upon his return from Tommy John surgery in February 2021. He’s been a whole different pitcher since then and is now our top rated collegiate arm.

Horton worked on adding a cutter ahead of the Big 12 Conference tournament, and while that didn’t really last, the process helped him turn his slider into a mid-90s, 90-touch wipeout pitch. Having already regained speed at his 94-98 mph, he showed better armside runs, carry and command during the collegiate postseason. In five playoff starts, he went 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA, notching just 20 hits and six walks while catching 49 in 31 innings.

Other players making significant jumps from the top 200 to the top 250 are Nolan McLean (No. 153 to No. 115), Oklahoma State third baseman/right hander, Vanderbilt outfielder Spencer Jones (No. 74 to No. 51 ) and Oklahoma left-hander Jake Bennett (No. 89 to No. 68).

The biggest wildcard remains right-hander Kumar Rocker, who serves for the independent Frontier League’s Tri-City ValleyCats after playing three seasons at Vanderbilt. The Mets picked him 10th overall last July and agreed to a $6 million bonus only to walk out of the deal after a post-draft physical exam revealed unspecified concerns about his shoulder and elbow .

Ranked 38th on the Draft Top 250, Rocker ripped off some upper 90s fastballs and nasty sliders while forging a 1.50 ERA with the ValleyCats with 25 strikeouts in 15 innings. But until the clubs get some medical documentation to know what he’s dealing with from a health perspective, it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly where he will end up.

Tennessee leads all of college with seven players in the top 250, including three potential first-rounders in outfielders Jordan Beck (No. 23) and Drew Gilbert (No. 32) and right-hander Blade Tidwell (No. 27). Florida, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas follow with five each. The Longhorns contingent is led by first baseman Ivan Melendez (No. 99), Golden Spikes Award winner, NCAA Division I homer (32, a record for the Longhorns as well as the BBCOR bat-era), RBI ( 94) cited. , total bases (214) and slugging (0.863).

IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) tops all high schools with four top 250 nominees, including Green and left-hander Jackson Ferris (No. 19). St. Mary’s Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.) is second with three spots after winning the Michigan State Division 1 title 44-0, highlighted by right-hander Brock Porter (No. 11), the top pitcher of the draft and the Gatorade National Player of the Year.

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