Baseball America released their updated draft prospect rankings yesterday. This morning they posted their third mock draft, as we are now about 2 1/2 months from the 2022 draft. There is a shakeup at the top of the latest mock draft, as well as some doubt about their selection for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have the fourth overall pick.
The top pick has been Druw Jones for quite some time now, but BA is predicting that Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee will go first overall to the Baltimore Orioles. I like what they did with this new mock draft, giving a range where each pick could go. Lee actually falls in the 1-5 range, while Jones is in the 1-2 range, so if he doesn’t go to the Orioles, then they are certain (right now) that he won’t go lower than the Arizona Diamondbacks with the #2 pick.
In the #3 spot, BA has Elijah Green, who was our Draft Prospect Watch subject on Sunday. The Texas Rangers have the third pick. Green is listed as being in the 3-5 range. We then have the Pirates pick and it comes with an asterisk, because the mock draft was clearly done before the news broke yesterday that Georgia prep pitcher Dylan Lesko had Tommy John surgery, which will keep him out until at least the middle of next year. BA noted it in his description and then extended him from the 3-15 range for his pick.
Based on the range for picks, the only other option for the Pirates is Termarr Johnson, another player from Georgia (this is a huge year for the state). He’s going seventh in this mock draft, but his range is 2-7. The fifth overall pick is Jace Jung, a second baseman from Texas Tech, followed by Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada in the sixth spot. The injury to Lesko really changes things up now.+ posts
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.