The first two rounds of the 2022 MLB Draft took place last night with the Baltimore Orioles having the “honor” of holding the first pick. Did they make the best selection in the first round? Only time will tell. Check out Shane Lang’s article here if you want to see who some of the top available draft prospects were. Today, I will give you who I think to be the five best MLB draft picks from round one.
My criteria for determining this top five are based on team need, how soon that position is needed, and the team track record for scouting/developing that position. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Spoiler alert: The Orioles did not make one of the five best MLB draft picks from last night.
Five Best MLB Draft Picks From Round One
5. Druw Jones, Arizona Diamondbacks, #2 Overall
Jackson Holliday and Druw Jones made history tonight 🙌 pic.twitter.com/Tjsfq5q0VC
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) July 18, 2022
The Orioles shocked the world when they took Jackson Holliday at number one. It would not be long though before the Arizona Diamondbacks selected what many believed to be the best available prospect in this year’s draft. 6-foot-3 prep outfielder Druw Jones will seemingly be a nice fit for Arizona.
With the team not close to competing, he will have more than enough time to develop in their minor league system and acclimate himself to the professional ball player lifestyle. Should he be anywhere close to as good as his father, Andruw Jones was, he might just be a steal at number two.
4. Jacob Berry, Miami Marlins, #6 Overall
We move further down the board a bit to number six and the Miami Marlins. They took the first college player (not named Kumar Rocker) in LSU third baseman, Jacob Berry. A switch hitter, defensively Berry may be better suited for first than third. He also projects to be up no later than 2024 which will be close to the time that the Marlins will be in contention. Assuming they re-sign Brian Anderson and Berry moves across the diamond to first, or even if he moves to the outfield, adding him to their lineup will be a huge plus.
3. Termarr Johnson, Pittsburgh Pirates, #4 Overall
One of the three draft picks I guessed correctly, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected prep shortstop Termarr Johnson with the fourth pick. Johnson is projected to have a 70-grade hit tool and 60-grade power, so adding him to an infield that already contains Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz is going to give the Pirates one of, if not the, most powerful infields in the game. The only issue the Pirates face now is determining which of the three to move to second.
2. Cooper Hjerpe, St. Louis Cardinals, #22 Overall
Falling all the way to 22, the St. Louis Cardinals selected LHP Cooper Hjerpe out of Oregon State. Hjerpe projects to be Major League ready earlier than any other player taken in the first round, and could even see time in The Bigs later this year. A solid pick by a team that does very well developing pitching and is very much in need of a left-handed pitcher; Hjerpe may be the steal of the draft.
1. Kevin Parada, New York Mets, #11 Overall
Mets draft pick Kevin Parada, along with Mr. and Mrs. Met: pic.twitter.com/pKz5C0WQZI
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 18, 2022
Back up the board we go to just outside the top 10 where the New York Mets selected catcher Kevin Parada out of CatcherU, Georgia Tech. At 6’1″, Parada was named the 2022 Buster Posey Award winner, a prize given to the best catcher in college baseball. A bat-first catcher, Parada can also man the position fairly well.
With Francisco Alvarez waiting in the wings to man the helm as starting catcher for the Mets, a move to first may be in store for Parada giving the Mets a reason to move Pete Alonso to DH and potentially improve on their infield defense. Only time will tell how the Mets’ catching situation will play out, but in my humble opinion, Parada to the Mets at number 11 was far and away the best pick in the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft.
That will do it for this list of the five best MLB draft picks from round one. Enjoy the Home Run Derby tonight and the All-Star Game tomorrow!