The MLB Draft is this Sunday. Here is What Orioles Fans Need to Know
The Baltimore Orioles have the first pick and the most money in the draft, with lots of possible options. This will be a busy weekend.
Sunday night is the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft, and the Baltimore Orioles will be the center of attention. They have the first overall pick and the highest bonus pool in the league at $16,924,000. The figure is second highest in league history after the Houston Astros in the 2015, when Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker were both top-five picks. The bonus pools apply only to picks in the first ten rounds, but if teams sign someone for more than $225,000 after the tenth round, then the money comes out of the bonus pool.
The Orioles can spread around the nearly $17 million across 12 picks as they have two competitive balance picks. They have the first pick of Competitive Balance Round A, which is between rounds one and two, as a smaller market losing team. They also have the first pick of Competitive Balance Round B, between rounds two and three, which was the main return from the Miami Marlins for Tanner Scott and Cole Sulser.
Top Players Available
In case you haven’t heard, there are plenty of sons of former star athletes who will go in the first round. The headliner is Druw Jones, son of Andruw Jones, who is also generally regarded as the best player available. Jackson Holliday, who will likely go in the top five, is the son of Matt Holliday. Elijah Green will go in the top ten if not the top five, and his dad is Eric Green, a former tight end. Justin Crawford, son of Carl Crawford, will probably go in the middle of the first round.
For the Orioles at #1, the front office is still considering five players, and they probably won’t decide until Sunday. We don’t know for certain. but the five players seem to be Jones, Holliday, Green, Termarr Johnson, and Brooks Lee (Cal Poly). This is not a unanimous opinion, but many view Jones as a cut above the rest. He has true five-tool potential, with a 55 hit tool being his lowest rating, according to MLB Pipeline.
If Mike Elias decides that there isn’t a big difference between Jones and the rest of the top tier, he will go underslot to save money for later. Some view Holliday as the second best player in the draft, and indeed Pipeline ranks him second. Johnson is only 5’8″ and only a fine defender, but Pipeline says, “he might be the best pure prep hitter in decades”. A bat that good certainly negates any other faults. If Elias wants a college performer like in past years, then Lee would be the safe bet.
Names to Know For Later
Drafting at #33 and #42 are still critical picks where many talented players are available, and teams have wildly different boards by that point. That means there are many players the Orioles are looking at, some of whom will be long gone, others that experts are projecting in that area who might not be in Elias’s plans.
Many people in Birdland are wondering if this is the year the Orioles draft a college pitcher given how many will be available for their second and third pick. Assuming they take a high school up top, it is very unlikely they would take a second here, but still possible. With so many conceivable players in the mix, I will group them by demographics and their chances of still being available.
College outfielders falling: Dylan Beavers (Cal), Drew Gilbert (Tennessee), Jordan Beck (Tennessee), Sterlin Thompson (Florida)
College pitchers falling: Cade Horton (Oklahoma), Connor Prielipp (Alabama), Cooper Hjerpe (Oregon State), Gabriel Hughes (Gonzaga)
College bats likely available: Peyton Graham (Oklahoma), Cayden Wallace (Arkansas), Brock Jones (Stanford), Spencer Jones (Vanderbilt), Jacob Melton (Oregon State)
College pitchers likely available: Blade Tidwell (Tennessee), Carson Whisenhunt (East Carolina), Justin Campbell (Oklahoma State), Peyton Pallette (Arkansas), Landon Sims (Mississippi State), Thomas Harrington (Campbell) Kumar Rocker (formerly Vanderbilt)
High school hitters (who knows where they’ll go): Cole Young, Tucker Toman, Henry Bolte, Jett Williams
High school pitchers (who knows where they’ll go): Robby Snelling, Jackson Ferris, Tristan Smith, Jacob Miller, JR Ritchie, Owen Murphy, Noah Schultz
Here are the Orioles 12 picks in the first ten rounds with their assigned slot values.
First round: #1 overall, $8,842,200
Competitive Balance A: #33 overall, $2,313,900
Second round: #42 overall, $1,861,000
Competitive Balance B: #67 overall, $1,026,300
Third round: #81 overall, $793,600
Fourth round: #107 overall, $571,100
Fifth round: #137 overall, $426,600
Sixth round: #167 overall, $319,600
Seventh round: #197 overall, $249,000
Eighth round: #227 overall, $197,200
Ninth round: #257 overall, $167,800
Tenth round: #287 overall, $155,700