Omaha, Nebraska. The Promised Land. The pride of college baseball. Just think of the smell of fresh ballpark cuisine, the sound of countless bodies rummaging excitingly through the turnstiles, and thousands of sweaty Nebraskans barraging to their seats, mixed in with fans from all across the globe. Ahh, yes. That’s what it’s all about. The Good Life. That and the approximately 300 college baseball players who have made it to the ultimate destination that the sport has to offer. Here at Razzball, we’ve already ranked 30 college prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft, but there’s a handful of future big-league talent going at it in Omaha as we speak. Some of these individuals may be eliminated from the competition before this piece drops on Thursday, but as it stands today, here are five prospects in Omaha that you should be locked in on as you compose your first-year player draft boards.

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The college baseball season is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes, you reach in to grab a bite of a salted chocolate cup, and instead your mouth is unexpectedly filled with an almond truffle. The college baseball season is like that. So are prospects. Some end up being precisely what you expected them to be. Others change dramatically from one moment to the next. It’s impossible to tell which are which, unlike a box of chocolates, which should definitely have a contents list, or else I’m pretty sure that’s an FDA violation. I’ll try to make my own contests list of this year’s collegiate box of prospects the best I can with the words below. At least if I’m wrong, no one will have an allergic reaction.

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? For the 497th day in a row, my magic mirror replies, “Not you, stupid.” It’s really a wonder I still have that mirror. I’ve really learned to control my rage. On days I’m especially composed, I even have theluxury of hearing the rest of what my magic mirror has to say: “Hold, a lovely Marlin is what I see. Rags cannot hide his dominant ways. Alas, Max Meyer is far more fair than thee.” That pale Minnesota skin has undoubtedly tanned since arriving in Pensacola and now Jacksonville, but the increase in sun exposure has done nothing to thwart Meyer’s prowess on the hill. The fireballing right-hander continues to impress with a fully-developed arsenal of three plus pitches, and it is only a matter of weeks (days?) before he gets the call to the bigs. Here’s my case for Meyer as the top prospect in the game to stash. Buckle up!

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We’ve come a long way from the 2020 college pitching class that featured Max Meyer, Asa Lacy, Emerson Hancock, Reid Detmers, Garrett Crochet, Bryce Jarvis, Cade Cavalli, Jared Shuster, Bobby Miller… the list is as long as Mandred’s balls are deformed and unpredictable. Think of the 2020 class as Max Scherzer and the 2022 pitching crop as Patrick Corbin. Collegiate hurlers continue to go down with the injury bug, as yet another first-round talent has hit the shelf since the last Collegiate Corner update. In MLB Pipeline’s latest mock, only one college pitcher is projected in the first 26 picks — the recently-recovered Blade Tidwell out of Tennessee. For comparison, eight college arms went in the top 26 selections in both the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts. Safe to say, dynasty managers should be looking at this year’s crop and strategizing far differently for first-year player drafts compared to the last two seasons. Personally, I recommend placing a pair of old boxer shorts over your head and pecking at the keyboard with your elbows to make each selection. Truthfully, there’s a lot to like about the bats at the top of the class and a plethora of value options on the hill later on. We’ll discuss a handful of those hitters today in addition to touching base on the health of the pitching class.

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With eight and a half weeks of the college baseball season in the books, we are officially past the midpoint of the regular season. An everyday position player should have roughly 130 at bats or so under his belt, which is where pants are located, meaning said player is now wearing approximately 650 pitches as slacks. Depending on how many holes are in that swing, that may or may not be family-friendly attire. Transitioning to the mound, a healthy weekend starter should be coming off his eighth start of the year. That’s enough data to begin moving prospects up and down the rankings, especially those who opened the season outside of our Preseason Top 25 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft and are now firmly in that conversation — if not written into it with a big, fat, smelly Sharpie that makes Billy, your asthmatic friend from second grade, have to take yet another trip to the nurse’s office. The first of the three players I’ll discuss today falls into the latter category, while the second prospect is on the brink. The third has yet to sniff that territory, but that’s a matter of draft leverage more than it is a reflection on his pure talent level. All three emerging college prospects will make their Razzball debuts in this week’s Collegiate Corner, and I urge you to follow up with the analysis in the comments section. Grab some fresh pants, tighten your belt buckles, grab a Sharpie and a clothespin for Billy’s nose, and let’s get to it.

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It’s a fun exercise every year to stare into the crystal ball and see what magical feats might be in store for the ensuing campaign. This preseason, I dusted off my fortune-telling sphere and gazed into its depths, only to see a reflection of Grey sipping boba in the living room armchair behind me. I jumped up in startled disbelief like a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt meeting Christopher Lloyd at the ballpark for the first time. By the time I came to my senses, the mysterious Grey was nowhere to be found, except for a few scribbled notes left behind on his boba receipt telling tales of sensational predictions for the 2022 fantasy baseball season. So without further adieu, let’s get to a handful of those bold predictions, featuring lofty expectations for the likes of Tanner Houck, Gleyber Torres and more.

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Tommy tanks. Juddy jacks. Berry blasts. There has been no shortage of golden nuggets in the first month of the 2022 college baseball season, which was up and running in full force by mid-February while Major League Baseball and the MLBPA squabbled like Brian Kenny at a Golden Era Committee meeting. Truthfully, the college game may be healthier now than ever before, with so much talent concentrated into every conference from coast to coast. Although the 2022 MLB Draft is still four months away, pre-draft rankings are already beginning to shift as a result of notable early-season performances across the nation. I’ll highlight a handful of those today in the first Collegiate Corner installment of the year, while sipping on a Fuzzy Leprechaun and proofreading out loud under my breath using my best Warwick Davis impersonation.

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On June 10, 2020, Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy was drafted fourth overall by the Kansas City Royals and Georgia right-hander Emerson Hancock went sixth overall t0 the Seattle Mariners. 12 college starting pitchers went in the first round that year including the competitive balance picks (first-37 selections). If we were to redraft today, most would still take Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer as the first collegiate arm off the board, but there’s a good chance Lacy and Hancock would be drafted after the likes of Reid Detmers and Cade Cavalli — possibly even Garrett Crochet. If you ask me, Tanner Burns is the sleeper name to know from the tail-end of the 2020 first round, and someone I hold in just as high of a regard as Lacy and Hancock. But we’re here today to discuss the second and third college hurlers selected back in 2020, and how their stock has shifted since that memorable day.

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Over the past few weeks, we have been gradually building up to the top-25 college prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft, a process that will finally reach completion today. *giggles* These 25 names will stay in place as I provide regular Collegiate Corner updates throughout the season before releasing the Complete College Top 100 as your pre-draft guide this summer. Today, we’ll cap everything off with three more college position players, one right-handed pitcher, and one southpaw. It’s an installation I like to call “Young Pallettes Love Sprinkles,” a concept we all know to be true. The youths of today and yesteryear love those little balls of corn syrup, sugar, cornstarch and wax mixed with artificial flavors and coloring. Wax — how delicious! Hopefully, you find reading about prospects No. 21-25 just as appetizing and digestible as sprinkles, because you won’t want to write off these final five names. A lot is going to shift in these rankings over the next five months, and any one of these players could potentially vault into the top 10. Let’s finish this thing off in style, with the 2022 college season set to officially open on Friday.

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Ahh!!! Hobbs doesn’t have any arms!!! They must have been chopped off by one of the local youths’ high-powered drones! Wait, wait, wait. Slow down there, partner. Even though only one arm made the top 10 and only two snuck into the top 14, that doesn’t mean I’m completely armless. After all, I did book a finger-modeling gig just yesterday, and I’m writing today’s top-20 college prospects piece with not one, but TWO upper body appendages, so take that! While it is true that only three pitchers cracked the top 15, three of the five spots in the 16-20 range are filled by college hurlers. With that, there are also two right-handed bats after just three cracked the top 15. Long story short: As we trudge deeper into the 2022 college draft class, the prospect talent is beginning to become more multidimensional, which is what front offices and fantasy owners alike love to see. By the end of this post, you’ll be far more educated for your first-year player drafts, and I’ll be found on a nearby sidewalk corner with five juggling arms making $17 an hour as a street performer. Here are the top 20, with the No. 16 spot being one of the players with the highest upside in the entire class.

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College prospect coverage is officially back like cardigans and leather. Those are hip again, right? This is coming from a guy who had to ask a coworker what it meant last week when she said the staff taco bar was “bussin’, so you’ll have to pardon my mid-life cluelessness. Fortunately, one thing I’m not clueless about is the 2022 college draft class. After posting way-too-early top-10 rankings in September, I have reworked my original top 10 and added five new names to create the first installment in Razzball’s college rankings for the 2022 MLB Draft. As I’ve done here the last two years, I will expand upon this initial top 15 in the months leading up to July, culminating with a Complete College Top 100 prior to draft day. This year’s top 15 features three stud catching prospects, but only three right-handed hitters and three pitchers. It’s a draft class loaded with left-handed and switch-hitting position players, and everyone I’ll go over today should immediately be on your radar in dynasty formats and any league utilizing a first-year player draft. Once you have your lilac cardigan on with some trendy leather pants, click the button below and we’ll get started on the top 15.

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Last week, we hit the top 10 prospects for 2022 fantasy baseball, and now — we’ll navigate into the top 20. It’s filled with Q-Bert references, jokes about dinner plans, an homage to hippie culture, my new rendition of a Lorde song, and more. It’s what you need to keep your wits about you when trying to figure out which prospects will garner enough playing time to be fantasy relevant in 2022 in the midst of the ongoing lockout. Who makes the top-20 cut? Who gets omitted like chicken in a McNugget? There will be no shortage of fiery opinions here, and the piece is somewhat lengthy, so let’s get into it, beginning with one of the more fascinating names on the list.

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