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.

1. Jacob Berry | 1B/3B | LSU | S/R | 6-0 | 212

Already went over him in my Way-Too-Early Top Five College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

2. Jace Jung | 2B/3B | Texas Tech | L/R | 6-0 | 200

Already went over him in my Way-Too-Early Top Five College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

3. Kevin Parada | C | Georgia Tech | R/R | 6-1 | 197

Already went over him in my Way-Too-Early Top Five College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

4. Brooks Lee | SS | Cal Poly | S/R | 6-2 | 195

Already went over him in my Way-Too-Early Top Five College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

5. Robert Moore | 2B | Arkansas | S/R | 5-9 | 170

Already went over him in my Way-Too-Early Top 10 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

6. Daniel Susac | C | Arizona | S/R | 6-3 | 205

Already went over him in my Way-Too-Early Top 10 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

7. Jud Fabian | OF | Florida | R/R | 6-1 | 180

Already went over him in my Way-Too-Early Top Five College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

8. Gavin Cross | OF | Virginia Tech | L/L | 6-3 | 215

Already went over him in my Way-Too-Early Top 10 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

9. Brock Jones | OF | Stanford | L/L | 6-1 | 185

Already went over him in my Top 15 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

10. Hunter Barco | LHP | Florida | L/L | 6-4 | 205

Already went over him in my Way-Too-Early Top 10 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

11. Chase DeLauter | OF | James Madison | L/L | 6-4 | 235

Already went over him in my Top 15 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

12. Landon Sims | RHP | Mississippi State | R/R | 6-2 | 235

Already went over him in my Top 15 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

13. Dylan Beavers | OF | Cal | L/R | 6-4 | 200

Already went over him in my Top 15 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

14. Logan Tanner | C | Mississippi State | R/R | 6-0 | 230

Already went over him in my Top 15 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft.

15. Reggie Crawford | LHP/1B | UConn | L/L | 6-4 | 230

Already went over him in my Way-Too-Early Top 10 College Prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft. UPDATE: Crawford underwent Tommy John Surgery in the fall and will be sidelined for all of the 2022 season. His absurd upside keeps him in the top-15 — for now.

16. Connor Prielipp | LHP | Alabama | L/L | 6-2 | 170

Although the top 15 has just three pitchers, the talent on the hill begins to pick up in the 15-20 range. That all starts with Alabama southpaw Connor Prielipp, one of the top prep talents to make it to campus in 2019-20. Unfortunately, he underwent Tommy John surgery in late-May 2021, so he will likely miss all of the upcoming 2022 campaign. That’s an unfortunate-yet-common narrative for many of the top collegiate arms in this class, with Arkansas hurler Peyton Pallette missing all of 202 due to preseason TJS and Tennessee ace Blade Tidwell out indefinitely with shoulder soreness. All three are arguably top-15 talents, with Prielipp being in the conversation for the top overall pick prior to his injury. Turning the page, Prielipp has three pitches grades out at 50 or higher on the 20-80 scale: a 70-slider, 60-heater, and 50-change. The slider in particular stands out as one of the top offerings in the draft class, sitting in the mid-to-high 80s and exhibiting wicked two-plane break. In parts of two seasons with the Crimson Tide, Prielipp has thrown 28.0 innings with a 0.96 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 15.1 K/9, 1.3 BB/9, and 1.3 HR/9. Those numbers are juicy — juicy enough to warrant first-round consideration despite his lingering injury status. Preilipp is well worthy of consideration for a value pick in first-year player drafts.

17. Carson Whisenhunt | LHP | East Carolina | L/L | 6-3 | 205

Back-to-back like the Griffeys in Cincy! Pitchers 4 and 5 on this list sit consecutively at 16 and 17, as we continue with Carson Whisenhunt out of ECU. As the second southpaw in as many names on this installment, Whisenhunt’s bottom-line numbers have been about as impressive as a child’s lemonade stand at the state carinal: you appreciate the effort, but there are better options within a pebble’s throw. His freshman year (2020) was basically a lost season, as he made just one relief appearance but failed to record an out after allowing three earned runs (amazingly on just one hit and one walk). Whisenhunt did manage to put together a respectable campaign as a second-year hurler in 2021, making 13 starts with a 6-2 record, 3.77 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 11.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, and 0.3 HR/9 over 62.0 IP. What it boils down to is what I like most and what concerns me the most about Whisenhunt. On the positive end: he’s a three-pitch pitcher with a 91-95 MPH fastball from the left side, whose 65-grade changeup is his best pitch, and has at least average command with the ability to pitch to both sides of the plate. Arms with a strong college resume with advanced changeups tend to represent safer commodities in drafts and may be able to progress through the farm more rapidly. On the negative end: his second year at ECU is really the only time he has performed respectably since high school, and he completed 5.0 innings or more in just six of his 13 starts and 6.0-plus frames in only two. He had two games all season where he pitched more than 3.0 innings without allowing a run — and they came against Georgia Southern and Charlotte. That isn’t to say Whisenhunt doesn’t have the stuff and projectable frame to peak as a pro, but as always, it’s information you need to bake into the entire strawberry cinnamon cobbler before dishing on some vanilla ice cream. I no longer know what I am talking about so on to No. 18.

18. Cayden Wallace | 3B | Arkansas | R/R | 6-0 | 205

This one was rather difficult for me, as I flip-flopped Wallace and Tennessee outfielder Jordan Beck on multiple occasions. I love the swing of both players, perhaps Wallace slightly more, but they have nearly identical college numbers through two seasons with Wallace exhibiting a slightly better ability to put the ball in play in college ball the last year and a half. When it came down to it, I thought Cayden had a cooler name, so I went with him. Also, you could start a conversation with a Home Depot employee using his name: “K, den, wall is what I need today.” I think that works? But that obviously isn’t the analysis you came to Razzball for, so we’ll proceed with some actual data instead. Wallace earned Second Team Freshman All-America status from Baseball America last season after hitting .279/.369/.500 with 14 home runs, 11 doubles, 52 runs, 44 RBI, a 21.8 K% and a 10.4 BB%. He showed a mature ability to perform in difficult moments against some of the top arms in the country and held his own during an 18-game cameo in the Cape Cod League over the summer: .290/.352/.468, 2 HR, 1 SB, 31.0 K%, 9.9 BB%. The strikeout numbers will need to improve for Wallace to warrant first-round consideration, but he’s only played one year of college ball and as you’ll see momentarily, he doesn’t whiff any more frequently than the name he was up against for the No. 18 spot. Tools: 45-hit, 55-power, 55-run. In reality, the hit tool is probably closer to a 50 than a 45. He’ll in all likelihood be a second-round name on draft day, but I absolutely love the mechanics of his swing and believe he’ll have a home in an MLB lineup someday. Who knows — maybe he’ll get drafted by Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Oakland, or Miami — all of which will likely average fewer fans than the Razorbacks this season. He should have no issue adjusting to MLB crowds. Wallace all I need!

19. Jordan Beck | OF | Tennessee | R/R | 6-3 | 215

Going back to the previous blurb, I tinkered with Beck and Wallace for some time and even had Beck at No. 18 when I started writing his blurb. In two years with the Vols, Beck slashed .272/.344/.517 with 16 home runs, two triples, 21 doubles, 73 RBI, 52 runs, and eight stolen bases across 83 games/337 plate appearances. That came with 21.1 K% and 9.5 BB%, although the former ratio jumped to 40.0% across a 71-PA sample size in the Cape Cod League last summer. That’s certainly concerning to some degree, but Beck still did manage to post a .777 OPS with that strikeout rate. However, Beck is a player with two (ish) seasons of college experience under his belt, and he whiffed 9.0% more than Wallace, a true freshman, on the Cape last summer. We would undoubtedly prefer to see Beck’s swing-and-miss tendencies trending in the opposite direction, and maybe that will come with the 2022 season. It’s a bit puzzling, because Beck has a relatively compact stroke for a hitter of his size, with many comping him to Hunter Renfroe given his status as a primary right fielder coupled with his power profile. You can observe his swing in the clip below, in which he takes 2021 eighth rounder Patrick Wicklander oppo for a three-run jack. The more I break down the swing, the more I believe it has a real chance of playing at the big league level with the wood. However, I have trouble understanding the gap between Beck (No. 28) and Jud Fabian (No. 45) over at MLB Pipeline (as well as on other publications). The latter is a 5-tool player coming off of a 20-homer season with comparable (albeit more encouraging) contact rates, and at a premium position in center field. That leaves some question marks for me, but as you can see, I have laid out my rankings much differently. Another prospect worthy of a middling value selection, but one you’ll want to follow closely in 2022 to see what adjustments he makes.

20. Blade Tidwell | RHP | Tennessee | R/R | 6-4 | 200

Oh, the horror. To include Tidwell and/or Peyton Pallette in the top 20, or is it simply not to be? I elected to slip Tidwell in at the tail end, although he is currently experiencing shoulder soreness and out indefinitely. Here’s why: Tidwell has four pitches grading at 50 or higher and two plus offerings in his 93-96 (tops 99) MPH fastball and low-to-mid 80s sweeping slider. He compliments that one-two with a 55-changeup that had a 39% whiff rate last season and an infrequently used-but-solid 50-grade curveball in the mid-to-high 70s. That arsenal comes accompanied with a prototypical pitcher’s frame. He has at least average control, but the command has significant room for development. Like Wallace, Tidwell is draft-eligible as a sophomore this summer, so not being available for an unknown length of the upcoming season could really hurt his stock. Perhaps he was pushed too hard as a freshman, throwing 98.2 innings (!!!) across 18 starts. That’s a massive workload for a player transitioning out of prep ball, but he did manage a 10-3 record, 3.784 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, and 1.1 HR/9 in his debut season. Diving into my assumptions about his workload, Tidwell gave up 10 runs (nine earned) over 10 innings in his last two starts of the season, which made his ERA jump all the way from a 3.25 on June 5 to 3.74 by the time Tennessee’s season ended on June 22. Perhaps, if Tidwell can get healthy and improve his command slightly, he’ll miss more bats this year and establish himself as a top-20 pick. He could also be sidelined for the entire season and fall out of the first round, or elect to return to Tennessee for 2023. Whatever ends up happening, the full scope of Tidwell’s prospect status can’t be conveyed today — so this is another one to track leading up to July. And with that, dear friends, I bid you tid-well.

That’s all for this week, Razzball fam! As always, I’m happy to take this conversation into the comments section or on Twitter, where you can find me @WorldOfHobbs.

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TarmanGotHim
TarmanGotHim
7 months ago

Hey Hobbs!

This draft class is stacked. It’s going to make a lot of teams better for the near/distant future. Lots of Position Players. Is it me or are the rankings changing daily?

One day is see Green a virtual lock for 1, then Johnson, Lee, then Druw. Most lists have Druw, Johnson, Green, Lesko, Berry, Jung, Parada, Lee, and DeLauter in the top 10.

You see anything changin drastically? I just hope my Marlins go the Berry/Jung rout alley because of how wake they are @ 1B/3B in the Minors.

I really don’t like the draft based of Payroll/Slot Value BS. I swear Baseball is the only sport that teams draft based off money rather than talent ie: Heston Kjerstad, Khalil Watson (oh, I have no complaints there lol). Do you agree with that?

Also, after this draft class the Orioles farm system is look really good. I personally would love if the Marlins could get a Mullins for Hernandez/Lopez/Garrett or if Sixto is needed so be it. That would surely benefit both teams undoubtedly.

Thanks! Your articles are some of my favorites on Razzball and overall!!

TarmanGotHim
TarmanGotHim
Reply to  Hobbs
7 months ago

Beautiful! The only thing I should have been specific with is overall I see pundits mock drafts changing a lot lol!

Thanks Hobbs! Keep up the great work!

Last edited 7 months ago by TarmanGotHim