2022 MLB draft rankings 3.0: Kiley McDaniel’s top 300 prospects

  • ESPN MLB Insider
  • Kiley McDaniel covers MLB prospects, the MLB Draft and more, including trades and free agency.
  • Has worked for four MLB teams.

Here we are at the final piece of my pre-draft process before the final mock drafts, ranking the top 300 players in this year’s class. This, for my money, is the much more important aspect: how good I think the players actually are.

Until about a month ago, I was basically trying to put players in the order that the teams like them, then in the final month when I have all of that information, is when my opinion comes crashing through the wall like Kool-Aid Man to sum up a couple years of information and opinions.

Behind the scenes, I’ve updated my overall minor league top 100 rankings (here’s the last public update) to make adjustments and take out the graduated players, so I can tell you where the top players in the draft would slot on that list the moment they sign. I’ve also included FV grades so you can see where those players would slot in your team’s overall prospects rankings (AL and NL). I’ve also included tool grades for all of the players above a 40 FV, which is the cutoff I use for pretty common prospects (i.e., 40 FV or lower), while any player ranked above that has universal trade value and a real chance to be a good big leaguer.

Lastly, if you’re a late-comer to this process: Welcome! The most notable part of this class is the huge number of sons of notable players who are projected for the top few rounds, including two of the top three players overall (most notably: the sons of Andruw Jones, Matt Holliday and Carl Crawford). The broader overview of this year’s class is that the top three players have separated themselves and, beyond that, there are a lot of disagreement from scouts on the order of their lists. The college pitching class has been ravaged by injury and is one of the worst in recent memory, but there’s a number of injured pitchers and prep pitchers with over-slot demands who will be littered all over the second and third rounds. I’ll bet there’s a couple really good players in that group. There’s a lot of depth to the college hitter group that will dominate the first round, but not many players with a reasonable shot to be impact, All-Star level pros.

If I had to pinpoint some players deemed as tough signs for their talent, with a chance they won’t sign and go/return to school next year, here’s the leading candidates, in order of rank and all within the top 100: Cade Horton (Oklahoma), Noah Schultz (Vanderbilt), Malcolm Moore (Stanford), Paxton Kling (LSU), Cameron Smith (Florida State), Roman Anthony (Ole Miss), Sal Stewart (Vanderbilt), Robert Moore (Arkansas), Sam Horn (Missouri), Jaden Noot (LSU) and Xavier Isaac (Florida). Indiana prep RHP Andrew Dutkanych (Vanderbilt commit) has already taken his name out of the draft and will be going to school; he’d rank around 60th overall if still eligible. I’d expect a number of other players to do the same just before draft day.

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