2022 MLB Mock Draft 3.1: Kiley McDaniel gives final prediction for first two rounds

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

The 2022 MLB draft is just hours away, so it’s time for my final mock draft update, Mock 3.1. I’ve taken the last of the useful information that has trickled out this weekend — when teams teams finalized plans and put out feelers about expectations with agents — to project the full 80-pick first day of this year’s event, which will take place July 17-19 in Los Angeles,

Agents are increasingly frustrated that teams are communicating less and later in the process than in past years. Teams seem to be leaning into the espionage aspects of their jobs more this year, convinced that the draft is some high stakes geopolitical negotiation.

I ran through about 20 phone calls before wrapping this up and it’s still true that nobody knows anything for sure. I’ve been leaning more than usual on profiling teams’ past picks and general preferences along with who their decision-making group was seeing late and who they have been connected to for a while rather than focusing on useless last-second rumors.

The final group at the first overall pick is Druw Jones, Jackson Holliday, Termarr Johnson, Brooks Lee, and Elijah Green. They all have some real chance to still be No. 1, but momentum is growing that Jones will be the pick and the top ten will be some version of chalk rather than pure mayhem. It starts getting tricky with too many variables to accurately predict around the Angels at No. 13 based on who will be on the board and who they’ll take. Another factor is who takes Kumar Rocker and/or the prep pitchers that could also float down to the compensation round or early second round with big numbers attached. I’ll miss by 20-plus picks on a couple of these players for this reason, but I’d bet my projected bonuses would be reasonably close.

This is the order in which I think the picks will come off the board, while my rankings (linked below) is the order in which I’d pick the players.

Draft coverage: Mock Draft 2.0 | Top 300 | Guide for all 30 teams

Watch MLB draft: 7 p.m. ET on ESPN

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