Photo by Andy Garriola – ODU Baseball
A few weeks ago, I took a crack What are Baseball America’s draft rankings going to be? For the 2022 draft class. Earlier this week, Baseball America finally Dropped their extravaganzas in 12 categories. Let’s take a look and see how I did.
For Best pure hitter, I had Hayden McGeary, the Cubs 15th round pick out of Colorado Mesa. I thought that was a pretty solid pick considering the Cubs only drafted four position players. However, Baseball America went in a different direction as they selected outfielder Andy Garriola of Old Dominion, who was one of the nation’s leading home run hitters in D1, while McGeary was the same but in D2.
When it comes around An excellent power hitter, I chose McGeary mainly for his size and what I saw of him in Myrtle Beach. Baseball America went in a different direction as Christopher Paciola focused more on his potential. Here’s what he had to say about Paciola: “SS Christopher Paciola has a projectable frame and has a chance to hit above-average power potential as he adds power.”
In total, I matched seven of the 12 categories with Baseball America. The first is the A fast runner It’s Ke’Shun Collier and I’m twinned with them too Best defensive player It was Paciolla. Also, we both named Hayden McGarry’s An excellent debut Any prospect in the draft and we both named the Nazir Mule Best sportsman. Hayden McGeary comes up a lot in these comparisons because we both named him Excellent late round draft pick. Baseball America and I also connected on Cade Horton Excellent secondary pitch That’s his slider. We were the final category to match The One Who Got Away Neither of us named Brock Blatter, the only unsigned draft pick. Instead, Blatter will attend the University of Alabama.
The most surprising class we didn’t see was who had it Excellent fast ball. I chose Nazier’s mule because he could throw it at 100 miles an hour. Cade Horton was picked by Baseball America because of his spin rates, carries and his 65 grade contribution.
The other two categories we didn’t click on were: Very interesting background And Closer to majors. Considering that Nazier Mule is going to be a two-way player, I find that to be the most intriguing aspect of him and his abilities.
As a huge Brandon Birdsell fan, I was happy to see Baseball America pick him as their prospect. Closer to majors. I chose Cade Horton because I thought his staff was a bit obnoxious. But Birdsell’s experience could give him a leg up. Here’s what Baseball America said he picked up Birdsell.
RHP Brandon Birdsell Old for the class, but has the pure stuff to move quickly into a bullpen role if he doesn’t stretch into a starter. Horton has a pure thing for moving quickly.
Overall it was fun and enjoyed seeing that I got more than half of them right. Not seeing many of them up close and personal probably has more to do with different answers. I’ll see some of these guys next summer as they travel to Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa as part of the South Bend Cubs. Then I’ll see for myself if I’m right or Baseball America.
Either way, it’s all in good fun.