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Predicting the Rockies’ 2022 first-round draft selection (1.0)

This year, it’s all about hitting.

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With the 2022 MLB Draft now less than a month away, it’s time to consider the Colorado Rockies’ potential draft choices, and a good place to begin is with the mock drafts.

This will be Bill Schmidt’s second draft as the Rockies general manager, so the 2022 draft combined with his selections in 2021 should provide a better sense of of managerial philosophy. Given that this year, the Rockies will have four draft selections in the first 50 picks — something that hasn’t happened since 2015 — this should be a good year for the team.

Here’s how the selections through the fourth round break down:

  • First Round: 10th pick
  • Compensation Pick: 31st pick (Compensation for Trevor Story’s signing with the Red Sox)
  • Competitive Balance Round A: 38th pick (For teams that are either in one of the 10 smallest markets or have one of the 10 smallest revenue pools)
  • Second Round: 50th pick
  • Third Round: 88th pick
  • Fourth Round: 116th pick

The Rockies have a bonus pool of $13,660,700.

In terms of selections, this draft has exceptional college hitting and high school pitching.

With all that in mind, let’s see what the experts are projecting in their early mock drafts.

Jordan Beck, RF, Tennessee (ESPN & Bleacher Report)

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Beck is a powerful hitter with a tendency to be over-aggressive at the plate, which sometimes leads to contact issues. (It’s also worth noting that he struggled to adjust to a wood bat in the 2021 Cape Code League.) He will need to develop more plate discipline. However, the power is there. In 2021, he hit 15 home runs for the Volunteers, following that with 18 in 2022.

In three season at Tennessee, Beck slashed .284/.366/.553 with an OPS of .919.

Defensively, he has good speed and arm strength and has been an above-average defender in right field with the potential to play centerfield.

Here he is in action:

Beck is, well, a passionate player.

Kiley McDaniel reports that the Rockies have followed Beck throughout the spring.

Jacob Berry, 3B/OF, Louisiana State (MLB Pipeline)

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 65 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 40 | Overall: 60

Bats/Throws: Switch/Right

Berry began his career at the University of Arizona. However, when coach Jay Johnson took a job with Louisiana State, Berry moved as well and continued his baseball success. Offensively, Berry is for real. He has a collegiate slashline of .360/.450/.655 and an OPS of 1.105. As a freshman at UA, he hit 17 home runs; with LSU, he hit 15.

He’s been equally effective hitting on either side of the plate. Berry also hits the ball hard and in the air, which would absolutely play at Coors Field.

Defensively, though, there are questions. Berry has only played nine games at third and has not been remarkable there, so he will probably be moved either to right field or first base. (As a freshman, he was primarily a DH.)

This LSU hype video provides some highlights:

Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech (The Athletic, Prospects Live, Baseball America & SportsNaut)

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 45 | Field: 45 | Overall: 60

Bats/Throws: Left/Right

Jace Jung is the 21-year-old younger brother of the Texas Ranger’s 2019 first-round draft pick Josh Jung. Jace has experience playing second and third and in 2021 was selected as the Big 12 Player of the Year. Joe Doyle writes that “Jung not only has the versatility to move around the dirt, but he’s a fairly complete hitter with a mature approach and impressive batted-ball data.”

Over three seasons with Texas Tech, he’s earned an OPS of 1.000 or higher; he reached base at a .487 rate; and he averaged 1.02 walks per game — fourth among all DI hitters.

Jung is remarkable for his “unorthodox” stance at the plate. Here’s how Keith Law describes it: “[H]e can hit, despite a weird approach of his own where he starts with the bat held way behind his left shoulder, pointing up at the press box . . . he hits the ball hard despite that strange setup.”

Despite the funky swing, Jung hits bombs. MLB Pipeline notes that Jung “may hit .300 with 30 homers on an annual basis.” Add to all that power the fact that Jung walks more than he strikes out. He leaves Texas Tech with a slashline of .328/.468/.647 over three seasons and 39 home runs.

However, his corner defensive skills are not especially notable.

I could embed any number of highlight videos, but I decided on this bomb against the University of Texas:

Other Options

Those writing mock drafts threw out a few other possibilities worth mentioning.

Consider this comment from Joy Doyle:

This is the first spot we’re hearing much of any buzz about pitchers, but unless Colorado wanted to take a shot on Michigan high school righthander Brock Porter or is unfazed by Georgia prep righty Dylan Lesko’s Tommy John surgery, no pitcher on the board seems to make a ton of sense here on talent. Pairing an elite changeup pitcher (which both Porter and Lesko are) with Coors Field could be interesting.

I don’t see the Rockies opting for another high school pitcher — their luck just hasn’t been very good — but file this away.

Jim Callis writes that Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross or Arizona catcher Daniel Susac are also viable selections for the Rockies.

So that’s the early speculation, and we’ll keep following the projections in the coming weeks.

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Now it’s your turn. What should the Rockies be looking for as they begin what appears to be a soft rebuild, and do you think the Rockies will select one of these players or perhaps someone else?

Let us know in the comments.

Poll

In the 2022 MLB Draft, the Rockies should select which player?

  • 9%
    Jordan Beck
    (10 votes)
  • 23%
    Jacob Berry
    (25 votes)
  • 37%
    Jace Jung
    (39 votes)
  • 29%
    Someone else
    (31 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now