We are now just one day away from the 2022 MLB amateur draft. There is less clarity at the top of this draft than in previous years. A consistent group of high school and college bats is clustered at the top of the rankings, but in an ever-changing order. This theme will seemingly continue up to the start of the draft itself, with little certainty felt about the board starting at the beginning with the #1 pick from the Baltimore Orioles.
We’ve covered who the Colorado Rockies have been linked at the tenth selection in recent weeks with our Predicting the Rockies first-round draft selection 1.0 and Predicting the Rockies first-round draft selection 2.0 columns. Jacob Berry, Gavin Cross and Jace Jung remain the names most associated with the pick while others like Jordan Beck, Zach Neto and Daniel Susac are still hanging around as possible alternatives.
In the latest wave of mocks, MLB.com and CBS Sports stick to the usual narrative with Colorado selecting Virginia Tech OF Gavin Cross with their first selection. Things get interesting with Keith Law’s latest mock in The Athletic and Joe Doyle’s at Prospects Live, however. While Law alludes to Berry being Colorado’s selection if he’s available, he ultimately has the Rockies calling on prep RHP Brock Porter with their top pick while Doyle projects IMG Academy OF Elijah Green sliding to tenth, being too good to pass up for GM Bill Schmidt and the Rockies.
For what it’s worth, Law has Green “sliding” as well, going ninth overall to the Kansas City Royals. If this is a true indication of rumors from inside draft circles, it could present a best-case scenario of a consensus top-5 high school hitter falling into Colorado’s lap. Doyle puts it best in his analysis:
Back in 2020, Zac Veen fell into the Rockies’ lap. They couldn’t say no. Back in 2021, Benny Montgomery and his outrageous tools fell into their lap. They couldn’t pass him up. If Green is here, it may simply be too good to pass up. This is such a unique way for things to play out, the Rockies may not even be talking about this as an option, and that’s why nobody in the public space is mentioning it with any authority. Again, sign-ability will be key if this is to happen.
The pool of available college hitters to this point in the mock period has been divisive. Unexpectedly being in a position to land Green, a higher risk hitter with a top-tier ceiling, could make the decision easy for the Rockies and create a future outfield to dream of in Colorado. But, as Doyle mentions, whether Green would sign if he were to be available is an important question.
Rockies 2022 slot values
Without getting too in the weeds, Green would likely be an expensive selection. The top six picks in the draft have a slot value between roughly $8.8M to $6M and this is generally where Green has been projected to this point. He has leverage in negotiations as he can refuse to sign if he doesn’t get a signing bonus to his satisfaction and choose to enroll in college instead, so signing Green would likely require Colorado to at least offer their near $5M slot value, if not surpass it.
This scenario, or any slot value deal, would have a trickle-effect on their following picks, as the money allocated the top selection will take a large chunk out of their $13,660,700 total bonus pool. Landing a blue-chip prospect like Green would be an important development, but Colorado still has plenty of holes to fill in their system.
With four selections in the top-50 overall picks, acquiring at least one pitcher early feels like a priority for the Rockies. Michigan prep righty Brock Porter has largely been regarded as the best arm available – at least since Georgia HS righty Dylan Lesko went down with Tommy John surgery in the spring – and the latest mock from The Athletic has Colorado rolling that dice with their top pick.
If Colorado did choose to select the first pitcher of the draft, high school pitching would be the most likely route. Porter, Lesko and Florida LHP Brandon Barriera seem to be the most likely candidates for that distinction. We looked at the possibility of Kumar Rocker last week, and that could potentially be in the cards as well, but feels unlikely. One dark horse candidate is Oklahoma University RHP Cade Horton, who significantly raised his stock with a dominant postseason run for the Sooners.
What feels much more likely is Colorado utilizing their next three selections, two supplement first round and a second round, to add at least one arm to a minor league pitching crop that has largely been set back from injuries in 2021. This would be on-brand with their previous draft strategies, as prominent pitching prospects Jaden Hill and Joe Rock came from this general range in 2021. As did Chris McMahon in 2020 and Karl Kauffmann in 2019.
The common trait with these players is they were all taken from the collegiate ranks. It would not be surprising to see the Rockies pull from this demographic again with any of the 31st, 38th or 50th overall selections. MLB.com has linked Tennessee RHP Blade Tidwell to Colorado in their most recent mock while Prospects Live has tabbed Landon Sims from Mississippi St. and Thomas Harrington of Campbell for the Rockies after the first round. There are numerous other names that could be the eventual fit instead, but overall it feels like at least one of these picks is destined to be a pitcher.
This is a very important draft for the Rockies. The farm system is still feeling the effects of the whiff in the 2016 draft and the more natural dip incurred after the contending years of 2017 and 2018. Most talent the system has cultivated should start appearing in the majors over the next few years and the 2022 draft is an opportunity to significantly add to it.
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MLB to pay $185 million in settlement with minor league players over minimum-wage and overtime allegations | ESPN
A federal class-action lawsuit filed in February 2014 seeking compensation for minimum-wage and overtime violations for minor league players has been settled, with Major League Baseball to pay $185 million. Per Jeff Passan, thousands of players will be eligible to receive the $120,197,300 due to players, with the rest going to attorney’s fees and other costs. The suited was original filed by Miami Marlins minor leaguer Aaron Senne and two other retired minor league players.
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On The Farm
The Isotopes got off to a hot start, plating three runs in the top of the first inning thanks to run-scoring singles from Carlos Perez and Coco Montes and an RBI double from Alan Trejo. They added on two more in the third with a Perez solo homer and a Jimmy Herron single and entered the bottom of the inning up 5-0. Ryan Feltner had been cruising through the first two innings, but run into trouble with two runs on three hits and a walk in the third. He allowed another run in the fourth and fifth before being lifted, finishing with eight hits and four runs allowed over 4 2⁄3 innings with six strikeouts. Sacramento added two more in the sixth to take the lead before the teams traded runs in the seventh, leading the game to it’s eventual 7-6 final.
Hunter Stovall delivered a knockout blow early, hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the second to get Hartford out to a big lead, early. RBI singles by Brent Doyle and Kyle Datres added two more and Grant Lavigne hit a solo homer in the seventh. This was more than enough for starter Noah Davis, who delivered a spectacular start. Davis tossed six shutout innings, allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out eight.
The Indians earned the fist lead with a Hunter Goodman RBI double in the top of the second. Eugene would take the lead with two runs in the third and the score was locked there through the fifth inning. In the sixth, the wheels fell off. Starter Will Ethridge had allowed two runs in the inning and was lifted after loading the bases. Unfortunately, all would come around as reliever Anderson Pilar surrendered a grand slam, ballooning the game to it’s final score.
Fresno came out on the wrong side of a wild game on the road. The scoring was relatively modest to start the game, with the score sitting 3-1 entering the fifth. The Grizzlies put up the first crooked number with four runs in the top of the inning, but gave it back as the Quakes plated six in the second half. Three runs apiece were scored in the sixth, but Fresno earned their first lead with five runs in the seventh. The stretched the lead to two in eighth, but Rancho Cucamonga tied it up with two runs in the bottom of the inning. With the scored tied, Fresno walked the bases loaded but was one out away from sending the game to extra-innings. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be as a walk-off single plated the winning run. All told there were 19 runs scored on 36 hits — just two of which home runs — and 12 walks with five errors committed between the two teams.
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