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2022 MLB Draft Prep: An early mock draft

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And a few thoughts on who should be on a draft list.

Brock Jones of Stanford during the 2021 College World Series
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

I’m binging on Draft Prep articles. Oddly, when I start one, the next one that becomes obvious becomes the next one to push to the front of the line. Then, eight hours later, that one gets supplanted by another one. As such, I have four different articles getting ready, with the first one written the last to go to print — like the composer who releases the seventh piano sonata before the fifth. Inspiration and closure can be tricky beasts. Jonathan Mayo came out with a mock draft late Wednesday night that seemed more pertinent than what was of vital importance at 2 p.m. Yeah, life comes at you in waves, on occasion.

A mock draft is about information. Such to the extent I follow Cubs scouts on Twitter, I try my hardest to leave them alone to do their jobs. They have the radar guns, the Rapsodo machines, and the Hawkeye technology. They don’t need me asking them “How well did you think that dude pitched on Friday night?” I want the organization to get the right guys, not the ones I’m buying. Sorting information from games as they’re being played is what I enjoy. Far more than assessing thirty second nuggets of highlights, leaving out the misplays that get bleeped out.

The Cubs select seventh, whether in June or July. I’m relatively confident that I’ll be relatively good with at least nine guys on the board at seven, because quite a few players will be dangerously similar. “The right guy” will be the one that stays healthy and develops, more than the guy with the best highlights video. Tuffy Rhodes had a really good highlights video. What the Cubs ought to be looking for is a guy more likely than less likely to be a 3 WAR player in a few cost-controlled seasons.

With the draft strategy on hold until the “How are the players going to be compensated?” thing is worked out, preps could be more valuable. Or less valuable. We won’t know, until we know. As such, until the MLB teams jump, we can watch college or minor league games. Or support other teams in other sports. Bring me mid-February, and I’ll want D1 college baseball games.

Jonathan Mayo’s is as good of a mock as you’ll find, early. Brock Jones, an outfielder from Stanford, isn’t on my twelve-deep list. Perhaps he should be, and I’ll promote and relegate more like Jed Hoyer in August than the Premier League. Unless I guess right. I really like the talents as presented. Two through nine look really similar, and even with hot and cold streaks, the Cubs should have some valid choices when they select.

As far as prep pitcher Dylan Lasko, I’m good with it. Of course prep starting pitchers are a gamble. I sweated out every start by the Cubs’ other hard-throwing Dylan (now pitching for the White Sox), and I won’t Cease being worried if the last name is different. The gamble on a hard thrower with a useful changeup is very tempting. Whatever terminology you choose to use for “starting pitcher that might be good enough to cough out seven good innings almost every fifth day,” Lesko would have a high payoff if he cashes.

Most of my early chatter will be about players “down the list” a bit. Hopefully, a few of you will come to choose a college team to mind, if not listen to on Fridays until the lockout is concluded. Based on what position of player, style of performer, or locale, consider a team. It might be awhile until the two sides agree to agree on anything. They’re not talking finances until next year. I doubt my black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will make Rob Manfred more magnanimous.

If the top six go as Mayo projects, who would be your choice? Despite my general opposition for prep arms early, Lesko is fine with me. I look forward to a spring of getting to better acquaint myself with Chase DeLauter, Brooks Lee, Gavin Cross, and scads of preps. I have a few articles already half-done. Many of my upcoming pieces might seem out of order, because they are. The importance is on information, education, and having some fun. Which is easier once games start.

Bring me mid-February.