Latest mock draft has Red Sox taking American Heritage left-hander Brandon Barriera with top pick

In his latest mock draft for the Baseball Prospect Journal, Dan Zielinski III has the Red Sox selecting American Heritage High School left-hander Brandon Barriera with the 24th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.

If American Heritage sounds familiar to you, it should. It’s the same Plantation, Fla. high school top Red Sox prospect Triston Casas attended before Boston made him a first-round draft choice in 2018.

Barriera, meanwhile, is currently committed to play his college baseball at the esteemed Vanderbilt University — the same school Casas’ younger brother, Gavin, attends — upon graduating from American Heritage this spring.

In eight starts for the Patriots this season, Barriera posted a 2.27 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with 68 strikeouts to 11 walks over 37 innings pitched.

As of now, the 18-year-old southpaw is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 13 draft-eligible prospect in this year’s class, which ranks third among pitchers and seventh among high schoolers.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, Barriera “has electric arm speed and the stuff to match,” per his Baseball America scouting report.

“He’s been up to the 95-96 mph range at peak and sat in the 92-93 mph range in short outings last summer,” it reads. “He throws a slider in the low to mid 80s as well and the pitch gets plus grades, with hard lateral movement and two-plane bite at its best. While he threw a changeup less frequently than his fastball/slider combination, scouts with history on him believe it’s a real weapon that he throws with fastball arm speed and could become an above-average offering. Barriera draws praise for his fiery and competitive demeanor on the mound.”

According to MLB Pipeline, which has Barriera as its 15th-ranked prospect, “the only concern around the Vanderbilt recruit is about his size and whether he will hold up as a starter, but his stuff and feel for the strike zone have had scouts running to south Florida all spring and puts him firmly in first-round conversations talent-wise.”

Barriera, who does not turn 19 until next March, would be the first prep pitcher taken by Boston in the first round of a draft since Jay Groome was selected with the 12th overall pick out of Barnegat (N.J.) High School in 2016.

That being said, the 2022 draft does not get underway in Los Angeles until July 17, so there is still plenty of time for things to change. With that, it is worth mentioning that the recommended slot value for the Sox’ top pick this year comes in at roughly $2.975 million.

(Picture of Brandon Barriera: Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Latest MLB Pipeline mock draft has Red Sox selecting Stanford University outfielder Brock Jones with top pick

In his latest 2022 mock draft for MLB.com, MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis has the Red Sox taking Stanford University outfielder Brock Jones with their top pick at No. 24 overall.

Jones, 21, is regarded by MLB Pipeline as the 31st-ranked prospect in this year’s draft class. In 52 games for the Cardinal this regular season, the left-handed hitting junior batted a stout .328/.464/.682 with nine doubles, five triples, 17 home runs, 46 RBIs, 63 runs scored, 14 stolen bases, 47 walks, and 58 strikeouts over 252 plate appearances.

A native of Fresno, Calif., Jones began his collegiate career as a two-sport athlete who played both football and baseball. As a safety who was limited to special teams duties as a freshman, the 6-foot, 197 pounder gave up football to solely focus on baseball beginning in 2021.

Since he used to play safety, it should come as no surprise that — per his MLB Pipeline scouting report — Jones “has good reads and routes to give him a chance to play center field long-term, though his arm is fringy at best from the outfield.”

The majority of Jones’ playing time this year has come in center field, though he does have prior experience in left field as well.

At the plate, MLB Pipeline notes that Jones has “always swung and missed a fair amount,” which has kept him from getting to his power at times. Still, with a sturdy frame that is just about maxed out at this point, Jones possesses intriguing speed and heads-up instincts, making him a threat on the basepaths.

Jones, who does not turn 22 until next March, has drawn comparisons to fellow left-handed hitter and California native Joc Pederson due to his slugging abilities. There is some concern about his offensive profile moving forward, but the athleticism and raw tools are certainly there.

Because of what he offers, Jones is projected to be taken in the first round of this year’s amateur draft, which gets underway in Los Angeles on July 17. The recommended slot value for the 24th overall selection comes in at roughly $2.975 million.

In addition to Jones, the Red Sox have been linked to other college outfielders such as UC Berkeley’s Dylan Beavers and University of Tennessee teammates Jordan Beck and Drew Gilbert in other mock drafts.

(Picture of Brock Jones: Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Latest mock draft has Red Sox taking University of California outfielder Dylan Beavers with top pick

In his first mock draft of the year for Bleacher Report, Joel Reuter has the Red Sox taking University of California, Berkeley outfielder Dylan Beavers with their top pick at No. 24 overall in the first round.

The Red Sox, Reuter writes, “have long shown a willingness to bet on upside, and Beavers could be one of the better power bats in the class.”

Beavers, who turns 21 in August, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the 38th-ranked prospect in this year’s draft class. Coming into play on Friday, the left-handed hitting junior has batted .292/.423/.651 with 16 doubles, three triples, 16 home runs, 48 RBIs, 55 runs scored, seven stolen bases, 45 walks, and 48 strikeouts over 51 games (248 plate appearances) this season for the Golden Bears.

Defensively, Beavers has seen all of his playing time this season come in right field. The 6-foot-4, 206 pounder has registered two outfield assists and three errors thus far, which is good for a .972 fielding percentage.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Beavers possesses a solid base of tools and has a projectable frame “that should add more strength and raw power.” In regards to his defense, it notes that the 20-year-old has played “center field in the past… but profiles better in a corner at the next level.”

While there is a lot to like about Beavers’ game, some concerns arose last summer as he struggled while playing in both the Cape Cod Baseball League and for Team USA’s collegiate national team. As noted by Baseball America “some scouts thought his swing stiffened up over the summer and a lowering of his back elbow has created some inconsistencies” in his approach.

That being said, Beavers still has plenty of intriguing potential, which is precisely why the California native is projected to go in the first round of this year’s draft on July 17 in Los Angeles.

The recommended slot value for the 24th overall pick in the 2022 amateur draft comes in at roughly $2.975 million. The Red Sox last used a first-round selection on a college outfielder in 2015, when they took Andrew Benintendi at No. 7 out of the University of Arkansas.

Besides Beavers, Boston has been linked to other college outfielders such as Tennessee’s Jordan Beck and Drew Gilbert in recent mock drafts.

(Picture of Dylan Beavers: Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Athletic’s latest mock draft has Red Sox taking Clemson University third baseman Max Wagner with top pick

In his first mock draft of the year, Keith Law of The Athletic has the Red Sox selecting Clemson University third baseman Max Wagner with their top pick at No. 24 overall.

Wagner is not regarded by publications such as Baseball America or MLB Pipeline as one of the top prospects in the 2022 draft class, but Law has identified the 20-year-old infielder as one of the draft’s up-and-comers.

“Wagner is one of the fastest risers in the draft this year after a stretch in April where he hit 12 homers in 14 games, putting him second in Division I right now behind Texas’ Alex Melendez,” Law wrote on Thursday. “His pull-heavy approach would play very well in Fenway or Minute Maid [Park], although I’m not sure he’s going to stay on the dirt.”

Coming into play on Thursday, the right-handed hitter has slashed a stout .377/.506/.863 with 15 doubles, one triple, 24 home runs, 69 RBIs, 61 runs scored, one stolen base, 42 walks, and 43 strikeouts through his first 53 games (236 plate appearances) with the Tigers this season.

Defensively, Wagner has seen all his playing time in college come at third base. As noted by Law, though, the draft-eligible sophomore from Green Bay could be best suited for the outfield given his 6-foot, 215-pound frame.

That Wagner, who turns 21 in August, has posted a ridiculous 1.370 OPS this year is impressive when you consider the fact that he struggled to the tune of a .651 OPS in 35 games as a freshman. The improvement, per Law, comes from a swing change.

“Wagner changed his swing after an underwhelming freshman year for Clemson,” he wrote in his scouting report, “and now the draft-eligible sophomore is destroying fastballs with plus-plus power to his pull side, and shows solid command of the strike zone, although his defense at third isn’t great and he might end up in an outfield corner.”

The Red Sox last used as first-round pick on a college infielder in 2012, when they took Deven Marrero out of Arizona State University. Fast forward 10 years, and the assigned slot value for the 24th overall selection in the 2022 draft — which begins in Los Angeles on July 17 — comes in at roughly $2.975 million.

Will Boston use its first-round pick this year on a more experienced player such as Wagner? Or will they use it on a more highly-touted high schooler like Dylan Lesko? The next two months could determine the answers to these questions.

(Picture of Max Wagner: Bart Boatwright/The Clemson Insider)

Latest MLB Pipeline mock draft has Red Sox selecting Buford High School right-hander Dylan Lesko with top pick

In his latest 2022 mock draft for MLB Pipeline, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has the Red Sox selecting Buford High School (Ga.) right-hander Dylan Lesko with their top pick at No. 24 overall.

Lesko, 18, is regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 9 draft-eligible prospect, which ranks first among pitchers in this year’s class. Despite the hype, the Georgia native recently underwent Tommy John surgery in late April, which is why Mayo has him falling to the late first round.

Prior to going under the knife, Lesko was coming off a dominant 2021 campaign for Buford in which he posted a 0.35 ERA with 112 strikeouts over 60 innings en route to becoming the first junior ever to take home Gatorade national baseball player of the year honors. He also got his 2022 season off to to a promising start before suffering an elbow injury that ultimately required Tommy John on April 26.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Lesko impressed scouts on the showcase circuit by working with a 92-95 mph fastball that tops out at 97 mph as well as “the best changeup in the draft” and a curveball that has “the potential to become a plus weapon,” per Mayo.

Already equipped with a repeatable delivery, Lesko — who turns 19 in September — is currently committed to play college baseball at the esteemed Vanderbilt University should he choose not to go pro this summer.

While recovering from Tommy John will keep him sidelined for the next 12-15 months, there is still a strong chance Lesko is the first pitcher taken off the board come July 17 in Los Angeles.

The Red Sox have not used a first-round pick on a high school pitcher since 2016, when they took left-hander Jay Groome out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey with the 12th overall selection in that year’s draft.

Boston signed Groome for $3.65 million six years ago. This time around, the assigned slot value for the No. 24 pick in the 2022 draft comes in at roughly $2.975 million.

(Picture of Dylan Lesko: Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Latest MLB Pipeline mock draft has Red Sox taking University of Tennessee outfielder Jordan Beck with top pick

In his latest 2022 mock draft for MLB.com, Jim Callis has the Red Sox taking University of Tennessee outfielder Jordan Beck with their top pick at No. 24 overall.

Boston originally selected Beck in the 14th round of the 2019 amateur draft out of Hazel Green High School. The Alabama native, however, elected to honor his commitment to Tennessee rather than go pro at that time.

Fast forward three years, and Beck is now in the midst of his junior season with the top-ranked, 43-6 Volunteers. The right-handed hitter has appeared in all 49 of those games and has batted .314/.384/.592 with 12 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 45 RBIs, 51 runs scored, six stolen bases, 21 walks, and 43 strikeouts across 216 trips to the plate coming into play on Thursday.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Beck has seen the majority of his playing time this season come in right field, though he also has past experience in center and in left. Last summer, for instance, he made seven appearances in center field for the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Beck, who turned 21 last month, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the 21st-ranked draft-eligible prospect in this year’s class. Baseball America, on the other hand, has Beck coming in as their No. 17 prospect.

Given his size, position, and background, Beck has drawn comparisons to former Red Sox outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who was also drafted out of an SEC school in Mississippi State University.

Per his MLB Pipeline scouting report, Beck “uses his bat speed, strength and the leverage in his 6-foot-3 frame to create well above-average raw power to all fields.” And although he can get too aggressive at the plate, he has been able to develop more discipline and make adjustments against breaking balls and changeups this year.

On the other side of things, MLB Pipeline notes that “Beck runs very well for his size, displaying solid speed and the ability to steal an occasional base. His plus arm strength adds to his profile in right field, where he’s a better-than-average defender.”

Baseball America describes Beck as “a powerful athlete” who possesses plus raw power and quality arm strength. He has the capabilities to play center field although he has not been asked to do so too much throughout his collegiate career because of teammate Drew Gilbert.

At this point, it is not yet known how much Beck will be looking to sign for when he is drafted during the All-Star break in July. That being said, we already know the assigned slot value for the 24th overall pick will come in at roughly $2.975 million.

(Picture of Jordan Beck: Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Baseball America’s latest mock draft has Red Sox selecting prep outfielder Justin Crawford with top pick

In his latest 2022 mock draft for Baseball America, Carlos Collazo has the Red Sox selecting Bishop Gorman High School outfielder Justin Crawford with their top pick at No. 24 overall.

Crawford, Collazo writes is “a premium position player with professional bloodlines who has taken a step forward with his strength after the offseason. He’s an elite runner who should provide plenty of defensive value and he’s got a nice swing with power potential.”

The son of former Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, Justin is regarded by Baseball America as the 29th-ranked draft-eligible prospect in this year’s class. He is set to graduate from the baseball powerhouse in Las Vegas that is Bishop Gorman High School, which has produced the likes of Joey Gallo as well as 2020 first-rounder Austin Wells.

Crawford, who turned 18 in January, is listed at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds and has a projectable frame. In 30 games played for Bishop Gorman this spring, the left-handed hitter has batted .451/.529/.804 with 11 doubles, five triples, five home runs, 30 RBIs, 44 runs scored, 13 stolen bases, 15 walks, and five strikeouts over 121 plate appearances.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Crawford is “a great runner now with long and fluid strides and has posted exceptional run times in the 60-yard dash. He’s at least a 70-grade runner and should be able to cover massive swaths of ground in center field.”

MLB Pipeline, which has Crawford as their No. 37 draft prospect, notes that the left-handed hitting outfielder “has very good bat-to-ball skills” and is willing to make adjustments. He also “has the chance to be a plus defender in center field when all is said and done.”

A native of Nevada himself, Crawford is currently committed to play college baseball for the esteemed Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. It may take quite the signing bonus to sway him away from his commitment even if he is taken in the first round of this summer’s draft, which begins on July 17.

In prior mock drafts, the Red Sox have been linked to high school infielders, a college catcher, a college outfielder, and a college pitcher. The last time Boston used a first-round pick on a natural prep outfielder was 2009, when they took Rey Fuentes out of Fernando Callejo High School in Puerto Rico.

(Picture of Justin Crawford via his Instagram)

Latest MLB Pipeline mock draft has Red Sox selecting high school shortstop Jett Williams with top pick

In the first installment of their 2022 mock draft, MLB Pipeline has the Red Sox selecting Rockwall-Heath High School shortstop Jett Williams with its first-round pick at No. 24 overall.

The reasoning behind the selection from MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo is simple: “The Red Sox have taken a high school infielder the last three years they had a first-round pick, so we know they don’t shy away from that demographic.”

Mayo, of course, is referring to the fact that Boston has used its last three first-rounders on a trio of prep infielders in Marcelo Mayer (2021), Nick Yorke (2020), and Triston Casas (2018).

Williams, on the other hand, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 25 draft-eligible prospect in this year’s class, which ranks 16th among position players.

The 18-year-old hits from the right side of the plate, is in the midst of his senior season at Rockwall-Heath, and is committed to play college baseball at Mississippi State University. Last year, he batted .347/.514/.723 with five doubles, nine triples, five home runs, 37 RBIs, 40 runs scored, 29 walks, three strikeouts, and 15 stolen bases for the Hawks.

Listed at 5-foot-8 and 178 pounds, Williams may be undersized for his position. But according to his MLB Pipeline scouting report, the native Texan is “a favorite gut-feel guy for a lot of scouts” because of his “quick hands, feel for the barrel, and quality right-handed stroke.”

On the basepaths and on the field, Williams possesses “plus speed and knows how to use his quickness.” Defensively, he dealt with a shoulder injury last summer that affected him on the showcase circuit, though “some evaluators believe he has solid arm strength when healthy.”

With that, MLB Pipeline notes that Williams has “the hands and actions” that are required of a shortstop. And while some believe he has what it takes to stick at shortstop, there are others who think he is best suited for second base or center field.

Williams, who turns 19 in November, is the second draft-eligible high school infielder the Red Sox have been linked to in recent weeks. Baseball America had Boston taking fellow shortstop Cole Young with its top pick in a mock draft that was published earlier this month.

As a reminder, the 2022 MLB Draft will kick off in Los Angeles on July 17, which is a little more than 11 weeks away.

(Picture of Jett Williams via his Instagram)

Latest mock draft has Red Sox taking University of Tennessee outfielder Drew Gilbert with top pick

In the latest version of their 2022 mock draft, Prospects Live has the Red Sox selecting University of Tennessee outfielder Drew Gilbert with their first-round pick at No. 24 overall.

Gilbert, 21, was originally selected by his hometown Twins in the 35th round of the 2019 amateur draft out of Stillwater Area High School, which is less than 30 miles east of Target Field. But the Minnesota native opted not to go pro at that time and instead took his talents to Knoxville, Tenn.

A former two-way player coming out of high school, Gilbert has since transitioned to become a full-time outfielder with the Volunteers. 30 games into his junior season, the left-handed hitter is batting a stout .370/.492/.663 with 12 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 36 RBIs, 30 runs scored, three stolen bases, 22 walks, and 15 strikeouts over 122 plate appearances.

Per his Prospects Live scouting report, “Gilbert gets extremely high marks for his competitive fire and is regarded as one of the more intense players in college baseball. He plays an above average centerfield with an average arm and plus run times. In total, we’re talking about a guy with a smattering of solid average tools, fantastic makeup, and bat speed that could translate into game power as he continues to get a feel for what he’s capable of.”

Coming into the 2022 season, Gilbert was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 149 draft-eligible prospect and by MLB Pipeline as the No. 82 draft-eligible prospect.

Listed at 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, Gilbert has served as the Vols’ primary centerfielder this year. Given his past experience as a pitcher, it is not surprising to see that Gilbert has been recognized for his arm strength as well as his ability to play all over the outfield.

On the basepaths, MLB Pipeline notes that Gilbert “has solid to plus speed and will steal and take extra bases. While he’s not a true burner, his quickness and instincts allow him to run down balls from gap to gap in center field.”

Gilbert, who turns 22 in September, has the chance to move quickly through whichever organization he joins this summer. As a reminder, Day 1 of the 2022 MLB Draft will take place in Los Angeles on July 17.

The Red Sox, for what it’s worth, have not used a first-round draft pick on an outfielder since 2015, when they took Andrew Benintendi out of another SEC school in the University of Arkansas.

(GIF of Drew Gilbert via University of Tennessee Athletics on GIPHY)

Latest Baseball America mock draft has Red Sox selecting prep infielder Cole Young with top pick

In their latest 2022 mock draft, Baseball America has the Red Sox selecting North Allegheny Senior High School shortstop Cole Young with their first-round (24th overall) pick.

Young, 18, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 21 draft-eligible prospect, ranking ninth among high schoolers in this year’s class. At present, the Pennsylvania native is committed to play college baseball at Duke University.

Listed at 6-feet and 180 pounds, Young is in the midst of his senior season with North Allegheny, which only just began on Wednesday. Last year, the left-handed hitting infielder batted .437/.594/.859 with four doubles, four triples, six home runs, 23 RBIs, 33 runs scored, 19 stolen bases, 25 walks, and five strikeouts over 27 games (101 plate appearances) for the Tigers.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Young “separated himself over the summer as the best shortstop in the 2022 prep class and perhaps the best pure hitter not named Termarr Johnson. … Young does most things on the field well, headlined by a sound offensive approach and a clean, flat bat path that he uses to spray the ball all over the field. He handles 90-plus mph velocity well and he has a solid understanding of the strike zone, tracking the ball well and keeping his barrel in the hitting zone for a long time.”

Defensively, Young “has a chance to stick at shortstop, where he’s a capable and fluid defender, if not an explosive one. He plays low to the ground, has a solid first step—and above-average speed underway—with above-average arm strength and good instincts.”

As for why he has the Red Sox taking Young off the board with the 24th overall selection, Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo writes that Young “would represent solid value” for Boston since he is a pure hitter who possesses sound tools all the way around.

MLB Pipeline, on the other hand, has Young ranked as their No. 14 draft-eligible prospect. They note that Young “is the kind of player who needs to be seen more than once to be truly appreciated, as his feel for the game is greater than any jump off the page tools.”

Since he plays the infield and hits from the left side of the plate, Young — who turns 19 in July — has drawn comparisons to former Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew and current Mariners second baseman Adam Frazier.

The Red Sox, in recent years, have not shied away from taking high school infielders early in the draft. Since Chaim Bloom took over as chief baseball officer in October 2019, Boston has selected Marcelo Mayer (2021, fourth overall) and Nick Yorke (2020, 17th overall) with their last two first-round picks.

(Picture of Cole Young: Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)