The state of Georgia regularly produces elite players both in terms of the MLB Draft as well as players at the MLB level. The 2022 MLB Draft will be no exception, as this could be the most loaded class the state has ever seen.
As of right now most people would say there are a pair of legitimate candidates to be the No. 1 overall pick, though Florida high school outfielder Elijah Green is considered the consensus favorite for that honor right now.
Let’s take a look at some of the top talents in the state for the Class of 2022.
Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech - Kevin Parada was a potential first round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft who decided to become the next in a long line of great Yellow Jacket catchers and nothing he did as a freshman this past spring has changed that. The sophomore eligible backstop hit .318/.379/.550 with nine homers and will be a candidate to be the top overall pick as a potentially special offensive catcher.
Freshman C Kevin Parada is the real deal. One of the top freshman bats in the country.— Jake Tillinghast (@JTillinghast27) February 27, 2021
Got to see Parada in HS a few times and came away more impressed every time. That hasn’t stopped. That swing is built to last. #CollegeBaseball pic.twitter.com/2EasRIQ18z
Dylan Ross, RHP, Georgia - I talked about Dylan Ross quite a bit as a potential Day 2 pick for the 2021 MLB Draft out of a Florida JUCO. The big hard thowing right hander with a 100+ MPH fastball and a nasty splitter could shoot up the rankings with a strong performance at UGA considering his stuff is special.
Here's another @premier_sox power arm. Dylan Ross faced Chipola JC last Friday. @NWFSCbaseball RHP was ⬆️ to 99mph in this outing per yakkertech. The @BaseballUGA commit is getting stronger @BaseballAmerica @MLBPipeline @jimcallisMLB @JonathanMayo @B_Sakowski_PG @_JeremyBooth pic.twitter.com/R8X8OeaioW— GBSA RAYS BASEBALL (@GBSARays) April 22, 2021
Jonathan Cannon, RHP, Georgia - If Ross isn’t the Bulldogs Friday night guy it would be because Jonathan Cannon brings a ton of experience. Cannon was a potential Top 50-75 pick this year but health reasons held him back a bit in his debut in the rotation. Cannon went out and pitched three very strong outings in the Cape to prove his stock is pointed back in the right direction. Given another year with full health he can put himself back to the range he started this year.
Jonathan Cannon, RHP @BaseballUGA @FirebirdsCCBL from Sunday versus Y-D. FB: 92-95 mph, SL: 83-85 mph, CHG: 84-87 mph. Generates a lot of weak groundballs, lacks swing and miss offering. #PGCape pic.twitter.com/tK0mYeQide— PG College Baseball (@PGCollegeBall) June 29, 2021
Drew Compton, 3B/1B, Georgia Tech - Another power bat out of Tech is Drew Compton, who has a career .300/.399/.572 slash line through 69 games over 2020 and 2021 to go with a combined 16 homers. He struggled in a fairly limited time in the Cape and there are real questions about his ability to stick at third, but he can mash.
DREW COMPTON OH MY!!!— Georgia Tech Baseball (@GTBaseball) June 6, 2021
SECOND OF THE DAY!! pic.twitter.com/LHepCJlGu9
Zachary Maxwell, RHP, Georgia Tech - A top recruit for Georgia Tech last year, Zachary Maxwell started as a true freshman in 2020 before being moved to the pen this spring. Maxwell is a flamethrower with some command issues, but he’s clearly got swing and miss stuff to go with his triple digit fastball. In 32 innings this spring, he struck out 56, but walked 41. He went to the Cape and struggled with his command throwing 11 2/3 innings there with an eye opening 25 strikeouts to nine walks for a 19.3 K/9. The stuff is there, he just has to harness it.
Zach Maxwell, Bowel-Locking 85mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/n4nvQLpsA9— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 19, 2021
Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS - Yes he is the son of Braves legend Andruw Jones. Druw Jones is a potential five tool talent with power, speed, defense, and an arm. There are some questions about his ability to hit, though he has made some changes to his swing and seems to be progressing this summer. Druw is an exciting player to watch, though his stock will very much be determined by how well the hit tool plays over the course of the next year.
Termarr Johnson, INF, Mays HS- Maybe the best hitter in the class in terms of pure hitting ability with massive bat speed, Termarr Johnson isn't the biggest player but more than makes up for that at the plate. All he’s done at every event he’s been at is hit so no one will be able to knock the bat come draft season. There are some questions about where he ends up defensively, with second base feeling like it could end up being his destination.
‘22 SS Termarr Johnson (GA) getting the evening slate started with this MISSILE to the wall in LC for a LOUD double.— Shooter Hunt (@ShooterHunt) August 10, 2021
Zero issue left-on-left.
Continues to shine as a marquee performer in the class. #MLBDraft || @PBRGeorgia @NathanRode pic.twitter.com/7OIlXBgKpj
Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS - Dylan Lesko is in the conversation for top high school pitcher in the class. He’s a good sized and projectable right hander who has touched 97 MPH with more in the tank to go with an excellent change and slider as part of a deep arsenal of pitches. Lesko isn’t just a velocity guy, but a kid who understands how to pitch. If it wasn’t for the fact high school right handers don’t go No. 1, Lesko could be in that conversation for the top pick overall as well.
Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford High School Class of 2022. Top ranked arm in the 2022 class and a @vandyboys commit. Sat mid 90's at #PGNational w/ breaking ball 79-81 (2700 RPM) and CH 82-84. @dylanjlesko @B_Sakowski_PG @VCervinoPG @Official_ECB#MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/6ZUscd4Dov— Prospect Pipeline (@TheProsPipeline) August 4, 2021
Riley Stanford, RHP/OF, Buford HS - Riley Stanford is a projectable arm who can reach 97 MPH with his fastball and has a nasty slider when on. He is also a significant power bat.
Riley Stanford came on in relief for one inning. FB up to 97, sat 94-96. Showed off a two-seam variant. SL 81-84 that got some ugly swings, flashed CH. Has also shown off a cannon from the OF this week. #PGNational pic.twitter.com/SsMo7U45eB— Tyler Jennings (@TylerJennings24) July 17, 2021
Jared Jones, C, Walton School - Jared Jones is a prospect with a ton of raw power and a huge arm behind the plate, giving him plus or better tools with the two tools that are among the most important for a catcher in the draft. There is some question about his ability to stick behind the plate since he has a large frame, but the bat has enough power to play anywhere.
Diego Guevara, OF, Georgia Premier Academy - A recent Miami commitment, Diego Guevara is a potential five tool outfielder from the Georgia Premier Academy with an impressive power and speed combination as well as a huge arm that makes him a prototypical right fielder. He doesn’t have as much experience at the big showcases as the other guys on this list, but the tools are more than enough to have him included with them.
Cam Collier, 3B, Mt. Paran HS - Originally one of the two premier high school bats in the Class of 2023 along with Indiana’s Max Clark, Cam Collier reclassified into the 2022 draft this summer and stands as a candidate to become the top overall pick. I wrote about Collier here back in September of 2020 when I saw him at the Future Stars Series International Week games, and he stood out even playing against a group of kids who were drafted high in the 2021 Class. The son of former big leaguer Lou Collier, Cam is a special hitter with great fundamentals and real power. If he wasn’t such a good hitter, he’d be a first round candidate as a pitcher as well and the arm shows up for him playing third base. He is the complete package and much more advanced than you’d think considering he will be one of the youngest players available in next year’s draft.