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2022 MLB Mock Draft. MLB Pipeline again projects Cooper Hjerpe to the Braves

The most recent mock draft from Pipeline is in and it is a familiar name connected yet again to the Braves.

NCAA Baseball: Corvallis Super Regional-Auburn at Oregon State Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 MLB Draft is just mere weeks away now and with that comes a ton of mock drafts to look at to see who the Braves are connected to. There has been quite a bit of speculation as to what is going to happen at the top of the draft with the teams that have the most money, but that doesn’t SEEM to be impacting the Braves’ plans. Ultimately, they are going to have their board and barring a weird scenario involving an underslot pick and a pre-draft deal with one of the hurt college arms, best player available seems to be the play.

For where the Braves are picking and how the boards seem to be shaking out, it does seem like the Braves will be dipping into the college pitching well again although there does seem to be a couple position players they like if they are available. In Pipeline’s most recent mock, they are going with a name that has been connected to the Braves repeatedly this pre-draft season.

The two names that have appeared the most in connection with the Braves are Gonzaga RHP Gabriel Hughes and Oregon State LHP Cooper Hjerpe and Pipeline has gone with Hjerpe in this mock draft (interestingly, Hughes falls to #37 in this mock while other mocks have had him go ahead of the Braves’ pick). Hjerpe has benefitted handsomely from so many college arms getting hurt this year as he has been firmly in the first round conversation for a while now thanks to his ability to stay on the field. Hjerpe doesn’t possess a high octane fastball like the Braves’ first round pick, Ryan Cusick, last year but does have three above average or better pitches and a ton of deception thanks to a weird low arm slot and the ability to mix his pitches well. Pitching with his left hand sure hasn’t hurt his cause, either.

In addition to Hjerpe and Hughes, we have also heard prep outfielder Justin Crawford, who may not be available at 20 at this point, mocked to the Braves and they have a group of 10-12 names that they are working through at the moment to establish their order of preference. In the coming weeks, picks ahead of them may become more solidified and we may get a better sense of who they are settling on instead of the “when in doubt, mock them a college pitcher that makes sense” mock drafts that we have seen so far.