College prospects to watch for KC at #9: 2/28/22

This is the third article we’ve written about college draft prospects for the upcoming 2022 MLB Draft. The goal is to give you an idea of some guys who could be available for Kansas City with the 9th overall pick in the draft. Here are the links to the first two that I wrote:

I’m not going to add any new names or remove anyone from this list just yet, but here is an update on how the 12 guys I talked about right before opening weekend have fared through the first two weeks of the 2022 college baseball season:

Carter Young, SS, Vanderbilt

  • + Defender
  • Good power traits
  • Good runner
  • Decent approach
  • Decent hit tool

It’s been a slow start for the Commodores’ shortstop this spring, following what was a rough end to his 2021 campaign after he injured his shoulder in the middle of the season. Young is striking out in nearly 30% of his plate appearances in the early going and is hitting just .190 through the first seven games of the season. It’s too early to make much of anything yet, but you can imagine that Young probably would’ve liked to have gotten off to a strong start this spring to ensure big league clubs there are no lingering effects from his 2021 injury.

Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly

  • ++ Hit tool
  • + Raw power
  • Switch hitter
  • Might have to move to 3B long-term

Brooks Lee could not have physically gotten off to any hotter of a start in 2022. The shortstop prospect is hitting .461 with eight walks and zero strikeouts through his team’s first seven games. That’s the type of production that’s going to wind up getting him booted off this list because there’s no way he’s still there at #9 at this rate.

Jacob Berry, 3B, LSU

  • + Hit tool
  • ++ Raw power
  • Great approach
  • Not much of a defender

Another top hitting prospect that’s off to a great start. Berry transferred to LSU last summer from Arizona and has joined a loaded Tigers lineup. He’s already hit three home runs and has struck out just three times in 33 PA. His defensive question marks leave him as a candidate to fall to Kansas City, so he’ll stay on here all spring, but this kind of offensive output will likely get him taken in the first eight picks.

Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech

  • + Hit tool
  • ++ Approach
  • ++ Raw Power
  • Not a great defender

It’s pretty hard to judge anything Jung has done so far because folks are pretty well refusing to pitch to him. He’s already got 10 walks in seven games but he did hit his first home run of the season on Sunday night against Kent State. We’ll circle back to this one. He’s another guy that probably won’t be there at #9 unless he struggles all spring or something.

Brock Jones, OF, Stanford

  • + Runner
  • Chance to stick in CF
  • + Raw power
  • Slightly above average hit tool

I was a little worried about the strikeouts when talking about Jones earlier this spring, but he’s done a pretty good job of keeping them down early on. Stanford is coming off a big weekend that saw them beat ULL, Indiana, and #2 Arkansas with Jones right in the middle of the action. He’s now got seven walks, five strikeouts, and three stolen bases on the young season and has pretty well flashed all of his tools in the first two weeks of the year. This may be an underrated name to keep an eye on for Kansas City.

Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison

  • + Runner
  • ++ Arm
  • ++ Raw power
  • + Hit tool
  • Chance to stick in CF

DeLauter got off to a slow start on opening weekend, but he’s rallied a bit since to raise his OPS to 1.009 on the year. He’s got 10 strikeouts early on, but he’s also got five walks and three extra base hits as well. This is the most reasonable hope I have for a big name to fall to Kansas City, so I’ll be watching him hard all spring.

Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech

  • + Runner
  • Average hit tool
  • + Raw power
  • Chance to stick in CF

Cross, the player that Baseball America mocked to the Royals at #9 in their first mock of the year, missed a couple of games due to a tweaked wrist, but he’s looked great when he’s been out there. He’s got a double, two triples, three walks and two strikeouts on his ledger in four games so far. Certainly going to be a name to watch all spring.

Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola College (JUCO)

  • ++ Raw power
  • + Hit tool
  • ++ Athlete
  • Chance to be good at 3B

Chipola has apparently already played 21 games this spring and Cam Collier could not be any hotter. He’s got a 1.128 OPS with five home runs, 11 walks, and just 10 strikeouts to his name so far and he hasn’t even turned 18 yet. This kid is going to either go in the first eight picks this spring, or he’s going to wind up being my favorite option for Kansas City.

Dylan Beavers, OF, California

  • + Runner
  • + Hit tool
  • + Raw power
  • + Defense in CF

Beavers is another prospect that’s off to a hot start. He’s got an OPS of 1.091 in his team’s first seven games with three home runs, five walks, and eight strikeouts. This was a kid I pegged as an underrated guy to watch for KC before the season started and he’s making the case for himself early on to go in the top 10 picks.

Blade Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee

  • ++ Fastball
  • + Slider
  • Good curveball and changeup
  • Good control

Tidwell is yet to throw a pitch for the Volunteers this spring due to a minor injury but that’s obviously a massive asterisk at the moment.

Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State

  • ++ Fastball
  • ++ Slider
  • Been a reliever to this point

Sims was dominant in his first start of the year versus a ranked Long Beach State squad, striking out 13 in six innings, then gave up five runs while striking out just four in six innings against a lesser Northern Kentucky squad. He’s probably got the best stuff of any draft-eligible college arm, so he’s worth watching for the foreseeable future.

Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina

  • Good fastball
  • + Curveball
  • ++ Changeup
  • + Control

Carson Whisenhunt, like Tidwell, is also yet to throw a pitch this spring, though he’s out due to a suspension at the moment. Not a great start for a college pitching class that was already pretty weak at the top.

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7 thoughts on “College prospects to watch for KC at #9: 2/28/22

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