And the No. 1 pick is…

The baseball world will soon be looking in with anticipation, as the 2022 Amateur Player Draft will begin this Sunday, July 17.

The Baltimore Orioles will hold the No. 1 overall pick for the third time in their history (1989 RHP Ben McDonald & 2019 C Adley Rutschman).

The question, of course, is who will the Orioles select with this year’s top pick. Five names are tied to Baltimore, all with possibilities on a growing farm system that is the tops in baseball.

Of course, the Orioles could come out and surprise everyone and go in a completely different direction, only GM Mike Elias knows what they are going to do, even though he has said they have narrowed the list.

Let’s take a look at each of the five individuals and unpack what makes them attractive as the top pick.

OF Druw Jones – Wesleyan School (Georgia)

Right off the bat, no pun intended, Druw Jones has the pedigree in his blood.

He is the son of one of the best center fielders of the last 20 years, All-Star Andruw Jones. Having a father who was one of the best in baseball will always get attention, but it’s Jones’ raw talent that has propelled him to possible top selection.

The Gatorade Georgia High School Player of the Year, Jones is leaner than his father but still has the same five tool potential his father did. He’s learned to make adjustments, driving the ball to gaps and will more than likely increase his power as he fills out his 6-foot-4 build.

His speed and above average arm strength, along with his instincts make him the best center fielder in the draft, with some saying the best defender in the draft. Scouts who have seen him take the infield have said he could even play a strong shortstop.

2B Termarr Johnson – Mays HS (Georgia)

Termarr Johnson seems to be the other argument for the top pick for the Orioles.

Considered the best prep hitter in decades, Johnson will switch from shortstop to second base due to his average arm strength.

His hand-eye coordination and quick compact stroke allows for him to drive the ball to all fields. He is strong for his build, 5-foot-10, 175 lbs., which combined with his bat speed, brings 20-plus home run potential.

His quick hands will help in the field, as well as his quickness in making a plus defender with the move to second base. Coming out of high school, he has been given top of the scale grades for his bat by most scouts.

SS Brooks Lee – Cal Poly

Projected as the best college hitter in the 2022 class, Brooks Lee is raved about for his bat-to-ball skills.

He very seldom strikes out and held a 21- game hitting streak with a wooden bat in the Cape Cod League, where he hit .405.

The switch-hitting Lee can drive the ball from both sides of the plate and projects to have above average power as his game grows.

His already above average arm and physicality will move him off shortstop, as he is projected possibly as a third basemen.

Lee did have knee and hamstring surgery in 2020 but bounced back to hit .342 in the Big West, where he became Co-Big West Player of the Year. The former Team USA player plays the game like a coach and should maximize his tools to his benefit.

SS Jackson Holiday – Stillwater HS (Oklahoma)

Another athelte who’s father was an All-Star, Matt Holiday, Jackson comes into the draft as one of the top high school hitters.

Lack of focus with his bat caused some struggles on the showcase circuit, but he rebounded to have a strong senior year to propel him to a possible top-five selection.

Jackson was Gatorade’s Oklahoma Player of the Year, as he batted .685 across 41 games. He set the national high school record with 89 hits while slugging .749.

Making consistent hard contact, Holliday has puts the barrel on the ball with his advanced approach. Bulking up has helped his natural power come out, and he now has a more relaxed approach from earlier in the year. As he got stronger, he has gotten faster and grades out with plus run times.

Jackson possesses above average arm strength and quickness, which could allow him to remain at shortstop. There is still the possiblity he is moved to third or second, but he has a high baseball IQ, which evaluators have pointed out.

3B Cam Collier – Chipola JC (Florida)

The son of Lou Collier, Cam has become one of the more intriguing bats coming into the 2022 draft.

One of the youngest amateurs, Cam uses his left-handed batting with a loose, quick stroke and strong bat-to-ball skills. He uses all fields in his approach and is a solid runner.

He has a strong arm, hitting low 90’s as a pitcher. He projects as a third baseman, but it is possible a move to the outfield or first base is in his future.

His bat is his lock to his advancement and is what has propelled him to being considered a top pick.

While all five players have upside and offer the potential to be a fixture for their team, the Orioles will dictate how the draft falls, depending on who they pick first.

Druw Jones and Termarr Johnson seem to be where most fans are hoping, but it’s Mike Elias who knows the final thought and will have the last word.

Birdland is ready to welcome their new prospect with open arms, but the question is, who will it be?

Who do you think the O’s will select with the first overall pick? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter! And make sure to use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content to show your Birdland swag!

Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SrHeckman

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