2022 MLB Draft: 10 Mississippi State baseball players to watch
Chris Lemonis has created an incredible baseball program in Mississippi State, but with a program that creates such elite talent, there is one problem, roster turnover. Many players attract the attention of Major League teams, causing them to leave and declare themselves for the draft.
This offseason will be no different. Even after a rather disappointing season for the Bulldogs, Mississippi State has plenty of talent to offer the league’s professional scouts.
Here are the Bulldogs’ top 10 prospects who could declare for the 2022 MLB Draft.
1. Receiver Logan Tanner
There had been a lot of hype surrounding Tanner last season and many, including himself, expected the receiver to make a big offensive leap. It wasn’t quite the case. Many of his numbers were hovering around the same spot they had always been and some of his power numbers even dropped slightly.
Even without that expected jump happening, Tanner’s draft stock hasn’t gone down. He is still more than likely to be chosen in the first round due to his defensive strategy. He was, of course, an All-SEC defensive selection this year. Whoever decides to take the catcher will be a very lucky team with a study net behind the plate.
2. Shortstop Jett Williams
Although Williams is committed to playing for Mississippi State next season, he may never play on the court. He is listed as the No. 26 prospect by MLB.com, just three spots above potential future teammate Logan Tanner. Although he may be the shortest in his draft class, at just 5-foot-8, he makes up for it in speed and agility.
3. Landon Sims pitcher
A torn elbow ligament has plagued both Sims’ final season with the Bulldogs and their draft stock. After undergoing surgery on Tommy John to fix his pitching elbow, it looks like the Sims could easily fall in the second round. The thing is, most pitchers these days have the surgery at some point in their career, so many teams might see it as a hurdle they don’t have to worry about once recovery is over.
4. Bradley Loftin Pitcher
Another player who committed to Mississippi State but may never set foot on campus. He’s a solid left-handed pitcher pitching in the mid-90s, he’ll obviously catch the eye of MLB teams and be in high demand.
5. Pitcher Colby Holcombe
Another launcher to add to the list. Holcombe is a right-handed signer from Northeast Mississippi Community College. He has an effective fastball and an even more effective slider, because of that MLB.com ranks him No. 132 on their prospect list, putting him around the fifth round.
6. Outfielder Brad Cumbest
Cumbest entered Mississippi State as a dual-sport athlete, playing as both a member of Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense and Chris Lemonis’ outfield. No longer a member of the football team, Cubest transitioned into baseball full-time and raised his draft stock while he was at it, slated for the first five rounds. He shows good range, normally playing left field while occasionally moving to center and has a solid ability to hit off-speed pitches.
7. Outfielder Dakota Jordan
Another incoming signer, but one the Bulldogs could actually bring to campus. Jordan could be selected around the fifth round, which hopefully will make it easier for him to entice him to come play, compete in the SEC, and increase his stock even further once he turns 21 or he will have completed their junior season, whichever comes first.
8. Utility Player Kamren James
Jones shows potential at Mississippi State, but only seems to show it occasionally. He hit a .303 last season but left plenty to the imagination when it came to power, hitting just nine homers. It’s easy to see how MLB teams might see him as a steal, getting him into later rounds could be huge for a team, as long as they can tap into the potential we’ve seen.
9. Pitcher Preston Johnson
Another pitcher, not that anyone should be surprised. Multiple reports say Johnson is landing anywhere from the first round to the last.
Johnson became a starter for the Bulldogs last season and while he is reliable, he can also be inconsistent at times. He allowed 18 homers, which was no problem, until he started walking on batters as well. Overall, Johnson is a tough pitcher and many tend to compare him to White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn.
10. Pitcher Jackson Fristoe
Although he still retains one of the best fastballs in college baseball, Fristoe was inconsistent outside the bullpen last season. Even with this slight slowdown, the excitement around him only diminished slightly. There are still MLB teams interested in him and he could go to the final rounds of the draft.