Four Ohio State baseball players are selected in the 2022 MLB Draft
Ohio State baseball continues to produce selected prospects in the MLB Draft. This year’s draft, which began Sunday and spanned three days, saw four Buckeyes selected in the 20-round draft. The four Ohio State players who were drafted brought the school’s total selections to 114 Buckeyes since 1966.
Currently, there are more than 10 former Buckeyes playing in MLB or MiLB. This year’s draft marks the first time since 2016 that Ohio State had four players selected in the same draft. Ohio State has done a great job producing pitchers lately, as they’ve had six arms taken over the past two drafts.
TJ Brock – Toronto Blue Jays
In the sixth round, the Toronto Blue Jays selected pitcher TJ Brock with the 188th overall selection. Brock became the 31st player from Ohio State selected in the sixth round or higher. The last Buckeye to be taken during that span was Seth Lonsway, who was also selected in the sixth round last year by the San Francisco Giants. Brock is the sixth Buckeye to be won by Toronto, and the first since Trent Luyster in the 30th round in 2005.
In four seasons at Columbus, Brock made 51 appearances on the mound, striking out 90 in 77.2 innings, posting a 5.68 ERA with 11 saves. Even though his ERA was high, Brock has been outstanding over the past two years. In 2021, Brock tied for the Big Ten lead with nine saves. Brock’s 2.08 ERA last year was the best on the team, and the right-hander struck out 33 in 21.2 innings.
Brock hasn’t seen as much work this year, pitching just 16.2 innings, going 1-2 and two saves. Now that his college career is on the books, Brock will head to Toronto’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla. to prepare for the start of his professional career in Toronto’s minor league system.
Zach Dezenzo – Houston Astros
Houston has been a popular landing spot for Ohio State prospects for the past decade. Dezenzo is the third Buckeye to be drafted by the Astros since 2015. Pat Porter was a 15th-round pick by Houston in 2015, while Ronnie Dawson was a second-round pick by the Astros in 2016. A total of five players from the ‘Ohio State were selected. by Houston of all time.
Coming to Columbus after hitting just two home runs during his high school career, Dezenzo added 30 pounds and saw his power numbers start to rise. The Stark County product has played shortstop for most of his career so far, but he projects himself as a corner player at the pro level. Dezenzo has a bit of experience at first base, starting the season there in 2022 while dealing with elbow pain before returning to shortstop in April.
Dezenzo really improved his draft stock with a stellar 2022 season, tying an Ohio State single-season record with 19 home runs, which accounted for nearly a third of Dezenzo’s 66 hits over the course of the season. The Alliance native also completed 54 carries and matched that total by scoring 54 carries, earning him second-team All-Big Ten honors. The 38 career homers Dezenzo has smashed with the Buckeyes is the third career total in school history.
Nate Karaffa – Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia is not a team that has taken chances on many Buckeyes over the years, with Karaffa being just the fifth player from Ohio State selected in the MLB Draft by the Phillies. The last Buckeye to be picked by Philadelphia was Justin Fry, who was a 12th round pick by the Phillies in 1999. Prior to Fry’s selection, the last time Philadelphia picked a Buckeye was in 1975.
Karaffa came to Ohio State as an accomplished high school player, earning first-team All-Ohio honors three times. The Toronto high school product was also the 2019 Division IV Player of the Year. As Karaffa moved onto the field early in his college career, he eventually found a home on the mound in 2022.
Some of Karaffa’s numbers as a pitcher weren’t great, as he posted a 6.35 ERA and 14 walks in the 28.1 innings he pitched in 25 appearances. Teams obviously saw some potential in the right-hander, as he struck out 36 during the season. Since being picked in the last round of the draft, Karaffa has been a low-risk, high-reward type of player for the Phillies. With the right coaching, Karaffa could be a dormant prospect in Philadelphia’s minor league system.
Ethan Hammerberg- Chicago White Sox
Just nine picks after Karaffa’s selection, Ethan Hammerberg was the last Ohio State player selected in this year’s draft, as he caught the eye of the Chicago White Sox, who selected him with the 611th overall picks in the 20-round draft. Hammerberg is the fourth Buckeye to be drafted by Chicago South. Brad Goldberg was selected in 2013, followed by Ryan Riga in 2015 and Michael Horejsei in 2016.
At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Hammerberg looks like a power arm out of the bullpen. During his three seasons at Columbus, the Upper Arlington native struck out 65 in 44.2 innings. Usually, power pitchers sometimes have a problem with accuracy, but that didn’t seem to be a problem for Hammerberg during his college career, as he only walked 18 in three seasons.