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2022 MLB Draft 2nd through 20th Round Primer: The Commits

Which of the rest of the Class of 2022 will make it to campus?

Syndication: The Tennessean Alan Poizner / USA TODAY NETWORK

*The 2022 MLB Draft takes place on Sunday July 17th through Tuesday July 19th. In the coming days, I’ll give you Vanderbilt centric primers of the current players and prospects, and my best guesses at where they are likely to be drafted. Today, we tackle the rest of our commits. In addition to giving you some info on the players, I will hazard my best guess at the probability they will eschew the MLB Bonus money and suit up in gangster pajamas in 2023. If you want to know about current players: Click here for the possible first rounders and here for the possible 2nd through 20th rounders.

Click here for our top commits (possible 1st rounders).

Commits Who Might Hear Their Name Called on Day Two (Rounds 2-10):

3B/1B Sal Stewart

Scouts at both ESPN and like him as a top 100 player. Further,’s Kiley McDaniel has Stewart as a “tough sign,” along with fellow top 100 player LHP Noah Schultz (written about earlier here). Though I haven’t heard his exact number, that he’s been singled out in this class as a “tough sign” by those in the know puts him in the 50/50 category for us. We could certainly use his thump in a lineup that’s losing both Dom Keegan and Spencer Jones. If Stewart lacks the lateral movement for the hot corner, the good news is first base and DH should be pretty open for him. Here’s the scouting report on the power hitting Stewart:

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 30 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

Westminster Christian School in the Miami area has generated some serious baseball talent over the years, led by Alex Rodriguez, and most recently, Royals prospect MJ Melendez. Stewart could be next in line in terms of hitters with thump to come from the school after showing off his hit and power tools over the summer. That included advancing in MLB’s High School All-American Game Home Run Derby, allowing him to take hacks during the big league Derby over the All-Star break in Denver. This spring, he’s proven to be one of the better pure high school bats in the class.

Most of Stewart’s value comes from his right-handed bat. He has the chance to hit with a solid approach at the plate and legitimate raw power he already knows how to tap into. Some scouts think he’s power over hit, but there’s plenty of belief he’ll hit enough to get to the power consistently at the next level. While he’s a below-average runner, he’s more athletic than you’d think given his size for someone who just recently stopped playing basketball at a competitive level.

The lack of speed has led some to wonder where Stewart will play defensively long-term, with some thinking he might eventually have to move to first base. But his feet work fine and he has enough arm to start out as a third baseman, if a team can sign him away from his commitment to Vanderbilt.

Range: Rounds 2-10. Top 250 Ranking: #73.

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: #82.

Perfect Game Rating: 10.

Prediction: If he’s taken on Day 2 (rounds 2-10), consider him gone. If not, it’s unlikely they have met his signing bonus. Seeing as I have both Schultz and Stewart in the 50/50 range, I’m pretty confident we’ll get one of them, but I’m keeping hope alive that we get both. Though it’s rare for a freshman to see an immediate path to starting, Stewart should feel pretty confident that he could win a spot at 3B, 1B, or DH in a lineup that needs to replace a great deal of power.

Chance He Signs With an MLB Team: 50%.

RHP Karson Milbrandt

Though Milbrandt doesn’t have a Perfect Game rating, that’s because he was a multi-sport athlete (something Corbs loves), and didn’t devote a lot of time to being seen on the prospect circuits. Still, he’s a power righty with a spin-rate that is likely to make him an analytics darling. If he wants to sign with a pro team, he’ll have many chances. Here’s the scouting report on the flame-throwing righty:

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

Milbrandt doesn’t have the highest profile in a Vanderbilt 2022 recruiting class that features No. 1 overall prospect Druw Jones and four pitchers with first-round aspirations. Milbrandt didn’t spend a lot of time on the showcase circuit and he has divided his time between baseball and basketball, earning all-district hoops honors as a senior. Scouts don’t love how often he has pitched on short rest this spring, but he has shown top-three-rounds ability when he’s fresh.

Milbrandt features some of the best fastball spin rates in this year’s high school crop, generating 2800 rpm on a four-seamer that can sit in the low 90s and top out at 96 mph. After struggling with his feel for spin in the past, he has shown more power and break this spring with his upper-70s curveball, and his harder slider has improved as well. While he doesn’t use his changeup much, and it gets too firm at times, it does have promising fade.

More athletic than most pitchers, Milbrandt could improve rapidly as he adds more strength and focuses on baseball. He throws strikes, but he will need time to refine his secondary pitches and command. Gatorade’s Missouri state player of the year may be difficult to sign away from the Commodores.

Range: Rounds 2-10. Top 250 Ranking: #90.

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: #100.

Perfect Game Rating: N/A.

Prediction: Two things have me leaning towards Milbrandt signing with an MLB team: 1) His athleticism/projection, and 2) the fact that Dutkanych has already withdrawn from the draft and Schultz threw out a “you can buy my house for twice the market rate” type number. In short, most top 100 prospects probably want more of a shot at the starting rotation than is currently present at Vanderbilt. Of course, we will have prominent openings in the pen and more opportunities to start in the future. Still, I’m not hearing he’ll be a tough sign, so I’m less convinced he’ll be wearing gangster pajamas in the fall. Will be a big get if he makes it to campus, though, as he reminds me a bit of Carson Fulmer.

Chance He Signs With an MLB Team: 80%.

OF Ryan Clifford

Here’s the scouting report on the likely corner outfielder:

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 45 | Arm: 55 | Field: 45 | Overall: 45

A mainstay on U.S. national teams since he was 12, Clifford won gold medals at international competitions with the 12-and-under squad in 2015 and the 15-and-under club in 2018. He has the tools to be one of the better all-around hitters in the 2022 high school class, though his stock took a slight hit when he didn’t light up the showcase circuit last summer. If he doesn’t go early enough in the Draft to sign, he’ll head to Vanderbilt and be eligible again as a sophomore in 2024.

With a picturesque left-handed swing and a good bat path, Clifford is equipped to hit for average and power. He has an advanced approach at the plate, focusing on driving balls from gap to gap while rarely chasing pitches out of the strike zone. With his bat speed and the strength in his 6-foot-3 frame, he could provide 20 or more homers per year once he starts driving the ball in the air more regularly.

Scouts compare Clifford to Seth Beer with more athleticism, but unlike Beer he has a realistic chance to play the outfield. Though he has fringy speed and his reads and routes must improve, he’s committed to working on his quickness and defense. He could stay in right field with solid arm strength and could at least be an average defender at first base, where he has played with Team USA.

Range: Rounds 3-10. Top 250 Ranking: #92.

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: #127.

Perfect Game Rating: 10.

Prediction: I’m not sure what Clifford’s thinking heading up to his first draft week, but the fact that he’s eligible to be drafted after his sophomore year at Vandy gives him more leverage with MLB teams. With Dr. Jones all but certainly moving onto pro ball, The Big Red Dog should have visions of patrolling RF at The Hawk. I’ve got a feeling he’ll play for Corbs, but it’s probably more of a coin flip right now.

Chance He Signs With an MLB Team: 50%.

SS R.J. Austin

While there’s no need to worry about Austin on draft night (see here), I figured I’d let you know what the scouts think about him in this article, anyway.

Here’s the scouting report on the sweet swinging shortstop:

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 40

The best prospect to come out of Pace Academy (Atlanta) since Michael Barrett was an Expos first-round pick in 1995, Austin stands out with his athleticism, versatility and competitiveness. A team that believes in his potential at the plate might have taken him in the top four rounds, but he withdrew from the Draft with a week to go in order to fulfill his Vanderbilt commitment.

Austin possesses plus speed and arm strength, and he can run his fastball up to 90 mph when he takes the mound. He’s capable of making routine plays at shortstop but there’s some question as to whether he possesses more than average range there. Center field would be his backup plan, and he’s also capable of playing second base, third base and the outfield corners.

A right-handed hitter, Austin is most effective when he focuses on making contact and spraying line drives to all fields. He has the bat speed and projectable strength to perhaps develop into a threat to hit 15 or more homers on an annual basis, but he falls into ruts where he swings for the fences, which isn’t his game. He should concentrate on getting on base to take advantage of his quickness.

Range: Would have been Rounds 5-10, but he’ll be wearing gangster pajamas next year. Top 250 Ranking: #196.

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: #161.

Perfect Game Rating: 10.

Prediction: He’s ours.

Chance He Signs With an MLB Team: 0%. He’s ours, as he has already withdrawn his name from the draft.

SS Chris Maldonado

Seeing as doesn’t have Little Maldo in their top 250, I’ll paste in his Perfect Game info here:

Chris Maldonado is a 2022 SS/RHP/IF with a 6-1 190 lb. frame from Short Hills, NJ who attends Seton Hall Preparatory. Large, athletic frame with square shoulders and present physical strength proportioned throughout. Ran a 6.65 60-yard dash. Primary shortstop, fields the ball out front with two hands, aggressive on the approach and attacks the ball well showing off athleticism with quickness and agility, repeats actions, quick transfer and release with a strong, accurate arm across the diamond, shows on line carry to first base. Right-handed hitter, begins with a balanced and slightly open stance with a high hand set; leg lift trigger with some timing components to hands, does a nice job of remaining on time. Loose hands in swing, gets the barrel out well and shows the ability to work line drive contact to all fields, can turn on it with authority as well. Creates leverage, quickness to bat and tools project well moving forward. Excellent student. Verbal commitment to Clemson.

Range: Rounds 5-20. Top 250 Ranking: NR.

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: #233.

Perfect Game Rating: 10.

Prediction: Little Maldo was a late flipped commit from Clemson, which likely gives us a greater shot at getting him through the draft. Beyond that, wouldn’t it be cool for both Maldonados to play on the 2023 team? It’s a distinct possibility...

The only thing keeping this from 0% is that fellow SS R.J. Austin already announced he’s coming. I doubt a Maldonado is afraid of a little competition, though.

Chance He Signs With an MLB Team: 33%.

Commits Who Might Hear Their Name Called on Day Three (Rounds 11-20):

RHP/1B/3B David Horn

Here’s the Perfect Game scouting report on the two way player:

David Horn is a 2022 RHP/1B/3B with a 6-4 210 lb. frame from Mission Viejo, CA who attends JSerra Catholic School. Recorded a 7.05 second 60-yard dash time. Extra large frame with good athleticism and room for additional strength. Primary right-handed pitcher with an easy, low effort delivery. Fastball command to both sides with the pitch topping out at 93 mph. Misses a lot of bats low in the zone. Longer arm stroke through the back and fastball in-zone whiffs are his calling card. High three-quarters slot with good feel for the 12/6 curveball. Slider has good horizontal action and threw strikes with all three. Right-handed hitter with a slightly open stance and line drive approach. Looks to lift and has strength off the barrel. Generates leverage to the pull side and gets onto his front side well. Great student. Verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Named to the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

Range: Rounds 11-Undrafted. Top 250 Ranking: NR

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: NR

Perfect Game Rating: 10.

Prediction: He’s likely ours.

Chance He Signs With an MLB Team: 25%.

SS/2B Ivan Arias

Here’s the Perfect Game scouting report on the middle infielder:

Ivan Arias is a 2022 SS/2B with a 5-8 170 lb. frame from Boston, MA who attends Dexter Southfield. Medium height with an athletic build with some current strength to it. A primary infielder, quick feet with easy range to both sides. Good timing and rounds the ball with confidence. Hands work with a quick transfer and the arm can make all throws. A right-handed hitter, short to the ball with a level plane and excellent bat to ball skills. Advanced middle of the field approach and the eye-handed coordination and timing brings lots of middle of the field barrels. Good student. Verbal commitment to Vanderbilt.

Range: Rounds 11-Undrafted. Top 250 Ranking: NR

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: NR

Perfect Game Rating: 10.

Prediction: He’s likely ours.

Chance He Signs With an MLB Team: 15%.

OF/1B/3B Cooper Holbrook

Here’s the Perfect Game scouting report on the two way player:

Cooper Holbrook is a 2022 1B/3B, OF with a 6-3 190 lb. frame from Mount Pleasant, SC who attends Porter-Gaud. Extra-large, athletic build with square shoulders and long limbs, projectable build with room to fill. Moves well for size, posted a 6.79 60-yard dash. Primary first baseman, fields the ball out front with a wide base, will continue to refine overall footwork, shorter arm action on throws across and shows accuracy to intended base. Righthanded hitter, begins with a slightly open stance and a high hand set and back elbow at the plate; moves into contact well and swings with intent. Quickness to hands and creates nice separation with extension out front. Longer swing path through the zone and the ball jumps off the barrel to pull side, coils well at start of swing and comes out, occasionally gets mistimed. Tools to project upon in the box. Very good student.

Range: Rounds 11-Undrafted. Top 250 Ranking: NR

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: NR

Perfect Game Rating: 9.5.

Prediction: He’s likely ours (if we have room on the roster).

Chance He Signs With an MLB Team: 5%.

LHP/1B/OF JD Thompson

Here’s the Perfect Game scouting report on the two way player:

JD Thompson is a 2022 LHP/1B with a 6-0 180 lb. frame from Rusk, TX who attends Rusk. Medium athletic build. Well controlled low effort delivery, pitches within himself and repeats his mechanics well. Fastball topped out at 87 mph, has been up to 90-91 mph frequently in the past, throws his fastball to spots with occasional arm side running life. Curveball has good shape and feel and will throw on any county. Change up is his most effective pitch, locates the pitch well with fade and deception. Mix and match southpaw who knows how to pitch and has been very effective in the past. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt.

Range: Rounds 11-Undrafted. Top 250 Ranking: NR

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: NR

Perfect Game Rating: 9.

Prediction: He’s likely ours (if we have room on the roster).

Chance He Signs With an MLB Team: 5%.

OF Devin Kodali

Here’s the Perfect Game scouting report on the NY kid:

Devan Kodali is a 2022 OF/ with a 6-3 180 lb. frame from New York, NY who attends Poly Prep Country Day. Showed good speed with a 6.71 second 60 yard dash, Primary outfielder with a long frame and room to fill, showcased a full arm action while doing a good job getting on top of the baseball as it comes out nicely, has some athleticism in the footwork working through the ball. Righthanded hitter, starts with an even stance and high hands, showed a line drive approach spraying the ball mostly up the middle to the opposite field line, bat path has some loft to it with fluidity and good bat to ball skills through the hitting zone. Very good student. Verbal commitment to Vanderbilt.

Range: Rounds 11-Undrafted. Top 250 Ranking: NR

ESPN Top 300 Ranking: NR

Perfect Game Rating: 9.

Prediction: He’s likely ours (if we have room on the roster).

Other Commits

SS/RHP Matthew Wolfe, C/IF Logan Poteet, and 1B/IF Ray Velasquez are also currently committed to Vanderbilt, but have no ranking nor Perfect Game score, so will likely face an uphill battle to make this roster.