MLB Draft sparks pro-ball opportunity for over 600 players

40 Pac-12 players selected, none from WSU



Junior first baseman Kyle Manzardo, pictured here, was the final pick in the second round of the MLB draft.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

Over the course of three days, the 2022 Major League Baseball draft gave over 600 players the opportunity to begin their professional careers.

The first pick in the draft made by the Orioles was Jackson Holliday, son of baseball legend Matt Holliday who is a seven-time All-Star. Holliday is from Stillwater High School in Oklahoma.

Druw Jones, son of Andruw Jones who played 17 seasons in the majors, won 10 Gold Gloves and made five All-Star games, was taken second in the draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Druw Jones is from Georgia where he played high school ball at Wesleyan High School. Jones earned the highest signing bonus/contract for a baseball player out of high school ever with a bonus *of around $8 million.

The third pick was made by the Texas Rangers who selected Kumar Rocker. His contract is around $7.5 million.

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Termarr Johnson fourth overall from Mays High School in Georgia, and the Washington Nationals rounded out the top five by drafting Elijah Green from IMG Academy in Florida. Green is the son of former Pro Bowl tight end Eric Green.

This year’s draft produced a total of 40 players from the Pac-12. Out of the 11 baseball programs, nine schools saw players drafted while eight of those schools had two or more players drafted. The only two Pac-12 schools that did not see a player drafted were the Utah Utes and WSU Cougars.

Oregon State had the most players drafted with a total of eight. Arizona State, Cal and Stanford were all tied with six players drafted. Oregon and USC had four, while UCLA had three and Arizona had two. University of Washington rounded out the Pac-12 with one player drafted.

Although WSU did not have a player drafted from college, a future commit to the team was drafted in this year’s draft. The 139th pick was made by the Texas Rangers who selected Chandler Pollard. Pollard is from Winston, Ga. and played high school ball at Woodward Academy.

Pollard is a 2022 high school grad who is committed to play at WSU in the fall but can opt out and elect to work his way through the Rangers program if he chooses to do so. Pollard was ranked the 16th best overall high school player in Georgia and the fifth best outfielder. The pick value of the 139th pick is a little over $400,000.

The first Pac-12 player to be taken is Daniel Susac who was drafted 19th overall by the Oakland Athletics. Susac won Pac-12 Freshman of The Year two seasons ago with Arizona and had a stellar sophomore season to skyrocket his draft stock.

The next Pac-12 draft pick was Cooper Hjerpe from Oregon State who was selected 22nd by the St. Louis Cardinals. Dylan Beavers was the next Pac-12 athlete to go off the board at pick 33 by the Orioles. Beavers played college ball with Cal.

JR Ritchie was the 35th pick made by the Atlanta Braves. Ritchie is from Bainbridge, Wash. and is currently committed to UCLA but could go straight to the MLB. Right-handed pitcher Jackson Cox, who’s committed to Oregon and is from Toutle Lake, Wash. was selected 50th overall by the Colorado Rockies.

The first player drafted from a Washington based-college was Gabriel Hughes. Hughes was drafted 10th overall by the Rockies and played for Gonzaga. His hometown is Eagle, Idaho. Hughes was one of four Bulldogs taken in this year’s draft.

The Seattle Mariners made 20 picks in this year’s draft. Their highest pick was 21st overall and their lowest was 606th overall.

Seattle took Cole Young with their 21st overall pick. Young is a shortstop from Wexford, Pa. who played high school ball at North Allegheny High School. This is the second straight year the Mariners’ first pick was someone straight out of high school.

The 18-year-old batted .428 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs in 73 high school games. He struck out a total of 24 times including 15 as a freshman. He had six homers in 2021 which put him tied for fifth in school history for homers in a single season.

The next pick the Mariners made was at 58 where they selected Tyler Locklear. Locklear is a third baseman who played college ball for VCU in Virginia.

Seattle is one of 16 MLB teams to receive competitive balance picks for playing in a smaller market. They used their competitive balance pick  where they selected Walter Ford, a right-handed pitcher from Florida 74th overall. He pitched for Pace High School.

The draft also features compensatory picks: picks given to teams that lost free agents who rejected qualifying offers to rejoin their team earlier in the season.

The 15 other teams that received competitive balance picks were the Orioles, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Rockies, Guardians, Padres, Marlins, Twins, Athletics, Rangers, Rays, Tigers, Brewers, Reds and Royals.

The Mariners’ 516th pick in the 17th round was Stefan Raeth from University of Washington. Raeth is a left-handed pitcher who is from Lafayette, Calif. Raeth pitched a total of 66.1 innings for the Huskies last season and recorded 89 strikeouts and 19 walks. Rathe gave up 29 runs on 57 hits. With the 606th pick in round 20, the Mariners made their final selection, taking second baseman Nick Zona from James Madison U in Virginia.

The last overall pick in the MLB draft was made by the San Francisco Giants with the 616 pick. They took first-baseman Ethan Long who played college ball for the Arizona State Sun Devils. Long was the last pick in the draft and gave the Pac-12 their 40th player selected in 2022.