Welcome to another year of LL’s Draft coverage! Here you’ll find a running list of all the Mariners’ 2022 Draft picks, along with links to our individual writeups of each player. Generally we do separate articles for each of the first four picks, as those are the ones who are easiest to source info on, and then start rolling together blurbs for the later round picks. We’ll also update this with signing info when the players start signing their professional contracts.
Round One, #21 overall: SS Cole Young, North Allegheny High School (PA)
Slot value: $3,291,200
The pocket-sized scouting report: A potential five-tool player with the tools to stick at shortstop. Excellent barrel control and an ability to spray the ball everywhere. Raw power that doesn’t yet show up in games. No loud, standout tool as yet, but a broad set of skills that should translate to a solid big-leaguer, with a potential ceiling for more depending on development. Draws Anthony Volpe comps. Duke commit.
Cole Young….natural feel & discipline in the box to win a batting title…flashbacks to Wade Boggs albeit w/ a faster pedal around the bases….think he enters the league and avoids Tobacco Road. #MLBDraft22 pic.twitter.com/POzmiKvord— MLB Draft Room (@MLBDraftRoom) July 12, 2022
Round Two, #58 overall: 3B/1B Tyler Locklear, VCU
Slot value: $1,275,900
The pocket-sized scouting report: Hello, did someone order some power? Because Locklear, VCU’s highest-ever draft pick, has that in spades. The 6’3” righty slugger recorded VCU’s highest-ever slugging percentage at .704, and is tied for the school’s single-season HR record with 37. He’s also received rave reviews from his coach at VCU, Shawn Stiffler, for his work ethic, which was described as “unbelievable.” Locklear is listed as a third baseman but will probably be a first baseman at the next level. There might be a Pete Alonso in here, but there also might be a Yonder Alonso.
Tyler Locklear (‘22 elig) with a monstrous two-run shot to center. Showing why he was a 2nd team preseason PG All-American. Powerful, elevated stroke. #PGDraft @PGCollegeBall | @PHarding_PG pic.twitter.com/TBOZYkpSth— PG Mid Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA, MD) (@PGMidAtlantic) March 8, 2022
There have also been some comparisons to former Mariners prospect Tyler Keenan, taken in 2020’s draft and traded to the Blue Jays for Ryan Borucki, although it’s worth pointing out that Locklear walks much more and strikes out much less, although against much less formidable competition.
Since 2018, Tyler Locklear is the only player in college baseball to have a 95th percentile or better rate in each of the four major offensive metrics: Average EV, Max EV, Contact Rate, and Chase Rate. pic.twitter.com/TQnwUraPXs— (@mason_mcrae) May 17, 2022
Competitive Balance Round B, #74 overall: RHP Walter Ford, Pace HS (FL)
Slot value: $887,000
The pocket-sized scouting report: Ford reclassified to be one of the youngest players (actually, the youngest!) in this draft, as he’s just 17. The 6’3” righty currently sits 93 on his fastball, but can get up to 96-97 at top speed. His strongest secondary pitch is a whiff-getting slider. He’s also working on developing a changeup, but that’s the furthest pitch away in his arsenal. He’s also a bit of a metrics darling:
Another fun one is 17-year-old Florida prep RHP Walter Ford @Vanilla_Missile: he’s 2nd in arm speed & stride length behind Ben Joyce, has 98% efficiency, and the 2nd-highest hip-shoulder separation (analog for athleticism/flexibility in delivery). Another favorite for model clubs pic.twitter.com/5ryL6Rqzw1— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) July 16, 2022
Model clubs! That’s us! He’s got a sense of humor, too; his Twitter handle is @vanilla_missile.
Round Three: No pick for the Mariners here because of the Robbie Ray signing. Meanwhile, the Angels took pitching Twitter sensation Ben Joyce from Tennessee, who hit 105 MPH in relief. Boo.
Round Four, #126: RHP Ashton “AJ” Izzi, Oswego East HS (IL)
Slot value: $474,700
Pocket-sized scouting report: Another high school arm! Surprising! Izzi is committed to Wichita State, but you have to assume the Mariners think he’s signable if they’re picking him here. FB: 91-93 mph, downward angle into the zone. Izzi’s fastball sits 91-93 MPH but has ticked up to 97, and he pairs that with a solid slider (80-84) that tunnels well with his fastball and features tight spin. He’s also shown some feel for a changeup with some late fade.
‘22 RHP Ashton Izzi (@OEHSbaseball; @GoShockersBSB) giving an impressive look on this cold day.— PBR Illinois (@PBRIllinois) April 5, 2022
FB: 92-93 mph, T94 mph
SL: 76-82 mph, short 10/4 action
CH: 80-83 mph, late fade
Izzi has recorded 8 of his 9 outs via strikeout. pic.twitter.com/o9Jcj8zEhL
Round Five, #156: LHP Reid VanScoter, Coastal Carolina
Slot value: $353,700
VanScoter began his college career close to home (Livonia, NY) at Binghamton College, where he missed his first sophomore year in 2019 with what turned out to be a well-timed TJ surgery, as he also sat out the pandemic year of 2020. At Coastal Carolina, he posted a 3.60 ERA in his senior redshirt season. A pitchability lefty with a deep arsenal that he relies on more than raw stuff, VanScoter might be a money-saving selection after the Mariners have gone heavy prep so far in this draft, but this is also the kind of arm that often blossoms under the Mariners’ elite pitching development system.
Round Six, #186: SS Josh Hood, NC State
Slot value: $272,600
Back to the college ranks with Hood, who began his career at Penn, where he was the Ivy League ROY back in 2019. After the Ivy League canceled all sports during the COVID-19 pandemic for two years, Hood transferred to NC State, where he slashed .268/.350/.498 against significantly tougher competition as a redshirt junior. The Wolfpack deployed Hood at short, where he performed solidly, but he played more third base at Penn and can play either position on the left side. Hood has significant power (13 HR in 2022), but can be power over hit, so will need to work on cutting down his strikeouts (57 in as many games this season) in pro ball. He’s also a nice Jersey boy, hailing from Vineland, NJ.
Josh Hood has quietly had a fantastic season for NC State. Didn't play last year, smooth swing with some good pullside juice, shown here by this absolute laser. Limited strikeouts and has looked good defensively. Certainly has improved his stock this spring. pic.twitter.com/doHm0H4Jl0— Tyler Jennings (@TylerJennings24) March 27, 2022
Round Seven, #216: 2B Hogan Windish, UNC-Greensboro
Slot value: $213,700
Windish is a senior sign, so another money-saving pick, but brings a good amount of power over with him. While he went mini-viral for this 480-foot grand slam he hit in the Coastal Plain League last summer, he’s currently blowing things up in the Cape Cod League, which we know the Mariners value. Although his numbers have gone down a little since the tweet below, he’s anchoring the Wareham lineup and leading the league in RBI.
Round Eight, #246: C Tatem Levins, Pitt
Slot value: $175,500
I’ve been writing up these draft pieces for a good bit of time now and this is the first time I can remember the Mariners taking someone out of the University of Pittsburgh. A former decorated swimmer in high school, Levins is a burly boy backstop who is a solid defender with the kind of veteran leadership that will be so valuable for this crop of young pitchers—think in the mold of Andy Thomas from Baylor, currently in Everett. Like Thomas, the left-handed-hitting Levins can show some pop with easy power to the pull side, and hit double-digit home runs this year for Pitt, giving him a more balanced profile than the typical defense-first college catcher and a solid value here in the eighth round.
Round Nine, #276: RHP Tyler Gough, JSerra HS (CA)
Slot Value: $159,300
Another prep pitcher? This late??? And not just any HS pitcher: Gough comes out of the vaunted prospect factory of JSerra in the O.C. The 6’2” Gough (“Guff”) is a burgeoning power pitcher with a four-pitch mix featuring a fastball that can get up to 97 and a tight, high-spin slider that’s a swing-and-miss weapon, in addition to a changeup and a sharp curveball. Gough is aggressive on the mound and likes to go right after hitters, unafraid to attack with any element of his arsenal. Unranked by MLB for most of the season, he opened some eyes when he struck out all five batters he faced at the Draft Combine. This is a very tough place to sign a pitcher of this quality, especially when factoring in a commitment to Oregon State, but we’ll assume the Mariners have racked up some significant savings in rounds 2, 5, and 8, and maybe slightly underslot at 7.
Round 10, #306: OF Bill Knight Jr., Mercer
Slot value: $150,800
Knight was set to transfer from Mercer (Kyle Lewis’s alma mater) as a redshirt senior to Mississippi State, but the Mariners snapped him up first. Knight hit 17 homers this year while playing a good defensive center field. In the 10th round, he’s the first outfielder selected by the Mariners in the 2022 Draft.