The MLB Pipeline crew has dropped a new 2022 MLB Mock Draft, and they have a new pick for the Chicago Cubs at number seven.
Wondering who your club might take in the '22 MLB Draft?
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 12, 2022
The previous mock had the Cubs going with Texas Tech infielder Jace Jung, but now the Cubs get an absolute dream scenario: arguably the top high school bat, Termarr Johnson.
If you’re wondering how the top high school bat would fall to number seven, or why he would be picked behind several other high school position players, it’s because Johnson has some questions about where he can play defensively. It’s possible he’ll be able to handle second base long-term, but it’s also possible he’s going to wind up leaning heavily on the bat in a much less valuable defensive position. That means there’s some risk there that you wouldn’t have with a guy who is expected to be, for example, a very good defensive center fielder or shortstop. But the bat, well, a lotta folks think he might have the best bat long-term of anyone in the draft. So if he’s there at seven, the Cubs *have* to go with him. (Pipeline ranks Johnson the third best overall prospect in the draft class, by the way, behind only Druw Jones and Elijah Green.)
So, yeah, Johnson to the Cubs at pick seven is a dream. Probably too much of a dream to become a reality.
But where the MLB Pipeline mock gets VERY interesting is in the rumor they drop together with the Johnson pick:
7. Cubs: Termarr Johnson, 2B, Mays HS, Atlanta (No. 3)
Getting either Johnson or Berry at No. 7 would be a tremendous value for the Cubs, who are known to like Chipola (Fla.) JC third baseman Cam Collier as well.
The Cubs are “known” to like Cam Collier, you say? In case you’ve forgotten, Collier is the 17-year-old third base prospect who graduated early from high school so that he could play JuCo ball this year (the first draft prospect to do that since Bryce Harper). The opinions on Collier are really wide, with some saying he should absolutely be a top five pick, with others having him more down in the mid-first-round. It really just depends on how much you like the bat (he can probably stick at third), and it’s a little hard to know, given the challenge he gave himself this year. Me? I’m a fan.
Collier ranked all the way up at number two on Keith Law’s big board, though Pipeline ranks him 17th. Like I said: really wide range of opinions.
If the top four high school position players (Jones, Green, Holliday, and Johnson), as well as college bats Kevin Parada and Brooks Lee, are off the board come pick seven, I wonder if the Cubs’ plan is to try to get Collier to sign under slot. It wouldn’t really be a talent reach, but because he has that potential to slide to the mid-round, it might be a unique opportunity to get the guy you want AND save some bonus pool money for later rounds.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love how this draft is shaking out for the Cubs at seven. You throw in Jung and Jacob Berry – again, opinions vary – and you’ve got at least nine guys who feel like potentially excellent picks at seven.