MLB Draft evaluation for each first-round decide from The Athletic’s Keith Regulation
Analysis

MLB Draft evaluation for each first-round decide from The Athletic’s Keith Regulation

Day 1 is within the books, and it began off with a bang, with the Rangers tipping the entire desk over by taking Kumar Rocker with the third decide. It solely obtained extra enjoyable from there — at the very least after we truly heard the picks between all of the interviews of gamers my age about how they needed to stroll uphill within the snow to get the telegram saying they’d been drafted. We had a bunch of peculiar picks within the first spherical, and numerous groups zagging after they used to zig, which makes it far more attention-grabbing in the event you’ve adopted the draft for a number of years, even only for a single membership.

Some common observations:

• The Mets did rather well. They’d extra scrutiny on them after they didn’t signal Rocker final yr, however made up for it, utilizing the compensatory decide they obtained for the Rocker choice to take Kevin Parada, a top-10 expertise and for my part one of the best participant in faculty baseball this yr. They’d 4 picks on Sunday and took 4 gamers ranked in my prime 50, together with a “intestine really feel” man of mine, D.C. highschool centerfielder/infielder Nick Morabito.

• I additionally just like the Blue Jays’ draft fairly a bit, though they took a highschool arm within the first spherical — which historic information doesn’t assist — as a result of 1) they did take a extremely, actually good highschool arm and a couple of) they backed it up with three stable place gamers who’ve an opportunity to remain up the center and have affordable flooring.

• We noticed numerous presumed powerful indicators drafted on Sunday, together with nearly all the prime highschool pitchers in that class. Forty-one of my prime 42 gamers have been chosen, with Brock Porter, a Clemson commit from a Michigan highschool, the one exception. I’m going to imagine that when we obtained previous decide No. 15 or so, he wished effectively over slot in an effort to signal. However quite a few different highschool pitchers with what I’d heard could be huge worth tags ended up drafted, and I assume they’re all going to signal – Ian Ritchie (dedicated to UCLA), Noah Schultz (Vanderbilt), Jacob Miller (Louisville), the “Vanilla Missile” Walter Ford (Alabama), Owen Murphy (Notre Dame) and Jackson Cox (Oregon). Positive, we usually get numerous big-ticket highschool pitchers drafted ever yr, however nearly none of them are left at this level. After Porter, it’s a must to get to No. 54 on my checklist, Bradley Loftin (Mississippi State), after which it’s No. 73 Tristan Smith (Clemson). That’s a superb factor – we must be paying these youngsters, and the truth that they have been drafted on Day 1 says to me they’ll receives a commission. Though Clemson should have had some form of recruiting pitch this yr.

• This occurs yearly, however Vanderbilt was hit exhausting. Druw Jones was by no means setting foot on campus, and I don’t assume Dylan Lesko or Brandon Barriera have been both, however Sal Stewart and Noah Schultz had an opportunity to finish up in Nashville.

• Solely 4 catchers drafted in 80 picks appears just a little mild, however I believe that displays the draft class, which wasn’t sturdy general on the faculty or highschool ranges behind the plate.

• Did Atlanta tie Alex Anthopoulos up and throw him in a closet? Whereas he was GM of Toronto, the Blue Jays took highschool pitchers within the first spherical twice, however didn’t signal both man. He hadn’t accomplished it in any respect with Atlanta; the crew’s first highschool pitcher choice final yr got here within the seventh spherical, it didn’t take one in 2020, and its first one in 2019 got here within the thirteenth. So this yr, in fact, the crew took highschool pitchers with its first three picks.

• I’m not choosing up what the Rays are placing down right here. They’d 4 picks, and two of them weren’t simply off my prime 100, however effectively off it – Xavier Isaac, a power-hitting highschool first baseman (a nasty demographic within the draft, traditionally) with a nasty physique (a worse demographic); and Chandler Simpson, one of many quickest gamers within the draft however one with 20 energy. They did take two toolsy, higher-ceiling faculty outfielders in Brock Jones and Ryan Cermak, each dangerous guys with low flooring (Jones has to chop his swing and miss down or he’s not a big-leaguer) however greater than sufficient ceiling to make up for it.

• The power of what’s left appears to be faculty pitching. I don’t know if any of those pitchers had one thing pop up that steered groups away from them, however I see fairly a number of pitchers obtainable who at the very least have an opportunity to stay as starters long run, sufficient that I might assume they’d all come off the board within the subsequent two rounds on Monday.

For extra evaluation, take a look at all the highlights and information from Day 1 of the MLB Draft.


1. Baltimore Orioles: Jackson Holliday, SS, Stillwater (Okla.) Excessive

No. 6 on Keith Regulation’s Huge Board

The Orioles take Jackson Holliday, son of Matt, one of many small handful of gamers worthy of the No. 1 decide on this jumbled yr. I don’t assume this shall be an under-slot deal, given Holliday’s expertise, faculty dedication and advisor (Scott Boras). My guess is Holliday — who’s the primary highschool participant the Orioles have taken with their first decide underneath Mike Elias — will get one thing close to slot, and the Orioles get artistic in a while, as they’ve two additional picks. As for Holliday, he initiatives to remain at shortstop, and he reworked his physique and his swing final offseason to get stronger and considerably enhance scouts’ opinions of his future hit instrument and potential for energy. He went from “perhaps he will get into the primary spherical” to the primary decide. And he has two youthful brothers, in case you wish to begin scouting for 2025 and past.

Scouting report: I’m undecided anybody helped himself greater than Holliday this spring, notably throughout his crew’s spring break journey to Arizona in March, the place Holliday confirmed extremely effectively in entrance of numerous decision-makers on the town for spring coaching. He has top-of-the-line swings within the draft, even with a slight bat wrap, with sturdy plate protection and above-average energy, extra prone to be a high-doubles man with 15-20 homers than a 30-homer man even at his peak. He’s been exhausting to strike out as an beginner, solely displaying occasional weak point in opposition to fastballs up, and to this point his pitch recognition has been sturdy for his age and expertise degree. He’s improved his defensive abilities at shortstop, though there’s additionally been speak of him transferring to centerfield to reap the benefits of his pace if he can’t keep at brief, slightly than transferring him to second or third. It additionally hasn’t harm that his father, Matt, was a longtime big-leaguer and seven-time All-Star, and that scouts have been simply as impressed by Jackson’s youthful brother, Ethan, who might develop into a top-5 decide within the 2025 draft. Jackson’s heading for a similar vary this yr.

2. Arizona Diamondbacks: Druw Jones, OF, Wesleyan Faculty (Norcross, Ga.)

No. 1 on the Huge Board

Arizona will get the No. 1 participant on most draft boards, the kind of consensus prime man, Druw Jones, son of Andruw. Druw is a real centerfielder who exhibits numerous his father’s habits within the discipline and may present you plus energy and pace, simply as his dad did earlier than his knees went. There are some questions on the place Druw’s hit instrument is at present, though if he didn’t have these considerations he would have been No. 1 in all places and ranked among the many finest draft prospects of the previous decade. He’s nonetheless obtained big upside and provides Arizona a troika of elite high-ceiling hitting prospects, together with Corbin Carroll and Jordan Lawlar.

Scouting report: Jones’ recreation bears many resemblances to his father’s, not least within the outfield, the place Druw is already a plus defender and will work his manner as much as an elite degree with expertise. On the plate, he exhibits 70 energy because of the power in his wrists and forearms, with extra energy attainable as he fills out additional. And he has proven some bat management in opposition to beginner competitors, with some understanding of when to tug the ball and when to attempt to go the opposite manner. He’s a plus runner proper now however might lose a few of that down the street as he will get larger, as his father did by age 24-25. The actual query on Druw is whether or not he’ll hit – if he does, he’s a celebrity, with 30/30 potential and a glove that ought to save 10 or extra runs a yr in middle. If he’s extra of a forty five bat, he nonetheless has loads of major-league worth because of the secondary abilities, so he may very well be value a number of WAR per yr even with a .300ish on-base proportion. He’d must be a worse hitter than even that to be one thing lower than an everyday, and the unlikeliness of that end result mixed together with his very excessive ceiling make him the highest prospect on this yr’s draft class.

3. Texas Rangers: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Tri-Metropolis ValleyCats

No. 33 on the Huge Board

Effectively, the Rangers simply threw a metaphorical grenade into this draft, choosing Rocker with the third decide – so Rocker might be going to finish up with more cash this yr than he would have gotten had he signed with the Mets final yr. Rocker threw a number of occasions for the Tri-Metropolis ValleyCats this June, sitting 95-98 mph in his finest outing with an above-average slider, working from a decrease arm slot than he had at Vanderbilt. This gave his fastball extra life, but additionally at the very least raises the query of whether or not this can be a results of the shoulder surgical procedure he had in September. Now he joins former Vanderbilt rotation-made Jack Leiter within the Rangers system. For those who’d mentioned to just about anybody in baseball in March 2021 that one group would find yourself with each of these pitchers, they’d have laughed maniacally in your face.

Scouting report: Rocker was the Tenth-overall decide final yr, chosen by the Mets, however the crew declined to supply him a contract after discovering one thing they didn’t like in his post-draft bodily. Rocker left Vanderbilt to pitch for the impartial Tri-Metropolis ValleyCats in upstate New York, the place he was 95-98 in his first outing with two above-average breaking balls and an satisfactory changeup, displaying a decrease arm slot than he had final yr. Rocker has proven a plus-plus slider at occasions prior to now, and there’s no motive to assume his fastball is again however his slider isn’t. He has at all times had higher management than command, and whereas he’s proven unbelievable competitiveness in some video games — just like the no-hitter he threw in 2019, when he was pushed to 131 pitches — he’s additionally had outings the place he appeared to battle to regulate mid-game. He has No. 2 starter upside, if wholesome, however the danger related together with his medicals might make him a greater wager for some crew’s second decide.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Termarr Johnson, 2B/SS, Mays Excessive (Atlanta)

No. 3 on the Huge Board

The Pirates love gamers who can hit – even with the change generally managers three years in the past, they nonetheless concentrate on guys who put the ball in play so much within the draft. No person within the draft earned extra raves for his pure hit instrument than Johnson, with one scout telling me it was one of the best hit instrument he’d seen on a highschool child in at the very least 10 years. Johnson is simply 5-foot-8 and nearly definitely has to maneuver off shortstop in professional ball, however he has the pace for middle and definitely has the fingers for second base if needed.

Scouting report: Johnson has one of the best pure hit instrument within the draft class, with scouts saying it’s one of the best hit instrument they’ve seen on a highschool child in a decade or extra. Regardless of a small hitch in his swing, he does hit all pitch varieties and controls the zone, with excellent hand-eye coordination and nice bat pace, making good high quality contact however with solely common energy. He’s a shortstop now however will transfer to second base in professional ball, with good fingers however not the footwork to deal with brief. I believe the current hit instrument is a 60, at finest, slightly than a 70, though maybe it can get there in time, however he’s swung and missed sufficient in opposition to good competitors that the upper grade doesn’t apply simply but. He has distinctive make-up in each analysis, from his really feel for the sport to the way in which he acts as a further coach on the sector to the interviews he’s had with scouts and crew executives, so there’s higher confidence that he’ll attain his ceiling than there’s for almost any highschool participant. That ceiling is tied to only how good his hit instrument can develop into.

5. Washington Nationals: Elijah Inexperienced, OF, IMG Academy

No. 4 on the Huge Board

There’d been numerous speak that the Nats have been coping with an inside debate between taking a sure-thing faculty participant (possible Kevin Parada) and going for upside, as they did final yr, with one of the best highschool place participant obtainable. They did the latter, taking the very athletic Inexperienced, who on pure upside in all probability beats even Jones. However Inexperienced has extra questions on his current hit instrument, particularly his pitch recognition, than Jones, Holliday or different friends on this class. In 2021, the Nats took Brady Home, who had extraordinarily excessive exit velocities, even with questions on his hit instrument and his future place, and the early returns have been superb, so maybe this inspired them to stay with that philosophy.

Scouting report: Inexperienced seems to be the a part of a future star in measurement, body, and particularly instruments, with a powerful, athletic 6-3 construct, explosive pace, and plus energy already that initiatives to 70 sooner or later. It’s straightforward, straightforward energy, with improbable hand acceleration after a quiet begin, and when he will get his arms prolonged the ball jumps off his bat. All his energy comes on pitches on the center or outer thirds, though he can nonetheless make contact on the inside third, simply with out the identical type of impression. The priority on Inexperienced has at all times been his tendency to swing and miss, particularly on stuff within the zone; he doesn’t chase fastballs, however will miss fastball strikes, particularly up, and may broaden for breaking stuff down and away. He has essentially the most pure upside of the highschool place gamers within the class, with 30/30 potential in a real centerfielder who throws effectively sufficient to play proper, with a bit extra danger than among the different hitters within the prime echelon.

6. Miami Marlins: Jacob Berry, OF, LSU

No. 27 on the Huge Board

The Marlins have been supposedly locked in on Johnson, however needed to swap to plan B when the Pirates took him at No. 4. They went with Berry, one of many extra divisive prospects on this draft. His followers amongst scouts thought he had one of the best mixture of hit and energy amongst faculty bats; whereas his detractors (waves hand furiously) pointed to his lack of a place – he’s prone to find yourself at DH – and fewer than stellar exit velocities for LSU. This seems like a attain to me. If Berry’s a delegated hitter, or a nasty left fielder, his upside is capped and he has to essentially attain his ceiling as a hitter to be worthy of a prime 10 choice. That mentioned, there have been different groups drafting up right here with sturdy curiosity, together with the Rockies at No. 10.

Scouting report: Berry has top-of-the-line pure hit instruments within the draft class, with an distinctive mixture of contact and energy — on the finish of the common season, he had the fewest strikeouts of any hitter with at the very least 15 homers. He transferred from the College of Arizona to LSU for his junior yr, and within the course of lower his strikeout fee considerably, with much less energy on contact (maybe additionally a results of transferring from 2,400 toes above sea degree to 56 toes above it). He has a quite simple method from either side of the plate, with no stride and simply common bat pace, however regardless of that he’s had no hassle attending to good velocity. Berry has no place — the Tigers have tried him at third and each outfield corners, and he’s been dangerous in all places, paying homage to present Diamondbacks DH Seth Beer when he was at Clemson. That lack of a place limits how precious he might be, and if he doesn’t hit, there’s no ground. However somebody will take him for the potential OBP/energy mixture he gives, maybe with the hope he can deal with first base.

MLB Draft evaluation for each first-round decide from The Athletic’s Keith Regulation


Cade Horton (Steven Branscombe / USA At the moment Sports activities)

7. Chicago Cubs: Cade Horton, RHP, Oklahoma

No. 93 on the Huge Board

Nobody’s inventory rose extra within the final month of the beginner season than Cade Horton, who modified the form of his breaking ball and went on a tear within the postseason with a two-pitch combo. He missed 2021 with Tommy John surgical procedure, and is primarily a two-pitch man with restricted expertise as a starter – he was a two-way man, taking part in brief and pitching in aid, till transferring into Oklahoma’s rotation partway via this season. He may very well be only a very late bloomer, or this may very well be recency bias, favoring what we noticed within the final six weeks over all the pieces that got here earlier than. Horton can be a draft-eligible sophomore, giving him numerous leverage to ask for a top-10 bonus, though I’m certain the Cubs will meet it.

Scouting report: Horton is an age-eligible sophomore (he’ll flip 21 in August) who missed 2021 after Tommy John surgical procedure however has been a key a part of the Sooners’ run to Omaha this yr, working with two pitches which have helped him dominate right-handed batters. Horton sits 94-96 mph, touching 98 mph, and has a wipeout slider as much as 89 mph that breaks downward so sharply that it doesn’t simply fall off the desk, it takes the tablecloth and all of the dishes with it. He has no changeup to talk of and allowed an on-base proportion close to .400 to lefties this yr, and that’s the principle factor maintaining him from projecting as a starter. For those who assume there’s a 3rd weapon in there someplace, he could be a second-rounder; if not, he’s within the huge bucket of fine faculty pitchers who challenge as relievers and slot in rounds 3-5.

8. Minnesota Twins: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly

No. 5 on the Huge Board

Lee was within the combine to be the primary decide, and whereas there was no consensus on this, I believe he was one of the best faculty participant within the class. He has elite contact abilities, makes exhausting contact and can keep on the filth, in all probability at second or third. The Twins must be ecstatic that he was there at decide No. 8, however among the surprises to this point, like Rocker and Horton, have pushed the consensus skills from earlier within the spring down a bit. I’m certain this isn’t a part of why the Twins took him, however Lee does challenge to maneuver fairly rapidly via the low minors and will see the majors whereas this Twins core continues to be aggressive.

Scouting report: Lee has been one of the best pure hitter amongst faculty prospects this yr, operating a walk-to-strikeout fee over 2.00 all season and punching out effectively underneath 10 % of the time. He controls the zone effectively and barely misses fastballs inside it, because of distinctive hand-eye coordination. His swing is unorthodox and form of noisy, with some evident effort, however with all that hip and torso rotation he doesn’t at all times make the high-quality contact groups are in search of in elite prospects. I don’t assume Lee is a shortstop long run; he has excellent fingers that may play wherever on the sector, however his ankles are thick and he’s a 40 runner, so the lateral agility that place calls for could be past his bodily skill. Put him at third base and he must be high quality. It’s a wager on the bat, and {that a} professional division can take this basis of contact abilities and assist him get to extra constant contact high quality; it’s simpler to show somebody to hit the ball more durable than it’s to show him to hit the ball within the first place. Lee must be a powerful common who makes some All-Star groups as a 3rd or second baseman, however in all probability doesn’t challenge to be a celebrity.

9. Kansas Metropolis Royals: Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech

No. 10 on the Huge Board

The Royals did find yourself going faculty, after numerous speak all spring that they have been going to go for an upside man like Justin Crawford and even Brock Porter. It is sensible for them to take somebody safer after a draft in 2021 that was high-risk/high-reward, constructed round three highschool pitchers, all of whom have had their ups and downs in professional ball this yr. Cross is a conventional energy bat who’ll transfer to the nook outfield, with a stable method, good left-handed swing and 20-25 homer energy. Given the success they’ve had with growing hitters within the final two years, I may see him advancing in a short time of their system.

Scouting report: Cross is a complicated hitter with above-average energy and the potential for extra with some swing changes, rising because of a skinny crop of superior faculty hitters on this yr’s class. He’s improved his method considerably this yr, strolling greater than he’s struck out in convention play via Could nineteenth, and enhancing his ball-strike recognition over 2021. He’s an above-average runner who can steal a bag however isn’t fleet sufficient to remain in middle in professional ball. He strides too far on the plate, with out transferring his weight as he does so, which cuts off a few of his energy potential and may go away him unable to drive something on the outer half. He hasn’t confronted a lot left-handed pitching this yr, with a light platoon break up within the pattern he’s had, which is simply one thing to observe when he strikes into professional ball slightly than a direct concern. He must be a stable common in an outfield nook, because of his hitting and on-base abilities, however I’d wish to see some swing modifications which may unlock extra energy.

10. Colorado Rockies: Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga

No. 30 on the Huge Board

I can’t argue with the Rockies taking pitching within the first spherical. I like this so much higher than the rumor that they’d take Berry, who appeared just like the worst match for a house ballpark the place protection issues a lot. Hughes has some danger for a similar motive, although, as he depends fairly closely on a slider that received’t break fairly the identical manner at altitude. He’s a two-pitch starter who wants to enhance his command and develop his seldom-used changeup.

Scouting report: Hughes took a giant step ahead in command this yr whilst his stuff ticked up, all of which has put him into first-round consideration. He’s sitting 93-94 mph now, touching 97 mph, up nearly 2 mph from final yr, with a tough slider within the low to mid 80s that misses numerous bats. He’s big, 6-5 and 225 kilos already, with a workhorse body however a longish arm motion that he has a tough time repeating. He has a changeup that he barely makes use of, though it’s been efficient when he has. There’s some reliever danger right here from the supply, and the truth that his command continues to be in all probability a comfortable 45, however there’s additionally huge upside given the body and the 2 pitches he already has.

11. New York Mets: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech

No. 7 on the Huge Board

This can be a best-case state of affairs for the Mets, getting the participant I voted to win the Golden Spikes Award this yr. Parada can actually hit, has plus energy and is nice sufficient to remain behind the plate – though there are some scouts who assume he’ll ultimately have to maneuver to a different place. He’s very disciplined as a hitter and, regardless of a bizarre begin – holding the bat over his again shoulder prefer it’s annoying him – he exhibits fast wrists and has hit better-quality pitching whereas at Georgia Tech. I do know the Mets have one of many absolute best prospects left within the minors in Francisco Álvarez, however there isn’t a such factor as having too many catching prospects. To go from not signing Rocker a yr in the past to touchdown a top-five expertise this yr is an entire 180, and Mets followers ought to really feel superb about ending up right here.

Scouting report: Parada has been top-of-the-line hitters in faculty baseball this yr, tying for sixth in Division 1 with 26 residence runs whereas strolling practically as usually as he struck out on the season (32:30 Okay:BB), regardless of one of many more unusual setups you’ll see in a hitter and whereas dealing with essentially the most tough place on the diamond. Parada units up on the plate with the bat slung over his shoulder like a bag of golf golf equipment, however will get the bat to the zone on time, even in opposition to higher velocity. His plate self-discipline and pitch recognition are each superior for an beginner and he’s proven some skill to make changes in-season already. Behind the plate, he’s satisfactory as a receiver with fringy arm power, ok to remain there as a result of he hits so effectively. With 20-25 homer energy and a possible 60 hit instrument at a place of everlasting shortage, he gives among the finest pure worth within the draft class.

12. Detroit Tigers: Jace Jung, 3B, Texas Tech

No. 8 on the large board

I’d heard the Tigers totally on faculty bats this spring, and had them greater than as soon as with Gavin Cross, who went ninth to the Royals. Jung, brother of Rangers prospect Josh Jung, was top-of-the-line performers amongst faculty hitters on this draft class, and a lot of the spring groups within the teenagers informed me they thought he’d go within the first 10 picks. This looks as if an ideal worth decide for the Tigers and provides them one other prospect who initiatives to maneuver via the minors rapidly, so he can see the lineup whereas Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson are there. He additionally gives some certainty, as he has a protracted monitor document of hitting. He’s not nice at second base and may transfer to an outfield nook, and it’s an uncommon setup on the plate, one thing that hasn’t affected him to this point however may develop into a problem because the pitching will get higher.

Scouting report: Jung has one of many weirdest setups you’ll ever see in a hitter above Little League, holding the bat to this point behind his again shoulder that you just’d assume it was coated in a poisonous fungus. Or maybe cooties. But he hits — he hit effectively sufficient as a sophomore in 2021, with a .337/.462/.697 line and extra walks than strikeouts, that he in all probability would have gone within the prime half of the primary spherical final yr had he been eligible. The youthful brother of Rangers prospect Josh Jung, Jace will get the bat head into the zone in loads of time to make constant, high-quality contact, together with energy, with 21 homers as a sophomore and 14 this season. His place continues to be the principle query; he’s largely performed second base in faculty, not that effectively, however doesn’t have the arm for the left facet of the infield or the pace to play wherever else however left discipline or first base. There’s sufficient motive to purchase his bat that he’s going to go within the top-10 picks even with such an enormous unknown in his profile.

13. Los Angeles Angels: Zach Neto, SS, Campbell

No. 9 on the Huge Board

The Angels took solely pitchers final yr, and to be sincere, I by no means heard them linked to any place gamers this spring. However Neto wasn’t purported to get to this decide, so perhaps he was simply too good a prospect to go up. It’s additionally value mentioning that the Angels want hitters as a lot as they want pitching at this level. Neto destroyed mid-major pitching this spring, with twice as many walks as strikeouts, and practically as many homers (15) as strikeouts (19). He initiatives as a high-average doubles hitter who has a superb probability to remain at shortstop. I’d say the Angels want that, however they want nearly all the pieces.

Scouting report: Neto is a particular shortstop who must be a plus defender within the majors and has a plus arm, however he’s actually made himself some cash this spring together with his efficiency, together with only a mere 7.6 % strikeout fee for the Camels. He’s obtained the extraneous motion that it’s essential must be a prime hitting prospect on this yr’s draft, though he calms it down with two strikes; regardless of that, he’s brief to the ball and makes high-quality contact, even hitting for some home-run energy that won’t persist into professional ball with wooden bats and higher pitching. He’s spent just a little time on the mound, however his future is on the filth, and together with his propensity for placing the bat on the ball and sufficient energy to challenge as a 30-doubles man, he ought to go within the prime half of the primary spherical.

14. New York Mets: Jett Williams, SS, Rockwall-Heath (Texas) Excessive

No. 11 on the Huge Board

The Mets have been rumored to be on Williams all spring, and who can blame them? He’s brief, however does all the pieces you’d need as a hitter. He nearly by no means whiffs; he has a clear, environment friendly swing; and he runs effectively sufficient that he ought to find yourself an asset on protection at second or middle, as he’s in all probability not staying at shortstop. I bear in mind numerous questions on Alex Bregman in highschool as a result of he was undersized and had no probability to remain at shortstop, and he turned out OK. I believe Williams has an opportunity to shock individuals with energy as he will get just a little stronger, and his really feel to hit proper now could be among the many finest within the class. That’s an ideal 1-2 punch for the Mets with their two picks, they usually received’t must go over slot for both man, leaving room to do one thing artistic within the second spherical.

Scouting report: Williams is the opposite 5-8 highschool shortstop on this draft class, behind Johnson due to the latter’s elite hit instrument … however how far behind, actually? He’s a right-handed hitter with a clear, environment friendly swing, and his hand-eye coordination rivals Johnson’s; Williams nearly by no means swung and missed final summer season on the showcase circuit and didn’t present any hassle with velocity when he confronted it. He’s an above-average to plus runner, fast sufficient for shortstop however missing the arm power or footwork for the place in the long run, so it’s extra possible he’ll transfer to second base or presumably centerfield. There’s at all times some trepidation round undersized highschool hitters, however I bear in mind a equally sized right-handed highschool shortstop who not often struck out and hit all the pieces exhausting — Bregman.


Dylan Lesko (Daniel Shirey / MLB Pictures by way of Getty Photos)

15. San Diego Padres: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford (Ga.) Excessive

No. 15 on the Huge Board

The Padres and Lesko appear so apparent a slot in hindsight. AJ Preller has accomplished this earlier than, taking a Tommy John man within the first spherical in Cal Quantrill and signing him underneath slot to go get a bunch of over-slot guys with later picks. Lesko was a top-five expertise on this draft earlier than his elbow gave out in April, which occurred throughout a begin on the NHSI event with a ton of administrators and nationwide guys watching him throw a plus-plus changeup and high-spin breaking ball which may have been one of the best he’d ever thrown. If the Padres get that on the fifteenth decide, we’ll all marvel with the ability of hindsight why different groups handed on him.

Scouting report: Lesko is without doubt one of the finest highschool pitching prospects within the final 20 years, and has top-of-the-line changeups anybody can bear in mind seeing a highschool child throw. He’s 90-96 mph as a starter already, however that’s simply the appetizer to the principle course of his changeup, which seems to be similar to his fastball out of his hand and finishes with exhausting tailing motion to his arm facet. He began throwing an improved curveball this previous spring with exhausting downward break and a really excessive spin fee, which answered one of many main questions dealing with him coming into the spring. He takes an infinite stride towards the plate to generate that velocity and appears to repeat the supply effectively, with no apparent pink flags in his mechanics. Lesko stopped pitching after the mid-April NHSI event attributable to a sore forearm, and underwent Tommy John surgical procedure on the finish of that month. The perfect historic comparability for him may be Lucas Giolito (sixteenth general in 2012), who suffered an elbow damage throughout his senior yr however didn’t have surgical procedure earlier than the draft, blowing out after one professional inning that summer season. Giolito was within the operating to go first general and was a particular top-five choice earlier than the damage, which looks as if a superb comparable for Lesko, who now appears primed to go someplace in the course of the primary spherical.

16. Cleveland Guardians: Chase Delauter, OF, James Madison

No. 35 on the Huge Board

The Guardians taking Delauter shouldn’t shock anybody. They’re one of the model-heavy groups, and Delauter grades out effectively by numerous superior metrics, in addition to performing very effectively on the Cape final summer season in opposition to higher pitching than he usually confronted within the spring for JMU. Scouts questioned the swing and the way in which he opens his hips early, and he struggled the few occasions he confronted higher lefties this spring earlier than a concussion and damaged foot ruined his season. He’s one of many youthful faculty gamers within the class, turning 21 this October, which the Guardians additionally favor.

Scouting report: Delauter had about as dangerous a spring as any of the gamers who got here into 2022 as first-round candidates — he was dominated by the 2 left-handers within the Florida State rotation in a sequence that was very closely attended by scouts, and only a few weeks later broke his foot, ending his season after 24 video games. His gaudy stat line this spring was boosted by a comical 13-for-22 efficiency with 5 homers and 10 walks in midweek video games in opposition to inferior opponents. Delauter opens his entrance facet manner too early as he tries to cheat to get to velocity, and thus turns into susceptible to offspeed stuff transferring away. Florida State’s lefties simply attacked him with fastballs and he struck out six occasions in these two video games, giving groups the e book on methods to method him. There may very well be extra right here with numerous swing and mechanical work, however scouts are involved he simply can’t get to velocity persistently with out that early transfer. He’s performed largely middle for the Dukes however will find yourself a nook in professional ball.

17. Philadelphia Phillies: Justin Crawford, OF, Bishop Gorman Excessive (Las Vegas)

No. 23 on the Huge Board

The Phillies indicated they weren’t going to take a highschool pitcher within the first spherical for the third yr in a row, they usually didn’t, however they caught to the identical philosophy of accepting huge danger for giant upside. Crawford is an 80 runner with bat pace, however bodily underdeveloped, with most of his man power forward of him, and he must work on his protection in middle past what he can do together with his elite pace. The Phillies’ system doesn’t have numerous hitter upside proper now, so he does give them one thing they lack.

Scouting report: The son of Carl Crawford — sure, Carl Crawford is sufficiently old to have a son within the draft, and nothing on this draft yr has made me really feel any older than that one truth — is sort of much like his dad as a participant. He’s at the very least a 70 runner, with good bat pace, however not a lot current energy and even exhausting contact but, though his body could be very projectable and he may get to common energy. He units up with a particularly broad stance, and strides about so far as he can, which can be why he has hassle adjusting to altering speeds. He’s a greater defender than Carl was and throws effectively sufficient to remain in centerfield. He has above-average common upside, however might require extra time within the minors than the standard first-round highschool place participant.

18. Cincinnati Reds: Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola Faculty

No. 2 on the Huge Board

Collier was second on my rankings, largely as a result of he went to junior faculty as a 17-year-old and carried out very effectively in opposition to among the finest juco competitors within the nation. He’s youthful than everybody drafted forward of him and would in any other case have been eligible in 2023, and the place you place him relies upon greater than something on how a lot you assume that’s value. He’s a 3rd baseman with a powerful arm and the footwork to remain there, whereas he has proven he can hit higher pitching, each for contact and doubles energy, at an age when most youngsters are a yr away from getting scouted severely. I like this decide and the truth that the Reds are nonetheless keen to shoot for upside.

Scouting report: Collier is without doubt one of the youngest gamers on this draft class, as he received’t flip 18 till November, however he pulled a Bryce Harper by leaving highschool after his sophomore yr to attend Chipola Faculty, top-of-the-line junior faculty baseball applications within the nation. It’s paying off, as he’s hitting for common and getting on base this spring with stable energy manufacturing regardless of being the youngest participant on the Chipola roster and youthful than each pitcher he’s confronted. Collier, whose father Lou performed within the majors for a number of years as an additional outfielder, is 6-foot-2 and should develop just a little with a ton of room to fill out. He’s a 3rd baseman now and ok to remain there with a 70 arm and the agility to deal with the place as the sport quickens. On the plate, he’s greater than held his personal in opposition to a lot better pitching than what he noticed in highschool; he’s had some anticipated points with breaking stuff but additionally proven he can modify to a few of these pitches and keep again to take them the opposite manner. He wants so as to add some extra power to raised management the barrel in addition to make more durable contact, as his fingers work effectively sufficient on the plate for him to be a plus hitter with common energy. He’s dedicated to Louisville however must be a top-five decide within the draft.

19. Oakland A’s: Daniel Susac, C, Arizona

No. 13 on the Huge Board

Susac is a reasonably good worth decide right here, perhaps Oakland’s most secure first-round decide since AJ Puk six years in the past — and I’m not saying that as a criticism, as I believe they may use some certainty as they construct the system again up. Susac is a power-over-hit man who has sufficient contact abilities, together with some skill to hit dangerous balls, to be an everyday. And he’s a ok receiver to remain again there — in all probability just a little higher than Parada, with far more arm however so much much less hit instrument. If Susac is only a stable common behind the plate, that’s an ideal decide at No. 19. It is also form of attention-grabbing for a crew that has a younger major-league catcher with three years of management left in Sean Murphy, and a prime catching prospect in Triple A in Shea Langeliers.

Scouting report: Susac has truly had a barely worse sophomore yr than freshman yr, however the weak draft and the worth of his place has moved him up into the highest half of the primary spherical. Susac, whose older brother Andrew was a second-round decide in 2014 and has performed 114 video games within the majors, is a solid-average receiver at worst with a plus arm, giving little question that he’ll keep on the place. On the plate, he begins out with an interpretive dance sequence that entails an enormous step ahead after which erases it with the identical transfer backwards, however of extra concern is that his swing is lengthy, and he’s been way more harmful in opposition to fastballs than anything as a result of adjusting as soon as he’s dedicated to the swing is tough. He has produced effectively sufficient in a Energy 5 convention for 2 years to be a first-rounder, with an identical projection to Joey Bart’s out of faculty — low-OBP with energy and stable protection.

20. Atlanta: Owen Murphy, RHP, Riverside (Ailing.) Brookfield Excessive

Not ranked on the Huge Board

Atlanta takes the primary participant on this draft who wasn’t on my prime 100, though I had a scouting report on him in my column of “additional” guys who didn’t make the lower. Evidently, I don’t love this decide, not simply this particular participant however a highschool pitcher within the first spherical, given the excessive failure fee of that total class of gamers. Murphy is a 6-foot right-hander with a fastball that performs proper now between its velocity and trip, however lacks projection and doesn’t have a median second pitch but. I additionally didn’t love the supply, though I believe {that a} good participant growth group may also help him there. The Notre Dame commit may in all probability deal with the low minors now together with his fastball alone, however his potential to be a starter requires enchancment in a number of areas.

Scouting report: Murphy has one of many higher fastballs amongst highschool pitchers within the class, low to mid 90s however with superb trip on the pitch in order that he misses bats with it even within the zone. His secondary stuff isn’t nearly as good but, with a low-80s slurve that has some tight downward break and a below-average changeup, together with a curveball that appears like a spike and that he doesn’t command. His arm is fast however he spins badly off his entrance heel at touchdown, which can inhibit his command of all the pieces, not simply the curveball. Murphy is an efficient athlete, with out a lot projection left in his 6-foot body, though he has sufficient current stuff to enter professional ball and maintain his personal.

21. Seattle Mariners: Cole Younger, SS, North Allegheny Excessive (Wexford, Pa.)

No. 12 on the Huge Board

Younger was projected for a lot of the spring to go someplace within the teenagers, however being nearly 19 years outdated clearly harm him with some draft fashions. He made some changes to his stance and swing that helped him hit higher this spring, whereas he additionally confirmed the pace and footwork to remain at shortstop in the long run. He’s much less dangerous than final yr’s first-rounder Harry Ford, however nonetheless gives affordable upside of an above-average bat at shortstop.

Scouting report: Younger has surged up draft boards with a powerful displaying this spring within the Pittsburgh suburbs. Final summer season he would usually overstride, and since he practically bars his lead arm, he was left off-balance sufficient that he couldn’t modify to stuff spinning away from him, though he’s quieted all of that down considerably this spring and scouts have reported seeing higher high quality contact from him. He’s at the very least a 55 runner who has the pace and arm to remain at shortstop, however he’ll want some adjustment together with his footwork to stay there within the majors. The Duke commit will flip 19 a number of weeks after the draft, which can harm him with sure groups that weigh age extra closely, whereas groups that focus extra on instruments and athleticism are prone to push him into the primary 15 picks.


Cooper Hjerpe (Soobum Im / USA At the moment Sports activities)

22. St. Louis Cardinals: Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State

No. 55 on the Huge Board

The Cardinals take a really Cardinals man in Hjerpe, a lefty from Oregon State who may present two plus secondary pitches from a low slot that make him extraordinarily powerful on left-handed batters. He works with simply common fastball velocity and his supply takes him manner throughout his physique, greater than any present big-league starter I can consider. As a reliever, he may transfer rapidly and be extraordinarily efficient as soon as via an order. I’ve a tough time seeing him holding up and being efficient sufficient in opposition to righties to be a starter in the long run.

Scouting report: Hjerpe had eye-popping numbers this spring for the Beavers, with a Division I-leading 161 strikeouts and a strikeouts-per-nine-innings fee that ranked second, behind solely a 23-year-old sophomore at FIU. Hjerpe does it with two doubtlessly plus secondary pitches in his slider and changeup – the previous getting huge sweeping motion from his low slot, whereas the latter is helped by the deception in his supply. The supply is without doubt one of the primary considerations, nevertheless, as Hjerpe cuts himself off and comes manner throughout his physique, whereas he delivers the ball from a really low slot not far above sidearm. The opposite concern is that his fastball is abnormal, 88-93 mph now, with a number of scouts saying they worry it’ll go backwards in professional ball when he’s requested to pitch each fifth day. He might be able to begin because of these two secondary pitches, however there isn’t a big-league starter in latest reminiscence who was this cross-body, so Hjerpe might have much more upside within the bullpen as a substitute.

23. Toronto Blue Jays: Brandon Barriera, LHP, American Heritage Excessive (Plantation, Fla.)

No. 22 on the Huge Board

The Blue Jays haven’t taken a highschool pitcher within the first spherical since 2013, they usually haven’t signed a highschool pitcher they took within the first spherical since Dustin McGowan in 2000, so it was a light shock to listen to them take Barriera, one of the best lefty in the highschool class this yr. Barriera can present a plus fastball and changeup with good really feel for 2 distinct breaking balls. Whereas he doesn’t have a lot projection, he doesn’t want it, with a starter’s construct already and the potential for front-line starter stuff. It’ll be extra about command and management, in addition to simply staying wholesome. Given the place he was considered going, I think about he’ll get an over-slot deal.

Scouting report: Barriera ended his season early, selecting to make his remaining begin earlier than his crew’s schedule was over, which can develop into extra frequent going ahead (Hunter Greene did this as effectively) as pitchers attempt to keep away from getting harm proper earlier than the draft. He’s been as much as 98 with a really quick arm and exhibits two very sharp breaking balls, each of which may contact plus, together with a plus changeup. He doesn’t provide a lot projection, however he additionally doesn’t want it given his current stuff, and his construct proper now appears adequate for him to remain a starter. I don’t assume he will get nice extension over his entrance facet, but it surely’s a minor quibble. It’s premium stuff, and he’s aggressive on the mound. If he will get to constant strikes, he’s an above-average starter.

24. Boston Crimson Sox: Mikey Romero, SS, Orange Lutheran

No. 40 on the Huge Board

The Crimson Sox take a California highschool infielder for the third draft in a row, after Nick Yorke in 2020 and Marcelo Mayer final yr. Romero was popular with scouts for his skill to hit and general really feel for the sport, whereas there have been some questions on his upside. He did begin to present extra impression later in his senior yr, and he’s at all times had good ball-strike recognition. He may need to make some small mechanical changes to raised modify to professional pitching, particularly altering speeds, given his no-stride method and comfortable entrance facet. He’s a refined hitter for his age and may very well be an everyday even with out one other grade of energy.

Scouting report: Romero is a bat-first highschool place participant who in all probability will get harm a bit by the presence of comparable guys with standout hit instruments like Termarr Johnson on this draft. He acknowledges pitch varieties and balls/strikes effectively, with a tiny stride and compact swing that produces contact with out energy. He’s a stable defender at brief with sufficient arm to remain there. For a crew that believes they will unlock energy in a participant who already has really feel to hit, he’s an excellent candidate, however I do marvel about his skill to regulate to raised offspeed stuff given the shortage of any stride and the way in which his entrance foot rolls over via contact.

25. New York Yankees: Spencer Jones, OF, Vanderbilt

No. 79 on the Huge Board

The Yankees have been the one crew within the first spherical rumored to be on Spencer Jones, which I discussed in my final mock, and you’ll type of perceive why, because the final time they took a 6-foot-7 faculty outfielder within the first spherical, he put up 30.5 WAR (and counting) within the 9 years since he was drafted. I don’t assume Spencer Jones is Aaron Decide – he doesn’t have the identical form of selectivity or ball-strike recognition. However he does make extraordinarily exhausting contact, has extra uncooked energy than his collegiate homer totals point out, and as a former two-way participant earlier than Tommy John surgical procedure, he’s a superb athlete for his measurement. The historical past of 6-7 place gamers is just not favorable, although, and he’ll have an uphill battle when he will get to the excessive minors.

Scouting report: Jones was a two-way prospect in highschool however harm his arm as a senior and ended up present process Tommy John surgical procedure in July 2020, ending his pitching profession. Thankfully for him, he has upside as a place participant, displaying doubles energy and exhausting contact however with a good quantity of swing and miss attributable to his measurement. Jones is 6-7, and the historical past of place gamers that tall is just not nice; solely 16 hitters that tall have ever appeared within the majors, solely 5 have performed in at the very least 300 video games, and all however two of them have had above-average strikeout charges relative to their leagues. He has introduced his strikeout fee down from final yr, when it was 30 %, however nonetheless swings and misses within the zone too usually. The Aaron Decide comp is clear; each are big, athletic outfielders who make very exhausting contact and run effectively for his or her measurement. If Jones can get his plate self-discipline to the place Decide’s is – he’s behind Decide when evaluating the 2 on the identical age – Jones has clear All-Star upside, however he’s a methods from that proper now.

26. Chicago White Sox: Noah Schultz, LHP, Oswego (Ailing.) East Excessive

No. 44 on the Huge Board

The White Sox have been the one crew I ever heard on Schultz, a 6-9 lefty from the Chicago space who was presumed to be going to Vanderbilt, particularly after a spring when he barely pitched after a nasty case of mono. For those who noticed Eury Pérez within the Futures Recreation, you may have some thought of what Schultz seems to be like, besides from the left facet – big, however with a low slot and a few extension out entrance, together with a sweepy slider that performs up due to the place his arm finishes. He’s very projectable, low 90s now however with a ton of velocity upside. That mentioned, there have been very, only a few pitchers this tall who lasted as starters, and two of them, Randy Johnson and Chris Younger, have been unicorns.

Scouting report: Schultz missed nearly your complete spring after contracting mono in March, however did return in mid-Could and appeared to have recovered absolutely from the sickness. He’s 6-9 and really projectable, coming from a really low 3/4 slot that may, in fact, elicit comparisons to Randy Johnson and Chris Sale. The slot alone offers him deception in opposition to left-handed batters, and his top offers him some pure extension to additional that. He has a sweepy slider that initiatives to plus. He ought to find yourself throwing comfortably within the mid-90s given his body and the way in which his arm works, together with his changeup a transparent third amongst his present choices. He’s thought of a really powerful signal attributable to his Vanderbilt dedication. Keep in mind, historical past is working in opposition to Schultz changing into a sturdy starter: Solely 5 pitchers in MLB historical past 6-9 or taller have thrown at the very least 500 innings, and solely three have topped 1,000. One in all them is within the Corridor of Fame, although, and I’m certain any crew making a run at Schultz this spring can have Randy Johnson on their minds.

27. Milwaukee Brewers: Eric Brown, SS, Coastal Carolina

No. 50 on the Huge Board

The Brewers went for athleticism once more within the first spherical. They’ve taken speedy guys within the first spherical three straight years now, with Garrett Mitchell, Sal Frelick and now Brown. Brown is a fleet-footed shortstop who has very fast wrists, and is ready to hit for contact and a few energy even with a really noisy method. He ought to keep at shortstop. I ponder if the Brewers can simplify his setup and cargo to maximise the standard of the contact he makes. He’s a university man however a bit extra of an upside play than most faculty bats.

Scouting report: Brown is a toolsy shortstop with operating pace and fast wrists, producing in faculty and on the Cape regardless of a really uncommon, noisy method that makes it exhausting for him to get his bat to the zone on time. He begins together with his fingers in entrance of his face, waggling the bat, so he by no means actually comes set, succeeding as a result of his fingers are quick, however with sufficient extraneous motion that scouts query how effectively he’ll hit with this identical method as soon as he’s in professional ball. A part of his success could be very sturdy ball-strike recognition – he doesn’t chase out of the zone a lot in any respect, and nearly by no means does so on fastballs. He’s a plus runner with the footwork and arm to remain at shortstop, so he has a reasonably excessive ground – and even with the noisy method, he has hit, .330/.460/.544 this yr for Coastal with extra walks than strikeouts. I don’t love how he does it, however he will get it accomplished.

28. Houston Astros: Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee

No. 18 on the Huge Board

Houston will get superb worth right here in Gilbert, the Tennessee centerfielder who was a severe prospect as a pitcher out of highschool. He’s a left-handed hitter with an ideal eye and robust contact abilities, missing solely energy out of the 5 instruments as he runs effectively and performs plus protection in middle. As is, I believe he’s an everyday in middle. But when the Astros can discover a technique to get him to extra energy — which would come with simply getting some extra muscle on him — he may very well be greater than that.

Scouting report: Gilbert was a two-way prospect out of a Minnesota highschool however had a powerful dedication to Tennessee, so he wasn’t drafted till the hometown Twins took him within the thirty fifth spherical in 2019. He’s solely thrown 16 innings for the Vols, none this spring, however he’s became a premium defensive middle fielder with a powerful eye on the plate and skill to hit for common. Gilbert not often swings and misses, staying again even via contact, with minimal weight switch — presumably an avenue for a participant growth group to attempt to get one other half-grade of energy out of him. In middle, he’s a 6 defender with a 6 arm, doing it extra with reads and instincts than pure pace, as he’s only a tick above common as a runner. The protection and speak to abilities give him a superb probability to be an everyday, though there’d must be one thing extra — extra energy, higher persistence — to make him a star.

29. Tampa Bay Rays: Xavier Isaac, 1B, East Forsyth Excessive ( Kernersville, NC Kernersville, N.C.)

Not ranked on the Huge Board

If there’s a worse demographic within the draft than highschool pitching, it’s highschool first basemen. The Rays took Isaac, who didn’t solely miss my prime 100 — he didn’t even make my just-missed checklist, and wouldn’t have made a rating of the highest 150 gamers within the draft. He’s a primary base-only man with a nasty physique, however he does have a superb swing and large uncooked energy. If a power-over-hit first baseman doesn’t hit sufficient to get to the ability, you don’t have anything. I don’t get this within the first spherical.

Scouting report: Isaac missed all of final summer season and fall attributable to damage, and as a highschool first baseman he was by no means going to suit for some groups, particularly together with his dedication to Florida. He’s a bad-bodied first baseman who might very effectively find yourself a DH. On the plate, his swing can get fairly lengthy, however he is aware of the zone effectively and places the ball within the air fairly often, even the opposite manner, which is what a hitter of this kind has to do to have any probability to supply. He jogs my memory fairly a little bit of Guardians first baseman Bobby Bradley on the plate, though Isaac is three inches taller and already listed at 240 kilos by MLB.

30. San Francisco Giants: Reggie Crawford, LHP, Connecticut

No. 82 on the Huge Board

The Giants took the primary faculty Tommy John man on this draft, which is loaded with them … but it surely wasn’t Connor Prielipp, and even Peyton Pallette. Reggie Crawford is a two-way man at UConn who hit 99 mph for Workforce USA final summer season earlier than he blew out. He’s pitched simply eight innings for the Huskies, plus 8.1 extra in two totally different summer season leagues, so this can be a big wager on potential as a result of we now have no actual thought what he’s proper now, even when he comes again utterly wholesome. The Giants introduced him as a two-way participant, and he was an precise prospect as a hitter, only a higher one on the mound. He’s tremendous athletic and has energy, however was largely a lifeless fastball hitter earlier than he obtained harm.

Scouting report: Crawford is the largest wild card among the many wild playing cards of the pitchers who’ve had Tommy John surgical procedure on this draft class as a result of he’s barely pitched, with simply 20.1 innings in whole throughout two springs with UConn, and two summers in collegiate leagues and with Workforce USA. He did strike out precisely half of the batters he confronted in that span, sitting 94-97 mph and touching 99 mph, often mixing in a fringy slider. He spent extra time as a power-hitting first baseman for the Huskies who couldn’t hit a breaking ball, so the mound might be his finest wager for a big-league profession. However even with the athleticism of the standard two-way participant, how will you challenge him to begin with simply an enormous fastball and little or no monitor document?

Nonetheless need extra? Take a look at Keith Regulation’s ideas on picks Nos. 31-40, taking you thru the Dodgers’ first decide.

(Illustration: John Bradford / The Athletic; Pictures: Jamie Scwaberow / Getty, Mark J. Rebilas / USA At the moment, Workforce USA)