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Cleveland Guardians 2022 mock draft roundup

Who will Cleveland take with the 16th pick in tonight’s draft?

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2020 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The 2022 MLB draft now coincides with All-Star weekend. Round one of the 2022 MLB Draft is set to kick off tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland has two picks tonight with its regular pick at No. 16 and competitive balance pick at No. 37. Starting Monday at 1 p.m., Cleveland has the No. 54 pick in the second round. After that, the club has every 30th pick.

Last season, they spent 18 of their 21 picks on proven college arms, which has flooded the system with strong pitching. Will they do it again, or is there a different target this season?

I’ve rounded up as many decent and recent mock drafts as I could find, so let’s see what the experts think.

16. Guardians: Dylan Lesko, RHP, Buford HS, Ga. (No. 14)

If the Padres don’t take Lesko, could he find a home in Cleveland? It could happen. If they go the hitter route, Zach Neto and Cole Young are middle infielders of interest.

37. Guardians: Cayden Wallace, 3B, Arkansas (No. 31)

CBS Sports

16 Guardians

Pick: RHP Dylan Lesko, Buford HS (Georgia) ($3,935,500 slot value)

The Guardians are one of the few teams with a discernible “type” in the first round and it is high school hitters who are younger than their peers and pitchers with advanced command and pitchability. Lesko is the latter and he was the draft’s best pitching prospect prior to having Tommy John surgery in April. Cleveland has a competitive balance pick (No. 37) and thus the bonus pool space necessary to pay Lesko a top-10 bonus, which is where he was expected to go before elbow reconstruction. (CBS Sports top 30 rank: No. 12)

June 16 mock pick: LHP Brandon Barriera, American Heritage HS (Florida)

June 30 mock pick: LHP Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State

37. Cleveland Guardians

Pick: Eric Brown, 2B, Coastal Carolina

Keith Law - The Athletic

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

Cleveland is one of the most model-centric teams in the draft, as it didn’t even have amateur scouts go see Division I games for most of the spring. And if you draft just off the model, Delauter is probably a top-10 talent — top-five if you assume he stays in center. I think the Guardians could be in on Horton, as well. If both are gone, they could go high school pitching. I haven’t specifically heard Walter Ford with them, but he’s the youngest prospect in the draft and that weighs very heavily in Cleveland’s draft model.

Update: The Guardians are a dark horse on Lesko, who would have gone in the top five had he stayed healthy all spring.

Scouting report: Delauter had about as bad a spring as any of the players who came into 2022 as first-round candidates — he was dominated by the two left-handers in the Florida State rotation in a series that was very heavily attended by scouts, and just a few weeks later broke his foot, ending his season after 24 games. His gaudy stat line this spring was boosted by a comical 13-for-22 performance with five homers and 10 walks in midweek games against inferior opponents. Delauter opens his front side way too early as he tries to cheat to get to velocity, and thus becomes vulnerable to offspeed stuff moving away. Florida State’s lefties just attacked him with fastballs and he struck out six times in those two games, giving teams the book on how to approach him. There could be more here with a lot of swing and mechanical work, but scouts are concerned he just can’t get to velocity consistently without that early move. He’s played mostly center for the Dukes but will end up a corner in pro ball.


16. Cleveland Guardians

Pick: Cole Young, SS, North Allegheny HS (PA)

This is more about profile than sourced dope, as Young is a slam dunk up-the-middle defender who performed from a bat-to-ball standpoint throughout his amateur career. Dylan Lesko and Jett Williams have also been mentioned here.

37. Cleveland Guardians

Pick: Eric Brown, 2B, Coastal Carolina

Prospects Live

16. Cleveland Guardians

Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State

Hjerpe figures to be off the board somewhere around this range and Cleveland is said to love the makeup and performance track record. Williams is a potential guy here, as is Orange Lutheran shortstop Mikey Romero, though we think both of those guys may be bigger targets as second-pick options.

37. Cleveland Guardians

Mikey Romero SS Orange Lutheran