Detroit Tigers 2022 MLB Draft: High School Preview

Tigers infield prospect Izaac Pacheco fields grounders during spring training.
Tigers infield prospect Izaac Pacheco fields grounders during spring training. /
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Detroit Tigers 2022 MLB Draft Options – High School Infielders

Detroit Tigers
Sal Stewart of Westminster Christian slides safely into home. /

We start at the top with Termarr Johnson, who we likely won’t discuss again this season, because he’s one of a handful of players with a legitimate chance to be drafted first overall. He’s a strange case, as he’s short and already maxed out physically, but he has one of the better pure hit tools from a prep player in the last two decades, and he also projects to hit for plus power. If he’s still there when the Detroit Tigers pick, something has gone terribly wrong.

The rest of the players in this group figure to still be around for the Tigers. Cole Young proved to be one of the best hitters in the class during the showcase circuit, though he doesn’t project to hit for much power. He’s otherwise a well-rounded player with a good shot to stay at shortstop. Mikey Romero is another one of the best pure hitters in the prep class. He comes from an impressive family — his older sisters Sierra and Sydney are two of the most decorated college softball players in recent history — but he’s not a plus in any one area, and he needs to develop more strength.

It’s unlikely Jackson Holliday will ever reach the playing size of his All-Star father Matt (6’4, 240), but he seems to have the hitting gene. He also shows good instincts and enough athleticism to stick on the infield dirt, though expected strength gains would probably push him to third base. High-school catchers are always risky, and Malcolm Moore does have some defensive question marks, namely an iffy arm, but his hitting ability and power potential might make those issues irrelevant. He could be an above-average hitter with above-average power, and at that point he’d probably be fine moving to first base.

There’s no such concern about Ike Irish’s arm, which is among the best in the prep catcher crop. He also boasts the athleticism to be an above-average defender behind the dish, and he could produce above-average power in time. Brady Neal is another player who reclassified from 2023, bringing his well-rounded tools to the 2022 class instead. He’s a stocky catcher with some feel to hit, pull power, an above-average arm, and experience catching premium stuff at IMG Academy.

We finish with a pair of power-hitting corner bats. Tucker Toman is a switch hitter with some feel to hit and power potential from both sides, though he may not have enough arm or quick-twitch ability to stick at third base in pro ball. Sal Stewart has some of the best power in the entire prep class, and there’s enough feel to hit for him to put that pop to use. He’s got a strong arm, but given his current size and subpar footwork, it may be tough for him to stick at third.