Category Archives: MLB Draft

Pete Hansen LHP-St. Louis Cardinals: 2022 MLB Draft, 3rd Rd, 97th overall

Hansen, a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2022, finished with a 1.88 ERA in 2021. Over the last three seasons, he lost just four of 26 starts. Opponents batted just .214 against the former Longhorn during his career.

Pete Hansen LHP-St. Louis Cardinals
Hansen won 22 of 26 starts at Texas in 42 appearances.

In 2021, Hansen finished with a 1.88 ERA, while allowing just three home runs and a .201 batting average.

Ryan Ritter SS-Colorado Rockies: 2022 MLB Draft, 4th Rd, 116th overall

Ryan Ritter’s defensive capability made him one of the more valuable shortstops available in the 2022 MLB Draft. The John A. Logan College (Ill.) transfer performed admirably upon transitioning to the SEC. The former prep level football standout was a three-sport star in high school. In 2022, he committed just five errors while sporting a .978 fielding percentage.

Ryan Ritter SS-Colorado Rockies
Ritter, pictured, was one of the best defensive shortstops in college baseball. His flexibility covers a lot of ground on the field.

As a hitter, the former Wildcat produced 14 doubles and homered eight times in 2022. In addition, he stole 23 bases without getting caught once in school. Over a two-year period, he batted a respectable .280 while totaling 171 bases.

Jacob Watters RHP-Oakland A’s: 2022 MLB Draft, 4th Rd, 124th overall

Watters brings major heat to the table for the Athletics, who have always prided themselves on developing pitching talent through its farm system. The former West Virginia Mountaineer saw a sharp decline in 2022 after a respectable 2021 campaign. Nonetheless, he still saw an uptick in innings pitched and strikeouts. Standing 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Watters can get his fastball up around the 100 mph mark.

Jacob Watters RHP-Oakland A's
Jacob Watters’ fastball caught the eye of the Athletics.

Opposing teams, however, batted much better against Watters than they had during his sophomore campaign. In that year, he posted a 3.33 ERA and finished with a 4-1 mark.

Jimmy Crooks C-St. Louis Cardinals: 2022 MLB Draft, 4th Rd, 127th overall

Former Oklahoma catcher Jimmy Crooks is heading to an organization with arguably the best catcher of the last two decades in Yadier Molina. Molina was also a fourth-round selection (113th overall) in the 2000 MLB Draft. Crooks blocks the plate well and gets the ball out of his glove quickly on the defensive end. He threw out 20 of 45 potential base stealers in 2022.

Jimmy Crooks C-St. Louis Cardinals
Crooks’ energy is evident every time he steps on the diamond. He turned it on in the postseason as a hitter, substantiating his work defensively behind the plate.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Crooks’ end to the season came as a hitter. He led the team with 20 runs batted in during the postseason and those totals included five home runs and six doubles. The former Sooner has enough speed for a catcher. He finished with 10 steals this past season.

Dominic Keegan C/1B-Tampa Bay Rays: 2022 MLB Draft, 4th Rd, 134th overall

Dominic Keegan’s last two years at Vanderbilt were ultra-productive. After smacking 15 home runs in 2021, he added 14 more as a senior. The New York Yankees 2021 19th round selection (573rd overall), however, exceeded his slugging percentage totals this past season.

Dominic Keegan C-Tampa Bay Rays
Keegan (No. 12 pictured getting brushed off the plate) smacked 29 home runs over the last two seasons.

As a junior in 2021, Keegan played quite a bit at first base before shifting to catcher full-time. Where he plays defensively may be in question, but the pop in his bat remains his biggest asset.

Victor Scott II OF-St. Louis Cardinals: 2022 MLB Draft, 5th Rd, 157th overall

Victor Scott II’s foot speed aided him on both the bases and in the field for the West Virginia Mountaineers. During school, he posted an 86-percent conversion rate on steal attempts. His marked improvement as a hitter in 2022 (.278 BA) spurred more on-base opportunities. Scott’s 38 stolen bases led the conference and ranked sixth nationally this past season.

Scott II’s father, Victor, and mother, Mary, both ran track at Morris Brown College. His father was inducted into the school’s track & field Hall of Fame.

Victor Scott II OF-St. Louis Cardinals
Scott II brings outstanding speed and range as an outfielder to the Cardinals organization.

Douglas Hodo III OF-Baltimore Orioles: 2022 MLB Draft, 6th Rd, 167th overall

In 2022, Douglas Hodo III displayed increased bat speed and continued his fine work in centerfield for the Longhorns. The speedy Texan finished his prep level career ranked second for stolen bases in the state’s history. However, he also doubled up in track and field, where he posted times of 10.8 seconds in the 100 meters and 22.5 seconds in the 200 meters.

Douglas Hodo III OF-Baltimore Orioles
Hodo III used his speed to rack up 26 doubles in 2022. The total ranked first in the Big 12.

Boerne High School’s (Tex.) all-time leading receiver batted .319 for the Longhorns in 2022, with 10 home runs, 26 doubles (led Big 12) and 47 RBIs.

Derek Diamond RHP-Pittsburgh Pirates: 2022 MLB Draft, 6th Rd, 170th overall

The SEC Academic Honor Roll selection also found time to win three of his final four starts in 2022. The California product was an integral part of Ole Miss’ first ever national championship despite not showcasing much down the stretch. The former Rebel had his share of struggles in 2022, but major league teams had a large share of inventory.

Derek Diamond RHP-Pittsburgh Pirates
Diamond didn’t stand out in 2022, but his work over a three-year period caught the eye of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

While he could never match the consistency of former Ole Miss pitcher and Cleveland Indians 2021 second-round pick Doug Nikhazy, Diamond brings a lot of potential to the table for the next level.

Chris McElvain RHP-Cincinnati Reds: 2022 MLB Draft, 8th Rd, 243rd overall

Chris McElvain turned in back-to-back respectable seasons for the Vanderbilt Commodores, notching 11 wins in the process. This past season he produced double-digit strikeout performances in three performances, including 11 in his final career start against New Mexico State.

Chris McElvain RHP-Cincinnati Reds
Vanderbilt’s Chris McElvain served as both a relief pitcher and starter for the Commodores.

Chase Estep 3B-NY Mets: 2022 MLB Draft, 9th Rd, 269th overall

Estep earned both National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week honors in the 2022 campaign. Along with shortstop Ryan Ritter, the pair manned the left side of the infield admirably for the Wildcats over a two-year period. This came after he had seen time as an outfielder for the Wildcats.

Estep’s power element went to another level this past year. He finished with career-highs in both home runs and slugging percentage. The three-time All-State football standout brings a high level of energy to the field.