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Local Picks from MLB Draft Sunday

The 2022 MLB Draft got started Sunday night in Los Angeles. 

 

The three-day, 20-round process started with the Baltimore Orioles selecting high school shortstop Jackson Holliday, former Cardinals' slugger Matt Holliday's son, with the No. 1 pick. The Arizona Diamondbacks then took high school outfielder Druw Jones, former Braves star Andruw Jones' son, with the No. 2 pick. Kumar Rocker was taken third overall by the Texas Rangers, Termarr Johnson was selected fourth by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Elijah Green was drafted by the Washington Nationals to round out the top five.

 

The Chicago Cubs owned the seventh overall pick and took Oklahoma University right-hander Cade Horton. Horton, a draft-eligible sophomore who missed the 2021 season because of Tommy John surgery, put himself into first-round consideration with a phenomenal run during the College World Series that culminated with a Finals record 13 strikeouts. 

 

His arsenal is all about power, including a high-spin fastball that can touch into the upper-90s and a slider that was clocked as high as 90 during that aforementioned start. Horton has a limited track record -he threw just over 50 regular-season innings for the Sooners - and scouts still have lingering doubts about whether he'll be a starter for the long haul.

 

At 22nd overall, the St. Louis Cardinals selected Oregon State left-hander Cooper Hjerpe. A decade ago, Hjerpe would've been classified as a reliever, and perhaps even a left-handed specialist, based on his unorthodox release point and his heater-heavy arsenal; these days, he's viewed as a fairly safe starting pitching prospect. 

 

Hjerpe throws from a sidearm slot after stepping slightly closed, creating some crossfire effect in the process. Stuff-wise, he relies on a low-to-mid-90s fastball that downright bumfuzzles hitters thanks to the marriage between its rise and his flat vertical approach angle. His top secondary pitch, a sweeping slider, plays well off the heat while his changeup has shown enough promise to think he'll be able to neutralize righties. Hjerpe pounds the zone and he should be able to ascend the ladder quickly.

 

The Chicago White Sox took hometown talent Noah Schulzt from Oswego East High School in suburban Chicago. Schultz is a big lefty, listed at 6-foot-9, who has a promising three-pitch mix. He releases the ball from a low-three-quarters slot, creating a tough angle for hitters. Schultz is committed to Vanderbilt.

 

In the second round, the Cubs selected amateur pitcher Jackson Ferris from IMG Academy in Florida. The Cardinals selected San Diego University pitcher Brycen Mauts. The White Sox took Cal-Poly pitcher Drew Thorp. 

 

A total of 80 picks were made Sunday night with Rounds 1 and 2, plus compensatory and Competitive Balance rounds. 

 

The draft resumes Monday with Rounds 3-10 before finishing up with Rounds 11-20 on Tuesday. 

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