After being selected, Johnson assured Pirates fans about his playing ability. “You’re getting the best player in the draft,” Johnson said on MLB Network.
Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada was selected by the Mets at No. 11. Parada established himself as one of college baseball’s best catchers and top hitters. Standing at 6-1, the 197-pounder posted a .360 batting average, 88 RBIs and 26 home runs last season.
“I’m extremely proud of Kevin and his night tonight,” Georgia Tech baseball coach Danny Hall said in a statement. “To be drafted by a great organization like the New York Mets and to join other Georgia Tech greats as a first-rounder is a tremendous honor.”
The Padres selected the first high school pitcher of the night in right-hander Dylan Lesko at No. 15. Hailing from Buford High School, the 6-2, 195-pound Lesko was regarded as a potential top overall pitcher in the draft until having Tommy John surgery in April. The Padres took their chance on Lesko, given his track record as a game changer. In his junior season, Lesko, who also had committed to Vanderbilt, was named the 2020-2021 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year after recording 112 strikeouts with an 11-0 record.
The Reds selected 17-year-old third baseman Cam Collier with the 18th pick. The son of former MLB player Lou Collier joins a lengthy list of other second-generation players picked in the 2022 draft. Collier is from Austell but attended Kennesaw’s Mount Paran Christian School. After graduating early, Collier competed at the junior college level with Chipola College in Florida this season. The 6-1, 220-pounder had a .333 batting average with eight home runs in his first season. After one year, Collier announced his commitment to the University of Louisville.
In the Competitive Balance Round A, right-handed pitcher Landon Sims, another Georgian, was selected by the Diamondbacks. Representing South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Sims spent the last two seasons playing for Mississippi State. As a Bulldog, Sims held a career 1.82 ERA with 123 strikeouts. He was looking to add to his stats this season, but his campaign ended early after he tore his UCL in March.
Jackson Holliday, a shortstop from Stillwater (Okla.) High School and the son of former major leaguer Matt Holliday, was the first overall pick by the Orioles.