2022 MLB Draft: Brock Porter, fellow Clemson commit Tristan Smith among five players to watch on Day 2

The 2022 MLB Draft kicked off on Sunday night, with teams making 80 selections over the course of the first and second rounds, as well as several Competitive Balance and compensatory rounds. The Baltimore Orioles (Jackson Holliday) and Arizona Diamondbacks (Druw Jones) started things off by selecting the sons of former All-Star outfielders Matt Holliday and Andruw Jones. The Texas Rangers then shook up the board by taking former Vanderbilt righty Kumar Rocker third overall.

The draft will resume on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET, with teams making picks through the 10th round. (The draft will conclude with rounds 11 through 20 on Tuesday.) You can relive the first night of the draft by checking out our analysis of every first-round pick as part of our live blog coverage. 

For those wanting to look forward instead, we’ll continue to update our draft tracker until every pick is announced. In addition, below we’ve highlighted five interesting players to monitor on Day 2, including the last remaining member of our top 30. Do note the players are presented in alphabetical order.

1. Bryce Hubbart, LHP, Florida State

Hubbart is a small lefty who receives praise for both his intelligence and passion for his craft. With an introductory sentence like that, you can make an educated guess about the quality of his stuff. It’s true, he doesn’t have a single offering that checks out as plus or better on the scouting scale. He does have several serviceable pitches, however, including a low-90s fastball that plays up because of its innate rise. Hubbart also has a track record of success against ACC competition, and he was arguably the best performing pitcher in last summer’s Cape Cod League. Even if he fails to think and grind his way to The Show as a back-end starter or swingman, there’s probably hidden value to be gleaned from having him in and around the organization.

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2. Dominic Keegan, 1B/C, Vanderbilt

Keegan, a senior, was drafted last summer by the New York Yankees in the 19th round. He opted to return to Vanderbilt instead of turning professional, and he should come off the board on Monday as a result. Keegan split the season between catching and playing first base, but he’s not a defensive standout at either position. Rather, his value stems from his stick, as he hit .345/.431/.605 with 29 home runs over the course of his Commodores career. Keegan had an outstanding 13-game stint in last summer’s Cape Cod League as well, showing that his stroke translates to a wooden bat.

3. Carson Palmquist, LHP, Miami (FL)

Back in the preseason, we described Palmquist as the “east coast version of Cooper Hjerpe.” Whereas Hjerpe was selected 22nd by the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, the sidearm-slinging Palmquist has yet to hear his name called. He took well to the Hurricanes rotation this spring, amassing a 2.89 ERA and a 3.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Scouts remain skeptical that he’s a starter at the highest level, but he has enough stuff, control and deception to profile as a big-league arm in some capacity.

4. Brock Porter, RHP, St. Mary Prep HS (MI)

We ranked Porter as the 11th-best prospect in the class entering the draft on the strength of his projectable build, his arm strength and his high-grade changeup. Imagine our surprise, then, that he remains on the board after 80 picks have been made. Whoops. Our best guess as to why Porter has not been selected entails a combination of his signability (he has a commitment to Clemson), his age (he turned 19 in June) and the shape of his pitches: his fastball has more horizontal than vertical movement, and he’ll need to overhaul his breaking balls once he turns pro. Unless Porter has priced himself out of the class, we suspect he should go early on Day 2.

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5. Tristan Smith, LHP, Boiling Springs HS (SC)

Smith, like Porter, is another prep arm with a commitment to Clemson. He has a pair of high-spin pitches in his low-90s fastball and breaking ball. Unfortunately, his lack of a changeup and his possession of several mechanical tics gives him the kind of relief risk that might have teams wanting to see him prove he can start at the collegiate level before they spend a high draft pick and healthy signing bonus on him. For some reason, we think Clemson would be OK with that scenario, should it unfold.

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