Tennessee baseball sets program record with 10 Vols taken in 2022 MLB Draft

Mike Wilson
Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee baseball broke its program record with 10 players taken in the 2022 MLB Draft.

It was the most of any SEC team and the second-most overall in this year's draft, trailing only Oklahoma's 11 players drafted.

Tennessee posted a program-record 57 wins last season. And it became the fourth SEC team in history to have 10 or more players chosen in the first 20 rounds of any MLB Draft, joining Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

The Vols' previous record was eight players selected in the 1992 draft, which featured 50 rounds. 

Here's who was selected in the 2022 MLB Draft from Tennessee and its recruiting class:

PREVIEW:What to expect from Tennessee baseball in the 2022 MLB Draft

RETURNING:Zach Joyce, Ben Joyce's twin brother, rejoining Tennessee baseball

Draft-eligible Tennessee players 

Outfielder Drew Gilbert

Drafted: Round 1 (28th overall)

Team: Houston Astros

Slot value: $2,620,400

How he fits in the pros: Gilbert was a consistent performer as a junior, when he had more walks than strikeouts — a rarity in modern baseball. He's a plus defender who likely will stick in center field. He has the speed and overall profile to be a threat in every facet of the game.

Outfielder Jordan Beck

Drafted: Round 1 Competitive Balance Round A (38th overall)

Team: Colorado Rockies

Slot value: $2,051,300

How he fits in the pros: Beck has a big offensive profile with a lot of power potential. That'll be his calling card, but he is an above-average defensive outfielder with a big arm that should keep him in right field or center field.

Pitcher Blade Tidwell

Drafted: Round 2 (52nd overall)

Team: New York Mets

Slot value: $1,474,400

How he fits in the pros: Tidwell is a high-end starting pitcher who starred as a freshman and pitched well in the back half of the 2022 season as a sophomore. He has a big fastball and a top breaking ball to match, making him a potential top-of-the-rotation pitcher down the line.

Third baseman Trey Lipscomb

Drafted: Round 3 (84th overall)

Team: Washington Nationals

Slot value: $758,500 million

How he fits in the pros: Lipscomb waited his turn behind MLB Draft picks Andre Lipcius and Jake Rucker, then compiled one of the best offensive seasons in UT history. He hit 22 homers and had 84 RBIs. His bat gives him a chance in the professional ranks, but he needs to cut down his errors.

Pitcher Ben Joyce

Drafted: Round 3 (89th overall)

Team: Los Angeles Angels

Slot value: $701,800

How he fits in the pros: Joyce burst onto the college baseball scene and the MLB Draft picture with his record-setting fastballs. He hit 105.5 mph during the season and generated a high strikeout rate. Joyce could be a fast-riser as a reliever or could be used as a starter.

Second baseman Jorel Ortega

Drafted: Round 6 (174th overall)

Team: Minnesota Twins

Slot value: $301,000

How he fits in the pros: Ortega developed into the player the Vols expected him to be when they recruited him. He hit for average (.323) and power (18 homers) in 2022, while playing well at second base. He could stay at second or move to third base at the next level, where his bat will play at either spot.

Pitcher Will Mabrey

Drafted: Round 6 (168th overall)

Team: Arizona Diamondbacks

Slot value: $316,900

How he fits in the pros: Mabrey turned into UT's go-to arm in the bullpen at times during the 2022 season. His added a slider/cutter to his repertoire, which aided his effectiveness. He is a solid middle-round left-handed reliever.

Outfielder Seth Stephenson

Drafted: Round 7 (207th overall)

Team: Detroit Tigers

Slot value: $229,600

How he fits in the pros: Stephenson was UT's leadoff hitter who touted a .339 batting average and a team-high 25 stolen bases. He still needs to develop more discipline at the plate to cut down on strikeouts and increase his on-base percentage.

Pitcher Mark McLaughlin

Drafted: Round 7 (221st overall)

Team: Chicago White Sox

Slot value: $205,600

How he fits in the pros: McLaughlin was a starter earlier in his UT career, but finished as one of the top right-handed options out of the bullpen. He could be either as a professional, but likely fits better as a reliever.

Shortstop Cortland Lawson

Drafted: Round 14 (411th overall)

Team: Washington Nationals

Slot value: N/A

How he fits in the pros: Lawson's calling card is his defense, as he played at an All-SEC level in the field for most of the season before some late-season gaffes. He has more pop and hit 12 homers in his lone season as a starter.

Tennessee baseball signees 

Pitcher Reggie Crawford

Drafted: Round 1 (30th overall)

Slot value: $2,485,500

How he fits in the pros: Chapman committed to Tennessee as a two-way player with a big-time fastball and offensive power. 

He hit .295 with a Big East-leading 13 homers and 62 RBIs at UConn in 2021. He also throws 100 mph as a left-handed pitcher. He had a 2.35 ERA in 7⅔ innings pitched in 2021.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Crawford missed the 2022 season after having Tommy John surgery. 

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at michael.wilson@knoxnews.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.