Create Account
Sign in Create Account
High School  | General  | 4/27/2021

Summer Preview: 2022 Middle Infield

Jered Goodwin     
Photo: Termarr Johnson (Perfect Game)
As high school baseball is starting to get going across the country in most regions, with some states actually heading into the playoffs, it all means the summer circuit is right around the corner. Over the next several weeks we will look at the top-ranked players at each position, in each class, while also taking a look at some gut-feel players that could be big risers. With players having more access to individual development, things will undoubtably change at a rapid pace in the early months of the Perfect Game schedule. This provides a good look at some of the top performers coming into 2021 who look primed to continue dominance or make their mark on a national level. 

Class of 2022: Catchers | Corner Infield
Class of 2023: Catchers | Corner Infield
Class of 2024: Catchers | Corner Infield
Class of 2025: Catchers | Corner Infield

Termarr Johnson, SS (Ga.) 
5-10/175, L/R
PG Events: 62 events
Key Stats: 85 games, .377-12-102 with a 1.121 OPS 

Short Story: Johnson is an instinctual player on both sides of the ball, knowing when to go for it on offense or flick a hit to keep an inning alive. His glove and range have always been good, and the arm has made huge strides. The bat speed stands out and with all the tools he matches it with extreme intensity and will literally do anything to win. 

Big Moment: Holding one of the longest and most complete resumes of any player in the ’22 class, the two-time PG Select Festival participant shows up in a big way often. At the 2020 16U WWBA however, Johnson hit .458 with five doubles, a homer, nine RBI, and worked five walks. All while playing lights out defense. 

Bold Prediction: Johnson stays the same.  That’s it!  He does what he has always done; produces and wins against the very best competition. 

Jayson Jones, SS (Texas) 
6-2/190, R/R
Commitment: University of Arkansas 
PG Events: 24 events
Key Stats: 59 games, .384-5-52 with a 1.132 OPS 

Short Story: Jones combines physicality, athleticism, and feel for timing on both sides of the ball. The sure hands and arm strength give him plenty of optimism of being written in the six-spot on defense for the long haul. The hit/power is not a future profile, he seems to prove it is a current profile at almost every stop. 

Big Moment: Though he was spectacular at the 2020 Junior National Showcase where he got dinged up and still performed, showing real toughness, that isn’t it. Playing against the best of the 2021 class, Jones hit .429 with a long opposite-field home run at the WWBA World Championship. He stepped in for an absent Jordan Lawlar for the Dallas Tigers and the offense did not miss a beat. 

Bold Prediction: There are few that are capable of putting up the type of power numbers at the shortstop position in the fashion that Jones can. He doesn’t blink as the arms start bringing more heat and Jones keeps mashing. 

Cole Young, SS (Pa.) 
6-0/180, L/R
Commitment: Duke University 
PG Events: 24 events 
Key Stats: 88 games, .443-8-76 with a 1.273 OPS 

Short Story: There is an argument that Young has the highest baseball IQ and potentially is the best in-game performer on the circuit. His subtle adjustments defensively based on the hit and pitch call is insane. It goes hand-in-hand with his ability to make a decision on offense to go big or shorten and spray based on the count or situation of the game. 

Big Moment: Another PG Select Festival alumnus, Young hit .429 with two doubles, a triple, and a homer at the 16U PG World Series. Those numbers are against the best teams/arms in the country with no breaks in competition. 

Bold Prediction: The steady Young shows that his hit tool, IQ, and overall feel separate himself from the jumbled pack. 

Gavin Kilen, SS (Wisc.) 
5-11/175, L/R
Commitment: Louisville 
PG Events: 13 events 
Key Stats: 49 games, .375-2-31 with a 1.061 OPS 

Short Story: Kilen can hit The swing is short and compact with effortless strength at contact. He knows his game and blisters line drives to all fields, but the lift is in there when he spaces out. The overall hit tool and approach is as advanced as anyone in the class. 

Big Moment: The WWBA World Championship. The left-handed hitter came down from the Midwest and banged three doubles and a bomb to solidify his place as one of the best hitters in the ’22 class. 

Bold Prediction: Kilen takes the next step defensively, leaving now doubt that he is in the argument as the best all-around shortstop nationally. 

Nazier Mule, SS (N.J.)
6-3/205, R/R
Commitment: University of Miami 
PG Events: 53 events 
Key Stats: 70 games, .364-2-55 with a 1.004 OPS 

Short Story: When it comes to tools, Mule may be on an island by himself. He has a mid-90s fastball, huge bat speed, and very good upside in the field. It’s just an enormous ceiling. 

Big Moment: At the 16U Mid-Atlantic World Series, Mule ran his fastball up to 94 (since up to 96) while doing big damage with the bat hitting .400 with a couple of doubles and a couple of walks. That’s a fairly loud statement for a 15-year-old. 

Bold Prediction: The former PG Select Festival participant makes it impossible to predict if he ends up on the mound or as a position prospect. He performs in the way to make scouts ponder his future on both sides.   

JeanPierre Ortiz, SS (P.R.) 
6-0/162, R/R
Commitment: Florida International University 
PG Events: 13 events 
Key Stats: 50 games, .441-1-35 with a 1.179 OPS 

Short Story: Few prospects make fielding the baseball look as suave as Ortiz. He floats around the infield with soft hands and the release and arm strength are electric. He uses a simple and direct swing with a line drive approach that can split either gap. There is also the low-90s heater that can be a fine fallback plan. 

Big Moment: Though he has put together impressive consistency, the 16U WWBA was the trampoline. Ortiz came up with pressure-spot hits on his way to hitting .474 with four extra-base hits. It was the barrels to all fields that made it the most impressive, however. 

Bold Prediction: The tradition of high-level shortstops coming out of Puerto Rico continues as Ortiz adds strength that directly leads to an increase in power. The hit tool, defense, and upside on the mound stay consistent. 

Dominic Hellman, SS (Wash.)
6-6/245, R/R
Commitment: Oregon 
PG Events: 8 events 
Key Stats: 23 games, .360-1-9 with a .981 OPS

Short Story: The frame of Hellman provides excellent projection that will lead to monstrous power. For his size, he has plenty of agility and arm strength to man the hot corner and check all the boxes of a run-producing left-side defender. 

Big Moment: Hellman burst onto the national scene at the 2020 Underclass All-American Games with a loud workout that led to a couple laser extra-base hits. It was the type of performance that no one forgets. 

Bold Prediction: He puts the consistency together for the entire showcase season. That’s the next step. 

Jackson Holliday, SS (Okla.)
6-1/180 L/R
Commitment: Oklahoma State University 
PG Events: 21 events 
Key Stats: 53 games, .348-2-26 with a 1.033 OPS

Short Story: Holliday combines athleticism, a left-handed stroke, and pedigree to make one of the more exciting profiles in the class. The middle-of-the-field and middle-of-the-lineup potential is pretty clear. 

Big Moment: At the 2020 WWBA Florida Qualifier, the young Holliday was electric. He seemed to drive the gaps at every look with huge exit velocities and impressive accuracy. It is the type of performance that provides clarity to the potential and springboards the overall confidence. 

Bold Prediction: He locks down shortstop while showing more lift. The sweet swing takes the next step with added strength and maturity. 

RJ Austin, SS (Ga.) 
5-11/185, R/R
Commitment: Vanderbilt University 
PG Events: 46 games 
Key Stats: 146 games, .306-5-88 with an .878 OPS 

Short Story: Austin has real two-way potential with a quick arm and a sharp breaking ball. He can win the big game and pitch deep in starts and work through lineups multiple times. The upside in the middle and all the tools to stay at shortstop complement his quick wrists and game-changing running ability on the basepaths. 

Big Moment: Austin lifted two home runs on a big stage at the PG Underclass All-American Games. It was the type of step forward in the power department that could make him a huge riser. 

Bold Prediction: Austin solidifies his prospect status by proving he can win with big tools in every facet of the game. 

Alvin Keels, SS (Va.)
6-0/180, R/R 
Commitment: University of Miami
PG Events: 38 events 
Key Stats: 127 games, .318-3-71 with a .872 OPS 

Short Story: Keels is an explosive athlete with twitch in the body and plenty of room to fill out. The bat speed can come in an instant and the flat path helps to hit to all fields. The athleticism makes him extremely versatile and valuable defensively. 

Big Moment: The statement at the 2020 WWBA Underclass World Championship was clear. He his .500 with a double, home run, and seven walks. If that type of OPS continues, Keels, puts himself in elite company. 

Bold Prediction: The next step is the tools developing consistency. There is no doubt this is coming with reps and physical maturity that are happening right now. 

Three more inside the top 100

Tucker Biven, SS (Ind.)
6-2/185, R/R

The WWBA World Championship was just a glimpse of what Biven is capable of. The uber-athlete has a three-pitch mix that collects swing-and-miss. He can also stay at shortstop and has big pop from the right-handed batter's box. 

Easton Swofford, SS (Ark.) 
6-2/185, L/R

Swofford has a smooth and short left-handed swing that plays in a big way. It’s the type of bat-to-ball skills that should produce at every stop. He is also light on his feet with good lateral agility in the field. 

Travis Sanders, SS (Texas)
6-1/175, R/R 

The big body projection and the quick wrists and swing sequence should help future power as he fills out. Athletically and mechanically, it is ready to take a huge step forward. 

Gut Feel outside of the current top-100

Anthony Silva, SS (Texas) 
6-2/174, R/R

There is some strength to be gained, but the whippy swing and eye-hand coordination are in place for a good jump. He is rangy with arm strength and lots of feel for a long run at shortstop. 

Ivan Arias, SS (Mass.)
5-8/170, R/R 

This is a tough, hit-first prospect that barrels liners to all fields. He looks like second baseman, but Arias is a “baseball player”. If he was to end up being the gamer/shortstop that always produces at the next level, it would not be a surprise. 

Jamaliel Rosado, SS (Fla.)
6-3/195, R/R

There is no denying the physical ability here. The hands, arm strength and power at the plate are extremely impressive. The next step is putting it all together in games, which he is more than capable of doing. 

David Mershon, SS (S.C.) 
5-8/154, S/R

Mershon is one of the more fun players to watch in the class. The bat-to-ball skills are second-to-none and he is always looking to take the extra base. What he did in the playoffs of the 16U WWBA playoffs, sneaking a run in the last inning to tie the game, will not be forgotten. 

J.P. Cunningham, SS (S.C.) 
5-9/166, R-R

The long-term future might be in center field, but what he has done this spring makes you not worry one bit. Cunningham can hit and disrupt on offense giving him one of the better top-of-the-lineup profiles that you will find. 

Austin Hawke, SS (N.C.)
5-11/175, R/R 

This is about production. When you hit over .400 against the best competition in the country, it makes it easy to bet on the future. The feet play at shortstop and the arm continues to come on. 

Jordan Medellin, SS (Texas) 
6-2/165, S/R

This is a fluid moving athlete with good lateral range and soft hands. It’s a hit tool profile right now, but the lean and live body can hold easy weight as he matures. There is pretty serious upside here. 

Eric Snow, SS (Ga.)
5-10/165, R/R 

The strong and compact swing plays in a very big way as proven by his national high school record for triples in a season that is now closing in on 20. He plays with his hair on fire and is just exciting to watch.