With the Tennessee Volunteers’ baseball season ending in the NCAA Super Regionals round, a few of Tennessee’s players are gearing up for the MLB Draft this summer. The Vols’ SEC Championship-winning team could have three potential first-round draft picks in Blade Tidwell, Drew Gilbert, and Jordan Beck.
The three mock drafts that are examined today each represent a different spot on the Vols’ postseason timeline and how the regionals and super regionals affected each player. The first mock draft comes after the super regional round, the second comes after the regional round, and the final mock draft came after the conference tournaments.
One of the more notable trends that the mock drafts show is Jordan Beck’s slight decline following the postseason. In fact, Jim Callis of MLB even directly called out the fact that Gilbert had jumped Beck in his own outfielder rankings. Speaking of Beck, it does seem as though the Colorado Rockies have an interest in the powerful Tennessee outfielder. The Rockies, though, do have three draft picks in the first 38 selections (No. 10, No. 31, No. 38) and may wind up selecting Beck with one of the later picks.
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Here are what some of the top MLB Draft experts are saying about Blade Tidwell, Drew Gilbert, and Jordan Beck before the 2022 MLB Draft begins on Sunday, July 17.
Bleacher Report Mock Draft – 6/15/22 – By Joel Reuter – Mock draft released after the Knoxville Super Regional
SP Blade Tidwell – Round 1, Pick 26, Chicago White Sox
- “The White Sox took a hard-throwing Tennessee pitcher in the first round two years ago when they drafted Garrett Crochet, and Tidwell presents similar upside. He missed time early with shoulder soreness and was knocked around by Notre Dame in his final collegiate start, but with a fastball that touches 99 mph and a wipeout slider, there is no question his stuff will translate to the next level.”
OF Drew Gilbert – Round 1, Pick 27, Milwaukee Brewers
- “Gilbert raised his OPS a whopping 350 points this spring, hitting .362/.455/.673 with 36 extra-base hits and more walks (33) than strikeouts (32) as one of the breakout players of the college season. He is a clean fit in center field defensively, and his bat speed gives him some sneaky power potential despite an unassuming 5’9″, 185-pound frame.”
MLB.com Mock Draft – 6/8/22 – By Jim Callis – Mock draft released after the Knoxville Regional
SP Blade Tidwell – Round 1, Pick 18, Cincinnati Reds
- “Tennessee right-hander Blade Tidwell, who missed the first six weeks with shoulder soreness and hadn’t pitched more than 4 2/3 innings in a game all season, went a career-high 7 2/3 frames against Alabama State in the NCAA Regionals on Friday. He threw 95 pitches, averaged 95.6 mph with his fastball and threw his last three fastballs at 96, 95 and 94. In a 2022 pitching class decimated by Tommy John surgeries and other health questions, Tidwell could be the first college arm selected if he continues to throw well during the postseason.
- If Tidwell continues to build momentum in a Super-Regional start against Notre Dame and possibly at the College World Series, he may not make it this far. Lesko, the high school lefties, Young and James Madison outfielder Chase DeLauter also could come into play.”
OF Drew Gilbert – Round 1, Pick 24, Boston Red Sox
- “Gilbert is one of the best bets to hit and to play center field among the top college outfielders, and he has moved ahead of Volunteers teammate Jordan Beck. The Red Sox would be the absolute floor for Williams.”
OF Jordan Beck – Round 1 Compensation, Pick 31, Colorado Rockies
ESPN.com Mock Draft – 6/1/22 – By Kiley McDaniel – Mock draft released prior to Knoxville Regional
OF Jordan Beck – Round 1, Pick 10, Colorado Rockies
- “Colorado has been tied to Beck all spring, and the Rockies were bearing down on him at the SEC tournament — though he has a wide range of possible landing spots throughout the round since teams have wildly different evaluations of him. Since consensus starts to break down around here, the predicted mixes of players whom teams are on is also less reliable because they are still changing their minds as bonus asking prices become clearer.”
OF Drew Gilbert – Round 1, Pick 26, Chicago White Sox
- “The White Sox tend to take college bats with their top pick, then get bolder with later selections, and that’s exactly what the board is giving them here. Gilbert is one of the safest picks in the draft and might be the first non-reliever to make the big leagues from this class. He’s in play in the late teens as well.”
SP Blade Tidwell – Round 1, Pick 28, Houston Astros
- “Tidwell popped up late as a high school player in the COVID-shortened spring of 2020 throwing in the high 90s and might have been paid out of high school with a normally scheduled spring. He was solid last season for the Vols, then missed the first part of this season with shoulder soreness. Tidwell has flashed top-10-level talent this spring but comes with concerns and figures to go around this range, though some teams prefer the steadier type of college pitcher while Tidwell is more boom/bust.”