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2022 MLB Draft Profile: Jacob Berry

Should the Marlins select Berry if he’s available with their first-round draft pick?

Jacob Berry #14 of the LSU Tigers bats in the fifth inning against the Oklahoma Sooners during the Shriners Children’s College Classic at Minute Maid Park on March 4, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Jacob Berry is a 6’0”, 212-pound infield prospect who plays for the Louisiana State University Tigers. Berry has only played two seasons at the collegiate level but was extremely productive at Arizona and LSU.

During his freshman season at Arizona, Berry immediately became one of the best college baseball players in the country. Berry was a consensus 2021 All-American and Freshman All-American. He had a .352/.439/.676 slash line in his freshman season. He also had 87 hits, 19 doubles, five triples, 17 home runs, 70 RBIs, and a 1.115 OPS.

After a terrific freshman season, Berry entered the Transfer Portal and followed his head coach, Jay Johnson, who left Arizona for the LSU head coaching job. Berry continued to have great success against SEC pitching, leading the LSU Tigers with a .370 batting average. He also had 77 hits including nine doubles, 15 home runs, 48 RBIs, and a 1.094 OPS.

As a draft-eligible sophomore, Berry is one of the top prospects in the 2022 MLB Draft. On MLB Pipeline, Berry is the seventh-ranked draft prospect and the #1 third baseman in this class.

Strengths

  • Excellent hitter from both sides
  • Plus power
  • Good plate discipline
  • Drives the ball well to all fields
  • Fastball hitter; can also do some damage vs. secondary pitches
  • Plus bat speed
  • Projects to be middle-of-the-order bat

Weaknesses

  • Below-average runner
  • Struggles defensively
  • Mostly DH at Arizona
  • Scouts don’t believe he’ll be a third baseman at the next level

Pro Comparison: Andrew Vaughn

Projection: Early 1st round

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Bottom Line

Jacob Berry is one of the best hitting prospects in this draft class. He’s a switch-hitting infielder with plus power who takes good swings. He was able to have another incredible season against tough competition. On the other hand, Berry isn’t a great runner and seems likely to move down the defensive spectrum in the pros and become a first baseman or DH.

Berry’s offensive tools have scouts salivating despite his limitations.

There were previously rumors about Berry potentially being the #1 overall pick in this draft but that doesn’t seem likely anymore. Berry’s offensive skill set will carry him quickly through the minor league system. However, his lack of a true position adds some risk that will make teams question how early to take him.

If the Marlins like his bat that much, Jacob Berry should be available at pick #6 and could end up being their first-round selection.