This year marked the third MLB Draft since MLB and its players association reached a deal to shorten the draft from 40 to 20 rounds. Ten Volunteers were selected across the 20 rounds, surpassing the previous record of eight in 1992 when the draft was 50 rounds.
The 10 selections were the most of any SEC program and the second most from any single school, trailing only Oklahoma who had 11 players selected.
Tennessee is just the fourth SEC school to have 10 or more players selected in the first 20 rounds of any MLB Draft, joining Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Since 2019, Tennessee’s 26 draft selections ranks third amongst SEC teams in that span.
While not contributing to the record number of draft picks, catcher Evan Russell signed with the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent following the draft. Russell ranks second in program history for most career home runs (39) and he is the only player in Tennessee history to hit three home runs in a single game on two separate occasions.
Day 1 (Rounds 1-2)
1st Round – Houston Astros select Outfielder Drew Gilbert
Gilbert became the highest drafted hitter by the Vols in the Tony Vitello era when the Houston Astros selected him 28th overall in the first round. Despite missing six games due to injury, he led the Vols in batting average (.362), doubles (21) and triples (4) while ranking second on the team in RBIs (70).
The junior from Minnesota was named to the All-SEC first-team, SEC All-defensive team and won SEC Tournament MVP after helping the Vols to their first conference championship since 1995. He also was named a 2022 first-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Colorado made Beck the second Volunteer off the board with the 38th overall pick. After an exceptional sophomore season, Beck elevated his game in 2022 with career highs in batting average, home runs, runs scored, total bases triples, slugging percentage and walks.
His 34 career home runs are tied for seventh most in program history.
Beck was picked in the 14th round by the Red Sox in the 2019 MLB Draft but opted to go to the University of Tennessee.
With the 52nd overall pick in the second round, the Mets made Tidwell the first of four UT pitchers to be selected in 2022.
Despite a shoulder injury limiting his appearances in 2022, it was a largely successful sophomore campaign for the Loretto, Tenn. native. He was named to the NCAA Knoxville Regional All-Tournament Team and gave up just 31 hits in 39 innings across 13 appearances.
In 2021, he posted the second most wins by a freshman in Tennessee history with 10 and finished the season second on the team in strikeouts and innings pitched.
Day 2 (Rounds 3-10)
The Frederick, Maryland native won’t be far from home after being selected 84th overall by the Washington Nationals. The senior led the SEC in 2022 with 84 RBIs, the third most in a single season in Tennessee history. He also hit a career-best 22 home runs, tied for second most in UT single-season history.
Lipscomb led Tennessee in hits (86), home runs (22) and total bases (172). Lipscomb was named to the 2022 All-SEC 1st Team and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-American 1st Team. The NCBWA also named him the District 3 Player of the Year.
The Angels selected right-handed relief pitcher Ben Joyce in the third round with the 89th overall pick, coming just five picks after the Washington Nationals selected Tennessee third basemen Trey Lipscomb. The flame-throwing Farragut High School graduate made headlines this year by throwing one of the fastest pitches in recorded college baseball history.
Joyce was named a 3rd Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2022.
The Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday made Tennessee southpaw Will Mabrey the sixth Vol to be selected in the 2022 MLB Draft. The left-handed reliever from Cookville, Tenn. made 29 appearances for the Vols in 2022 and his 52 strikeouts trailed only Ben Joyce for the most by a Tennessee reliever.
The Puerto Rico native enjoyed a breakout season at Tennessee in 2022. He set career highs in every statistical category and finished second on the team with 76 hits, 20 doubles and 158 total bases.
He earned All-America accolades from Perfect Game and was named to the Southeast All-Region first-team by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Rawlings.
Ortega was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Knoxville Regional after batting .500 during the Vols’ three Regional games while recording seven hits and five RBIs.
7th Round – Outfielder Seth Stephenson selected by the Detroit Tigers
After a two-year career at Temple Junior College in Texas, Stephenson transferred to Rocky Top and enjoyed immediate success. His 25 stolen bases were the second most in the SEC and he ranked fourth on the team with a batting average of .339. He led Tennessee in hits during the SEC Tournament championship game against Florida with three hits and two RBIs.
7th Round – Chicago White Sox select pitcher Mark McLaughlin
McLaughlin is the second Tennessee pitcher to be drafted by the White Sox in the last three drafts after Garrett Crochet was taken by the organization with the 11th overall pick of the 2020 draft. He made 27 appearances in relief this past season, striking out 45 total batters through 31.1 innings of work.
The Johns Creek, Georgia native ended his junior season with a 2-1 record, boasting a 2.01 ERA. He was the fourth and final Tennessee pitcher to be selected after Blade Tidwell, Ben Joyce and Will Mabrey.
Day 3 (Rounds 11-20)
14th Round – Washington Nationals choose shortshop Cortland Lawson
The Virginia native was a defensive stalwart for the Vols in 2022 and led the team with 148 assists and 60 putouts. He scored 42 runs, homered 12 times and had 45 RBIs in 65 games played with a slash line of .269/.402/.512.