The 2022 MLB draft wrapped up on Tuesday afternoon, with 20 rounds and over 600 players set to begin their professional journeys. Among those new pros are four Gonzaga Bulldogs alumni, a testament to the excellent season coach Mark Machtolf and new associate head coach Brandon Harmon had on the diamond this year.
Most of the attention went to Gonzaga’s Friday starter Gabriel Hughes, who became the highest drafted Zag of all-time when he went No. 10 overall to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday evening.
Here is a look at every single Zag who was selected during the MLB draft, where they ended up, and a quick look at other players taken at the same slot and their success in the big leagues:
Gabriel Hughes, Round 1 (Pick 10) – Colorado Rockies
Hughes becomes the highest drafted Zag of all-time, surpassing Marco Gonzales who went No. 19 overall to St. Louis. He heads to Colorado – a notoriously hitter-friendly park – but they’ve had more success developing young pitchers in recent years. Additionally, as a fun fact for local Gonzaga fans, he’ll probably start his professional career playing for their High-A affiliate, the Spokane Indians.
10th pick history: Mark McGwire, Robin Ventura, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Eric Chavez, Jo Adell
Tristan Vrieling, Round 3 (Pick 100) – New York Yankees
Vrieling was Gonzaga’s Saturday starter, and he was twice named WCC Pitcher of the Week and finished the season as an All-WCC Second Team honoree. His 107 strikeouts were top-40 in the nation, and he joins a New York squad that used multiple early picks on college arms to help replenish the farm system.
100th pick history: Ron Gant, Harrison Bader, Steven Souza, Ryon Healy, Joran Luplow, Connor Wong
William Kempner, Round 3 (Pick 106) – San Francisco Giants
For the first time in program history three Zags have gone in the first 10 rounds of the MLB draft, and they went in the order they were scheduled to pitch for the Bulldogs: Hughes, Vrieling, and Kempner. Kempner missed time last year because of injury, but he was excellent as Gonzaga’s Sunday starter when he was on the bump.
Kempner could be a quick riser to the big leagues in a bullpen role, according to multiple draft experts, thanks to his funky sidearm delivery and 99 mile per hour heat.
106th pick history: Tim Raines, Dave Stieb, Zac Gallen, Sam Tuivailala, Daniel Mengden
Brody Jessee, Round 10 (Pick 303) – Cincinnati Reds
Jessee appeared in 18 games out of the bullpen for the Zags this past season, totaling 48 strikeouts in just 35.1 innings. Cincinnati is the home of Driveline instructor Kyle Boddy, and they have done wonders for fellow Zag Brandon Bailey – could they help Jessee reach the big leagues in short order?
303rd pick history: Tony Fossas
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.