Our “First” Look At The 41 1st Bowman Prospects in 2022 Bowman Chrome [Updated]
2022 Bowman Chrome Baseball is now available! By our count, there are 41 prospects making their 1st Bowman debut. For investors, this is your chance to get in on the ground floor and collect young players who may turn out to be tomorrow’s stars.
After reviewing the players with 1st Bowman status, it seems to be a relatively weak crop of prospects. It’s important to note, however, that these are players with little to no professional baseball experience. For this reason, there’s substantial risk involved with investing in such raw and inexperienced players.
Who has a 1st Bowman card in 2022 Bowman Chrome?
The table below shows all the players that we have determined to be 1st Bowman prospects in 2022 Bowman Chrome. Along with the players’ team and position, you’ll also find the tier I’ve placed each player in.
Below the table of 1st Bowman prospects in 2022 Bowman Chrome, you’ll find analysis than can help guide your investment options and determine which players are worth chasing in this set.
2022 Bowman Chrome 1st Prospects
|1||BCP-152||Oscar Colas||Chicago White Sox||OF||2|
|2||BCP-153||Roderick Arias||New York Yankees||SS||2|
|3||BCP-154||Won-Bin Cho||St. Louis Cardinals||OF||4|
|4||BCP-155||Maikol Hernandez||Baltimore Orioles||SS||3|
|5||BCP-156||Danny De Andrade||Minnesota Twins||SS||4|
|6||BCP-157||Cristhian Vaquero||Washington Nationals||OF||1|
|7||BCP-158||Ricardo Cabrera||Cincinnati Reds||2B||4|
|8||BCP-159||William Bergolla||Philadelphia Phillies||SS||4|
|9||BCP-160||Anthony Gutierrez||Texas Rangers||OF||3|
|10||BCP-161||Samuel Munoz||Los Angeles Dodgers||1B||4|
|11||BCP-163||Ryan Reckley||San Francisco Giants||SS||4|
|12||BCP-164||Alex De Jesus||Los Angeles Dodgers||3B||4|
|13||BCP-166||Yordany De Los Santos||Pittsburgh Pirates||3B||4|
|14||BCP-168||Jonathan Mejia||St. Louis Cardinals||SS||1|
|15||BCP-170||Simon Juan||New York Mets||OF||4|
|16||BCP-171||Yasser Mercedes||Minnesota Twins||OF||3|
|17||BCP-172||Alexis Hernandez||Chicago Cubs||SS||4|
|18||BCP-173||Danyer Cueva||Texas Rangers||SS||4|
|19||BCP-174||Jaison Chourio||Cleveland Guardians||OF||3|
|20||BCP-175||Eddinson Paulino||Boston Red Sox||3B||4|
|21||BCP-176||Dru Baker||Tampa Bay Rays||OF||4|
|22||BCP-178||Yendry Rojas||San Diego Padres||3B||4|
|23||BCP-179||Leonardo Balcazar||Cincinnati Reds||SS||4|
|24||BCP-180||Junior Perez||Oakland Athletics||OF||4|
|25||BCP-181||Erick Hernandez||Chicago White Sox||OF||4|
|26||BCP-183||Wilfred Veras||Chicago White Sox||3B||4|
|27||BCP-187||Yerlin Confidan||Cincinnati Reds||OF||4|
|28||BCP-191||Yanquiel Fernandez||Colorado Rockies||OF||3|
|29||BCP-193||Rosman Verdugo||San Diego Padres||SS||4|
|30||BCP-194||Nelson Velazquez||Chicago Cubs||OF||3|
|31||BCP-195||Willy Vasquez||Tampa Bay Rays||SS||1|
|32||BCP-196||Willy Fanas||New York Mets||OF||4|
|33||BCP-199||Daniel Vasquez||Kansas City Royals||SS||4|
|34||BCP-200||Yeison Morrobel||Texas Rangers||OF||4|
|35||BCP-202||Rayne Doncon||Los Angeles Dodgers||2B||3|
|36||BCP-203||Samuel Zavala||San Diego Padres||OF||1|
|37||BCP-205||Adrian Placencia||Los Angeles Angels||2B||4|
|38||BCP-206||Cesar Prieto||Baltimore Orioles||2B||4|
|39||BCP-207||Joey Wiemer||Milwaukee Brewers||OF||2|
|40||BCP-209||Luis Meza||Toronto Blue Jays||C||4|
|41||BCP-245||Matt McLain||Cincinnati Reds||SS||3|
Tier 1: 1st Bowman prospects worth ripping for in 2022 Bowman Chrome.
Cristhian Vaquero, OF in Washington Nationals organization
Age: 18 | Bats: B | Throws: R | ETA: 2027
- Baseball America Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Speed: 70 | Field: 55 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 55
- #6 prospect in Nationals organization by Baseball America
|2022 (17)||Cristhian Vaquero||FRk||55||4||1||17||15.3%||17.6%||.256||.379||.719|
At 16 years old, Cristhian Vaquero signed with the Washington Nationals for nearly $5 million. It was the largest signing bonus of the 2021 international class, and it’s easy to understand why the Nationals felt compelled to use nearly their whole international draft pool on the young Cuban-born outfielder.
Vaquero’s receives high praise from scouts all over the industry who feel that he has the tools to become a superstar. FanGraphs likens his ceiling to that of Oneil Cruz and Elly De La Cruz, and MLB Pipeline says “If it all clicks, he could be the organization’s biggest international success story since Juan Soto.”
These are, of course, huge expectations for a player who just turned 18 years old. Like I mentioned in the introduction, nearly all the 1st Bowman players covered here come with substantial risk — Vaquero included. With that risk in mind, his combination of power and speed potential make him an enticing chase and my favorite prospect in the top tier.
Vaquero has a high ceiling. He’s an explosive player with a quick first step in center field. He then takes long, gliding strides to cover plenty of ground with well above-average speed. His plus arm and double-plus speed indicate that could stick in center. Vaquero has plenty of time to develop and gain experience at the plate to quiet concerns about his pure hitting ability…If Vaquero continues to advance, the Nationals may have found their greatest international prospect since at least Luis Garcia and possibly since Juan Soto and Victor Robles arrived in the late 2010s.Baseball America
Jonathan Mejia, SS in St. Louis Cardinals organization
Age: 17 | Bats: B | Throws: R | ETA: 2028
- Baseball America Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Speed: 50 | Field: 50 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 55
- #10 prospect in Cardinals organization by Baseball America
|2022 (17)||Jonathan Mejia||FRk||45||14||5||3||15.9%||23.1%||.267||.418||.479|
Jonathan Mejia is the youngest player and most recent international signee in Tier 1, but he has a high upside that includes an above-average hit tool and plus power. In 45 Dominican Summer League games, Mejia’s .897 OPS was second-best on the team. He’s likely to come stateside in 2023 where he will face more advanced pitching, but early signs point to Mejia’s ability to make hard contact from both sides of the plate.
Mejia is an aggressive hitter who swings to do damage, generating impressive bat speed from both sides of the plate. It’ s a sound swing from both sides and he generally stays under control, showing the ability to drive the ball for hard contact to the opposite field, with the potential to grow into 20-plus home run power…Mejia is one of the most exciting hitters the Cardinals have signed out of the Dominican Republic in recent years.Baseball America
Willy Vasquez, SS in Tampa Bay Rays organization
Age: 21 | Bats: R | Throws: R | ETA: 2024
- Baseball America Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Speed: 50 | Field: 50 | Arm: 55 | Overall: 55
- #11 prospect in Rays organization by Baseball America
|2019 (17)||Willy Vasquez||FRk||11||2||0||2||2.2%||8.7%||.364||.370||.455|
|2021 (19)||Willy Vasquez||Rk||40||6||3||14||11.6%||15.6%||.288||.382||.411|
|2022 (20)||Willy Vasquez||A||113||21||10||25||7.3%||25.6%||.256||.313||.410|
21-year-old Willy Vasquez has the most professional experience in the top tier and is likely the closest player to the big leagues. He spent 2022 in Single-A and is currently playing in the Australian Baseball League this winter. He has average to above-average tools across the board, but some of his numbers and metrics jump off the page and provide a glimpse of his potential.
Vasquez has posted 110-111mph exit velocities according to Baseball America. For context, that would put him around the 72nd percentile mark in Major League Baseball right now. Despite getting bigger and stronger since signing with the Rays in 2019, scouts believe he still has a chance to stick at shortstop.
Vasquez has the building blocks to be an above-average offensive player. He has above-average bat speed and has shown the ability already to drive a ball at 110-111 mph exit velocities at his best. He shows a solid understanding of the game at a young age and has developed into a team leader…The Rays have a slew of shortstop prospects in the lower levels of the minors, but Vasquez has one of the best combinations of offensive and defensive impact potential.Baseball America
Samuel Zavala, OF in San Diego Padres organization
Age: 18 | Bats: L | Throws: L | ETA: 2026
- Baseball America Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Speed: 50 | Field: 55 | Arm: 55 | Overall: 55
- #5 prospect in Padres organization by Baseball America
|2021 (16)||Samuel Zavala||FRk||55||16||3||11||13.6%||15.3%||.297||.400||.487|
|2022 (17)||Samuel Zavala||Rk&A||43||9||8||5||13.1%||27.3%||.272||.366||.530|
Samuel Zavala played very well during his first taste of professional ball in 2021. Against pitchers who had a nearly two-year advantage against him, Zavala displayed good plate discipline (a rarity for young players) while also hitting for average and power.
A leg injury delayed his start to the 2022, causing him to play only 43 games this season. When he returned, however, he got off to a hot start (10-for-29) before earning a promotion to Single-A after just 10 games in rookie ball. Here’s what a FanGraphs’ scout had to say about the 18-year-old outfielder this spring: Zavala was one of a group of select Padres prospects who faced upper-level Diamondbacks players during an unscheduled morning game in the spring. One of the Snakes pitchers in that game was Oliver Pérez, whose career has lasted longer than many of those Padres prospects have been alive. Of all the young hitters who faced Pérez, most of whom were fooled by his funk and tricks, Zavala clearly looked the most comfortable and poised.
Zavala was regarded as one of the best pure hitters in the 2020-21 international signing class and signed with the Padres out of Venezuela for $1.2 million…Zavala has long possessed a knack for finding the barrel with a smooth, whip-like swing. He doesn’t have the brute strength of some other teenagers, but he has added more power and loft to his swing as he’s matured physically and could wind up with average power to go with his above-average hitting ability tools.Baseball America
Tier 2: 1st Bowman prospects I’m cautiously optimistic about in 2022 Bowman Chrome.
Oscar Colas, OF in Chicago White Sox organization
Age: 24 | Bats: L | Throws: R | ETA: 2023
- Baseball America Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Speed: 45 | Field: 45 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 50
- #2 prospect in White Sox organization by Baseball America
Oscar Colas is “old” by prospect standards, especially for 1st Bowman cards. The 24-year-old’s path was not traditional; he played in Cuba and Japan as a teenager and eventually signed with the White Sox in 2022. Colas was nicknamed “the Cuban Ohtani” because he played both ways, but he’s transitioned to a full-time outfielder with the White Sox.
Baseball America ranks Colas as the White Sox’s No. 2 prospect. He spent time across three minor league levels in 2022, performing very well at every stop. He slashed a combined .314/.371/.524 over 117 games.
Most of Colas’ time was spent between High-A and Double-A, where he played 59 and 51 games, respectively. He hit for significantly more power against tougher Double-A pitching, slugging .563 with 14 home runs compared to .475 SLG with 7 home runs in Single-A. His stint in Triple-A at the end of the season was brief, playing seven games but making a good impression going 12-for-31 with two home runs.
The White Sox organization remains impressed with the 24-year-old outfielder. As recently as early November, the team’s general manager said there’s a strong change Colas could be the White Sox’s Opening Day right fielder in 2023.
Roderick Arias, SS in New York Yankees organization
Age: 18 | Bats: B | Throws: R | ETA: 2026
- MLB Pipeline Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Speed: 60 | Field: 60 | Arm: 70 | Overall: 50
- #11 prospect in Yankees organization by MLB Pipeline
The Yankees had their eye on Roderick Arias since he was 14 years old and would end up inking him to a $4 million international free agent deal three years later. A switch-hitting shortstop from the Dominican Republic, Arias was the top international prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
Arias is already a popular investment option, but there’s high risk because he’s so young. However, that hasn’t deterred some investors who have paid $4,000 for a gold (/50) autograph and $6,000 for an orange (/25) autograph in the weeks since 2022 Bowman Chrome was released.
The scout that identified and signed Arias had high praise for the shortstop, saying “We evaluated him as a five-tool shortstop with All-Star potential.” The Yankees love his combination of tools and athleticism. He’s shown an ability to recognize and adjust to different pitches while making hard contact. The hope is that Arias will grow into above average power, but as of right now he grades out with average power. For investors, that’s a huge gamble to take on a player who is at least three years from the big leagues.
The other thing I’m wary about here is that the Yankees have a plethora of really great shortstop prospects. Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza lead the way, but there’s also Oswaldo Cabrera and Trey Sweeney ahead of Arias. These things, combined with the already high price tags, have me skeptical about going all in on Arias at this time.
Joey Wiemer, OF in Milwaukee Brewers organization
Age: 23 | Bats: R | Throws: R | ETA: 2023
- Baseball America Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 70 | Speed: 60 | Field: 55 | Arm: 80 | Overall: 50
- #4 prospect in Brewers organization by Baseball America
Joey Wiemer was a fourth-round pick out of college in the 2022 Draft. According to pre-draft reports, he was exceptionally unexceptional during three years at Cincinnati despite encouraging tools.
Wiemer’s power potential is incredible, but it wasn’t something he could get to in-game in college (12 home runs in 122 games). He’s been able to tap into it in minor league games, though, hitting 27 home runs in Single-A in 2021 and 21 between Double- and Triple-A in 2022. Like many young hitters, however, Wiemer has the propensity to strike out (26.9 K% in 2022).
I waffled back and forth on Joey Wiemer, questioning whether the enormous power potential was enough to bump him to Tier 1 despite the fringe-average hit tool and average (50) overall grade from Baseball America. Before the draft, the publication said the following: Wiemer’s toolset is better than where he’s ranked, but the questions about his hit tool are significant.
Although he’s made significant strides since then, some of those same questions remain despite being the best power hitter in Milwaukee’s system. For this reason, as you can see, I went with Tier 2 despite being very optimistic about Wiemer’s upside.
Tier 3: 1st Bowman prospects with a higher risk than the potential reward in 2022 Bowman Chrome.
Maikol Hernandez, SS in Baltimore Orioles organization
Hernandez’s body type invoke comparisons to Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Correa, but as a 19-year-old his tools are still raw and results are inconsistent. The shortstop’s athleticism is obvious and there’s a lot to like here from the organization’s standpoint. However, Baseball America says “he could grow into average power as an average hitter” which isn’t enough to satisfy potential investors.
Anthony Gutierrez, OF in Texas Rangers organization
Like the other prospects in Tier 3, Gutierrez’s ranks out as an average (50) future big leaguer on the 20-80 scale. His most exciting tool is the potential for plus power, and some scouts believe he could be a more athletic version of Eloy Jiménez. This isn’t a bad thing, but investors have opted to pursue other rookies (Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Pete Alonso) in the 2019 Topps class despite Jiménez being one of the top prospects heading into the season. I don’t expect that to be Gutierrez’s case, so I wouldn’t prioritize him from an investment standpoint.
Yasser Mercedes, OF in Minnesota Twins organization
Mercedes is definitely one of the more intriguing players in this tier. In 41 Dominican Summer League games, he slashed .355/.421/.555 with four home runs and 30 stolen bases. At 17 years old he was 175 lbs., but scouts believe he could grow into above average power as he matures. They also note he has “some of the best upside in the lower levels of the Twins system,” but note that upside comes with extreme risk. Knowing this, they give him an average grade.
Jaison Chourio, OF in Cleveland Guardians organization
Cleveland Guardians outfield prospect Jaison Chourio is not to be confused with his older brother (and MLB’s No. 2 prospect) Jackson Chourio. Older brother Jackson had an incredible minor league season for the Brewers, catapulting himself to the top of prospect charts and the front of investors’ minds. Younger bother Jaison Chourio makes his 1st Bowman debut in 2022 Bowman Chrome and his last name stands out more than his tools do at this point. This isn’t a knock on Jaison, but has more to do with the strides Jackson took in 2022 and how that may influence investors’ perception of the younger Chourio.
Yanquiel Fernandez, OF in Colorado Rockies organization
Fernandez mashed in the DSL in 2021 which impressed Colorado enough to promote him directly to Single-A in 2022. Despite being two years younger than most of the competition, the 19-year-old hit 33 doubles and slugged 21 home runs (both 3rd-most in the league). The plus-plus (70) power definitely plays, but there are questions about the rest of his offensive profile and where he might fit defensively. With so much unknown right now, Fernandez remains a volatile investment.
Nelson Velázquez, OF in Chicago Cubs organization
Unlike the rest of the list, Velázquez has already made his MLB debut. He got off to a pretty good two-week stretch, but ultimately struggled to make contact (63.5%, league average is 74.8%) which contributed to an inflated 31.6% strikeout rate (league average is 22.1%). He had trouble against fastballs as first reported by Bryan Smith of Bleacher Nation, who wrote a great, in-depth piece on the Cubs’ outfielder. Velázquez had plenty of success in the minors, so I don’t think it’s fair to judge him on the 77-game stint with the Cubs, but I don’t think he’ll have the breakout necessary to overpower investors.
Rayne Doncon, 2B in Los Angeles Dodgers organization
Doncon wasn’t a top international prospect in 2021, but all reports show he outperformed the other prospects the Dodgers signed upon making his professional debut. Scouts praise his advanced, 70-grade bat control and note his success against higher quality pitchers at the team’s instructional league. As of right now, Doncon grades out as average across the board. He’s also in an organization full of impressive prospects, including three middle infielders ahead of him in the Dodgers’ prospect rankings.
Matt McLain, SS in Cincinnati Reds organization
McLain impressed me enough to put him in Tier 2 at first, but the more I dug I realized I liked his well-rounded approach more than being sold on him from an investment standpoint. This was also where I was at with Steven Kwan in my 2022 Topps Update breakdown. Like Kwan, McLain is small in stature, has limited power, makes a ton of contact, and has 60-grade speed. Ultimately, this line from Baseball America solidified my decision to bump McLain down to Tier 3: He’s unlikely to ever be a regular all-star, but he should be a solid big leaguer.
Tier 4: 1st Bowman prospects with currently little to no value in the hobby/publicly available data in 2022 Bowman Chrome.
Won-Bin Cho, OF in St. Louis Cardinals organization
Danny De Andrade, SS in Minnesota Twins organization
Ricardo Cabrera, 2B in Cincinnati Reds organization
William Bergolla, SS in Philadelphia Phillies organization
Samuel Munoz, 1B in Los Angeles Dodgers organization
Ryan Reckley, SS in San Francisco Giants organization
Alex De Jesus, 3B in Los Angeles Dodgers organization
Yordany De Los Santos, 3B in Pittsburgh Pirates organization
Simon Juan, OF in New York Mets organization
Alexis Hernandez, SS in Chicago Cubs organization
Danyer Cueva, SS in Texas Rangers organization
Eddinson Paulino, 3B in Boston Red Sox organization
Dru Baker, OF in Tampa Bay Rays organization
Yendry Rojas, 3B in San Diego Padres organization
Leonardo Balcazar, SS in Cincinnati Reds organization
Junior Perez, OF in Oakland Athletics organization
Erick Hernandez, OF in Chicago White Sox organization
Wilfred Veras, 3B in Chicago White Sox organization
Yerlin Confidan, OF Cincinnati Reds organization
Rosman Verdugo, SS in San Diego Padres organization
Willy Fanas, OF in New York Mets organization
Daniel Vasquez, SS in Kansas City Royals organization
Yeison Morrobel, OF in Texas Rangers organization
Adrian Placencia, 2B in Los Angeles Angels organization
Cesar Prieto, 2B in Baltimore Orioles organization
Luis Meza, C in Toronto Blue Jays organization