MLB Draft Welcomes 10 Tennessee Vols To The Big Leagues

Posted on July 26, 2022

The 2022 MLB Draft has come and gone, and college baseball’s best players are headed to the big leagues. More than one of those talented players happens to hail from the University of Tennessee.

In fact, the Tennessee baseball program set yet another record after their already-impressive year, sending 10 total players off to the MLB.

Tennessee Vols selected in 2022 MLB Draft

Tennessee’s 10 new MLB hopefuls came as a feat within the program as well as within the nation overall. Only one college boasted more draft selections than the Vols this year. The Oklahoma Sooners celebrated an impressive 11 player call-ups after placing runner-up in this year’s College World Series.

Tennessee sportsbooks saw more betting activity on the 2022 college baseball season than ever before — due in large part to the Vols’ successful season and their all-star roster.

The 10 Vols selected in this year’s draft include:

  • Drew Gilbert
  • Jordan Beck
  • Blade Tidwell
  • Trey Lipscomb
  • Ben Joyce
  • Will Mabrey
  • Jorel Ortega
  • Seth Stephenson
  • Mark McLaughlin
  • Cortland Lawson

Drew Gilbert drafted by the Houston Astros

Tennessee Vols MLB Drew Gilbert

Tennessee center fielder Drew Gilbert became the first Vol selected in this year’s draft when the Houston Astros claimed him as the 28th overall pick. He’s the first Vol to be drafted in the first round since 2020, when left-handed pitcher Garret Crochet landed a spot on the Chicago White Sox as the 11th overall pick.

Gilbert served as a two-way player in the beginning of his collegiate career, ultimately transitioning exclusively to center field. During his sophomore year as a Vol, he logged multiple walk-off homers. Then his cherry on top came during the NCAA Regionals, when he claimed a walk-off grand slam to seal the game.

As a junior, Gilbert further improved his stats, becoming one of the most notable players in the SEC. By the end of his collegiate career, he claimed 70 RBIs, 11 home runs and a .362 batting average, leading his team to its first No. 1 national seeding in program history. His position as the team’s best hitter also earned him First Team All-SEC and SEC Tournament MVP accolades.

Vols head coach Tony Vitello, who served as an MLB Network analyst during the draft, noted Gilbert’s influence during his time at Tennessee:

“He went to the place that he thought he could turn into one of the best baseball programs in the country, and he did it. He got our guys thinking about being on the attack and believing in themselves. He set a very, very high bar for work ethic.”

Gilbert is only the second Vol to receive a first round pick since Vitello took over the team in 2017.

Jordan Beck goes to the Colorado Rockies

Tennessee Vols MLB Draft Jordan Beck

A mere 10 selections later in the draft’s second round, the Colorado Rockies selected junior Vols right fielder Jordan Beck.

Beck made a name for himself his sophomore year with 15 home runs and 64 RBIs. He then went on to round out his most recent year with 18 home runs and 61 RBIs. Most notably, he ended the season with two homers during Tennessee’s Super Regional loss against Notre Dame.

New York Mets snag Blade Tidwell

Tennessee Vols MLB Draft Blade Tidwell

The first day of 2022 MLB Draft results also saw the New York Mets select sophomore Blade Tidwell as the 52nd pick.

Tidwell dealt with shoulder issues early on this past season, though he finished with 51 strikeouts and a 3.00 ERA in his 13 game appearances. His season debut saw him throw two strikeouts in a single inning against Western Carolina. He then pitched a career-best 7.2 innings against Alabama State in the NCAA Knoxville Regional, making his way onto the All-Tournament Team.

Tennessee Vols baseball futures odds

It’s too early to know what odds Tennessee might hold going into next year. But it’s safe to say they’ll be fighting an uphill battle. Tennessee’s mass roster exodus will undoubtedly leave the Vols with some important roles to fill in the upcoming season. A team that was once one of the most revered college baseball programs in the country could soon be facing a season of growth.

Check back into PlayTenn in the coming months for more news and updated Vols baseball odds.

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Alec Cunningham

As a college athlete, Alec Cunningham played Division II golf at Tusculum University. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Professional Writing. She then returned to her love of written word in 2000 after working in the music industry as a concert promoter, tour manager and artist developer. As a journalist, she's covered a variety of topics and currently specializes in Tennessee online sports betting and Virginia casino news. She served as a panelist at this year's All American Sports Betting Summit, discussing the ever-evolving role of women in the gambling industry.

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