1. Philadelphia Phillies- LHP Jason Groome, Barnegat (N.J.) HS
Groome features a high-90’s fastball and a solid off-speed mix, all of which he commands well at this point. Last week, Groome was ruled ineligible for the remainder of this season, which could have an impact on teams’ ability to evaluate him at such a crucial time. The Phillies will have several options to consider with this pick, but Groome would seem to be too much to pass up in spite of the discipline handed down this week.
2. Cincinnati Reds- Delvin Perez, International Baseball Academy (Puerto Rico)
The Reds took a high school bat in the first round of last year’s draft in catcher Tyler Stephenson, and in Perez they get yet another potential building block for the future. Perez might have the highest ceiling of anyone in this year’s draft, given that he already shows plus defensive skills at shortstop, and if his bat develops in a similar manner the Reds could have a perennial All-Star in the future. There have been some questions about his maturity, but with his talent it will be hard for the Reds to overlook the chance to let him mature while potentially developing into their everyday shortstop.
3. Atlanta Braves- OF Corey Ray, University of Louisville
The Braves have made it known that their preference with this pick is a college bat, and Ray makes sense for a team in need of near-ready bats. Ray is as polished as any college bat in this year’s draft, and despite some concern over his ability to hit lefties, Ray has the potential to be a five-tool player in the major leagues. Ray has only helped his draft stock so far this season, and if he continues to display a lethal power-speed combination, he could be off the board before the third pick.
4. Colorado Rockies- RHP Riley Pint, St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.) HS
Pint is the highest rated prep right-hander in this year’s draft, and with such a projectable frame (6’4″, 195 lbs), accompanied by a fastball that touches 100 MPH, it is easy to see why. Pint has some difficulty repeating his mechanics at times, which may stem from a max-effort delivery that causes him to lose command of his electric fastball. This wildness will have to be reined in by whichever team drafts him, but Pint’s velocity combined with a slider that grades out as above-average make him a very intriguing prospect.
5. Milwaukee Brewers- OF Blake Rutherford, Chaminade (Ca.) HS
Rutherford is widely considered the best high school bat available in the draft, and despite being a 19-year-old senior, he still impresses with his wide array of tools. Rutherford’s age has concerned some, as the track record for older high school players is not particularly encouraging, but it could also make his ascent through the minor leagues that much faster. The Brewers already have an impressive collection of young position players in their system, but the addition of Rutherford would give them a potential five-tool center fielder that would immediately slot into the top-3 of their farm system.
6. Oakland Athletics- OF Kyle Lewis, Mercer University
With Oakland’s propensity for taking college players in the first round, Lewis makes sense with the sixth pick. Lewis really burst onto the scene after an impressive showing in the Cape Cod League in 2015, and has followed that up with a hot start in the early stages of the 2016 season with Mercer. The calling card for Lewis is his power, though he shows at least average tools across the board. Some concerns with Lewis include his tendency to swing-and-miss and his level of competition in college. However, the power will be tough to pass up as Oakland takes him with the sixth pick.
7. Miami Marlins- 3B Nick Senzel, University of Tennessee
Senzel has been impressive so far this season, but like Lewis he really made a name for himself last summer playing in the Cape Cod League. Senzel has since showcased a solid hit tool, developing power, and a better feel for third base, all of which have increased his draft stock to the point that he may even go higher than seven. From an offensive standpoint, Senzel is somewhat reminiscent of 2013 Marlins draftee Colin Moran, a fellow third baseman whose ability to hit for average outweighed his power coming out of college. It remains to be seen how much power Senzel may develop, but his ability to make contact should only help his draft stock moving forward.
8. San Diego Padres- OF Buddy Reed, University of Florida
Though he may have the most impressive set of tools in the 2016 draft, putting them all together on a consistent basis has been a challenge for Reed to this point. He has blazing speed and plays exceptional defense as a true center fielder, but Reed’s inconsistencies with the bat have held him back and may be the only thing standing between him and a monstrous career. Reed has shown flashes of exceptional raw power and certainly has the ability to hit, but cutting down on the strikeouts will be a key for him in the future. If he is able to do that, the sky may be the limit for Reed. Some team is going to take a chance on Reed, and they will likely have to do it early despite the risk. San Diego may very well be the team that bets on Reed with the eighth pick.
9. Detroit Tigers- RHP Connor Jones, University of Virginia
Jones is very polished coming out of Virginia, and though his ceiling may not be the highest of the college arms, he could be a very safe pick. Sitting in the low-90’s with his fastball, Jones has an arsenal that includes a curveball, changeup, and a hard slider that is a very effective strikeout pitch. Jones should rise quickly regardless of the system he is drafted to, and with a solid four-pitch mix his floor could be that of a dynamic late-inning reliever.
10. Chicago White Sox- OF Mickey Moniak, La Costa Canyon (Ca.) HS
Moniak has a very advanced hit tool to go along with good speed and defense, making him a very intriguing player in a class that lacks depth in prep bats. The only tool that Moniak has not developed at this point is power, which may never be a part of his game. Moniak’s feel at the plate combined with the ability to stay in center field long-term could vault him even further up draft boards, but the tenth pick seems reasonable at this point. Moniak will certainly be a player to keep an eye on come draft day.
Leave a Reply