2016 MLB Mock Draft: Final Mock 5 Rounds
Round 1 Picks 1-23
Posted By: Chris Ransom Last Updated: June 9, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies: A.J. Puk, P, Florida
- Philadelphia will overlook the character concerns with Puk even though he did get arrested for criminal trespassing last year. Puk is now the frontrunner to be drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2016 MLB Draft. Puk went 5-2 with a 3.19 ERA in 2014. Puk went 9-4 with a 3.81 ERA in 2015. So far in 15 starts in 2016, Puk is 2-3 with a 3.21 ERA and 10 consecutive no decisions in 2016 despite dealing with an injury this season. There are also rumors about the Phillies moving Aaron Nola at the trade deadline which would be foolish. Hopefully these talks die down because I'm selling those rumors.
Cincinnati Reds: Kyle Lewis, CF, Mercer
- The Cincinnati Reds need help everywhere. There is not one position where the Reds are dominant at which is why taking the top college bat makes total sense. Mercer center fielder Kyle Lewis, Louisville center fielder Corey Ray, and third baseman Nick Senzel are all options here. Mercer's Kyle Lewis and Louisville's Corey Ray are 1A and 1B among the batters in the 2016 MLB Draft. I hear rumors about Senzel here, but ultimately I think they go with Lewis at 2. Either way I expect all 3 College bats to go in the top 5 overall.
- Outfielder Kyle Lewis of Mercer has the versatility to play left field, center field, and right field. He played left field at Mercer in 2015, but played center field in the Showcase circuit before moving to right field in 2016. Lewis projects to play at center field in the MLB.
- Lewis had a .367 batting average and 17 home runs in 2015. Kyle Lewis has a .395 batting average, 20 home runs, and 72 RBI's in 2016. His .731 slugging percentage is remarkable. Lewis is an excellent power hitter who can blast home runs or hit line drives. He's extremely versatile in the outfield and posts a 1.000 fielding percentage in 2016. He's not great at stealing bases, but he possesses complete 5 tool ability if he can improve in that area. Corey Ray may be more of a 5 tool bat, but Lewis has excellent fielding along with the better bat and that is what gives Lewis the edge over Ray.
- At this point the best player available is Kyle Lewis, the right fielder for Mercer. Lewis is the lead off bat on a 38-23 Mercer Bears team. Lewis would go to Cincinnati and would convert to center fielder unless the Reds would rather have Corey Ray or possibly Nick Senzel to replace Todd Frazier at third base.
Atlanta Braves: Corey Ray, CF, Louisville
- Andrew Kermish made a great point about how the Braves should get a center fielder on Sunday's podcast. Corey Ray is the top overall prospect here which is why he's moving up to 3. If Kyle Lewis slips to 3 he will be the pick since there are reports that Lewis is the top player on their board.
- Ray had back-to-back seasons with a .325 batting average. After hitting only 1 home run and stealing only 4 bases as a true freshman, Ray hit 11 home runs and stole 34 bases.
- Ray finally has a batting average below .320 with a .319 batting average. Lewis has separated himself from Ray, but Ray should still be the second outfielder drafted. Ray has 15 home runs and 60 RBI's in 2016. Ray also has 44 stolen bases this season which explains why Louisville went 46-10 with a 33-1 record at home in 2016.
- Ray played right field at Louisville, but has the versatility to play left field, center field, or right field in the MLB. That versatility makes him the top bat in the 2016 MLB Draft outside of Kyle Lewis who has the same skill set. If someone like Atlanta drafts Corey Ray expect him to convert to center fielder.
- Jason Groome could be an option here. I heard that the Braves and Rockies both prefer Riley Pint over Jason Groome. I think the Braves will take Corey Ray at 3 knowing they are guaranteed that blue chip center fielder if the Phillies get a pitcher with the top pick next week.
- Colorado Rockies: Riley Pint, P, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (KS)
- Riley Pint is a special high school pitcher. The 6-4 195 lb Pint went 3-2 with a 3.19 ERA as a freshman in 2013. A year later he went 8-0 with a 2.58 ERA as a sophomore in 2014. In 2015, he went 5-2 with a 2.20 ERA before winning the Gatorade High School Player of the year in baseball. Pint was the first player to win Gatorade High School Player of the year before his senior season which speaks volumes about him.
- Pint pitched his season opener yesterday and pitched 7 innings in a 12-0 victory over Blue Valley North on the road by pitching a complete game only allowing 1 hit. St. Thomas Aquinas hosts Blue Valley North in their home opener in 6 days, and it would not surprise me if Pint started again with 6 days to rest before the teams second game of the season. St. Thomas Aquinas is 16-1 this season with Pint going 10-1 in those starts with some scouts saying that Pint could surpass Groome to be the top pick now with all the momentum he's maintained.
- St. Thomas Aquinas is now 18-4 after starting the year 16-1. Pint is now 10-4 rather than being 10-1. His 2.01 ERA which was a career best has now skyrocketed up to 3.40 after 3 consecutive losses. Pint won 3 games since this point to finish 13-4 with a 2.97 ERA to wrap up the season. His 98 mile per hour fastball is now maxed out at 102 miles per hour after dominating in his last three starts..
- Pint also displays an 82 mile per hour knuckle curveball and an 85 mile per hour changeup that is 30 miles faster than the 55 mile per hour fastball by Alec Hansen. Unlike Hansen, Pint can get on base as a batter. Pint has a .325 batting average when stepping up to the plate which is phenomenal for a pitcher.
- Pint's knuckle curveball could develop into a slider. He lacks the upper body strength to be an effective starting pitcher at this point, but that will change as he develops over the next few years. His velocity and pitching accuracy needs to improve. He's inconsistent with his delivery and doesn't always throw the ball in the right locations. Still, despite this, Pint is the second best prospect in the 2016 MLB Draft.
- Pint improved his command and pitching accuracy this season. His velocity decreased in 2016 which is why his fastball has maxed out at 94 miles per hour in 2016 after posting a 98 mile per hour fastball in 2015. That's why Pint's draft stock is taking a slight hit. Pint should still be a top 10 or possibly a top 5 pick. He won't go in the top 2. Atlanta and Colorado are the earliest possible landing spots for Riley Pint and I think Colorado will lean Riley Pint over Mickey Moniak given Pint's recent momentum down the stretch.
- Milwaukee Brewers: Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee
- Delvin Perez failed a drug test two days before the MLB Draft. Nick Senzel is once again the pick and the Brewers will either go with Senzel or Corey Ray at 5 depending on what the Reds do at 2. Perez could be a top 5 pick and some think he's a better fit for the Brewers than Nick Senzel even though I prefer Senzel.
- Nick Senzel is arguably Tennessee's best infielder since Todd Helton and could be Tennessee's highest draft pick since Chris Burke in 2001. Like Helton, Senzel has the versatility to play third base, shortstop, second base, or first base. Senzel was a DH as a freshman before moving to second base as a sophomore and is expected to play third baseman in 2015.
- Senzel has the ability to hit home runs, line drives, grounders, or bunts. Senzel has above average speed and can develop into someone that steals bases.
- Senzel had a .315 batting average with 7 stolen bases as a freshman in 2014. In 2015, Senzel improved his batting average to .325 and doubled his stolen bases stealing 14 bases as a sophomore.
- Senzel led the Cape Cod Summer League in 2015 with a .558 slugging percentage, a .976 on base percentage, 86 total bases, 56 hits, 33 runs, 33 RBI's, 21 extra base hits, and 16 doubles. Those mind boggling statistics in the Cape Cod Showcase games helped Senzel earn MVP honors and winning the league's Top Prospect Award from scouts.
- Senzel now has a .352 batting average in 2016 as well as 8 home runs, 59 RBI's, and 25 stolen bases. Senzel has answered all of his question marks on tape and has checked out most of the boxes. When Florida faced Tennessee, Senzel did well on Friday and Saturday against Logan Shore on Friday and A.J. Puk on Saturday. He went 1/5 against sophomore Alex Faedo, who could be Florida's Friday Night starter in 2017.
- Senzel rebounded this week posting a .513 batting average in 4 games. Senzel won SEC Player of the Week this week. Senzel's stock is rising. He's clearly a top 10 prospect and he is a candidate to go as high as second overall to the Cincinnati Reds. I cannot see Senzel falling out of the top 5 now.
Previous Pick: Delvin Perez, SS, Puerto Rico
- Oakland Athletics: Mickey Moniak, CF, La Costa Canyon HS (CA)
- The Athletics should upgrade their outfield. Outside of Josh Reddick who is dominating at right field in 2016, everyone else hasn't lived up to expectations. Mickey Moniak has surpassed Blake Rutherford to be the top high school bat.
- Mickey Moniak had a .463 batting average as a freshman before a sophomore slump with a .426 batting average and improved on that with a .488 batting average as a junior. Moniak has a .461 batting average so far in 2016 as a senior. Oakland has to take Moniak as his value is too good to pass on at this point because he's a power bat that can bat .400. There are other things Moniak needs to develop, but he's the perfect center fielder prospect to develop at this point for Oakland at 6.
- Miami Marlins: Blake Rutherford, CF, Chaminade College Prepatory HS (CA)
- The Marlins were supposed to draft a center fielder in 2015, but they reached for a fourth round prospect at first base. Luckily for the Marlins, they can make up for that by getting the 6-3 190 lb Blake Rutherford who is the top high school bat in the 2016 MLB Draft.
- Rutherford is all muscle, but he should be up to 210 lbs by June's 2016 MLB Draft. Rutherford also stole 22 bases while posting a .435 batting average. Rutherford may have only posted 4 home runs in 2015, but he has the arm and fielding on defense to make up for it while possessing every other necessary skill to be a 4 tool or 5 tool player in the MLB.
- Blake Rutherford missed the first two games of the season, but made his debut yesterday against Flanagan in a neutral tournament game where he went 1/3 with a .333 batting average. Rutherford has improved that batting average to .577 down the stretch in 2016 making him an ideal choice to go seventh to Miami with many considering Rutherford to be the top high school bat in the 2016 MLB Draft.
- San Diego Padres: Jason Groome, P, Barnegat HS (NJ)
- San Diego only has four pitchers in their starting rotation. Delvin Perez also failed a drug test so I think that could affect his stock.
- Right now at this point the top prospect is Barnegat pitcher Jason Groome. The 6-6 220 lb Groome displays a 95 mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 93 mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 92 mile per hour sinker, a 81 mile per hour curveball, a 79 mile per hour slider, a 72 mile per hour changeup, a 69 mile per hour circle changeup, and a 66 mile per hour knuckle curveball. Groome possesses great velocity incredible throwing accuracy on tape with his pitches.
- As a sophomore in 2014, Groome went 6-2 with a 0.57 ERA, and 107 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings. As a junior in 2015, Groome went 5-0 with a 1.22 ERA, 81 strikeouts, and 9 walks in 43 innings at IMG Academy in Florida. Groome also went 5-0 with a 0.98 ERA 43 innings pitched, and 77 strikeouts for Barnegat HS. Groome may have beaten out Riley Pint to be the first junior pitcher to win Gatorade High School Pitcher of the Year before his senior season if he had more starts under his belt and played for Barnegat instead of IMG Academy.
- Groome had two wins where he pitched a perfect game in 7 innings for Barnegat and a no hitter in a win with 19 strikeouts in one game. He also had a loss in extra innings before giving up 7 runs in a game this weekend.
- Groome served a seven game suspension in 2016, but it's not his fault. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association's transfer rules are so stupid that it's mind blowing. Since Groome played for IMG Academy last year the NJSIAA suspended Groome for seven games and he didn't do anything wrong. The butt hurt NJSIAA revoked his stats for Barnegat HS which is a shame if you ask me
- Groome's 2016 stats may not count. If you count them he has a 2-2 record with a 2.16 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 5 starts in 2016 even if the butt hurt NJSIAA says otherwise.
- The Philadelphia Phillies showed little interest in Groome from scouting him. I found a video of him listening to rap music while being interviewed at his high school after a game where he gave up 7 runs. Some teams are down on him, but he pitched 24 strikeouts in a charity game this weekend so that may put some of those concerns to rest. San Diego seems like a great fit for Groome at 8.
Previous Pick: Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee
- Detroit Tigers: Braxton Garrett, P, Florence HS (AL)
- Braxton Garrett is the best available player since he doesn't have questions that other pitchers have, plus I believe Garrett is severely underrated. The Tigers should get another arm here. Garrett has a 93 mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 88 mile per hour 2-seam fastball, and a 87 mile per hour power curveball. There are pitchers with quality curveballs, but the one pitcher with a power curve that stands out on tape is Braxton Garrett.
- Despite having a fastball and a power curve, the rest of his pitches still need to be developed in the minor leagues. Garrett will develop those pitches in the minors.
- Braxton Garrett played in 13 games as a freshman with 12 starts and 1 save as a relief pitcher. He went 7-3, with a 1.81 ERA, and 2 no decisions. As a sophomore Garrett only started 11 games going 8-2, with a 1.23 ERA, and 1 no decision.
- Garrett had back-to-back seasons of 108 strikeouts as a freshman and a sophomore in 2013 and 2014. Garrett had Tommy John's Surgery as a junior which caused him to most of the season after a 7-1 start with a 0.70 ERA. As a senior Garrett is 5-2, but is posting a 0.56 ERA and 126 strikeouts while he continues to improve.
Previous Pick: Jason Groome, P, Barnegat HS (NJ)
- Chicago White Sox: Dakota Hudson, P, Mississippi State
- Dakota Hudson could be a starting pitcher at 6-5 215 lbs. He has a 94 mile per hour 4-seam and 92 mile per hour 2-seam fastball.
- Hudson played long reliever, middle reliver, setup, and closer in the bullpen as a freshman in 2014. In 2015, Hudson settled in at closer. Hudson had a 4.67 ERA as a freshman and a 4.32 ERA as a sophomore.
- Hudson moved to the Friday Night Starter in 2016. Hudson is 9-4 with a 2.62 ERA in 16 starts. Hudson had a 2.29 ERA in 14 starts, but that number creeped up a bit in his last two starts. Hudson also has 109 strikeouts so far in 2016. Hudson may have had two bad years, but he clocks up to 97 miles per hour and he seems to be a superior prospect to someone like Tyler Jay who went sixth overall to Minnesota in the 2015 MLB Draft.
- Seattle Mariners: Zack Collins, C, Miami FL
- Buddy Reed's batting average has declined. In the wake of this news Seattle gets another catcher after the Mike Zunino experiment failed after Seattle took Florida's catcher third overall in 2012.
- Zack Collins of Miami FL and Chris Okey of Clemson were competing to be the top catcher in the 2016 MLB Draft. Collins batted .302 and his 15 home runs were superior to Okey's 12 in 2015. Collins also posted 70 RBI's as a sophomore. The 6-3 220 lb catcher posted a .298 batting average and 11 home runs as a freshman which tells you he's a pretty consistent and reliable home run hitter.
- Chris Okey has been terrible in 2016 after entering the preseason as a top 10 prospect late in 2015 while Collins has a .353 batting average, 12 home runs, and 52 RBI's in 2016. Collins dominated against Okey in the battle of the nations best ACC catcher. Collins also gave problems to Pittsburgh starting pitcher T.J. Zeuch.
Previous Pick: Buddy Reed, CF, Florida
- Boston Red Sox: Joey Wentz, P, Shawnee Mission East HS (KS)
- The Red Sox take the best player available. The 6-5 210 lb Wentz has a 95 mile per hour 2-seam fastball in 2016 after posting a 90 mile per hour 2-seam fastball in 2015. Wentz also has a curveball and changeup that are an an MLB level right now.
- Wentz went 15-1 with a 0.56 ERA in 2016. His only loss came to Riley Pint and what's more amazing is he started the year 8-0 with an ERA of 0.00. Wentz went 8 consecutive games without giving up a run at the High School level. You can argue that Wentz should go as high as Braxton Garrett or Ian Henderson. Wentz doesn't provide the variety of pitches that those pitchers provide, but the Red Sox could look past that when you take his size, production, and velocity on his pitches into account.
Previous Pick: Braxton Garrett, P, Florence HS (AL)
- Tampa Bay Rays: Ian Anderson, P, Shenendehowa HS (GA)
- Tampa Bay takes the top pitcher here. At this point that is Ian Anderson.
- Anderson went 8-0 with a 1.40 ERA as a sophomore in 2014. He improved on that as a junior going 6-1 with a 0.66 ERA in 2015. Anderson has the fastball, cutter fastball, slurveball, slider, curveball, and changeup to be a consistent pitcher on tape. Anderson has been dealing with injuries in 2016, but he's shown too much consistency on tape not to be a first round pick.
- Cleveland Indians: Connor Jones, P, Virginia
- Connor Jones made 25 appearances with 24 appearances as a middle reliever in 2014 posting a 3.13 ERA. Jones was the #2 pitcher for the Virginia Cavaliers before Nathan Kirby got injured. When Kirby got injured, Jones stepped up going 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA and 4 no decisions in 9 starts after starting the Cavaliers first 10 games as the #2 pitcher.
- Last season Jones led the ACC in innings pitched and strikeouts. Jones had 115.2 innings pitched and 113 strikeouts which is a huge reason he went 7-3 with a 3.19 ERA. Jones is in the same exact position as Nathan Kirby was in at this point last year.
- Jones has a 95 mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 92 mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 90 mile per hour slider, a 76 mile per hour curveball, and a 75 mile per hour changeup. So far Jones is 11-1 with a 2.34 ERA plus he led Virginia to the 2015 College World Series where they defeated Vanderbilt last season.
- Jones would be a top 10 pick in any other draft and he still may be a top 10 pick. There are a ton of high school arms with better velocity and just as good ERA's as Jones which is why Jones slipped to the Yankees at 18 up until this mock. Connor Jones had got a win against Miami FL when they had Zack Collins and were the #1 team in the country. Jones also pitched a 9 inning game against Pittsburgh handing T.J. Zeuch his first loss of the season. Those two games could be enough to put Jones in the top 15.
- Minnesota Twins: Forrest Whitley, P, Alamo Heights HS (TX)
- The 6-7 250 lb pitcher went 7-0 with a 0.81 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 2015. Whitley may not have had eye popping statistics in 2016. You have to look past that though because he improved all of his pitches on tape and played with a ton of heart.
- Whitley has some good command and accuracy on his pitches. The velocity on his fastball improved from 94 miles per hour in 2015 to 97 miles per hour in 2016. Whitley's arm got a lot stronger as he developed a cutter fastball, a power curveball that goes up to 82 miles per hour, and a slider that can go up to 78 miles per hour. The most amazing thing is that Whitley is able to maintain his command and pitching accuracy with his arm strength and velocity growing at such a rapid rate.
- Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim: Bryan Reynolds, LF, Vanderbilt
- Bryan Reynolds had a .338 batting average and 14 stolen bases as a 6-2 210 lb batter in 2014. Reynolds continued to dominate with a .318 batting average as a sophomore in 2015. Reynolds has a .330 batting average, 13 home runs, and 57 RBI's in 2016.
- Reynolds is a pretty complete prospect. His weak arm strength in the outfield when firing balls to force outs will force him into a left field role where he'll have less responsibilities than someone at center field or right field.
- The Angels do not have a left fielder with a batting average of .200. Reynolds changes that if he goes to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
- Houston Astros: T.J. Zeuch, P, Pittsburgh
- The Astros take the best player available. The 6-7 232 lb Zeuch has a 96 mile per hour 2-seam fastball with a 81 mile per hour 12-6 curveball, and a 88 mile per hour slider in 2015. We interviewed T.J. Zeuch on Tuesday and he has the ability to be a top 25 prospect.
- Two people I know have Zeuch going in the top 20 of their mocks to the Angels at 16 and the Astros at 17. I think mocking him to the Astros makes a ton of sense if all of the high school pitchers are off the board.
Previous Pick: Joey Wentz, P, Shawnee Mission East HS (KS)
- New York Yankees: Delvin Perez, SS, Puerto Rico
- Delvin Perez is a top 10 prospect. He failed a drug test and is expected to fall out of the top 10.
- Perez has complete 5-tool ability just like Carlos Correa. Perez goes to the Yankees in this mock draft hoping to blossom into the best shortstop the Yankees have had since Derek Jeter.
Previous Pick: T.J. Zeuch, P, Pittsburgh
- New York Mets: Josh Lowe, 3B, Pope HS (GA)
- Josh Lowe is the best player available. The New York Mets have nothing to lose by drafting Lowe as the best player available on their board as he can play third base or pitcher. Lowe can be groomed to pitch or can be groomed to play third base on the Mets.
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Alex Kiriloff, RF, Plum HS (PA)
- The Dodgers have the luxury of taking the best player available. Alex Kiriloff is a 6-2 200 lb power bat with a 3.7 GPA at Plum High School in Pennsylvania. He ran a 60 yard dash in 6.59 seconds which translates to a 4.33 40 time if you multiply 0.66 2/3 in decimals by his 6.59 60 yard dash. Kiriloff can play outfield or infield with his versatility, but with his cannon for an arm he's probably a better fit at outfield where Los Angeles would draft him as a developmental corner outfielder. Kiriloff had a .500 batting average in 2015 and he's added more muscle in 2016.
- Toronto Blue Jays: Buddy Reed, CF, Florida
- Buddy Reed has the versatility to play left field, center field, and right field. Blazing speed and agility in the outfield make him an incredible asset to any MLB squad that drafts him.
- Reed is coming off a career season with a .305 batting average and 18 stolen bases. Reed is also a switch hitter which helps him out.
- Reed has a .255 batting average and 24 stolen bases so far in 2016. Reed has a .984 fielding percentage in 2016 after posting a .984 fielding percentage in 2014 and a .981 fielding percentage in 2015. Reed not only has the versatility to play in the outfield, he also has the glove to get outs along with the arm to throw the ball to the infield to get runners out. Reed is very sound defensively.
- Reed has an impressive batting average, Reed's bat does need some work as he needs to become more consistent as a hitter. Reed has some questions with his batting after his batting average dropped in 2016 so Reed going to Toronto makes total sense here.
Previous Pick: Matt Manning, P, Sheldon HS (CA)
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Matt Manning, P, Sheldon HS (CA)
- I'm literally asking myself how the hell Matt Manning made it to 22. Jordan Sheffield is a great college pitcher, but there is no way the Pirates can pass on Manning at this spot.
- The son of former NBA Big man Rich Manning is the top high school reliever in the 2016 MLB Draft. Rich was mainly a starter in the CBA and a backup in the NBA. It's uncertain how Matt Manning's career unfolds.
- Manning has elite velocity. Matt Manning can throw a 98 mile per hour 4-seam fastball and a 96 mile per hour 2-seam fastball. His sinker and can go up to 90 miles per hour. Manning has a cannon for an arm as well as outstanding command and control on his pitches. Matt Manning has the pitching accuracy that you look for in a starting pitcher despite being a relief pitcher at Sheldon High School. Manning may be a project for a starting pitcher, but he has starting pitcher potential if you develop him and like Tyler Jay in last years draft assuming you want Manning to come up through the minors quickly only to be a relief pitcher in the MLB.
- Worst case scenario Manning is a AAA starter or MLB backup. Best case scenario he becomes an All Star for years to come as Matt Manning has a 1.91 ERA as Sheldon's relief pitcher in 2016 in 40 and 2/3 innings. Manning's ERA was 2.51 a month ago so he's built a lot of momentum leading up to the 2016 MLB Draft.
- St. Louis Cardinals: Kevin Gowdy, P, Santa Barbara HS (CA)
- The St. Louis Cardinals could use one or two more arms in the bullpen. Kevin Gowdy could develop into a solid middle reliever. Gowdy went 3-0 in 5 relief appearances with a 0.27 ERA in 2015 after going 0-2 with a 1.27 ERA as a sophomore in his first year.
- Gowdy is 4-2 in 2016 with a 1.25 ERA. Gowdy is an effective starter, but he's better in the bullpen.
- Kevin Gowdy has a 93 mile per hour 4-seam fastball, a 90 mile per hour 2-seam fastball, a 76 miler per hour slider, and a 64 mile per hour changeup that is advanced for his age. Having three plus pitches makes him a great option for the bullpen and Gowdy should be able to develop quickly if the St. Louis Cardinals want him sooner rather than later.
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