The first round of the 2016 MLB draft has come and gone, and there were plenty of surprises up and down the board, including the Phillies' choice of high school outfielder Mickey Moniak with the No. 1 pick. Revisit each selection of the night with our tracker of every first-round pick, including the compensation and competitive lottery selections, for in-depth analysis of all the players chosen.
NOTE: There were 23 first-round picks. Four teams—the Royals, Diamondbacks, Cubs and Giants—forfeited their first-round picks after signing free agents who received qualifying offers from their previous teams. Picks 24–34 were compensation picks for losing a free agent who received a qualifying offer. Picks 35–41 were competitive balance lottery picks awarded to teams that have either one of the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools. Teams chose in reverse order of wins from last season.
1. Philadelphia Phillies
RECORD: la costa canyon high (Calif.)
Moniak’s stock improved as much as any prep player in the class, and he ranked as the top high school player on many boards. He has three plus tools—hitting, speed and defense—and also has sneaky power from the left side. He doesn’t have elite upside, but his ability to get on base, his speed and his ability to play a premium position make him a valuable prospect nonetheless.
2. Cincinnati Reds
If you’re looking for a prototypical power hitting third baseman, Senzel isn’t the guy, as he has only average power. If you are looking for someone who can play above-average defense at the hot corner and hit for average, look no further.
3. Atlanta Braves
RECORD: Shenendehowa high (n.y.)
There’s been a bit of a baseball resurgence in the Northeast, and Anderson is one of the best pitching prospects from this area of the past few years. He sits 91–94 mph with his heater and shows a well above-average slider and average change to complement it. He lacks consistency with both of those secondary pitches, and there are concerns that he has faced weak competition (suggesting that area resurgence isn’t that far along after all), but Anderson’s ceiling is as a mid-rotation starter.
4. Colorado Rockies
RECORD: st. thomas aquinas high (kans.)
Pint has one of the biggest fastballs of any pitcher in the class, routinely touching triple digits with his heater. He’ll also show a power curveball that flashes plus and a changeup that can make hitters look foolish. The concern here is that he doesn’t have command of this stuff, and there’s a lot of effort in his delivery, making some teams wonder if he’ll be a reliever in the long term.
5. Milwaukee Brewers
This draft doesn’t have a five-tool player, but it does have a 4 1/2-tool player in Ray. He can hit for average and has deceptive power, and he’s an outstanding base runner, as seen in his 44 stolen bases this season. There are questions about whether he can play centerfield, but he has above-average upside at either outfield corner.
6. Oakland Athletics
A highly recruited southpaw out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Puk has improved his stock since enrolling at Florida, showing a plus-plus fastball and a swing-and-miss slider. His changeup is inconsistent, however, and his command comes and goes from start to start. He’s also battled back problems, but the upside is hard to ignore.
7. Miami Marlins
RECORD: florence high (ala.)
Every year we see a safe southpaw go early, but usually it’s one from the college ranks. This year, it’s Garrett. The lefthander has two-above average pitches in his fastball and changeup, as well as one of the best curveballs of anyone in the class not named Jason Groome. He also pounds the strike zone with all three pitches, so he could be that rare prep pitcher who advances quickly through the minor leagues.
8. San Diego Padres
In March of 2015, Quantrill—the son of former major league reliever Paul Quantrill—was a contender to be the No. 1 pick of this draft. Unfortunately, he underwent Tommy John surgery shortly thereafter and hasn’t thrown a pitch this season. When healthy, his stuff competes with that of any other pitcher available: He shows three plus-pitches that he can throw for strikes, and he’ll mix in an average slider to keep hitters honest.
9. Detroit Tigers
RECORD: sheldon high (Calif.)
The son of former NBA center Rich Manning has huge athleticism and arm strength and already touches 96 mph with projection for more. Neither his changeup nor his curveball has a lick of consistency, so he’s definitely not a fast advance, especially when combined with his below-average command. Keep in mind that Manning is a two-sport athlete, however: He is committed to Loyola Marymount in his native California and could play both basketball and baseball there. If he focuses solely on baseball, those skills should be acquired.
10. Chicago White Sox
In a draft that is bereft of talented backstops, Collins is more than just the best of a bad situation. He is among the NCAA leaders in walks this year, and he also has the power to become a 20- or 30-home-run hitter. A team will give him a chance to catch, but because he’s a below-average athlete, there’s a good chance he’s going to have to move to first base. His bat should play there, but it will obviously drop his value.
11. Seattle Mariners
Lewis was Baseball America’s Player of the Year in 2016, and he has the skills to prove it wasn’t a fluke. There’s big raw power in his righthanded bat, and he makes hard contact to all parts of the field. Scouts are concerned that he won’t be able to hit for average because of his swing mechanics, but he should hit for power and get on base enough to play everyday in the outfield.
12. Boston Red Sox
RECORD: barnegat high (N.J.)
Groome started the year at the top of most boards, and he stayed there despite being ruled ineligible by the governing body of New Jersey high school sports in April for violating transfer rules (a decision that came one day after he threw a no-hitter in which he struck out 19 batters). Groome has two strikeout pitches: a 92–94 mph fastball that touches 97 and a wipeout curveball with two planes of break. He’ll also show an average changeup, but he’ll need to throw that pitch more as a professional. He throws all three pitches for strikes when everything is clicking, and there aren’t any red flags in his delivery.
13. Tampa Bay Rays
RECORD: pope high (Ga.)
Although Lowe has a mid-90s fastball, most believe his future is in the field rather than on the mound. He’s a terrific athlete with above-average speed and shows power potential from both sides of the plate. There are contact issues here that could prevent him from reaching that power potential, however, and there are serious questions as to which position he’ll end up at professionally.
14. Cleveland Indians
RECORD: the westminster schools (ga.)
Benson gets compared to Jason Heyward, and while that’s not fair, there are similarities. He has easy power from the left side, and despite being built like an outside linebacker, he’s an above-average runner who will be a real asset in rightfield. All of this is meaningless if Benson can’t hit, however, and there are big questions about his hit tool thanks to his long swing that could have major trouble against better velocity.
15. Minnesota Twins
RECORD: plum high (penn.)
There’s no standout tool in Kirilloff’s game, but there’s no real weakness, either. Both the hit and power tools project as slightly above average, and there’s a chance for more power as he fills out his frame. There’s a lot of pressure on his bat because he’s not going to be able to play centerfield, but his above-average arm should make him a quality defender in right.
16. Los Angeles Angels
Thaiss has some of the best hand-eye coordination in the class, and he uses that to draw his share of walks while also rarely striking out. His line-drive stroke gives him an above-average hit tool, and he also has some strength that provides close to average power. Like Zack Collins of Miami, Thaiss has below-average athleticism and a fringe-to-average arm, so he’s no lock to stick behind the plate, but he’s ahead of Collins defensively because of his receiving skills.
17. Houston Astros
RECORD: alamo heights high (texas)
It wouldn’t be a draft without a big, hard-throwing righthander from Texas, and Whitley, whose heater touches 94 mph, certainly qualifies. He also flashes a plus curveball and above-average changeup, with a fringe-to-average slider there for good measure. The questions about him come from his command and his ability to repeat his delivery, but he has upside as a potential No. 3 starter.
18. New York Yankees
RECORD: chaminade high (Calif.)
Rutherford has been a fixture at scouting showcases for years and was a well-known commodity coming into his senior season. Both his hit and power tools have a chance to be above average, and he should be a competent corner outfielder with his plus-speed. As he’s already 19 years old, he doesn’t offer as much prototypical upside as most prep players do, but that shouldn’t keep him from being a regular in rightfield in a couple of years.
19. New York Mets
RECORD: boston college
Dunn started the year in the Eagles’ bullpen, but upon moving to the rotation, he showed as much helium as any player in the class. He’s always shown a quality heater that can touch 97 mph, but the difference has been that his slider has flashed plus, and he’ll mix in an average curveball and changeup as well. Some may have been scared off by his lack of track record, but in a draft bereft of upside from college arms, Dunn is one who offers plenty of that.
20. Los Angeles Dodgers
RECORD: indian trail academy (wisc.)
Lux gets rave reviews for his instincts, and it shows on defense. He can make plays to his left and right, and his strong throwing arm allows him to turn hits into outs. His offense is behind his glove, but Lux is a smart hitter with a swing path that should allow him to be an average hitter, with just enough power to project a 45-tool (on the scout’s 20-to-80 scale) there.
21. Toronto Blue Jays
Zeuch missed the first month of the season with a groin injury, but he came back at full strength and showed excellent stuff over his 2016 campaign. He touches 97 mph and gets downhill with his fastball, and he’ll show a competent slider and curveball to keep hitters off the heater. The one thing missing is a changeup, but if that can be even an average offering, he has a chance to be part of a rotation. If not, he can be a dominant bullpen arm.
22. Pittsburgh Pirates
RECORD: wake forest
Craig can really swing the bat, and he is one of the few college players in this class who has a chance to hit for both average and power from the right side. The question is where he’s going to play. He’s got a plus arm (he also closes for the Demon Deacons), but he’s a well below-average athlete with only so-so hands, so he is probably going to end up at first base.
23. St. Louis Cardinals
RECORD: international baseball academy (p.r.)
Perez gets unfairly compared to Astros star and fellow countryman Carlos Correa, and while he doesn’t have the same ability as 2012’s No. 1 pick, he’s still pretty good in his own right. Perez has big-time bat speed that gives him a chance to hit for average and power, and he has all the tools necessary to be a quality defender at shortstop. The concerns with Perez are more mental than physical, but he is still a potential future star at shortstop, or at third base if he outgrows the latter position.
24. San Diego Padres
RECORD: southlake carroll high (texas)
Sanchez is committed to play football at Texas A&M, but scouts believe his future is on the diamond rather than the gridiron. There's above-average power potential in his righthanded bat, and he has a strong throwing arm. The hit tool is well below-average, however, and his lack of speed means he could be forced to move to first base at some point.
25. San Diego Padres
RECORD: kent state
Lauer dominated the MAC in 2016, and because he was so good in the Cape Cod League the previous summer, we know it’s not just a case of his beating inferior competition. He pounds the strike zone with four pitches; the best of these is an above-average fastball and slider. He likely isn’t more than a fourth starter, but he should reach the majors quickly because of his advanced feel for pitching.
26. Chicago White Sox
Burdi is the younger brother of Twins prospect Nick Burdi, and like his brother, he possesses an elite fastball, one that routinely touches triple digits. What makes him a better prospect than his brother is that he boasts not only a nasty slider but also an above-average changeup with decent control as well. Chicago can give him a chance as a starter, but it’s probably best just to fast-track an arm like that and let him become a high-leverage reliever in a relatively short amount of time.
27. Baltimore Orioles
Sedlock, who was the best arm in the Big Ten this year, has a chance to be a quality hurler at the big league level. His repertoire features a 92–95 mph fastball with sink, but he also will mix in three quality offspeed pitches, the best of them being a hard slider. He generally hits his spots with all four pitches, and that gives him a chance to be a quality mid-rotation starter in the coming years.
28. Washington Nationals
RECORD: walton high (Ga.)
Kieboom is the brother of Nationals prospect Spencer Kieboom, and with all due respect to Carter, he is the higher upside prospect. He's got a chance for a plus hit tool, and while he doesn't have a ton of power, he does have enough to stay at third base. He should be a quality defender there as well, with an above-average arm and sneaky quickness.
29. Washington Nationals
Dunning is the third most talented hurler on the Florida staff, behind Puk and Logan Shore, which speaks way more to the Gators’ ridiculous depth than to Dunning’s talent. He sits 90–93 mph with his fastball, and his change comes from the exact same arm speed, making it a true out pitch. The only thing missing is a breaking ball, as his slider is below average and slurvy. If that pitch doesn’t develop, he could end up in the bullpen, but with work, he can become a durable innings eater.
30. Texas Rangers
RECORD: North florida christian high
Ragan's best tool is his feel for pitching, which scouts can't stop raving about. He shows three above-average pitches, led by a pull-the-string changeup and a 90–92 mph fastball. The upside isn't elite, but he has one of the higher floors of the prep pitchers eligible this year.
31. New York Mets
Kay is what you picture when you think of a lefthander with “pitchability:” someone who locates the heck out of a 90–92 mph fastball and can make lefties and righties swing and miss at his plus changeup. The only thing he’s missing is a quality slider, as it’s slurvy and often up in the strike zone. If that pitch can become even average, Kay will move quickly. If it can’t, he may struggle to get righthanders out at the professional level.
32. Los Angeles Dodgers
Smith is a catcher who is known much for his glove than his bat. He is a quality athlete who who does a good job blocking balls and calling games, and his arm can shut down the running game. There are big questions about the bat, but because he's so good defensively, he only needs to be mediocre there to be a regular behind the plate.
33. St. Louis Cardinals
RECORD: elk grove high (Calif.)
Carlson is a switch-hitting first baseman, and he shows some power from both sides of the plate. He's a really good defender at first, but the Cardinals, who drafted him as an outfielder, apparently will see if he can play there. The hit tool has big questions, so if he can't stay in a corner outfield position, it puts a lot of pressure on the power to reach its peak.
34. St. Louis Cardinals
RECORD: mississippi state
Hudson has been one of the best performers in a (once again) loaded SEC conference, and he has the stuff to suggest it’ll carry over as a pro. His fastball has huge movement and touches 97 mph, and his slider gives fits to both left and righthanded hitters. The question with Hudson is if he can throw strikes on a consistent basis, but his command has improved in his junior season, and he should be a starter at the next level.
35. Cincinnati Reds
RECORD: mount paran christian high (Ga.)
Trammell gets compared to Florida outfielder Buddy Reed, and outside of the former’s below-average throwing arm, they are pretty similar players. Trammell is a plus-plus runner who shows great instincts in centerfield, and the arm shouldn’t matter as much there. There are a lot of moving parts in his swing, but he’s shown above-average power potential from the left side, so he could be a 20-homer, 30-stolen base guy if he can get on enough to justify playing everyday.
36. Los Angeles Dodgers
Jordan is the older brother of Justis Sheffield, whom the Indians took at No. 31 last season, and in terms of pure stuff, he’s equal or better. His fastball has tons of life and touches 98 mph, and he can make hitters look silly with a power slider and above-average changeup. There are major questions here about his command and arm action, however, and he also doesn’t have the prototypical size of a starter. A team will give Sheffield a chance to pitch every fifth day, but the bullpen is a legit possibility.
37. Oakland Athletics
If the draft was held in March, Jefferies would have gone in the top ten, but then a shoulder injury cause his stock to slip. He can throw strikes with all three pitches, and both the fastball and cutter flash above-average. He'll need show more with his changeup, but if he can, he can pitch in the middle of a rotation.
38. Colorado Rockies
Tyler has touched 100 mph and sits 93–95 with downhill plane. If hitters sit on his fastball, he can pull the string and throw a changeup that has late fade. He’s likely to end up in the bullpen because he lacks a quality curveball and has iffy control, but he could become a high-leverage reliever.
39. Arizona Diamondbacks
Grier was one of the best performers this year, and he doesn't do it with smoke and mirrors. He's an excellent defender in centerfield, and he has the speed to be a game changer on the bases. He won't be a big power hitter, but he has enough strength to capitalize pitches in the middle-in.
40. Atlanta Braves
RECORD: Shawnee mission high (Kans.)
Wentz didn’t get a chance to show off his talent last summer because of a dead arm, but he certainly has made up for that this spring. He touches 96 mph and gets downhill plane with his fastball, and he shows two quality pitches in his curveball and changeup. He needs to work on throwing those pitches for strikes, but if he can, he has one of the highest ceilings of any prep pitcher in this class.
41. Pittsburgh Pirates
RECORD: damien high (Calif.)
If you like southpaws with projection, you'll love Lodolo, as he oozes it from his 6'6", 180-pound frame. He has quality arm strength, but scouts worry about his secondary stuff, as neither the curveball nor the changeup flashes much more than fringe-average at this point.