Draft | Mock Draft | 5/11/2016

2016 MLB Mock Draft Version 1

Patrick Ebert         David Rawnsley         Jheremy Brown         Andrew Krause         Nick Faleris        
Photo: Tim Casey

2016 Perfect Game MLB Draft Preview Index2016 MLB Draft Order

Trivia Quiz: Name the top 5 leaders in WAR among first overall picks since the draft was instituted in 1965 (answer below). 

2016 will again be a year without an obvious No. 1 pick, something that has arguably become an annual circumstance since Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Gerrit Cole were picked first overall all in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively. That leaves the Phillies with a pool of perhaps four to five players to realistically choose from, plus a potentially huge chip to play, the $9,015,000 draft slot value that comes with it.

If the Phillies use their cards intelligently, they will play those players off against one another looking to save as much money as possible to use in later rounds. If they are successful, as the Astros were in 2012 with Carlos Correa (but somehow inexplicably didn't do the next two years), they could have upwards of $6 million left to spend over the rest of their draft class and still get the player they want.

A quick list of five potential players the Phillies could easily consider might look like this: High school pitchers Jason Groome and Riley Pint, high school outfielder Blake Rutherford, Louisville outfielder Corey Ray and Florida lefthander A.J. Puk.

A long-time industry aversion to high school pitchers at the top of the draft is in play here and talk in the scouting community is that the Phillies are inclined to follow that historical trend. The two outfielders are outstanding prospects and should become above average big leaguers but lack the wow tool factor of a Justin Upton or a Josh Hamilton as a No. 1 overall pick. Historically it is fairly rare for outfielders to be picked first overall, having happened only six times since 1984.

The first installment (of three) of the Perfect Game mock draft, as it has been in past years, is a collaborative effort between the draft team of David Rawnsley, Jheremy Brown, Brian Sakowski, Andrew Krause, Patrick Ebert and 2080 Baseball's Nick Faleris. The picks (the top 41 selections, through the Competitive Balance Lottery Round A) were evenly distributed between the six participants. Since the draft is still almost a month away, these picks are not meant to be an accurate prediction of which players will be taken at which slots, but rather an exercise pairing the top picks with the individual team's recent draft history and overall preferences, as well as the thoughts of our individual draft experts.

Trivia Answer (WAR as of opening day, 2016): Alex Rodriguez (1993) 118.5; Chipper Jones (1990) 85.0; Ken Griffey Jr. (1987) 83.6; Joe Mauer (2001) 48.8; Adrian Gonzalez (2000) 42.4. Bryce Harper (21.0) and David Price (28.8) should join the Top 5 within a few years.

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1. Philadelphia Phillies | A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida
Despite some early season struggles, which have not been uncharacteristic for the Iowa native, Puk has been showing No. 1 starter stuff more and more often as the season progresses. He's the best choice right now for the Phillies, who are well into a rapid rebuilding of their system and will benefit from Puk's age and experience, if not high ceiling. (DR)

2. Cincinnati Reds | Corey Ray, OF, Louisville
Ray provides a dynamic combination of tools, including an ability to hit for average and power, plus speed and solid arm strength. The Chicago area prep product is lauded for his work ethic and makeup, each of which are evident in the development of his game over the past 30 months and his physical transformation from a lean and projectable teen to a 21-year old that looks like he leg presses dump trucks in his spare time. (NF)

3. Atlanta Braves | Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat HS (N.J.)
The Braves would be ecstatic to get Groome here as he’s a 6-foot-6, easy-armed lefthander who regularly works in the mid-90s with the fastball, his curveball is a potential plus pitch and the changeup is coming along very well. Oh, and he’s young for the grade, and the overall command and repeatability of his delivery also rank among the best in the class. Simply put there isn’t much Groome can’t do. (JB)

4. Colorado Rockies | Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Kan.)
Pint may have the highest upside of any player in this draft, and his impressive arsenal has him in the running to become the first high school righthanded pitcher ever selected No. 1 overall. He's taken a big jump forward this winter/spring, consistently sitting in the upper-90s and touching triple digits with his heater and flashing plus or better with both his changeup and power curveball. (AK)

5. Milwaukee Brewers | Delvin Perez, SS, International Baseball Academy (P.R.)
While coming dangerously close to pulling the trigger on Kyle Lewis here, the Brewers decide to go with the tantalizing tools and impact upside of Delvin Perez, the (very) young Puerto Rican. Perez won't turn 18 until well after draft day, and flashes the potential for five average or better tools while being arguably the best infield glove in the draft in addition to potentially having big-time impact with the bat.  (BS)

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