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Draft | Mock Draft | 6/9/2016

2016 MLB Mock Draft Version 3

Patrick Ebert        
Photo: Perfect Game

2016 MLB Mock Draft Version 1 | 2016 MLB Mock Draft Version 2
2016 Perfect Game MLB Draft Preview Index2016 MLB Draft Order

For as long as I've been following the draft (casually since 1988, more seriously since 1992) I can't recall a draft that has the potential to be as volatile as this one. I do believe there is a good amount of talent and overall depth available, but the uncertainty of who teams are going to take, and the uncertainty surrounding several players for a variety of reasons, only adds to the intrigue. With that said here is the third and final mock draft for 2016.

1. Philadelphia Phillies | Mickey Moniak, OF, La Costa Canyon HS (Calif.)
This pick could be a last minute decision but it does seem as though that it is most likely to come down to Kyle Lewis and Mickey Moniak. Corey Ray and A.J. Puk are still in the discussion, as is Blake Rutherford. Lewis may make more sense as the Phillies believe they are closer to contending than some may think, and want a player that can contribute sooner rather than later, but they also may want to go with a player that would offer more financial savings to be used on their later picks.

2. Cincinnati Reds | Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee
Some believe the Reds could be in the mix for A.J. Puk if he's available, but the Reds tend to take a conservative approach to the draft, not just with college players but with players overall. Senzel is one of the safer picks in this year's draft, as he's a pretty good bet to hit at the next level, it just remains to be seen as how high of a level he will do so. Kyle Lewis and Corey Ray could also be in the discussion.

3. Atlanta Braves | Ian Anderson, RHP, Shenendehowa HS (N.Y.)
The Braves could be in the mix for quite a few players here, including nearby Mercer talent Kyle Lewis, but Ian Anderson gets the call at this spot as it is well known that the Braves scouting department likes him and would love to find a way to save money here to sign him with their next pick, the 40th overall selection. However, the Braves aren't the only team that feels the exact same way specific to Anderson, meaning you had better take him sooner rather than hope he falls.

4. Colorado Rockies | A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida
Puk is just too good to fall any further, if he even makes it to this spot, as his size and stuff are nearly unmatched in this year's draft class. While he needs to find more consistency with his command, he also has room for future improvement as he is still has room to add strength to his 6-foot-7 frame. Flame-throwing prep righty Riley Pint could very well be the pick should Puk not be available.

5. Milwaukee Brewers | Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade Prep (Calif.)
The Brewers have kicked the tires on almost every player that could be considered at this spot, including Lewis, Pint, Ray, Jason Groome and even Zack Collins. They also have an appreciation for Rutherford's overall talents which are highlighted by his powerful lefthanded stroke but also includes very good foot speed and a strong arm that could allow for him to stay in center field, at least for the immediate future.

6. Oakland Athletics | Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer
This may be a bit of a surprise to see Lewis at No. 6 and not higher, but as noted, be prepared for quite a few surprises in this year's draft. Lewis does have game-changing power and is a tightly-wound athlete who resembles a young Ruben Sierra. There is swing-and-miss in his game, but the A's are a team that values impact tools, such as Lewis' power, that really stand out.

7. Miami Marlins | Braxton Garrett, LHP, Florence HS (Ala.)
Unless Garrett goes higher than the seventh spot this pick is one of the more circulated team-to-player connections in the scouting community. While Garrett's talents have long been known, he certainly took his game to another level this spring, and the Marlins have shown an affinity for live-armed lefties that know how to spin a breaking ball in recent years.

8. San Diego Padres | Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat HS (N.J.)
Groome's background and reported bonus demands have caused some to believe he could slide out of the first round altogether, if not further. However, there could be an opportunity for the Padres – who have financial flexibility with three selections among the first 25 picks – to take a rather unique and special talent that they otherwise wouldn't have had the chance to select.

9. Detroit Tigers | Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Kan.)
This is another pick that could surprise some people, but there are quite a few teams at or near the top that may have zeroed in on other players and/or have financial considerations to contend with. The Tigers always like big arms, as even if Pint isn't available here they could take NorCal prep righty Matt Manning, whose profile isn't too far off from Pint's.

10. Chicago White Sox | Gavin Lux, SS, Indian Trail Prep (Wis.)
The White Sox have long admired Lux' determination and dedication to the game as he has committed himself to getting better and the results have really shown this spring. Lux has played with the Chicago Scouts Association travel program, which is affiliated with the White Sox, only adding to their familiarity of just how special this young man could become.

11. Seattle Mariners | Corey Ray, OF, Louisville
Ray's productivity this season has leveled of, although he still is plenty dynamic of a player and is still in the mix for the No. 1 pick. However, he also could be in a position to fall a few spots, based largely due to draft logistics, and if so he would make a lot of sense to go to the Mariners here. The M's are also in on surging Boston College righthander Justin Dunn and could also be a destination for Blake Rutherford should he be available.

12. Boston Red Sox | Zack Collins, C/1B, Miami
The Red Sox are keeping their options open, and although Collins could go as high a fifth overall to the Brewers, his power and patience profile would be warmly welcomed in Boston. While the physical and overall profiles are different, Kyle Schwarber is a popular comparison for the simple fact that Collins could catch a couple of days a week and play another position (or DH), giving him some interesting positional flexibility. However, like Schwarber, his bat is his ticket to the big leagues.

13. Tampa Bay Rays | Matt Manning, RHP, Sheldon HS (Calif.)
The Rays have been linked to pretty much every demographic, from hitters to pitchers, from both the college and prep ranks. That means they're more likely to take a best player available approach, and that best player could very well be Matt Manning. His mid-90s fastball and improving breaking ball could easily make him a top 10 overall pick, not to mention his overall athleticism as a two-sport (basketball) standout.

14. Cleveland Indians | Forrest Whitley, RHP, Alamo Heights HS (Texas)
Similar to the Rays, the Indians have been connected to quite a few players from a variety of levels and positions. They also aren't afraid to take a prep arm early, and few – outside of Jason Groome and Riley Pint – can match the upside of towering righthander Forrest Whitley. Whitley has enjoyed a huge spring and knows how to use his towering stature to throw on a downhill plane that is extremely difficult for opposing hitters.

15. Minnesota Twins | Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College
Dunn has a major helium factor involved with his profile, and if he had a longer resume it wouldn't be surprising if he were legitimately in the discussion for the first overall pick. While the history isn't there, it's hard to find something about him not to like, as he throws hard, maintains his velocity well, shows good spin on his breaking ball, is athletic, has a low-mileage arm and a huge up arrow regarding his potential.

16. Los Angeles Angels | Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State
The Angels have been connected with several toolsy high school players, but Dakota Hudson may be too hard to pass up at this point in the draft. Hudson makes a lot of sense for this part of the draft and has drawn some comparisons to Michael Wacha, not necessarily because of his stuff or physical profile (which are similar), but because the sum of his parts may be greater than any single attribute.

17. Houston Astros | Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B, Plum HS (Pa.)
Kirilloff may be one of the more underrated athletes eligible this year, as the only reason he has played so much first base, as opposed to the outfield, is because he also is a very talented pitcher. However, it is with the bat in his hands that he shines the most, with one of the more polished approaches and an easy swing with developing power that likely will see him off the board in the 15-20 range.

18. New York Yankees | Will Craig, 3B/1B, Wake Forest
Craig evolved into more of a legitimate first-round consideration as opposed to an option for a team that valued performance over tools as the season progressed. He has the bat speed and pitch recognition skills to continue to succeed at a high level as a pro, and also is a good overall athlete (with a strong arm) that could stick at third base if given the opportunity. He also has the leadership skills to embrace an opportunity to play in New York.

19. New York Mets | Zack Burdi, RHP, Louisville
Burdi's 102 mph fastball would seem like a natural fit to the current New York Mets pitching staff, and it's not too crazy to think he could also be developed as a starter with a really good slider and a surprisingly polished changeup. The Mets are also high on Will Craig, who is listed one pick above and could be yet another fast-track candidate for a team that prefers to dip into the college well of talent.

20. Los Angeles Dodgers | Nolan Jones, 3B, Holy Ghost Prep (Pa.)
The Dodgers are expected to take one bat and one arm with their first two picks, and Nolan Jones is one of the best pure hitters eligible for this year's draft. If they choose to go with the arm first T.J. Zeuch, Jordan Sheffield, Robert Tyler and Connor Jones could all be options from the college ranks, or possibly a rising arm such as Florida's Dane Dunning or Illinois' Cody Sedlock.

21. Toronto Blue Jays | Taylor Trammell, OF, Mt. Paran Christian HS (Ga.)
Trammell has steadily rised up draft boards throughout the spring, and has been connected to a handful of teams that have a pick among the top 10 overall selections. Similar to the Dodgers the Blue Jays could also opt to take one of the several college arms that are available and should come off the board in the 18-35 range, and also make sense to take Canadian native Cal Quantril.

22. Pittsburgh Pirates | T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Pittsburgh
There may be a few in-state options for the Pirates to pursue at this pick, but in this exercise Pennsylvania prep hitters Alex Kirilloff and Nolan Jones are already off the board. Zeuch has a fascinating profile for scouts given his tall stature, long levers and ability to stay on top of the ball and pound the lower half with his heavy fastball that sat in the low-90s, frequently touched the mid-90s and often peaked in the upper-90s.

23. St. Louis Cardinals | Robert Tyler, RHP, Georgia
The Cardinals have always like big arms, and few can match Robert Tyler's who has the ability to sit in the mid-90s throughout a game, and touch higher frequently in the early to middle innings. His changeup is also a very good pitch, and if he can clean up his delivery and find more consistency with his breaking ball he could explode at the professional level.

24. San Diego Padres | Will Benson, OF, Westminster School (Ga.)
It's no secret that the Padres like Will Benson, as at one point this spring it was believed he could go as high as the eighth overall selection. While Benson is plenty athletic with intriguing upside offensively, the swing hasn't been as consistent lately as teams would like to see, especially considering the level of his school's competition. It may take some time for him to develop, but the Padres are patient enough to recognize that while embracing his upside.

25. San Diego Padres | Dane Dunning, RHP, Florida
If the Padres go with two prep players that have made it no secret about their desire to be more than fairly compensated this year in Groome and Benson, one of these early picks is going to have to be viewed as a "safer" pick. Dunning has the projectability, current stuff and arm that is still plenty fresh to explode at the next level, but he also comes with some uncertainty given his relative lack of experience/innings.

26. Chicago White Sox | Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford
While Gavin Lux' rise is legitimate, the White Sox without a doubt have something in mind to take a player higher than anyone else, and they also would like to walk away with one position prospect and one pitcher with their first two picks. Who better to finish that dynamic 1-2 than the enigmatic situation with Stanford's Cal Quantrill, who could very well have been the No. 1 overall pick this year had he stayed healthy?

27. Baltimore Orioles | Cody Sedlock, RHP, Illinois
Sedlock's big spring allowed him to move up draft boards and cement his status as a legitimate first-round pick. That process started last summer when he opened eyes on the Cape with a fastball that sat in the low-90s and routinely touched 95-97 mph. A run of productive college players could occur in this range of the draft, and the Orioles may also opt for an athletic/toolsy outfielder such as Bryan Reynolds or Maryland native Buddy Reed.

28. Washington Nationals | Joshua Lowe, 3B, Pope HS (Ga.)
Similar to Taylor Trammell, Lowe could go much higher as he has been connected to teams that have picks among the top 5-10 overall. He is a unique talent with true two-way ability, but he stands out the most at the plate as a lefthanded hitter and burgeoning power potential. With back-to-back picks the Nationals have some flexibility should they choose to take a player that otherwise shouldn't have fallen this far.

29. Washington Nationals | Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt
Sheffield's season is surprisingly over as Vanderbilt got knocked out of the postseason last weekend, and after a long season in which he tossed 101 2/3 innings he likely won't throw that many innings the rest of the summer. Similar to Lowe he provided excellent value at this pick given his arm strength and three-pitch repertoire, as he likely would be a slam-dunk pick in the top half of the first round if he were 6-foot-3 and not his generously listed 6-foot stature.

30. Texas Rangers | Bryan Reynolds, OF, Vanderbilt
Reynolds quietly enjoyed a huge season at the plate for Vanderbilt and is an athletic, switch-hitting center fielder with power from both sides of the plate and a solid overall tool-set. Buddy Reed could also be an option here if the Rangers opt to target an athletic outfielder, although Reynolds' offensive upside is greater.

31. New York Mets | Matt Thaiss, C/1B, Virginia
Matt Thaiss could present excellent value at this pick, even if he could move permanently from behind the plate to first base at some point in his professional career. With a keen, patient eye and a short, direct path to the ball as a lefthanded hitter, Thaiss could move quickly to the big leagues, although his progression on defense could slow that path some.

32. Los Angeles Dodgers | Anthony Kay, LHP, Connecticut
Kay really took his game to another level this spring and came up big not once but twice during the American Athletic Conference Championship. He started to throw his stuff harder more consistently while showing a very refined changeup and improving breaking ball, giving him very good value at this point in the draft. Another college lefty, Eric Lauer, is also expected to go somewhere in this range as well.

33. St. Louis Cardinals | Carter Kieboom, SS, Walton HS (Ga.)
With back-to-back picks to close out the compensation round it is expected that the Cardinals will take both a bat and an arm. Kieboom presents one of the better, higher upside bats available at this point in the draft, as his last name appropriately describes the sound of the ball off of his bat. He could out-grow shortstop but is plenty athletic and has a strong enough arm to handle a move to third.

34. St. Louis Cardinals | Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State
It's hard to find a player that was more statistically dominant than Lauer was this past season, who finished the year with an ERA below 1.00. Lauer does so on the strength of his fastball/slider combo, and he also throws a changeup for good measure. The fastball sits in the low-90s and his slider is one of the better breaking pitches available in this year's draft. He's another fast-track candidate for a system that knows how to develop pitchers.

35. Cincinnati Reds | Connor Jones, RHP, Virginia
If the draft were to shake out this way the Reds would walk away with two of the most accomplished college performers in Jones and Senzel. Jones could be a fast mover, another "sum-of-his-parts" righty who can either induce weak contact or miss bats altogether with his heavy low-90s fastball and sharp-breaking slider.

36. Los Angeles Dodgers | Kyle Muller, LHP, Dallas Jesuit HS (Texas)
Muller entered the spring of his senior season with many expecting him to go to college simply because he fit that profile more, as his value would have been higher after three years of dominating college hitters (not to mention pitchers as a potential two-way talent). However, his stuff took a huge step up, previously sitting in the upper-80s to sitting in the low-90s while touching 94/95. His draft stock as expected saw a similar increase, as he's expected to get taken in the latter half of the first round to the early parts of round two.

37. Oakland Athletics | Kevin Gowdy, RHP, Santa Barbara HS (Calif.)
Kevin Gowdy's command of a three-pitch mix is going to garner a lot of attention on draft day, not to mention the fact that he has a very projectable frame and could be just scratching the surface of his future potential. He currently sits in the low-90s, can peak in the mid-90s and owns one of the best sliders available for this year's draft, a combination the usually college-skewed A's can appreciate.

38. Colorado Rockies | Will Smith, C, Louisville
Smith is the fastest rising prospect available for this year's draft, with most agreeing that he is now a lock to go in the 35-55 range. For a catch, you might as well bet on the higher end of that spectrum, as quality backstops always go earlier than expected. Smith, a very good overall athlete, proved this year that he can hit for both average and power while showing a keen eye at the plate to go along with requisite defensive tools for the position.

39. Arizona Diamondbacks | Buddy Reed, OF, Florida
Considering that this is the D-Backs first pick they don't have the financial flexibility to get too fancy with this selection. Buddy Reed however offers excellent value, a player that entered the year with tremendous upside, and helium. The helium may have deflated, but the upside is still there, and even if he doesn't make the necessary adjustments at the plate, his speed, defense and throwing arm are all plus tools in center field.

40. Atlanta Braves | Drew Mendoza, SS/3B, Lake Minneola HS (Fla.)
Keep in mind that the Braves have a selection just a few spots after this in the beginning of the second round, making them a prime example of a team that could very well look to save some significantly pool money early to hit a home run later. That is exactly what this pick could be, as Mendoza could prove to be one of the more difficult players to sign, but plenty of teams value his smooth lefthanded swing and overall offensive potential.

41. Pittsburgh Pirates | Chris Okey, C, Clemson
The Pirates have placed a higher value on performance in recent years, while still emphasizing physical potential and one's overall tools. Okey is a pretty good blend of both, who has built off of his All-American season as a sophomore to an even better season as a junior for the upstart Clemson Tigers. He has a Biggio-esque profile given his overall athleticism and shorter stature, although there's no reason to move him from behind the plate.

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