Final impressions shaking up Draft in latest mock

May 27th, 2016

This is the time, two weeks and counting before the start of the 2016 Draft, where late performances can really boost -- or hinder -- a prospect's stock. While decisions on who to take in the first round are made with numerous evaluations on a player over the course of last summer and this spring, it's only human nature to have last impressions make a difference.

Right now, scouts are able to see first-round candidates in high-pressure situations. High schoolers who are still playing are in the playoffs and college players are currently in conference tournaments. Seeing how these players perform "under the lights" can have a huge impact.

While the very top of this mock mirrors what Jim Callis projected a week ago, there is no question that strong late performances have moved players up the board. And for those whose season has ended, there will be opportunities soon to make one last up-close-and-personal impression, by way of the private workout.

2016 MLB Draft: June 9-11 on MLB Network,

1. Phillies: A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida

The prevailing thinking has long been that Puk was the guy the Phils wanted to be the clear-cut choice at No. 1. One start doesn't make a decision, but his dominance in the SEC tournament against LSU could be all Philadelphia needed to cement a decision. High school lefty Jason Groome isn't out of the discussion and there are still bats -- Mickey Moniak on the high school front and Kyle Lewis from the college ranks are the main names mentioned -- still in play.

Mock drafts

Complete 2016 Draft order

2. Reds: Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee

Perhaps the most advanced bat in this Draft class, Senzel has closed strongly, swinging a hot bat as the Draft rapidly approaches. The Reds would have interest in Puk should the Phils go elsewhere, while Lewis and Puerto Rican high schooler Delvin Perez are still possibilities.

3. Braves: Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer

Lewis could still go in one of the top two spots, and the Braves would have interest in either Puk or Senzel. Groome would fit the bill if Atlanta really wants to go with upside.

4. Rockies: Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (N.J.) H.S.

Groome has an exciting combination of stuff, ceiling and feel for pitching, but there is inherent risk in taking a high school pitcher, and the last time the Rockies went the prep southpaw route in the first round, they selected Tyler Matzek. Moniak is mentioned often in this spot, too.

Groomed to be next Kershaw? NJ hurler has high hopes

5. Brewers: Delvin Perez, SS, International Baseball Academy, Ceiba, P.R.

Perhaps no team and player have been as linked as the Brewers and the toolsy Perez. They could go college bat with someone like Corey Ray, but sometimes you have to just trust your gut and stick with the oft-repeated rumor.

6. A's: Mickey Moniak, OF, La Costa Canyon H.S., Carlsbad, Calif.

If Senzel got to this spot, he likely wouldn't go any further. There seems to be interest in Groome as well. And before you dismiss the idea of the A's taking a high school bat, remember they took Addison Russell and Billy McKinney in back-to-back years in the first round.

7. Marlins: Braxton Garrett, LHP, Florence (Ala.) H.S.

Garrett is as polished a high school pitcher as there is in this class, seeming more like the prototypical college lefty. The Marlins were in heavy when Garrett turned in a 19-strikeout performance this spring.

8. Padres: Forrest Whitley, RHP, Alamo Heights H.S., San Antonio, Texas

The Padres have often been linked to high ceiling and upside, and they have shown considerable interest in this big Texas high school right-hander. There are other prep arms like Matt Manning or Ian Anderson to consider if they want to go in this direction.

9. Tigers: Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas H.S., Overland Park, Kan.

The Tigers love their arm strength, and while they might prefer a college pitcher who throws hard, that player doesn't exist at this point in the first round. Most feel that if Pint is still on the board, this is where he comes off of it.

10. White Sox: Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade Prep H.S., Canoga Park, Calif.

Without a big college arm to take here, either, and with the White Sox highly unlikely to go the prep arm route, it's time to look at bats. It appears they covet Rutherford over the other hitters available in this scenario, and it was reported that White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams was on hand to see Rutherford turn on a quality fastball and hit a deep home run.

11. Mariners: Corey Ray, OF, Louisville

It's hard to envision Ray not landing somewhere in the top 10, but there have been some questions and concerns about his profile, making this scenario not entirely out of the question. Most feel the Mariners would like a bat and they likely wouldn't let Ray slide any further.

12. Red Sox: Zack Collins, C, Miami

Collins' bat will profile just fine at the big league level. Whether he can stick behind the plate remains to be seen, but if the Red Sox take him here, you bet they'll give him every chance at showing he can.

13. Rays: Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State

The Rays have been linked to high school bats like Josh Lowe. But with the slow development of past prep picks in the system, there could be pressure to go the advanced route. After scuffling for a bit, he righted the ship at the end, restoring his stock.

14. Indians: Alex Kirilloff, OF, Plum Senior H.S., Pittsburgh

The Indians would love to have someone like Collins fall to them, but in lieu of that, they might go with who they think is the best high school bat available. In this scenario, it's Kirilloff, the left-hander with power potential and a right fielder profile.

15. Twins: Matt Manning, RHP, Sheldon H.S., Sacramento, Calif.

Rumors of a high price tag could push Manning to a team with multiple picks, but if the signability turns out OK, then there's a good chance Manning goes well before this spot.

16. Angels: Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College

The Angels would love Kirilloff to be around at this spot, but in this scenario, he's gone, so they have to look elsewhere. Toolsy high schooler Will Benson could come into play, but they might turn their attention to an arm, and Dunn has shot up boards since moving from the bullpen into Boston College's rotation.

17. Astros: Cody Sedlock, RHP, Illinois

College pitching tends to float upwards, and Sedlock has pitched well moving into the rotation this year, earning Big Ten Pitcher of the Year honors. There could be interest in the top high school arms still available at this point as well.

18. Yankees: Ian Anderson, RHP, Shenendehowa H.S., Clifton Park, N.Y.

Anderson has returned to the mound after a bout of pneumonia and has thrown relatively well, even if he hasn't quite looked like the potential top 10 pick he resembled at the start of his season.

19. Mets: Will Craig, 3B, Wake Forest

This is another one of those "player tied to team so often you can't ignore it" scenarios. The Mets would like a college bat and Craig could be the best one available here.

20. Dodgers: Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt

There are some concerns with his size and his past Tommy John surgery, but it's hard to deny his stuff and the success he had at Vanderbilt this year.

21. Blue Jays: Taylor Trammell, OF, Mount Paran Christian School, Kennesaw, Ga.

The Blue Jays might go high-upside pitcher if someone like Manning were around. Instead, a toolsy outfielder like Trammell, who had some initial helium that has slowed down a bit now, is the choice.

22. Pirates: Nolan Jones, 3B, Holy Ghost Prep, Bensalem, Pa.

Jones' name pops up with a few teams up a bit higher, and there was some talk the Pirates were leaning arm, but the eastern Pennsylvania prepster's pure bat might be too good to pass up.

23. Cardinals: T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Pittsburgh

The 6-foot-7 right-hander was touching 96-97 mph with a ton of life and sink throughout his ACC season. The breaking ball has come in and out, but he's shown glimpses, and Michael Wacha didn't have much of a breaking ball, either.

24. Padres: Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford

This is another oft-mentioned rumor, that the Padres will make a deal with Quantrill, who could've been a top third of the first-round pick had he not required Tommy John surgery in 2015. He didn't return the mound this season, but he did work out for a select number of teams.

25. Padres: Gavin Lux, SS, Indian Trail Academy, Kenosha, Wis.

Lux is gaining some steam, and his name has popped up in the top half of the first round, as he's swung a very good bat and continued to prove that he can play shortstop long-term.

26. White Sox: Matt Thaiss, C, Virginia

Chicago wouldn't mind if a college arm like Dunn or Sedlock were available, but they're off the board here. No one believes Thiass will catch, but the bat should play and the White Sox do play in the league with a designated hitter.

27. Orioles: Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State

The college lefty is one who definitely helped himself in his conference tourney, throwing a shutout and perhaps cementing a spot in the first round.

28. Nationals: Drew Mendoza, 3B, Lake Minneola (Fla.) H.S.

His strong commitment to Florida State sounds like it will require an above-pick-value deal, but the Nats do have a pair of picks in the first round to play with.

29. Nationals: Jesus Luzardo, LHP, M Stoneman Douglas HS, Parkland, Fla.

Luzardo needed Tommy John surgery this spring and there was talk about a $1.5 million price tag, but that's under pick value here and would actually give the Nats wiggle room to get a deal with Mendoza done.

30. Rangers: Josh Lowe, 3B, Pope (Ga.) H.S.

Lowe's name has come up all over the top half of the first round, so he could be gone, but it did seem like his steam was fading a bit. The Rangers do like young bats with tools, and Lowe fits that description.

31. Mets: Chris Okey, C, Clemson

Two college hitters for the Mets in the first round? Why not, with Okey perhaps underrated as one of the few college backstops who will definitely stay behind the plate.

32. Dodgers: Will Benson, OF, The Westminster Schools, Atlanta, Ga.

After getting the college arm with their first pick, they go for raw tools and upside in Benson, who could be a dynamic right fielder in the future.

33. Cardinals: Buddy Reed, OF, Florida

A college player with raw tools is hard to find, but that's who Reed is. His tools will be hard to pass up at this point, even if his performance was uneven this season.

34. Cardinals: Alec Hansen, RHP, Oklahoma

Hansen was once considered a top-of-the-Draft candidate before suffering through a rough junior campaign. But he has one of the biggest arms in the Draft, struck out 17 over his past two starts and could be a gamble worth taking at the end of the round.