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Checking in on 2016 Draft picks one year later

June 23, 2017

As the 2017 Draft signings continue to pour in, the members of the Draft Class of 2016 have passed their one-year anniversary of being drafted and are trying to work their way up organizational ladders in their first full seasons of pro ball.Some have had immediate success, putting up good

As the 2017 Draft signings continue to pour in, the members of the Draft Class of 2016 have passed their one-year anniversary of being drafted and are trying to work their way up organizational ladders in their first full seasons of pro ball.
Some have had immediate success, putting up good numbers and earning promotions. Others have been a little slow out of the gate, with plenty of time to get things pointed in the right direction. Here's a quick check-in on how the Draft class is doing thus far.
Hitters off to a hot start
1. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays: The son of Dante Bichette was the Blue Jays' second-round pick in 2016 and is currently their No. 5 prospect. That's sure to change thanks to a .388/.454/.625 triple-slash line that paces the Midwest League. He also ranks second in the Minors in batting average and OBP.
2. Nick Senzel, 3B, Reds: The No. 2 overall pick is the Reds' top prospect. After a .305/.371/.467 start in the Florida State League, he is heading up to Double-A for the second half and is clearly the top performer among the top picks in last year's first round.

3. Colton Welker, 3B, Rockies: Yes, you need to take numbers accrued in Asheville with a grain of salt, but Colorado's fourth-round pick and No. 11 prospect can't choose where he plays. And all he's done is rake, with a .365/.409/.532 line before recently ending up on the 7-day disabled list.
4. James Nelson, 3B, Marlins: A 15th-rounder out of the junior college ranks, Nelson has had no problems with the South Atlantic League thus far. The Marlins' No. 9 prospect has put up a .329/.380/.490 line, second to only Welker in the league batting race.
5. Brett Cumberland, C, Braves: After a rough April, Cumberland, the Braves' pick in the Competitive Balance Round B and their No. 29 prospect, went off, hitting .357/.520/.757 with seven homers in May. He's second in the system in homers and RBIs, earning himself a promotion up to the Florida State League.
Pitchers off to a hot start
1. A.J. Puk, LHP, A's: The No. 6 overall pick, and the A's No. 2 prospect, has already earned a promotion up to Double-A. He is second in the Minors with his 105 strikeouts and he's held hitters to a measly .184 batting average.

2. Corbin Burnes, RHP, Brewers: No. 20 on the Brewers' Top 30, this fourth-rounder is due a bump up the rankings after posting a Minor League-leading 1.06 ERA while earning a promotion from the Carolina League to the Double-A Southern League. He's also held hitters to a .166 BAA (third in the Minors) and a 0.82 WHIP (second).
3. Jon Duplantier, RHP, D-backs: Some health concerns allowed Duplantier to last until the third round, and while the organization has been cautious with its No. 8 prospect, he's made his way up a level to the California League. All he did was post a 1.24 ERA, a .180 BAA and a 5.2 K/BB ratio to force the D-backs' hand.
4. Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Tigers: The Tigers' No. 6 prospect was taken as a senior in the fourth round and has also earned a promotion from the Midwest to the Florida State League. Combined, his 83 strikeouts lead the system and his 2.44 ERA places him fourth.

5. JoJo Romero, LHP, Phillies: This JUCO World Series hero went in the fourth round and might be underrated as the system's No. 25 prospect. He's dominated the South Atlantic League with a 2.01 ERA, a .217 BAA, a 1.06 WHIP and a 9.5 K/9 rate.
The not-so-hot starts
Four of the five, listed alphabetically, are high schoolers taken in the first round who went to full-season ball right away. They aren't the first prepsters to struggle making the adjustments and most will find their way.
Justin Dunn, RHP, Mets: The Boston College product put up a 6.30 ERA in April and a 4.56 mark in May, but he is down to 2.63 in three June starts, so he is trending upward in the Florida State League.

Josh Lowe, OF, Rays: Lowe is making the permanent move to the outfield while also adjusting to full-season ball. He has shaken off a .188 average in April by hitting .241 in May and then batting .259 over his first 14 games in June.
Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers: Splitting time on either side of second base, the Wisconsin prepster is batting just .225 with a .622 OPS over his first 48 Midwest League games
Riley Pint, RHP, Rockies: Pitching in Asheville doesn't help, though the No. 4 overall pick has an identical 4.74 ERA at home and on the road. The real culprits are the walk (5.8 per 9) and surprisingly high hit (9.9 per 9) rates.
Hudson Potts, 3B, Padres: A bit of a surprise first-round pick, Potts has played third almost exclusively during his full-season debut. He hit just .226/.259/.360 in the Midwest League's first half.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.