Full first-round mock Draft has Mercer's Lewis No. 1
We're roughly four weeks away from the start of the 2016 Draft, a fine time to try to get a sense of the first-round landscape with our first crack at projecting that opening round.
A lot can and will change, of course, before the picks are announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com on June 9 (7 p.m. ET, with a one-hour preview show airing at 6 p.m.). But based on the information currently out there and having talked to scouting directors up and down the first round, here's a first guess at how things could unfold.
1. Phillies: Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer
Pitchers like A.J. Puk and Jason Groome might still be in the mix, but with neither one seeming like a slam dunk, it seems that the Phillies are leaning toward a bat as of this moment. Lewis has done more than any of the hitters in this area to make a claim to be 1-1.
2. Reds: A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida
Puk won't get far, though his rough start last week didn't help his cause. Premium stuff and size still point to frontline starter potential, even if he's been a bit enigmatic at Florida.
3. Braves: Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (N.J.) H.S.
The Braves have gotten back to being more aggressive and going after upside when drafting, and no one in this class has more of that than Groome. A college bat would likely be the next choice here.
• 2016 MLB Draft: June 9-11 on MLB Network, MLB.com
4. Rockies: Mickey Moniak, OF, La Costa Canyon H.S., Carlsbad, Calif.
Moniak has as much helium as anyone in the class right now, and he's even getting checked out closely by the Phillies, with some signs of power adding to his plus hit and speed tools.
5. Brewers: Delvin Perez, SS, International Baseball Academy, Ceiba, P.R.
Perez has as many tools as anyone, with the ability to stay up the middle. If it all clicks, he has superstar potential.
6. A's: Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee
Senzel could go as high as No. 2, and most think this advanced hitter won't get past this spot if he's available.
7. Marlins: Corey Ray, OF, Louisville
Ray is the next best college bat, and could come off the board ahead of the Marlins' pick, with solid tools and a chance to stay up the middle.
8. Padres: Braxton Garrett, LHP, Florence (Ala.) H.S.
The Padres often like upside, and Garrett has been very good all spring as a lefty with stuff who has some projection left in him to boot.
9. Tigers: Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas H.S., Overland Park, Kan.
Pint has tremendous pure stuff, with a fastball that hits triple digits, and could go as high as No. 4.
10. White Sox: Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade Prep H.S., Canoga Park, Calif.
While Rutherford may have been passed by Moniak on the SoCal prep outfielder list, the White Sox would do Courtney Hawkins-esque back flips if here were still around at 10.
11. Mariners: Buddy Reed, OF, Florida
The last three times the Mariners had a first-round pick, they took a position player. Reed is a rarity: a college bat who is a bit raw with a ton of ceiling.
12. Red Sox: Taylor Trammell, OF, Mount Paran Christian School, Kennesaw, Ga.
The best buzz was about Trammell being brought in by several teams picking in the top half of the first round for private workouts, with his raw tools being quite intriguing.
13. Rays: Josh Lowe, 3B, Pope H.S. (Marietta, Ga.)
A talented two-way player, Lowe will be drafted as a position player, likely at third, though he has the athleticism to play the outfield.
14. Indians: Zack Collins, C, Miami
One of the best college hitters production-wise, Collins' name is mentioned as a potential top 10 pick, with teams confident enough in his bat even if they think he can't stick behind the plate.
15. Twins: Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State
A strong finish could push Hudson up a few notches, and it looked like he righted the ship after a rough patch. A lack of college arms helps his cause.
16. Angels: Alex Kirilloff, OF, Plum Senior H.S., Pittsburgh
Kirilloff's hitting and power potential from the left side have put him in the middle of the first round, and the Angels have legitimate interest.
17. Astros: Ian Anderson, RHP, Shenendehowa H.S., Clifton Park, N.Y.
The Astros could be looking at a number of high school arms in this stretch. Anderson has been a bit tough to scout with the Northeast weather and an illness that sidelined him, but he might have top 10 ability.
18. Yankees: Joey Wentz, LHP, Shawnee Mission (Kan.) East H.S.
A two-way player who didn't pitch over the summer, Wentz's stock skyrocketed early this spring, though he's leveled off a bit since.
19. Mets: Will Craig, 1B, Wake Forest
There aren't too many college bats to consider, and word is the Mets are looking for one with one of their two first-round selections. No one has put up better numbers than Craig has.
20. Dodgers: Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College
Dunn's stock took a huge leap when he was put into Boston College's rotation and performed well, so well he might not make it this far.
21. Blue Jays: Matt Manning, RHP, Sheldon H.S., Sacramento, Calif.
Part of that next wave of talented high school arms, Manning is super-athletic -- he plays basketball just like his dad, former NBA-er Rich Manning -- projectable at 6-foot-6 and with an electric arm.
22. Pirates: Nolan Jones, 3B, Holy Ghost Prep, Bensalem, Pa.
The Pirates have taken hitters with their first pick in each of the past three Drafts, and Jones has one of the best pure bats among the high school hitting crop.
23. Cardinals: Connor Jones, RHP, Virginia
Based on performance and track record, Jones could very well go higher, but his stuff doesn't jump off the page and the history of Virginia starting pitchers might concern some teams.
24. Padres: Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford
Another hot rumor involves the Padres making a deal with Quantrill, who hasn't thrown a pitch this spring following Tommy John surgery last year, up at No. 8.
25. Padres: Will Benson, OF, The Westminster Schools, Atlanta
Benson fits right into the Padres' high-upside reputation as a toolsy corner outfielder type, but it's possible a team in the middle of the round -- like the Angels -- could nab him first.
26. White Sox: Gavin Lux, SS, Indian Trail Academy, Kenosha, Wis.
With the weather warming up north, Lux was getting a lot of attention -- and resulting helium -- as a middle infielder who can definitely stay at shortstop.
27. Orioles: Matt Thiass, C, Virginia
Like with Collins, there are questions about Thiass' ability to catch long term, but most feel his left-handed bat is first-round worthy on its own.
28. Nationals: Drew Mendoza, 3B, Lake Minneola (Fla.) H.S.
Signability might be a concern, with a strong commitment to Florida State, but Mendoza can really hit and the Nats have multiple picks to play with.
29. Nationals: Jesus Luzardo, LHP, M Stoneman Douglas HS, Parkland, Fla.
Luzardo came of the gate throwing extremely well, then needed Tommy John surgery. Washington hasn't shied away from taking pitchers who have had that procedure in recent Drafts.
30. Rangers: Robert Tyler, RHP, Georgia
The Rangers took a college pitcher with an electric arm in Dillon Tate a year ago, so why not go after another one, albeit one a bit more erratic, in Tyler?
31. Mets: Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt
Sheffield has pitched well for Vandy this year and could go higher as a result, but his undersized stature -- combined with the feeling of some scouts that he could be a future reliever -- tempers the enthusiasm some.
32. Dodgers: T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Pittsburgh
After a late start, the 6-foot-7 Zeuch has pitched his way up boards, with a good chance he doesn't make it this far down the first round.
33. Cardinals: Forrest Whitley, RHP, Alamo Heights H.S., San Antonio, Texas
After going with a safer college pick at No. 23, the Cardinals could get aggressive on the high school front. There's a good chance the 6-foot-7 Whitley could be gone by this point.
34. Cardinals: Brandon Marsh, OF, Buford (Ga.) H.S.
A plus athlete who was a standout wide receiver as well, Marsh has some serious tools that need refinement, but he has performed well this spring.