Three weeks from Thursday, the Philadelphia Phillies will make the first selection of the 2016 Draft. Who they will take remains up in the air.In my mock Draft last week, I had them taking a college hitter, Kyle Lewis. Jim Callis has a new one coming Friday.As the clock is
Three weeks from Thursday, the Philadelphia Phillies will make the first selection of the 2016 Draft. Who they will take remains up in the air.
In my mock Draft last week, I had them taking a college hitter, Kyle Lewis. Jim Callis has a new one coming Friday.
As the clock is ticking on the start of another Draft, I'm keeping this week's Inbox all Draft-related.
Last year, Dansby Swanson signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for $6.5 million. That was more than $2 million less than the pick value assigned for the No. 1 overall selection ($8,616,900). This year, the top pick has been given a value of $9.015 million. One thing is absolutely certain: Whoever the Phillies settle on at 1-1 will not be getting full pick value.
• 2016 MLB Draft: June 9-11 on MLB Network, MLB.com
Whether or not that draftee gets more or less than Swanson remains to be seen. It doesn't seem like there's anyone in this class who is better than Swanson based on talent, though that's not the only deciding factor. Of the players being mentioned as potential top pick candidates, Florida's A.J. Puk seems like the one who might get close to that $6.5 million mark. Nick Senzel, the Tennessee third baseman who is advised by Scott Boras, could also potentially approach that, but with Swanson being thought of as a better player than Senzel, that could be a stretch.
The other candidates being mentioned, it seems, would be offered less by the Phillies. So if I had to guess, this year's No. 1 pick will get less than Swanson, with the Phils using the saved money to be aggressive with their second pick, No. 42 overall.
• Top 100 Draft Prospects list
Right now, most see Mickey Moniak and Delvin Perez as the top high school position players, at least in terms of when they will be selected in the first round. And you're right, most do put Blake Rutherford ahead of Alex Kirilloff. I don't think there's that much separating the two high school hitters, especially with Kirilloff's stock rising most of the spring. But there is a little bit that gives Rutherford a slight edge.
Both are left-handed hitters with very good swings, and in the end, their hit and power tools might be a wash, even if we have Rutherford's hit tool a half-grade higher than Kirilloff's at present. But while Kirilloff is a good athlete, Rutherford has better speed, is more likely to be a basestealing threat at the next level and has a better chance of staying in center field. There is a chance both could end up in right field, and there's also a chance Krilloff might end up at first base. It'll be a good comparison to make over the years, but Rutherford gets that little bump because of his slightly superior athleticism.
Could it happen? Sure. Will it? It's unlikely. In my last mock, I had the Louisville outfielder going No. 7 to the Marlins. Without giving anything away, it's safe to assume Jim has Ray in the top 10 of his new mock as well. There aren't that many college bats to consider at the top of this year's Draft. Along with Ray, there's really only Lewis and Senzel. So if you're a team in the top 10 that wants a college bat, those are your choices (with maybe Zack Collins of Miami sneaking in).
And Ray's name is mentioned all over the top 10 before the White Sox make that No. 10 selection. The Braves could consider him at No. 3 if they want to go college bat, though that seems unlikely. The Brewers at No. 5 and the A's at No. 6 look like strong candidates for a landing spot, and seeing him get past the Padres at No. 8 does seem improbable. If a wild card pops up -- like a team reaching for a player to cut a deal -- then you could see Ray drop a spot or two, but if you're hoping the White Sox can land him, I wouldn't hold your breath.
Lux is definitely gaining some helium, to use the popular Draft-time phrase. He might only be No. 51 on our Draft Top 100 currently, but we've been hearing his name popping up into the first round. Playing in Wisconsin, scouts had to wait for the weather to improve enough for Lux to be playing regularly after he had a solid summer. He has a really good feel for the game, on both sides of the ball. Lux is a left-handed-hitting shortstop, which is a rare commodity, and he can really hit. But more than anything else, his stock has been rising because he's increasingly been showing that he can stay at short long-term.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.