MLB’s 2016 Draft begins tonight at 7:00, the Red Sox sit at 12th overall and could get themselves an important piece of their future. Last year, Boston selected eventual Golden Spikes recipient and current Portland Sea Dog Andrew Benintendi seventh overall. This article will be updated throughout the night with the selections and my thoughts so stay tuned and check it out periodically. I’ll give my thoughts on the first 15 selections but after that I’ll just update the picks.
1.) Phillies- Mickey Moniak, La Costa Canyon HS, OF
The UCLA commit Mickey Moniak is probably the best pure hitter in this entire draft class, the Phillies got themselves a gem here with a player that makes the game look easy. Moniak plays with the kind of hustle you look for. He’s a speedy lefty that has the potential to be a stellar defender and will be pushing the 0.300 mark and maybe steal 20 bases on a consistent basis. Moniak is the first high school outfielder taken first overall since Bryce Harper in 2010.
2.) Reds- Nick Senzel, Tennessee, 3B
Senzel was sensational during the 2015 Cape Cod League, for which he won the MVP for while batting a smoldering 0.364 for the Brewster Whitecaps. Senzel has really worked hard to make third base work for him, since he was mainly used as a DH during his freshman and sophomore seasons. The Reds should be happy with the high ceiling player they’ve selected who has a reliable work ethic.
3.) Braves- Ian Anderson, Shenendohowa HS, RHP
This right-handed pitcher with massive upside has FLOWN up draft boards as of late. A mid-low 90s fastball hurler with strong control. Anderson has been compared to Jacob deGrom. It is rare for a New Englander that doesn’t play year-round to be drafted so early so Anderson could blow past the expectations that Atlanta has for him once he hits the warm weather. Ian Anderson joins a strong farm system in GA with last year’s first overall pick Dansby Swanson who hailed from Vanderbilt, which is the school that Anderson has committed to play for if he doesn’t sign with Atlanta.
4.) Rockies- Riley Pint, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, RHP
Pint has hit 102 MHP, and has been compared to Justin Verlander, Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer. When he’s not pushing the limits of radar guns he sits in the mid-to-high 90s. Pint has control issues but if his mechanics can get perfected to fit his electric fastball, curveball, changeup and slider Riley Pint will be an ACE. Also a D1 Basketball recruit, the uber athlete will have to forgo his LSU baseball commitment to play with Colorado. As mentioned before, if his delivery issues can be made more efficient, the Rockies got themselves maybe the highest ceiling player at fourth overall. Pint is the highest high-schooler taken out of Kansas.
5.) Brewers- Corey Ray, Louisville, OF
Corey Ray has a strong and diverse set of talents that could be a great makeup for the MLB. Ray is a quick runner with strong hands that has no issues using all parts of the field and against all types of pitchers, meaning lefties and righties. His most value will come if he can stay in centerfield, but Ray is most likely a corner outfielder at the end of the day. His aforementioned strong hands lead to hard contact giving him an uncanny ability to hit the ball for both average and power.
6.) Athletics- A.J. Puk, Florida, LHP
Pedro Martinez said that AJ Puk is a pitcher that he “loves everything about” also Pedey wants everybody to expect “great things from this kid”. Puk actually committed to Florida as a hitter but turns out that he was destined for the pitching rubber. Puk hits mid 90s and has a nasty wipeout slider. Puk is the highest pitcher taken by the Oakland Athletics since Sonny Gray who was taken out of Vanderbilt.
7.) Marlins- Braxton Garrett, Florence HS, LHP
A really strong left-handed Vandy commit. Garrett in my opinion has the best curveball in the draft. Braxton has the ability to put his pitches on the black with plus plus control. Braxton has a fastball that sits in the low 90s with a strong changeup. He has been compared to Jon Lester and Barry Zito, sometimes he can be too reliant on his big breaking ball but the Marlins will make a star out of this kid.
8.) Padres- Cal Quantrill, Stanford, RHP
Cal Quantrill recently had Tommy John surgery and only made three appearances during his sophomore season. Quantrill then made zero appearances during his junior season but still had the ‘stuff’ to be a top ten pick. Cal is the son of Red Sox draftee Paul Quantrill. Cal has been compared to Jack McDowell.
9.) Tigers- Matt Manning, Sheldon HS, RHP
Manning is a two sport athlete with basketball standing at 6’7″. Manning just recently started focusing on solely baseball after he committed to Loyola Marymount for baseball and basketball. Manning has been compared to Noah Syndergaard. Matt has reached 99 MPH in workouts leading up to the draft.
10.) White Sox- Zack Collins, Miami, C
Zack Collins is a strong left-handed batter that led the nation in walks. Right now Collins is a catcher that compares to Kyle Schwarber or Brian McCann. Collins has a great eye in the batter’s box and was an integral part to the U’s run into the tournament. Comments on Collins are that his best place on the diamond is not necessarily as a catcher but as a pure hitter. Collins will be a high OBP player for Chicago. Collins will face off tomorrow in the Super Regionals of the College World Series against Boston College.
11.) Mariners- Kyle Lewis, Mercer, OF
Kyle Lewis was in the conversation for the #1 overall pick so the Mariners got themselves a great value player here with Kyle Lewis. Lewis has been compared to Adam Jones and Jones is also ironically Lewis’s favorite player. Mercer’s standout has a great work ethic and really shined in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Lewis flashes quick hands and strong power with even stronger speed. Lewis has also been raved for his intelligence.
12.) Red Sox- Jason Groome, Barnegat HS, LHP
Vanderbilt commit Jason Groome is the highest player taken from New Jersey since Michael Nelson Trout (ever heard of him). I’m pumped for this pick. Absolutely love it. Groome was projected as the number one overall pick all offseason but immaturity issues caused him to fall and Boston took the best guy available here at 12 overall. I wrote about Groome earlier this year when he was declared ineligible for breaking transferring laws. Since I’ve been writing this article live and faster than I can think, read all about him in that linked article.
13.) Rays- Joshua Lowe, Pope HS, 3B
The Florida State commit has drawn comparisons to Kris Bryant. Lowe is a plus athlete and will be able to thrive in the Tampa Bay system. I expect Lowe to make an MLB impact sooner than expected. Lowe has plus arm and speed, power might come eventually but that is a risk that teams weren’t willing to take. Lowe was lights out on the mound and has drawn Wainwright comparisons on the mound so the Rays took a safe two-way player in my opinion.
14.) Indians- Will Benson, Westminster HS, OF
Plays a strong outfield, still needs to smooth some mechanical issues out but the Duke commit has incredible measurables. Standing at 6’6″ he could make a strong case for the best pure athlete in the entire draft class. Benson’s athleticism should take him far and the Indians are a great spot for Benson to improve as a player. In a few years, Benson could be one of the major steals of this draft.
15.) Twins- Alex Kirilloff, Plum HS, OF
Kirilloff has been said to have one of the prettiest swings in recent memory and that beautiful swing creates beautiful power. Alex is a Liberty University commit and he took home the Perfect Game All-American Classic Home Run Derby. Minnesota’s outfield could be special with Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano (if outfield is a permanent spot for him) to compliment the young Kirilloff once he reaches the show.
16.) Angles- Matt Thaiss, Virginia, Catcher
17.) Astros- Forrest Whitley, Alamo Heights HS, RHP
18.) Yankees- Blake Rutheford, Chaminade Prep, OF
19.) Mets- Justin Dunn, Boston College, RHP
20.) Dodgers- Gavin Lux, Indian Trail HS, SS
21.) Blue Jays- T.J. Zeuch, Pittsburgh, RHP
22.) Pirates- Will Craig, Wake Forest, 3B
23.) Cardinals- Delvin Perez, Puerto Rico, SS
24.) Padres (Upton compensation)- Hudson Sanchez, Carroll HS, SS
25.) Padres (Kennedy compensation)- Eric Lauer, Kent State, LHP
26.) White Sox (Samardzija compensation)- Zack Burdi, Louisville, RHP
27.) Orioles (Chen compensation)- Cody Sedlock, Illinois, RHP
28.) Nationals (Zimmermann compensation)- Carter Kieboom, Walton HS, SS
29.) Nationals (Desmond compensation)- Dane Dunning, Florida, RHP
30.) Rangers (Gallardo compensation)- Cole Ragans, North Florida Christian HS, LHP
31.) Mets (Murphy compensation)- Anthony Kay, UConn, LHP
32.) Dodgers (Greinke compensation)- Will Smith, Louisville, C
33.) Cardinals (Lackey compensation)- Dylan Carlson, Elk Grove HS, OF
34.) Cardinals (Heyward compensation)- Dakota Hudson, Mississippi State, RHP
Cover Photo via MLB.com
Various Photos via Baseball America, Red Reporter, Times Union, Teamsters Local 700, Bless You Boys, WTOP, College Baseball Central, Mercer Bears, HS Sports NJ, HS Sports Blog, Twins Daily, Post Gazette