We’re five days from the start of the 2016 MLB Draft, and ESPN’s Keith Law’s latest mock draft (Insider only) has the Phillies taking Florida lefty A.J. Puk with the first overall pick. He notes, however, that the Phillies still haven’t settled on anyone. The selection of another player (like Mercer outfielder Kyle Lewis, Louisville outfielder Corey Ray, or California high school outfielder Mickey Moniak, all of whom Law mentions as possibilities) could cause uncertainty elsewhere in the draft. Here’s more on what to expect this week.
- Phillies GM Matt Klentak himself says the Phillies are debating who to select but have whittled their list of possibilities down to “a small handful,” writes Philly.com’s Matt Breen. In addition to Puk, Lewis and Moniak, Breen also names Tennessee third baseman Nick Senzel and California high school outfielder Blake Rutherford as possibilities.
- Baseball America’s list of the top 500 draft prospects currently features Puk at the top, with Lewis, Moniak, Senzel and Ray at Nos. 4 through 7, respectively. Between them are Kansas high school righty Riley Pint and New Jersey high school lefty Jason Groome. In the subscriber-only scouting reports, BA praises Groome’s mid-90s fastball and biting curveball, noting that he’s at least as physically gifted as any other player available this year.
- Many of this week’s high school draftees will face tough decisions about whether to go to college or turn pro, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes. Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani explains that he turned down a bonus of about $600K from the Red Sox out of high school so that he could head to the University of Florida. He got a smaller bonus after the Blue Jays selected him three years later. “You go from not making decisions that matter through high school – you decide to do your homework or something, or what you’re going to eat – and then you decide whether to go play professional baseball or go to college,” says DeSclafani. “That can be a life-changing thing.”