My 2016 MLB All Star Teams

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The 2016 MLB All Star Game is just over a week away (July 12), but the rosters will be announced tonight (July 5) at 7pm on ESPN.

As is the case every year, several deserving players will be robbed of starting bids and several non-deserving players will get to take the field for the first pitch in San Diego due to the flaws of fan balloting.

To get an idea of how things should look, here are the starters and reserve players I would pick to fill the rosters for the 2016 All Star Game.

Each team will consist of 13 pitchers and 21 position players, giving each team 34 players.

Remember, some players still may be snubbed because of the league’s rule that requires at least one player from each club to make the team.

Also, injured players who will still be on the disabled list, including Clayton Kershaw and Wade Davis, will not be included.

 

American League

Starters

C Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
1B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
2B Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
3B Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
SS Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
OF Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
OF Ian Desmond, Texas Rangers
OF Carlos Beltran, New York Yankees
DH David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

Reserves

C Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles
C Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics
1B Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
2B Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
2B Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers
3B Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
3B Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
SS Eduardo Nunez, Minnesota Twins
SS Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
OF Mark Trumbo, Baltimore Orioles
OF Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
OF Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston Red Sox

Pitchers

SP Steven Wright, Boston Red Sox
SP Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
SP Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians
SP Marco Estrada, Toronto Blue Jays
SP Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers
SP Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
SP Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers
RP Will Harris, Houston Astros
RP Andrew Miller, New York Yankees
RP Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles
RP Alex Colome, Tampa Bay Rays
RP Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox
RP Brad Brach, Baltimore Orioles

 

National League

Starters

C Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals
1B Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
2B Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
3B Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
SS Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
OF Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
OF Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets
OF Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
DH Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins

Reserves

C Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
C Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
1B Wil Myers, San Diego Padres
1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2B DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies
2B/3B Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
3B Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
3B Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks
SS Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies
OF Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds
OF Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates
OF Odubel Herrera, Philadelphia Phillies

Pitchers

SP Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
SP Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
SP Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins
SP Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs
SP Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs
SP Johnny Cueto, San Francisco Giants
SP Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
SP Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
SP Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
RP Hector Rondon, Chicago Cubs
RP Fernando Rodney, San Diego Padres/Miami Marlins
RP Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh Pirates
RP Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

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2016 NHL First Round Mock Draft

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Friday night kicks off the NHL offseason with the 2016 Entry Draft. It should be an exciting night, with plenty of big trades expected.

For the purposes of this mock, however, we’ll just assume the (extremely) unlikely event that each team keeps its pick and no trades are made.

Here’s my mock draft for the first round of Friday night’s draft.

 

1. Toronto Maple Leafs – Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (Switzerland)

This pick is pretty much a lock. Matthews is the best player in the draft and the franchise center that the Maple Leafs so desperately covet.

 

2. Winnipeg Jets – Patrik Laine, RW, Tappara (Finland)

Laine is a close second to Matthews in the race for the top pick. He is an incredibly gifted offensive player that resembles Alexander Ovechkin in many ways.

 

3. Columbus Blue Jackets – Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Karpat (Finland)

Probably the easiest pick in the draft. Puljujarvi rounds out an elite top-three group and is far above anyone else on the board at this point.

 

4. Edmonton Oilers – Olli Juolevi, D, London (OHL)

Drafting young forwards has not exactly helped the Oilers do any better in the standings for the better part of the last decade. Either Edmonton drafts Juolevi (the best defenseman in this year’s class) or trades this pick…or everyone should get fired.

 

5. Vancouver Canucks – Pierre-Luc Dubois, LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)

This will either be Dubois or American left winger Matthew Tkachuk. I give Dubois the slight edge as a big, creative forward that should fit in nicely with a rebuilding Canucks organization.

 

6. Calgary Flames – Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL)

Again, this will probably be either Dubois or Tkachuk. Whoever Vancouver passes up will be nabbed by the Flames.

 

7. Arizona Coyotes – Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL)

The Coyotes are already pretty loaded in terms of young forwards (Max Domi, Dylan Strome, Tobias Rieder, Nick Merkley, Brendan Perlini, Christian Dvorak, Anthony Duclair). Chychrun would be a nice addition to deepen a blue line led by Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Alex Goligoski.

 

8. Buffalo Sabres – Mikhail Sergachev, D, Windsor (OHL)

Buffalo could go in any direction here, including a trade. Picking a defenseman would probably be the smartest move, and Sergachev is the best one left on the board.

 

9. Montreal Canadiens – Logan Brown, C, Windsor (OHL)

A weak Canadiens offense could benefit from a big, physical center like Brown, who has been climbing up the rankings.

 

10. Colorado Avalanche – Charlie McAvoy, D, Boston University (NCAA)

Defense is clearly the need here for the Avalanche. Colorado would love Juolevi, Chychrun or Sergachev to fall this far, but it doesn’t seem likely.

 

11. New Jersey Devils – Alexander Nylander, RW, Missisauga (OHL)

New Jersey desperately needs offense, especially from the right wing side. Nylander, if he falls this far, is the perfect fit.

 

12. Ottawa Senators – Jake Bean, D, Calgary (WHL)

Another team drafting based on a specific need – in this case, defense. Bean is the best defenseman available at this point and should fit nicely with the Senators.

 

13. Carolina Hurricanes – Tyson Jost, C, Penticton (BCHL)

A rebuilding organization with two great defensive building blocks already in Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin, the Hurricanes will look to take the best player available. In this case, it’s high-scoring center Tyson Jost, who should be able to make a big impact on offense.

 

14. Boston Bruins – Clayton Keller, C, USA U-18 (USHL)

Expect Boston to go with the best available player. The Bruins need defense right now, but their prospect pool boasts some strong blueliners in Joe Morrow, Brandon Carlo and Jakub Zboril. They can afford to take the small but highly-talented Keller here.

 

15. Minnesota Wild – Kieffer Bellows, LW, USA U-18 (USHL)

Bellows’s father, Brian, played in Minnesota as a North Star. He is one of the best players still on the board at this point and should fit nicely into a system that is somewhat starved of left wings.

 

16. Detroit Red Wings – Michael McLeod, C, Mississauga (OHL)

Detroit would love a Charlie McAvoy or Jake Bean here, but they will have to go with the best player available. McLeod is an exceptional skater who could skate circles around opponents with Dylan Larkin some day.

 

17. Nashville Predators – Dante Fabbro, D, Penticton (BCHL)

Fabbro is the best player available and also fills the void left from the Seth Jones trade. A perfect fit for the Predators.

 

18. Philadelphia Flyers – Max Jones, LW, London (OHL)

Weak organizational defensive depth has led to the Flyers going all-in on defensemen in recent drafts. Because of this, they now have an immense amount of young talent on the blue line in Sam Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere, Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg and Ivan Provorov. Time for the Flyers to shift their draft focus to offense.

Jones is a big, nasty forward that plays with an edge. Perfect fit for Broad Street.

 

19. New York Islanders – Luke Kunin, RW, Wisconsin (NCAA)

Another best-player-available team. Kunin, while small, will help solidify a group of Islanders forward prospects that carries quite a bit of risk right now.

 

20. Arizona Coyotes – Logan Stanley, D, Windsor (OHL)

Even though I have them picking Chychrun earlier in the round, the Coyotes can’t pass up a huge 6’7 defenseman like Stanley here. With this pick, Arizona’s group of defensive prospects suddenly becomes nearly as impressive as its group of young forwards.

 

21. Carolina Hurricanes – Julien Gauthier, RW, Val d’Or (QMJHL)

Gauthier is the best player on the board and the Hurricanes could really use some right wing prospects. This is a great match.

 

22. Winnipeg Jets – Kale Clague, D, Brandon (WHL)

The defensive talent drops off after Stanley, but Winnipeg’s prospect pool is so good that the Jets can afford to reach for a position they need the most help at.

 

23. Florida Panthers – Alex DeBrincat, RW, Erie (OHL)

DeBrincat is a skilled forward that played next to Connor McDavid and Dylan Strome in his junior days. He could look great on Aleksander Barkov or Nick Bjugstad’s right side some day.

 

24. Anaheim Ducks – German Rubtsov, C, Russia

The Ducks could use a little help in terms of their center prospects, and, wouldn’t you know it, Rubtsov is the best player left available.

 

25. Dallas Stars – Filip Gustavsson, G, Luleå HF (Sweden)

Dallas needs goaltending, both at the NHL and the prospect level, more than anyone else right now. They may trade down into the early second round and still get Gustavsson, who is the best goalie in this year’s class.

 

26. Washington Capitals – Riley Tufte, LW, USA U-18 (USHL)

As good as the Capitals are right, they have one of the worst prospect groups in the NHL. They have to go for the best player available with this pick, which is Tufte. A big body who skates well, he could certainly help make the thin prospect pool look a little better.

 

27. Tampa Bay Lightning – Tage Thompson, C, Connecticut (NCAA)

Things are looking pretty good for the Lightning right now. Thompson, the best player left available, would add some depth at center, which would be even more helpful if Steven Stamkos leaves in free agency.

 

28. St. Louis Blues – Pascal Laberge, C, Victoriavilla (QMJHL)

St. Louis could go in almost any direction here, but taking a center like Laberge or Brett Howden would be beneficial.

 

29. Boston Bruins – Libor Hajek, D, Saskatoon (WHL)

I mentioned earlier that Boston has three good defensive prospects, but adding a fourth wouldn’t be a bad idea by any means. Hajek is the best defenseman available, and the Bruins have quite a bit of young, talented forwards in the organization already.

 

30. Anaheim Ducks – Brett Howden, C, Moose Jaw (WHL)

Even though the Ducks took Rubtsov just a few picks earlier, they grab Howden here to deepen a thin group of center prospects.

How to Create a Batting Order

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at Detroit Tigers
Feb 27, 2013; Lakeland, FL, USA; A view of a lineup card in the dugout before a spring training game between the Detroit Tigers and the Atlanta Braves at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Every manager and every fan has his own view on how a batting order should be constructed in a baseball game.

And for good reason.

Having the right guy up at the right time can be the difference between scoring or not scoring, which can be the difference between winning or not winning, which can be the difference between making the playoffs or not making the playoffs.

Okay, not every at-bat is going to decide whether a team wins a World Series or loses 100 games, but putting together a lineup is crucial to putting your best team out there every game.

Obviously, there are certain extra factors that come into play when making a lineup (platoons, pitcher history, righty-lefty matchups, etc.), but for the purposes of this piece, I will now analyze what teams should want out of each hitting slot in a typical AMERICAN LEAGUE game. National League strategy will come later on in the article.

 

Leadoff Man

The conventional view says to put your fastest player here so he can steal bases and get into scoring position for the bigger hitters later on.

However, some teams have been toying around with their leadoff spots this year, putting top power hitters at the top of the order. For example, Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays, Carlos Santana of the Cleveland Indians and George Springer of the Houston Astros have all batted first multiple times this season despite being known as power hitters.

In reality, your leadoff hitter should be your best on-base percentage hitter without much power.

Here’s why.

The leadoff hitter will come to the plate more than anyone else throughout the course of a game or a season. It only makes sense to have someone who gets on base consistently.

Having a power hitter in the one slot, however, is not the smartest idea. Although the leadoff man comes to the plate more than anyone else, he does not always come up in RBI situations as often as players who are a little lower in the lineup since the bottom of the order hits directly above him.

Also, unlike the conventional belief, base-stealing ability should be set aside here. It won’t hurt if your top on-base/low-power guy can steal bases, but the thieves are better off lower in the lineup. Continue reading to find out why.

 

 

No. 2 Hitter

Some teams look at the No. 2 spot as somewhat of a filler. A solid hitter, but maybe not as important as the first, third or fourth hitters.

In an ideal world, the No. 2 hitter should be extremely similar to the leadoff hitter,maybe with a bit more power.

The second hitter should be able to get on base often, for obvious reasons given who hits in front of and behind him, and should be looked at as an anchor in the lineup.

 

No. 3 Hitter

Most players (Hint: ALL OF THEM!) have on-base percentages under .500. This means that there is less than a 50-50 chance of the batter reaching base at any given time.

What does this have to do with the third hitter in an order?

Well, for starters, the conventional view says that the third hitter should be the team’s best offensive player, since he bats in the first inning of every game, right behind the No. 1 and No. 2 guys.

However, due to the below-.500 fact mentioned above, the third hitter will, more often than not, come to bat with nobody on and two outs in the first inning. That’s not the situation you want your best hitter to deal with in the first go-around through the lineup.

The third batter should still be one of your better hitters with a little more power than the first or second hitters, but the following two spots will have more RBI opportunities than him throughout the course of a game or season.

Worry about the first, second and fourth hitters first when making a lineup. The third and fifth batters should be very similar, but give the No. 3 nod to the guy that is more of a contact hitter.

 

Cleanup Hitter

This is where you put your best overall hitter: the guy that has the best mix of contact and power.

The cleanup man will have the most opportunities to drive in runs out of everyone in the lineup, and will also be tasked with leading off the second inning fairly often. Clearly, you want your most well-rounded slugger in this slot.

 

No. 5 Hitter

Not quite as good as your one, two or four-hitters, but still a very important bat. The fifth slot should be filled by a guy who can be expected to come up in plenty of big RBI opportunities.

This should be someone with quite a bit of power who can hit the ball in the gap with consistency to drive in runs.

A little bit of speed could be an added bonus with the bottom  of the order looming.

 

No. 6 Hitter

This is somewhat of a bridge spot. With some of the top hitters right in front of him, your only option here is to make your sixth-best overall hitter the sixth batter in the lineup.

 

No. 7 Hitter

Conventional wisdom here says to, at this point, just go in descending order from your best remaining hitters to your worst.

Not true.

If your leadoff hitter isn’t your top base-stealing threat (in an ideal world, he isn’t – this is why), put him here.

The eighth and ninth hitters are going to be the worst in your lineup, but putting a speed threat in the seven-hole could help you squeeze out a few more runs from the bottom of the order.

If the seventh hitter gets on base, he can steal a bag or get from first to third on a single.

Also, as a base-stealing threat, the pitcher could become pre-occupied with the seventh hitter should he be on first base. This could cause him to make a mistake against the eighth or ninth hitters.

Because of personnel, this doesn’t work for every team. For example, if your best base-stealing threat of the four remaining hitters (six through nine) is clearly the best hitter of the group, batting him sixth is fine.

 

No. 8 Hitter, No. 9 Hitter

The eighth and ninth hitters are your two worst hitters, plain and simple. Put the better base-stealing threat in the eighth spot for the same reason highlighted above.

 

Each A.L. Team’s Suggested Lineup

Remember, some other factors could come into play here, like handedness. For platoon reasons, we will assume the opposing pitcher is right-handed, since right-handed pitchers are much more common.

Also, every team has to make do with its own personnel. Some players, as of the 6/21/2016 (when this was written) are on the DL and will not be included, plus not every team has a base-stealing threat for the seven-hole, etc.

Baltimore Orioles

  1. LF Hyun-Soo Kim (L)
  2. SS Manny Machado
  3. 1B Chris Davis (L)
  4. RF Mark Trumbo
  5. C Matt Wieters (S)
  6. CF Adam Jones
  7. DH Pedro Alvarez (L)
  8. 2B Jonathan Schoop
  9. 3B Ryan Flaherty (L)

Boston Red Sox

  1. 2B Dustin Pedroia
  2. CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (L)
  3. SS Xander Bogaerts
  4. DH David Ortiz (L)
  5. RF Mookie Betts
  6. 1B Hanley Ramirez
  7. LF Chris Young
  8. 3B Travis Shaw (L)
  9. C Christian Vazquez

New York Yankees

  1. LF Brett Gardner (L)
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury (L)
  3. SS Didi Gregorius (L)
  4. RF Carlos Beltran (S)
  5. C Brian McCann (L)
  6. 2B Starlin Castro
  7. 3B Chase Headley (S)
  8. 1B Ike Davis (L)
  9. DH Alex Rodriguez

Tampa Bay Rays

  1. 2B Logan Forsythe
  2. DH Steve Pearce
  3. 1B Logan Morrison (L)
  4. 3B Evan Longoria
  5. LF Corey Dickerson
  6. SS Brad Miller (L)
  7. CF Desmond Jennings
  8. LF Jaff Decker (L)
  9. C Curt Casali

Toronto Blue Jays

  1. RF Ezequiel Carrera (L)
  2. SS Troy Tulowitzki
  3. LF Michael Saunders (L)
  4. 3B Josh Donaldson
  5. DH Edwin Encarnacion
  6. 1B Justin Smoak (S)
  7. CF Kevin Pillar
  8. 2B Darwin Barney
  9. C Russell Martin

Chicago White Sox

  1. CF Adam Eaton (L)
  2. LF Melky Cabrera (S)
  3. RF Avisail Garcia
  4. 1B Jose Abreu
  5. 3B Todd Frazier
  6. 2B Brett Lawrie
  7. SS Tim Anderson
  8. DH J.B. Shuck (L)
  9. C Dioner Navarro (S)

Cleveland Indians

  1. LF Jose Ramirez (S)
  2. SS Francisco Lindor (S)
  3. 2B Jason Kipnis (L)
  4. DH Carlos Santana (S)
  5. 1B Mike Napoli
  6. RF Lonnie Chisenhall
  7. CF Rajai Davis
  8. 3B Juan Uribe
  9. C Yan Gomes

Detroit Tigers

  1. 2B Ian Kinsler
  2. DH Victor Martinez (S)
  3. 3B Nick Castellanos
  4. 1B Miguel Cabrera
  5. LF Justin Upton
  6. RF Steven Moya (L)
  7. CF Cameron Maybin
  8. SS Jose Iglesias
  9. C James McCann

Kansas City Royals

  1. RF Paulo Orlando
  2. CF Lorenzo Cain
  3. 1B Eric Hosmer (L)
  4. C Salvador Perez
  5. DH Kendrys Morales (S)
  6. 3B Cheslor Cuthbert
  7. LF Jarrod Dyson (L)
  8. 2B Whit Merrifield
  9. SS Alcides Escobar

Minnesota Twins

  1. SS Eduardo Nunez
  2. LF Robbie Grossman (S)
  3. 1B Joe Mauer
  4. 2B Brian Dozier
  5. DH Byung-Ho Park
  6. 3B Trevor Plouffe
  7. RF Max Kepler (L)
  8. CF Byron Buxton
  9. C Kurt Suzuki

Houston Astros

  1. 2B Jose Altuve
  2. SS Carlos Correa
  3. 3B Luis Valbuena (L)
  4. RF George Springer
  5. DH Evan Gattis
  6. LF Colby Rasmus (L)
  7. CF Carlos Gomez
  8. C Jason Castro (L)
  9. 1B Marwin Gonzalez (S)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

  1. SS Yunel Escobar
  2. RF Kole Calhoun (L)
  3. 1B C.J. Cron
  4. CF Mike Trout
  5. DH Albert Pujols
  6. LF Daniel Nava (S)
  7. 2B Johnny Giavotella
  8. SS Andrelton Simmons
  9. C Carlos Perez

Oakland Athletics

  1. 2B Jed Lowrie (S)
  2. C Stephen Vogt (L)
  3. 3B Danny Valencia
  4. LF Khris Davis
  5. SS Marcus Semien
  6. DH Billy Butler
  7. 1B Yonder Alonso (L)
  8. CF Billy Burns
  9. LF Max Muncy (L)

Seattle Mariners

  1. CF Leonys Martin (L)
  2. RF Seth Smith (L)
  3. DH Nelson Cruz
  4. 2B Robinson Cano (L)
  5. 3B Kyle Seager (L)
  6. C Chris Iannetta
  7. 1B Adam Lind (L)
  8. SS Ketel Marte (S)
  9. LF Nori Aoki (L)

Texas Rangers

  1. RF Shin-Soo Choo (L)
  2. CF Ian Desmond
  3. LF Nomar Mazara (L)
  4. 3B Adrian Beltre
  5. 2B Rougned Odor (L)
  6. DH Prince Fielder (L)
  7. SS Elvis Andrus
  8. 1B Mitch Moreland (L)
  9. C Robinson Chirinos

 

For the National League, however, constructing the best possible lineup is a little bit different.

Some managers like Joe Maddon and Mike Matheny have experimented with batting the pitcher eighth rather than ninth, putting a decent hitter in the nine-hole so that the chance of runners being on base for the top of the order will be greater.

While minimal, this strategy does yield positive results. It’s unorthodox, but it’s smart thinking.

In order to make the optimal batting order for a National League club, here are the steps to take:

  1. Create the lineup as if this were an American League team
  2. Leave the first five batters where they are; every fact mentioned above still applies here
  3. Instead of having your next-best hitter in the six-hole, move him to the ninth spot. This emphasizes the reason why you are batting the pitcher eighth rather than ninth; this batter gets on base fairly often for the top of the order to bring home.
  4. Move the top stolen base threat up from the seventh to the sixth spot. With the worst non-pitcher batting seventh and the pitcher batting eighth, having your thief hit here could help the bottom of the order scratch out a run. If your stolen base threat and worst hitter are the same person, which is fairly common, it’s best to put him in the seventh spot.

Here’s how each National League batting order should look based on this strategy. Again, several teams do not have the personnel to follow this strategy to a T, but these are the best possible combinations for who these teams can slot in.

Atlanta Braves

  1. 2B Jace Peterson (L)
  2. RF Nick Markakis (L)
  3. C Tyler Flowers
  4. 1B Freddie Freeman (L)
  5. LF Jeff Francoeur
  6. CF Ender Inciarte (L)
  7. SS Erick Aybar (S)
  8. P Pitcher
  9. 3B Adonis Garcia

Miami Marlins

  1. LF Christian Yelich (L)
  2. 2B Derek Dietrich (L)
  3. 3B Martin Prado
  4. CF Marcell Ozuna
  5. RF Giancarlo Stanton
  6. 1B Justin Bour (L)
  7. SS Adeiny Hechavarria
  8. P Pitcher
  9. C J.T. Realmuto

New York Mets

  1. SS Asdrubal Cabrera (S)
  2. 2B Neil Walker (S)
  3. 1B James Loney (L)
  4. CF Yoenis Cespedes
  5. RF Curtis Granderson
  6. LF Michael Conforto (L)
  7. C Kevin Plawecki
  8. P Pitcher
  9. 3B Wilmer Flores

Philadelphia Phillies

  1. CF Odubel Herrera (L)
  2. 2B Cesar Hernandez (S)
  3. C Cameron Rupp
  4. 3B Maikel Franco
  5. 1B Ryan Howard (L)
  6. LF Cody Asche (L)
  7. SS Freddy Galvis (S)
  8. P Pitcher
  9. RF Tyler Goeddel

Washington Nationals

  1. 3B Anthony Rendon
  2. 2B Daniel Murphy (L)
  3. C Wilson Ramos
  4. RF Bryce Harper (L)
  5. LF Jayson Werth
  6. 1B Ryan Zimmerman
  7. CF Ben Revere (L)
  8. P Pitcher
  9. SS Danny Espinosa (S)

Chicago Cubs

  1. RF Jason Heyward (L)
  2. CF Albert Almora Jr.
  3. 2B Ben Zobrist (S)
  4. 1B Anthony Rizzo (L)
  5. LF Kris Bryant
  6. 3B Javier Baez
  7. C Miguel Montero (L)
  8. P Pitcher
  9. SS Addison Russell

Cincinnati Reds

  1. 2B Brandon Phillips
  2. RF Jay Bruce (L)
  3. SS Zack Cozart
  4. 1B Joey Votto (L)
  5. LF Adam Duvall
  6. CF Billy Hamilton (S)
  7. 3B Eugenio Suarez
  8. P Pitcher
  9. C Tucker Barnhart (S)

Milwaukee Brewers

  1. SS Jonathan Villar (S)
  2. C Jonathan Lucroy
  3. 3B Aaron Hill
  4. LF Ryan Braun
  5. 1B Chris Carter
  6. 2B Scooter Gennett (L)
  7. RF Ramos Flores (L)
  8. P Pitcher
  9. CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (L)

Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. SS Jordy Mercer
  2. LF Starling Marte
  3. 3B David Freese
  4. RF Gregory Polanco (L)
  5. CF Andrew McCutchen
  6. 2B Josh Harrison
  7. C Chris Stewart
  8. P Pitcher
  9. 1B John Jaso (L)

St. Louis Cardinals

  1. RF Stephen Piscotty
  2. SS Aledmys Diaz
  3. LF Matt Holliday
  4. 2B Matt Carpenter (L)
  5. 1B Matt Adams (L)
  6. 3B Jhonny Peralta
  7. CF Kolten Wong (L)
  8. P Pitcher
  9. C Yadier Molina

Arizona Diamondbacks

  1. 2B Jean Segura
  2. C Welington Castillo
  3. 3B Jake Lamb (L)
  4. 1B Paul Goldschmidt
  5. RF Yasmany Tomas
  6. CF Michael Bourn (L)
  7. LF Peter O’Brien
  8. P Pitcher
  9. SS Nick Ahmed

Colorado Rockies

  1. 2B DJ LeMahieu
  2. CF Charlie Blackmon (L)
  3. RF Carlos Gonzalez (L)
  4. 3B Nolan Arenado
  5. 1B Mark Reynolds
  6. SS Trevor Story
  7. C Nick Hundley
  8. P Pitcher
  9. LF Ryan Raburn

Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. 2B Chase Utley (L)
  2. 1B Adrian Gonzalez (L)
  3. 3B Justin Turner
  4. SS Corey Seager (L)
  5. RF Trayce Thompson
  6. CF Joc Pederson (L)
  7. LF Enrique Hernandez
  8. P Pitcher
  9. C Yasmani Grandal (S)

San Diego Padres

  1. CF Jon Jay (L)
  2. 2B Alexi Amarista (L)
  3. LF Melvin Upton Jr.
  4. 1B Wil Myers
  5. RF Matt Kemp
  6. SS Alexei Ramirez
  7. C Derek Norris
  8. P Pitcher
  9. 3B Brett Wallace

San Francisco Giants

  1. SS Brandon Crawford (L)
  2. LF Angel Pagan (S)
  3. 2B Joe Panik (L)
  4. C Buster Posey
  5. 1B Brandon Belt (L)
  6. CF Denard Span (L)
  7. 3B Conor Gillaspie (L)
  8. P Pitcher
  9. RF Gregor Blanco (L)

 

 

Top 100 MLB Draft Prospects

draft_1280_yiol83pl_mh8qb9roWith Thursday’s MLB Draft quickly approaching, I spent some time putting all of the film I’ve watched and articles I’ve read into one quick scouting report for my top 100 prospects. Enjoy!

1. Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat HS (New Jersey)

Groome has everything you could ask for in a pitcher. His mix of velocity and control coupled with his 6’6 frame at the tender age of 17 suggests he will be feared on the mound for years to come. The Phillies may not select him with the first overall pick, but there’s no question Groome has the most potential of anyone in the draft.

2. Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Kansas)

Another high school arm, Pint’s fastball is so explosive that he has touched triple digits despite being just 18 years of age. He has battled control issues, but there is no reason to believe the right training can’t fix those. The sky is the limit for Pint.

3. A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida

At one point, it seemed as if Puk was a shoe-in for the first overall pick. However, he has been a little bit disappointing as command issues have kept the southpaw from looking like a bona-fide ace at Florida. Still, there is a lot of upside and Puk has certainly faced much tougher competition than the other top arms in this draft class.

4. Mickey Moniak, OF, La Costa Canyon HS (California)

Moniak has speed to burn on the basepaths and can cover a lot of ground in center field. He also has a quick left-handed bat and has a knack for finding the gap. Once he fills out, Moniak has the potential to become a five-tool player and possibly the best hitter to come out of this draft.

5. Braxton Garrett, LHP, Florence HS (Alabama)

Garrett may only be in high school, but his maturity and pitching instincts make him appear to be on a fast track to the major leagues. His curveball is second-to-none in this draft, which has many teams in need of pitching licking their chops.

6. Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade HS (California)

Although he isn’t terrific in the field, Rutherford’s offensive game resembled a left-handed George Springer at first glance. He has a great swing with tremendous bat speed and can also fly around the bases. Expect Rutherford to be a top-notch offensive threat in the Major Leagues one day.

7. Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer

Lewis is higher than seventh in most rankings, but his proneness to strikeouts and question marks about pure contact ability dock him down a few spots here. Still, he definitely seems to have the potential of a 30-40 home run player even if he tops out at about .260 every year.

8. Corey Ray, OF, Louisville

Ray is one of the safest bets in this draft as far as bats go. He should be able to play a solid center field at the major league level while providing a good mix of contact and power at the plate. He has also proven time after time in college that he is capable of hitting against top arms.

9. Delvin Perez, SS, Puerto Rico

He may not be Carlos Correa, but the Puerto Rican Perez is without a doubt the top shortstop on the board in 2016. He is great with the glove and will certainly be able to stick at the shortstop position in the big leagues, and he also has the potential to do some great things with the bal.

10. Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee

Senzel has shot up draft boards and separated himself from other third basemen this spring. He was fantastic in the Cape Cod League last summer and has refined his skills at the hot corner to go along with his power bat.

11. Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State

The stuff has always been there for Dakota Hudson, but it was finally last summer in the Cape Cod League when he put it all together. Now, the 6’5 right-hander boasts an above-average fastball and slider and looks like a lock to be near the top of an MLB rotation in the near future.

12. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Alamo Heights HS (Texas)

A big right-hander out of the Texas high school ranks, Whitley has a very good fastball and follows it up with a good curve.

13. Joey Wentz, LHP, Shawnee Mission East HS (Kansas)

Originally, it wasn’t clear whether or not Wentz would be drafted as a pitcher or a first baseman. Now, however, it has become clear the Wentz belongs on the mound. He has a nice-looking delivery that suggests he will be a starter as he moves up the ranks, and he pairs a solid curveball and changeup with a good fastball.

14. Matt Manning, RHP, Sheldon HS (California)

Manning stands at 6’6 and has a hard fastball that sits in the high 90s. His other pitches could use a little bit of work, but the two-sport star whose father, Rich, played in the NBA has enough athletic ability to continue to improve his game.

15. Nolan Jones, 3B, Holy Ghost Prep (Pennsylvania)

Although he played shortstop in high school, Jones seems destined to slide over to third base at the next level. He has a great bat from the left side and can also run fairly well for someone who appears to be a power-hitting corner infielder.

16. Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State

The MAC may not be the premier conference for baseball in the NCAA, but the Kent State left-hander has absolutely dominated the competition in his junior year. Lauer also led the Cape Cod League in strikeouts last season and has a smooth delivery that suggests he will be a high-floor starting pitcher in the pros.

17. Ian Anderson, RHP, Shenendehowa HS (New York)

Other than an oblique injury that took some time away from his senior season, Anderson seems to be a pretty safe bet for a high school arm. He has consistently improved his fastball/slider/changeup arsenal while also being able to attack the strike zone at a good rate.

18. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Plum HS (Pennsylvania)

Kirilloff has a very good arm and above-average speed for a corner outfielder, making him a threat in all areas of the game to go with his strong left-handed bat.

19. Zack Collins, C, Miami

In a class without much depth at the catcher position, Collins will almost surely be the first backstop off the board. Still, there are questions as to whether or not his defensive ability is good enough for him to stay behind the plate long-term. His bat, though, should have no question marks surrounding it as he has torn apart ACC pitching this season.

20. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Vanderbilt

Reynolds is the definition of a well-rounded player even though he won’t break any records in any area. He can hit for average and power at times while also possessing a good speed and glove combo that should be good enough to keep him in center field. The only question mark is his arm, but if he keeps impressing with his bat like he has at Vanderbilt, he should be just fine at the next level.

21. Kyle Muller, LHP, Jesuit College Prep (Texas)

Muller has been a great hitter over the course of his high school career, but he is an even better pitcher. He set a national record by striking out 24 hitters in a row over the course of two games due to his height, throwing angle and lively fastball.

22. Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College

Dunn has been fantastic in his junior year at Boston College and has shown significant improvement each year. He also had a great summer in the Cape Cod League last year and although he stands at just 6’2, he can throw a high-90s fastball and two solid breaking balls.

23. William Benson, OF, The Westminster Schools (Georgia)

Benson has the potential to be one of the draft’s biggest steals. He is projected to go either near the end of the first round or even in the compensational round, but he could turn out to be a top-10 talent. Benson runs very well and has a quick, compact swing that allows him to hit scorching line drives.

24. Taylor Trammell, OF, Mount Paran Christian HS (Georgia)

How fast is Trammell? He rushed for nearly 2,500 yards and was named the Georgia Class A football offensive player of the year at running back for Mount Paran Christian. He could have played college football, but he decided on the diamond rather than the gridiron. He could use some help with the bat and glove, but the potential is there. Expect him to get better with both now that he can spend all of his time focusing on just baseball.

25. Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford

Tommy John surgery caused Quantrill to miss all of this season and nearly all of last year as well, so he poses somewhat of a risk. At the same time, he has arguably the best arsenal in the draft and a great knowledge of the game as his father, Paul, pitched in the big leagues. His smarts and his four-pitch combo could certainly make up for the rust and injury risk.

26. Joshua Lowe, 3B, Pope HS (Georgia)

Up until very recently, scouts were split 50/50 on whether to consider Lowe a hitter or a pitcher. Now, it looks like he will be drafted as a third baseman. His left-handed bring should bring more power when he fills out his 6’4, 190-pound frame, and he can run and field well at the hot corner.

27. Cody Sedlock, RHP, Illinois

Sedlock is a sinker-baller who has excelled in his first year as a starter at Illinois. His sinker helps him get plenty of ground balls, and he also managed to break Illinois’s single-season strikeout record. He throws a high amount of strikes, but they are tough to hit; just what you want in a pitcher.

28. Connor Jones, RHP, Virginia

Jones throws an early- to mid-90s fastball with some movement as well as a solid slider. That pairing, as well as a decent changeup and occasional curveball have made him Virginia’s ace; a position he has done well in. Jones has become one of the safest bets to project and he may not become more than a No. 3 starter, but he should be able to get there at some point in the near future.

29. T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Pittsburgh

Zeuch is a 6’7 power arm who has pretty solid control of his pitches. He has caused plenty of swings and misses in his time at Pitt and has a chance to sneak into the back of the first round as he continues to improve and impress scouts.

30. Zach Burdi, RHP, Louisville

Burdi can hit triple digits with his fastball and also has an above-average slider to follow it up. He has dominated as Louisville’s closer, but some scouts think he can become a starter in the big leagues because of his smooth delivery.

31. Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt

Sheffield has established himself as a strikeout pitcher with a high-90s fastball and hard slider, but his size and injury history suggest he may be better suited for the bullpen. He underwent Tommy John surgery in his senior year of high school, but has seemed fine since. However, Sheffield has shown some inconsistencies as far as hitting the strike zone and struggled in the Cape Cod League the past two years.

32. Will Craig, 3B, Wake Forest

Craig has shown that he can absolutely mash, sitting at the top of the ACC in average, home runs and RBI the past two seasons. He can’t run well at 6’3, 235 pounds, but his bat certainly makes up for his lack of athleticism. Expect to see him in the Home Run Derby some day if he solidifies a job in the big leagues.

33. Matt Thaiss, C, Virginia

Like his catching counterpart Zack Collins, Thaiss is great with the bat but could become a liability behind the plate. He is a left-handed bat with a solid mix of both contact and power.

34. Buddy Reed, OF, Florida

Reed is kind of a wild card in this year’s draft. He was originally thought of as a top-10 pick because of his glove and blazing speed, but there were questions about his bat. Those questions were magnified even more this spring, as he posted sub-par stats and saw his average dip 50 points from last year’s .305 mark. Despite the speed, it will be tough for Reed to make his way to The Show if he can’t figure things out at the plate.

35. Jared Horn, RHP, Vintage HS (California)

Horn has a great heater and shows some promise with his curveball and slider. He has a great feel for the game and brings a competitive spirit to the mound. He has been very consistent in his senior year and has shown maturity and focus in big moments – good signs for a high-schooler.

36. Logan Shore, RHP, Florida

Shore may be a step behind A.J. Puk in Florida’s rotation, but his stats speak for themselves. This season, he has an 11-0 record, a 2.44 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP and an incredible 5.33 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. None of his pitches other than his changeup are remarkably devastating, but Shore’s pitching sense and strike-throwing ability make him tough to hit.

37. Kevin Gowdy, RHP, Santa Barbara HS (California)

Gowdy has a very good changeup to go along with a decent slider and a fastball that should continue to climb in velocity as he fills out his frame. He has a fairly strong commitment to UCLA, though, and may be a bit of a risk if he falls out of the first round.

38. Heath Quinn, OF, Samford

Quinn knows how to swing the bat, popping 21 baseballs over the fence this season. Questions about the competition he has faced are warranted playing with Samford, but his impressive performance in the Cape Cod League last summer should quell some of the doubts about his ability. Quinn doesn’t run overly well, but he is a smart outfielder with an above-average arm.

39. Chris Okey, C, Clemson

Okey has one of the smartest, most baseball-oriented minds in the draft and uses it to his advantage behind the plate. Unlike the aforementioned Collins and Thaiss, Okey seems to be a lock to stay at catcher. He also has exhibited some talent with the bat, improving his average and power numbers each year at Clemson.

40. Alex Speas, RHP, McEachern HS (Georgia)

Speas is a little bit of a wild card because of control issues he has shown throughout his high school career, but his stuff is fantastic. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and should add even more velocity as he fills out his slender 6’4, 190-pound frame, and he also throws a curveball with quite a bit of life. If the cards fall the right way, Speas could some day be looked back on as a top-10 talent.

41. Daulton Jefferies, RHP, California

Jefferies may, in fact, be much better than the 41st-best player in the draft; however,  a shoulder issue that came up this spring has hurt his stock a little bit. Still, he has been able to pitch a little since the injury and has shown the same shades of dominance we saw earlier in the year. His line on the season has him at 7-0 with a 1.08 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP and a 6.63 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. If he can keep pitching like that, someone will get a steal in the compensatory or second round.

42. Brandon Marsh, OF, Buford HS (Georgia)

Marsh’s strengths are his speed and his fielding ability, glove and arm included. He is an above-average outfielder and a terrific athlete having played wide receiver for Buford’s state championship football teams in his sophomore and junior years, but he still has some work to do with the bat. If Marsh can fix a couple of flaws in his mechanics, he could become a five-tool threat in the pros.

43. Carter Kieboom, 3B, Walton HS (Georgia)

Great mechanics and a feel for the game have helped Kieboom become a force at the plate. He has shown an ability to hit off of the best arms in the country at his age, doubling off of the aforementioned Joshua Lowe in a high school state championship game and also singling off of Riley Pint in the Under Armour All-America Game last summer. Kieboom also played a pretty decent shortstop in high school and his talents should translate well over to third base.

44. Gavin Lux, SS, Indian Trail Academy (Wisconsin)

Lux has an intriguing mix of speed and fielding ability to go along with great instinct and knowledge of the game. His bat is coming along and he has the smarts and tools it will take to work on his disappearing flaws. Not many players come out of Wisconsin, but Lux seems to be on a fast track to The Show.

45. Anfernee Grier, OF, Auburn

Grier is very fast both in the field and on the bases and has also seen a serious power spike in his bat this year. If he can continue to hit for power and contact at the next level, he could combine his bat with his speed to become a serious threat on offense.

46. Robert Tyler, RHP, Georgia

At one point, Tyler seemed to be a shoe-in for the first round. Now, his status has come into question after a lackluster spring. He has a great fastball that hits the mid-90s with life and a changeup with a little bit of movement as well, but his numbers both in college this year and the Cape Cod League last summer can raise some red flags. He will likely be relegated to a bullpen role in the pros unless he can throw strikes, and he has been often plagued with injury issues.

47. Jon Duplantier, RHP, Rice

A shoulder injury that kept Duplantier out all of of last year certainly did not have much of a negative impact on his progression this year. His fastball, which sits in the mid-90s with movement, is a definite plus pitch and Duplantier uses it and his curveball to get a healthy amount of swings and misses.

48. Corbin Burnes, RHP, St. Mary’s

Burnes could be destined for the bullpen because of his mechanics, but he has shown at St. Mary’s that he can be very productive as a starter. His high-velocity fastball is his only true plus pitch thus far in his career, but his slider continues to shows flashes of promise.

49. Anthony Kay, LHP, Connecticut

Kay’s sophomore season as a Husky was incredible, but he failed to improve on his numbers in his junior season. He is hindered by his small 5’11 frame, but Kay makes up for his size with his strike-throwing ability as well as his decent fastball-changeup combo.

50. Cole Ragans, LHP, North Florida Christian HS

Ragans is a smart left-handed pitcher from Florida who certainly seems destined to start at the next level. He has shown quite a bit of maturity on the mound for a high schooler and could boast three above-average pitches some day with his fastball, curveball and changeup.

51. Joe Rizzo, 3B, Oakton HS (Virginia)

Rizzo stands at just 5’9, but is a left-handed bat with some serious pop. He doesn’t run extremely well and he won’t drop any jaws with his play at third base, but his potential at the plate is good enough to earn him some competitive balance/second-round praise.

52. Drew Mendoza, 3B, Lake Mineolla HS (Florida)

Another left-handed bat at the hot corner that hits quite well, Mendoza has a good combination of tools that could make him an asset to any team on offense and defense. He could sneak into the back part of the first round, but drops in these rankings because it looks like it will be very tough to sign him away from his Florida State commitment.

53. Thomas Jones, OF, Laurens HS (South Carolina)

Jones has the potential to become a five-tool player some day. His strength right now is his blazing speed, but he boasts a quick, violent swing that could help him become an above-average hitter for contact and power. He is also very athletic, recruited by several top college football programs as a safety.

54. Ben Rortvedt, C, Verona  Area HS (Wisconsin)

Rortvedt shows lots of offensive potential from the left side of the plate and should be able to hit for both contact and power at the next level. He is only 18, so he has plenty of time to smooth out the rough edges in his game behind the dish.

55. Cole Stobbe, 3B, Millard West HS (Nebraska)

A power-hitting shortstop in high school, Stobbe will likely have to shift to either second or third at the next level. He runs fairly well, but his biggest strength is clearly his bat. Expect Stobbe to become a productive hitter in the pros, using his strong 6’1, 200-pound frame to his advantage.

56. Cooper Johnson, C, Carmel Catholic HS (Illinois)

There’s not question about it – Cooper Johnson is the one of best defensive catchers in this draft. He excels in every facet of the game behind the plate, handling pitching staffs well and has a fantastic arm. His bat is not quite there yet, but Johnson has shown signs of being able to hit well enough to be a productive Major League backstop with his catching prowess.

57. Dane Dunning, RHP, Florida

Dunning has been overshadowed by the aforementioned Puk and Shore, but he has been a shut-down reliever out of the Gators’ bullpen this year. He throws a lively fastball and an above-average changeup to keep hitters off-balance. He could become a starter at the next level (he would have been at Florida had the Gators not needed a bullpen arm), but at worst, expect him to be a closer or late-inning reliever.

58. Sheldon Neuse, SS, Oklahoma

Neuse is a bit of a wild card in terms of where he will play in the field. He will likely move from short to third base or catcher at the next level as he has a very good arm but not a ton of quickness. Regardless, Neuse has been hitting the cover off of the ball this spring and has boosted his draft stock because of it.

59. Bo Bichette, 2B, Lakewood HS (Florida)

Like his father, Dante, Bo is a little unorthodox at the plate. This has caused some teams to be wary of taking him too early in the draft, but his family history suggests that he should adapt just fine at the next level. Although he doesn’t run too well, Bichette is a smart player who knows the game and should be able to hit for some power.

60. Conner Capel, OF, Seven Lakes HS (Texas)

Capel has a good pedigree as his father, Mike, pitched for the Texas Longhorns and later in the Major Leagues. Conner, too, has committed to play at Texas, but a great spring has bolstered his draft value and he may not make it to Austin if he’s drafted high enough. Capel runs very well and has a great arm to go along with good outfield instincts. His bat could use a little work, but he is a smart hitter that has the potential to hit for a little bit of power.

61. Jesus Luzardo, Stoneman Douglas HS (Florida)

Luzardo recently underwent Tommy John surgery, which could raise a bit of a red flag for teams trying to draft him. Still, we have seen plenty of young arms have plenty of success after Tommy John surgery and Luzardo could certainly throw his name into that group when all is said and done. He is a very smart pitcher who hits the strike zone consistently and has three decent pitches: a fastball, curveball and changeup.

62. Ben Bowden, LHP, Vanderbilt

Right now, Bowden seems more comfortable as a reliever. He struggled as a starter at the beginning of the year for the Commodores and got moved back into the bullpen, where he has been dominant his entire career. He can throw a tough-to-hit fastball in the mid-90s and also has a solid changeup. If a team drafts him as a reliever, he could become a Major League closer in the near future.

63. Hunter Bishop, OF, Junipero Serra HS (California)

Bishop had originally committed to play football at Washington, but now he has changed his mind and will either hit the diamond for a pro organization later this summer or Arizona State next year. He has tremendous speed both in the outfield and on the bases, and his left-handed bat has a lot of potential. He has work to do, but now that he can focus on baseball, this high-ceiling prospect could be worth taking the gamble on.

64. Bryson Brigman, SS, San Diego

Brigman doesn’t hit for much power and he doesn’t walk very often. At the same time, he rarely strikes out and has shown an aptitude for stealing a bag here and there. Brigman has the potential to be a productive bottom-of-the-order bat that can make a lot of contact and be a threat on the bases.

65. Akil Baddoo, OF, Salem HS (Georgia)

The left-handed Baddoo has what it takes to become a four-tool player at the next level, with his arm being the one exception. He is a talented hitter in terms of both contact and power and can run very well, making him an intriguing offensive threat.

66. Jameson Fisher, 1B, Southeastern Louisiana

The fact that Fisher doesn’t face the same level of competition as some of the other college hitters in this draft could be a concern, but he has absolutely raked throughout his entire college career. Fisher walks much more often than he strikes out and hits for a lot of power and contact from the left side of the plate. He also was able to put up a .300 clip in the Cape Cod League two summers ago and has improved greatly since then.

67. Brett Cumberland, C, California

Cumberland has some question marks surrounding his long-term ability to catch, but he is a very talented switch-hitter who excels in every area at the plate. He can hit for contact, work counts, see pitches well and hit the ball a mile. If he proves that he can stay at catcher at the next level, Cumberland could prove to be a steal in this year’s draft.

68. Nonie Williams, SS, Turner HS (Kansas)

He may not stay at shortstop in the pros, but Williams has a bat that should profile well at any position, whether it be second base, third base or the outfield. Naturally a right-handed hitter, Williams has learned to hit from the left side as well to boost his stock. He can also run very well in the field and on the bases, showing some potential of being a five-tool player if everything works out right.

69. Jake Fraley, OF, LSU

In terms of batting average, Fraley is yet to come close to his output from his freshman year at LSU in 2014. However, he has improved nearly every other area of his game since then, walking and using his speed to his advantage much more often. He also was impressive offensively in the Cape Cod League last year, showing that he can adapt well to using wooden bats.

70. Ryan Boldt, OF, Nebraska

Boldt’s drop in batting average and rise in strikeouts this spring could cause some concern among scouts. At the same time, however, he has seen a spike in his power numbers and has been deadlier on the bases. Boldt is by no means a liability in the outfield and could possible stay in center field in the pros due to his speed and arm.

71. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Jensen Beach HS (Florida)

Despite being 6’2 and slender, Ogle has been able to hit 96 with his fastball at the high school level. Expect his velocity to continue to climb as he gets older and fills out. Ogle also throws a curveball and a changeup, but they, like his mechanics, could use some improvement. Expect his control issues to disappear once he works with a professional staff to smooth out his delivery.

72. Nick Lodolo, LHP, Damien HS (California)

Standing at 6’6, Lodolo has the type of build scouts like to see. He only throws in the low-90s and weights just 180 pounds despite his height, so expect his velocity to improve as time goes on. He may be a good bet to spurn whichever team drafts him and play at TCU next year instead to hone his craft, but he could be taken early enough to draw him away from college due to his high upside.

73. Thomas Hatch, RHP, Oklahoma State

Hatch put together a stellar season with Oklahoma State, showing significant improvement as a redshirt sophomore. He was named Big 12 pitcher of the year and causes plenty of groundouts with a hard, lively fastball. He should be able to start in the pros if everything works out right.

74. Zac Gallen, RHP, North Carolina

A very good fastball/cutter combination along with a promising changeup has helped Gallen have a very positive junior season with the Tar Heels. He has continued to improve each year of college and has the maturity and work ethic to do so at the next level. Gallen is a high-floor pitcher who could slide his way into the second round for a team looking for a safe bottom-of-the-rotation arm.

75. C.J. Chatham, SS, Florida Atlantic

Chatham has shown improvement in basically every area of his offensive game throughout his three-year career at Florida Atlantic, capping it off by hitting .357 with eight home runs this year. He struggled a bit in the Cape Cod League last summer, which could raise some concerns, but he is good enough to stay at short at the next level and his consistent improvement is a good sign.

76. A.J. Puckett, RHP, Pepperdine

Yes, A.J. Puk and A.J. Puckett are different people. Puckett will obviously go a round or two later than Puk in the draft, but he has really boosted his stock with an incredible spring. Puckett has been very tough to hit off of and his 6’4 frame works well with a mid-90s fastball and an above-average changeup. Fun fact: Puckett was in a coma for two weeks in high school. Now he’s about to get drafted by a Major League Baseball team.

77. Braden Webb, RHP, South Carolina

Webb’s delivery and command issues suggest he will be a reliever at the next level, but his impressive freshman year at South Carolina could certainly push him into the top three rounds of the draft. He has been held back by Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss nearly his entire senior year of high school as well as a year of college in 2015, but he has shown that his fastball/curveball combo is still dynamite, stymying some of the best bats in the SEC this spring.

78. Sean Murphy, C, Wright State

Murphy is an excellent defensive catcher and will without a doubt stay behind the plate throughout his professional career. His hitting, though, is a bit of a question mark. He has occasionally shown some signs of brilliance at the dish, but has been rather inconsistent.

79. Ronnie Dawson, OF, Ohio State

Dawson’s struggles with the wooden bat in the Cape Cod League last summer merit some concerns, but he followed up the disappointing performance with a fantastic spring for the Buckeyes. Dawson has an intriguing mix of power and speed and has also been able to improve his walk rate all three seasons at Ohio State. He could be a high-risk, high-reward-type player.

80. Alec Hansen, RHP, Oklahoma

An upper-90s fastball with movement, a hard slider,  a decent changeup and a 6’7 frame. There’s a reason Hansen was once considered to be in the mix for the first overall pick. However, he has battled a few injury issues and has struggled mightily to repeat his delivery and find the strike zone. He is an extremely high risk and needs a ton of work, but there’s still a chance he could become a dominant pitcher at the Major League level if he smooths out the (many) rough edges.

81. Peter Alonso, 1B, Florida

Alonso is a bit of a one-dimensional player, which could turn teams away. He is very strong with the bat and has established himself as one of the SEC’s top hitters, but he doesn’t excel at anything else. If the bat struggles, like it did in the Cape Cod League last summer, Alonso doesn’t have much to fall back on.

82. Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville

Funkhouser is an odd case. He was originally thought of as a top-five pick in last year’s draft due to incredible freshman and sophomore seasons, but fell to the latter part of the round due to a late-season slump as a junior. He decided not to sign with the Dodgers and returned to Louisville for his senior year, but his stock has continued to fall even more. Still, there is hope that he can re-capture the magic he had in 2013, 2014 and the first part of 2015. It will be interesting to see which team takes the flyer.

83. Chad Hockin, RHP, Cal State Fullerton

Hockin looks to be on the fast track to becoming a Major League closer. He has a great two-pitch mix with an above-average fastball and slider, and he has been able to hit the strike zone with consistency.

84. Zach Linginfelter, RHP, Sevier County HS (Tennessee)

Linginfelter has a promising 6’5 frame to go along with a high-velocity fastball with life as well as a decent slider. He could very well become a starter in the Major Leagues some day, but his durability issues make some scouts believe he would be better off in the bullpen.

85. Jake Rogers, C, Tulane

The positive? Rogers may be the best defensive player in the entire 2016 draft class. The negative? He has trouble hitting. Serious trouble. Rogers’s ability to throw out baserunners and block pitches in the dirt alone should be enough to get him to the big leagues, but the bat needs to come to life if he wants to become a full-time starter at some point.

86. Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Arizona

Dalbec is your typical Mark Reynolds-type player – lots of strikeouts, lots of home runs. His power numbers have inexplicably dropped this year, but he still has the swing and mechanics to suggest he can re-capture them at the next level. He also plays a decent third base, even if he isn’t the quickest player out there.

87. Will Smith, C, Louisville

Smith is a fantastic defensive catcher, and his bat has suddenly come alive in his junior season with the Cardinals. He doesn’t put up great power numbers by any means, but he has shown an ability to hit for contact and has some decent speed on the bases for a catcher. Expect him to either in the second or third round.

88. Logan Ice, C, Oregon State

Ice is a lot like Smith in that he has an interesting combination of offensive ability and defensive skill at the catching position. No certain area of his game stands out, but he is a well-rounded switch-hitter that should be able to stay behind the plate long term.

89. Reggie Lawson, RHP, Victor Valley HS (California)

This spring has not been kind to Lawson’s stock. He has battled injury issues and has struggled with his control and stuff even when healthy. Still, his frame and form show some promise, but Lawson needs to stop regressing if he wants to get anywhere. Maybe time with some professional training is just what he needs.

90. Zach Jackson, RHP, Arkansas

Jackson throws a terrific breaking ball and an above-average fastball, but his struggles in his junior season with the Razorbacks drop him quite a bit in these rankings. He’s certainly got the stuff to be a dominant closer or even a potential starter in the pros, but he needs to correct whatever has gone wrong this spring.

91. Griffin Jax, RHP, Air Force

Jax boasts a very good fastball to go along with above-average command and control. He seems to have what it takes to be a starter in the next level, but he needs to get some consistency out of his breaking pitches.

92. Adam Laskey, LHP, Haddon Heights HS (New Jersey)

Laskey should probably be a little higher in these rankings, but a strong commitment to Duke could make him tough to sign. As far as ability goes, though, Laskey is very talented for a high school pitcher. He has impressive control for a teenager and throws two plus pitches: a fastball and a changeup.

93. Ryan Zeferjahn, RHP, Seaman HS (Kansas)

At age 17 one year ago, Zeferjahn showed the ability to touch the mid-90s with his fastball. Standing at 6’4 and just 190 pounds, he may be able to get consistently high velocity as he fills out. A little bit of effort to his delivery could see him settle into a bullpen role down the road, but if he improves the rest of his repertoire (slider, changeup) he could be an effective big league pitcher some day.

94. Skylar Szynski, RHP, Penn HS (Indiana)

Szynski has a clean, consistent delivery and an impressive arsenal. He commands his fastball very well while also boasting a decent curveball and a changeup that has some potential.

95. Mason Thompson, RHP, Round Rock HS (Texas)

Thompson is an extremely intriguing prospect, standing at 6’7 and just 180 pounds but still being able to throw a mid-90s fastball with movement. Once he fills out, he should be able to hike up the velocity even more. However, he comes with some risks. Thompson only pitched one inning this year since he had Tommy John after his junior year in 2015. Question marks, including one about his allegedly strong commitment to Texas, are everywhere, but he has the tools to develop into a stud.

96. Jeff Belge, LHP, Henninger HS (New York)

Belge stands at 6’4 and throws a nice curveball to go along with a decent fastball. He also got into really good shape over the winter, which could add to his potential. The issue with Belge, though, is that he is a left-handed pitcher but is blind in his right eye. So far, though, it has not seemed to hinder him.

97. Austin Hays, OF, Jacksonville

Hays did not have a very impressive season at the plate in 2015 with Jacksonville, but his performance in the Cape Cod League last summer along with his skill in the outfield could draw some interest.

98. Walker Robbins, 1B, George County HS (Mississippi)

Robbins is a smart, live-drive hitter with a good eye and hard swing. He doesn’t run well, like most first basemen, but plays above-average defense compared to other high schoolers that play the position.

99. Matthias Dietz, RHP, John A. Logan Community College

Dietz falls back in the rankings since he has only seen junior college competition, but it’s tough to ignore the fact that he has dominated this year. He finished with a 12-1 record, 1.22 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 103 innings. His ability to throw strikes and his 6’6 frame have certainly drawn some looks for Dietz, who will play at TCU next year if he doesn’t sign with a pro organization.

100. Ray Gaither, RHP, Coppell HS (Texas)

Even though Gaither’s somewhat unorthodox delivery may relegate him to a bullpen role as a professional, he has really good stuff and can consistently hit the strike zone. His fastball has a lot of movement and he has also shown the potential to throw good curveballs, changeups and sliders.