We are less than a month away from the 2016 MLB Draft. First round action is scheduled for June 9 at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey.
For fanatics that want to see the action unfold live, it can be seen on MLB Network and MLB.com. The draft is a 3-day event covers a ridiculous 40 rounds.
I’ve put together my mock draft for the first round. Note that there are only 23 official first round picks. Teams who sign free agents away from a team that made a qualifying offer forfeit the rights to their pick.
The only way a team doesn’t lose a first round pick, is if they have one of the first 11 picks. In this scenario the team then forfeits their second round selection.
Those teams who lost out on a free agent signing are awarded a compensation pick. The compensation round immediately follows the first round. I’ve included a list of those teams and the order they will pick below.
There is also what is known as a Competitive Balance Lottery. These are picks that are awarded to teams that have one of the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools.
There are 14 picks total awarded. There are 7 awarded for Round A (follows compensation) and 7 for Round B (follows 2nd round). The order is determined based on a lottery drawing. I’ve included the picks awarded for both rounds at the bottom of the article.
If you need some help with your MLB betting this season, be sure to check out he premium baseball picks from our expert handicappers.
2016 MLB Draft 1st Round Mock
Round 1, Pick 1
It’s unclear who Philadelphia is targeting with the top pick. I have to believe they are targeting a starting pitcher. My top rated prospect is Groome out of Barnegat High School. Groome is a lengthy (6’6) lefty with a fast ball that an reach up to 95 mph. He won’t be in the big leagues for a few years, but this figures to be a wise investment for the rebuilding Phillies.
Round 1, Pick 2
Cincinnati is in a great spot in this draft. The Reds desperately need to retool their rotation. Even if Groome goes No. 1, they will have their pick of two more big time talents. They can go with the potential of Riley Pint out of high school or A.J. Pulk out of Florida. The key here is that all 3 have the potential to be the top player in this draft.
Round 1, Pick 3
This year’s draft is loaded with pitching prospects. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Braves made it 3 for 3 to start things off. However, I believe Atlanta needs to focus more on improving their offense. Louisville’s Corey Ray can do just that. The outfielder is a potential 5-tool star.
Round 1, Pick 4
There’s some mock drafts that have Pulk going No. 1 to the Phillies. I wouldn’t be surprised, but I have rated slightly below the two high schoolers. Colorado is definitely in need of pitching help and simply can’t pass up on Pulk if he’s still on the board here.
Round 1, Pick 5
Milwaukee has holes all across the diamond and I look for them to come in targeting Nick Senzel out of Tenn. Some have Senzel rated as the top college bat in the country. Not only does he possess potential to be a power hitter, he has a great understanding of the strike zone. There are some questions about his defense and where exactly he will play, but that can be figured out in time.
Round 1, Pick 6
Perez is a top 5 talent, making him a steal for the A’s if he falls to them at No. 6. If it wasn’t for the Brewers already having a top prospect at short in Orlando Arcia, he would likely be gone. Oakland can definitely put him to good use. Keep in mind they traded Addison Russell away a couple years back to the Cubs. Like Russell, Perez is an outstanding defender and has the tools to be a force at the plate in time.
Round 1, Pick 7
Miami has some talented young outfielders in the big leagues, but I still think they take one here. Blake Rutherford has the potential to develop into a perineal All-Star outfielder. He’s got the power and speed to be a rare 20/20 guy.
San Diego Padres
Round 1, Pick 8
San Diego’s free agent spending spree a couple years back was a complete bust. The Padres are on the verge of a major rebuilding phase, which means they could go a number of directions. I have them taking California high school prospect Mickey Moniak. While not a huge power hitter, Moniak is a plus defender and has above-average speed. The perfect tools to succeed at PETCO Park.
Round 1, Pick 9
It wasn’t that long ago the Tigers had one of the better rotations in baseball. That’s not the case anymore. Detroit used it’s first round pick last year on Beau Burrows and I look for them to strike again. This time on New York high school prospect Ian Anderson. Injuries have dropped his stock some, but he’s a legit top 10 talent.
Chicago White Sox
Round 1, Pick 10
Chicago has quietly put together one of the better rotations in baseball. That’s not to say you can ever have enough elite arms, I just feel the White Sox are better off with a position player. Mercer outfielder Kyle Lewis is an intriguing option. Some have him going as high as No. 1 overall, but others are concerned about his lack of competition. He’s got the skills to be an absolute steal at this point in the draft.
Round 1, Pick 11
Seattle is another team that isn’t in desperate need of pitching help. Thought it wouldn’t surprise me if they went that direction. I have them going with Florida outfielder Buddy Reed. He’s a switch-hitting outfielder with speed. He’s got the versatility to play all three outfield positions and is a plus defender. Could develop into a big time threat at the top of Seattle’s order for years to come.
Boston Red Sox
Round 1, Pick 12
The one thing that has kept the Red Sox from the playoffs the past couple of seasons is their starting pitching. Even the offseason addition of David Price hasn’t paid off like they had hoped (at least not yet). The good news for Boston is there’s will be a lot of options on the board when they are up at No. 12. Instead of taking a high schooler to develop, I look for them to go with someone who can make a quicker jump to the majors. Mississippi State’s Dakota Hudson is just that.
Tampa Bay Rays
Round 1, Pick 13
You could argue Tampa Bay needs offense over pitching, but the options just aren’t there. At least not at this point in the first round. Unless they reach on one of the top young shortstops, look of the Rays to take another arm. I have them taking the 6’5 Wentz, who can already reach 95 mph with his fastball.
Round 1, Pick 14
I have the Indians taking Braxton Garrett out of Florence High School in Alabama. Garrett would have likely been a Top 10 pick, but he had Tommy John surgery as a junior. That’s not as big of a red flag as it was 10 years ago. This kid has a mid 90’s fastball with a devastating power curve. He’s a strikeout machine and that’s something big league teams love. May very well be the most underrated player in the draft.
Round 1, Pick 15
Minnesota has one of the worst bullpens in the big leagues at the moment. While it might be a bit early to take a relief pitcher, I think the Twins pull the trigger on Matt Manning. He’s the top reliever available and I’ve seen other mocks out there that have him going even higher.
Los Angeles Angels
Round 1, Pick 16
Los Angeles needs pitching help and I look for them to gamble here on Oklahoma’s Alec Hansen. Once considered a top 5 pick in this year’s draft, Hansen has fallen down draft boards with a poor 2016 season. Big league teams aren’t going to overreact. If the Angels pass on him, I’m confident one of the teams behind him in the first round will pull the trigger.
Round 1, Pick 17
Houston figures to be in the market for a starting pitcher in the draft. Virginia’s Connor Jones has the potential to help them out in the near future. I believe he’s flying under the radar due to all the pitching talent in this year’s class. This is a guy who had 113 strikeouts in 115 1/3 innings last year with Virginia. He’s got a 95+ mph fastball and there’s a lot less uncertainty than some of the high school arms ahead of him.
New York Yankees
Round 1, Pick 18
New York keeps the run of pitchers going with Forest Whitley out of Alamo Heights high school in Texas. I wouldn’t be shocked if Whitley was off the board at this point, making him an easy selection for the Yankees. Whitley is a bit of a project with a huge upside. He’s got a massive frame at 6’7 250 lbs, so durability shouldn’t be an issue. What will draw teams attention to him is the uptick to 97 mph from 94 mph on his fastball from 2015 to 2016.
New York Mets
Round 1, Pick 19
I’m a little bit higher on Jones than others, but I really think this kid has star potential written all over him. He’s got the ability to play both short and third base, two positions of need for the Mets.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Round 1, Pick 20
Lowe is an intriguing prospect. The Georgia prep star has the ability to play either third base in the field or groomed as pitcher. Not something you find a lot. Both positions of need for the Dodgers at this time. LA can get him into his farm system and decide what the best course of action is.
Round 1, Pick 21
Toronto has more than enough offense at the moment, so it would be a surprise if they didn’t take a pitcher here. I have them taking Kevin Gowdy, who has the potential to be a back of the rotation starter or come out of the bullpen.
Round 1, Pick 22
This 18-year-old prospect would be a nice addition to the Pirates farm system. Mendoza is climbing up a number of mock draft. Pittsburgh has a trio of outfielders that will be around for quite some time, but could use some help in the infield. Mendoza is listed as a shortstop, but also figures to be able to play third. He’s more than worth the risk at this point in the first round.
St. Louis Cardinals
Round 1, Pick 23
The Cardinals have one of the best catchers in the game in Yadier Molina, but he’s past his prime. St Louis needs to make sure they have a replacement ready for when he hangs it up. Collins out of Miami is considered the top catcher in the draft. Great value and a fills a position of need for the Cardinals.
No. 24 – San Diego Padres (Justin Upton, Tigers forfeited 3rd round pick)
No. 25 – San Diego Padres (Ian Kennedy, Royals forfeited 1st round pick)
No. 26 – Chicago White Sox (Jeff Samardzija, Giants forfeited 1st round pick)
No. 27 – Baltimore Orioles (Wei-Yin Chen, Marlins forfeited 2nd round pick)
No. 28 – Washington Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann, Tigers forfeited 2nd round pick)
No. 29 – Washington Nationals (Ian Desmond, Rangers forfeited 1st round pick)
No. 30 – Texas Rangers (Yovani Gallardo, Orioles forfeited 1st round pick)
No. 31 – New York Mets (Daniel Murphy, Nationals forfeited 1st round pick)
No. 32 – Los Angeles Dodgers (Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks forfeited 1st round pick)
No. 33 – St. Louis Cardinals (John Lackey, Cubs forfeited 1st round pick)
No. 34 – St. Louis Cardinals (Jason Heyward, Cubs forfeited 2nd round pick)
Lottery Round A
No. 35 – Cincinnati Reds
No. 36 – Los Angeles Dodgers (Compensation for not signing No. 35 pick in 2015)
No. 37 – Oakland A’s
No. 38 – Colorado Rockies
No. 39 – Arizona Diamondbacks
No. 40 – Atlanta Braves (Via trade with Marlins)
No. 41 – Pittsburgh Pirates
Lottery Round B
No. 71 – San Diego Padres
No. 72 – Cleveland Indians
No. 73 – Minnesota Twins
No. 74 – Minnesota Twins (Compensation for not signing No. 73 pick in 2015)
No. 75 – Milwaukee Brewers
No. 76 – Baltimore Orioles
No. 77 – Tampa Bay Rays