The 2015 MLB draft lasted 40 rounds and 3 days, with 1,215 players going overall. The very last player chosen was Jacob McDavid, a right-handed pitcher from Oral Robert University who is now the property of the Anaheim Angels. Looking ahead to the 2016 MLB betting season, some prospects are already emerging as primo picks.
An Exclusive MLB Betting Report on the 2016 MLB Draft
Among high school pitchers, Riley Pint from Lenexa, Kansas, pitches for St. Thomas Aquinas High School. He stands 6’5” and weight in at 190 pounds throwing a fastball between 94 and 97 miles per hour. His spike curveball is another plus pitch. Lefthander Jason Groome (6’6”, 180) is from New Jersey has only hit 96 on the gun, but his effortless arm action could get his pace up over 100 miles per hour. Some other pitchers to look for include Jeff Belge (Syracuse Henninger HS, NY), Cole Ragans (Tallahassee North Florida Christian HS, FL), Charles King (Coppell HS, TX), Reggie Lawson (Adelanto Victor Valley HS, CA), and Braxton Garrett (Florence HS, Alabama).
When it comes to high school position players, the 2016 draft could be a weak one – except for catchers. T.J. Collett (Terre Haute North Vigo HS, IN), Thomas Dillard (Cordova Briarcrest Christian HS, TN), Brad Debo (Durham Orange HS, NC), Cooper Johnson (Mundelein Carmel Catholic HS, IL) and Herbert Iser (Miami Killian HS, FL) are all elite-level prospects behind the plate. Johnson is the best defensively and is the only one who bats from the right side. Iser and Debo represent the best all-around prospects.
One other high school position who stands out is Blake Rutherford (Simi Valley Chaminade Prep, CA), an outfielder who could go in the top 15 because of his smooth left-handed swing and general athleticism.
College pitching is generally the factor that determines whether a draft class is considered strong, which is a factor in the low rating of the 2015 class. Teams are looking for pitchers who could move to the top of the rotation without having to go through that risk window of four to six years. Oklahoma righthander Alec Hansen and Florida lefty A.J. Puk are both 6’7”, and they both hit the mid-90s regularly while featuring nasty breaking pitches as well. Georgia righty Robert Tyler and Vanderbilt righty Jordan Sheffield have ceilings that are comparable but have been set back by injuries. Tommy John surgery has impacted Stanford righty Cal Quantrill and Oregon lefty Matt Krook. The Marlins chose Krook in the first round out of high school in 2013, but he did not sign. Logan Shore and Dane Dunning, both pitching for Florida, are worth remembering, as are Anthony Kay (Connecticut) and Blake Crohan (Winthrop), both southpaws.
The 2016 draft will also have an unusually high number of college position players, led by Nick Banks, the right fielder at Texas A&M. He grades out average or above in all of the MLB tool areas and has plus arm strength, speed and raw power. Ryan Boldt (Nebraska) and Corey Ray (Louisville) are true center fielders who have some power in addition to plus defensive skills and speed. Chris Okey (Clemson) has a reputation as the nation’s top college catcher, and if he has a solid spring, he will get a look in the first round. Bobby Dalbec (Arizona, 3B) and Zach Collins (Miami, C/1B) demonstrate the hitting power that teams want in the middle third of their batting order.