Since many here work in college ball, HS ball and Showcases I wonder what is your take on the 2016 top prospects for the draft so far. of course during next season things can Change but I read at many places that the draft is supposed to be weak at the top without obvious star prospects. I read that it is especially lacking polished hitting prospects in college and pitchers likely will go first albeit there aren't really many super prospects out there too.

many like HS pitcher groome. he has great stuff and while most Teams don't like to draft HS pitchers at number 1 Overall he might be the best choice given the lack of alternatives.

there are also college pitchers AJ puk and alec Hansen. both throw hard but had relatively mediocre college stats and command issues (high walk rates). still they are good prospects but not really what you want in a top 3 pick, if you draft a raw hard thrower you can just as well draft a HS pitcher.

who do you think will go first?

Original Post
CaCO3Girl posted:

I was surprised to see the amount of Catchers on the super high end of the PG top prospects list.  Do MLB teams like catchers to mature in College first or does a HS catcher have a decent shot of making the first round?

Those players whom you're referencing are very good hitters that happen to play the position of Catcher. I've come across the stat that 45-50% of pro catchers started out as a IFs or OFs.

CaCO3Girl posted:

I was surprised to see the amount of Catchers on the super high end of the PG top prospects list.  Do MLB teams like catchers to mature in College first or does a HS catcher have a decent shot of making the first round?

Super High is relative, mlb.com only has one catcher among the top 50 draft prospects http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2016/?list=draft and he is a college player. If a high school player gets drafted high it is only natural that he either is a pitcher or a very good hitter who can also play a premium position (catcher, short, centerfield). You need to hit and you also need to project for a premium position, first base/leftfield only types have a hard time getting drafted high even if they can hit well unless they have unreal power ( hitting not just home runs but upper deck type monster shots).

CaCO3Girl posted:

I was surprised to see the amount of Catchers on the super high end of the PG top prospects list.  Do MLB teams like catchers to mature in College first or does a HS catcher have a decent shot of making the first round?

It's not important to put much thought into what position a kid plays (position players). Most of them will change positions at the next level (college or pro). Those who move on can hit and are athletic enough to play any position. The exception are a handful of big time mashers.

Buster Posey was FSU's starting shortstop before moving to catcher. He volunteered for the move. It was a combination of the previous catcher leaving and an all SEC shortstop transferring in.

RJM posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:

I was surprised to see the amount of Catchers on the super high end of the PG top prospects list.  Do MLB teams like catchers to mature in College first or does a HS catcher have a decent shot of making the first round?

It's not important to put much thought into what position a kid plays (position players). Most of them will change positions at the next level (college or pro). Those who move on can hit and are athletic enough to play any position. The exception are a handful of big time mashers.

Buster Posey was FSU's starting shortstop before moving to catcher. He volunteered for the move. It was a combination of the previous catcher leaving and an all SEC shortstop transferring in.

I'm not knocking anyone....BUT.....I read a report awhile back on CNN that said catchers in MLB are lacking in one key area...CATCHING!  If people rarely recruit catchers to BE catchers this could explain a lot. 

regarding catchers that learned to catch in the minors:

that happens but it is probably much more common that a HS catcher gets moved to another Position. yes to Play in MLB you Need to hit but the requirements to catch in the big leagues are very high and most fringy catching prospects that can hit get moved (some to protect their Body like harper but most because they just can't catch in the Majors).

if MLB would be "bat first" with catchers they would just put failed outfield prospects behind the plate instead of having a backup catcher with a .600 OPS.

 

of course glove only doesn't work in MLB, but catchers are the weakest hitting Position and the most likely Position for a weaker bat (note that a weaker MLB bat is still an amazing batter that likely batted well over 400 in high School) to make an MLB roster. there have been a few exceptions like Vmart and Napoli but generally you have to be extremely polished to make the Majors and catchers on average are on the older side of most rookies compared to other positions.

If we are talking first round or first couple rounds, you will see lots of pitching in most any year.  Other than that it is all about talent, more than about position.

Last year I believe the first three picks were shortstops.  This was actually very unusual.  And yes, there have been first baseman drafted early out of HS.. Prince Fielder, Eric Hosmer, Freddie Freeman, off the top of my mind. Yes there have been HS catchers also drafted early.  Austin Hedges, Joey Mauer, and several others.  Mauer was actually the first over all pick.

Not sure about MLB catchers being weak behind the plate.  Some better than others, but that is not where you want someone that can't catch.  Actually I think some of today's catchers are among the best ever defensively.  The Cardinals catcher might be one of the best ever.

I can't find the original article, but this was similar in theme.  Some catchers appear to be hurting their pitchers, not helping them.  I have a very rudimentary understanding of how difficult it is to learn how to pitch 95+mph, I get why those guys are prized above all others in the draft.  However, it surprises me that helpful catchers aren't usually utilized as catchers. Between the framing, blocking, and tracking a catcher needs to do...well, I just thought it was a more specialized thing and not just any athletic person could pick it up.

http://espn.go.com/espn/featur...ankees-espn-magazine

CaCO3Girl posted:
RJM posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:

I was surprised to see the amount of Catchers on the super high end of the PG top prospects list.  Do MLB teams like catchers to mature in College first or does a HS catcher have a decent shot of making the first round?

It's not important to put much thought into what position a kid plays (position players). Most of them will change positions at the next level (college or pro). Those who move on can hit and are athletic enough to play any position. The exception are a handful of big time mashers.

Buster Posey was FSU's starting shortstop before moving to catcher. He volunteered for the move. It was a combination of the previous catcher leaving and an all SEC shortstop transferring in.

I'm not knocking anyone....BUT.....I read a report awhile back on CNN that said catchers in MLB are lacking in one key area...CATCHING!  If people rarely recruit catchers to BE catchers this could explain a lot. 

CaCO3

RJM is correct. College coaches and pro organizations will determine at which positions where the player will play.  While the class is full of catchers, so few, in fact very few will catch at a higher level.  The amount of work put in to be a  catcher is amazing.  In college, not only do you have to work with your pitchers you are to work at hitting. And accuracy with the throw and pop times, etc., etc. Keep in mind that Yadi is so successful at stopping runners from stealing,  that's essential.   It's just the one position that multi tasks more than any other. This is strongly a part of who becomes a catcher (makeup) and who doesn't,  and while its so much fun to catch in middle or high school, that's a walk in the park compared to college and college compared to  pro ball. Its a very hard job and most can't do it. They take a beating like no other and if you are aware, it has been a very dangerous position as well.

Not sure if you checked lately, but some of the best players in the game today are catchers! While some are exceptional, most have the same qualities. Their leadership and management is A+, they can hit and catch.  They also have great relationships with their pitchers. And of course to put your body through hell is a very large part of it. Framing is a skill, it also has to be learned along with the other skills required to catch.  But you can not catch at the big league level unless you can hit.  

It's important to note that many MLB managers  were catchers.  

joemktg posted:

Jason will go first. Riley Pint will be in the top 10 if not top 5, as will Blake Rutherford. AJ Puk and Alec Hansen should be joined by Connor Jones (UVA) and Kyle Funkhouser (Louisville).

Circling back on the main topic...

BaseballAmerica, MLB.com, Fangraphs, PG, etc., all have their take on the draft, and the variances are significant. It's becoming obvious that there is a delta between these 3rd parties opines and the scouting community, and until there is hard reporting based on the scouting community, these lists need to be questioned.

Having said that, it's solid that Jason G. will be a top 5 pick. After that, from the HS grad class, who knows. Last time I checked, Fangraphs doesn't have a pick. 

 I truly think that some of these mock drafts are simply a copy of another. If a kid makes some noise early lets say his Freshman or Sophomore year, then he will never go away. Everyone of these websites lock on to about 30-40 names and they never turn loose.  I like to see these clubs that take a kid in the 2nd-4th round that nobody has in their top 500. But they can't risk losing him so they pop him in the 3rd round and he turns out to be the real deal. Heck even I could make a great pick in the first round.

Mock drafts are simply predictions.  I don't even get involved with the ones we do.  The most accurate mock draft would be based on information gathered, usually from MLB clubs. I do know we don't have to copy anyone else because we actually see most all the players. But mock drafts are just repeating what others that are involved with the draft are thinking. Not many secrets these days.

We spend much more time doing our player rankings.  Those rankings are based on what we have seen and what we really think.  They are usually fairly close to the actual draft but there are some big differences at times. Personally I think just about everybody that ranks players copies that list a little.  After all, it has proven to be pretty accurate over many years now.

The draft doesn't have a lot of surprises in the first round.  But it usually has a player or so not go in the first round that we thought should have. Usually any surprise pick is by a club that has more than one first round pick or an attempt to save money for later round picks.

Also several players simply give unrealistic demands for signing.  That is why you see some highly ranked players being skipped over in the early rounds. Every once in awhile a player is just unsignable, and tells clubs he is going to college no matter where he is drafted.  That is another reason why some highly regarded prospects go late or go undrafted.

Also in our rankings we don't consider make up, but the MLB clubs sure do. We rank kids on talent only.  but we get plenty of calls from scouting departments asking... How's his make up?  We can only answer that question when we really know a player well and have seen him many times. Even then, you never know for sure.

It is too early to know who the first few picks will be.  A lot can happen before draft day.  If I had the first pick today I would pick Jason Groome. But it would be nice to see our home town boy (AJ Puk) be the first pick. All those being considered right now have been to PG events, even those mentioned in this thread.  So however it ends up we will be happy.  Even if we disagree with the pick.

 

 

Wouldn't it be smart to not go so much after final season results? Of course at that age it could very well be real development but in theory teams could buy low on guys with not so spectacular last seasons, right?

guys like Harper or Strasburg who are unanimous number 1 picks almost before the last draft before their draft are probably rare.

Two important things regarding the early picks.

1. Almost always they are well known by the scouting community long before their final season.

2. They performed well in that final season. That final spring is vitally important. Prospects move up or down in the draft during that period.

Sometimes a player misses his final season or part of it due to injury.  Then scouting departments will go by what they have in the past.  BTW, there have been several pitchers go in the first round in the past few years that missed part or all of their final season.  A few were even rehabbing from TJ surgery.  Though chances are they would have been picked even earlier without the injury.

Some picks I don't understand. For example Alex bregman by the Astros. He is a good player with very good college stats but the scouting reports basically read average tools across the board (average defense, average power, average arm, average speed, might not stick at short...). I also read he is gritty and has the intangibles plus an advanced approach at the plate ( good eye, can take a walk) and that is all great but don't you want outstanding tools ( like Kris Bryant) at number 1 overall? Rogers probably has much better tools and he went third. Was Bergman a money saving move because the had another top10 pick?

Or was he a "moneyball" pick were an advanced college hitter that can take a walk is taken over a more toolsy player because he has less bust potential and arrives quicker?

 

 

 

Alex was one of the best high school hitters in his class.  We selected him for the PG All American Classic as a 2B and catcher.  We thought at the time that is where he best profiled. He has always been a top guy with the bat, and he has championship caliber make up.

At LSU he continued to show his hitting ability and he improved in every phase of the game, especially on defense as a shortstop.  Maybe he will end up at SS, but his value is that he can play several different positions. To me his is a right handed hitting Alex Gordon.  Gordon started as an infielder.  

Bregman's ceiling is one of the best hitters in the Big Leagues. At worst you have a high quality utility guy that plays regularly.  While others might have more elite level tools, there is much less risk with Bregman. If the Astros would have passed on him, he wouldn't have lasted much more than a couple picks.

PGStaff posted:

Alex was one of the best high school hitters in his class.  We selected him for the PG All American Classic as a 2B and catcher.  We thought at the time that is where he best profiled. He has always been a top guy with the bat, and he has championship caliber make up.

At LSU he continued to show his hitting ability and he improved in every phase of the game, especially on defense as a shortstop.  Maybe he will end up at SS, but his value is that he can play several different positions. To me his is a right handed hitting Alex Gordon.  Gordon started as an infielder.  

Bregman's ceiling is one of the best hitters in the Big Leagues. At worst you have a high quality utility guy that plays regularly.  While others might have more elite level tools, there is much less risk with Bregman. If the Astros would have passed on him, he wouldn't have lasted much more than a couple picks.

 

I'm not saying he is not a good prospect. he was projected as a top10 pick by most.

however at two Overall I think most Teams want a Talent like kris bryant or so. of course still quite a few number 2 picks never become a star but you want at least star upside usually.

the scouting reports say his Tools have about 50-55 as future value

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/...ortstop-alex-bregman

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs...-10-draft-prospects/

of course such a Player still can be good (Dustin pedroia is often mentioned)  but most top 3 picks have one or more future 70s (or even 80s) in their grading Profile.

for example 2014 second pick kolek got a 70-80 future FB grade, bryant obviously has 70-80 power, 2012 number 2 buxton has future 70s all over the board (except power). of course those Players still all can fail but still it is unusual that a Player that has no future grade projected above 60 to be drafted second Overall.

 

 

I understand your point, but I also know the Astros graded him better than those writers did.  I mean one of those writers gave him a present 35 as a hitter at LSU. You can't go watch a game and accurately grade a hitter. Hell, there were days when Willie Mays looked like a 3 hitter or worse.

I think his potential as a hitter should be a 7 grade.  I also think he grades better on power.

I agree that the #2 pick should have all star potential.  Also agree there were better tools guys below him.  But I can't think of one that was a better hitter.  I talked to a high level Astros scout and they believe Bregman does have all star potential.

We all know that even the surest bet can fail.  Bregman isn't one of those "wow" guys.  But the reward could be very substantial and the risk is relatively low.  His make up can't be over looked.  If the Astros would have selected someone else, I think Bregman would have gone in the next couple picks.  Anywhere in that range teams are looking for a future all star player.

I don't mind going out on a limb, because I've been wrong before. I think Bregman will chase a batting title and hit 20+ HRs and be an above average defensive player in the Big Leagues. 

 

Yeah maybe his hit tool was underrated in the reports. I have read that his swing is a little unconventional but he has very good contact skills, ok power and a good eye that should help his tool.

i can understand the Astros were looking for a safe pick after drafting a bust in Appel ( I know he is not done yet but they shipped him as a secondary piece for a relief pitcher so for them he is a bust). With his position and solid hitting he is probably a safe pick to become a 3-4 war player and maybe a little more.

Bolts-Coach-PR posted:

How anyone could possibly underrate a kid that bats .369 (No. 2 in the nation in base hits with 104) at LSU, in the freakin' SEC, AS A FRESHMAN!?!.. Is beyond me...

80 hits in his first 66 minor league games last year.  

I'm sure he'll figure out how to hit sooner or later.  

They have seen enough IMO, but here is something to think about regarding the past history of Jason Groome.  Each year he starts off kind of slow and after awhile it all has kicked in.  Each year he has had a significant gain.  He is still very young for his class.  So it is really hard to imagine him improving a lot more, but his past and his age suggests he will.  So taking a month off before the draft "could" cost him a slot or two in the draft.  I know, it shouldn't and it's scary to think he is going to get better.

I don't think the incident will lower his stock. The teams have seen what he can do and the draft is supposed to be rather weak. Teams look for top level talent in the top 5 and there are basically him and pint and then some drop off to the number 3 whoever that is. Top talent is rare and groome and pint are the top talents of the class ( since the supposed top college pitchers like puk have their issues).

teams won't pick an inferior prospect because a player was banned for a month over a technicality, a number one pick only comes once a decade for most teams and you want a potential superstar.

The difference between the first pick and the third pick is about $2.5 million.  The reason he has been suspended is a technicality in the NJHS transfer rules.  So that sure isn't going to hurt him.  But not throwing in a game for a month at this time of year could cause a team to choose someone else that catches fire.  I wouldn't rule out Puk either. Last year at this time he was suspended for climbing a crane.  Two month later he was the favorite to be the first pick this year.

Truth is, If I were responsible for making the first pick, It would be easy, I pick Groome.  He is the best HS pitching prospect we have seen in a long time.  And we have seen just about all of them. When we see a 16 year old lefty that is about 6'6", throwing mid to higher 90s with a plus breaking ball and the best command ever and it all comes out of the most effortless delivery you will ever see.  Pretty hard to beat that package.  Though you can't ignore what Riley Pint is doing.

IMO, this is a very good year for HS hitters. And there are some other excellent arms, too.

PGStaff posted:

The difference between the first pick and the third pick is about $2.5 million.  The reason he has been suspended is a technicality in the NJHS transfer rules.  So that sure isn't going to hurt him.  But not throwing in a game for a month at this time of year could cause a team to choose someone else that catches fire.  I wouldn't rule out Puk either. Last year at this time he was suspended for climbing a crane.  Two month later he was the favorite to be the first pick this year.

Truth is, If I were responsible for making the first pick, It would be easy, I pick Groome.  He is the best HS pitching prospect we have seen in a long time.  And we have seen just about all of them. When we see a 16 year old lefty that is about 6'6", throwing mid to higher 90s with a plus breaking ball and the best command ever and it all comes out of the most effortless delivery you will ever see.  Pretty hard to beat that package.  Though you can't ignore what Riley Pint is doing.

IMO, this is a very good year for HS hitters. And there are some other excellent arms, too.

I don't think that month will cost him much if anything. even if someone catches fire the Scouts who draft HS guys probably look for Tools more than anything else and even with the month missed he still throws upper 90s. even if someone hits 10 HRs or throws two no hitters in that month the Scouts still will think that groome and pint are the best Players.

Last week I was talking to a guy who is connected to the Phillies, he used to be a part of the organization and is still very close to it. According to him the Phillies feel that Groome is no doubt the pick to make but they have concerns of him being drafted by and playing in his home market. For those you unfamiliar with the area Barnegat is about 40 or so from Philly (and about 20 miles or so from where Trout is from). I am not sure why that is such a concern assuming he spends a couple of years in the minors to develop but that is what I was told.

Rumors are obviously only worth what the person telling them credibility is worth, the guy who told me this is has been spot on several times over the years with comments of what the Phillies are going to do. I asked straight out if they were planning on drafting him and he said they still haven't decided...

There is so much that goes into the first round picks.  Sometimes they go for who they believe is the best and sometimes they go for a bargain so they have more money for another pick. After all, history shows that the number one pick doesn't always end up being the number one player.  A quick look at who has been MVP and Cy Young winners should tell us that.

old_school posted:

Last week I was talking to a guy who is connected to the Phillies, he used to be a part of the organization and is still very close to it. According to him the Phillies feel that Groome is no doubt the pick to make but they have concerns of him being drafted by and playing in his home market. For those you unfamiliar with the area Barnegat is about 40 or so from Philly (and about 20 miles or so from where Trout is from). I am not sure why that is such a concern assuming he spends a couple of years in the minors to develop but that is what I was told.

Rumors are obviously only worth what the person telling them credibility is worth, the guy who told me this is has been spot on several times over the years with comments of what the Phillies are going to do. I asked straight out if they were planning on drafting him and he said they still haven't decided...

As a long-time Phillies fan, it could be that some of the concern may be related to the team's experience with its 2010 first-round pick, Jesse Biddle, also a high-school LHP. He was from Philadelphia and grew up a Phillies fan, and there has been a belief -- rightly or wrongly -- in Phillies fans' circles that he put too much pressure on himself (particularly once he got to AA, in which the Phillies' affiliate is only about 60 miles away), or was under too much scrutiny, or something like that. Of course, in point of fact, lots of prospects struggle in AA, so who knows if it had anything to do with pressure or scrutiny or anything like that.

And 11 picks after Biddle the Blue Jays picked a RHP picked out of high school in Texas . . . can't recall his name . . . Synder-something . . .

2019Dad posted:
old_school posted:

Last week I was talking to a guy who is connected to the Phillies, he used to be a part of the organization and is still very close to it. According to him the Phillies feel that Groome is no doubt the pick to make but they have concerns of him being drafted by and playing in his home market. For those you unfamiliar with the area Barnegat is about 40 or so from Philly (and about 20 miles or so from where Trout is from). I am not sure why that is such a concern assuming he spends a couple of years in the minors to develop but that is what I was told.

Rumors are obviously only worth what the person telling them credibility is worth, the guy who told me this is has been spot on several times over the years with comments of what the Phillies are going to do. I asked straight out if they were planning on drafting him and he said they still haven't decided...

As a long-time Phillies fan, it could be that some of the concern may be related to the team's experience with its 2010 first-round pick, Jesse Biddle, also a high-school LHP. He was from Philadelphia and grew up a Phillies fan, and there has been a belief -- rightly or wrongly -- in Phillies fans' circles that he put too much pressure on himself (particularly once he got to AA, in which the Phillies' affiliate is only about 60 miles away), or was under too much scrutiny, or something like that. Of course, in point of fact, lots of prospects struggle in AA, so who knows if it had anything to do with pressure or scrutiny or anything like that.

And 11 picks after Biddle the Blue Jays picked a RHP picked out of high school in Texas . . . can't recall his name . . . Synder-something . . .

That's the Baseball God's correcting the error the NY Mets made in 1966 when they picked Steve Chilcott at #1 and left some Reggie guy on the board to be picked at #2. 

And there are others. 

more and more sources now say puk is the number 1 guy. listened to a BA Podcast and they talked up puk and groome a Little down but they generally said that HS arms are a huge risk  that is too big for 1/1.

they also said that pint has the highest upside out of all of them (mentioned syndergaard as a comp too) but they said that his mechanics Need tweaking (said they are jerky and not really fluid) and are currently not starter material so that is a risk (of course minor league pitching coaches will work with him but you never know who well a mechanics Alteration works for a pitcher).

NYdad2017 posted:
2019Dad posted:
old_school posted:

Last week I was talking to a guy who is connected to the Phillies, he used to be a part of the organization and is still very close to it. According to him the Phillies feel that Groome is no doubt the pick to make but they have concerns of him being drafted by and playing in his home market. For those you unfamiliar with the area Barnegat is about 40 or so from Philly (and about 20 miles or so from where Trout is from). I am not sure why that is such a concern assuming he spends a couple of years in the minors to develop but that is what I was told.

Rumors are obviously only worth what the person telling them credibility is worth, the guy who told me this is has been spot on several times over the years with comments of what the Phillies are going to do. I asked straight out if they were planning on drafting him and he said they still haven't decided...

As a long-time Phillies fan, it could be that some of the concern may be related to the team's experience with its 2010 first-round pick, Jesse Biddle, also a high-school LHP. He was from Philadelphia and grew up a Phillies fan, and there has been a belief -- rightly or wrongly -- in Phillies fans' circles that he put too much pressure on himself (particularly once he got to AA, in which the Phillies' affiliate is only about 60 miles away), or was under too much scrutiny, or something like that. Of course, in point of fact, lots of prospects struggle in AA, so who knows if it had anything to do with pressure or scrutiny or anything like that.

And 11 picks after Biddle the Blue Jays picked a RHP picked out of high school in Texas . . . can't recall his name . . . Synder-something . . .

That's the Baseball God's correcting the error the NY Mets made in 1966 when they picked Steve Chilcott at #1 and left some Reggie guy on the board to be picked at #2. 

And there are others. 

To be fair, Chilcott never made the majors because of a major injury, not necessarily poor play.

Dominik85 posted:

more and more sources now say puk is the number 1 guy. listened to a BA Podcast and they talked up puk and groome a Little down but they generally said that HS arms are a huge risk  that is too big for 1/1.

they also said that pint has the highest upside out of all of them (mentioned syndergaard as a comp too) but they said that his mechanics Need tweaking (said they are jerky and not really fluid) and are currently not starter material so that is a risk (of course minor league pitching coaches will work with him but you never know who well a mechanics Alteration works for a pitcher).

Today I saw several articles that said Groome was sliding. He had a bad outing this weekend but they don't really hold that against you. A month ago I would of thought Groome would go 1-1, and Puk about 1-6, but those might be reversed now.

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