Trevor Groves

2016 MLB Draft In Review: Round 2

Scout's 2016 MLB Draft Expert Jeff Ellis breaks down the picks in the second round.

Click here to read Jeff's review of round one

Click here to read Jeff's review of the compensation and competitive balance round A rounds

42. Philadelphia Phillies: Kevin Gowdy RHP Santa Barbara HS

This was a pick that has been telegraphed for months. He was Gillick’s guy all along. A safe right handed arm who has some number two upside. He is the safest of the right handed prep arms in this class, but still has some projection left. A good value pick here, he could be another Nola type pitcher for them down the road.

43. Cincinnati Reds: Chris Okey C Clemson 

I was a big fan of this pick and thought Okey could possibly sneak into the first round. He is the best pure catcher in this class. He has excelled the last two years at Clemson and was a well known prep player. There is an above average bat here for the catcher position. He hits and has shown some power as well. He's the third pick for the Reds who projects as a plus offensive player down the road for them.

44. Atlanta Braves: Kyle Muller Jesuit College Prep

The talk here was that Muller was going to get taken here or head to Texas in the fall. The big left hander slid a bit, but was widely viewed as one of the top five prep left handers in this draft. I liked him better than Cole Ragans, who went 14 picks earlier. I am willing to bet that Muller will cost more than Ragans, though. The Braves used the money they had to take a first round talent with every single pick. They didn’t get one of the top talents in the class, but hit a double with every single pick so far.

45. Colorado Rockies: Ben Bowden LHP Vanderbilt

At one point, I had Bowden as a top 30 player in this class. After his summer on the Cape and an encouraging start, I was intrigued by the big left hander. He was a lot like Dunning earlier, a very good pitcher who got stuck in a numbers game for a top university and ended up in the pen. If he had been at most other schools, he would have been starting for years. He could move quickly as a left handed reliever, but I would at least give him an extended look as a possible starter   

46. Oakland A's: Logan Shore RHP Florida

There won't be 46 players better than Shore in this draft. If I was placing odds, he would be the favorite to be the first non reliever up to the majors. He will rejoin his teammate, AJ Puk. The A’s were extremely focused on pitching this year. They stuck to the college ranks, which is their typical approach. Shore isn’t flashy, but he gets results. He should be a solid number five starter for a lot of years to come. 

48. San Diego Padres: Buddy Reed OF Florida

Here we saw back to back picks from Florida. Reed, at the start of the college season, had top ten talk, and now he barely goes in the top ten in round two. He is a sure plus defender in center, but I am not sure if he will hit enough to ever be a starter. All the tools are there for him to be a special player, but he has not been able to put it together so far. He has played for a great program with excellent coaches, which is why I doubt the ability for a power staff to magically fix Reed.

49. Chicago White Sox: Alec Hansen RHP Oklahoma

It was quite the fall for Hansen, who many thought was going to be the top player in this class at this time last year. The White Sox do have one of the better histories when it comes to pitcher development, so this might be an ideal spot. I think there is a chance for a reliever, at worst, here, and if the White Sox can straighten out Hansen, they just got one of the steals of the draft.

50. Seattle Mariners: Joe Rizzo OF Oakton HS

This is a pick I can get behind. Dipoto has a history of taking prep players in round two, and what he got here was a hitter. Rizzo is all of 5’9”, has no defined position, and is not a great athlete, but was still universally loved by people I talk to. This is a kid who can fall out of bed and get a base hit. He has one of the best hit tools in the entire draft class, along with Rutherford and Carlos Cortes. I don’t know where he will end up, but just because of how good of a hitter he is you have to like him as a safe prep hitter. One side note, am I alone in this or does he look like he could pass for the cousin of Kit Harington as well? Go take a minute and look it up. 

51. Boston Red Sox:  C.J. Chatham SS Florida Atlantic

Chatham had a lot of late run in the process. In a class that was very weak at shortstop, Chatham emerged as quite possibly the top college player at the position. He has had late first round to early second round talk, so I don’t think this is a slam dunk savings pick. So I found this selection very interesting because, unless the Red Sox do nothing else but draft juniors, I can’t see how they will afford Groome in round 1.

52. Arizona Diamondbacks: Andrew Yerzy C York Mills Collegiate Institute

This was a surprising pick for a couple of reasons. First off,  I was very surprised to see the Diamondbacks taking a prep player this early after shunning the prep ranks a year ago. Second, this was the first player that was very off the board. I will be honest, I was not familiar with him at all. After reading reports, his calling card seems to be left handed power potential.

 53. Tampa Bay Rays:  Ryan Boldt OF Nebraska 

I was a huge fan of Boldt when he was just a high school kid. I compared him to David Dahl and thought that, before his injury, he was going to be a top-10 pick in 2013. Instead, he went to college and seemed to stagnate over the next three years. He had the tools to dominate the Big Ten, but felt more like an afterthought. I was a little surprised to see Tampa take him, as they have typically been all about upside, but maybe they think they can unlock the potential in him. He should have at least average power and plus speed, with the ability to play center. Tampa has done a great job developing centerfield types in the past, so I am very curious to see what they can do.

54. Baltimore Orioles: Keegan Akin LHP Western Michigan

I had heard there was a chance for Akin to go in the first, and there was no chance he was getting into the second. I saw him, for about two innings, duel with Eric Lauer and, on that day, he looked to be the better pitcher. He is undersized and often did not go super deep into games, so many think he is more than likely a reliever. I am inclined to agree with his assessment. On the day I saw him, his slider looked like a plus pitch and his fastball was hitting 95 from the left side. It is a profile of a back end, left handed reliever. He's a guy who could move quickly and help Baltimore.

55. Cleveland Indians: Nolan Jones 3B Holy Ghost HS

If you flip the Indians picks, I am a lot happier with their draft. I would also have liked to have gotten one more pick right in my mock. Jones checked all the boxes for the Indians, so much so that I mocked him to the Indians multiple times throughout the process. He was a top 20 guy for most of the writers out there. I wonder if they had a deal in place where he professed he was going to Virginia, and that is how a player as good as Jones slid. I have stated it often, but the kid is a great athlete, who dominated the high school level. He has a great approach and I saw potential 55 grade hit and power tools. 

56. Minnesota Twins:  Ben Rortvedt C Verona HS

It is so odd to see a pair of Milwaukee prep players go in the top 60 players of the draft. This year saw a few states with stronger than typical prep classes. I am not sure if Rortvedt can stick at catcher, but the kid can hit and hit for power. He is not a big kid, but the type you might describe as country strong which, along with his bat speed, should generate above average to plus power. The bat will play anywhere but, as a catcher, he could be a top player, which is why he was the first prep catcher off the board.

57. Toronto Blue Jays: J.B. Woodman OF Ole Miss

I am sure there are those out there wondering if I was somehow related to Woodman, considering how much I went to bat for him. This was not the case; I am just a numbers guy who always gets excited about significant statistical improvement. Woodman was a quarterback in school, who was always more tools than production. I don’t think it is surprising that it took him a little longer to get it all together once he started to focus on baseball. Instead of sticking in the past and focusing on the struggles, which I think many people did, I instead looked at his growth. He still has issues and is far from a perfect prospect. Yet, the fact that he was not on most top 100s boggled my mind. I had the same issues with Steven Duggar of Clemson last year, who is now killing it in the minors. Woodman is a great athlete, who took a bit longer after being a multiple sport star. I thought this was a great pick by Toronto, who has had success with another football player turned baseball player recently.

 58. Washington Nationals: Sheldon Neuse SS Oklahoma

Here is another player who had been well thought of out of high school, kind of fell off the map after a weak sophomore year, and then rebounded in a big way this year. He was also a pitcher for Oklahoma, with a fastball in the 90s, which is why I would try him as a catcher. I think he profiles as a super utility type. He's a guy who can play anywhere but center for a day, and give other guys rest, while still getting 300 at bats a year.

59. San Francisco Giants: Bryan Reynolds OF Vanderbilt

There was a lot of talk about why Reynolds slid. I talked with a scout earlier this year, and we both agree that Reynolds was unlikely to be a centerfielder and did not have the arm for right. So he is a more than likely a left fielder who has a bit too much swing and miss. There is one above average tool here, which is his speed. He does walk a lot as well, to help balance the strike outs. It is a fall for a player who was talked about as a top ten pick at points, but I think this is closer to his real value.

60. Los Angeles Angels: Brandon Marsh OF Buford HS

In the first round, I had been told that the Angels were going to take a high upside prep bat. The talk was that Kirilloff was their guy, so when he got popped one pick ahead, they switched to Matt Thaiss, who was, to many, the top college bat. Instead, they get the high ceiling prep athlete here. Marsh, I had heard, was connected to the Pirates, but they passed on him twice. He is extremely raw, but this former wide receiver has plus speed and some power potential, thanks to his 6’4” frame. He is very much your typical boom or bust type.

61. Houston Astros: Ronnie Dawson OF Ohio State

Another player I got to see a few times in person this year. Dawson looks like a linebacker and was one of the better running backs in the state of Ohio as a junior. He still has that speed you would expect from a running back and, when I saw him, had a strong arm to go with it. I have heard others say the arm was below average, but I saw a cannon in two different games, where he was able to get the ball in from left on an absolute rope to the shortstop. He was an extra base machine, who got better every year in school and was the top hitter in the Big Ten this year. There is a chance for a 45 hit tool and 55 power. He carried Ohio State into the College World Series. 

62. New York Yankees: Nick Solak 2B Louisville

This was a pick I was a big fan of;  Solak has hit and hit and hit. He might not have a single loud tool, but he can play solid second and get on base. He is exactly the kind of guy who keeps surprising people down the line. He is a numbers over scouting type, and I believed in him enough to rank him 56. I thought he was a likely third rounder, but I love this pick by the Yankees. They get a second baseman of the future, with on base skills, who rarely strikes out.

63. Texas Rangers: Alex Speas RHP McEachern HS

This pick was a bit of a joke on Twitter. I mean, who would have ever guessed that the Rangers would take an athletic kid, with big velocity, from Georgia. Oh, that’s right, everyone. Speas is darn near close to the definition of a Rangers selection. He is a kid with upside and loud tools, with some of the easiest velocity in this class.

64. New York Mets: Pete Alonso 1B Miami

The Mets were tied heavily to Will Craig, but ended up passing when Justin Dunn fell to them. Then, with their second pick, Anthony Kay was too good a value, so they went with another arm. Alonso is a player in the mold of Craig, though not as polished of a hitter. He doesn’t have the hit tool of Craig, but the power might be better. He is also a righty, like Craig, so the Mets still land a first baseman with some right handed power potential. 

65. Los Angeles Dodgers: Mitchell White RHP Santa Clara

This is another player that was off the board in terms of my knowledge. From what I understand, he is a raw pitcher, who lacks a lot of innings, has good growth potential, and was already a high strikeout guy at a smaller school. There is a lot of growth potential here as, with his build, he could be a mid rotation starter. It is hard to put a floor or ceiling on a kid this raw.

66. Toronto Blue Jays: Bo Bichette 2B Lakewood HS

After a pair of college players, the Blue Jays took a chance on the bat speed and bloodlines of Bichette. I had heard him linked to several teams in round two, so I am a bit surprised he lasted this long. He played shortstop in high school, but most think he will move to second, where his bat could play up.

67. Kansas City Royals: A.J. Puckett RHP Pepperdine

Puckett is another guy who was a multisport athlete in high school, until a car accident, which caused him to be put into a coma, ended his football career. He has been a hot name over the last month. He improved as the year went on and showed big time improvement this year in terms of his command and control. A potential mid rotation arm, he was a nice pick up here for the Royals with their first pick.

68. Pittsburgh Pirates: Travis Macgregor RHP East Lake HS

Here's another player I did not spend a lot of time on. From what I understand, he was a guy who popped up late in the process and fits the Pittsburgh mold of a guy with a high ceiling and good potential. Sorry I don’t have more, but I just don’t know a whole lot more about the guy.

69. Baltimore Orioles: Matthias Dietz RHP John A Logan College

One of the top junior college players in this class, Dietz is committed to TCU for next year. He was actually drafted last year, in the  29th round as a freshman but went back to John A Logan College and raised his stock enough to go at the end of the second round. He has hit 98 this year and has sat in the low to mid 90s this year. He is basically a fastball and not much else, but as a younger college player who was at a junior college there is a greater chance for potential development of his secondary stuff than most college arms. He is more than likely a reliever long term though.

70. St. Louis Cardinals: Connor Jones RHP Virginia

Jones was yet another player in the second round who was once thought to be a possible top ten pick. His strikeout rate really plummeted this year. In addition, a lot more concerns were voiced about the relative lack of success for Virginia arms in the past. I also was told that one team was going to pass on him in round two as well, thanks to injury concerns. This is another sliding starting pitcher talent for the Cardinals.

71. San Diego Padres: Reggie Lawson RHP Victor Valley HS

There was a time when Lawson was considered the top athletic prep arm in this class. He was not as highly ranked as Pint or Groome, but was considered a top five prep arm overall. He had a rough spring and then an injury, which saw Lawson tumble down boards. I heard him linked to the Nationals and the White Sox, but it was the Padres who pulled the trigger on the athletic but raw Lawson.

72. Cleveland Indians: Logan Ice C Oregon State

Ice started the year as a possible top ten round selection, as a switch hitter with a solid defensive profile. In a lineup with more than a few future draft picks, he was quickly moved to the cleanup spot. He improved across the board in every statistically way. He profiles as an average hitter, with slightly below average power and an above average defensive profile. One of the hardest guys to strike out in the PAC 12, Ice was the defensive catcher of the year, in a conference loaded with draft eligible catchers. Indians had a need at catcher and found a switch hitter here that could help provide some depth that their system was lacking.

73. Minnesota Twins: Juan Miranda SS/3B Puerto Rico

I talked about Miranda on my big board as a sleeper for this draft. I am not surprised that it was the Twins who grabbed him here. The Twins have had a very strong presence in Latin America the past few years, which is why I am not shocked that the Twins are the team to discover him. I had him at 79 on my board, and said he could end up being the top hitter taken from Puerto Rico this year. I got a very positive report on him from a scout on earlier this year. He has some power potential and could profile at third base down the line.

74. Minnesota Twins: Akil Baddoo, Salem HS

Baddoo is a baseball rat who has some 20/20 potential down the road. He is a bit undersized, but I think he could be a lot like Cory Ray in terms of his upside. In spite of the lack of size, his bat speed allows him to generate power. He is more than likely going to move to left field, in spite of his speed. A young guy for this class, Baddoo won’t turn 18 till August. A really good value here for the Twins, when you look at the ceiling and add in the work ethic.

75. Milwaukee Brewers: Mario Feliciano C Puerto Rico Baseball Academy

The end of day one saw a bit of a run on catchers. Feliciano might have to move to first long term; he has the arm for catcher, but everything else is a bit questionable. His calling card is his right handed power potential. I am don’t think he has another tool that projects out as even average. As a young player, who is still 17, he is very raw. I expected him to be tried at catcher, because he is so far away and the bat would play up there. After taking a safe college player and another player who used to play at big name college, Feliciano is an upside gamble for the Brewers.

76. Atlanta Braves: Brett Cumberland C Cal

Cumberland is about the fifth catcher today who really has little chance to play there long term. He can hit, though. He is an advanced hitter, who has a great approach, and hit for some power this year. The comp I heard was Ryan Doumit. I think that is the type of hitter that Cumberland can be, a guy who catches a few games a week, and then plays first or outfield to keep his bat in the lineup. I actually had Cumberland going at 77 in my mock and the Braves taking a catcher at 80, so I was kind of close to this pick.

77.  Tampa Bay Rays: Jake Fraley OF LSU

Another college centerfielder for the Rays. They have taken back to back, relatively safe college bats, which is a bit different from last year. He is a solid contact guy, but with the lack of power and an average hit tool, I think he is more than likely a backup. He has plus speed and is a solid defender. I thought he profiled mostly as a fourth outfielder going forward, or maybe a platoon hitter for a team. 


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