2016 MLB Draft: Best available, day 2

Who are the best players still available at the start of day 2 of the draft? Scout MLB Draft Expert Jeff Ellis fills us in.

The top two rounds of the draft are done. The first day is over and 77 players have new teams. There are still plenty of great players left, though. Many teams will find excellent talent in these rounds, as well as adding depth to their minors.

Below, I am going to list the top-10 players left on my board who are still signable, or would if I thought any players were unsignable this year. With the money that was saved by the top teams, I think there is still plenty of money to be spent. In my top 50 players, there is just one prep player who has gone undrafted, Jared Horn.

In fairness, I will say Drew Mendoza of Lake Minneola would have made my top-10 players left, but is the one player I strongly believe is going to school and won’t be drafted today. He would have come in 9th on this list. 

1.     Heath Quinn OF Samford (ranked 29th)

We saw Kyle Lewis slide down the board to the 11th overall pick. Quinn is another top performer from the Southern Conference with swing and miss issues. He is a solid athlete, who was an above-average runner in high school. He has the arm for right field and his power is his most exciting tool. He is another guy who excelled on the Cape with wooden bats, when facing top competition. He is a young junior, just turning 21 on Tuesday. I think the best gift for Quinn would be hearing his name called quickly on Friday. I had him mocked to the A’s a few times, who are yet to take a hitter in this draft.

2. Sean Murphy C Wright State (ranked 32)

I might have just seen Wright on the right day. I saw him face Youngstown State and he put on a show. I heard the scouts there that day talking about how impressive he looked. He ran surprisingly well for a big guy; it looked like an average skill. He killed the ball despite a downpour, and it was questionable if the game should even be allowed to play. A big kid with power potential, anything he gives with the bat is a bonus. He has a 70-grade arm behind the plate, quick hands, and moves well back there. He is one of the top defenders in the class, and one of the three defensive catchers in this class that are clearly plus defenders behind the plate. If he had not gotten hurt after a hot start, I think he would be off the board by now. 

3. Corbin Burnes RHP St. Mary's (ranked 36)

A very good athlete with a solid four-pitch mix, he performed well on the Cape and had a strong year for St. Mary’s, who made the College World Series for the first time in school history. Burnes was the ace of the staff all year long. The athletic arm looks like a mid-rotation arm, but needs to work on his secondary stuff. I think he has fallen due to the large number of right-handed college arms in this class. The talk at the end of round two was the shock about how far Connor Jones has fallen, which of course means everyone behind him ended up pushed even farther down the board.

4. Jon Duplantier RHP Rice (ranked 39)

Another right-handed college arm, who got pushed down the board because of depth. Right-handed arms tend to slide in general, but when a class is this deep, it does not help guys like Duplantier, who have other concerns. The other concern is that he missed all of last year due to injury, though it did not require any surgery. The injury, combined with the horrifying track record of pitchers from Rice, has certainly caused him to drop, as well. He is an athletic player, who hits 96, and was one strikeout away from leading the NCAA in strikeouts. A cerebral, smart kid, he could have gone to Yale, but instead chose Rice. This might have been a mistake, as there is little doubt that it has hurt his value. I expect he will hear his name at some point in round three.

5. Bryson Brigman SS San Diego (ranked 42)

Brigman was drafted by the A’s, in the 40th round, out of high school. Here he is a draft-eligible sophomore who will more than likely move to second base. He is a good athlete, with above-average hit and speed tools. He has no power at all, but since he should play up the middle, it should not be a huge issue. Up the middle, players tend to rise on draft day, so it is a bit of a surprise that Brigman is still on the board. 

6. Jared Horn RHP Vintage HS (ranked 51)

Horn is a two-way talent, who spent his fall playing quarterback on the football team. He has been rumored to have a $3 million dollar price tag to sign, which is why he is still on the board. Yet there are several teams would have the money to sign Horn. When he first popped up, he was talked about as a top-30 guy. Yet he seemed to have slid on boards a bit after the initial excitement. If he does not get drafted, he will be headed to Cal this fall, as he has stated is his preference. A big kid with a big fastball, he is the first player on this list where there is a pretty solid chance he is headed to college.

7. Hunter Bishop OF Serra HS (ranked 53)

Bishop is another California pop-up player. He excelled this year and went from a preferred walk on for the Washington Huskies football team to a baseball scholarship to Arizona State. It is a bit of a surprise that he passed under the radar, after his brother was a second round pick just a year ago out of Washington. For a team looking for a prep athlete, Bishop has to be near the top of the list. He has plus speed and looks like a future centerfielder. When take into consideration the fact that he popped up late in the process, and is still just 17, he is one of the highest ceiling hitters on the board.

8. Zach Jackson RHP Arkansas (ranked 55)

Well, Jackson has to be taken soon by the White Sox, since they are collecting all the Zachs this draft. I am not shocked to see Jackson here, in spite of the fact he has shown two potential plus pitches. He has really struggled this year after being a dominant closer the last two years. He struggled like every other pitcher from Arkansas this year. His walk rate has always been an issue, but there was some hope he could start. He got five games to start and was then moved back to the bullpen. There have not been a ton of relievers taken so far so, in the next two rounds, I expect someone to take a chance on Jackson.

9. Braden Webb RHP South Carolina (ranked 58)

Webb has a ton of leverage right now as a draft-eligible freshman for South Carolina. He is another player who returned from surgery and saw his numbers fade a bit down the stretch. Early on, he excelled in the SEC, posting big strikeout totals. There are some concerns that he might end up a reliever down the road, and his command came and went throughout the year. It is not often that we see a draft eligible true freshman. In this case, there is a chance that the extra leverage is hurting his draft stock.

10. Jameson Fisher 1B Southeastern Louisiana (ranked 60)

Fisher has led the NCAA in batting average two of the last three years. The other year he missed due to injury. As a first baseman from a small conference who did not excel on the Cape in 2014, there are a lot of reasons why Fisher is still here. When he does get drafted, it will be entirely based on his hit tool. I don’t see another above average tool for Fisher, but his hit tool should be enough to hear his name in the next two rounds.

Best of who's left

11. Thomas Jones OF Laurens HS (ranked 66)

12. Colby Woodmansee SS Arizona St. (ranked 67)

13. Carlos Cortes 2B Lake Howell HS (ranked 69)

14. Jesus Luzardo LHP Stoneman Douglas HS (ranked 72)

15. Conner Capel OF Seven Lakes HS (ranked 76)

16. Jeremy Martinez C USC (ranked 77)

17. Kyle Funkhouser RHP Louisville (ranked 80)

18. Michael Shawaryn RHP Maryland (ranked 86)

19. Jeff Belge LHP Henninger HS (ranked 90)

20. Zac Gallen RHP UNC (ranked 91)

21. Ryan Rolison LHP University School of Jacksonville (ranked 92)

22. Luis Curbelo SS Cocoa HS (ranked 93)

23. Skylar Szynski RHP Penn HS (ranked 95)

24. Adam Laskey LHP Haddon Heights (ranked 96)

25. Cooper Johnson C Carmel Catholic HS (ranked 97)

26. Nick Banks OF Texas A&M (ranked 98)

27. Kyle Cody RHP Kentucky (ranked 99)

28. Ryan Zeferjahn RHP Seaman HS (ranked 100)

29. Nonie Williams SS Turner HS (ranked 101)

30. Kep Brown OF Spartan Methodist (ranked 102)




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