MLB draft expert Eric Longenhagen will provide pick-by-pick analysis of the opening round of the 2016 MLB draft, as well as the compensation picks and the competitive balance round.
Before diving into the analysis, here are some notes and helpful links related to the draft:
• All players' names link out to more in-depth scouting reports of that guy (written by Longenhagen).
• We use the 20-80 grading scale for all MLB prospects.
Let's get to the picks! We'll be updating this file as the draft rolls on, adding the picks to the bottom of the file:
The Phillies selected California prep outfielder Mickey Moniak. He's the best pure hitter in the draft, eliciting some future 70 scouting grades with his bat. His swing is fluid and compact, and Moniak shows some elite hitting traits in the way he adjusts to pitches mid-flight. While not a track star, Moniak runs well enough to stay in center field and has a good feel for the position.
Moniak doesn't have a frame that projects for much power, but the combination of elite hitting potential and the ability to play a premium defensive position makes him a potential All-Star. While any player selected with the first pick overall could sign for an underslot deal, Moniak probably will sign for a bigger discount than other alternatives, giving the Phillies a lot of financial flexibility at their next pick (42nd overall).
Senzel is the most advanced college hitter in the draft. He has outstanding barrel control and natural strength in his hands, which allows him to punish pitches in all parts of the hitting zone. While he'll show plus power in batting practice, the game swing is more geared for contact, and he might never hit for more than average game power. With an adjustment or two, more may come. His defense at third base has been inconsistent, but we've seen good athletes -- which Senzel is -- develop good gloves at third base later than players at other positions. Senzel is an above-average runner, and some want to see him get a look at second base.
While I think Senzel will turn into only an average everyday player, possibly above-average in his peak years, he's as low-risk an investment as there is in the draft, and should be one of this draft's quickest movers.