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MLB Draft 2016: Top prospects A.J. Puk, Jason Groome lead class

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The Phillies are sure to have their eyes on these top prospects ahead of this June's MLB Draft.

There are still a little over two months until the 2016 MLB Draft on June 9th, but it is never too early to take a look at the top prospects available. Over the course of the next two months, I plan to update you on the top prospects available in the draft and, as we get closer, create a mock draft.

The position players are valued based on their wOBA, K%, and BB% and respective Z-Scores. The pitchers are valued based on their ERA, K%, and BB% and respective Z-Scores. In the table below, next to each player is their respective scouting grade (based on a 20-80 scale). The grades are pulled from the MLB top 50 draft prospects on mlb.com. Any player not in their top 50 was given a 50 grade, just for the sake of ranking purposes. Since we are in only April, the high school baseball season has not begun yet, so only college players have their stats available for analysis right now. All stats are as of March 25th.

First, let's take a look at the position players:

Players Scout Grade wOBA Z-Score BABIP Z-Score K% Z-Score BB% Z-Score
Corey Ray, OF- Louisville 55 0.438 -0.10 0.315 -0.54 12.1 -0.64 10.1 -0.78
Buddy Reed, OF - Florida 55 0.380 -0.71 0.361 0.05 19.8 0.65 13.5 -0.28
Blake Rutherford, OF - Chaminade College Prep 55
Kyle Lewis, OF - Mercer 55 0.595 1.55 0.453 1.23 9.3 -1.11 21.4 0.88
Bryan Reynolds, OF - Vanderbilt 55 0.454 0.07 0.431 0.94 24.2 1.38 20.2 0.70
Delvin Perez, SS - Puerto Rico 55
Drew Mendoza, 3B - Lake Mineola HS 55
Mickey Moniak, OF - La Costa Canyon HS 50
Nick Senzel, 3B - Tennessee 50 0.458 0.11 0.377 0.25 10.6 -0.89 23.4 1.18
Bobby Dalbec, 3B - Arizona 50 0.414 -0.35 0.329 -0.36 26.7 1.80 20.9 0.81
Nick Banks, OF - Texas A&M 50 0.391 -0.59 0.348 -0.12 16.1 0.03 7.3 -1.20
Josh Lowe, 3B - Pope HS 50
William Benson, OF - The Westminster Schools 50
Nolan Jones, 3B - Holy Ghost Prep 50
Jake Fraley, OF - LSU 50 0.437 -0.11 0.403 0.59 8.4 -1.26 14.7 -0.11
Ryan Boldt, OF - Nebraska 50 0.364 -0.88 0.329 -0.36 13.1 -0.47 7 -1.24
Chris Okey, C - Clemson 50 0.393 -0.57 0.346 -0.14 20.8 0.82 14.3 -0.17
Avery Tuck, OF - Steele Canyon HS 50
Carter Kicboom, 3B - Walton HS 50
Gio Brusa, OF - Pacific 50 0.271 -1.86 0.264 -1.19 23.2 1.22 4.6 -1.60
Joe Rizzo, 3B - Oakton High 50
Will Craig, 3B - Wake Forest 50 0.626 1.88 0.447 1.15 10.4 -0.92 16.4 0.14
Zack Collins, C - Miami 50 0.557 1.15 0.432 0.96 13.9 -0.34 27.9 1.84
Sean Murphy, C - Wright State 50 0.486 0.41 0.167 -2.44 14.2 -0.29 14.2 -0.18

The top performers (in bold above) through the beginning of the season are: Kyle Lewis, Bryan Reynolds, Will Craig, Nick Senzel, Jake Fraley, and Zack Collins. Craig, a junior from Wake Forest, was not a top-50 preseason prospect, but he is off to a great start. If he continues on his current pace, he has potential to move up some teams' draft boards. Lewis continues to show why he may be worthy of a top 10 selection this June. He is in the top 3 in all of the above categories and also has already hit 11 home runs in only 24 games. His strikeout rate is well below the mean and his walk rate is well above the mean. Reynolds will need to cut down on his strikeouts, as a 24.2 K rate with a 1.38 Z-Score is not where a player of his caliber should be. From Yasmani Grandal's alma mater, Collins, one of the top catching prospects in this year's draft, offensively is making a name for himself, and MLB organizations are always looking for a left-handed hitting catcher with a solid bat.

The struggling players so far are: Gio Brusa, Sean Murphy, and Ryan Boldt. These three players will need to improve their numbers as the draft approaches. Fortunately for them, it is still early in the season for them to turn it around. In particular Brusa has to get on base more as well as cut down on his strikeouts. Blake Rutherford, a high school prospect, will be a player to watch in next month's rankings.

Top 10 Position Players Right Now

1.     Kyle Lewis, OF - Mercer

2.     Bryan Reynolds, OF - Vanderbilt

3.     Blake Rutherford, OF - Chaminade College Prep

4.     Corey Ray, OF- Louisville

5.     Buddy Reed, OF - Florida

6.     Jake Fraley, OF - LSU

7.     Nick Senzel, 3B - Tennessee

8.     Will Craig, 3B - Wake Forest

9.     Zack Collins, C - Miami

10.  Delvin Perez, SS - Puerto Rico

Now for the pitching prospects:

Players Scout Grade IP ERA Z-Score K% Z-Score BB% Z-Score
Jason Groome, LHP - Barnegat HS 60
A.J. Puk, LHP - Florida 60 24 1.88 -0.84 28.7 -0.09 9.9 -0.14
Alec Hansen, RHP - Oklahoma 60 20 7.65 2.35 38.8 1.62 25 2.13
Riley Pint, RHP - ST.TA HS 60
Connor Jones, RHP - Virginia 55 34.2 1.56 -1.02 23.7 -0.94 5.7 -0.77
Jordan Sheffield, RHP - Vanderbilt 55 30.1 0.88 -1.40 34.8 0.94 9.3 -0.23
Josh Lowe, RHP - Pope HS 50
Cal Quantrill, RHP - Stanford 50 INJ. INJ. INJ. INJ. INJ. INJ. INJ.
Matt Krook, LHP - Oregon 50 21.2 5.40 1.11 31.6 0.40 18.8 1.20
Kevin Gowdy, RHP - Santa Barbara HS 50
Kyle Funkhouser, RHP - Louisville 50 28.2 4.40 0.55 22.1 -1.21 15.5 0.70
Dalton Jefferies, RHP - California 50 42 1.29 -1.17 28.4 -0.14 3.6 -1.09
Zack Brown, RHP - Kentucky 50 28 5.14 0.96 18.5 -1.82 9.6 -0.19
Robert Tyler, RHP - Georgia 50 26.1 3.42 0.01 36.4 1.21 10.2 -0.10
Logan Shore, RHP - Florida 50 32.1 2.23 -0.65 32.8 0.60 2.5 -1.25
Ian Anderson, RHP - Shenendehowa HS 50
Ian Hamilton, RHP - Washington State 50 29.2 3.64 0.13 25.5 -0.64 7.1 -0.56
Austin Bergner, RHP - Windermere Prep 50
Dakota Hudson, RHP - Mississippi State 50 39.2 1.13 -1.26 27.2 -0.35 27.6 2.52
Mike Shawaryn, RHP - Maryland 50 35.1 3.82 0.23 21.9 -1.25 9.9 -0.14
Alex Speas, RHP - McEachern HS 50
Zach Jackson, RHP - Arkansas 50 15 4.20 0.44 27.2 -0.35 18.1 1.09
Reggie Lawson, RHP - Victor Valley HS 50
Eric Lauer, LHP - Kent State 50 38.2 1.16 -1.24 30.2 0.16 10.5 -0.05
Jesus Luzardo, LHP - Stoneman Douglas HS 50
Braxton Garrett, LHP - Florence HS 50
Cody Sedlock, RHP - Illinios 50 38.2 3.26 -0.08 27.6 -0.28 6.2 -0.70
Ben Bowden, LHP - Vanderbilt 50 25 4.68 0.71 30.9 0.28 7.2 -0.55
Zack Burdi, RHP - Louisville 50 7.2 4.7 0.72 43.7 2.45 9.3 -0.23
Zach Livingfelter, RHP - Sevier County 50
Bailey Clark, RHP - Duke 50 29.2 5.76 1.31 25.5 -0.64 9.3 -0.23
Jon Duplantier, RHP - Rice 50 42 2.57 -0.46 30.3 0.18 8.4 -0.37
Matt Manning, RHP - Sheldon High 50
Cole Irvin, LHP- Oregon 50 40.2 2.66 -0.41 28.5 -0.13 3.8 -1.06

The top performers (in bold above) through the beginning of the season are: A.J. Puk, Jordan Sheffield, Daulton Jefferies, Logan Shore, and Connor Jones. Puk will be competing with Jason Groome, a high school pitcher and one of the top prospects in this year's draft, to be the number one pick in the draft. Florida has been fortunate to have both Puk and Shore leading their rotation. Both players have continued to reassure teams they are worthy of being a top-50 preseason draft prospect. If there is one aspect of Jones's game he can improve upon, it is his strikeouts. Other than that he continues to state his case to be a top 10 selection. The season is still in the early stages, but if Jefferies continues to pitch the way he is, he can be a name to watch as a pitcher moving up draft boards. Over the next month, another high school arm to watch will be Riley Pint.

Alec Hansen, Kyle Funkhouser (drafted by the Dodgers last season), and Zack Brown are three pitchers with high potential who have struggled so far this season. Hansen, a potential top five pick in this year's draft, has struggled greatly to start this year. He has the second worst walk rate out of the above pitchers, in front of only Dakota Hudson. Funkhouser reentered this year's draft with the hope of moving up from the 35th overall selection he was last year. He has not achieved that goal yet; he needs to show why he is counted on as the ace of Louisville's staff. Brown, who was ahead of Logan Shore in the preseason top 50, has been outperformed by Shore to start the season. Brown will need to miss more bats over the next month to stay ahead of Shore in the eyes of MLB teams.

This year's draft has a surplus of pitching prospects, so the top 10 will be very close all season leading up to the draft.

Top 10 Pitching Prospects Right Now

1.     Jason Groome, LHP - Barnegat HS

2.     A.J. Puk, LHP - Florida

3.     Riley Pint, RHP - ST.TA HS

4.     Jordan Sheffield, RHP - Vanderbilt

5.     Alec Hansen, RHP - Oklahoma

6.     Connor Jones, RHP - Virginia

7.     Dalton Jefferies, RHP - California

8.     Logan Shore, RHP - Florida

9.     Josh Lowe, RHP - Pope HS

10.  Robert Tyler, RHP - Georgia

. . .

Carl Triano is a contributor at Beyond the Box Score.