I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again the 2015 MLB draft was a damn good one. In just 14 months this class has already produced three everyday MLB players. It’s pretty much unheard of for THAT many players to move THAT quickly through the minors, and it’s not like any of the three look particularly lost. The real beauty lies here, the draft wasn’t particularly top heavy, we’ve had plenty of very interesting players already emerge from outside the first round; Willie Calhoun, Harrison Bader, Thomas Szapucki, and Cody Ponce to name a few. On the heels of this dynasty windfall, the question on everyone’s mind is; who are the studs and gems from this draft? Over the next few posts (today and Sunday) we’ll take a long look, maybe an awkwardly long look, at the first round and the gems of the later rounds. Did I say that already? I feel like I did….I try to sound like a sports reporter, but I kill too many brain cells to pull off the act. Meh, whatevs let’s talk about Nick Senzel!

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Mickey Moniak, GCL (Phillies) OF: The top pick in draft has hit the ground running slashing .295/.356/.418 in his first taste of pro-ball. He’s also showed his balanced skill set, swiping 8 bases, while scoring 21 runs and driving in 27. The power is still coming around, but he’s barely 18, and looks like a future top of the order type player.

Nick Senzel, Dayton (Reds) 3B: At the moment Senzel is the consensus top pick in first year player drafts for dynasty. Since joining the Reds lo-A ball affiliate Dayton on July 1st, Senzel has been en fuego, slashing .315/.410/.554 with 7 homers, 14 steals, and 30 RBIs in 200 plate appearances. The peripheral stats are phenomenal as well, to tune of a 13.5% Bb rate, an 18% K rate, and a .238 Isolated power. He’s my top pick and a player I’m actively pursuing in the offseason.

Ian Anderson, Danville (Braves) RHP: The number 3 overall pick was solid in his GCL debut throwing 18 scoreless innings in 5 appearances, but has struggled upon promotion to Danville of the Appalachian League. Still big upside with this player.

Riley Pint, Grand Junction (Rockies): The righty with the big fastball was stricken with the curse of being drafted by the Rockies, and so far the hex is in full effect. Through 8 appearances and 24 innings Pint has struggled to the tune of a 5.18 ERA. It’s not like he’s unlucky either, his FIP is 5.79! The walks have been a major issue, allowing free passes at a rate of 5.55 per 9. Seems like the type of player you might be able to get a discount on at the draft table following his early struggles. Not a bad risk to take if the price is right, Pint still possesses massive upside.

Corey Ray, Brevard County (Brewers) OF: Talked about Ray on Sunday, you can check it out here. We also discussed him on last week’s Prospect Podcast.

A.J. Puk, Vermont (Athletics) LHP: So far so good for the man many thought would be the top pick in the draft, as he’s plowed his way through 25 strong innings in the short season New York-Penn League. The lefties swing and miss stuff has been on full display striking out opposing batters at a clip of 11.52 per 9. The most surprising thing about Puk has been his good control so far, only allowing 6 walks to 32 strikeouts. I’m starting to buy in.

Braxton Garrett, Marlins LHP: Hasn’t pitched yet after signing late, the Marlins for once are taking it easy on one of their young arms. Nothing to see here….

Cal Quantrill, Tri-City (Padres) RHP: After an unlucky beginning to his pro career in the Rookie level Arizona League (46.7% LOB, .324 BABIP, 2.49 FIP to a 5.27 ERA), Quantrill has been excellent in lo-A Tri-City, dropping a 14.11 K/9 to a 1.23 Bb/9. The crazy thing is he’s still not getting lucky, despite his 1.84 ERA he’s been even better when you factor in the 60% strand rate and high BABIP of .343. I’m not going to lie I’m very tempted by Quantrill; looks like another player who’s draft stock was deflated by an injury at the wrong time.

Matt Manning, GCL (Tigers) RHP: Talk about bad luck, the 6’6 righty has had awful luck despite pitching very well, so ignore the 4.44 ERA, and take a gander at the 14.01 K/9, 2.39 Bb/9, and insanely inflated BABIP of .383. Pretty impressive stuff from a prep arm. Manning is right there at the top with Groome, Pint, Garrett, and Anderson in a strong class for Prep pitchers. Every time I type prep pitchers I imagine them in Vineyard Vines and blue sport coats with gold buttons, and khakis. Damn I hate Vineyard Vines….stupid pink pants.

Zack Collins, Winston-Salem (White Sox) C: After all the talk entering the draft was about Collins moving off catching duties, all he’s done is catch. The slashline of .247/.364/.430 has been disappointing, but he’s shown power and the ability to walk. Which is encouraging particularly when you consider the aggressive assignment.

Kyle Lewis, Mariners OF: A promising season collapsed like the ligaments in his knee. Sleep well sweet prince.

Jason Groome, GCL (Red Sox) LHP: I’m a Red Sox fan, so I’m not going to say this is the greatest 12th overall pick in sports history, but it probably is. Boston we piss excellence….or maybe that’s Sam Summer. Probably Sam Summer. Made his pro debut on Monday and struck out 3 and allowed a hit in two innings of glorious work. Watch the Throne Kershaw.

Josh Lowe, Princeton (Rays) 3B: Tomorrow on the Prospect Podcast Michael Halpern and I will rank our top corner infield prospects. Lowe’s not in my top 10, but he’s someone I might classify as a sleeper. Though he was a first rounder you do see him receiving the type of buzz your typically see when a 18 year old kid slashing a respectable .268/.372/.423 with 5 homers across two levels of Rookie ball. He’s got a nice easy swing you can check it out here.

Will Benson, AZL (Indians) OF: The raw Benson, flashes sexy fantasy tools. Wow that reads, all types of wrong. So far he’s shown the ability to hit for power (5 homers .223 ISO), and steal bases (9 for 11 on stolen base attempts), but has struggled with strikeouts (30.2% K rate), and making consistent contact (.216 AVG). As a prep player, he’s still young enough to figure all that stuff out, and his imposing size (6-5 215), gives his raw power some projectability.

Alex Kirilloff, Elizabethton (Twins) OF: Through 206 professional plate appearances the lefthanded hitting Kirilloff looks like a star. Assigned to advanced Rookie level Elizabethton of the “Appy League” he’s slashed .332/.359/.472 with 6 homers and 28 RBIs.

Matt Thaiss, Burlington (Angels) 1B: I’ve raved about what I’ve seen from Thaiss so far, you can check that here. If my first year player draft were today, I’d have a hard time passing on Thaiss at two (assuming pick one was Senzel….it will be Senzel trust me). He’s been quite possibly the most impressive player outside Senzel, slashing .308/.385/.489 with 5 homers and 36 RBIs between lo-A and Rookie ball. He’s been moved off catcher and moved to first, at the moment the minors are sorely lacking true impact bats at the corners. This is one to watch.

 

Follow me on Twitter @Ralphlifshitzbb and subscribe to the Razzball Prospect Podcast with Michael Halpern and myself…

  1. griff says:
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    Ralph,
    Great write up. Have a couple of dynsaty league questions and want your take.

    Which prospect do you like better- clint frazier or lewis brinson?

    Which current major leaguer: altherr or profar?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @griff: Thanks!

      I like Frazier and Profar

  2. The Hack says:
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    You should do a risers post for the draft class. Find me my Willie Calhoun!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @The Hack: That’s what I meant by gems. Do you even read my masterpieces FOH? Lol

      • The Hack says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Im vain so I only skim for my mentions

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @The Hack: Shocking

  3. LT Murray IV

    Tehol Beddict says:
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    whats the most dick you’ve ever taken in a 3-day weekend?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Tehol Beddict: Well I just lost my PG-13 rating. The answer is none, but I rarely remember three day weekends?

      You?

      • The Hack says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: this feels like a question that if you give a number then he wants details and turns it into some strange “tell me more I get off on this kinda thing” discussion.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @The Hack: Been down this road before?

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
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              @The Hack: Good read..

  4. Dave says:
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    What’s your take on AJ Reed ros and long term, given his early struggles? Any newcomers that have been or will be called up that you would move now ahead of him?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dave: Don’t expect a ton ROS, but I do like him long term still

      • Dave says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Thanks Ralph. Another question….AL only league….I was thinking of proposing something like this:

        I get Bird ($8)/C. Fulmer($4)
        I give Adames($2)/Buxton($17)

        I already have Correa and T. Anderson at SS/MI spots. Both teams rebuilding.

        thoughts?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Dave: I like the Bird/Fulmer side, I’d go for it.

  5. PhilOssieB says:
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    My league has this weird rule I’ve been fighting to change: All 20 teams correspond with an MLB team, 10 AL, 10 NL, and after every real life draft, the first round pick of each MLB team automatically goes to the corresponding fantasy team in our league. So, you may be in 1st place in fantasy and still receive the first FYP draft, or could be the worst and not even get a 1st rounder because the real MLB team traded theirs away.

    However, my team happens to be the Reds, so I think I’ll save my protests next year and enjoy the Senzel Sizzle. …

    Q) Looking to trade some infield depth for pitching. Which two are the best keepers for next year: Peraza, Castro or VIllar?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @PhilOssieB: Villar and Castro. I don’t think much of Peraza.

      That’s a crazy rule

      • PhilOssieB says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: One more reason to hate my dynasty team!

        • PhilOssieB says:
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          *dynasty league!

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            Ralph Lifshitz says:
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            @PhilOssieB: AHHHHHH lol

    • For an Armenianless Vacation Come to Akron says:
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      @PhilOssieB: it’s still not as bad as JB’s razzball dynasty league’s rules when real life trades happen.

  6. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Great write-up Ralph. Some solid players to look forward to watching play in the years to come.. I have Groome, Puk and Alec Hansen on my farm..Hansen has been terrific so far..

    I am a big fan of the Padres Quantrill, could be a good one, especially in that park..

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Malicious Phenoms: Yeah there are some really interesting arms form this draft IMO.

  7. Nelson says:
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    Can Quantrill make it up next year? Anyone on this list with a chance to debut in the majors in 2017?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nelson: I would imagine we’re looking at 2018. He’s fresh off TJ.

  8. Mark says:
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    I am very interested in Josh Lowe. Nice smooth swing, and reading the buzz the Rays have on him. Plus his age is perfect for when Longoria retires.

    I think he is the best bet to have success imo.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mark: Yeah I’m leading the Lowe fan club at the moment I like him a lot, and he’s not one of the buzzier names of the draft class either.

  9. Oddball Herrera says:
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    Any coverage coming on September callups? There are some guys I would LOVE to see that have varying chances of being up (Meadows, Moncada, O’Neill, Barreto, Brinson).

    Barreto especially is intriguing…this is the organization that randomly jumped Addison Russell from A+ to AAA for a cup of coffee, and Jed Lowrie has bitten the dust (again).

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Oddball Herrera: On Monday Michael Halpern and I are going to be filling in for Grey on the Podcast, we’re going to focus the show on September callups.

  10. Shill Team 6 says:
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    YOU KILLED BENNY!! You bah-stid!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Shill Team 6: Pour out some malt liquor

  11. CeddyT says:
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    No just becuase he had tommy John not to long ago. I think Padres will baby him his first year I see maybe 2018 but that’s just my thought.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @CeddyT: Yeah I agree

  12. Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry says:
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    Nice writeup, Ralph.

    Always good to keep up with the draftees for next year.

    What do you think of Ryon Healy and Jharel Cotton?

    I’ve got both of them on the cheap, in an AL Dynasty.

    I’m hoping Healy develops and can replace Josh Donaldson in 2018 as my starting 3B, but I’m not sure if he will stick at 3B for the A’s.

    Cotton had the CG shutout, but has since been lit up for the runs.

    Would you trade the two of them for a $1 Cameron Maybin?

  13. Clogged Rosterman says:
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    How are you feeling about Dominic Smith these days?

    >Vogelbach?
    <Bird?

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