The early adjectives being used by evaluators to describe the 2016 MLB draft class are "fine" and "muddled," as the class has no clear-cut top pick -- though several prospects, especially our top three arms, have a chance to ascend to that level next spring -- but is teeming with prospects worthy of late-first or sandwich-round grades.
The draft's top 10 picks will be made, in order, by the Philadelphia Phillies (their first top-overall selection since they drafted Pat Burrell out of Miami in 1998), Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox. The strength of teams' draft and international bonus pools will also look something like that, though pool amounts will be impacted by free agency and trades in the coming months. The slot (signing bonus) value of the Phillies' No. 1 overall selection is projected to be close to $9 million. (For the sake of comparison, considering that Burrell signed a five-year, $8 million major league deal with a $3.15 million bonus in '98.)
We're doing a little something different this year. Rather than simply ranking all the draft prospects on one diverse list, we've separated them by tier and expanded our number or profiles (to 40). The top 30 rankings are included in a separate box.
Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (New Jersey) HS
Hulking 6-foot-6 lefties who can throw in the mid-90s don't exactly grow on trees, and if that were all Jason Groome had going for him, it'd be enough to merit first-round consideration. But Groome also has an above-average curveball that easily projects to plus, inconsistent but present changeup feel and a delivery that affords him surprising command projection for an arm this big and young. And I do mean young; Groome doesn't turn 18 until August 2016, making him one of the youngest players in his class. His combination of age, size, mechanical cleanliness and geographical location enables scouts and executives to dream for much more than what is already here, even though what's already here is tantalizing.