With spring on the horizon, baseball is in full swing. College baseball is already a month into the season and high school action is starting all across the country.
That means major league scouts are out and evaluating the top draft prospects in preparation for the 2016 MLB First-Year Draft.
With less than three months until the draft gets underway, here are the top 10 draft prospects:
1. Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (N.J.) HS
A 6-foot-6, 180-pound left-hander, Groome has all the makings of being a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. He has a clean delivery that repeats well, while possessing a mid-90s fastball and solid secondary staff.
Groome is clearly the No. 1 prospect due to his size, stuff and control. The draft is still three months away, but Groome appears to have the best shot at being the No. 1 overall pick by Philadelphia.
2. A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida
A 6-foot-7, 230-pound lefty, Puk is off to a decent start in the 2016 season. In four starts, he is 0-1 with a 2.65 ERA in 17 innings. He has only faced one real test this season, facing Miami (FL) in the second week of the season.
Puk has also struggled with his command in his last two starts, walking four batters in each game.
While, Puk hasn’t been overly impressive, his draft stock really hasn’t taken a hit. If he can improve his command throughout the remainder of the season, he still has a shot at being the No. 1 overall pick.
3. Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.) HS
No high school right-handed pitcher has gone No. 1 overall in the draft, but Pint has a shot. Find out more about Pint here.
4. Corey Ray, OF, Louisville
In 15 games this season, Ray is hitting .377 with five home runs, 15 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. Find out more about Ray here.
5. Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer
In 15 games this season, Lewis is hitting .466 with six home runs and 19 RBIs. Find out more about Lewis here.
6. Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade (Calif.) College Prep
Rutherford has received attention dating back to his days as an underclassman in high school. A UCLA commit, Rutherford has an advanced feel at hitting from the left side of the plate with a smooth swing and decent raw power. He is also an above average runner.
Rutherford is skilled in all areas of the game and has a shot at being a top three pick when the draft rolls around in June.
7. Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee
Senzel was a productive player in his first two seasons at Tennessee, but after a strong performance in the prestigious Cape Cod League last summer, his stock rose considerably. Now a junior, Senzel is hitting .393 with one home run, 25 RBIs and seven stolen bases, while committing three errors at third base in 15 games this season.
Senzel has room to grow defensively, but if he can continue to produce offensively, he will be a top 10 pick in June’s draft.
8. Connor Jones, RHP, Virginia
Jones is off to a strong start in the 2016 campaign, recording a 3-0 record with a 1.98 ERA, 24 strikeouts and just six walks in four starts (27 1/3 innings).
Jones possesses a mid-90s fastball with a solid slider and curveball. While, he doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as some of the other top arms in the draft, he might be the safest bet to be a contributor at the major league level in the future.
9. Delvin Perez, SS, Professional Educational High School (Carolina, P.R.)
Perez is the best prospect to come out of Puerto Rico since Houston selected shortstop Carlos Correa with the No. 1 overall pick in 2012.
A 6-foot-3, 165-pound shortstop, Perez is known for his defense. He has all the makings of sticking at shortstop in the majors, possessing good speed, outstanding range and an above average arm.
While, Perez has the traits to be successful offensively, he needs to develop a better approach at the plate. If Perez shows improvements this spring offensively, he could shoot up draft boards and be a top five pick.
10. Alec Hansen, RHP, Oklahoma
A 6-foot-7, 235-pound hurler, Hansen has the potential to be the No. 1 overall pick in June’s draft. But, the right-hander hasn’t lived up to expectations early on in the 2016 season. In four starts, Hansen is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA, 22 strikeouts and 10 walks in 15 innings.
He has a solid fastball, which sits between 94-98 mph and a devastating slider. Hansen’s changeup is a work in progress, while he has also struggled at times with his command.
Hansen has the potential to be selected highly in the draft and it will be interesting to see how he performs during the remainder of the season.
Find more MLB Draft coverage here.