I know this seems early, but you might start getting used to some of these top names that will come up in the 2016 draft. The Mets, and the direction they are going, could warrant a pick from one of these top 10 players eligible in June 2016.
Here's an early look of the top ten picks in 2016 from our friends at Fangraphs
1. Alec Hansen, RHP, Oklahoma: In high school, Hansen was a big dude with some arm speed that hadn’t quite put it together. Last summer in the Cal Collegiate League, he ran it into the high-90’s and showed flashes, then continued that this spring. He basically has the same stuff as Dillon Tate (94-97, touch 99 mph, 65 or so slider, 55 or so changeup) but is 6’7/235 (Tate is 6’1/190) and is getting his first extended look as a starter as a sophomore (Tate made his first collegiate start this spring, as a junior). There’s some understandable command issues and growing pains given the size and newness of the wipeout stuff, but Hansen is just scratching the surface.
2. Riley Pint (18.6), RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (KS), LSU commit: You’d think a 6’7 Dillon Tate would be a slam-dunk choice over a prep pitcher, but Pint had his share of believers that he should be the #1 prospect in this class. I’ve seen 23 of these 30 players ranked here, but I haven’t seen Pint and most scouts haven’t either. He threw at one event last summer (some video from that event) and will only go to some of the events this summer. He’s been cautiously used, doesn’t throw at all in the winter (which often leads to velo gains in the spring, like for Brady Aiken and Foster Griffin in the 2014 draft class) and is a solid hoops player. Pint is 6’4/190, has athletic actions, sits 92-96 and recently hit 98 mph, mixing in a hard, plus, spike curveball in the mid-80’s and showing enough feel that his changeup and command both project for at least average, but likely more. I’ll probably see Pint a few times this summer and at least once next spring, but it’s hard to put a somewhat mysterious prep pitcher #1 on a loaded list. That said, people that have seen him are saying he’s right there with Lucas Giolito, Jameson Taillon and Dylan Bundy as the next prep phenom righty with a chance to go 1-1; hopefully Pint doesn’t have to get elbow surgery like those three have.
3. Blake Rutherford (19.0), CF, Chaminade Prep HS (CA), UCLA commit: Rutherford was noticed as early as his freshman or sophomore year as an elite hitting prospects and the track records of those type of players is very good (Bryce Harper, Eric Hosmer, Alex Jackson, Nick Gordon, etc.). He’s 6’3/190, a plus runner with effortless actions in all phases, advanced feel to hit from the left side and above average raw power that he gets to in games already. He’s basically a slightly toolsier version of Banks with some track record for scouts, given his performance in events/games as an underclassman in a highly-scouted area of the country.
4. A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida: Puk also has a chance to jump into the elite category, but he’s a two-way guy (with plus raw power from the left side) on a team with a deep staff, so he hasn’t pitched as much as some of his peers. He was also recently arrested for climbing on a construction crane with a teammate, which clouds his future just a bit. At his best, the 6’7/230 Puk sat 92-95 mph, touched 96 mph, worked in a plus slider and shows starter traits. 5/9/15 UPDATE: After his suspension for the crane incident, Puk has ticked up, looking more focused, sitting 94-97 early, hitting 98 mph and holding 93-96 late into games. If he continues doing this into the summer, he’ll jump a couple more spots, but there’s been some inconsistency from Puk in his college career.
5. Nick Banks, RF, Texas A&M: Banks isn’t quite as exciting as those first three players here, but has plenty of ceiling. He’s an above average runner with a plus arm, above average raw power from the left side and some scouts put a 60 on his bat. Banks has performed well in the springs and summers and only got to school due to an injury his senior year in high school that obscured some of his talent.
6. Austin Bergner (19.1), RHP, Windemere Prep HS (FL), North Carolina commit: You’re going to hear Pint and Bergner compared a lot and there’s a number of similarities. Bergner was noticed as early as his sophomore year as an elite arm and is easy to scout, playing in Orlando and hitting the showcase/tournament circuit. The 6’4/195 Bergner has improved every time I’ve seen him and had a coming-out party last October in Jupiter when he sat 93-95, hit 96 mph with life, located an above average to plus curveball and an above average changeup. Scouts were wandering in to see him with potential 2015 1st rounders playing on adjacent fields and the consensus that night is that Bergner was the top high school pitcher on the planet, likely going in the top 10-15 picks, even if thrown in the 2015 class. Pint gets the slight edge for a little more velo, a little more youth, more cautious usage and maybe a little more command, but we’re splitting hairs at this point.
7. Robert Tyler, RHP, Georgia: Tyler is another guy that could jump into the elite category but has been on the shelf for a few months with arm soreness. It sounds like he’s close to returning and late last spring and early in the summer, he showed a new level of performance, sitting 95-98 mph in short stints with a plus changeup and enough breaking ball and command that he’s still got a good shot to start. 5/10/15 UPDATE: Tyler came off the DL and hit 97 mph last week then 99 mph this week. He looks to be back to normal and there’a case to be made he should be even higher than this.
8. Connor Jones, RHP, Virginia: A late 1st round talent out of high school that had a high number, Jones has progressed well at UVA, now working 91-95 and hitting 96 mph with plus sink (but also sometimes 89-93 mph), an above average to plus changeup and an average breaking ball. There’s a compelling case to throw Jones in the elite group now, especially if his breaking ball gets a little better.
9. Jason Groome (17.8), LHP, IMG Academy HS (FL), Vanderbilt commit: Groome is another guy with a chance to jump into that top 7, elite group, He’s very young for the class, a projectable 6’6/180, has a zero-effort delivery and is regularly 89-93, with reports he’s been as high as 97 mph this spring. The off-speed stuff is more 50-55 right now, but there’s more than a few of the positive Brady Aiken indicators here and there may be even more upside.
10. Ryan Boldt, CF, Nebraska: Boldt was another 1st round talent out of high school but a knee injury during the spring caused teams to back off. He hasn’t integrated his average raw power into games yet, but he’s performed and is still an easy plus runner that profiles in center.