Grading Every MLB Team's 2016 Draft Haul 6 Years Later

Joel ReuterJanuary 2, 2023

Grading Every MLB Team's 2016 Draft Haul 6 Years Later

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    Pete Alonso
    Pete AlonsoRich Schultz/Getty Images

    Last offseason, we did a series of articles looking back on recent MLB draft classes and grading each team's draft haul in hindsight.

    It was decided that at least six years needed to pass before a draft class could be properly assessed, giving prospects enough time to climb the minor league ranks, reach the majors and establish themselves at the highest level.

    With another year passed, it's time to add a class to the mix.

    The 2016 draft class did not have a consensus No. 1 overall player, and prep outfielder Mickey Moniak was selected with the first pick by the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Eight players from the 2016 draft have been selected to at least one All-Star Game, but none of them were first-round picks, as players such as Corbin Burnes, Shane Bieber, Pete Alonso, Bo Bichette and Bryan Reynolds were all chosen in the second round or later.

    We went with A, B, C, D or F as the possible grades for each team based on the amount of MLB talent their draft class produced, how it did with its first-round pick or picks and how it used prospects to improve the roster in other ways, like trades. Unsigned players were not factored toward a team's grade and were not noted in this article with the exception of unsigned first-round selections.

    If you missed last year's series, the links can be found here: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Kevin Ginkel
    Kevin GinkelZac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Anfernee Grier (1-39)

    MLB Players: RHP Jon Duplantier (3-89), LHP Colin Poche (14-419), RHP Kevin Ginkel (22-659), RHP Riley Smith (24-719)

    Outfielder Anfernee Grier hit .366/.457/.576 with 12 home runs and 19 steals during his junior season at Auburn, but he failed to advance beyond the High-A level in the D-backs system. He has spent the past two seasons playing indy ball for the Chicago Dogs.

    Right-hander Jon Duplantier emerged as one of baseball's top pitching prospects in 2017 when he went 12-3 with a 1.39 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 136 innings, but that minor-league success never translated to the majors.

    The best current big leaguer of the group is left-hander Colin Poche, who logged a 3.99 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with seven saves and 23 holds in 65 appearances out of the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen in 2022.

    Grade: D

Atlanta Braves

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    Ian Anderson
    Ian AndersonTodd Kirkland/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: RHP Ian Anderson (1-3), LHP Joey Wentz (1-40)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Kyle Muller (2-44), RHP Bryse Wilson (4-109), RHP Jeremy Walker (5-139), LHP Tucker Davidson (19-559)

    The Braves front-loaded their bonus pool and walked away with three of the top prep arms in the 2016 class, with Ian Anderson (No. 12), Kyle Muller (No. 25) and Joey Wentz (No. 26) all ranked among the top 30 on Baseball America's list of the top-500 draft prospects.

    Anderson has the unique distinction of earning NL Rookie of the Year votes in 2020 and 2021, but he struggled last season and was ultimately demoted to the minors. He'll likely start the season as the next man up for a spot in the rotation.

    Meanwhile, Wentz (to Tigers for Shane Greene) and Muller (to Athletics for Sean Murphy) were both traded before making any real impact in Atlanta, as were Bryse Wilson (to Pittsburgh for Richard Rodríguez) and Tucker Davidson (to Angels for Raisel Iglesias).

    Grade: B

Baltimore Orioles

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    Austin Hays
    Austin HaysLeslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Cody Sedlock (1-27)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Keegan Akin (2-54), OF Austin Hays (3-91)

    After logging a 2.49 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 101.1 innings during his junior season at Illinois, right-hander Cody Sedlock vaulted into the first round. He finally made his MLB debut with three innings of relief on May 29, 2022, but he was designated for assignments shortly after and is currently a free agent.

    Outfielder Austin Hays was the first player from the 2016 draft to reach the majors when he was called up on Sept. 7, 2017. He has logged 5.4 WAR in the past two seasons as the team's starting left fielder.

    Southpaw Keegan Akin ranked third in the majors in relief innings in 2022. His 79.1 frames out of the bullpen trailed only Brock Burke (82.1) and Erasmo Ramirez (80.1), and he had a 3.06 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in that role.

    Grade: C

Boston Red Sox

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    Bobby Dalbec
    Bobby DalbecMaddie Meyer/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Jay Groome (1-12)

    MLB Players: RHP Shaun Anderson (3-88), 3B Bobby Dalbec (4-118), RHP Mike Shawaryn (5-148), RHP Stephen Nogosek (6-178), SS Santiago Espinal (10-298), LHP Kyle Hart (19-568)

    The hype was real surrounding left-hander Jay Groome in high school.

    Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

    A GM on jason groome: "might be the best high school pitching prospect since clayton kershaw."

    Unfortunately, injuries limited him to four total innings pitched in 2018 and 2019, and then the 2020 minor league season was canceled, leaving him trying to play developmental catch-up. He was sent to the San Diego Padres in the Eric Hosmer trade at the deadline.

    While six players from this draft haul have reached the majors, they've found little success, aside from Santiago Espinal who was an All-Star for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2022. The Red Sox used him to acquire postseason hero Steve Pearce at the 2018 deadline.

    Grade: D

Chicago Cubs

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    Michael Rucker
    Michael RuckerNuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: None

    MLB Players: RHP Thomas Hatch (3-104), RHP Tyson Miller (4-134), RHP Stephen Ridings (8-254), RHP Michael Rucker (11-344), SS Zack Short (17-524), RHP Matt Swarmer (19-584), 2B Trent Giambrone (25-764)

    The Cubs parted with their first- and second-round picks as compensation for signing Jason Heyward and John Lackey in free agency, so right-hander Thomas Hatch was their first selection at No. 104 overall.

    The only player from this class still in the Cubs organization is reliever Michael Rucker.

    The 6'1" right-hander had a 3.95 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 41 appearances in 2022, and he will battle for a middle relief role next spring. He has two minor league options remaining, which adds to his roster value.

    Grade: D

Chicago White Sox

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    Zack Collins
    Zack CollinsJoe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: C Zack Collins (1-10), RHP Zack Burdi (1-26)

    Other MLB Players: OF Alex Call (3-86), RHP Jimmy Lambert (5-146), LHP Bernardo Flores Jr. (7-206), RHP Ian Hamilton (11-326), RHP Matt Foster (20-596)

    Zack Collins hit .320/.473/.604 with 42 home runs and 183 RBI in 188 games at the University of Miami, and he was the third college hitter selected. He showed some pop and on-base ability in the minors, but he has hit just .185 with a 72 OPS+ in 459 plate appearances in the majors and is currently a free agent.

    The White Sox also had the No. 26 pick as compensation for losing Jeff Samardzija in free agency. They took flame-throwing reliever Zack Burdi from Louisville, and he was expected to move quickly through the minors. Instead, he struggled in the upper levels of the minors and has just 15 career appearances and a 7.79 ERA in the majors.

    Jimmy Lambert and Matt Foster are both members of the current 40-man roster and will battle for bullpen spots this spring.

    Grade: D

Cincinnati Reds

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    Nick Senzel
    Nick SenzelMitchell Leff/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: 3B Nick Senzel (1-2), OF Taylor Trammell (1-35)

    Other MLB Players: C Chris Okey (2-43), RHP Ryan Hendrix (5-138), RHP Joel Kuhnel (11-318)

    A proven SEC performer with a polished hit tool, extra-base power and good athleticism, Nick Senzel was viewed by many as the safest pick in the 2016 draft. He hit .332/.426/.509 as a three-year starter at Tennessee and made his MLB debut in 2019 after three straight years as a top-10 prospect on the Baseball America Top 100 list.

    Things have yet to click in the majors, as he's hit .240/.303/.360 for a 73 OPS+ in 1,036 plate appearances, but he'll be given every chance to win the starting center field job again this spring.

    Fellow first-round pick Taylor Trammell also developed into a top-100 prospect before he was traded to the San Diego Padres in the three-team deal that brought Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati at the 2019 deadline.

    Grade: C

Cleveland Guardians

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    Shane Bieber
    Shane BieberAlika Jenner/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Will Benson (1-14)

    Other MLB Players: 3B Nolan Jones (2-55), RHP Aaron Civale (3-92), RHP Shane Bieber (4-122), OF Conner Capel (5-152), RHP Zach Plesac (12-362), LHP Tanner Tully (26-782)

    The jury is still out on 6'5" slugger Will Benson, who had a .948 OPS in 89 games at Triple-A last year but looked overmatched in his first MLB action with a .182 average and 19 strikeouts in 61 plate appearances.

    However, this draft has already been a rousing success thanks to the development of Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac as staples in the starting rotation as well as Aaron Civale, who has started 63 games over the past four seasons.

    Bieber already has a strong case for being the club's best homegrown pitcher of the draft era. His 14.2 WAR over the past four seasons is tied for ninth among all pitchers, and he won the AL Cy Young Award in 2020.

    Grade: A

Colorado Rockies

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    Riley Pint
    Riley PintAP Photo/David Zalubowski

    First-Round Picks: RHP Riley Pint (1-4), RHP Robert Tyler (1-38)

    MLB Players: LHP Ben Bowden (2-45), SS Garrett Hampson (3-81), 3B Colton Welker (4-110), C Brian Serven (5-140), RHP Bryan Baker (11-320), RHP J.D. Hammer (24-710), RHP Rico Garcia (30-890)

    "In a best-case scenario he becomes a Justin Verlander-esque front-line ace," Baseball America wrote of Riley Pint, warning of his mechanics and control issues.

    With 165 walks and 29 hit batters in 212.1 innings in the minors to go along with a 5.34 ERA, Pint is still trying to overcome those problems.

    Meanwhile, fellow first-round pick Robert Tyler never pitched above High-A, and he is a student assistant at the University of Georgia, where he pitched for three seasons.

    Tip of the cap to 11th-round pick Bryan Baker, who enjoyed a breakout 2022 season with the Baltimore Orioles, logging a 3.49 ERA and 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings in 66 appearances.

    Grade: F

Detroit Tigers

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    Matt Manning
    Matt ManningG Fiume/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Matt Manning (1-9)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Kyle Funkhouser (4-115), RHP Bryan Garcia (6-175), OF Jacob Robson (8-235), RHP John Schreiber (15-445), RHP Brandyn Sittinger (17-505)

    The Tigers signed 6'6" right-hander Matt Manning away from a commitment to play baseball and basketball at Loyola Marymount, and his prospect stock took off once he turned his full attention to the mound.

    The 24-year-old had a 3.43 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 48 strikeouts in 63 innings in 2022, and he looks like the front-runner to join Eduardo Rodriguez, Matthew Boyd, Michael Lorenzen and Spencer Turnbull in the starting rotation to begin the 2023 season.

    Reliever John Schreiber struggled to a 6.28 ERA in 28 appearances with the Tigers in 2019 and 2020, and he was claimed off waivers by Boston prior to the 2021 season. He was one of the breakout relievers of 2022 with a 2.22 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP and 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings while tallying eight saves and 22 holds in 64 appearances.

    Grade: B

Houston Astros

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    Forrest Whitley
    Forrest WhitleyMichael Reaves/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Forrest Whitley (1-17)

    MLB Players: OF Ronnie Dawson (2-61), C Jake Rogers (3-97), 3B Abraham Toro (5-157), LHP Ryan Hartman (9-277), SS Alex De Goti (15-457), 1B Taylor Jones (19-577), C Chuckie Robinson (21-637),

    Forrest Whitley appeared to be on the fast track to Cy Young contention when he reached Double-A at the age of 19 in 2017 and began the following seasons ranked as the No. 10 prospect in baseball.

    Injuries, command issues and a 50-game PED suspension derailed his ascent, and the 25-year-old has still not made his MLB debut and has one minor league option remaining.

    Jake Rogers was sent to Detroit in the Justin Verlander blockbuster, and Abraham Toro was dealt to division-rival Seattle for Kendall Graveman before the 2021 deadline.

    Grade: C

Kansas City Royals

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    Nicky Lopez
    Nicky LopezEd Zurga/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: None

    MLB Players: OF Khalil Lee (3-103), SS Nicky Lopez (5-163), LHP Richard Lovelady (10-313), RHP David McKay (14-433), OF Nick Heath (16-493), RHP Anthony Bender (20-613)

    The Royals parted with their first-round pick to sign Ian Kennedy to an ill-advised five-year, $70 million deal in free agency, marking the first time since 1990 that they did not have a selection in the first round.

    Outfielder Khalil Lee has flashed an intriguing mix of power and speed in the minors, but he also carries a 29.3 percent strikeout rate in six seasons and has yet to receive an extended look in the majors. He was traded to the Mets in the three-team deal that brought Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City.

    The best of the bunch in this draft haul has been infielder Nicky Lopez, who hit .300 in a 4.3-WAR season in 2021 but struggled offensively last year. He'll need to earn his playing time in 2023 with Adalberto Mondesi returning from injury and Michael Massey also in the mix.

    Grade: C

Los Angeles Angels

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    Matt Thaiss
    Matt ThaissRob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: C Matt Thaiss (1-16)

    Other MLB Players: OF Brandon Marsh (2-60), RHP Chris Rodriguez (4-126), C Jack Kruger (20-606), SS Jose Rojas (36-1,086)

    Matt Thaiss hit .380/.475/.585 with 10 home runs and more walks (37) than strikeouts (16) during his junior season at the University of Virginia, and the Angels moved him from catcher to first base in an effort to expedite his bat to the majors.

    After failing to develop as hoped, he returned to catching in 2021, and he will enter the 2023 season third on the depth chart behind Logan O'Hoppe and Max Stassi. His ability to play first and third base could land him in a utility role, but he'll need to prove he can hit MLB pitching.

    Outfielder Brandon Marsh was the big win from this draft haul, and he was flipped to the Phillies in a one-for-one deal for O'Hoppe at the 2022 trade deadline.

    Grade: C

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Gavin Lux and Will Smith
    Gavin Lux and Will SmithLachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: SS Gavin Lux (1-20), C Will Smith (1-32), RHP Jordan Sheffield (1-36)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Mitch White (2-65), RHP Dustin May (3-101), OF DJ Peters (4-131), LHP Devin Smeltzer (5-161), OF Luke Raley (7-221), RHP Andre Scrubb (8-251), RHP Tony Gonsolin (9-281), RHP A.J. Alexy (11-341), OF Cody Thomas (13-401), RHP Dean Kremer (14-431), SS Zach McKinstry (33-1,001)

    Fourteen of the 33 players the Dodgers signed from their 2016 draft class have reached the majors, which is an extremely impressive success rate given what a crapshoot the draft is.

    Not only has a large quantity of players reached the majors, but Will Smith (10.8), Tony Gonsolin (8.0), Gavin Lux (5.3) and Dustin May (1.9) have developed into impact players, recording a combined 26.0 WAR.

    Right-hander Dean Kremer was traded to the Orioles in the Manny Machado blockbuster, and he looks like the one who got away after posting a 3.23 ERA in 125.1 innings in 2022.

    Grade: A

Miami Marlins

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    Braxton Garrett
    Braxton GarrettMitchell Leff/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Braxton Garrett (1-7)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Dylan Lee (10-293), RHP Chad Smith (11-323), RHP Michael King (12-353)

    Despite spending most of 2017 and all of 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Braxton Garrett still made his MLB debut during the 2020 season after just 122 innings in the minors.

    He was knocked around in limited action in 2020 and 2021 but turned a corner last season with a 3.58 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 88 innings over 17 starts. He'll need to beat out Edward Cabrera or Trevor Rogers for a rotation spot in spring training unless the Marlins trade a starter.

    Dylan Lee (46 G, 2.13 ERA with ATL) and Michael King (34 G, 2.29 ERA with NYY) had successful seasons pitching elsewhere in 2022. King went the Yankees in the deal that brought Garrett Cooper to Miami in 2017.

    Grade: C

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Corbin Burnes
    Corbin BurnesStacy Revere/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Corey Ray (1-5)

    Other MLB Players: C Mario Feliciano (2-75), RHP Corbin Burnes (4-111), C Payton Henry (6-171), C Cooper Hummel (18-531), 1B Ryan Aguilar (31-921)

    Corey Ray hit .310/.388/.545 with 16 doubles, 15 home runs, 60 RBI and 44 steals in 64 games during his junior season at Louisville, and his mix of power, speed and up-the-middle defense gave him one of the highest ceilings in the draft class.

    A 30 percent strikeout rate in the minors has kept him from reaching his full potential, and he hit just .219 with a .689 OPS at Double-A and Triple-A in 2022.

    Despite missing on the No. 5 pick, the Brewers still got a high mark thanks to the selection of Corbin Burnes in the fourth round. The 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he has a chance to give Teddy Higuera and Ben Sheets a run for the title of best pitcher in franchise history if Milwaukee can find a way to keep him around beyond the 2024 season.

    Grade: A

Minnesota Twins

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    José Miranda
    José MirandaJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Alex Kirilloff (1-15)

    Other MLB Players: C Ben Rortvedt (2-56), SS Jose Miranda (2-73), OF Akil Baddoo (2-74), RHP Griffin Jax (3-93), RHP Tyler Wells (15-453), RHP Sean Poppen (19-573), SS Caleb Hamilton (23-693)

    Alex Kirilloff has had injury issues, starting with Tommy John surgery less than a year after he was drafted. The 25-year-old has a 94 OPS+ with 18 doubles, 11 home runs and 55 RBI in 387 plate appearances in the majors, and he would be an under-the-radar breakout candidate in 2023 with a clean bill of health.

    Jose Miranda (116 OPS+, 25 2B, 15 HR, 66 RBI) and Griffin Jax (65 G, 18 HLD, 3.36 ERA, 9.7 K/9) were solid contributors in 2022, while Tyler Wells (23 GS, 7-7, 4.25 ERA) was a staple in the Baltimore rotation after being selected in the 2020 Rule 5 draft.

    Interesting note: Matt Wallner (32nd round) and Brent Rooker (38th round) failed to sign with the Twins in 2016 but were later selected again by the team as first-round picks.

    Grade: B

New York Mets

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    Pete Alonso
    Pete AlonsoMike Stobe/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: RHP Justin Dunn (1-19), LHP Anthony Kay (1-31)

    Other MLB Players: 1B Pete Alonso (2-64), RHP Colin Holderman (9-280)

    The Mets used both of their 2016 first-round picks as trade chips, with Justin Dunn going to the Mariners in the Robinson Canó-Edwin Díaz blockbuster and Anthony Kay going to the Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman before the 2019 trade deadline.

    However, the selection of Pete Alonso alone was enough to make this an "A" class.

    Alonso hit .374/.469/.659 with 14 home runs and 60 RBI in 58 games during his junior season at the University of Florida, but his profile as a first base-only player and right-handed hitter caused him to fall to the second round. Three years later, he set the rookie home-run record with 53 long balls, and he is now one of the game's top run producers.

    Grade: A

New York Yankees

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    Nick Nelson
    Nick NelsonSteph Chambers/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Blake Rutherford (1-18)

    MLB Players: 2B Nick Solak (2-62), RHP Nick Nelson (4-128), RHP Brooks Kriske (6-188), RHP Taylor Widener (12-368), RHP Greg Weissert (18-548), LHP Phillip Diehl (27-818)

    Blake Rutherford hit .351/.415/.570 in 130 plate appearances in rookie ball after signing, but he struggled the following season at Single-A and he was traded to the White Sox at the deadline in a deal that brought David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Todd Frazier to New York.

    The 25-year-old has spent the last two years at Triple-A and has still not made his MLB debut, though he hit a respectable .271/.311/.428 with 41 extra-base hits in 2022.

    Nick Solak and Taylor Widener were traded in the same three-team deal that brought Brandon Drury to New York in 2018.

    Grade: C

Oakland Athletics

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    Sean Murphy
    Sean MurphyMitchell Layton/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: LHP A.J. Puk (1-6), RHP Daulton Jefferies (1-37)

    Other MLB Players: C Sean Murphy (3-83), RHP Brandon Bailey (6-172), SS Eli White (11-322), 2B Nate Mondou (13-382), RHP Seth Martinez (17-502)

    A.J. Puk was a candidate to be picked No. 1 overall after logging a 3.05 ERA with 101 strikeouts in 73.2 innings during his junior season at Florida. Injuries have curtailed his progress, but he finally stayed healthy in 2022 and posted a 3.12 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings with four saves and 20 holds in 62 appearances.

    The prize pickup here was Sean Murphy, who was a standout defender with questions about his offensive upside coming out of Wright State. He developed into one of the best two-way catchers in the game over the past few seasons before he was traded to Atlanta earlier this offseason.

    Brandon Bailey was used to acquire Ramón Laureano from the Astros, while Eli White was part of the package sent to the Rangers for Jurickson Profar after the 2018 season.

    Grade: A

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Cole Irvin
    Cole IrvinAP Photo/Matt Slocum

    First-Round Pick: OF Mickey Moniak (1-1)

    Other MLB Players: LHP JoJo Romero (4-107), LHP Cole Irvin (5-137), 1B Darick Hall (14-407)

    Mickey Moniak was viewed not only as a high-ceiling prep prospect with superstar upside, but also a high-floor prospect thanks to his advanced hit tool, smooth left-handed swing and plus defense in center field.

    After failing to live up to expectations in the minors, he hit just .129/.214/.172 in 105 plate appearances in Philadelphia before he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels at the 2022 deadline in the deal that brought back Noah Syndergaard.

    Giving up on Cole Irvin also looks like a huge mistake in hindsight. He was traded to the Athletics in exchange for cash considerations after struggling to a 6.75 ERA in 45.1 innings in 2019 and 2020, but he has a 4.11 ERA in 359.1 innings the past two seasons as a rotation staple in Oakland.

    Grade: F

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Will Craig
    Will CraigAP Photo/Tony Dejak

    First-Round Picks: 1B Will Craig (1-22), LHP Nick Lodolo (1-41, did not sign)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Blake Cederlind (5-165), LHP Cam Vieaux (6-195), RHP Max Kranick (11-345), RHP Adam Oller (20-615), OF Hunter Owen (25-765), RHP Geoff Hartlieb (29-885)

    For every Pete Alonso, there are a dozen prospects like Will Craig who simply don't develop the offensive tools to carry their limited overall skill set. The Wake Forest product had a 1.251 OPS with 16 home runs during his junior season, but he failed to produce in limited MLB action and will unfortunately be best remembered for this play:

    Chicago Cubs @Cubs

    Javier Báez.<br>El Mago.<br>The Magician. <a href="https://t.co/yZX7HgUFCU">pic.twitter.com/yZX7HgUFCU</a>

    The Pirates also failed to sign Nick Lodolo with the No. 41 overall pick, the highest unsigned selection of the 2016 draft class. He honored his commitment to TCU, went No. 7 overall in the 2019 draft to the Cincinnati Reds and now looks like one of the better young lefties in the sport.

    Grade: F

San Diego Padres

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    Cal Quantrill
    Cal QuantrillAP Photo/Charlie Riedel

    First-Round Picks: RHP Cal Quantrill (1-8), SS Hudson Potts (1-24), LHP Eric Lauer (1-25)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Mason Thompson (3-85), LHP Joey Lucchesi (4-114), OF Jack Suwinski (15-444), RHP David Bednar (35-1,044)

    Most of this draft class ended up being trade fodder for the San Diego front office.

    Cal Quantrill was a major roll of the dice at No. 8 overall after he missed his junior season at Stanford recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he returned strong and developed into a top prospect. He was traded to Cleveland in the ill-fated Mike Clevinger deal and is now a staple in the Guardians rotation.

    Eric Lauer was traded to Milwaukee in the deal that brought Trent Grisham and Zach Davies to San Diego. The left-hander has a 3.47 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 277.1 innings over the past two seasons in the Brewers rotation.

    Hudson Potts, Joey Lucchesi and All-Star closer David Bednar were all sent packing in the three-team deal that brought Joe Musgrove to San Diego, while Mason Thompson was sent to the Washington Nationals at the 2021 deadline in exchange for Daniel Hudson.

    Grade: B

San Francisco Giants

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    Bryan Reynolds
    Bryan ReynoldsAlex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: None

    MLB Players: OF Bryan Reynolds (2-59), LHP Caleb Baragar (9-275), LHP Conner Menez (14-425)

    The Giants would take a mulligan on the entire 2017-18 offseason if given the chance, when they traded away multiple young pieces to add aging stars Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria to a team that would finish a distant fourth in the NL West standings.

    Bryan Reynolds was the prospect centerpiece of the McCutchen deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he is now one of the best young outfielders in the game and exactly the type of young, impact offensive player the Giants are lacking.

    Signing Jeff Samardzija in free agency cost the Giants their first-round pick, which is further salt in the wound of this draft recap.

    Grade: D

Seattle Mariners

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    Kyle Lewis
    Kyle LewisSteph Chambers/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Kyle Lewis (1-11)

    Other MLB Players: SS Donovan Walton (5-147), RHP Matthew Festa (7-207), RHP Reggie McClain (13-387), RHP Robert Dugger (18-537)

    Kyle Lewis won 2016 Golden Spikes honors when he hit .395/.535/.731 with 20 home runs and 72 RBI in 61 games during his junior season at Mercer University. Injuries cost him significant time during his first two full professional seasons, but he came out the other side to win 2020 AL Rookie of the Year honors.

    After two more injury-plagued seasons in 2021 and 2022, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in November.

    Matthew Festa was a solid member of the bullpen this past season, logging a 4.17 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 53 appearances.

    Grade: B

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Dylan Carlson
    Dylan CarlsonIcon Sportswire

    First-Round Picks: SS Delvin Pérez (1-22), OF Dylan Carlson (1-32), RHP Dakota Hudson (1-34)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Zac Gallen (3-106), SS Tommy Edman (6-196), C Andrew Knizner (7-226), LHP Daniel Castano (19-586), 3B Andrew Young (37-1,126)

    This draft haul would look a lot better for St. Louis if they had not traded Zac Gallen to the Miami Marlins as part of the package to acquire Marcell Ozuna prior to the 2018 season. He has since been traded again and developed into the ace of the staff for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Still, finding a starting outfielder (Dylan Carlson), starting middle infielder (Tommy Edman), swingman (Dakota Hudson) and backup catcher (Andrew Knizner) is better than what most teams walked away with in 2016.

    Shortstop Delvin Pérez was a potential top-five pick before a positive PED test came to light days before the draft. The Cardinals hoped to find value after he slid, but he has not shown enough offensively to be anything more than organizational depth.

    Grade: A

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Nathaniel Lowe
    Nathaniel LoweWill Newton/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Josh Lowe (1-13)

    Other MLB Players: OF Jake Fraley (2-77), RHP Easton McGee (4-120), LHP Kenny Rosenberg (8-240), 1B Nathaniel Lowe (13-390), 2B Miles Mastrobuoni (14-420), LHP Sam Long (18-540)

    The Rays drafted brothers Josh Lowe (No. 13 overall out of Pope High School) and Nathaniel Lowe (13th round out of Mississippi State) in the 2016 draft, and both players developed into top prospects.

    There is still time for Josh to develop into an everyday MLB outfielder after he hit .315/.402/.556 with 43 extra-base hits and 25 steals in 80 games at Triple-A last year, while Nathaniel has broken out in a big way with the Texas Rangers since he was traded two years ago.

    Outfielder Jake Fraley was part of the five-player deal that brought Mike Zunino to Tampa Bay, and he has since been traded again, going to the Cincinnati Reds in the Jesse Winker/Eugenio Suárez trade.

    Grade: B

Texas Rangers

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    Cole Ragans
    Cole RagansRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Cole Ragans (1-30)

    Other MLB Players: SS Charles Leblanc (4-129), RHP Kyle Cody (6-189), C Sam Huff (7-219), RHP Joe Barlow (11-339)

    Between back-to-back Tommy John surgeries in 2018 and 2019 and then the canceled 2020 minor league season, Cole Ragans pitched just 65 total innings during his first five years in the Texas organization.

    After shaking off the rust in 2021, he posted a 3.04 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 94.2 innings in the upper levels of the minors last year before making his MLB debut on Aug. 4 and starting nine games down the stretch. Still just 25 years old, he'll be one to watch in 2023, though his role could be in the bullpen after the Rangers' busy offseason.

    Joe Barlow has a 2.81 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 24 saves in 29 opportunities the past two seasons, and he'll likely slide back into a setup role now that José Leclerc and Jonathan Hernández are both healthy.

    Grade: C

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Bo Bichette
    Bo BichetteMark Blinch/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP T.J. Zeuch (1-21)

    Other MLB Players: SS Bo Bichette (2-66), RHP Zach Jackson (3-102), OF Josh Palacios (4-132), 2B Cavan Biggio (5-162), LHP Kirby Snead (10-312), RHP Josh Winckowski (15-462), LHP Jake Fishman (30-912)

    There were enough moving parts in Bo Bichette's swing coming out of high school that he slipped out of the first round of the 2016 draft, but it still took an above-slot $1.1 million bonus to sign him with the No. 66 overall pick.

    It's now obvious that was money well spent, as he's developed into one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball and a cornerstone piece of Toronto's present and future plans.

    Cavan Biggio has plateaued in his development, but he's still a solid super-utility player with 6.3 WAR under his belt. Whiffing on T.J. Zeuch in the first round is not enough to keep this from being an "A" grade class with one legitimate star and a handful of complementary pieces.

    Grade: A

Washington Nationals

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    Carter Kieboom
    Carter KieboomJoe Sargent/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: SS Carter Kieboom (1-28), RHP Dane Dunning (1-29)

    Other MLB Players: 3B Sheldon Neuse (2-58), LHP Jesús Luzardo (3-94), OF Daniel Johnson (5-154), C Tres Barrera (6-184), 2B Jake Noll (7-214), LHP Ben Braymer (18-544), RHP Sterling Sharp (22-664)

    The Nationals sent Dane Dunning to the Chicago White Sox along with Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López in exchange for outfielder Adam Eaton at the 2016 winter meetings, and the team's other first-round pick Carter Kieboom is still trying to navigate injuries for his first full season in the majors.

    Further down the draft board, left-hander Jesús Luzardo signed an above-slot $1.4 million deal after Tommy John surgery in March of his senior season of high school caused him to fall out of the first-round conversation. He too ended up being traded, going to the Oakland Athletics along with second-round pick Sheldon Neuse and Blake Treinen in exchange for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson.

    The trades may have been a bit lopsided in hindsight, but it's at least worth mentioning that Eaton and Doolittle were contributors on the 2019 World Series-winning team.

    Grade: C

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