The 2016 MLB Draft is less than a month away, and college baseball is about to wrap up its regular season and head into conference tournaments and ultimately the NCAA Baseball Tournament. There will be plenty of opportunities to see a large number of draft prospects on live TV broadcasts, and we'll have coverage of that as it progresses.
As our mock draft tracker shows, the Colorado Rockies' selection right now leans toward drafting high school outfielder Mickey Moniak, a toolsy speedster who has room to add power. He's also a potential target for the Phillies with the No. 1 overall pick, which would be a decent shakeup if the Phillies opt not to draft a pitcher.
But let's check in on some of the potential college players that might be available when the Rockies are on the clock with the No. 4 overall pick.
Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer
Lewis is the top college position player this year -- someone might disagree with that for a couple of reasons -- and appears to have cemented into a top-three choice, putting him one spot ahead of where the Rockies draft. But then no one really saw Brendan Rodgers not going in the first two picks at about this time last year.
Mercer's regular season ends this weekend with a three-game set starting on Thursday against UNC Greensboro, with whom they are tied for first in the Southern Conference standings. After that, an automatic NCAA Baseball Tournament berth is on the line at the conference tournament, which runs May 24-29.
Season line: .419/.547/.753, 83-for-198, 11 2B, 17 HR, 64 RBI, 56 BB, 42 K
A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida
Puk is likely to be the first pitcher taken in the draft and certainly the first college pitcher selected. High schoolers Jason Groome and Riley Pint will challenge Puk in the former category, but there hasn't been a breakout college pitcher this year to challenge him. If the Phillies pass on him with the first choice, Puk likely won't drop too far; the Reds, the Braves, and the Rockies would all pounce if he's available.
Two weeks ago, Puk struggled with the strike zone against Tennessee; though he struck out six, he also walked six batters over 3⅓ innings. He allowed two runs on three three hits and threw 91 pitches. On Saturday, Vanderbilt defeated Puk and the Gators, 5-0, but in six innings he allowed just one run on three hits and two walks. He struck out 11. His bullpen took a death blow by allowing three runs in the eighth inning, and the offense managed just three hits off Kyle Wright, who struck out 10.
Puk will make one more regular season start against LSU this weekend before advancing to the SEC Tournament.
Season line: 12 GS, 2-3 W-L, 2.88 ERA, 56⅓ IP, 82 K, 27 BB, .189 BAA
Corey Ray, OF, Louisville
Ray is right behind Lewis in the college positions player rankings (higher in one person's estimate if you clicked through the link in the Lewis section) and has frequently been assigned to the Braves in the various mocks. He might have a better chance at being a solid all-around player, but his potential isn't as high as Lewis's, especially with power. Depending on who else is available at No. 4, Ray wouldn't be the worst choice possible, but nowhere near the best.
Season line: .320/.392/.580, 70-for-219, 16 2B, 13 HR, 54 RBI, 28 BB, 33 K, 35/42 SB
Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State
More likely to find himself drafted in the middle of the first round, Hudson is an SEC pitcher like Puk and has shown consistency on the mound this season, but he isn't close to Puk's level of potential. The Rockies had been connected to Hudson earlier in the month, but that phase appears to have passed. Hudson would be a deeply disappointing pick.
Season line: 13 GS, 8-3 W-L (2 CG, 1 SHO), 2.52 ERA, 89⅓ IP, 91 K, 27 BB, .240 BAA