The 2016 MLB Draft is roughly six weeks away, which means mock drafts should appear on a regular basis from now until then. This week, we have Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com offering a mock of their top 10 picks. Both are unanimous in having Florida lefty A.J. Puk and Mercer outfielder Kyle Lewis go first and second overall to the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds. Neither seems concerned with Puk's injury this season (back spasms), or his inconsistent performances on the mound. They see a tall southpaw who has immense talent to reach the majors quickly, though. As for Lewis, they see the top position player in the draft, and it's hard to argue with that.
At third overall, Callis and Mayo are split on whom the Atlanta Braves should take. Callis opts for Louisville outfielder Corey Ray, "the best college bat remaining." Mayo goes with high school lefty Jason Groome, the top prep pitcher available. While Callis reasons that the Braves need big league help soon and might get that in Ray, I side with Mayo here on taking Groome, who offers better long-term potential.
Then we come to the fourth pick, which the Colorado Rockies own. Callis and Mayo both agree that Mississippi State right-handed pitcher Dakota Hudson should be the choice here. Callis thinks the Rockies might be averse to taking a high schooler because Tyler Matzek hasn't panned out and Mike Nikorak had a poor few weeks of rookie ball last summer. Geez, is Nikorak a bust already? Of course not, and 17 2/3 innings aren't going to change the Rockies' draft strategy. Perhaps it will change the way they scout, but not the way they draft.
As for Hudson, Callis and Mayo are big on Hudson being consistent this year. Consistency is good, make no mistake, but in either scenario the Rockies aren't grabbing the best arm available, whether it's Groome in Callis's projection or prep righty Riley Pint in Mayo's. Groome goes eight overall to the Padres in Callis's mock and Pint goes ninth to the Tigers in both.
We'll keep track of the Rockies' mock draft selections, as the major ones come out and are updated. Now let's take a look at what happened last week:
Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State
Hudson and the Bulldogs won Thursday's game agains Alabama 12-5, but the righty coughed up four runs (three earned) over five innings. He surrendered six hits, struck out four, walked two, and threw a wild pitch. This last start is now his fourth in a row allowing at least four runs. In any of his seven starts before that, the junior never allowed more than two runs.
For the season, Hudson has a 3.00 ERA with 74 strikeouts and 26 walks in 72 innings.
Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer
Lewis went a combined 8-for-14 against Savannah State and Western Carolina, which included a triple in the midweek game against the former and eight walks against the latter. He still has 15 home runs on the season, but is slugging .783. He has 50 walks to 35 strikeouts and a .428 batting average.
A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida
Puk put up double-digit strikeouts again with 10 South Carolina Gamecocks heading back to the bench on strike three. He allowed one run (a second-inning RBI single) in six innings and walked three. He did not come out for the seventh inning -- when South Carolina took the lead on a homer -- after throwing 101 pitches.
Corey Ray, OF, Louisville
Ray's big game last week came in the series opener against St. John's, when he went 3-for-4 with a couple of solo home runs. Ray is two home runs behind Lewis with 13 and is hitting .321 this season.
Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat High School (NJ)
Groome threw a two-hit shutout and struck out 13 in his return to the mound, reports NJ.com.