Year In Review: Top MLB Draft Stories

A.J. Puk led a hoard of Gators taken in the 2016 draft (Kendall Rogers) • Want more coverage? Subscribe Today

ALSO SEE: Quirkiest Stories Of 2016 The Rise of Nick Senzel

Nick Senzel was far from a secret as he entered last spring, as he was coming off a spectacular Cape Cod League performance and scouts were already calling him a top half of the first round type prospect. But in many ways we may have underestimated the inherent value of the athletic, high performing college hitter.

Senzel had so much going for him this spring as a prospect, starting with the fact that he spent the entire season absolutely mashing for Tennessee. He hit .352, posted a whopping .456 on-base percentage, slugged eight home runs and swiped 25 bases along the way. All spring long, Senzel performed against the best pitching the SEC had to offer and didn’t shy away from the spotlight when scouts packed the stands for his biggest tests. This is how you become the second pick in the country as a college third baseman. Hitting is still the most enticing quantity in the business and the consensus among scouts was that he was the safest bet in the class to hit at the professional level. Hudson Slides

Entering the spring and for most of the college baseball season it appeared that Mississippi State ace Dakota Hudson was destined to be a top ten overall pick in the draft. But some late struggles opened the door for some question marks from scouts and Hudson ended up sliding to 34th overall to the St. Louis Cardinals.

This is a story that is more than just the simple case of a player’s draft stock sliding. It underlines the fact that college arms like Hudson that are seen as frequently as he was, between pitching on Fridays in the SEC and spending a whole summer in the Cape Cod League, can be get somewhat over-analyzed due to overexposure. Players like Boston College’s Justin Dunn went many picks higher than Hudson with similar raw stuff, but the unknown factor can play in a pitcher’s raw at times and when it came to Hudson, there was very little scouts did not know. BC’s Dunn Skyrockets

The Justin Dunn story is an easy segue in this case. In a span of a month in the spring of 2016, the Boston College righty went from a top three round relief arm prospect to the third college pitcher taken in the draft and the 19th overall pick in the first round. It turned out that the 6-foot-2 righty could carry his 92-96 mph fastball into a starting role, and his opportunities to shine against powerhouse programs like Louisville down the stretch of the season pushed him high up draft boards in the final weeks leading up to the big event. Had they not had an unexpected chance at Kyle Lewis, the Seattle Mariners likely would have taken Dunn 11th overall.

There are a lot […]