Here are the first five picks made by the Phillies in the 2016 MLB Draft.
For only the second time in franchise history (after Pat Burrell in 1998) the Phillies held the first overall pick in the MLB Draft. Of course, this was not the year an obvious generational talent like Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, or Gerrit Cole was available. Philadelphia’s scouting department had to make a tough choice between a handful of players at the top of the draft.
I personally was a fan of AJ Puk and liked the idea of having Puk and Nola as two young pitchers who’d move through the organization quickly and create a solid 1-2 punch atop the rotation. Philadelphia went with high school outfielder Mickey Moniak, who many considered to be the safe pick.
So far Moniak has been a disappointment, though he is still developing in the minor leagues. In there and a half seasons in the minors Moniak has hit .256 with very little power and at least 100 strikeouts in his three full seasons.
Moniak’s bat did pick up recently with a back-to-back 28 double season, and he picked up 13 triples and 11 home runs in Reading. The question for Moniak is ‘where does he fit into the Phillies long-term?’ The Phillies are banking on Adam Haseley, their first round pick from 2018, to be their center fielder. Is Moniak the guy in a couple of years when Andrew McCutchen’s contract is done? An outfield with a successful Moniak and Haseley paired Harper would be a dream for the Phillies, but at this point, it feels unlikely.
Kevin Gowdy was a highly ranked high school pitching prospect, but he suffered an injury that required Tommy John surgery. He appeared in four games in 2016 and missed all of 2017 and 2018. In his first season back from surgery he was 0-6 with a 4.68 ERA in 24 games for Lakewood.
Stobbe was the third high school player taken by Philadelphia, but he’s failed to hit better than .213 in his last three seasons. He did find some power last season with 19 doubles and 15 home runs, but he’s never played above Lakewood.
For the last couple of years Romero has been one of the Phillies top pitching prospects, but long-term he looks to be a reliever. After two years with an ERA under 2.60, his ERA has climed to as high as 5.82 last year between Reading and Lehigh Valley.
Irvin was drafted two times before the Phillies grabbed him in the fifth round. He was never ranked as a particularly high prospect in the organization and appears to be a reliever in the big leagues.
Other prospects still working their way up that fans should keep an eye on are 6’10 lefty Kyle Young (22nd round) and first baseman Darick Hall, who has hit at least 20 home runs in his last three seasons.
Notable 1st round picks drafted after Moniak: Nick Senzel, A.J. Puk, Kyle Lewis, Gavin Lux, Carter Kieboom, Dakota Hudson, Forrest Whitley
Notable draft picks missed: Pete Alonso, Bo Bichette, Sean Murphy, Jesus Luzardo, Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, Adley Rutschman