Mickey Moniak, called up by the Phillies Wednesday, has not performed in the minor leagues the way you'd hope a No. 1 overall pick would. The truth is that most of that 2016 first round has been disappointing.
If MLB was redrafting that first round tomorrow with the benefit of hindsight, the Phillies would come away with Shane Bieber first overall.
The best players to come from that draft, so far, have been:
- Indians SP Shane Bieber (4th round, 122nd overall)
- Mets 1B Pete Alonso (2nd round, 64th)
- Blue Jays SS Bo Bichette (2nd round, 66th)
- Diamondbacks SP Zac Gallen (3rd round, 106th)
- Blue Jays 2B/OF Cavan Biggio (5th round, 162nd)
The top 2016 first-round pick in WAR has been Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota Hudson, who is 23-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 239 career innings. He was selected 34th overall.
Dodgers catcher Will Smith, who has hit .268/.366/.580 in 295 plate appearances, is next. He was the 32nd pick.
Mariners centerfielder Kyle Lewis (11th overall) has had an impressive rookie year. The 24-year-old is hitting .295/.390/.494 with 10 homers and 27 RBI.
Ian Anderson, drafted third overall that year by the Braves, is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in four starts as a rookie. He's already become crucial to the Braves' World Series chances because of their rotation injuries.
The pick after Moniak, second overall, was Nick Senzel to the Reds. Senzel leads 2016 first-rounders in at-bats with 423 but he's had a slow start to his career, hitting for a low average with a low OBP, a lot of strikeouts and a bit of pop. He returned Monday after missing a month with an undisclosed injury.
Senzel's $6.2 million signing bonus was actually $100,000 more than Moniak's. The Phillies went nearly $2 million over slot value for their second-round pick in 2016, Kevin Gowdy, a promising high school right-hander. They used some of the savings from their deal with Moniak, whose signing bonus was $400,000 less than the first overall pick’s the year before, Dansby Swanson.
Gowdy underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2017 and has made just 16 starts the last four years, all in 2019. He walked 51 batters in 77 innings and posted a 4.68 ERA in his return with Class A Lakewood. He turns 23 in November.
Moniak, who made his starting debut Thursday, is the 21st player and 10th position player from the first round in 2016 to appear in the majors. He arrived with a minor-league OPS of .692.