Now that the 2016 MLB Draft has come and gone it is time for the players drafted to sign with their respective teams and begin their professional careers. Most of those players will begin their careers in the New York Penn League, which opened the 2016 season last week. Undoubtedly there will be more players coming to the NYPL once they sign, but just in the first week alone we have ten of the top players from the 2016 draft that have already debuted with their respective teams or will be joining them soon.
As of now the Cyclones have the most of the top players drafted in Justin Dunn, Blake Tiberi, and Colby Woodmansee. Dunn, the 19th overall selection, signed with the Mets this week, so his Brooklyn debut should not be far off. Short Season A ball teams normally do not announce starters to far in advance, so we do not know if there are plans to start Dunn soon, but I think before the end of the month is a reasonable thought for him to be on the mound.
Similar to Dunn, Tiberi signed with the Mets this week and is yet to make his debut in Brooklyn. When Tiberi does debut he will be competing with Jay Jabs, 16th round selection in this year's draft for playing time at third. (I think Tiberi will get most of the reps there.) Colby Woodmansee was a fifth round selection and is a player I plan to keep a close eye on in the NYPL this year. He should get consistent playing time at short in Brooklyn and allow his bat to further develop. Woodmansee made his debut on June 21st and is 2-6 with two runs batted in.
Hudson Valley Renegades
The Renegades have the second round selection of the Tampa Bay Rays, Ryan Boldt in center field this season. Boldt just made his debut on Wednesday night going 1 for 5 with a stolen base and a strikeout. Boldt's strength is his athleticism and defense, which will help him as he moves through the Rays system. Jake Fraley, who the Rays already signed, but have not assigned, may begin his career in Hudson Valley, but there is no word yet on where the other Rays top 2016 Draft pick will be headed.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers
Logan Ice was one of the top catchers in a draft filled with catching prospects. The Indians were in the market for a catcher and drafted Logan Ice, who is 1 for 7 to start his professional career, along with four walks. Ice can hit for power and he has plus defense. Ice should have a strong season in Mahoning Valley.
Staten Island Yankees
Nick Solak, a second round selection out of Louisville, signed with the Yankees this week and has been assigned to Staten Island. He was one of the more advanced collegiate bats in this year's draft and could move quickly through the Yankees system. Solak should make his debut in relatively short order.
The Tri-City ValleyCats have another catching prospect in the 2016 draft and he is Jake Rogers. Rogers, a third round selection out of Tulane, has started his professional career 3 for 14 with two runs batted in and five walks. Also, Ronnie Dawson, outfielder out of Ohio State and second round selection has begun his professional career 4 for 18. Dawson has played a game at each of the outfield corners while DHing the other two.
West Virginia Black Bears
The Pirates drafted the standout collegiate bat in 2016 in Will Craig, who unfortunately has had a slow start to his professional career. Craig is 1 for 13 to begin his career with three strikeouts and three walks. All three of Craig's game he has played third base - he has the ability to play first base as well as pitch, but we know he will be developed as a positon player, in particular a third basemen.
Vermont Lake Monsters
, catcher out of Wright State, is the only current top selection in Oakland's system to play in the NYPL, but he may have company soon. The Oakland A's will hopefully have a NYPL team loaded with 2016 draft prospects. There is the potential for A.J. Puk, Logan Shore, and Daulton Jefferies to join Sean Murphy in Vermont, but I would be surprised if all three of those pitchers head to Vermont. Murphy has only played one game in Vermont, going 0 for 5 with three strikeouts. As the season moves on, the Lake Monsters may have more, if not the most, of the 2016 draft prospects playing in the NYPL.