2016 MLB Draft Compensation Pick Preview

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With the Hot Stove reaching its highest temperatures of the offseason after the signings of Zack Greinke and John Lackey by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs respectively, it’s time to take an early look at the 2016 MLB Draft and which players could be selected with their former team’s compensation picks.

The way free agency works, in short, is that certain free agents, namely premium ones, are signed at a high monetary cost by their new team but are were also given a shot to sign a one-year deal with their former team. If a player accepts that deal (a Qualifying Offer), they would stick with their team from 2015 and are paid a salary of $15.8 million for 2016 before hitting the free agent market after the season.

Players that reject this offer, like Greinke and Lackey, come with a draft pick attached to them; meaning the team they are leaving gets an extra draft pick in the next June Draft.

So with that, we are going to take a look at some of the players that were ranked a little lower on MLB Pipeline’s initial draft list. Each of the following players could potentially be available for the Dodgers and Cardinals when their pick comes up between the first and second rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft.

RHP Dakota Hudson- Hudson is 21-years-old and can touch 97 on the gun, but typically averages between 92-94. Both his fastball and slider rate at 60 on the 20-80 scale. The righthander went 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA for Mississippi State in 2015, but had a solid showing in the Cape Cod League this summer, pitching in 13 games (7 starts) with an ERA of 1.43, which included a 0.64 mark in two postseason starts. He struck out 54 in 56.2 innings while walking just 14 and earned Player of the Week honors back in August. Hudson is currently projected as the #33 prospect on the board.

LHP Eric Lauer- Lauer is a 20-year-old lefty that has four solid offerings–fastball, slider, changeup and curve–that rate at either 50 or 55 on the 20-80 scale. His fastball sits in the low 90s according to Pipeline, but can reach 94. With Kent State, Lauer totaled 86.1 innings and accumulated a 1.98 ERA, striking out 103 and walking 26. He looks as though he’ll be a low-risk selection with  a lower ceiling, but his floor should also be a little higher than most which will make him an interesting name to keep an eye on. Lauer is currently projected as the #38 prospect on the board.

OF Jake Fraley- Fraley is a lefthanded bat that hasn’t developed much power just yet, totaling just two home runs on the same LSU squad as 2015’s #2 selection Alex Bregman, but Fraley hit .307 with a .372 on-base percentage. Pipeline deems his run tool his best at 60, with 55 ratings for hitting and fielding, 45 for his arm and a 35 for power. Farley is currently projected as the #32 prospect on the board.

Next: Trio of Reds on the Way

Most of the players ranked in this portion of the list are right-handed pitchers, so we wanted to break it up a little and give a look at some of the array of talent on the list. The full top 50 can be viewed here. As the Draft gets closer we will keep you informed with some standout performers as well as whom the Philadelphia Phillies could end up selecting #1 overall in the 2016 MLB Draft.