The Cincinnati Reds had the best draft in 2016 according to the crew over at Baseball America. That wasn’t the only recognition that they got, though. Several players got a nod in the Top Five of several categories.
1st rounder, and 2nd overall pick Nick Senzel got the nod as the best pure hitter in the class and was in the top five of two other categories.
That Senzel got tabbed as the top pure hitter in the draft isn’t much of a surprise. Pretty much everyone thought that’s what he was when he was drafted and after going out and hitting .305/.398/.514 in his professional debut split between Billings and Dayton it just further cemented that point.
Competitive balance pick Taylor Trammell also showed up in multiple categories as well, including best high school athlete. The 35th overall pick in the draft used his athleticism with the Billings Mustangs to hit .303/.374/.421 with 24 stolen bases in his professional debut.
Outfielder T.J. Friedl, despite not actually being drafted, I guess since his bonus counted toward the draft limits made him eligible here, was listed in the best human interest story.
The Reds had the highest draft bonus pool to work with in 2016 thanks to the 2nd overall pick (Senzel) and the competitive balance pick (Trammell). Obviously having a very high pick and a lot of money to spend makes it a little bit easier to grade out well, particularly with the early returns of the draft. Still, the Reds seemed to make the right picks early and they used their money to draft players who went out and performed quite well right out of the gate. They then used their left over money (which wasn’t actually left over, but they used their allowed 5% overage, plus financial penalty) to sign T.J. Friedl who also went out early and tore through the Pioneer League.