The Mets concluded Day Two of the MLB First Year Player Draft today, and continued to focus on pitching and up-the-middle prospects.
With the second Jose Reyes compensation pick (71), they selected Arkansas 3B Matt Reynolds. Reynolds was a strange pick for this spot, because he has the bat of a shortstop, but profiles more as a 3B. He fit two main criteria that the Mets appear to be targeting in this year’s draft however, with those being 1.) a high floor (he projects as a utility guy at worst), and 2.) the ability to limit strikeouts and draw walks (75/69 K/BB ratio for his collegiate career).
Its obviously not a direct trade-off, but Reynolds and Plawecki for Reyes is certainly much less than they would have gotten had they decided to trade him at the deadline.
With their second 2nd round pick, the Mets selected a much more intriguing player in Texas high-school pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz. Teddy, as I am going to call him for obvious reasons, is a projectable player. He stands at 6’4 weighing at around 200 pounds, but has room to fill out his 6’4 frame. His fastball is already 88-92, topping out at 94 at times. He shows a slider that is very hit and miss (no pun intended), and also has a curve and a change.
Baseball America has this to say about Teddy, who was ranked 137 on their board.
Stankiewicz is a polished high school pitcher who fits in the third to fifth round on talent, but he may not be signable away from an Arkansas commitment outside of the top two. He flashes two above-average pitches that should improve as he fills out his projectable 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame. His fastball usually sits at 88-92 mph, topping out anywhere from 89-94 on a given day. His slider is very good at times and mediocre at others. He also uses a curveball as a show pitch and has the makings of a changeup. Stankiewicz has good body control and command for a high school pitcher …. Scouts like the way he repeats his delivery and competes.
This is definitely one of the picks to get excited about, if he can fill that frame out and add velocity while developing his secondary pitches.
In the third round, the Mets selected Louisville closer Matt Koch.
Koch is a player that was a starter until the Cape Cod League, when he was converted to a closer. He hasn’t looked back since, splitting closing duties for Louisville this past season. Due to the fact that he would pitch sporadically it was hard for many scouts to get a good read on the type of pitcher that Koch is. Jonathan Mayo said he believes that he could make it to the majors in a year as a reliever, while Jim Callis thinks he may be able to start.
You can find the rest of the Mets picks here.
Here are some assorted notes in bullet form from the rest of the fist 15 rounds.
- The Mets drafted nine RHPs, all ranging from 6’0 to 6’5, with the majority coming in somewhere in the middle. So tall right-handers appears to have been a strength of this draft.
- With the 140th pick, the Mets selected Branden Kaupe, a 5’7 shortstop from Baldwin HS in Hawaii, him, Tomas Nido, and Cecchini were the only high school position players drafted by the Mets.
- The Mets value showcases very highly, as they took Nimmo last year based on his performance in the All-America game, and also took several players who played in the Cape Cod League. The organization must like the opportunity that it presents to get to know the player better than by watching them play in a regular game.
- A clear target were players with good plate discipline, that walked more than they strike out. Plawecki, Reynolds, and Richie Rodriguez being among those taken that fit the criteria.
- I find Rodriguez to be intriguing, as it appears that he only is a non-prospect due to his lack of size. A look at his college stats shows a player that can rake, as his .350/.422/.528 career triple-slash would point to. This pick has Depodesta’s fingerprints all over it.
- While it is difficult to draw conclusions based on 15 samples of anything, it appears as though the Mets picks today and yesterday were geared towards polish for one of two reasons: 1.) The Mets saw a lot of polished players in this draft class that may not ever be stars, or even starters, but could most likely contribute in some way to the team. With Number 2.) being that Tanous (the Mets Scouting Director) prefers polished players, as his history with Ricciardi in Toronto may suggest.
- One other pick worth mentioned is Brandon Welch (pick 170), he attends Palm Beach Community College and plays both ways, but was drafted as a pitcher. MLB.com had this to say about him:
Welch is one of the more intriguing prospects in the Draft. His fastball sits in the mid 90s, and he also has a hard slider. He has excellent command of both pitches and rarely walks a batter. However, Welch is not the biggest guy in the world, leading some scouts to think he will be a reliever at the next level. Either way, Welch’s aggressive nature and pure stuff are what will get him drafted.