The Mets followed what seemed to be a theme of tonight's draft, taking two up-the-middle guys to add to their system.With the 12th overall pick, the Mets selected shortstop Gavin Cecchini, a polished high school player that should be able to remain at the position. A common misconception I have seen among Mets fans regarding Cecchini is that they don't think he was a good pick because he isn't an "elite" hitter. What the analysts meant is that Cecchini is not of the caliber of Carlos Correa or Manny Machado, which is no knock on Cecchini as a player.This pick came as no surprise as Cecchini has been widely mocked to the Mets since March. Jason Churchill had this to say about the Mets pick of Cecchini:
The Mets add an athletic performer in Cecchini and get a very good baseball player with plus makeup and bloodlines to go with the skills and tools -- his brother Garin is in the Boston Red Sox organization. Scouts like his chances to stay at shortstop thanks to solid range, plus arm strength and a terrific understanding of what it takes to play the position. He's not likely to hit for much power, but his bat has a chance to play in the big leagues due to hand-eye coordination and good plate discipline. The Mets could be looking at an everyday middle infielder, with basement outcome of a very good utility player, but if he sticks at shortstop there's probably enough bat to warrant a regular role.
If you would like to read what we wrote about Cecchini predraft, click here.
With the Mets only compensation round pick, they took Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki. To be completely honest I only knew a little about Plawecki before the draft, but a look at his college stats shows that he is the type of player that the Mets like. During his college career, in 638 at-bats, he struck out just 29 times, while walking 52 times. He slugged .578 this past season for Purdue, and .516 for his career.Plawecki
(click for video) played in the Cape Cod league in 2011, but did not have the strongest showing. He batted .262 with 18 walks and 13 strikeouts, but also showed scouts what he could do with a wood bat.Plawecki is a polished defensive catcher, and is known for having good game-calling skills. He was the Big-10 player of the Year, and a semi-finalist for both the Golden Spikes Award, and the Johnny Bench Award (best catcher in collegiate baseball). He is certainly an exciting player to add to the system, and from what I've learned of him he reminds me of Jason Varitek.I personally like the pick, as I think that the Mets needed to add a catcher or two to the system and Plawecki seems as though he can move quickly and become a good defensive catcher with decent pop and good on-base skills. For what it's worth the (always questionable) MLB Network comparison for him was Kurt Suzuki.The Mets strategy tonight seemed to be that they would go for up-the-middle position players that could move fast, and had good polish and high floors. While they may not have drafted a superstar tonight, the Mets were able to add two players that should contribute to the team as bench players at the worst. By drafting signable players on day one, they have positioned themselves to be able to add high-ceiling talent as the draft progresses.Tonight seems like as good a time as ever to try and figure out what new Mets Scouting Director Tommy Tanous is about. From what it looks like, he has the same general philosophy as Chad Mcdonald, but he tends to lean more towards polish then upside. I believe that if Mcdonald were the Head Scout that he would have grabbed Courtney Hawkins or maybe even Lucas Giolito (who A.) Washington will never be able to sign, and B.) was always a pipe-dream for the Mets anyway).If I had to slap a knee-jerk reaction letter grade to tonight's draft, it would be a B+. Obviously this is a pointless exercise, but I thought that Tanous was able to address two needs of the Mets farm system tonight by adding some high ceiling up-the-middle talent, and also adding to the catcher's position, which has been dismal for the Mets farm system as of late. I just can't give it an A because I think the Mets could have done better than Plawecki in the Compensation Round, as high ceiling talents Lance McCullers and Joey Gallo were still on the board.I guess this would be the time to say that we shouldn't get too worked up in either direction about the Mets' picks tonight, as often we don't know how much certain teams valued specific players. Tonight's picks have set the Mets up to be able to make some noise tomorrow, and the Real Dirty Mets Minor League team will be here to break it all down.To get my knee-jerk reactions on what transpired and will transpire tomorrow, follow my whole new Twitter account @baseballspencer