Constructing the First 11 Picks and What it Leaves the Mets at #12


As you have probably heard, June 4th is the Rule IV Amateur draft and the Mets have the #12 pick in the first round of said draft. While this class lacks the 30+ elite prospects that ‘11’s class had us all drooling over, there are enough to leave an A+ prospect available to the Mets at pick 12.

From this point on I am going to give my opinion on players. Take this with a grain of salt—I am not a scout, nor do I pretend to be. I have merely collected information I have read, combined it with what I have learned from past draft choices and what I have observed from scouting videos, and have ranked the top draft players by talent. The following 11 are the players I believe are A+ prospects (alphabetically):

Albert Almora
Mark Appel
Buck Buxton
Carlos Correa
Max Fried
Kevin Gausman
Lucas Giolito
Courtney Hawkins
Lance McCullers
Kyle Zimmer
Mike Zunino

Yes, there is a lot to like about Heaney, Stratton, Stroman, Wacha, Dahl, Marrero, and even riskier high school picks like Gallo and Hensley but in my mind, these are the A+ prospects in this draft. I want one of these 11.

McCullers is the wildcard because a lot of folks believe he will go to college. Let’s say, for sake of argument, Lance falls to the Mets and the Mets pass on him. That leaves 10 A+ players. I still want one of these 10.

There is no possible scenario (barring an unlikely injury in the next week) that Appel, Gausman, Correa, Zunino, or Buxton fall to the Mets. Those are the top 5 players and will likely be taken with the top 5 picks in some order.

That leaves Albert Almora, Max Fried, Lucas Giolito, Kyle Zimmer, and Courtney Hawkins.

Once Appel and Gausman come off the board by pick 4 (my guess is Appel goes 1 or 2 and I do not see how the Orioles pass on Gausman), the pitching-starved Cubs or Royals will take Zimmer. I also do not see many scenarios in which Albert Almora makes it out of the top 10: The Pirates, Padres, and Royals should all be in on him and even if they all pass, I would think the Rockies or Marlins—two teams who do not shy away from high school talent—would take him.

That leaves us with the two Harvard Westlake pitchers (LHP Max Fried and RHP Lucas Giolito) and Courtney Hawkins.

We have two extra teams we need to get out of the way before I get one of my A+ prospects.

Here is how that happens:

Correa goes in the top few picks. The Padres and Pirates both want/need middle infield talent. One of them reaches for Deven Marrero or Gavin Cecchini (not out of the question that both are taken back-to-back by the Padres and Pirates at 7 and 8). This is a distinct possibility. Marrero was a consensus top-5 guy before a lackluster spring and there might be more teams who believe he will bounce back. There is a strong chance Marrero jumps into the top 11. Or someone jumps the gun on…

Michael Wacha. I believe Michael Wacha will be taken early in the draft. No, his ceiling is nowhere near the “top three” college guys (Gausman, Zimmer, Appel), but he had a great season, has decent stuff, and has the size, composure, and results of a mid-rotation pitcher and would be quick to the bigs. Oh and he is a prototypical Oakland Athletics pick. Which leads me to…

The A’s. The A’s, drafting right before the Mets, will likely take a college pitcher or college hitter. It is what they do—draft college players. With Zunino, Appel, Zimmer, and Gausman already off the board, Wacha, Heaney, and Stratton all look appetizing to the A’s. So do Piscotty and Shaffer. And Stroman. The A’s will take one of these players. Even if they don’t (which they will)…

C Stryker Trahan or RHP Zach Eflin. Maybe SS Addison Russell. Something crazy always happens in the top 10 in the draft that no one is predicting. Maybe some team realizes they don’t want to miss out on slugging OF Victor Roache at any cost and reach in order to get him (A’s and Rockies the best bet to do this). Maybe a team decides to go the safe college route, realize they can go well under slot and invest later in the draft and take OF Tyler Naquin with a top-10 pick…

Or OF Barrett Barnes. Or how about OF Raph Rhymes, who has led the world in hitting and would be worth a look in the first round anyway. The drafting team could get one of these guys for a million+ under slot and invest elsewhere in the draft. With the new CBA and draft rules, we might see something unorthodox like this. Crazier things have happened and all we need is one or two of these possibilities to come to pass for the Mets to have a shot at one of those top-11 guys.


If you have your own top draft prospect list or would like to chat about the draft in any regard, comment below and I will get back to you. This is all speculation at this point and a lot will change over the next week. However, these have been my top 11 guys for a couple weeks now and while I would be thrilled to get a Stroman, Heaney, Dahl, or Cecchini, I believe the names I mention in the list above could be something truly special and I want the Mets to have the chance to draft one of them.



TheCloser said...

I'm with you, I want 1 of those 11 guys you mentioned, with the caveat of McCullers attending college might shy people away.

If all of those guys were to be selected prior to us, (highly doubt will happen for various reasons) I'd probably want them to go with either Heaney or Stroman. I just read the Heaney profile a few minutes ago posted earlier and you're right, there's a lot to like there, plus he could move pretty quickly to be in line with the other arms we have. I heard once, you can never have too much pitching and I couldn't agree more.

I'd love one of the Harvard-Westlake kids personally since I think they are front line starters in my mind, but I'm not so sure that's what Sandy, JP & Depo are looking at, but who knows with the Nimmo pick last year who they are actually looking at.

Hawkins is the only bat I see being a potential, realistic option to fall to us out of those names since he wasn't a sure fire top 10 pick until just recently, but I wouldn't be against him either.

Either way, whoever we get will be considered a Top 10 prospect, along with the Reyes compensation picks with deepen our farm system going forward.

Also, here's a chart I found on ESPN that might be helpful. It's basically what we have available to spend on our first 10 rounds of draft picks vs what we spent last year on similar picks. We have a little bit of flexibility to go after Gio or Fried if we needed to, although we did spend only $10K on Muno in the 7th round last year.

Team Picks Bonus Pool '11 top 10
Mets 12 $7,151,400 $5,070,000

Stephen Guilbert said...


Always nice chatting with you. I like both Heaney and Stroman as well if all 11 are off the board.

I also would not mind taking a gamble with someone like Joey Gallo or Victor Roache if they're going to go off-map for any reason.

Hawkins would be a great addition to this system, as would Almora. Unfortunately, Almora look like a lock to go top-8 which is really too bad...I like him a lot.

Stephen Guilbert said...

I may write a post on this later, but here's a crazy thought:

For sake of argument let's say Giolito is set on attending UCLA if he does not get a top-five selection (and corresponding bonus money). The Mets draft him at #12 and offer him slot money. Maybe a few hundred thousand over slot but no more.

At that point, Giolito can either accept the bonus and the Mets get the best pitching prospect from the draft, or...he goes to UCLA, we have a couple million dollars to invest elsewhere in the draft, AND we get two mid-first round selections in a MUCH stronger draft class next year.

It's a ballsy move but one I'd be for.

Mack Ade said...

I like your thinking Stephen... you sound like Jerry Jones of the Cowboys...

the problem is this team will not be in a financial situation to resign Wright AND offer big money to big FA bats (who are all going to sign with LAD anyway...)

this team needs bats ... now

but, at least by 2014/2015...

Stephen Guilbert said...

I would think that the only way the Mets take a pitcher is if someone like Fried or Zimmer somehow escape the top 11.

Mack Ade said...

It should be interesting because Giolito will probably still not be taken...

Mack's Mets © 2012