With this past weekend’s emergence of Steve Matz in the Mets’ starting ranks, it is interesting to consider that he was from the ancient draft of 2009.  So very long ago.  A combination of his not pitching in his draft year, and then missing virtually all of the following 2 years due to TJ surgery, plus the Mets’ 2015 starter surplus, delayed this potential future star quite a bit. But yippee, yappee, and yahooie, he’s here now.
I thought I’d look at those picks who have been successful in draft years 2009-14.  Who has made it, or is doing very well and could in fact make it to the bigs.  Please note that this list may exclude other future big leaguers down the road, who may currently not be performing well or is currently injured (e.g., Chris Flexen TJS):
2009 – a very lean year, other than Steve Matz.  Darrell Ceciliani was a 4th rounder.  Other than that, nada.   Thank goodness for Steve.
2010 – JACKPOT!  Matt Harvey in the 1st round, Matt den Dekker got a bit of sunshine as a 5th rounder before his trade to the Nats this year, and then a lull until impact rounds 9 and 10: Jake deGrom and Akeel Morris.  Erik Goeddel in round 24, and Josh Edgin in the 30th round.  So a great pitching round (with 2 potential Cy Young starters) and a poor hitting one.  Morris really did not get untracked until 2013, but has been great in 2013-15, so let’s see how he progresses from here.
2011 – a bumper crop of guys with potential.  (The round that each was selected is in parens). 

Brandon Nimmo (1), Michael Fulmer (1A), Cory Mazzoni (traded to San Diego) (2), Logan Verrett (3), Jack Leathersich (5), Danny Muno (8), Robert Gsellman (13), Travis Tajeron (18), and John Gant (21) all have varying degrees of major league potential.  Jack (until Sunday) and Logan are now in the major leagues.  

Incomparable baseball pundit and writer Mack Ade noted that Fulmer was clocked at 99 in his last fine start, which puts smiles on fans’ faces.  I’m personally pulling for slugging underdog Taijeron to keep pushing his way to the bigs, now that he is playing well in AAA.
2012 – a solid draft at the top – Gavin Cecchini (1), Kevin Plawecki (1A), Matt Reynolds (2), Jayce Boyd (6), Paul Sewald (10), Rob Whelan (12).  Plawecki has been thrust into the Big Show in 2015.
2013 – Dominic Smith (1) and Casey Meisner (3) are two that are excelling this year at a young age.  L J Mazzilli (4), Matt Oberste (7), Luis Guillorme (10) and Jeff McNeil (12) are all showing real promise.  All in all, a decent draft.  How good is TBD.  Hopefully Smith becomes a Robinson Cano type hitter at the major league level, Meisner becomes a star starter, and McNeil becomes a superior version of Joe McEwing.
2014 – Michael Conforto (1) makes this a successful draft all by himself.  Milton Ramos (2) is a 19 year old SS with lots of promise.  Eudor Garcia (4) hitting well in Savannah.  Brad Wieck (7) was the PTBNL in Alex Torres trade.  19 year old Dash Winningham (8) is showing early slugger potential.  David Roseboom (17) has really pitched well up to mid-A ball and seems like a low round coup.

Overall, I’d say these represent a very fine result from those 6 years’ drafts.  Two bona fide major league stars already in Harvey and deGrom.  Matz clearly threw his name in for Star status in his historic major league debut on Sunday.  

By this time next year, it will be much clearer just how good these 6 years’ drafts will ultimately be. And how many more stars may come out of those drafts.
Side note: getting drafted is the first step to achieving a big league dream, but of the more than 50 guys signed in rounds 30 and above, it is questionable whether any will make the big leagues.  Maybe Chase Bradford.



Tom Brennan said...

To add a counterpoint, my brother is always bringing up how dumb they were to pick Cecchini in 2012 when Giolito was available. While Giolito did in fact need TJS, his trade value right now would far exceed that of Mr Cecchini, who has slid from .340 to .280 recently.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

As I understand the almost perfect game thrown the other night by K-Port's Harol Gonzalez came to a half with a hit in the 9th... then he was pulled for a reliever only to have manager Pedro Lopez confronted by the umpire and told that most of the relief pitchers names were left off the lineup card, thus making them unable to pitch in the game. Things went to hell real fast and 7 runs were scores against them. A real mess.

Mack Ade said...

Forget Giolito.

What about Michael Wacha or Joey Gallo?

Tom Brennan said...

Wacha and Gallo are definitely two more, Mack. I know that giolito was the most likely target of teams when get Gavin Cecchini was selected. and yes, the Harol Gonzales almost perfect game did turn into a real mess. funny that he would have done that on the same night has Steve Matz had his great game. too bad he didn't get the perfect game.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Every team missed on Gallo at least once, including the Rangers who passed on him once before selecting him again.

I didn't like Wacha out of college. He was a tall polished college arm with a good change and nothing else. That's Dillon Gee, guys. Development is a huge, HUGE thing. The Cardinals really turned him into the pitcher he is today. On draft day, he wasn't this Michael Wacha.

Remember, most everyone on this blog liked Courtney Hawkins. Giolito said he was going to college and teams couldn't afford him. Why he signed with the Nats...I still don't know. Of course I would have wanted him if I knew he was going to sign. The guy I wanted in this draft was Stroman who everyone told me was too short to ever be good. A lot of professional scouts said the same thing. Shows you how much play there is with players this young. And how often really smart people make bad decisions.

Just hope that Cecchini can come out of this funk he's in at the plate. He's still having a break out season. If he can prove he's a legitimate .300 hitter with some power and some speed, our search for a shortstop is over starting next spring. Just hope for that. Hindsighting drafts will only make you angry (don't look where Corey Seager was drafted. For your own sanity).

Anonymous said...

Good point about development. While I think that Alderson has been a mixed bag as GM, one has to credit the system for Matz and Harvey, for example. He didn't pick them, but the organization did a good job bringing them along. I can't speak to the extent that Sandy overhauled Omar's staff and strategies, but players who arrive polished and ready do speak well to the current process.

Hitters, OTOH . . .

James Preller

Stephen Guilbert said...


Agreed. There haven't been many players who have regressed once Alderson and his team took over (Tapia? Puello? Anyone else?) and a boat load of players improved, some to superlative status like deGrom. That's huge. Heck, look at Dilson Herrera. He hasn't broken out in the bigs but he was a second tier prospect in the Pirates system and a lot of people still think he's an all-star before long. That's huge, too.

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