UNDERPERFORMING DRAFTEES IN 2015 – Tom Brennan
On Tuesday, I listed the many good players drafted since 2009 who have either been promoted (e.g. Harvey, deGrom, Matz), traded in 2015 (e.g. Fulmer, Whelan, and 5 others), or are still in the pipeline (Smith, Cecchini, etc.).
Some draft picks, like stock picks, don't pan out, however.
Here are 11:
Cory Vaughn - OF: drafted in the 4th round in 2010, he immediately had a fine short season in Brooklyn, hitting for average and power. But he has gotten worse and worse as he has climbed the ladder, had a bad 2014, and in just 195 ABs in AAA in 2015, was .210/.295/.364, as 2015 Sterling Award winner got twice the at bats in RF and went .274/.393/.536. My guess is Cory has reached the end of the line with the Mets organization.
Jayce Boyd - OF/1B: a 2012 6th rounder, Jayce hit very well with low power in the lower minors in prior years, and even had a Solid showing in AA in 2014. . Having had serious thoracic surgery just as he was scorching a few years back, he underperformed with the power tool this year, hitting just 1 homer in over 300 plate appearances in 2015, while hitting .281. For a guy without speed, more power is a must. Premature to say He won't pan out, but he is not of major league value of the power doesn't emerge while playing the positions he does.
Matt Bowman - RHSP: the 2012 13th rounder had out-performed in 2013 and 2014, and looked solid to me in a televised spring training game in 2015. But He hit the Vegas Wall in 2015, going 7-16, 5.53, 1.68 WHIP, just 77 Ks in 140 innings. None of that jumps out and screams future major leaguer. Let's see if he can close the gap somehow in 2016.
Darin Gorski - LHSP: drafted in the 711th round in 2009, Darin has also been hitting the AAA wall. While he was 10-8 this year, his ERA and WHIP were virtually identical to Matt Bowman's. Not good. Probably not good enough to make the majors.
Tyler Pill - RHSP: my favorite Mets hitting pitcher, I hate to put Tyler here. I have him here because his ERA in 88 AAA innings is 7.50, which is up in the vicinity of Brutals-ville. He has had an incredible AA record in 2014 and 2015 from a wins and losses perspective, so maybe it is unfair for me to put him on this list, but the AAA numbers to me are a huge red flag. Maybe he totally turns it around and it is payback time in AAA in 2016. Hope so, because we badly need his bat in Queens. In the clean up slot.
Zach Lutz - 3B: after scooting off to Asia, Zach returned mid-season to AAA with a splash, but hit just .203 overall before doing what he seems to do more than anyone in this organization not named Reese Havens: get injured. I really should have left him off this list, since he was drafted in 2007. Never could get past AAAA.
Champ Stuart - OF: the man with blazing speed got off to a blazing start in 2015 with St Lucie for the first several games. Unfortunately, the rest of the season followed, as he ended up at .176/..271/.242. My guess is they hang with this 2013 6th rounder one more year in hopes of a turnaround, but 141 Ks in 97 games, and only 43 runs scored? Whew.
Tyler Moore - C: drafted in 2014 in the 6th round, Tyler hit .240 in Brooklyn. In 2015 in Savannah, he got off to an awful start, and finished at .181. His 2 year line is .210/.293/.296. Certainly not promising. But as fellow catcher Yogi Berra once said, it ain't over 'til it's over. Maybe Tyler can rebound in 2016.
Andrew Church - RHSP: the 2nd rounder from 2013 has underwhelmed so far. In 132 career innings, just 75 Ks despite facing a lot of batters (1.58 WHIP). Career ERA of 5.10. Nothing positive, really. For Church, who is 21 next season, let's see if he can prove he wasn't a busted pick.
Brandon Kaupe - IF: when he was picked in the 4th round in 2012, I was skeptical, because how many 5'7" guys make it to the bigs? Well, he hit(?) .151 in 40 games in 2015 with Brooklyn, and after 4 seasons, has hit .201 with incredibly only 4 doubles along with 6 triples in over 500 PA's. My guess is his Mets career is over.
Dale Burdick - IF: maybe it is unfair to include him here, as he was a 40th rounder in 2014 and he is still just 19, but Dale hit .210 this year, and .195 in his career so far. Many other infielders ahead of him, and he has outplayed Kaupe. Let's see if he comes back for 2016.
In fairness to those above, they have made it further than a lot of draftees from there years who have already come and gone.
Final note: While my focus is on sputtering recent year draftees, 2 international signings have also badly sputtered. Gil Gomez has hit .200 the past 3 years, and just .130 in 2015, and is a certain casualty this off season.
And Vicente Lupo struck out 133 times in slightly over 300 plate appearances; the huge K problem has plagued him since he came stateside in 2013, so I would be a bit surprised if he hangs on in 2016.