Mack – Five Possible 1st Round Picks


Good morning.

It’s mid-February so it’s Mock Draft time and time to start looking ahead to the 2017 draft in June.

The Mets get a pick with the 20th player overall and I’ve gathered up five of the top mock drafts out there and what the experts of these sites are predicting will be the Mets first pick.

N2K had their first mock draft on December 18th and they named Orange Lutheran High School outfielder, Garrett Mitchell, as the Mets first pick.
They elaborated –

Garrett Mitchell, a UCLA commit is very well-rounded and has the potential to have MLB worthy tools on the base paths, in the batter’s box and in the field. Mitchell will be a perfect fit in a Mets system that doesn’t really need any pitching help (Syndergaard, Harvey, Wheeler, Matz, etc.) and Mitchell could be the perfect compliment to Michael Conforto in the outfield.

Perfect Game said -

Outstanding all around talent and athlete. High ceiling player 6.3 runner and 94 from OF at PG National. Showed big arm in game at PG All American Classic. Fun to watch him play

But Scout.com had a different spin on Mitchell -

On April 15, Garrett Mitchell endured his second straight 0-for-3 performance against Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco.The UCLA-committed 2017 Orange (Calif.) Lutheran outfielder saw his batting average drop below the Mendoza line to .197 for the season. “He's just a 17-year-old kid and the things that they all deal with at 17 years old plus the pressure of scouts and agents and people trying to talk to him,” Orange Lutheran head coach Eric Borba said. “Trying to stay focused and understanding what the important things are right in front of him, that's the biggest challenge for him.

My MLB Draft (January 30th) picked the University of Houston LHP Seth Romero.
Scout.com said this about Romero –

            Last season, only one pitching staff (Cal State Fullerton) had a lower ERA than the University of Houston, and no team had a better strikeout-to-walk ratio. It was all led by a sophomore who missed the first eight games with a team suspension. Though the discipline was for undisclosed conduct detrimental to the team, there has never been fear of Romero's makeup being a problem. The cougar mentality of being a silent killer fits the mold of the Cougars' ace.

Numbers are a very small part of the draft process, but when the skill set and numbers match up, it only glorifies the talent. In Romero's case, the numbers shoot off the page. Over his two years with the Cougars, Romero has boasted a 2.12 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 6.12 hits-per-nine, 2.53 walks-per-nine, 10.37 strikeouts-per-nine, and .193 opposing average. The numbers stem from high-quality performances, such as a pair of one-hitters, one of which came in a Regional contest as a freshman.

As for the skill set of tools, Romero flashes some of the best in the draft. Turning excess weight into muscle mass, the southpaw has a bulky frame at six-foot-three and 230 pounds. Working from a low arm slot, he gains strong sinking movement on his explosive fastball that sits 91-95. With it's premier velocity, sinking notion, and ability to command it to both sides of the plate in the lower part of the zone, Romero's fastball registers as one of the most elite in the draft. Romero backs up his fastball with a breaking ball that ranges in break and velocity, with a sharp and tight break. The varying speeds can change the break, and sometimes give it vertical break, and other times, horizontal, making it slurve-esque. Romero rarely goes to his changeup, but has shown a decent feel for the pitch and it could become an average or better offering with development.

Fueled By Sports (February 5th) picked American Heritage School SS-3B Mark Vientos.

N2KSports had Vientos going to the Nats with the 26th pick and said this about him –

            The third baseman and Miami Hurricane commit has a strong frame and offensive ceiling but his draft stock will depend on how he plays during 2017. Vientos will most likely top out as a late-first rounder but if he can strengthen his defense while hitting a few more long balls than anticipated then anything is possible.

Fueled By Sports said tis about Vientos –

            Height: 6’3″, Weight: 170 Bats: Right, Throws: Right, School: Charles W Flanagan (Pembroke Pines, FL), Position: SS, College Commitment: Miami (FL)

Vientos is one of the better high school prospects in the 2017 MLB Draft, with his five-tool potential and a projectable frame. He has a nice looking swing and has potential to hit for both average and power. He also has a plus potential glove with an already plus arm.

Strengths - Plus potential defense, Good frame, Versatile could stick at SS, with 3B also an option, Young will be 17 at the time of the draft, Above average power potential, Excellent arm strength, Above average contact potential, Line drive approach, Quick twitch athletic, Strong for a guy his size

Weaknesses - Needs to add bulk to his frame, Needs to improve his approach at the plate, Needs to improve pitch recognition

Scouting Grades – Contact 45/55, Power 50/60, Run, 50/55, Arm 60/65, Field 60/65, Overall          45/60
PRO COMPARISON - Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles

C Lambert (February 8th) picked Dana Hillis HS (CA) RHP Hans Crouse.
Perfect Game said –

            Can run his fastball up to 97 mph! Very good and up to 96 at PG All American Classic. Fun to watch him pitch

Nats GM –
            Serving as the starting pitcher for Team National, Crouse immediately passes the eye test at 6-4 185lbs with significant projection remaining.  He was obviously struggling with the big stage early, needing 31 pitches to complete the 1st inning: fortunately Crouse rebounded in the 2nd, needing only 9 pitches to retire the side.

Crouse features an active delivery with plenty of extraneous movement, which likely hinders his command and control.  Over these two innings, Crouse flashed a 91-94mph fastball with excellent life and arm-side movement, which he located to both sides of the plate.  In addition Crouse showed a low-70s curveball with depth and impressive 12-6 action.  He only threw 1 curve in the 1st, instead relying on his fastball, but dropped a few hammers in the 2nd inning.  He did not throw a changeup in this outing, but reports have him possessing a credible cambio as well.

Committed to USC, it would be a bigger surprise than Omar’s death in The Wire if a major league team did not sign him away from college.

Robert Martinez (February 8th) picked Texas A&M RHP Turner Larkins.
Bleacher Report –

Fastball: 50/55 - Generates solid-average velocity (89-92 mph) at present, with the potential to add a tick or two more with added muscle; arm-side run when he throws it on the inner half of the plate, but he otherwise stays straight; tends to live up in the zone, which benefits hitters; needs to stay on top of pitch better to generate plane from 6'3" frame.

Curveball: 40/50 - Breaking ball will occasionally flash above-average with good spin and depth, but he doesn't show it enough to project as more than average; not a power curve, more of a slow change-of-pace offering in the 72-75 mph range; arm angle tends to hurt the curveball because he gets on the side of it upon release instead of over the top, leading to more of a slurve than a traditional curve.

Scout.com –

            Rob Childress has been responsible for 57 different arms drafted in his 18 years of coaching at the collegiate level. Not including top organizational prospects such as Corey Ray, Grayson Long, A.J. Minter and Mark Ecker, Childress has only seen two of his pitchers be labled as "first-rounders." The next product from Texas A&M is Turner Larkins, who has the opportunity to become the third pick under Childress to be selected in the first round of the amateur draft.

Already given the chance to play pro ball, Larkins made the obvious decision to be part of the Aggies rotation when the Brewers took a shot in the 28th round of the 2014 draft, one pick prior to former A&M football star and Heisman winner, Johnny Manziel. Scouts have been happy with the development he's shown in both the growth of his pitches and his growth between the ears. Larkins shut himself down for the summer circuit after eight innings in the Cape Cod League, which has raised suspicion on how much of a work load he can take.

Larkins has the look of a pro pitcher, with a big body at six-foot-three and just over 200 pounds. He works downhill with his fastball that sits 92-93 with sink and arm-side run, jumping upwards of the mid 90's. For a period of time, the fastball was only one of two weapons Larkins truly possessed. Flashing an average to above-average curveball, Larkins has been able to locate his high 70's breaking pitch with depth but needs to work on not exposing it out of the hand. Many didn't know how good his changeup would be, or become, until he started throwing it more often. Childress has helped him develop an above-average change with late tumble, that has turned into a potential plus pitch due to it's swing-and-miss notions.

The difference maker with Larkins is if he'll be able to continue developing his off-speed pitches and how consistently he can throw strikes. With a simple delivery, easy arm action and high release point, some scouts believe you can look past his walk rates and allow a professional coach to develop his abilities to throw more strikes and help his command. Most in the industry are excited to see what Larkins can do over the spring, and see him turn into more than just a potential "inning-eater" and into a high-end draft piece.



Thomas Brennan said...

The prospect clock never stops ticking...it will be good to see how this batch sorts out going forward. If our rotation looks great heading into June, maybe we snap up an OF.

Anonymous said...

If I were running the Mets I would draft pitching in the 1st two rounds every year unless there was someone who just jumped out as being much better than all other options. I doubt that would be the case in the late 1st round.
It just seems that the Mets do things right when it comes to developing pitchers. You can never have to much. We didn't have room in our rotation for Fulmer but he netted us Cespedes.
I think if we had a need and we new the fab 5 would stay healthy Lugo and Gsellman would get us a nice return. I don't want to see the Mets trade them at this point but they could. There is never a problem of to much pitching.
If those mentioned I would pick Hans Crouse. It looks like he needs a lot of work but there is a lot to work with.
I said the samething back when the Mets drafted Conforto. I wanted them to draft Sean Newcomb. Although Newcomb is a top prospect, number 47 on MLBs list, I'm glad they did pick Conforto. I still think Conforto's going to be a special player despite his setback last year.

Richard Jones said...

I think I got my drafts mixed up. I wanted Newcomb over Smith not Conforto.

Mack Ade said...

Anon - Richard -

I agree with you about the pitcher theory.

You can't have enough top 100 prospect pitching talent in the organization and, if they can't find a slot in Queens, they (like Fulmer) will become a major trading chip to fill whatever position you need to fill.

The draft of Dunn and Kay last year may prove out that theory.

Mack Ade said...

I've got this past week's draft prospect highlights posting up at noon today.

Anonymous said...

Build the Arms and Buy the Bats, is how I'd go,if I were Sandy

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