Mets Draft - Rounds 26 to 40 - Five Teenage Arms


Jake Eder

Mets Draft - Rounds 26 to 40 - Five Teenage Arms

The last 15 draft rounds (26 through 40) tend to consist of:

a) organizational filler - older guys who did not warrant higher round selection

b) gambits on young arms

c) gambits on youthful position players

One would think with the number of college seniors (ten of the 40 draft slots) drafted without much negotiating leverage, if any, since they can't skip the draft and return to play more college ball, monies saved in signing those guys below slot could entice drafted high school seniors and very young collegians to sign with the Mets this year, rather than passing on the draft this year and resurfacing for next year's draft, hopefully more educated and in a higher draft position.

Rather than continuing the sequential draft round-by-round analyses that we've done for the first 25 rounds over the past few days, I am breaking the last 15 rounds by type:

1) this article - teenage arms in rounds 26-40 - 5 lads (all 18 years old, and all presumably can add mileage to the fastball)

2) next article - pitchers close to 21 years old or older in rounds 26-40 - 6 gents

3) last article - young position players in rounds 26-40 - 4 hombres

TODAY: teenage arms in rounds 26-40

1) JAKE EDER - ROUND 34: he is likely the gem of the last 15 Mets rounds, ranked # 66 in MLB's top 200 draft prospects.  For persepctive, only one other Mets draftee outside of their top 4 picks was in the top 200 MLB prospects.  Eder is an 18 year old 6'4", 210 LHP out of Calvary Christian Academy.

MLB.com indicates he can throw 94, has trouble maintaining the velocity, has a decent curve, and needs mechanical work, throwing too much with arm effort.  All of which, I surmise, can be fixed - so he seems to be a guy worth making a truly concerted effort to sign.

Baseball America (BA) March article (excerpted) noted this:

It wasn’t a great start for Jake Eder, one of the top prep lefthanders in the 2017 class. Eder got the first hitter out, but walked the next 3, throwing 9 straight balls at one point and missing high with his fastball. He rebounded to strike out the next hitter for the second out.  (Then) Eder’s command failed him again and he walked another hitter and gave up a bloop hit, (making) it 3-0. “You don’t always have your best stuff,” Eder said. “But after that first inning I just tried to calm down and make adjustments and stay competitive for my team.”

Eder adjustments worked in the 2nd and 3rd innings. He got two ground-ball outs before walking another in the second, but he punctuated that inning with a swinging strikeout. He added two more punchouts in a 1-2-3 third. He left the game after three innings, having thrown 69 pitches.

While Eder’s results weren’t there in the first inning, he showed promising stuff and significant improvement over his performance from last summer, a trend that began to take affect last fall. His fastball sat at 90-94 mph in the first inning before settling in at 88-92 in the third. The pitch showed life through the zone and got on hitters quickly.

Eder has shown flashes with his deep 1-to-7 curveball but has consistently struggled to time his delivery and stay on top of it. He has also consistently shown late life on his fastball and used it to compete against some of the nation’s best hitters. He’s always shown projectable arm speed and he’s had a wide-shouldered frame with a durable look.

In the fall, scouts told BA that Eder had shown promising progress at the Florida Diamond Club Showcase, which takes place prior to the WWBA Championships in Jupiter, showing more fastball velocity. In the spring, numerous sources have seen Eder work at 92-95 mph and throwing more consistent strikes than he did this past start. Notably, Eder had not thrown a changeup on the showcase circuit. On Friday night, it was his best off-speed pitch.

“I think the biggest thing is just throwing it every day and throwing it from longer distances to make sure I get out front with it and get on top of it,” Eder said.

Eder’s changeup was effective, with a fastball look out of the hand and feel to locate it away from righthanded hitters. If Eder can throw more consistent strikes, his changeup projects as an average or better offering.

The lefthander used his changeup against righthanded hitters and busted out his curveball against lefties, looking to run it through the front door. When he landed it against lefties, the pitch had sharp vertical dive, though it consistently looped up out of his hand before showing a clear breaking point. Eder’s first curveball in the bullpen showed late teeth as he located it to his glove side. Throwing his curve with the same arm speed and arm action as his fastball will be key for Eder.

“I think it’s more of a timing thing with that, just making sure I get out front on that,” Eder said of the development of his curveball. “The biggest thing is just making sure my timing is there. Just making sure everything is in sync so I can throw strikes and stay competitive.”

Being in sync will be a key developmental challenge for Eder. He has the ability to spin a breaking ball, throw hard and throw a changeup, but timing his delivery will be the key to allowing those traits to play.

Eder is not a long strider. He leans back over the rubber and doesn’t have the most balanced lower half. His front side can be early at times, and he doesn’t consistently get his torso deep out over his front side. He does have an efficient and repeatable arm action and his fastball is difficult to square up when he’s able to locate it down in the zone, though he showed on Friday a tendency to release his fastball late and miss low, perhaps in an effort to correct for his early-game struggle to keep the ball down in the zone.

Eder is in the conversation among the best prep lefthanders in this year’s class. DL Hall and MacKenzie Gore are in a league of their own at the top.

2) LIAM MCCALL - ROUND 29: McCall is an 18 year old 6'4", 180 righty out of First Coast HS.  Apparently, his fastball averages in the high 80's, not bad for a recent 18 year old.

3) IAN MCWILLIAMS - ROUND 30: McWilliams is an 18 year old 6'4" 170 righty out of Beech HS in Tennessee.  He is also a high 80's velocity guy. A Tenn. paper stated the following:

During Ian's senior campaign, the 6'4" right-handed pitcher hurled 35.2 innings for the Bucs compiling a 1.96 ERA. "I'm great," McWilliams exclaimed. "I'm actually on vacation right now at the beach and I got a text from the Royals saying congratulations, and about five seconds later the area scout for the Mets called me and told me I was drafted."

Ian talked about what it was that got his name called. "Having my brother help me get exposure was huge," he said. "I'm a tall, right-handed pitcher that has not maxed out yet."

Outside of an offer he can't refuse, he said he will likely attend U. of Alabama-Birmingham next fall where he will look to make an immediate impact with the Blazers program.

"I still have to talk money but I'm pretty sure I'm going to UAB," he said. "When I visited UAB I felt really good when I was there, and the offer was really good too. I will be looking to play freshman year and have a real impact."

During his time in college, McWilliams will try and perfect his game.  "I just want to get better at what I am already doing," he said. "I want to master my fastball, curve, and change up. Sometimes I like to mix in a two-seam fastball. Right now, I'm putting on more weight so I can throw harder and hope to get re-drafted after my junior year."

4) NOAH NUNEZ - ROUND 39: Nunez is an 18 year old 6'4" 210 righty out of Santana HS.

A local San Diego newspaper noted:

Having just wrapped up a very successful season as a captain of the Sultans’ baseball team, Nunez knows should the pros not offer up an attractive enough offer to start a professional baseball career in the minor leagues, a scholarship to pitch for the San Diego State Aztecs awaits.

Nunez, a dual threat at the plate and on the hill for Santana in 2017, was named EastCountySports.com Player of the Year for his efforts in leading the Sultans to a Grossmont Hills League co-championship and a long-awaited  re-appearance in a San Diego CIF championship game.

5) RONNIE TAYLOR JR - ROUND 40: Taylor is an 18 year old 6'3", 220 righty out of Allen HS in Allen, Tx.

Wichita State, where he signed a letter of intent, had the following about RT Jr:

Taylor...struck out 23 in 16 innings pitched last spring for Allen High School. As a freshman, he went 2-0 with a 0.62 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 11.1 innings pitched and helped his team to the third round of the playoffs. He earned Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention honors in 2015 and 2016. He is a Perfect Game top-500 recruit and is listed as the No. 30 right-handed pitcher in the state of Texas.


Adam Smith said...

Well, at least they're all big, projectable kids. Be interesting to see if they save enough money on the college seniors to sign them all.

Thomas Brennan said...

Adam, don't hold your breath....I think we signed only 3 of the last 15 picks last year - my guess is almost all of the young guys opt to go to school instead. Without huge bonus $$, I would.

Mack Ade said...

great work here, Thomas

Thomas Brennan said...

Thanks, Mack. All comes down to us signing a lot of these guys now.

Seasons for them start in a matter of days.

Zozo said...

I don't know which one but supposedly I read somewhere that one of these draftees parents have a whole lot of loot. So he most likely is going to college, because money isn't the issue.
Hopefully they are able to sign them all to million dollar contracts?

Thomas Brennan said...

Bajillion dollar contracts

Mack's Mets © 2012