Tom Brennan - A METS 2011-16 DRAFT LOOK-BACK


Tom Brennan - A METS 2011-16 DRAFT LOOK-BACK

Now that the 2017 draft has recently ended, one way to assess an organization's draft success is to go back through the past several drafts and evaluate them.

The past 6 Mets drafts prior to 2017 (2011-16): how'd the top 5 rounds' Mets picks (the rounds which are most critical to a team's future success) fared in each of those years?

And, with the benefit of hindsight, where they should instead have been picked...let's do it:


Brandon Nimmo, OF, 1st Round, # 13 - time will tell, but in retrospect, I'd have taken him in the 2nd or 3rd round.  Looks like a bad high first round pick.

Michael Fulmer, SP, Comp Round, # 44 - great pick, turned into the Gimper, Yoenis Cespedes.  He should have been our # 13 first round pick.

Cory Mazzoni, SP, 2nd Round, # 71 - bust pick.  S/H/B a 6th - 10th round pick, in retrospect.

Logan Verrett, SP, 3rd Round, # 101 - homer-prone marginal pitcher, s/h/b a 6th - 10th round pick, in retrospect.

Tyler Pill, SP, 4th Round, # 132 - pretty much the same as Verrett - drafted too high.

Jack Leathersich, RP, 5th Round, # 162 - the K king had worked through his control issues and made a successful debut with the Mets before he blew out his elbow. 

He was awful for the Cubs AAA team in April, but since then, 23 IP, 38 K, 13 H, 8 BB - seems ready to pitch in a major league pen again.  Worthy of having been picked in the 4th or 5th round, IMO.  Good pick.


Gavin Cecchini - IF -  1st Round, # 12 - might at best be an average major leaguer some day - he should have been a 3rd - 5th round selection, based on production so far.  Mediocre in AAA so far in 2017.  A bad high 1st round pick.

Kevin Plawecki - C - Comp Round, # 35 - like Cecchini, seems at best he will be an average catcher - has failed hitting in his first few trials at the big league level and struggles to throw runners out.  He should have been a 3rd - 5th round selection.  Likely a bad pick, but the jury is still out.

Matt Reynolds - IF - 2nd Round, # 71 - seems his ceiling is a marginal MLB utility player - he should have been drafted in the 6th - 10th rounds instead.  Bad pick so high.

Teddy Stankiewicz - SP - 2nd round, # 75 - did not sign with the Mets - no way a team should botch a pick for a guy as high as # 75 - bad, bad pick.

Matt Koch - SP - 3rd Round,  #107 - he had a brief cup of coffee with the D backs last fall, but his minor league record was more fitting of a 6th - 10th rounder.  Bad pick.

Brandon Kaupe - SS - 4th Round, # 140 pick - horrible pick who never hit, and hit for absolutely zero power - just 4 doubles and 6 triples in 600 plate appearances.  44 errors in 160 games - and only 5' 7" - what on earth were they thinking?  Should have been drafted after the 20th round.

Brandon Welch - SP - 5th Round, # 170 pick - he threw just 65 minor league innings and then was released.  Horrible pick.  Should not have gone in the first 10 rounds.


Dominic Smith - 1B - 1st Round, # 11 pick - it is unclear yet if he was worthy of  # 11 overall pick - perhaps a 2nd rounder, although he would have been gone well before then.  Let's hope his career turns out above average.

Andrew Church - SP - 2nd Round, # 48 pick - cremated lately in High A ball, appears to be a bust who was never a strikeout pitcher - so it mystifies as to what the Mets were thinking with this pick - 6th to 10th round would have been more appropriate, if that high.

Ivan Wilson - OF - 3rd Round # 76 pick - bust pick, power athlete who could never stop striking out at a crazy high rate.

Casey Meisner - SP - 3rd Round, # 84 pick - included in a 2015 trade and is pitching well in the minors this year.  3rd round pick was appropriate.

LJ Mazzilli - IF - 4th Round, # 116 pick - he is getting old and several infielders down the Mets' minor league depth chart - he should have been picked closer to round # 10.

Jared King - OF - 5th Round, # 146 - mediocre, voluntarily retired - probably should have gone after the 10th round.


Michael Conforto - OF - 1st Round, # 10 pick - doing well, selected as All Star - they picked well here.

No Second Round Pick

Milton Ramos - SS - 3rd Round, # 84 pick - supposedly a glove whiz, but a weak bat (in Columbia .227/.272/.276 this year) - seems like a guy who should have been picked later than the 10th round, so Ramos to me is a bad pick so far.

Eudor Garcia - 3B - 4th Round, # 115 pick - promising bat was negated by suspensions and his recent release by the Mets - since the latter issues could not be anticipated at draft time, this was not a bad pick.

Josh Prevost - RP - 5th Round, # 145 pick - mediocre, low K hurler, now out for all of 2017 (I believe) with TJS - he should have been picked after the 20th round - bad pick.


No First Round Pick

Desmond Lindsay - OF - 2nd Round, # 53 pick - oft-injured (including now), struggling this season with Columbia in A ball (.190 in 53 games): time will tell, but so far, not so good at all.  Maybe he should have been a 4th or 5th rounder.

Max Wotell - RP - 3rd Round, # 88 pick - having a bad year, so he looks like an iffy pick at best for the 3rd round.  In hindsight, perhaps a 6th to 10th round pick instead.

David Thompson, 3B - 4th Round, 119th pick - high RBI guy who still needs to up aspects of his overall offensive game, but a very appropriate 4th round pick, IMO.  Solid glove.

Tom Szapucki - SP - 5th Round, 149th pick - awesome lefty pitcher when healthy (as he is now), he makes up for the Mets not having a 2015 1st round (#23 overall) pick, as he'd have made a good 1st round pick in that slot.


Justin Dunn - SP - 1st Round, 19th pick - maybe he'll still justify a 1st round selection, but he's pitched more like a 3rd to 5th rounder so far - let's see if and when it clicks for Dunn.

Anthony Kay - SP - Comp Round, # 31 pick - not off to a good start by any objective standard - with zero pro innings and TJS.  If the elbow problem were known, perhaps a 5th round (or lower) slot would have made more sense.

Peter Alonso - 1B - 2nd Round, # 64 pick - power hitter who broke his hand in both his debut 2016 and 2017 seasons.  Slow start in 2017 in St Lucie, but showing legitimate power.  I think his # 64 pick level was proper.

Blake Tiberi - 3B - 3rd Round, # 100 pick - a .229 hitter in 61 games, before (I believe) he needed season ending TJS after just 18 at bats this year and after homering in his first 2 games in 2017.  Ignoring the TJS, he looks (based on performance to date) like he should have been drafted in the 6th to 10th rounds.  So far, not a good pick in round # 3.

Michael Paez - SS - 4th Round, # 130 pick - he is having a very solid season, with a recent promotion to St Lucie.  At 5'8", 4th round slot is a bit questionable, but he is showing so far that it was a reasonable pick level.

Colby Woodmansee - SS - 5th Round, # 160 pick - he had a decent inaugural season for Brooklyn in 2016, but also has been injury-limited in 2017, just 2 for 32 so far.  My guess is 6th to 10th round would've been more appropriate.  At 6'3", 190, he could be a corner IF or OF in the future, so at least size is working for him in terms of possible flexibility.


With few exceptions, the Mets drafted very badly in 2011-16. 

By my count, out of the 33 picks in the first 5 rounds of 2011-16, only 2 picks in the top 5 rounds appear to be substantially better than where they were picked (Fulmer and Szapucki); 8 others appear to have been drafted in the correct round; and the remaining 23 of the 33 picks (70%!!!) should have been selected later than they were, or not at all. 

In the first 5 rounds, I'd personally draft only power arms, power bats, and speedsters.  Tough guys, to boot.  Period, end of story.  I think that would result in a higher grade. 

There's lots of Mets-drafted guys here who do fit into those categories.  So how would one expect them, without those qualitied, to have a future major league impact? 

Mostly, guys who make a major league impact are power arms, power bats, and speedsters.

I give the Mets a bad, C- grade overall at best for the 5 years.

Probably more like a D+ if I were being fully objective.

What are your thoughts folks?  What's your 5 year grade?


Zozo said...

I agree 100%. I think they should draft Power guys at the plate and and at the bat in first 5 rounds. Sandy really Funked up these past 5 years... D- is my grade

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

You know that I have never been a fan of how Sandy and Company drafts. You have proven that one more time, though I do think your overall rating is a little high.

He really sucks at this.

Mack Ade said...

Zozo -

Here's the rub.

Every draft only produced a handful of power bats that do not strike out too much and can play decent defense. There just are not that many around anymore and, the ones that are, usually go before we get a chance to draft them.

Exception was Conforto but let us remember that we had an early pick that year.

No, the secret to drafting early is... power...arms.

If our 7 worked out this year, we would not be in this pickle.

Thomas Brennan said...

Zozo and Mack, these 6 years' drafts are poor. And some of the picks simply bewildering. I'm in my early 60's...if I now had six hundred at bats, like Branden Kaupe did, do I think I could manage the same 4 doubles as he did? I somehow think so. Most major league pitchers do much better in doubles. Jake has 5 in 200 at bats.

Saturday at 10 AM, I review rookie ball YTD. While it is a mix of draftees, internationals, and carryovers on these teams' rosters, suffice it to say: any change compared to this draft article seems to be for the worse. I do understand it is early.

Wait til you compare the Yankees' rookie ball win-loss record to the Mets' record. Have a garbage can nearby in case the gag reflex kicks in.

Viper said...

The Genius in his own mind and the other want to be GM trifecta are just what they are, highly overrated. I would however like to know how other teams that picked after the Mets did with their prospects just to compare.

But there is no denying these GM's are bad at this. Maybe they should have kept Omar and put him in charge of scouting and development.

Sandy Alderson is to the Mets what Phil Jackson was for the Knicks, useless.

Reese Kaplan said...

Tomorrow morning there's a column running entitled, "What Does Sandy Alderson Do Well?" which is perfect timing considering it was written on Wednesday.

Regarding perhaps one of the few bright spots -- more bad news on Szapucki. He left last night's game early after just 3 batters with forearm discomfort.

And in true Metsian fashion, another one bites the dust -- Cameron Planck -- out for the rest of the year for shoulder surgery.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, I was wondering about both Szapucki after I saw him come out, and Planck, just yesterday, having seen that he had not pitched yet.

Hopefully Szapucki just needs rest. Does the news ever get good?

Thomas Brennan said...

Viper, I did not do a similar analysis for teams that drafted close to the Mets, but one would think an average team would have equal amounts of guys who 1) play better than the round they were drafted, 2) play as well as the round drafted, and 3) play worse than the round drafted.

Given I graded them much below average, the Mets have to be one of the worst teams over the last 6 years in terms of drafting. And as my article touches on this Saturday at 10 AM, the early signs for the just completed drafted are not promising.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, you encapsulated it very succinctly: Sandy sucks at drafting.

Thomas Brennan said...

The Vegas duo are rolling - let's make some moves and get them both up here by the end of July - from an MILB article:

"Just two games after losing the longest hit streak of his career, Dominic Smith set another personal record, once again with the help of a familiar accomplice.

The Mets' 2nd-ranked prospect drove in a career-high 6 runs and top prospect Amed Rosario matched his career high with 4 hits as Las Vegas muscled out a 13-7 victory against El Paso at Cashman Field.

Smith, MLB.com's No. 52 prospect, plated 3rd-ranked Rosario twice, including on his 11th HR of the season in the 6th inning. The pair combined to score 6 runs and sit tied atop the PCL with 113 hits."

Eddie Corona said...

Great article...made my blood boil... where to begin...
The MLB draft is awful in so many ways... the draft pool is the dumbest thing... why draft 40 rounds and not be able to afford all of them... they all should be slotted and kids should be made to declare for the draft... there is no way a team can draft the best player available because they may not be able to afford them... So a team may take a lesser player because he may take a lesser amount so you can try to pay others... all the while talents is being taken off the board... Stupid...

Now on to Sandy and his Allstar Front office... I have said this 100 times... Sandy brought with him 3 former GM's and they were going to build through the draft. (Podesta, Riccardi, ...the 3rd escapes me)
they thought they outsmarted everyone with Nimmo... (a guy who didnt play HS baseball)...

the list of players they missed on is endless (yes you can say this about every team but this is our team and this FO believes they are the smartest men in the room or at least acts that way)

To have produce such few players is a fire able offense... Sandy made 1 trade and in retrospect may not have been as great as everyone thought (thor being the once piece that worked out and the jury may still be out on that)...

I have always said this job is about collection of assets ... In the draft, international market, Free agency, and the MLB roster... and maximizing value...

Sandy doesn't believe in spending in the free agent market.. he rather would spread the wealth... The "money ball with money" concept... who exactly fits that bill?

yeah I used to say IN Omar I trust... and I did... did he make mistakes oh yeah... he should have been fired for paying Ollie perez and castillo... that was enough for me... But when I heard he had to draft eddie Kuntz because he would take slot and the wilpon wouldnt go over slot when there was no penalty... Please...
its always about the wilpons... those Pieces of blank... I probably hate Bud Selig more... he had the Mccourts removed from the Dodgers but saves the Wilpon from the Ponzie scheme becuase they are friends...
Ugh I can go on and on...

Anonymous said...

Yep, seeing his body of work over time doesn't give you much confidence in his abilities to draft young talent into the organization. What would be worse is leaving him in place and expecting a different result in future drafts!

I think it is time for a clean slate......new manager/staff, new GM/scouts and an overhaul of our medical/conditioning staff, too. ID the players (core) that you want to move forward with and start the rebuilding process this off season.

Oh and someone above asked about teams that picked consistently after the Mets and how they fared......without tons of detail, Boston usually picks pretty late and they have a deep farm system, right?


Thomas Brennan said...

Eddie, you are on fire!

Thomas Brennan said...

Mike, great point about Red Sox, who also broke the bank and signed Moncada and used him to get Chris Sale. Smart franchise in Boston.

Gary Seagren said...

Hey in a perfect Met world Theo Epstein would be available and that's were I'd spend some of my money but I'm sure the Cubbies won't let him go. Mack any ideas about how that could be done or not. Anyone interested in Guillorme at 2nd next year sandwiched between Rosario and Smith so now all we need is a 3rd baseman well it's a thought anyway.

Mack's Mets © 2012