(Who is that in the picture?  Keep reading and find out)

I wrote the other day about being unimpressed by the Mets' first round offensive picks, namely Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini.  To me they just look insufficiently athletic for the #12/#13 slots they were selected in during the first round of the 2012 and 2013 draft.

I am unimpressed that they do not look STRONG enough to hit with more power, to compensate for their relatively average speed and defensive skills.  I am with most I've spoken to in feeling they were, frankly, foolish picks - not really good enough to be drafted that high - hopefully, miracles happen, they'll soon become great, and I and the others will be proven wrong.

Recently, the Mets have drafted high on 3 other guys: 2015 2nd rounder Des Lindsay (#53 overall); 2016 2nd rounder Pete Alonso (#64 overall); and 2014 first rounder Michael Conforto.

Forget Conforto's recent injury; the Mets were thrilled that he slipped down to where they could select him, so his pick seemed like a no-brainer. 

Similarly, the then-NJ Nets were thrilled when they drafted Brooke Lopez when he slipped by other teams - never a truly great player, Lopez actually has had a very solid pro career, and was a worthwhile selection.   Sometimes, the picks are no-brainers, like this one was at the time.

As far as Lindsay and Alonso are concerned, let's start with Lindsay.

I still like the Desmond Lindsay pick, but I am concerned that he is hurt so much, retarding his progression.  I also am nervous that his 148 Ks in 137 career games could be a long running concern - I wonder if the Mets considered that potential downside enough.

His career #'s of .253/.366/.414 are decent, but really not impressive, nor are his 10 of 16 steals for someone deemed a possible 5 tool athlete.  After his ulnar nerve relocation surgery, his 2018 (at age 21) will hopefully be a year of breakthrough, but certainly he is far from the 2nd coming right now.  His last 23 games spanning June and July, he hit really well and with power, so don't give up on him yet.  Many gave up on Daniel Murphy and look where THAT got us.

Pete Alonso has been a very good pick in 2016 - a power hitting 1B - EXCEPT he is really only a 1B or DH, and they already had a guy in Dominic Smith who seems landlocked to first base due to his lack of speed. 

So, as well as he has done, I think they'd have been far better off picking Bo Bichette (pictured above), who went 2 picks after Alonso. Why?

The son of former major leaguer Dante Bichette, Bo Bichette is playing mostly SS, but his prolific bat at age 19 this year in A and High A ball was phenomenal.  In fact, in 2016 and 2017, he's played 132 games, hitting .372 with 50 doubles, 6 triples, 18 homers, 109 runs scores, 110 RBIs and 25 of 32 in steals and a commendable K rate. 

The last thing the Mets needed of course was another SS, but Bichette's power and speed indicate he'd be a potential really good, or even top notch, 2B, 3B, or OF.  If you can field shortstop, there are 6 other positions in the infield and outfield that you can handle too.

Not just Bo's superior bat, but he is a better HS 2nd round pick than Lindsay was just because Lindsay is exclusively an outfielder, while Bichette clearly can play infield or outfield.

Second guessing here, a specialty of mine, but given that the Mets already had Dom Smith locked in at 1B, I'd have picked Bichette, not Alonso.  May I be wrong.  But Bichette is proving to be a true 5 tool player, with much greater positional flexibility than Alonso.  Or Nimmo.  Or Cecchini.  And Alonso right now is blocked by Smith.

But what do I know - I'm just a blog writing hack. A no tools writer!  Sandy et al know much more than I do.  I'll leave the picks to them - they always get it right.   


Reese Kaplan said...

Drafting good hitters is something that the Mets seldom do...the priority has always been on pitching and finding "projects" rather than people who profile as surer things. Brandon Nimmo is a case in point for a high draft selection that made almost everyone scratch their heads. Gavin Cecchini is another one.

Thomas Brennan said...

Nimmo is starting to win me over...I think the power will come and he will be good long term.

I hope Alonso becomes as good or better a hitter than Conforto, too. But I am not sure if we need two full time 1Bs :)

Thomas Brennan said...

Phil Evans: missed the game, saw he hit into a DP with bags full in his debut. Saw it on Cincy website, and he hit a bullet that Gennett caught and turned into a DP - good for Phil.

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