The Mets dodged a bullet on the last day of the season by losing, allowing them to secure the 6th draft slot.  Had they won, and Atlanta and San Diego lost, they’d have slipped to 8th.

While the Mets could pick a knucklehead at # 6 next June, what has the 6th slot in the first round in baseball resulted in since 2012?  Some really good stuff.
Here goes, with their career #’s unless otherwise specified:

2012: Albert Almora, Jr., Cubs: .292/11 HR/60 RBI

2013: Colin Moran, 3B, 24 year old: 2017 in PCL: 79 G, .308/.373/.543 (4 for 11 with a HR in late season call up).  Someone on the Marlins was in front of him, making him a blocked Colin - but I digress...

2014: Alex Jackson, C: 21 year old, A and AA in 2017, .267/.328/.480

2015: Tyler Jay, P: missed most of 2017, but threw 11.2 IP, 19 K

2016: AJ Puk, P: the 22 year old fireballer is moving up fast, 157 IP, 224 Ks, 6-14, 3.82 in mostly AA

2017: Austin Beck - .211 in limited rookie ball at bats – he is 18.  Far too soon to tell here.

How about Round 5, which the Mets tried to snag this season, but their playing hot veterans in September while Cincy tanked completely, cause Cincy to nab the 5th spot:

2012: Kyle Zimmer, P – fragile arm issues have limited him to 259 minor league innings. 5.79 in 33 AAA innings in 2017.

2013: Clint Frazier, OF: you know, that guy in the Yanks’ OF that we wish was in the Mets OF.

2014: Nick Gordon, SS: 21 years old, AA ball in 2017: .270/.341/.408

2015: Kyle Tucker, OF: 20 year old CF, mostly AA in 2017: 464 AB, 33 doubles, 5 triples, 25 HR, 90 RBI, 21 SB.  I'll take two.

2016: Corey Ray, 23, CF: Advanced A in 2017: .238/.311/.367

2017: Kyle Wright, P: just 17 IP, 18 K, 2.65 ERA

Who else did well in those draft years?  Well, it helps to be in the top 4.  You have names like Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, Mike Zunino dripping with power.

Guys not picked by the 6th slot who are already mighty good? 
Andrew Benitendi (picked 7th in 2015);
Ian Happ (9th that year);
Hunter Renfroe (13th in 2013, already 30 career HRs in MLB);
SS Tim Anderson (17th in 2013; already has hit .268 with 26 homers and 86 RBIs in the majors, with 25 steals);
#11 in 2012 Addison Russell - the fella selected ONE PICK BEFORE GAVIN "CHEECH AND CHONG" CECCHINI has hit a jealousy-provoking .240/46 HR/192 RBIs so far as a big leaguer with the Cubs; and
# 17 in 2012 Corey Seager (amazing at .305/52/166, but I'll keep the 5-kiddie-tool Cecchini instead, won't you?).  Hobie recently posted comments at the time of the draft about Cheech and the subsequently drafted Seager: what I read about Cheech was: Good defensively, hits line drives, could develop into a pretty good player.  About Seager, it talked about his power.  Hmmm, who would I have picked? 
Coulda, woulda, shoulda, the Mets picked Gooch (I mean Cheech) in 2012 and also went first round with big Dommy Smitty in 2013 (pictures of a svelte Smith when drafted out of high school, and the current far bulkier Smith, follow below); neither look like world-beaters so far: world-beaten might be more like it.

While Schwarber (4th in 2014) is still potentially a very, very impressive career hitter, if Conforto returns healthy, I am very happy we got him at # 10 that year.  Mets did real good – but from their comments at the time of that draft, they were SHOCKED Conforto slipped to them, so the pick was mostly a no-brainer – but they still had to draft him and not another Shawn Abner, so I'll be nice here.

So, my take is:
Draft power. 
Drafting pitching is a crap shoot, and surgeons love pitchers. 
Hope for the best. 
Pray fervently. 
And be thankful that next June we pick 6th, not 8th.  Because maybe the next Andrew Benitendi might be in this draft and would get picked 7th, with us sitting at 8th. 
FORMER Mets manager Terry Collins (somewhere, Reese is smiling) played Aoki, Reyes, and Cabrera a whole lot in September because he loved to salute his vets and also because of his myopic "winning is contagious" philosophy, while a different team would have sat them a whole lot and tanked.  Mets, sadly, are stupid.
That threesome of veterans combined in September with numbers that would have gotten a guy into the All Star game: 92 for 291 (.316), .500 slug %, 43 RBIs, 35 walks.  How many games in a must-lose September from a draft perspective did these 3 guys win for the Mets?  Surely several.  They were just too good.
The Mets' season total wins and losses were not all that far from the team that will get the first pick, and very close to the # 4 and # 5 teams.  More heavily rookie-laden September line ups might have gotten us more losses and a far better pick - and superior draftee. 

I sure know the Cubs were happy they stunk it up and thus had the first pick a few years ago so they could grab Kris Bryant.  I wish the Mets were somehow # 1 this year, rather than # 6.

But Mets' decision-making is often a lot like # 2, and eventually that leads to certain solid substances hitting the fan.  Not good when your life blood is fans.

When it comes to the topic of picks, am I just being too picky?


Thomas Brennan said...

It's DRAFTY in here!

Reese Kaplan said...

You left out the key issue here. Who is the person making these draft selections?

Hobie said...

Two evaluation issues IMO.
1. The raw data from the scouts & other sources--in from and substance.
2. Analysis procedure/algorithms in comparing scouting reports

Not sure where the NYM problems lie, 1, 2, both or other.

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Reese - clearly the wrong person or persons

@ Hobie - it could include both those factors, but it has also been their overvaluing low powered multi-skilled guys, even if those multi-skills are not very high level, and undervaluing guys with power (with or without speed). I like Evans a lot, but too many interchangeable low powered multi-skilled guys guys like him, Mazzilli, Cecchini, McNeil, Reynolds, Muno, Kaupe, Jared King, etc. Not nearly enough power bats with real potential. It shows in highly anemic minor league power numbers.

Viper said...

The most illogical manager in the ML, is now a special assistant to the most intelligent (in his own mind), GM in the game. They will now cancel each other out. Odds that Sandy picks a pitcher who will need TJS within a year vs a stud position player?
God help us.

Eddie Corona said...

Don't get me started... I hated every win since about July 15th...
None of those wins did anything for anyone...
But a potential Kris Bryant Or harper could be a decade of Pleasure...
I don't look at the 6th pick and look back to what others did... Rather look at where we pick and did we do well with it...
Conforto at 10th great job...
Nimmo and pass on Jose Fernandez - seriously...
Cecchini and pass on seager (there were others just dont want to look it up)
Again they hired 3 former GM's and the Minors are awful...
They hated on Omar and they made it to the WS primarily on those Picks....

Eddie Corona said...

On one more ... I believe that when we drafted Phil Humber with the 3rd or 4th pick the staff really prayed the pick before it fell to them... That was Verlander... So meaningless wins cost us verlander...
The same i believe happened with Cecchini when the staff wanted Russel and they were ill prepared for the pick when he was gone...
So yes I want to win the WS...and if i can't then i want to lose them all so i can build to win the WS...
Even in the sandy era when we lose we dont lose enough...
I'm just thankful I didnt choose to be a jets fan too..

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

TC and Sandy NEVER have determined a single Mets draft pick. Ever.

Thomas Brennan said...

Eddie, shrewd teams know when they can win and what to do to make it happen - and lose when they have to, if it will benefit them later on. The NBA San Antonio Spurs did that to draft first the Admiral and then Tim Duncan - which led to titles and a year-in, year-out serious contender for the past 25 years.

Also avoid guys with no real major league skills in early rounds like Mazzilli, Kaupe, and others who realistically have zero chance to make a major impact on the big league level.

Mack, maybe Sandy SHOULD have more of a role in who they pick - leaving it too much, or solely, to others is bad management.

Mack Ade said...

Remember when the dude that picked Nimmo quit the same week and signed on as the chief scout for another team?

Viper said...

Mack, don't the other guys report to Sandy so how can he not have an input of who gets drafted? Are you saying that Sandy had nothing to do with picking Nimmo as their first signature draftee?

TexasGusCC said...

Tom, the Cubs drafted Bryant second as the Astros with the first pick were suckered into taking Mark Appel. The Cubs talked up Appel and Jonathan Gray all spring, and then pulled a fast one. Jeff Lehnow reflected on the Astros choosing between Bryant and Appel said that history has shown that it is better to pick position players early in the draft over pitchers, but he felt the gamble to draft a top pitcher was too hard to resist even though the injury factor is always higher with pitchers.

Thomas Brennan said...

I am just curious if Al Jackson is high on prospect C Alex Jackson?

The 81 year old former Met is apparently still alive according to baseballreference.com.

Lefty Al had a 3.99 career ERA, and a year after going 8-20 with an insufferable Mets 1960's team, he was 13-15 for the Cardinals in 1966, posting a dandy 2.51 ERA despite only 90 Ks in 232 innings, and then went 9-4 the next season.

He was 24-19 as a non-Met, but unsurprisingly 43-80 as a Met. Best of all, he hit over .200 in 3 different seasons. I don't care if pitchers can pitch - can they HIT?

Sandy should invite Al to camp next spring - he may have something left. I imagine he is confident he can best Harvey's 6.70 ERA.

Mack's Mets © 2012