Q and A - How De We Do in The Draft?


(okay guys… you are going to have to wait until Wednesday to send me the answer…due by 5pm EST Thursday)

Mack asks –

            Okay… the first two days of the draft are in.

            How do you thing the Mets are doing?

Tom Brennan says

Jarred Kelenic will probably be a very solid major league outfielder in 4-5 years.  Hopefully in 6-7 years an All Star.

But I guess Sandy never sent Terry the memo at the end of August last year, to play all the kids as much as possible to "assess them", meaning to tank the season for a better slot in the draft. 

Instead, September hot trio of Aoki (where is he now?), Reyes, and Cabrera cost them the 5th and perhaps the 4th pick, either of which selections by the Chisox and Reds (Madrigal or India) are less risky and possibly major league ready by mid-2019. Which Jake deGrom would have liked for this run-starved team he agonizingly pitches for.

Richardson in the 2nd round may become a very good pitcher, if he stays healthy for 4 years.  If not, maybe a power hitter as a fallback.

The third round IF guy seems suspect as a hitter...time will tell.

The drafted defense-first catcher likely will be a good back up someday, one thumb or two.

Some of the other pitcher selections looked interesting, especially the harder throwers. I would have preferred, though, at least 3 more drafted top 10 round hitters in hopes that the Mets would improve in my lifetime upon their # 22 rank out of 30 team's in runs scored over the past ten seasons. 

Wouldn't a 10 year stretch as, let's say, the #8 team in scoring runs make life much more enjoyable?  Hitters don't grow on trees.

Reese Kaplan says –

In a word, HORRIBLE. 

Now, before anyone jump down my throat at the Kelenic choice, I meant the organizational philosophy that's crashed and burned for decades.  You can't build a team on pitching alone, but even if you go that route, is it too much to ask to select GOOD pitching? 

To wit, here's a capsule of their 8th round selection, Tylor Megill:  " He started three early season games for the Wildcats, surrendering 10 runs in 6 innings and didn’t make it out of the second in his first two outings. Megill finished the season in the bullpen and after posting a 5.55 ERA in 35.2 innings, dedicated his summer to improving himself. He reported to camp roughly 15-pounds lighter and while the results were not necessarily night-and-day, the improvements were tangible. In 32.2 innings this season, he posted a 4.68 ERA, allowing 38 hits, walking 14, and striking out 38."
Woo hoo!  He sounds like Clayton Kershaw, alright!!!

The team's biggest weakness from top to bottom throughout their organization is hitting.  While it's too narrow a focus to say, "Draft a catcher" or "Draft a center fielder", it's certainly reasonable to say, "Draft the best hitter available."  Instead they go primarily for pitching thus meaning they are not filling the pipeline with offensive prospects. 

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Mack says –

Well, first let me remind everyone that I have been calling for a Mets rebuild, starting with the selling of both SPs Jake deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Both could bring in six chips that are currently ranked in the MLB Top 100 Prospect list.

The Mets pipeline have some nice chips (SPs Crismatt, Dunn, Humphreys, Szapucki, Kay Jurgen Jimenez, and Peterson… RPs Drew Smith, Zanghi, Bashlor, Ryan…1B Alonso… 2B McNeil… SS Gimenez, Mauricio… OF Lagrange, Adrian Hernandez). But it isn’t enough. And those of you that think others are on this red list are simply dreaming. Yes, like McNeil, players can grow and develop, but, as of right now, this is the ‘A List’.

You rebuild two ways:

1.     You do it by looking four years ahead and try to build a great team for, let’s say, the 2022 season

2.     You do it by drafting high school players

As for the draft, I have already said that you approach this in two ways:

1.     Great pitchers build great teams

2.     Draft the best player left on your board

Sometimes they overlap, like Michael Conforto, but your board should have every single player you have scouted throughout the year. And, when one is picked by another team, you take their name off the board and get back to trusting your own scouting team.

That being said, and regardless of what Tom says, my tie breaker is always a weekend starter. And, if you think we have enough of these, try to remember how we all though prior to this and last season that there was no room for either Lugo or Gsellman, look what we are down to now.

On to the first two days of the draft, which I chose to be what I determine my evaluation on. Day Three players are a crap shoot at best and tend to be roster fillers.

1.     You can not determine on draft day if any of these guys are going to work out. It’s a total crap shoot. What you can do is pick guys that have had success in the past, either as a high school senior or a college junior.

2.     I’m thrilled with the start of the Mets draft by their choice of two high school players. This is how rebuilds begin. Kelenick is a bat that Brennan will love and Woods-Richardson is a stud pitcher that could go either to the pen or start.

3.     I’m disappointed that the youth movement stopped and their next eight picks were one college sophomore, four college juniors, and three college seniors.

4.     One was born in 2000 (Woods-Richardson), one in 1999 (Kelenic), four in 1997, three in 1996, and one in 1995 (Megill). The last thing I need on draft day is a 23-year old pitcher. Sadly, under the Mets slow growth system, he wouldn’t have a chance of getting to Queens until he’s 50.

5.     As all of you know, I do this ‘for a living’. And the Mets usually stop picking names I am familiar with by their fourth or fifth pick. This year was different. The vast majority of the first 10 players picked I have followed to some degree this year.

6.     The scouts in South Carolina have really impressed me by looking past the basic stats like ERA. Adam Hill was the Gamecock Friday starters that came up big many times for this team. And Ryley Gilliam may turn out someday to be the steal of this draft. He’s an electric closer who easily could be returned to a starter role as a Met.

7.     Two late picks, ninth round pitcher de Oca and tenth round shortstop Rodriguez were great college senior picks (if there is ever a great college senior). De Oca has been hurt a fair time in his career, but, when healthy, hits the radar gun at 100. And M-Rod will make a great organizational middle infielder that could develop past that.

8.     Seventh round pick, catcher Meyer, looks to have a bright future being (at least) a great backup defensive catcher and seventh round LHP Smith led the Bulldogs in strikeouts (76-K in 59.2-IP). He was projected as the top defensive catcher in this draft.

9.      Overall, for a Mets draft, this was a good one. I can see four, maybe five of these guys of someday becoming either a starter, a reliever, or a starter/bench bat for the Mets in Queens. That’s a good draft.


Drafting is not an exact science. There’s always someone you wish you never drafted in the round you did and there always someone that went later that you wish one of your scouts played up more.

One of our most loyal readers, Steve Wilson, sent me the original scouting report on a player drafted a while back… “can’t hit elite college pitching” and “has a tough time showing his power in a game’.

Don’t hold it against the Mets for not drafting this guy… Aaron Judge.


Adam Smith said...

I read a piece yesterday (I can’t recall where) that argued that Citi is overall an unfriendly hitting environment (please, let’s not go back to the moving the fences in debate - again) so that major FA hitters don’t want to sign here. If that is indeed the case, the piece argued for focusing primarily on hitters in the draft, and either buying or trading for pitching as an organizational strategy. Given what the focus on pitching has left us with, that doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Eddie Corona said...

thanks for your analysis Mack... been waiting for that...

Thomas Brennan said...

It is great to have a robust pitchers' pipeline, but when hitters are not developed, we end up paying Cespedes $28 million per year, Bruce $13 million for year, Frazier $10? million per year, and Cabrera $8 million per year. Subpar hitting pipelines, long term, are expensive pipelines, ones where acquired guys are older, hurt more often and in risk of decline.

I would prioritize both hitters and pitchers equally, emphasizing power arms and power bats - the Mets historically undervalue hitters vs. pitchers in the drafts, in my view. And that is the major reason why for the past 10 years, the Mets are 22nd in runs scored.

22nd teams in scoring are most likely .500 or worse teams.

Eddie Corona said...

Cespedes health aside is a monster and can carry the club.... so paying him 28 mil is fine (someone needs to be paid) but everyone was thrilled about Bruce and Frazier and picking up Cabrera option... when those were dumb signings... better to not to spend than be Stuck with bad contracts..
my favorite saying ... the best of a bad lot is still bad...
So all 3 should have never been signed...

Bob Gregory said...

Not everyone was for signing the sub .250 hitters represented by Bruce and Frazier

Reese Kaplan said...

Power bats, yes...but be wary of alarming strikeout numbers. Power arms are good, but to me the most telling stat on pitching is WHIP -- the ability to keep runners off base. Guys like Glavine, Maddux and others had fine careers without having monster strikeout arms. You know who were power arms -- Jack Leathersich and Josh Smoker. Throwing the ball hard is not a guarantee of success, particularly when you have no idea where it's going. I feel bad for the Tim Petersons and others who get overlooked because they don't hit triple digits on the radar gun, just as I feel bad for the T.J. Rivera types who hit like crazy at every level but didn't get recognized because they don't hit the ball over the wall.

Mack Ade said...

We did do well with Paul Bunyon type bats past the 10th round but they will have to concentrate on less attempts to chop down the tree with one hack and more cutting one limb at a time.

TexasGusCC said...

Paul LoDuca said it in his interview in the New York Post. That was a great interview.

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