Previewing the 2014 Draft, Trea Turner, Jeff Hoffman and Jacob Gatewood top the wish list

The 2014 MLB Draft Begins June 5th.  In preparation I’ve reviewed the Top 18 players for the draft with a pretty clear assumption the Met’s 10th pick will be among these names.  It will be interesting to see which way Alderson goes after going with high school players in his most recent drafts.  We’ll review who the Mets get once the draft takes place.

Brady Aiken, LHP – Projected to go first overall, the chances of the Mets having him available at the 10th overall pick range between zero and negative twenty percent.  Aiken is a left handed starter who looks like he’ll crank his fastball into the 92-94 MPH range as he matures.  He shows a good curveball and a plus changeup with solid control for a High School pitcher.  He projects as a guy who will probably make the majors, but doesn’t look to me like he’s bursting with “Star Potential”.

Alex Jackson, C – Projected to go second or third in the draft on most mocks Jackson is a stud catching prospect.  He has a solid swing that should lead to a good batting average and is projected in the auspicious 25-35 home run range.  He’s not fleet of foot, but few catchers outside of vintage Jason Kendall are.  He is a capable defender though and someone who should manage to hold onto the catching position.  Jackson looks like a major talent and would be great for almost any team to draft.

Carlos Rodon, LHP – Rodon is a college lefty with a good deal of zip on his fastball.  He cranks the pitch up into the 96-97 MPH range and can live in the low 90s.  He also features a plus slider that has a “ridiculous” amount of movement on it.  All of that movement could lead to problems (remember Oliver Perez?) but it should also lead to strikeouts.  The changeup is a work in progress and the control isn’t pristine but his overall abilities place him squarely in the first five picks.

Tyler Kolek, RHP – At 6’5” and 250 pounds you’d expect Kolek to have some good heat.  He brings a fastball that is routinely in the 97-99 MPH range but lacks total control of it.  The secondary offerings are also troubling.  He throws a curveball that is hit-or-miss and a changeup that is mostly for show.  His control is obviously not elite but should not be confused as being wild.  Kolek should progress to become a solid power pitcher who can blow hitters away with a devastating fastball.

Aaron Nola, RHP – I’m listing Nola 5th but I’ve seen him drafted by the Mets in a number of mock drafts.  As much as some mocks have Nola as high as 5th, he does not strike me as a “Top 5 Talent”.  His fastball lives around 90 MPH and can reach as high as 94 and he has a solid changeup that could become a plus pitch for him over time.  The pitch that makes him “special” is his curveball which is a plus pitch and can be consistently thrown for strikes.  His control is good and he shouldn’t put people on base.  He’s a solid pick but not one of the most exciting names in the top 15.

Nick Gordon, SS – Gordon reminds me of Dilson Herrera in some ways.  Chiefly his hitting potential.  He’s a line drive hitter with 10-20 Home Run potential and 20-30 Stolen Base potential.  He’s bigger than Herrera and has something else Dilson does not.  His defense is elite.  He’s got a plus plus arm and plus tools for range and glove work.  He strikes me as a future Top 10 shortstop who, like Yadier Molina is known for his glove and under-appreciated for his bat.

Kyle Freeland, LHP – There are a lot of lefties in the top of the 2014 draft. Freeland has a fastball in the 90-92 MPH range that he’s cranked up to 94 MPH.  The fastball could improve as he’s got room to add some strength to his lanky frame.  He throws a cutter and a slider but neither pitch is going to freeze up better hitters.  His changeup is a quality pitch and he’s got nice control over it, using it to hit spots.  His control isn’t perfect, but it’s already “good” which is a nice place to start.

Sean Newcomb, LHP – His fastball can touch 97 MPH and sits regularly in the mid 90s.  He mixes it with a solid slider that could be a true plus offering and a changeup that projects as an average third offering.  He’d be an even higher pick based upon his stuff if his control was better.  His delivery is fine, but he walks too many batters.  It’s something that can be worked upon but it could be the reason he drops to 10th pick or lower.

Trea TurnerTrea Turner, SS – The Mets have a former top prospect, Wilmer Flores, manning the position currently, they have Herrera making waves in Port St. Lucie, they have Gavin Cecchini in Savannah and Amed Rosario (likely in Brooklyn).  They shouldn’t be desperate for a shortstop unless they could get an “elite” talent.  His hitting isn’t overwhelming, but it’s still good.  He has a patient approach and a line drive swing that he uses to generate a good OBP.  His power tops out around 10 home runs but his speed could allow upwards of 50 stolen bases.  His defense is very good but not quite Nick Gordon good.

Michael Conforto, OF – It’s hard to say, with all the other (better) options, why so many mock drafts have the Mets selecting Conforto.  He’s an above average hitter with good power from the left hand side, but his defense is poor.  Overall he looks like a future Mark Trumbo in the making, fitting in as a corner outfielder in a pinch but better suited to first base or designated hitter.  We’d all love to add Trumbo’s bat to our lineup, but the Mets have suffered with “Odd Duck Fielding” for too long.

Jeff Hoffman, RHP – He lives around 92-94 MPH but can really crank things up (to 98 MPH) on occasion.  Hoffman’s big pitch is a curveball that draws comparisons to Adam Wainwright’s.  If it truly is that good, he’d be a steal this late in the draft.  He also throws a slider and a changeup that should both become average or better MLB offerings.  Hoffman throws strikes, but not with total command.  He lives in the zone with good pitches but isn’t hitting the corners just yet.  It’s something he’ll need to work on in the minors.

Tyler Beede, RHP – His fastball is around 90-93 MPH with a top out around 95 MPH.  I’m not quite sure why he’s ranked so highly.  His curveball and changeup both “flash” as plus offerings but neither his offerings or his control indicate that he can develop into much more than a #3 pitcher in the majors.  This pick would not be a good one.

Brandon Finnegan, LHP – Because of his size and being a lefty, the upper range of Finnegan’s fastball (98 MPH) is surprising and leads me to believe he has a future more in relief.  His secondary offering is a “slurve” but a decent one.  If he can tighten it into a curveball it would rate as a plus pitch.  His changeup isn’t anything special based on movement, but he can certainly spot it and play it off against his heat.  He’s got good command that could get better in the minors.  He seems like a solid pick this deep into the draft.

Touki Toussaint, RHP – It’s a silly name.  Anywho… he’s got a good fastball, sitting 92-95 MPH and flashing at higher speeds with good movement.  His curveball has a lot of spin, so much, he doesn’t quite have control of it yet.  It could become a plus pitch for him.  Command is something he struggles with, he’s not a wild pitcher but he needs to develop more consistency with his breaking pitches.  He isn’t a bad pick at #10 but he isn’t a very exciting one either.

Max Pentecost, C – Pentecost is a big tic down in skill from Jackson but is still a valuable prospect by the look of things.  He has a nice line drive swing that will get some power (15 home runs) but he’s a complete package of a player.  He offers solid speed (for the position) and good defense.  He will need to hit for average to succeed but he certainly could be a success story.

Grant Holmes, RHP – Has a fastball that is regularly at 93 MPH.  His biggest secondary offering is a curveball that is the second best breaking pitch in the draft class.  His changeup is not thrown often enough yet to know exactly what it will be though.  His command is roughly average but he is more of a strike thrower so he’ll keep the walks down.  He is a guy a lot of teams will want, after the 10th overall pick.

Bradley Zimmer, OF – He’s a big outfielder who will surprise you.  Zimmer is 6’5” tall with plus speed and a plus plus arm.  This makes him a great option for right field.  His power projects as average but his frame and swing style suggest power numbers will come.  That swing style is not going to produce a great batting average.  He’s a swing and miss hitter who is not made in the Citi Field mold.

Jacob Gatewood, SS – He’s 6’5” tall and only listed as average speed, I’d look at him as more of a third baseman than a shortstop.  He’s only in high school and his swing and eye have obvious flaws.  If they could be worked out, he’s got the power to hit 30 or more home runs at the major league level.  His range is fine for shortstop now, but his plus defensive tools are quick hands and a strong arm.  I could see Gatewood as the heir apparent to David Wright… if the Mets went with him.

8 comments for “Previewing the 2014 Draft, Trea Turner, Jeff Hoffman and Jacob Gatewood top the wish list

  1. Jim OMalley
    May 31, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    We have to keep in mind that along with this pick, we will be getting a Pittsburgh player to be named later shortly thereafter. Two offensive talents added to our organizational depth would be sweet…

  2. ReneNYM1
    May 31, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    What ever happen to Michael Gettys ?

  3. Rick
    May 31, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    In regards to Brady Aiken, dunno what scouting reports you’re reading, but a lefty sitting 92-24 touching 97 is always someone who has “star potential”

  4. Jerry Grote
    May 31, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    As an overall style, color me as wanting players that are better. Not better

    considering our stadium
    considering our current roster
    considering all the other talent in the organization.

    Get the best players available, get as many as you possibly can, and hope the law of averages falls in your favor. If the young man can’t hit in Citifield, maybe he can be traded someplace where he can hit.

  5. Stephen
    May 31, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Jeff Hoffman will have Tommy John surgery.

    Alex Jackson will most likely be drafted-and-converted to the outfield, much like Bryce Harper.

    I’m not sure what Brady Aiken needs to do to make him look like a potential star than what he’s done this year.

    Kolek’s curve is nasty.

    Touki Toussaint might be the most exciting player in this draft and its the extreme difference between his floor and ceiling that make him so interesting.

    My pick is Zimmer. He’s a five-tool guy who’s had two really nice seasons in a row. He also has the speed and athleticism to stick in center, which increases his value.

  6. Jim OMalley
    June 1, 2014 at 6:42 am

    I disagree with Jerry Grote to some degree. Getting the best player period has to be tempered by organizational strength. An organization awash in solid RHP projects should look at other areas of need. But this would be just one factor. If it’s a choice between two possible signees, and one is a RHP and the other isn’t and all other factors are similar, signability, health, representation, relative performance, etc….you simply have to factor in the club’s overall strength.

    Gonna be a great draft by the way….get your popcorn ready. Sandwiched in between two Blue Jay picks is an interesting aspect. Too bad we lost our second pick though.

  7. Jim OMalley
    June 1, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Oh and Jerry (Alex S) G….let’s compare draft notes on Friday…in the lunchroom….6th period.

  8. Patrick Albanesius
    June 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Nice piece. I think Alderson will lean toward pitching, unless he gets an offensive gift left at his feet.

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