The Mets finished in the middle of the pack in 2019 which leaves the team with a mediocre 19th overall pick in the 2020 draft. In today’s post we are going to feature several of the more likely players for the Mets to select with their 19th, 56th and 86th overall picks. Last season Brodie Van Wagenen was extremely creative in managing to snage Brett Baty (ranked 17th), Josh Wolf (ranked 36th) and Matthew Allan (ranked 13th) in their first three rounds. To these ends, we will be looking at prospects using three strategies.
By The Rankings:
Our first strategy will focus on the player that MLB.com ranks at the Mets draft position. While MLB.com is never right about such things and their rankings are not always well thought of, this will give us our baseline for review.
Balancing The Farm:
The second strategy will look to the Mets acquiring players that fill gaps in need across the minor leagues. This is not the typical approach for the Mets but it will show us some of the players that could make up for current roster deficiencies.
High Risk/High Reward:
This approach will look to target the most talented players and look to take advantage of players that other teams might shy away from because of strong college commitments or other concerns.
Round 1: 19th Overall
It seems that the chances of the Mets selecting a high-end outfielder both match the organizational needs as well as the talent available. While the Mets are unlikely to have Garrett Mitchel, Zac Veen or Austin Hendrick available they should be able to get someone who represents both the top talent available and someone who fills their most glaring weakness.
By the Rankings: The Mets select 18 year old catcher, Tyler Soderstrom. The son of former MLB pitcher Steve Soderstrom (himself a 6th overall pick), Tyler is an athletic hitting catcher. He projects to combine good contact and arm strength with power potential and surprising speed. With an ideal projection, he reminds me of Jason Kendall. While Soderstrom’s arm is considered to be good, scouts already question if he would stick with the catcher position or move to third base or even the outfield.
Balancing the Farm: The Mets select highschool outfielder, Pete Crow-Armstrong. Having not had a “true” centerfielder since Carlos Beltran left the team this approach sees the Mets looking to add a player who has good speed and contact but who may never have the 30 homerun power that they’ve recently been targeting. Prior to 2019 Crow-Armstrong was projected to be ranked far higher than 20th overall and so his commitment to Vanderbilt has considerable risk for a team drafting him but if he was selected 19th overall it might be enough for him to sign.
High Risk/High Reward: The Mets select another Vanderbilt bound outfielder, Robert Hassell. The prep school standout is ranked 16th and is a better pure hitter than Crow-Armstrong though not one projected as pure centerfielder. Hassell has the dreaded “Five Tool” label and would instantly become the best outfield prospect in the Mets system but might not be willing to sign with a team who is drafting him that late in the first round. I think it’s far more likely that Hassell is simply off the board by the time the Mets pick.
Round 2: 53rd and 70th Overall
The second round is typically full of players who either have potential and risk or safe projectability. Unlike previous drafts it seems there are far fewer risks in this group as the rankings seem to have swung in a collegiate direction.
By the Rankings: The Mets select pitchers, Tanner Witt and Tommy Mace. Witt has a lot of potential and could develop into a front-line pitcher but only if a lot of things break right. His fastball needs more speed, his breaking pitches need to continue to develop and so on. He does seem like he has a strong chance of one day reaching the majors. Mace, on the other hand, would represent a more polished product but he doesn’t project as having a ton of potential.
Balancing the Farm: The Mets select college lefty, Logan Allen, and two-way player, Masyn Winn. With the Mets getting two quality starters (albeit younger ones) in 2019, the Mets have a need to acquire some more qualified college arms who project to reach the majors more swiftly. Allen does not have nearly the same type of stuff that Allan does but he makes up for that by being crafty and would be expected to move up swiftly through the farm. Winn profiles as a good defensive shortstop but has a higher ceiling at a pitcher. Getting a polished product like Allen and a player to develop in Winn certainly checks the boxes off for farm system needs.
High Risk/High Reward: The Mets select the power pitching righty, Kyle Nicolas and local kid Alex Santos. The Mets are known to love their fireballing pitchers and Nicolas fits that billing. The young pitcher can already reach 100 MPH on the radar gun but is expected to be a project in terms of his control. Santos, for all of those great vibes of being a NYC product, doesn’t project as a star. He’s got solid stuff at the moment but really feels like he is more likely to actually go to Maryland where he can develop and become a true first round talent.
Round 3: 92nd Overall
The players ranked between 56th and 86th are primarily high school players and there are plenty of solid options for selecting players with decent ceilings but once you reach the 3rd round the larger concern becomes whether or not the player will actually make the majors.
By the Rankings: The Mets select powerful college righty, Mason Erla. The injury history and control issues are both troubling but the Mets do love to draft guys who throw hard. Erla isn’t a lock to remain a starter but has enough success with his breaking pitches that I believe that decision wouldn’t come into play for a few seasons. Him being 22 makes him a cheaper signing option for Van Wagenen if he were to attempt another gambit like 2019.
Balancing the Farm: The Mets select speedster, Jake Vogel. With a commitment to UCLA and little known about him overall it seems unlikely that the Mets or any team would really wish to use, and potentially waste a first round pick on Vogel. That being said he would be a player who the Mets could project into a starting centerfield role over time.
High Risk/High Reward: The Mets select intriguing starter, Clayton Beeter. Typically when you switch a pitcher from starting to relief, you see an uptick in power and a downtick in walks. Beeter saw the opposite in 2019. His fastball improved in velocity and his walks per 9 dropped from 8.7 to 1.7 which is baffling. Based on this, it’s easy to see why teams might pass on a 21 year old pitcher who has already undergone Tommy John surgery but he becomes incredibly intriguing if he lasts to the 3rd round.
The Brodie Van Wagenen Draft:
Round 1 – Pete Crow-Armstrong
Round 2 – Kyle Nicolas and Logan Allen
Round 3 – Alex Santos
Since we cannot expect Van Wagenen to net the team three first round talents every year I have him taking a different approach to the 2020 draft. That being said, I have him taking a major risk with his 3rd round pick. Here is how the draft shakes out.
- Mets take Crow-Armstrong hoping to groom him as the center fielder and leadoff hitter of the future.
- Mets nab Kyle Nicolas in the 2nd as other teams fear his control issues and then Logan Allen with the 70th overall pick since teams shy away from his mediocre raw “Stuff”.
- In the 3rd the Mets make an offer to Santos who gets the chance to come home and play for one of the teams he grew up watching hoping that might get him to join the team.