Last month I wrote about the players I thought the Mets might draft in the upcoming amateur draft and now that time has come. You’ll recall that I made a prediction at the end of the piece suggesting that the Mets would select the following players:
I made these projections working off Brodie Van Wagenen’s 2019 draft and thinking about how the crafty GM might seek to get the most bang out of his draft selections in 2020. Without further preamble we will get into the draft.
With the 19th Overall selection, the New York Mets Select: Pete Crow-Armstrong
Don’t get too excited about me predicting the Mets top pick. The last time I was right the Mets got David Peterson and, while he hasn’t been terrible, that hasn’t worked out as one would hope a top pick might.
Crow-Armstrong projects as a “True Center fielder” with good speed and good contact to help support his quality fielding projections. The Mets scouts talk about how he “showed off” in the field making trick catches and throws when they were scouting him. This suggests, perhaps, a lack of maturity or an excess of ego but also that the defensive chops are there to make him the plus defender the Mets need at the position.
The question will remain if he will ever be the hitter that the Mets need him to also be. With the loss of Jared Kelenic still felt throughout the farm, the Mets have no stud outfield prospects and there is some reason to doubt that Crow-Armstrong qualifies as such. For a player who may never top 15 home runs in a single season it’s going to mean that he produces by getting on base and scoring runs. Stolen bases would be nice but the key to his future is going to be how high he can drive that on base percentage.
Regardless of the doubts, Crow-Armstrong was a solid pick and one who fills the largest hole in the Met’s system right away. Based upon the draft order I think the Mets made a solid pick. The players most likely to produce that deep sense of hindsight regret are Jared Kelley who entered Day 2 as the #1 prospect and Garrett Mitchell who was ranked 6th overall by MLB.com and was selected with the 20th pick. The Mets wound up managing to draft Matthew Allen in 2019 after he missed a Day 1 selection, but the White Sox were not about to let that happen again. With Mitchell there will be hell to pay for Van Wagenen if he proves to be the better pick.
With the 52nd Overall selection, the New York Mets Select: J.T. Ginn
The Mets don’t do anything too surprising with this pick. Ginn was a quality college arm with a solid fastball who the Mets are likely hoping to speed through their system. The Dodgers previously drafted Ginn 30th overall out of highschool but the young righty chose to honor his commitment to Mississippi State. As a sophomore, the Mets might be taking the same risk as Ginn could return to college.
The reason for the drop in value has to do with Tommy John surgery but also growing doubts about his future as a starter. Hitting 97 MPH on the radar gun is great and he boasts a plus slider and a solid changeup but there are major questions about his delivery creating problems for his overall durability.
The Mets will hope to get Ginn signed and keep him healthy to make this draft pick worth their while. The hindsight 20/20 pick that the Mets might regret is Cole Wilcox though Ginn might be the safe bet of the two. Wilcox has more power but also less polish on his secondary offerings and has the same concerns over durability thanks to a strange delivery. I think the Mets might have been wise to go with the player who has already needed to adjust his methodology thanks to Tommy John Surgery.
Round 2 C:
With the 69th Overall selection, the New York Mets Select: Isaiah Greene
After taking Crow-Armstrong in the first the Mets pick up a second outfielder who profiles as a natural center fielder. It’s interesting to see the Mets going with Greene as he seems like an insurance pick rather than a true prospect selection. The Mets could be creating a log jam but it’s more likely that the Mets move Greene around the outfield. Don’t expect much power but his contact and speed should make him a viable major leaguer if his scouting pans out.
Looking at prospects still on the board, I believe that Van Wagenen had to believe that Blaze Jordan would not accept an offer this low in the draft. It just seems like the Mets had other needs that could have been met instead of selecting a second contact oriented outfielder.
With the 91st Overall selection, the New York Mets Select: Anthony Walters
Not much is said about Walters who didn’t rank in Baseball America’s Top 500 prospects. He played for San Diego State and had a fairly normal batting line. It has the feel of a throw away pick but perhaps Van Wagenen and crew know something we don’t.