The Amateur Draft is scheduled for later this month and the Mets will be picking four times in the first day and first 72 picks. The Mets are rightfully expected to draft a lot of pitching with the caveat that a player too good to pass up drops to them. Today’s analysis goes through some of the people that the Mets may be looking at with each of their picks.

Round 1, 11th Overall:

As compensation for the Kumar Rocker debacle, the Mets will be drafting 11th overall. One thing to be noted about this draft is that much of the top talent is on the hitting side of the baseball and there is a peculiarly high amount of elite left-handed pitching.

Connor Prielipp, LHP ( #24): While a number of the players who might fall to the Mets top pick were previously rated highed, Prielipp has always been slated to be drafted in the heart of the first round. The solid lefty starter is with Alabama and has the makings of what might be considered a “safe” pick. The lower ceiling on Prielipp isn’t something that will excite fans but he looks like he has a projectable MLB future with a ceiling of a #2 or #3 pitcher.
● Dylan Lesko, RHP ( #14): Before the season Lesko was slated to be drafted higher but he underwent Tommy John surgery in April. He remains one of the best looking prospects with a strong fastball and a killer changeup. Most pitching prospect have Tommy John surgery at some point and he’s expected to still be a first round selection.
● Brock Porter, RHP ( #10): The Mets seem to like drafting prep-school players and prior to the season Porter was the top rated pitcher. He’s got a very powerful arm but also likely needs to have a longer road to the majors. Keith Law ranks Porter at 18th overall.
● Jackson Holliday, SS ( #3): Holliday had been ranked 50th overall before the season and has obviously risen quite a lot as the year went on. The son of Matt Holliday will likely be off the board but I’m listing him hear to point out that the Mets might spend their top pick on Druw Jones, Elijah Green, Termarr Johnson, Brooks Lee, Jacob Berry, or Jace Jung if any of these names remain at 11th overall.

Round 1, 14th Overall:

The Mets will only have minutes to prepare for their second pick after making their first and to an extent the first pick might dictate the second. Certainly, if no pitcher is selected with the first pick, this second pick will assuredly be a pitcher but should the Mets select a lefty with their first pick they might hesitate to select another.

● Jackson Ferris, LHP ( #17): Another prep-school product Ferris profiles close to Connor Prielipp though several rankings lists have him now ranked lower. Ferris has a ceiling as a #2-#3 pitcher and boasts a plus 12-6 curveball that should generate swings and misses. He has an odd delivery that could be why some scouts are less hot on him.
Blade Tidwell, RHP ( #23): A college pitcher who can hit 99 miles per hour is nothing to sneeze at. Tidwell had been ranked 13th overall months ago but has dropped in the rankings. He has a large variety of secondary pitches that may eventually lead to a long successful career. For now, I would imagine that teams would have him cut down on his offerings to focus on developing the best of them (currently his changeup).
● Brandon Bareira, LHP ( #15): Like Prielipp, Bareira’s stock has held pretty steady from the beginning of the season to now. The lefty has less horsepower in his arm than others but his slider and changeup are both expected to become plus pitches. Comparisons to Ron Guidry aside, he seems like a safer pick as prospects go.
● Justin Crawford, OF ( #13): The Mets and Carl Crawford were something I once dreamed of bringing together. The idea of drafting the son of the former all star outfielder has its appeal. Crawford is likely the third best legacy player in this draft but he has all the tools to develop into a solid center fielder. His power hasn’t come into its own which is why he ranks lower than Jones and Holliday.

Round 2, 52nd Overall:

My mock drafts after the first round go all over the place once you hit the second round. Players ranked very low before the season rose up significantly and some players selected as high as the top 30 in one draft drop as low as the end of the second round in the next.

● Paxton Kling, OF ( #102): There is a lot of risk in selecting Kling in this draft as he’s a large risk to return to college. For this reason I do not think that he’d accept a deal if the Mets selected him with their compensation pick. He has the makings of a five tool outfielder and looks to be capable of sticking in center field long term.
Carson Palmquist, LHP ( #82): A left-handed pitcher with a lot of strikeout potential Palmquist draws some comparisons to Chris Sale but profiles more as a sidearm reliever. He has a chance to be a starter but will need to improve his changeup as he’s really just a fastball/slider guy.
Jonathan Cannon, RHP ( #52): Despite being ranked exactly where the Mets are drafting, I believe Cannon is going to be gone before the end of the first round of picks. Cannon profiles as a #2/#3 pitcher and boasts a wide array of quality pitches plus good command of the strike zone. The big college righty is likely ranked too low for the Mets to select him in the first round and too high for the Mets to select him in the second. He’d be a steal if he fell this far.
Cooper Hjerpe, LHP ( #32): Where Cannon is ranked lower and expected to be off the board, I think that Hjerpe stands a decent chance of being available at 52nd overall because of weird delivery mechanics. He’s had a great year but a lefty with only three pitches and an odd delivery might scare teams away from a first round selection.

Compensation Round 2, 72nd Overall:

With the last pick of day one I would like to see the Mets reach on a high ceiling and high risk player.

● Nazier Mule, RHP/SS ( #93): I won’t lie, I am really hoping the Mets use one of their two second round picks to select this high ceiling/low floor prospect from Passaic Tech. He has a 100+ MPH fastball and could have plus power as a batter but is raw and will need lots of development. He is likely a pitcher as his contact is sub-par but he’s a local kid with a lot of potential.
● Ryan Clifford, OF #68): A big outfielder who profiles as a corner outfielder, Clifford strikes me as a Michael Conforto type player. He’s already very big at the soon to be age of 19 and he’s committed to Vanderbilt so the idea of signing him could be a little over ambitious.
● Jurrangelo Cijntje, BHP ( NR): That isn’t a typo. Cijntje is the next Pat Vanditte (switch pitcher) but unlike the Vanditte, his stuff is good enough to make him an intriguing second round option. He had been ranked 100th overall but has since fallen off the list entirely. His fastball sits in the mid-90s w/ a hammer curveball from the right, upper-80s from the left side Cijntje has seen his stuff continually tick up in recent months and has now bumped 97 on pro radar guns. This might be too high for a “gimmick pick” but if the Mets are worried about signing some bigger names with their other picks he might still make sense.
Hunter Barco, LHP ( #71): Currently sidelined with Tommy John surgery Barco would be a contender for a Top 10 pick if he were healthy. His slider and changeup are already plus pitches and he could be an absolute steal for a team if he lasted this late in the draft.

The Perfect Draft:

This, to me, seems like asking for far more than reality would supply but the following draft is my perfect storm of Met selections for the 2022 Amateur Draft.

1. Picking at 11th overall the Mets make the call to draft Brock Porter, opting for a younger player with a higher ceiling than Connor Prielipp.
2. Picking at 14th overall the Mets luck into Dylan Lesko who slips a few spots as the teams between picks go with safer options like Brandon Bareira.
3. The Mets channel their luckiest selves and wind up with Jonathan Cannon slipping to 52nd overall giving themselves a very good college pitcher to go with the younger selections in the first round.
4. While I love Nazier Mule and selected him in each of my mock drafts for the Mets the perfect draft sees the Mets getting Hunter Barco at 72nd overall. This overhaul of a draft gives the Mets four pitchers who will contend to become front-end starters for the team with two collegiate pitchers and two kids out of highschool to re-stock a farm bereft of pitching depth.

AAA: Syracuse Mets

What to Make of Khalil Lee

Since returning from A ball, Lee has watched his hits fall in to a wonderfully high rate .349/.451/.698 in 51 PA in that time. He’s still striking out a lot which means those numbers are not sustainable. Essentially, Lee has a very tight clock to show the Mets he has value, especially with Plummer already in the majors and Jankowski due back at some point too. I hear my Yankee fan friends complaining a lot about Aaron Hicks. Perhaps the Yankees could offer a relief pitcher for one of the Mets three viable center field options.

Mark Vientos, 3B – #5 Prospect: Finished May with a wonderful .328/.408/.642 slash line and looks to have recovered from his April blues.
Nick Plummer, OF – #7 Prospect: With a couple of clutch moments, Plummer is making a fine impact on the MLB team at the moment.
● Khalil Lee, CF – #11 Prospect: Lee is back with AAA and hitting. With Plummer in the majors it may be that Lee missed his chance to have his major league breakout.
Thomas Szapucki, LHP – #13 Prospect: That MLB chance could not have gone worse. The Mets may want to flip Szapucki to the bullpen to see if he’s worth keeping for the future.
Hayden Senger, C – #14 Prospect: Senger has earned the promotion to AAA and is likely an injury away from his major league debut.
Eric Orze, RHP – #19 Prospect: A resurgent May was good to Orze who looks like he might be on a short list for a major league debut the next time Bullpen help is needed.
Jake Mangum, CF – #21 Prospect: Promoted to AAA about a week ago, Mangum seems to have found his footing at the plate but is buried under superior prospects at his position.
Michel Otanez, RHP – #29 Prospect: Healthy again, Otanez is one of the steadier and more consistent relievers on the Syracuse roster but he’s not a high strikeout guy.
Dedniel Nunez, RHP – #40 Prospect: Another bullpen option in AAA, he’s been great since coming back up.

AA: Binghamton Rumble Ponies

Francisco Making Waves

He’s the top prospect so the Mets would expect nothing less but it’s time for the Mets to have discussions about Alvarez’s 2022 season and if he should finish it in the majors to help the Mets in a playoff push. Alvarez finished May with a .277/.348/.436 slash line, which is pretty excellent production for just about any position let alone catcher.

He has a seven game hitting streak going since May 29th and in that time he has hit three (3) home runs and a pair (2) of doubles. Looking at the Mets lineup, especially against the Dodgers you note that the team is hard up for RBIs after Pete Alonso’s spot in the lineup. Alvarez is still more likely to be making his debut in 2023 but the Mets may have their best World Series chances in 2022 with him in the lineup earlier.

Francisco Alvarez, C – #1 Prospect: With Hayden Senger in AAA, Alvarez should be seeing less time at DH and more time at catcher.
Ronny Mauricio, SS – #2 Prospect: Who is Ronny Mauricio? He’s a guy with lots of speed and power who is also going to strikeout a bunch. Is he worthy of being a #2 prospect, you betcha!
Brett Baty, 3B – #3 Prospect: His numbers, especially power, are down in 2022. He’s not playing poorly but I am anticipating Alex Ramirez rising above him in the rankings.
Jose Butto, RHP – #9 Prospect: A nice start to the Month of June (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB and 11 K) in his first start of the Month.
Carlos Cortes, LF/2B – #17 Prospect: After scuffling badly in AAA he was demoted to AA where he’s followed up a poor performance… with a worse one.
Wyatt Young, SS – #39 Prospect: After a demotion that had nothing to do with performance this Hawaiian prospect continues to get hits. Playing in front of Mauricio, Baty and Alvarez, he’s showing the chops of a future bench IF with starter upside.

A+: Brooklyn Cyclones

Should we be watching Oscar Rojas more closely?

If your name is Brian Joura, you’ve been watching him for a while. Rojas is one of the fastest climbing names beginning the year as the 46th overall in my Top 50. Zipping forward to today and I might have him ranked too low at 35th. He’s got all the makings of a solid starter in his stats and could be on his way to AA Binghamton if he keeps it up.

● Matt Allan, RHP – #8 Prospect: Still not back on the mound. Fingers crossed he comes back soon.
Jose Peroza, 3B – #16 Prospect: After a dismal April, I expected Peroza to fall off the Top 20 but he’s turned things on. Of particular note, his OBP is .100 higher than his batting average and that’s a great sign.
Jaylen Palmer, Util – #18 Prospect: His overall numbers are better thanks to some power but he’s just not hitting often enough.
Mike Vasil, RHP – #27 Prospect: Two starts since his promotion and it seems Vasil was ready for the competition. He’s making a run at the Top 20.
● Oscar Rojas, RHP – #35 Prospect: He’s got a 3.41 ERA over 37.0 innings with 42 strikeouts in 2022.

A: Port St. Lucie Mets

Why Not, let’s talk about Alex Ramirez again

The best prospect in the lower minors continues to do everything the Mets could want of him, except taking a walk. He’s showing power (.462 SLG in May) and he continues to get hits (.302 BA in May) but he has one obvious and glaring flaw. He struck out 28 times in only 25 games for the month and only walked 4 times. Expect the Mets to start opening him up to steal more bases as the season goes on.

● Alex Ramirez, CF – #4 Prospect: He’s still ranked fourth overall but he’s got 11 extra base hits since the start of May and 5 stolen bases. He’s not going to stay at fourth long.
Calvin Ziegler, RHP – #6 Prospect: He’s had a great season but the Mets took him out after 2.0 IP in his last start so injury is a concern.
Dominic Hamel, RHP – #15 Prospect: A great start to begin June (6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB and 8 K) let’s hope he keeps it up.
Carlos Dominguez, 1B – #39 Prospect: The power is real and he’s probably overdue for promotion. After the draft expect his name on Brooklyn’s roster.
Omar De Los Santos, OF – NR Prospect: Probably back on the Top 50 he should be in Brooklyn soon with his nice hitting and power numbers in Florida.

4 comments on “Mets Minors: 2022 amateur draft edition

  • TexasGusCC

    Susac and Parreda top the charts due to position value from the names not mentioned being gone and I would say Susac goes first since he can stick there. As the Mets have signed quite a few outfielders lately, I don’t think that would be their target unless Green falls to them. Assuming no surprises, if Susac and Lesko or Prielipp were to land in the Mets lap, that would be a good start. The Mets need to accumulate as much high end pitching as possible due to the dearth of front end starters in their system. I think it was Law that said Prielipp may have gone at the top of the draft if he wasn’t hurt. My hope is Berry as the Mets could use the masher, but, offensive players go early.

    Susac, Berry, and two top pitchers that fall due to TJ surgery would be cool! If not this, your perfect draft is to be signed up for right now. It’s just that on equal footing, I always take the position player due to the injury factor being higher for a pitcher.

    • deegrove84

      So I ran five mock drafts and Susac never fell to the Mets at 11 but Berry did twice. In one draft I took him but found that I wound up with an inferior pitcher at 14 and on the next I passed on him (this is the draft where I wound up with Porter and Lesko… though not Cannon or Barco).

      • TexasGusCC

        I don’t expect him to either, but when Keith Law and Prospects Live have him falling, I give it a little more chance than just my logic. Last year, Davis went first pick of the draft and Ford went fifth, both in the strength of positional value.

  • BrianJ

    There are opportunities every year for a relief pitcher in any organization. But for me, given the chances that have happened already in the majors, I’d be shocked if a guy who hasn’t yet pitched in MLB this year – like Orze, Otanez and Nunez – gets a shot with the Mets going forward in 2022.

    We’ve seen Holderman, Nogosek, Medina, Reed and Lopez come up from the minors already this year, with the first three being successful (Medina just the one bad outing in COL) in multiple chances. Reed’s been good, too, but hasn’t had as much of an opportunity. And with four pitchers heading back from the IL the next six weeks or so – there are going to be fewer opportunities for the relievers already in the majors, much less ones in the minors.

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