Draft is tomorrow, and everyone’s excited. This is like Christmas or Hanukah for minor league freaks. New Mets. Approximately 25 new Mets, with some interesting names on the board for #20 with the Mets. Chris Malia, Kevin Lauro and I came up with our top in the draft board for #20, and believe that one of our picks may be drafted and become our new Met.
Here are our picks, and something short about them:
- OF Jeren Kendall – A top player in the draft, a true Centerfielder with plus speed and above average power, he is high in the overall prospect rankings but may fall due to likely bonus demands and some swing and miss concerns
- DH Keston Hiura – The best hitter in the draft, he has the potential to be a big-league bat with above-average power, but has been a designated hitter due to an elbow injury. He could be a second baseman or a left fielder in the future.
- SS Nick Allen– A small shortstop who has plus-plus defense at the position along with plus-plus speed and the ability to hit at an above-average rate to the gaps with below-average pop.
- RHP Sam Carlson- A Minnesota right hander with a fastball sitting in the 93-97 range, as well as an above-average slider and changeup.
- RHP/C Hagen Danner– A two-way threat at Catcher and Pitcher, with the ability to defend well, hit above-average, and for average power. As a pitcher, he can get up to 95 with a curveball and change with promise.
- SS Logan Warmouth- A shortstop with the ability to hit for average power and defend well at Shortstop. More of a sum of average parts rather than fantastic with some tools.
- OF Jeren Kendall– I think, just like Kevin that he is high upside, and definitely top on my board.
- DH Keston Hiura– I don’t care much about him needing Tommy John, and would be drafting the best bat in the draft.
- 3B Jake Burger- A powerful third baseman who has hit 20+ Home runs the last two years, and is no slouch at on-base percentage.
- RHP Blayne Enlow- Has a fastball that reaches 94 and some more projection ahead. A plus curveball to go with it.
- OF Jordan Adell- A potential five-tool high school player with some swing and miss. Plus plus speed in center, above-average power. Not sure where he’ll go off the board earlier.
To preface my list I want to mention my primary target would be a college bat who is a good athlete. I plan to elaborate on those thoughts in a broader piece about the draft later this week. These are the guys I’d take a look at with the 20th selection in this year’s draft.
- OF Jeren Kendall– Suggestions that he could fall to 20th in the draft seem dubious to me. Best tools in college baseball with five tool potential sounds like a top-10 pick to me. I think it’s worth mentioning he was a projected top-100 pick coming out of high school, so this is a guy who scouts identified talent in early on and that talent blossomed. If he’s available at 20 I have to jump on him
- 1B Evan White– Ideally I want a guy who screams athlete and has positional versatility. Unfortunately White’s primary position is first base and I don’t love going after a first baseman, but he is possibly athletic enough to play the outfield (rather than potential gold glove first base, but I like outfielders better). What stands out to me is White’s projectable bat from the right side—good bat speed and good strike zone command. His speed is good, too. Some athletic tools and I’m inclined to explore his ability to play outfield.
- SS Logan Warmoth– This is where my desire to find a college bat with versatility might sacrifice some ceiling talent. Warmoth can play shortstop on the level, though, and he has an all-fields hitting approach with strong knowledge of the strike zone, so he fits the archetype the Mets tend to pursue with young hitters. On MLB.com they suggest Warmoth lacks any standout tool, and thus he seems to me to be in the Gavin Cecchini mold, but that is a pretty safe pick at 20.
- OF Bubba Thompson– My rule is to not draft high schoolers unless they’re top-5 elite because talent is nearly impossible to project in a hitter prior to college development. But rules in academic exercises like this are only fun when you are willing to break them. I take Bubba not because he’s an elite athlete (he is) or because he has some projectable tools (he does), but because he is a state champion quarterback from Alabama. According to MLB.com, Thompson had Division 1 scholarships to play quarterback at schools like Tennessee and Mississippi on the table and turned them down to commit to baseball. You cannot discount passion and if I had to stake money on it I’d say this is a player who will work his ass off.
- RHP Hans Crouse– I don’t want a pitcher in the first round. Pitchers are too volatile and the development can be onerous. But if I’m taking a pitcher I want a high schooler who bypasses the heavy college workloads imposed by coaches who prioritize winning over development. Crouse is big and strong and throws hard and allegedly has good feel for a cambio. I like that profile even if I’m concerned he’ll succumb to a torn UCL somewhere along the way.
Keep Refreshing and following @MetsTProspects for more updates regarding the draft!