Who will make it to Citi Field first?
Ah, the MLB Draft. The most flawed, unceremonious draft of the four major North American sports. Sure, MLB Network has done a nice job promoting and covering the event—but let's face it, none of us know much about the top picks until after they have been drafted and we've read up on their past.
Now that we have feigned our excitement over guys by the name of Cecchini, Plawecki, Stankiewicz, and Kaupe, we can make our deadly-accurate predictions as to when they will debut at Citi Field.
Of course, that's not true. In the business of baseball, it is entirely possible that none of the Mets' top ten picks will reach the show with the Mets, or that they will reach the show at all.
However, for the sake of optimism, we'll assume that the Mets just completed an impressive haul, all of their first ten picks will sign and proceed to be prospects.
Interestingly enough, of the Mets' first ten draft choices, two were college pitchers. This is intriguing considering the sheer numbers of pitchers elgible to be drafted.
Logically, there are more pitchers available than any other position. High school pitchers are more often than not seen as longterm projects that are high-risk-high-reward type players. The college pitcher is generally accepted to be more polished and closer to the big leagues.
This may speak to how highly the Mets value their top pitching prospects in Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, and Jennry Mejia.
Matt Koch (3rd round, Louisville) and Brandon Welch (5th round, Palm Beach State) are the two newest college-aged additions to the Mets' aresnal of young arms. However, neither stands to reach the Majors in the immediate future.
If we accept the fact that Teddy Stankiewicz (Ft. Worth Christian HS, TX, 2nd round) and Corey Oswalt (Madison HS, CA, 7th round) are already behind considering their age, we are left to debate the remaining six of the top ten picks.
All of those six are infielders, including two catchers, two shortstops, a third baseman and a first baseman.
Of those infield positions, the most glaring hole right now at the big league level would either be catcher or shortstop. Keeping in mind that the Mets value a healthy Ruben Tejada at shortstop, catcher is the position that most needs an upgrade.
Kevin Plawecki (Purdue, compensation round) has already agreed to terms on a contract, and will soon be assigned within the organization. The other catcher drafted by GM Sandy Alderson was Tomas Nido (Orangewood Christian HS, FL, 8th round).
Like pitchers, high school catchers have immense maturing to undergo, and will take longer to reach the highest level than their college counterparts.
The Mets' top pick, SS Gavin Cecchini, has already signed his contract, and will start his professional career shortly. Considering how highly the Mets think of Cecchini, and acknowledging the team's weakness at shortstop, Cecchini may have a shot of reaching the big leagues with the Mets. He certainly would have a leg up on 4th round SS Branden Kaupe from Baldwin HS, HI.
That leaves one other pick to discuss: 2nd-round 3B Matt Reynolds from the University of Arkansas. Right now, the Mets are pretty set at 3B with David Wright, but that could change if Alderson is blown away by a potential deadline trade offer. Still, Reynolds would not likely factor into Wright's spot if he were to leave at the end of July or in the upcoming offseason.
That leaves us with our answer: C Kevin Plawecki.
Plawecki was a three-year starter at Purdue, never batting under .341. He struck out only 29 times in 623 career college at-bats. No, those numbers won't translate to the big-league level, but it's a good sign.
There you have it. Of the first ten picks the Mets made in the 2012 Draft, Kevin Plawecki will reach the majors first.