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A Look at Where the New York Mets' Top Draft Picks from 2010 Are Now

Nathan TesslerCorrespondent IMay 31, 2013

A Look at Where the New York Mets' Top Draft Picks from 2010 Are Now

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    The MLB draft brings boundless optimism to fans of any baseball team.

    The draft injects youth, talent and potential into your farm system, and no team can ever have enough of that. 

    But the MLB draft is also the biggest crapshoot of any professional draft. Immediately after these players get drafted, they are sent to the minors for years to develop before they can even contribute to the major league team.

    Thus, not every draft pick pans out. That is certainly the case for the Mets, as they drafted plenty of players in 2010 who have turned out both good and bad.

    Here is a look at where the Mets’ top draft picks of 2010 are now:

Round 1, Pick 7: Matt Harvey, RHP, University of North Carolina

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    Unless you’ve been living under a rock this season, you know how Matt Harvey is doing. 

    He has become a sensation this season, and the 2010 first rounder is already the ace of the Mets and an early Cy Young candidate. 

    So far, Harvey is 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA, a major league-best 0.82 WHIP and an unbelievable 84/17 K/BB ratio in 78.0 innings. More impressively, Harvey has allowed just 47 hits this season. He allowed 42 hits in 59.1 innings of pitching last season, his first taste of major league baseball.

    Ironically, the Mets have one man to thank for Harvey being a Met: The much-hated mega-agent Scott Boras. 

    Harvey was drafted in the third round in 2007 by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but Boras’ asking price was too high for the Angels and Harvey opted to go to UNC.

    However, once Harvey is due his much-deserved big extension, fans may not be so thankful anymore.

    The Mets may not pack much punch this season, but Harvey gives fans reason to hope and reason to tune in every five games. He and David Wright are the cornerstones of this franchise. 

    Although other top 10 picks in 2010 include Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, Harvey is making a strong case as the best of the three. And that is saying something.

Round 3, Pick 89: Blake Forsythe, C, University of Tennessee

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    The Mets did not pick again until round 3, where they chose the power-hitting catcher, Blake Forsythe.

    The team lost their second round pick in 2010 for signing a certain player named Jason Bay from the Boston Red Sox. With the compensation pick, the Red Sox drafted Brandon Workman from University of Texas. Workman is currently 5-1 with a 3.75 ERA, 69 strikeouts and 15 walks in 57.2 innings in Double-A.

    As for Forsythe, he has struggled to adapt to professional baseball.

    After leading Tennessee in home runs in 2010, he has yet to reach double-digits in that stat in any of his seasons of work.

    This year, Forsythe is getting his first Double-A exposure.

    So far, Forsythe is hitting just .219 in 34 games with 10 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 16 RBI. Forsythe does have a moderate 13 walks, but has also recorded 38 strikeouts.

    Forsythe’s best abilities on paper were his strong throwing arm and raw power. So far, we have only seen one of those traits.

    Forsythe has shown improving defense and plate discipline, but his professional career has been pretty disappointing so far.

Round 4, Pick 122: Cory Vaughn, CF, San Diego State University

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    Cory Vaughn, son of 15-year veteran Greg Vaughn, is showing great improvement this season after disappointing 2011 and 2012 seasons.

    In 2010, Vaughn was incredible for the Short-Season A Brooklyn Cyclones.

    In just 72 games, Vaughn hit .307 with 14 doubles, five triples, 14 home runs, 56 RBI and 12 stolen bases. Vaughn also had a very respectable .396 on-base percentage and .557 slugging percentage.

    On the other hand, 2011-2012 were underwhelming years for Vaughn.

    After hitting .286 in 68 Class-A games, Vaughn hit just .219 in 63 games after his call-up to High-A ball. The next season, Vaughn managed 25 doubles, 23 home runs and 21 stolen bases in High-A, but he hit just .243 in 126 games, including 114 strikeouts. 

    However, Vaughn has really turned things around this season, his first in Double-A.

    In 42 games, Vaughn has a solid .287/.371/.433 slash line, including six doubles, one triple, five home runs and eight stolen bases.

    Vaughn was a very risky pick with a lot of potential. He has a dangerous mixture of power and speed, but there were questions about his ability to hit for average.

    For a fourth round pick, he has developed quite nicely. Vaughn is also crushing lefties so far this season, posting an incredible .385/.467/.538 line against them.

    If he continues this improvement, Vaughn could help a desperate Mets outfield within the next couple years.

Round 5, Pick 152: Matt Den Dekker, CF, University of Florida

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    Matt den Dekker had an outside chance of making the Opening Day roster this season, but, unfortunately, he broke his wrist in spring training.

    The good news is that it did not require surgery, and den Dekker should be back in Triple-A in early June.

    Den Dekker has become one of the best defensive outfielders in the Mets’ farm system. Considering he made the All-SEC Defensive team for three straight seasons, that should come as no surprise.

    But if den Dekker is to become an everyday player, he must improve his consistency at the plate.

    When den Dekker has time to settle into each minor league level, it seems that he turns into a completely different person at the plate.

    After settling into High-A ball in 2011, den Dekker hit .296 in 67 games, prompting a mid-season call-up to Double-A. But in the remaining 72 games, den Dekker hit a measly .235 in his first exposure at that level. 

    In 2012, den Dekker became a new man and hit an unbelievable .340 in 58 Double-A games before his call-up to Triple-A. Again, though, den Dekker struggled mightily in Triple-A, hitting .220 in the final 77 games that season. 

    Den Dekker has yet to play a regular season game in 2013 but, based on recent history, he should return in the coming weeks and have a breakout Triple-A season.

    With a potentially red-hot Triple-A season, as well as his usual superb defense, expect den Dekker to potentially be a late-season call-up to the Mets or a strong candidate for the 2014 roster.

Round 6, Pick 182: Greg Peavey, RHP, Oregon State University

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    Greg Peavey has shown promise as a starter early in his career, but is currently struggling as a reliever in his first Triple-A season.

    In 2011, Peavey was a South Atlantic League All-Star in his first professional exposure, at the Single-A level. Peavey ended up 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA and 69/11 K/BB ratio in 78.0 innings, before a call-up to High-A. In 13 appearances and 10 starts, Peavey had a 3.97 ERA in 59.0 innings at that level.

    But Peavey struggled immensely the following season in Double-A.

    In 25 starts, Peavey was 8-8 with a 5.06 ERA and a terrible 1.43 WHIP. Peavey also had just 84 strikeouts to go with 18 home runs and 169 hits allowed in 144.0 innings. 

    This season, Peavey has struggled to adapt to both being a full-time reliever, as well as the new competition in Triple-A. 

    As a result, Peavey currently sports a 6.10 ERA and 20/17 K/BB ratio in 31.0 innings. 

    All is not lost for Peavey, though. He does have just two home runs allowed and, when Peavey is ahead in the count, opponents are hitting just .186 compared to .351 when Peavey is behind in the count.

    17 walks in 31.0 innings is abnormal for Peavey, so once his control returns to normal and he adjusts to being a reliever, his numbers should improve drastically. Considering Peavey has a violent delivery, as well as a plus slider and no changeup, a bullpen role is much more suited to his abilities.

    Peavey has panned out quite well for a sixth round pick. He may not be an All-Star, but he could become a solid contributor to an embarrassing Mets bullpen.

Round 7, Pick 212: Jeff Walters, RHP, University of Georgia

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    Jeff Walters was drafted each year by a different team from 2006-2009, but chose to continue his education every time. He now has a degree in Consumer Economics.

    After finally signing with the Mets after the 2010 draft, Walters has shown much promise as a reliever.

    At 6’3” and 170 pounds, Walters is tall, skinny and athletic. He was a three-sport athlete in high school, and throughout his college and professional career Walters has shown drastic improvement in two very important traits: command and clutch.

    In his senior year at Georgia, Walters had three superb starts against No. 4 LSU, No. 15 Ole Miss and No. 4 Florida. 

    However, Walters also had 41 walks in 68.1 innings. 

    But those command issues have improved astronomically. Last season, in his first exposure at both Single-A and High-A, Walters had a combined 2.30 ERA and just 12 walks in 54.2 innings.

    In 2013, Walters has recorded only nine walks in 23.0 innings in Double-A. That stat is slightly skewed, since Walters has struggled in May. 

    In April, Walters had a 0.73 ERA and only three walks in 12.1 innings. But in May, Walters has a 5.06 ERA and six walks in 10.2 innings. 

    Furthermore, Walters is pitching as the full-time closer for the first time in his career, and already has 13 saves. Walters is also not known as a strikeout pitcher, but he still has managed 25 strikeouts in his 23.0 innings.

    To get even more perspective on Walters’ big-play ability, look at what opponents are batting with runners in scoring position: .172.

    Walters was an uninspiring prospect with moderate control issues coming out of Georgia. But he has blossomed now into a promising reliever with a newfound potential to close out games.

    For a seventh round pick, Walters has been a pleasant surprise. 

Round 8, Pick 242: Kenneth McDowall, RHP, College of Southern Nevada

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    Kenneth McDowall was by no means a poor prospect, but he benefited greatly by the exposure he got thanks to being JUCO teammates with a guy named Bryce Harper.

    McDowall was expected to be just another solid college player and poor professional player, but he showed great strides before the 2010 draft, and the Mets took a chance on him. 

    McDowall only played one season of Rookie League ball with the Mets.

    But in 20.0 innings and 12 appearances, he managed to go 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA and just 12 hits allowed.

    McDowall is now in his first season with the Taos Blizzard of the independent PECOS League. He has an 8.71 ERA in 10.1 innings.

Round 9, Pick 272: Jacob DeGrom, RHP, Stetson University

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    Jacob deGrom was the definition of a raw prospect.

    After converting from a shortstop, deGrom only pitched one season with Stetson before the Mets drafted him in the ninth round.

    Even worse, after a modest 2010 season in Rookie ball, deGrom was long forgotten after he missed all of 2011 due to Tommy John surgery.

    But deGrom came back with a vengeance in 2012.

    In Class-A, deGrom was 6-3 with a 2.51 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and a 78/14 K/BB ratio in 89.2 innings and 15 starts. DeGrom was even better when called up to High-A, where he went 3-0 in four starts with a 2.08 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 21.2 innings.

    This year, after two more stellar starts to begin the High-A season, he was promoted to Double-A.

    However, deGrom has struggled to capture his form from last season.

    In eight Double-A starts, deGrom is 1-5 with a 5.29 ERA and a horrendous 1.57 WHIP.

    In deGrom’s defense, between the last month or so of 2012 and this season, deGrom has essentially gone from Low-A to Double-A. So he can be forgiven for his early troubles. 

    Plus, deGrom is having uncharacteristic command issues in Double-A. Once he settles into the new environment and learns to locate his mid-90s fastball again, he should begin to show those impressive numbers from 2012.

    Names like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard steal the spotlight as the future arms of the Mets, but don’t sit on deGrom. He may take some time to develop as he moves up the farm system, but there is plenty of promise from this ninth rounder.

Round 10, Pick 302: Akeel Morris, RHP, Amalie HS (St. Thomas, VI)

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    When you are drafted as a high schooler out of the Virgin Islands, there will be a learning curve.

    Akeel Morris is showing an incredible amount of potential, but he is certainly still learning.

    Morris was one of the biggest surprises in 2010. In six starts and eight appearances in Rookie ball, he went 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 24.2 innings. Morris struggled with his command, as he also recorded 17 walks.

    Morris was good but not great in 2011.

    In 11 starts, he went 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA and a superb 61 strikeouts in 51.1 innings. Opposing batters still collected just 30 hits, and batted just .166 against him. But control was the theme again, as he walked 38 batters.

    But 2012 was a different story for Morris. He again showed his sheer dominance and questionable command, posting 50 strikeouts and 22 walks in 38.1 innings. But Morris let up far more hits (38), and was switched to closer.

    He finished the season at an awful 0-6 with a 7.98 ERA and two saves in six starts and 11 total appearances.

    Now at 20 years old, it is disappointing that Morris is not in a full-season league by now. Based on his K/9 ratio every year, there is still a lot of promise for him to develop over the years. 

    But based on his severe dip in form last year, as well as his inability to improve his command over three seasons, there are also a lot of questions about Morris’ future potential.

    The Rookie ball season does not begin until June 20, so hopefully Morris can show some strong improvement as he begins his 20s.

Honorable Mention

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    Josh Edgin, Round 30, Pick 902, Francis Marion University 

    Edgin is the only player other than Harvey to reach the majors. Always had great K/9 ratio but poor K/BB. Recently promoted to Triple-A after a poor start with the Mets dropped him to Double-A. Showing improved K/BB but giving up far too many hits. Should compete for a lefty specialist spot this year before Scott Rice’s arm falls off.

     

    Bret Mitchell, Round 12, Pick 362, Minnesota State University

    Currently dominating as the closer in Single-A despite high-80s to low-90s fastball. In 17 games, has 1.17 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, nine saves, 32 strikeouts and only five walks in 23.0 innings. Missed all of 2012 with hip surgery, so his success is very promising for his future.

     

    Erik Goeddel, Round 24, Pick 722, UCLA

    Showing some potential in rotation at Double-A. In 10 starts, he is 4-2 with a modest 4.99 ERA. However, also has 51 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. Slight control issue and gives up a few too many hits, but very few home runs. Has a 3-0 record in five starts this month.

     

    Stats and info via: milb.com, baseball-reference.com

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