4 Prospects the New York Mets Could Target in the 2014 MLB Draft
MLB.com’s list of the top 100 prospects in baseball came out Thursday and gave New York Mets fans three prospects to get excited about, and the 2014 MLB draft could supply the New York Mets with their next elite prospect who could potentially make that list in the future. Every team wants to find the gem of the draft, and with the 10th overall pick, the Mets will have plenty to pick from.
The MLB draft is one of the hardest drafts to figure out among all the professional sports leagues, as the path to the professional ranks is long and arduous. Most of the players who could be available when the Mets select seem perfect now, but the odds are low that the player they select will be the next Mike Trout.
Still, the draft is a great opportunity to add talent to an organization. Presented here are four players who could be available and could intrigue the Mets when their turn comes in June. There is a lot of time between now and the draft, and there are plenty of players the Mets will consider, but this is just a taste of what to look for in the coming months.
Some fans are sick of high school draft picks and want proven college players, while others prefer the high upside and risk that come with high school kids. For that reason, I have included two high school prospects and two college players.
All statistics courtesy College Splits.
Scouting information obtained with the help of Chris Crawford’s 2014 MLB Draftbook and MLBDraftInsider.com.
SS/RHP Nick Gordon
Nick Gordon, son of former ballplayer Tom and brother of Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Dee, is one of the most exciting prospects in the upcoming draft largely because he is considered a top-15 prospect as both a pitcher and a position player.
Like his brother Dee, Nick has a slight frame—standing at 6’2” and 170 pounds—but he projects to fill out more than his older brother. Also like his brother, Nick has outstanding speed, which helps him both on the bases and in the field.
Currently, Nick is a shortstop as a position player, and there’s little reason to think he would have to move off the position. He has great range and an absolute cannon to go along with great hands.
Gordon’s athleticism and adeptness in the field are enough to make him an exciting prospect, but he also has potential as a hitter. He is currently a line-drive hitter, but he has legitimate projectable power and could be an impact hitter at short.
The Florida native is also an intriguing prospect on the mound, sporting a plus fastball and a projectable breaking ball. The Mets would likely target Gordon as a shortstop, but if he never figures it out at the plate, he is a guy who could possibly make the transition to the mound.
MLB.com currently has Gordon ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the draft, putting him right in the Mets' range. New York chose to take the “safer” Gavin Cecchini (who still has a chance to be a good player) in 2012, but adding Gordon to the system would give them a potential superstar if he reaches his ceiling.
OF Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher would be filling a need for the Mets, as he would give the system an outfielder with power who could potentially move quickly through the team's farm system.
Fisher is an outfielder for the University of Virginia who has the tools of a stud corner outfielder, but those tools have yet to translate on the field. In 2013, Fisher recorded an .888 OPS and hit only seven home runs—solid numbers but not indicative of his raw talent. Despite the lack of home runs, Fisher has plenty of raw power that makes scouts salivate at his future home run potential.
Another quality that could attract the Mets to Fisher is his patient approach at the plate, a trait the Mets preach to their young prospects. While his patience is enticing, Fisher still has some swing-and-miss in his approach. As Mets fans have witnessed with Ike Davis, power hitters can be supremely frustrating when they aren't making contact.
In the end, Fisher could appeal to the Mets as a college bat who could move quickly through their system with the potential to be a legitimate power threat in their lineup for years to come.
RHP Touki Toussaint
The New York Mets have a system with a number of starting pitching prospects close to the major leagues, so they may stay away from safer picks such as Vanderbilt’s Tyler Beede or LSU’s Aaron Nola. However, the organization may be enticed to add a pitcher with an incredibly high ceiling, such as Touki Toussaint.
Toussaint is one of the riskier picks at the top of the draft, but he has as high a ceiling as any prospect out there. He has a live fastball that works in the mid- to high 90s and one of the best curveballs the draft has seen in recent memory (you can see for yourself in the above video). Also, he is still in high school and has a projectable frame, which allows scouts to dream about what this young man can become.
Despite the incredible stuff, Toussaint still has volatile command, and he could flame out early in his career if it doesn’t get that straightened out. Having great stuff is nice, but it becomes useless if a pitcher doesn’t know where it’s going. Unfortunately, Toussaint would never reach the Mets at the 10th pick if he didn’t have command issues, as his stuff is that good.
Picking Toussaint in the first round would be a risky decision by the Mets, but the upside could be tremendous. Watching his development as the draft approaches should be interesting for every organization in the league, and Mets fans should keep an eye on him as well.
C/1B Kyle Schwarber
Kyle Schwarber is a similar prospect to Derek Fisher in that he is enticing because of his patience and power potential, but he strikes out a fair amount as well.
Schwarber gained publicity when he led the University of Indiana to an impressive College World Series run last season. Playing catcher, he hit a number of majestic home runs that displayed his incredible raw power. For the season, he hit 18 home runs with an impressive 1.102 OPS.
While Schwarber currently plays catcher, he is unexceptional behind the plate and would likely have to move to first base. If teams had faith he could stay behind the plate, he would be a potential top-five pick, but having to move to first base puts much more pressure on his bat to succeed.
Nonetheless, Schwarber’s power and patience could appeal to the Mets even if he ends up moving to first base. New York would relish the opportunity to add a potential power bat with a patient approach to its organization.