Re-Evaluating Mets' Top Draft Picks from the Past Decade
With the 2014 MLB Draft approaching in the near future, the Mets will try to make the best choice possible with the 10th overall pick. With the organization's minor league pitching in noticeably better shape than their hitting, it's quite likely the Mets will seek a bat in this draft.
Will the Mets' eventual selection turn into a superstar, a bust, or someone in between? Let's see how the Mets have done in drafting their first-round picks in the past decade.
2004 Draft 1st-Round Pick: RHP Phil Humber
The Mets selected Phil Humber third overall in the 2004 draft. Jeff Niemann, Homer Bailey, Neil Walker, Jered Weaver, Billy Butler, Stephen Drew, Glen Perkins, Gio Gonzalez and Huston Street were among the draftees that year that the Mets passed on.
Humber made five combined appearances for the Mets from 2006-2007 before being part of the trade that sent Johan Santana to the Mets. He then make 13 combined appearances from 2008-2009 before spending 2010 with the Royals.
Humber did not become a major league mainstay until 2011 with the White Sox. He went 9-9 that year with a 3.75 ERA in 26 starts and 28 total appearances.
Then in 2012, Humber started off the season with a bang! He threw a perfect game in April, which became the 21st perfect game in baseball history. It has been by far Humber's biggest accomplishment in his career. Humber, though, did not pitch as well in his other starts. He had a 5-5 record and a 6.44 ERA for the season.
Humber, in his career, has his perfect game, but besides that, his career has not been particularly great.
Did Humber's career pan out better than his draft class peers? No.
2005 Draft 1st-Round Pick: Mike Pelfrey
In 2005, the Mets used the ninth overall pick on Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey quickly rose through the Mets' system and was in the major leagues by 2006. Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza and Clay Buchholz were among the eventual first-round picks that the Mets passed on.
Pelfrey went 2-1 with a 5.48 ERA in four starts in 2006 and struggled in 2007 with a 3-8 record and a 5.57 ERA. He made 13 starts that year and 15 total appearances.
Pelfrey's breakout season came in 2008, which included a 13-11 record and a 3.72 ERA in 31 starts. He took a step back in 2009 with a 10-12 record and a 5.03 ERA.
Pelfrey's pattern of pitching well in even-numbered years continued in 2010. He went 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA in 33 starts. His number of wins and his ERA were career highs for him.
Pelfrey then struggled in 2011, going 7-13 with a 4.74 ERA, in what would be his final full season with the Mets. He made three starts in 2012 before getting hurt and requiring Tommy John surgery, which ended both his season and his time with the Mets. He had a 2.29 ERA in the three starts and no decisions.
Pelfrey had a few nice seasons for the Mets, but his career has not gone as well as others that were picked later in the draft.
Did Pelfrey's career pan out better than his draft class peers? No.
2006 Draft 1st-Round Pick: None
2007 1st-Round Pick: Eddie Kunz, Nathan Vineyard
The Mets did not have their original 2007 first-round draft pick, due to the signing of Moises Alou, but gained two other picks for losing both Chad Bradford and Roberto Hernandez to free agency.
The first of those two picks was used on pitcher Eddie Kunz. Kunz only ended up making four major league appearances in his career, all with the Mets in 2008. In 2.2 innings pitched, he had a 13.50 ERA.
Their second pick was another pitcher, Nathan Vineyard, who has yet to make it to the major leagues. In fact, he has been out of baseball since 2008.
The Mets clearly could have done better in the first round of the 2007 draft.
Did Kunz's and Vineyard's careers pan out better than their draft class peers? No.
2008 1st-Round Pick: Ike Davis, Reese Havens, Brad Holt
The Mets had a few first-round picks in 2008. The first came from the Braves after the Mets lost Tom Glavine. That pick would lead to first baseman Ike Davis getting selected 18th overall. Four picks later, the Mets used their own first-round pick, 22nd overall, to take shortstop Reese Havens. Losing Glavine to the Braves helped the Mets gain a supplemental pick as well and they used it to select pitcher Brad Holt.
Davis was the Mets' regular first baseman from 2010-2013. He had a solid rookie season in 2010 with a .264 average, 19 home runs and 71 RBI. He finished seventh in the NL Rookie of the Year vote. Davis then got off to a great start in 2011 with a .302 average, seven home runs and 25 RBI before suffering what would turn out to be a season-ending ankle injury.
Davis came back in 2012 and had what has been his career season thus far. Davis hit just .227, but set career highs with 32 home runs and 90 RBI. The future looked bright for Davis, but he struggled in 2013 with a .205 average, nine home runs and 33 RBI. He even got demoted midway through what was a lost season for him.
Both Havens and Holt have yet to make it to the major leagues. Time will tell if and when it ever happens for either of them.
Andrew Cashner, Jordan Lyles, Lance Lynn and Wade Miley were among the other 2008 first-round picks that the Mets passed on.
For what was a rather weak 2008 draft, the Mets did reasonably well with Davis. They did not have the same luck with Havens and Holt.
Did Davis' career pan out better than his draft class peers? Yes (to a certain degree).
Did Havens' and Holt's careers pan out better than their draft class peers? No.
2009 1st-Round Pick: None
2010 1st-Round Pick: Matt Harvey
In 2010, the Mets selected Matt Harvey with the seventh overall pick. Harvey is one of just 12 first-round picks from that draft to reach the major leagues. The Mets passed on players like Chris Sale and Christian Yelich. However, at this point, the Mets clearly made a great choice with Harvey.
Harvey reached the major leagues in 2012 and went 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA in 12 starts. He then had a sensational season in 2013 with a 9-5 record, 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts in 26 starts and 178.1 innings pitched. He was an All-Star and even got to start the game for the National League.
Unfortunately, Harvey's season ended in late August with an elbow injury that would require Tommy John surgery. As a result, Harvey should miss most, if not all, of the 2014 season. He finished fourth in the 2013 NL Cy Young Award voting, but certainly could have won had he stayed healthy the entire season.
Harvey will look to return by 2015 and build on the success he had in 2013.
The Mets made an awesome selection with Harvey in 2010, who could be the Mets' ace for years to come.
Did Harvey's career pan out better than his draft class peers? Yes.
2011 1st-Round Pick: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Fulmer
All of the Mets' first-round picks from the past three seasons have yet to make the major leagues, but all certainly show the potential to reach the major leagues in time.
Nimmo was drafted right before the Marlins selected 2013 NL Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez. Nimmo has yet to prove what he is capable of doing for the Mets in the future. For right now, the Mets clearly missed a golden opportunity to possibly have a second ace, alongside Matt Harvey.
Michael Fulmer was selected with a pick the Mets got for losing Pedro Feliciano to the Yankees. Like Nimmo, Fulmer is also with the Mets' Single-A St. Lucie team, who he pitched for in 2013 as well.
Neither Nimmo nor Fulmer have made the major leagues yet, so concrete predictions can't really be made about how they've done in comparison to their draft class peers.
Did Nimmo's and Fulmer's careers pan out better than their draft class peers? Too early to tell.
2012 1st-Round Pick: Gavin Cecchini, Kevin Plawecki
In 2012, the Mets' first-round pick (12th overall) went to shortstop Gavin Cecchini. The Mets passed on pitcher Michael Wacha, among others. However, Cecchini could turn into a solid shortstop in the future, if all goes well.
With the Mets' current lack of major league depth at shortstop, the organization could possibly be counting on Cecchini to be a big part of the future. He is currently with the Mets' Single-A Savannah team.
The Mets also had an additional pick for losing Jose Reyes to free agency. The Mets chose catcher Kevin Plawecki with that pick. Despite the presence of Travis d'Arnaud as a young major league catcher, Plawecki could eventually add depth to the Mets' roster or become very good trade bait. Plawecki currently plays with the Mets' Double-A Binghamton team.
It's too early to see how Cecchini and Plawecki rank compared to others in their draft class because only four first-round draftees from that year have reached the major leagues. Time will tell and hopefully the Mets will end up with great value.
Did Cecchini's and Plawecki's careers pan out better than their draft class peers? Too early to tell.
2013 1st-Round Pick: Dominic Smith
No first-round picks in the 2013 draft have reached the major leagues yet, so it is clearly too early to rank how well the Mets did with choosing Smith over others.
Did Smith's career pan out better than his draft class peers? Too early to tell.
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