New York Mets 2014 Draft Picks: Scouting Profiles and Analysis
The New York Mets have a high draft pick for the fourth consecutive year, as they will be picking 10th in this weekend's draft.
They’ve picked Brandon Nimmo, Gavin Cecchini and Dominic Smith the past three years, all high school bats with upside. But this year, it seems like they are targeting college players with their pick. With the Mets hoping to pick outside the top 10 in future years, adding an impact player to their system this season is essential.
This slideshow will be a live tracker, updated as the draft progresses, with analysis added for each pick.
Picks from Rounds 1 through 5 will have their own slide, while picks from Rounds 6 through 10 will be on one slide with analysis. The rest of the Mets' picks will be on the last slide so you can track all the new members of the Mets farm system in one place.
The draft will air on MLB Network and MLB.com at 7 p.m. ET Thursday and continue through Saturday with coverage exclusively on MLB.com until the end of the draft.
Round 1, Pick 10: Michael Conforto, OF/1B, Oregon State University
The Mets ended up selecting the most advanced college bat in the draft in Michael Conforto. They could have chosen players like shortstop Trea Turner or lefty Sean Newcomb, but instead went with the potential impact bat that could help them in the near future.
Conforto is an enticing pick because he has a high floor, but also a relatively high ceiling. He is a good athlete whose potential will always be limited by his inability to play anywhere other than first base or a corner-outfield spot. His arm is fringe-average, but he is a better athlete than he’s given credit for, and should be a solid defender in left field.
Conforto will get almost all of his value from his bat. He has 20-25 home run potential, something the Mets desperately need. He has a great approach at the plate with exceptional pitch recognition, although he swings and misses too much to be more than a .280 hitter.
The Oregon State outfielder succeeds in identifying his pitch at the plate, and then driving that pitch, working counts and putting himself in situations to excel. He should have a high on-base percentage, and his patient approach should let his hit-tool play up to above average, making up for his high strikeout rate.
Perfect Game ranked Conforto as the 13th best prospect in the draft. They write (subscription required):
A college masher in every sense of the term, Conforto has not stopped posting monster numbers since arriving on campus. He has plus, game usable power as well as one of the most disciplined approaches in this draft class. He will be limited to left field, but given his plus power and hit tool, he could advance up the professional ladder at a rapid pace.
Baseball America has Conforto ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the draft, stating (subscription required):
While other college and high school position players have better all-around tools, Conforto ranks as the best present hitter in the 2014 draft. He has had a monster junior season for Oregon State, building off his first two seasons when he was an All-Freshman selection in 2012 and led the Beavers to Omaha in 2013. Listed at 6-foot-2, 217 pounds, Conforto has present strength and above-average bat speed.
ESPN’s Keith Law also has him as the No. 8 prospect in the draft, but questions his defensive ability (subscription required):
Conforto racked up a .504 OBP this year thanks to a simple swing and outstanding plate discipline, making him a high-floor pick but without a huge ceiling because he's limited to left field.
Fans may be upset at this selection because of the other players that were available, but they should be thankful that the Mets picked Conforto. He is a natural hitter and should be a part of the Mets not just for a long time, but potentially by the end of 2015, if not the summer of 2016.
The Mets are usually conservative with their post-draft assignments, but Conforto should be with the Low-A Savannah Sand Gnats, although they may want to put him in the New York Penn League with the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Round 3, Pick 84: Milton Ramos, SS, Florida Christian HS
The Mets targeted a high school shortstop with upside with their third round pick, selecting the slick-fielding Milton Ramos.
Ramos is one of the most polished defensive players in the draft, whose defense will always give him value as a prospect due to his ability to handle a premier position in shortstop.
Perfect Game had Ramos ranked as the No. 62 overall prospect in the draft class, writing (subscription required):
Many high level scouts consider Ramos to be the best defensive player in the 2014 high school class, a talent and distinction that alone should get him into the first two rounds of the draft. The team that picks him is likely the team that believes the most in his bat, a tool that has improved throughout the spring after being a major question mark previously.
Baseball America was even higher on Ramos, ranking him as the No. 48 prospect in the draft. They write in his scouting report (subscription required):
In a class that’s weak up the middle, Ramos is far and away the best defensive shortstop in the class. He has special hands and is a magician with his glove. He has first-step quickness and lateral range to both sides, and his physical attributes play up due to strong instincts and baseball intelligence. His arm is a 55 on the 20-80 scouting scale and plays up because of his quick transfer and release... His swing lacks strength at a lean, lanky 5-foot-11, 158 pounds. He has bat speed and contact ability in his aggressive up-the-middle approach, though he projects as a below-average hitter who could improve if he gets stronger.
ESPN’s Keith Law and MLBDraftinsider’s Chris Crawford were less optimistic with their opinions of Ramos, ranking him as the No. 86 and No. 72 overall prospect in the draft, respectively. Whether the evaluator was high or low on Ramos, it’s clear that the Mets got great value with him in the third round.
This pick is interesting because Ramos has high upside, as he could become a star if he figures it out at the plate, but he also comes with a fair amount of risk. If he never learns how to hit professional pitching, he won't make it out of A-ball.
Having already selected Michael Conforto, who is considered a safe bet to become a major leaguer, the Mets were able to take a riskier player with upside in Ramos. Watching how Ramos develops at the plate should be a fun storyline in the Mets farm system over the next few years.
Round 4, Pick 115: Eudor Garcia, 3B, El Paso (TX) Community College
Eudor Garcia isn't the best-known draft pick coming from a community college, but the Mets hope that he mashes at the plate just like he did in school.
Garcia put up huge numbers while playing at El Paso Community College. According to Felix Chavez of the El Paso Times, as of April 22 he was hitting .468 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI on the season.
Baseball America had Eudor ranked as the No. 160 overall prospect, writing (subscription required):
Garcia, an El Paso native, doesn’t have a classic profile but does have good timing as the best bat in the Lone Star State this year. He has a stocky 5-foot-11, 225-pound frame, and while some call him deceptively athletic, most agree that he’ll have to move off third base either to left field or even first base. His arm and defense are fringy. His bat may make either move work, however. He’s strong and quiet in the batter’s box with little pre-swing movement. His swing is short, strong and powerful, and he has shown at least plus power and plus hitting ability.
John Manuel of Baseball America liked the pick as soon as the Mets drafted him, tweeting:
Garcia is a fun pick because either his hitting ability will translate to the professional ranks—like the Mets believe it will—or it won’t, and he’ll be out of the system in the near future. In the fourth round, the Mets clearly liked his bat and believed he was worthy of the risk. They probably felt more comfortable taking on the risk after selecting a safe hitter in Michael Conforto earlier in the draft.
If Garcia hits like the Mets think he’s capable of hitting, he will become a very nice asset in a farm system starved for offensive impact.
Round 5, Pick 145: Josh Prevost, RHP, Seton Hall University
The Mets selected a massive right-handed pitcher in the fifth round with their pick of Seton Hall's Josh Prevost.
Prevost stands at an imposing 6’8”, 220 pounds, but he is more than just an impressive looking pitcher. He is one of the most decorated players in Seton Hall history.
This past season, Prevost was named to the Louisville Slugger All-America Second Team, the All-Big East First Team and won the Big East Pitcher of the Year award. In 2014, Prevost struck out 111 batters with just 20 walks while going 12-2 with a 1.62 ERA.
Prevost was ranked No. 140 overall by Baseball America coming into the draft, writing (subscription required):
The 6-foot-8, 220-pounder turned down the Athletics as a nondrafted free agent last summer and has continued to improve, touching 94 mph with his fastball and sitting 89-93 with his sinker most of the season. The pitch has sink as well as boring action in to righthanded hitters, and he complements it with a hard slider and an average changeup.
Perfect Game was much lower on Prevost, ranking him No. 299 overall in the draft. They wrote in their scouting report (subscription required):
His fastball may not overpower hitters, generally sitting in the low-90s with the ability to climb to 94-95 mph, but the deception in his delivery and the downhill he is able to generate helps the velocity play up. Prevost also shows two types of sliders; a tight, sharp breaking pitch and a big sweeping slider that he uses to get swings and misses.
As a college senior without very much leverage, the Mets should be able to sign him below slot, helping them pay an overslot pick such as Milton Ramos. Prevost is no slouch, however, and could prove his statistics will translate to the professional levels.
Biographical information courtesy Prevost’s player page on Seton Hall website.
Round 6, Pick 175: Tyler Moore, C, Louisiana State University
Tyler Moore adds to the Mets already strong catching depth, but doesn't have the same potential as the Mets' previous selections. Still, you can never have enough catching depth, and Moore is a solid addition to the organization.
Round 7, Pick 205: Brad Wieck, LHP, Oklahoma City University
Coming from a small-time program, Brad Wieck could never be described as small. Wieck is a massive 6'9" and 240 pounds, making him the second Mets' draft pick who could also play power forward (along with Josh Prevost). The Mets are hoping his size translates into success at the professional level.
Round 8, Pick 235: Dash Winningham, 1B, Trinity Catholic HS (FL)
Dash Winningham has an 80-grade name, but the Mets drafted him for his power potential as a first baseman. Standing at 6'2" and 230 pounds, he has a very mature body for a high school hitter. With a sweet left-handed stroke, he could develop into a power hitter down the road for the Mets.
Round 9, Pick 265: Michael Katz, OF/1B, College of William and Mary (VA)
The Mets once again targeted a hitter whose carrying tool is his power in Michael Katz. A right-handed slugger, the Mets are hoping his hitting ability will keep up with his raw power as he moves up through the minor leagues. If he can make consistent contact, Katz has the ability to become an impact power hitter from the right side. However, he'll need to improve significantly to get to that point, and that outcome isn't necessarily likely.
Round 10, Pick 295: Kelly Secrest, LHP, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
The Mets concluded the second day of the by drafting a senior left-handed reliever. Secrest isn't just a cheap senior drafted in order to save money, however, as he has a running fastball and solid curveball that could allow him to become a big league bullpen piece at some point in the future.
Round 11, Pick 325: Connor Buchmann, RHP, Oklahoma University
Round 12, Pick 355: Alex Durham, RHP, Southern Alamance HS (NC)
Round 13, Pick 385: Erik Manoah, RHP, South Dade Senior HS (FL)
Round 14, Pick 415: Darryl Knight, C, Embry-Riddle University (FL)
Round 15, Pick 445: Gabriel Llanes, RHP, Downey HS (CA)
Round 16, Pick 475: Joel Huertas, LHP, Colegio Carmel Sol (PR)
Round 17, Pick 505: David Roseboom, LHP, University of South Carolina Upstate
Round 18, Pick 535: Raphael Ramirez, CF, Pace Academy (GA)
Round 19, Pick 565: Bryce Beeler, RHP, Memphis (TN)
Round 20, Pick 595: James Duff, RHP, Stonehill College (MA)
Round 21, Pick 625: Luke Bonfield, OF, The Pendleton School (FL)
Round 22, Pick 655: William Fulmer, 2B, Univeristy of Montevallo (AL)
Round 23, Pick 685: Richard Moesker, RHP, Trinity Christian Academy (FL)
Round 24, Pick 715: Tyler Badamo, RHP, Dowling College (NY)
Round 25, Pick 745: Nicco Blank, Central Arizona College
Round 26, Pick 775: Tommy Pincin, C, Upland HS (CA)
Round 27, Pick 805: Alex Pasha, RHP, California State – Sacramento
Round 28, Pick 835: Keaton McKinney, RHP, Ankeny Centennial HS (IA)
Round 29, Pick 865: Matt Blackham, RHP, Middle Tennessee State University
Round 30, Pick 895: Tucker Tharp, OF, Kansas University
Round 31, Pick 925: Kurtis Horne, LHP, Edward Milne SS (BC)
Round 32, Pick 955: Chris Glover, RHP, Rockwall HS (TX)
Round 33, Pick 985: Brady Puckett, RHP, Riverdale HS (TN)
Round 34, Pick 1015: Jordan Hand, C, Shadow Ridge HS (NV)
Round 35, Pick 1045: Jonathan Teaney, RHP, Quartz Hill HS (CA)
Round 36, Pick 1075: Garett King, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS (CA)
Round 37, Pick 1105: Tristan Gray, SS, Elkins HS (TX)
Round 38, Pick 1135: Kyle Dunster, RHP, Greenwich HS (CT)
Round 39, Pick 1165: Arnaldo Berrios, CF, Carlos Beltran Academy (PR)
Round 40, Pick 1195: Dale Burdick, SS, Summit HS (TN)