Where Are They Now? 10 Years of New York Mets Top Draft Selections
The MLB Player Draft has brought some gems to the Mets in recent memory. On the other hand, on several occasions, drafting hasn't really yielded much.
Simply put, in terms of the quality of their number one overall picks, the Mets organization has seen mixed results from the 2000s.
Here is a look at what has become of the players the Mets utilized their top draft selections on since 2000, and where all those guys are now.
2000, LHP, Billy Traber
The Mets grew into the habit of trading away top selections. Traber is the first example. The better part of the theme, for the Mets at least, is that the players they trade away simply have no success.
Traber was selected by the Mets with the sixteenth overall pick in 2000.
The Mets shipped Traber to Cleveland in 2001 in the multi-player deal that landed them Roberto Alomar. The lefty had some promising seasons in the minors with the Mets organization, but since he moved, has done close to nothing.
In five Major League seasons, Traber maintains a career 5.65 ERA and WHIP of 1.59.
After bouncing around the Nationals, Yankees, and Red Sox organizations for a few years, Traber has since signed with the Seattle Mariners, but hasn't pitched at any level of baseball this year.
2001, RHP, Aaron Heilman
The Mets drafted Heilman in 2001 with the eighteenth overall selection. Since then, many Mets fans have not been too fond of the right-handed pitcher.
He advanced to the Mets active roster in 2003, and in his first 18 career starts, he struggled. It become clear that he was destined for relief work. This destiny plagued Heilman, his attitude, and ultimately his future on the Mets.
Heilman's most successful year as a Met was in 2007 when he was used profusely. He appeared in 81 games with a 3.03 ERA.
After an abysmal 2008, he was traded to the Mariners in the deal that brought reliever J.J. Putz, another failed effort in the Mets plan to upgrade the bullpen.
Heilman then got traded to the Cubs, where he pitched in 2009. Now, much to the dismay of Mets fans, he has found some success in Arizona where he has harnessed his control a bit more.
Mets fans can just sit back and be happy that the 2001 draft produced David Wright.
2002, LHP, Scott Kazmir
Scott Kazmir will be remembered by Mets fans for one thing, and that was when he was traded to the Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano. The same infamous deal that led to the downfall of Jim Duquette.
The Mets chose him fifteenth overall in 2002 with high hopes, but they got traded away in the failed deal.
Kazmir strung together four solid years in a row for Tampa Bay, four years in which he kept his ERA below three. The organization traded him to the Angels after his struggles in the rotation last year.
He really hasn't been the same. He has a solidified position in the Angels rotation, but at the moment, through 12 starts, he is 6-5 with a 5.27 ERA.
2003, OF, Lastings Milledge
Here is another draft selection that was notoriously unsuccessful for the New York Mets.
The first position player the Mets selected with their top draft pick in the 2000s, Milledge broke through with the Mets in 2006 as an athletic, young outfielder. The young part quickly became an issue.
He produced decently for the Mets, but his attitude got on the nerve of management and the Mets fan base alike. It essentially drove him out of town, as he was handed over to the Nationals in 2007 for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.
He played in 138 games for the Nationals in 2007 and has since moved on to the Pittsburgh Pirates. But he hasn't played anything remotely close to a full season since. Right now, he's trying to get his career going with the Pirates. A career in which he is maturing, but improving very slowly.
2004, RHP, Philip Humber
Humber was selected by the Mets third overall in the 2004 Player Draft. He traversed a rocky road up the minors that included surgery, to only appear in five games for the Mets in two years.
He had Mets fans shaking their heads at how the Mets wasted a pick.
He turned out to be not so much of a waste after all. Phil "Trade Bait" Humber was sent with a cache of Mets prospects, to the Minnesota Twins for Johan Santana on February 2, 2008. The deal has worked heavily in the Mets favor.
Humber appeared in 13 games for the Twins and can currently be found wallowing on Kansas City's AAA team.
2005, RHP, Mike Pelfrey
Mike Pelfrey, especially due to his 2010 numbers, certainly appears to be the most stellar of all of the Mets top draft selections between 2000 and 2009.
It has taken "Big Pelf" a while to get into the swing of things, but every Mets fan should be able to look past that. Mike Pelfrey is putting up the numbers of an All-Star.
All that needs to be pointed out are his 2010 numbers. Through 13 starts, Pelfrey has record of 9-1. He's posted a 2.39 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, striking out 59 batters in 86.2 innings of work. He's also got that kicker of a save, in which he recorded in that 20 inning game against the Cardinals.
Mets fans could not be happier to witness the ultimate maturity of Mike Pelfrey, pitching like the ninth overall pick they had expected.
2006, RHP, Kevin Mulvey
The dark ages of the Mets draft have arrived, in the sense that they had no first round selection in 2006, 2007, and 2009. Kevin Mulvey became of the Mets second round in 2006.
Mulvey is basically a Phil Humber clone. He got dealt in the same deal that saw Humber leave town. He did next to nothing in the Mets organization. And he's doing next to nothing now.
Mulvey never made it to the Mets, despite actually succeeding in the minors for the organization. That only made him a prime trade subject in return for Johan Santana.
But that deal has worked out because Mulvey has shown no glimmers of promise at the Major League level.
Over the last two years, he started four games and has appeared in 10, not looking particularly good in any of them.
Right now, Kevin Mulvey is pitching for AAA Reno in the Diamondbacks organization, struggling to push his ERA below 5.00.
2007, RHP, Eddie Kunz
Again in 2007, no first round pick for the Mets. Eddie Kunz was selected 42nd overall with the hopes that he would quickly develop into a strong reliever for the club.
He was called up in 2008 after posting 27 saves in 44 games at AA Binghamton. He looked shaky in the four Major League games he appeared in and was demoted. The Mets big league club hasn't heard from him since.
Kunz has seemingly lost his stuff since his brief Major League stint. After an atrocious 2009 at AAA, Kunz finds himself back with the AA Binghamton Mets this year, where he is sporting a 5.40 ERA in 14 games. He's also started nine, in hopes of finding a new role.
Unfortunately for Kunz, all signs seem to point nowhere.
2008, 1B, Ike Davis
Here is another name Mets fans are happily getting used to. Its only his rookie year, but Ike Davis is looking like Mike Pelfrey: another successful homegrown top draft pick.
Davis was selected eighteenth overall in 2008 out of Arizona State, and the first baseman has quickly climbed the ladder, and in just two years, he's starting for the Mets.
He's found a great deal of success, and a large fan base. The guy simply looks much more mature than many young players his age. He's made at least four nifty over-the-railing catches down in foul territory. Davis has also smacked eight home runs in his first 51 games.
Ups and downs are going to come for Ike Davis, but it seems the top draft selection in 2008 has quickly cemented his name into the Mets regular lineup card in 2010.
2009, LHP, Steve Matz
Again, the Mets top selection was a second round pick. Left-handed pitcher Steve Matz was the pick for New York.
Little is known about Matz, but he provides some depth for the Mets in terms of southpaw pitching in the farm system. He signed too late in 2009 to appear in any Gulf Coast League games, and he hasn't seen any action this year.
At 19 years-old, Matz has plenty of time to develop, so there is now telling if this pick was successful.
2010 and the Future
It certainly seems like the Mets haven't had a ton of success drafting top picks for the last decade. But that success rate is all lost in translation due to trades, trades that have mostly worked in favor of the Mets. The Mets also have Davis and Pelfrey to show for their first round draft efforts as well. They also can look to the future.
With 2010 came the seventh overall pick in the MLB Player Draft. There, the Mets selected college righty Matt Harvey from the University of North Carolina, an arm the Mets are very high on. Time will tell how much success Harvey can eventually have in the organization, and so comes another decade of Mets first round draft choices.