MLB Draft History: Analyzing the New York Mets' Drafts Since 2000

Nicholas Pugliese@_NickPugsContributor IIIMay 31, 2011

MLB Draft History: Analyzing the New York Mets' Drafts Since 2000

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets looks on from the dugout against the Washington Nationals during the Mets' Home Opener at Citi Field on April 8, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bel
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    This great idea came courtesy of Jeff Wahl, a featured columnist for the Blue Jays, who did this same article by taking a look at Toronto's past draft strategies.

    With a completely new front office in charge for the 2011 MLB Draft, it would only make sense to take a look at how past Mets GMs, including Steve Phillips, Jim Duquette, and Omar Minaya, have performed over the last decade to make the team what it is today.

    The Mets have received the reputation of being an organization that is not to draft savvy, but is the reputation really warranted?

2000 Draft

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    Billy Traber with the Yankees
    Billy Traber with the YankeesJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    First Pick: SP Billy Traber (pictured) - First round, 16th overall

    Best Pick: SP Billy Traber

    Late Round Gem: RP Greg Burke - 42nd round, 1,262nd overall

    Total Draftees to Play at Least One Game in the Show: Five

    Ew. What an ugly draft class.

    When your first round draft pick is considered a bust and he is still your best pick something is not right.

    In typical New York Mets fashion, they missed out on Chase Utley by one pick, and instead wound up with a pitcher that they found out shortly after drafting him had structural damage to his pitching elbow. Luckily, the Mets traded Traber and did not have to see him turn into a bust wearing their uniform, as he was a trade piece in a deal to acquire Roberto Alomar and Mike Bacsik in 2001.

    The Mets second pick in the draft also made the big leagues, but didn't fair much better. Bob Keppel never made it out of the Mets' minor league system and left for the Royals in 2006. Because of the move, he finally got a shot in the show, but after less than stellar performances he would find himself back in Triple-A and eventually Japan

    Out of the five players who saw any time in the big leagues, only Jeff Duncan wore a Mets uniform.

2001 Draft

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    The Mets' "face of the franchise"
    The Mets' "face of the franchise"Al Bello/Getty Images

    First Pick: SP Aaron Heilman - First round, 18th overall

    Best Pick: 3B David Wright (picture) - First round supplemental, 38th overall

    Late Round Gem: None

    Total Draftees to Play at Least One Game in the Show: Five

    A much better draft class from Steve Phillips and his team.

    Aaron Heilman never lived up to the expectations he had as a starter out of Notre Dame, but has nonetheless sculpted a nice career for himself as a set-up man. Heilman is a controversial player in the hearts of a lot of Mets fans, but one cannot be upset with a draft pick who has lasted eight years and counting in the majors. I am one who always felt Heilman should have received the chance to start like he always wanted, and that leaving him in the 'pen affected his performance in a negative way.

    Strikeouts or not, David Wright is the face of the Mets franchise right now. The owner may not think he is a true superstar, but he is the closest thing (along with Jose Reyes) on the team to being that kind of player, and he is loved for that reason. He says and does all the right things you want from a franchise player and has become one of the all-time Mets greats already at 28 years old. Even at 38th overall he is an absolute steal, and the only players taken ahead of him that can be mentioned in the same category is Joe Mauer (first overall) and Mark Teixeira (fifth overall).

    Third round pick Lenny DiNardo has himself a decent career, winning a World Series ring with the Red Sox in 2004.

2002 Draft

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    Scott Kazmir, "The one who got away"
    Scott Kazmir, "The one who got away"Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    First Pick: SP Scott Kazmir (pictured) - First round, 15th overall

    Best Pick: SP Scott Kazmir

    Late Round Gem: SP Matt Lindstrom - 10th round, 297th overall

    Total Draftees to Play at Least One Game in the Show: Two

    Scott Kazmir is a name you never want to mention in front of Mets fans.

    Kazmir dominated the minors, but for some reason was dealt by Jim Duquette (another name not to be mentioned to Mets fans) for Victor Zambrano (a third name not to mention). Before the struggles these last few years, Kazmir was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. He earned two All-Star appearances with the Rays and was the strikeout leader in 2007. Mets fans will forever wonder what could have been had Kazmir not been traded and been on the 2006 and 2007 teams.

    The rest of the class was not nearly as strong, but the 10th-round fireballer Matt Lindstrom is having an outstanding year as one of the top set-up men in baseball for the Colorado Rockies. Not a bad find for a pitcher out of BYU.

    12th-round pick Shawn Bowman at one time was projected to knock David Wright off of third base, but devastating back injuries cost him a lot of time and skill. He is still surfacing in the minors trying to break in with the Braves while playing for the Triple-A team in Gwinnett.

    Hindsight is a funny thing.

2003 Draft

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    PITTSBURGH - MAY 08:  Lastings Milledge #85 of the Pittsburgh Pirates avoids getting hit by a pitch against the St Louis Cardinals during the game on May 8, 2010 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    First Pick: OF Lastings Milledge (pictured) - First round, 12th overall

    Best Pick: SP Brian Bannister - Seventh round, 199th overall

    Late Round Gem: None

    Total Draftees to Play at Least One Game in the Show: Four

    Blastings Thrilledge was supposed to be the next big thing in New York, so much so that there were rumors that the Mets were reluctant to trade him in a deal for Carl Crawford. New York media quickly ran the enigmatic outfielder out of New York. Milledge has not lived up to the high expectations or done anything with his career, putting Mets fans at ease. He is currently playing for the Chicago White Sox Triple-A team.

    I was upset when the Mets dealt seventh-round pick Brian Bannister. He never had great stuff, but I loved the way he pitched before going down with the injury during his rookie season, and I thought he would have a spot in the rotation when he came back. While Bannister has already retired completely from baseball he had some decent seasons and is much better than Ambiorix Burgos, who has committed numerous crimes since being traded for Bannister.

2004 Draft

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  Phil Humber #41 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 25, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    First Pick: SP Philip Humber (pictured) - First round, 3rd overall

    Best Pick: SP Philip Humber

    Late Round Gem: 1B Mike Carp - Ninth round, 254th overall

    Total Draftees to Play at Least One Game in the Show: Four

    It is pretty obvious how bad of a mark Jim Duquette left in just one year, with this draft and the trade of Scott Kazmir.

    Up until recently, Humber was as a big of a bust as any player the Mets had drafted. He helped out as being part of the package the Mets sent to the Twins for Johan Santana, but was supposed to be an ace coming out of Rice. But at one point, it didn't even look like he would make it to the bigs. The White Sox were forced to give him a shot in the rotation this year because of injuries, and Humber is pitching like he belongs in the majors. It is yet to be seen if he will have the ability to sustain this success, but I am sure Duqette is sleepig a little better knowing he wasn't a complete failure.

    Third-round pick Gaby Hernandez became a top prospect and was used to acquire Paul LoDuca, but he has fizzled out in Triple-A.

    Fifth-round pick Nick Evans is still trying to make a name for himself with the Mets.

    Ninth-round pick Mike Carp was a big part of the J.J. Putz trade and currently mashing for the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate.

2005 Draft

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Mike Pelfrey #34 of the New York Mets pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on April 22, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    First Pick: SP Mike Pelfrey (pictured) - First round, Ninth overall

    Best Pick: SP Jon Niese - Seventh round, 209th overall

    Late Round Gem: C Josh Thole - 13th round, 389th overall

    Total Draftees to Play at Least One Game in the Show: Five

    The Mets' best draft class of the decade thus far.

    Four of the players from this draft were on the Mets 2011 opening day roster.

    Big Pelf has been hot and cold, but when he is at his best he justifies being a first-round selection. Pelfrey is still young enough to make the necessary adjustments to become an even better and more consistent pitcher.

    Fifth-round pick Drew Butera, who was traded for Luis Castillo, has received a lot of playing time this year filling in for the injured the Joe Mauer.

    Seventh-round pick Jon Niese was a real steal. He has entrenched himself into the Mets rotation and has the potential to settle in as a No. 3 starter or better in the majors. His fastball-curveball combination is the best on the Mets.

    Ninth-round pick Bobby Parnell looked like a stud reliever last year, but has faltered this year and 13th round pick Josh Thole is currently serving as the teams starting catcher while trying to breakout of a season long slump.

    17th-round draft pick Pedro Beato didn't sign, but is now thriving as a Rule V draft pick with the Mets, and hard throwing 41st-round pick Nick Carr is trying to overcome injuries and command issues to make it as a reliever.

2006 Draft

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    DENVER, CO - MAY 12:  Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets is welcomed back to the dugout after scoring on a two RBI single by Jose Reyes #7 of the Mets to give the Mets a 5-1 lead over the Colorado Rockies in the fourth inning at Coors Field on May 12,
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    First Pick: SP Kevin Mulvey - Second round, 62nd overall

    Best Pick: 3B Daniel Murphy (pictured) - 13th round, 394th overall

    Late Round Gem: 3B Daniel Murphy

    Total Draftees to Play at Least One Game in the Show: Four

    Not the worst draft class in the world, considering they were working without a first-round pick because of the Billy Wagner signing (the Phillies took Kyle Drabek with that pick).

    Mulvey looks like he is going to be a bust and never have a sustainable MLB career.

    Third-round pick Joe Smith has made a nice career as a relief pitcher and should be able to stick around for some years thanks to his unorthodox delivery.

    As a highly successful college player who was overlooked due to his tools, 13th-round draft pick Murphy has overcome the doubters to turn himself into a major league player who has a starting job with the Mets.

    16th-round draft pick Tobi Stoner has had two brief stints with the Mets, but it doesn't look like he will ever get back to the bigs at this rate.

    There is still some hope for this draft class in that 37th-round draft pick Josh Stinson will make it the majors. He is currently pitching for the Mets' Triple-A affiliate.

2007 Draft

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18:  Dillon Gee #35 of the New York Mets pitches against the Atlanta Braves on September 18, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    First Pick: RP Eddie Kunz - First round supplemental, 42nd overall

    Best Pick: SP Dillion Gee(pictured) - 21st round, 663rd overall

    Late Round Gem: SP Dillon Gee

    Total Draftees to Play at least One Game in the Show: Three

    What a disaster of a draft.

    The Mets forfeited their first round pick to the San Francisco Giants who selected Wendell Fairley.

    Kunz was an overdraft to begin with and has struggled at just about every level, including his cup of coffee with the Mets. He was traded for Allan Dykstra this off-season.

    The Mets second first round supplemental pick, Nathan Vineyard, pitched just 35 innings before retiring from baseball.

    The first second round pick Scott Moviel has been less than stellar in his career and has gotten stuck in Single-A. The Mets second second round pick Brant Rustich has showed some potential, but just cannot stay healthy. And both third round draft picks look like they will be minor league burnouts.

    The first pick that has really impressed is seventh round pick Lucas Duda, who has seen some time in the majors, but has yet to establish himself.

    Finding Dillon Gee in the 21st round was an amazing find by the scouting staff, but it does not make up for the failures with the rest of the picks.

    Fifth round pick Zach Lutz, 14th round pick Robert Carson, and 29th round pick Roy Merritt have shown some major league potential that spark my interest.

2008 Draft

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08:  Ike Davis #29 of the New York Mets bats against the Washington Nationals during the Mets' Home Opener at Citi Field on April 8, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens in New York City. The Nationals won 6-2. (Photo by Al Bel
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    First Pick: 1B Ike Davis (pictured) - First round, 18th overall

    Best Pick: Ike Davis

    Late Round Gem: SP Chris Schwinden 22nd round, 674th overall

    Total Draftees to Play at Least One Game in the Show: One

    Here is when things get a little bit dicey to analyze, because so much is still unknown.

    What we do know already about this draft is that Ike Davis is a stud. He has met and even exceeded expectations quicker than anyone could have guessed. He has been terrific offensively and defensively and should become a staple in the Mets' lineup.

    The second first-round pick, Reese Havens, has been berated with injuries thus far, but has mashed when on the field. If he could stay healthy, he will make a case to become the Mets' starting second baseman.

    The last first-round pick, Brad Holt, has had a minor league career filled with peaks and valleys. At one time he looked like a stud prospect, then he went to looking like he will be a career bust because of his command, and now he is somewhere in the middle looking like either pitcher on any given day.

    Third-round pick Kirk Nieuwenhuis should get a cup of coffee by September.

    Many others have showed some big league potential including fourth-round pick Sean Ratliff, sixth-round pick Josh Satin, 12th-round pick Mark Cohoon, 22nd-round draft pick Chris Schwinden (who will start for the Mets if R.A. Dickey is unable to go), and a couple others.

2009 Draft

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    First Pick: SP Steven Matz (pictured) - Second round, 72nd overall

    Best Pick: OF Darrell Ceciliani - Fourth round, 134th overall

    Late Round Gem: SP Darin Gorski - 7th round, 224th overall

    Total Draftees to Play at Least One Game in the Show: Zero

    Another draft without a first-round pick that looks like it will be very meh.

    The Mets lost their first-round pick because of the Francisco Rodriguez signing, and the Angels used it to draft Randal Grichuk, a very good prospect in his own right, and then selected uber-prospect Mike Trout with the very next pick.

    Because of Tommy John surgery, it is not yet known what to make of the Matz pick, but we should get a clearer picture of how he will do very shortly when begins short season ball. At the time, the pick looked like a great selection.

    Third-round pick Robbie Shields is hitting very well right now in the minors, but will need to be moved through the system a lot quicker. Just like Matz, he has been slowed down by Tommy John sugery.

    Fourth-round pick Darrell Ceciliani is looking like a stud. One just has to hope he continues to improve.

    The fifth- and sixth-round picks did not sign.

    Seventh-round pick Darin Gorski is having a real breakout season in Single-A. He wasn't much of a prospect before this year, but has reportedly gained a tick or two on his fastball and the results have been drastically better.

    13th-round pick Zach Dotson as some potential, but is currently sitting out with a PED suspension.

    The only other picks I would really keep my eye on are 16th-round pick Chase Greene, 19th-round pick Nelfi Zapata, and 39th-round pick Taylor Whitenton.

    Not looking too promising.

2010 Draft

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    First Pick: SP Matt Harvey (pictured) - First round, 7th overall

    Best Pick: SP Matt Harvey, Cory Vaughn - Fourth round, 122nd overall

    Late Round Gem: SP Erik Goeddel - 24th round, 722nd overall

    The last draft of the Omar Minaya era has the early makings of a very good class.

    Matt Harvey looks like an absolute beast. He has been dominating Single-A and should end the season as a top-50 prospect in baseball as a worst case scenario.

    Fourth-round pick Cory Vaughn looks like a steal right now. While he hasn't shown the same power this year that tied a Cyclones' single season record for home runs last year, he has hit for a high average and shown outstanding plate discipline.

    Fifth-round pick Matt Den Dekker has hit better than expected to go along with his terrific defense.

    Sixth-round pick Greg Peavey is a personal favorite of mine, and while he hasn't quiet dominated on the level of Matt Harvey he has been outstanding and is surely catching the eye of many people.

    At the time the Mets drafted Goeddel he was not expected to sign, which is why he was drafted so late. But the Mets opened up the check books for once and signed him. Goeddel was a third-round talent and the decision to spend on him looks like a great one with how well he has pitched this year.

    Some other players to watch are 10th-round pick Akeel Morris, 13th-round pick Brian Harrison, 16th-round pick Ryan Fraser, 17th-round pick Chad Sheppard, 30th-round pick Josh Edgin.

    One of the better draft classes of the decade in my opinion.


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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18:  Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets runs against the Atlanta Braves on September 18, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    After looking at the past 11 drafts it is pretty obvious why the Mets have gotten the reputation of being a team that doesn't draft particularly well.

    They have found a lot of late-round surprises who turned out to be solid major leaguers, but have struggled with their early picks, unable to find a lot of star talent.

    A lot of this can be attributed to the Mets unwillingness to pay overslot in the past. GM Sandy Alderson and company vow to change this method, making the next couple drafts very interesting to follow.

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