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New York Mets Draft Report Card

By David Rawnsley

Best Debut: 3B Rodney Nye (7) slammed 30 doubles at short-season Pittsfield and led the team in the triple-crown categories. RHP Paul Viole (12) didn’t allow an earned run in 25 innings, mostly with Pittsfield, while racking up 11 saves. RHP Orlando Roman (31) went 6-0, 2.36 for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League champion Mets.

Best Athlete: Six-foot-2, 190-pound OF Prentice Redman (10) is a potential five-tool player if his bat develops. He hit .295-6-29 at Rookie-level Kingsport.

Best Hitter: Redman has the highest ceiling, though Nye, who turns 23 in December, is more polished in the short term.

Best Power: Lefthanded-hitting C Mike Jacobs (38) was an afterthought pick from Grossmont (Calif.) JC. He hit .333-4-30, has plus power and narrowly missed making the GCL Top 10 Prospects list.

Fastest Runner: SS Rob McIntyre (13) runs the 60 in 6.5 seconds, just a click ahead of Redman.

Best Defensive Player: McIntyre has the quickness and arm strength to stay at shortstop as he moves up the ladder. Redman has the tools to be an above-average defender.

Best Fastball: RHP Jeremy Griffiths (3) didn’t pitch until he went to college at Toledo, but has developed a 93-94 mph fastball.

Most Intriguing Background: RHP Carrington Fisk (39) decided to leave his New England roots and uncle Carlton’s Illinois background to attend college at Indiana. RHP Jake Joseph (2) didn’t pitch or attend school at all in 1998 before resuming his career at Cosumnes River (Calif.) JC. He went 3-2, 2.91 at Pittsfield.

Closest to the Majors: Drafted out of high school, LHP Neal Musser (2) has the aptitude and solid stuff to move quickly through the system. Griffiths, who went 3-5, 3.30 at Rookie-level Kingsport, still needs to fine tune his offspeed pitches but could also advance ahead of schedule.

The One That Got Away: Puerto Rican OF Angel Pagan (4) decided to go the draft-and-follow route and is attending Indian River (Fla.) CC while the Mets retain his rights. The Mets lost the rights to C Tyler Parker (6), who is at Georgia Tech.

Best Non-Draft Sign: SS Enrique Cruz skipped the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League and was named the GCL’s No. 7 prospect. RHP Ken Chenard (46), a 1998 draft-and-follow out of Fullerton (Calif.) JC, signed in May and showed prospect stuff at Kingsport, going 6-3, 3.07.

Summary: The Mets continued their efforts to add speed to the middle infield and projectable arms in the past two drafts. But big league free-agent signings cost them their first-round picks in both years, hampering their ability to sign impact talent.

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