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Draft Report Card

David Wright
Photo: Morris Fostoff

Best Pro Debut: OF Frank Corr (17) batted .302-13-46 and led the short-season New York-Penn League in homers, slugging percentage (.594) and extra-base hits (35). He was one of several players on league co-champion Brooklyn that broke into baseball with a strong performance. 2B Danny Garcia (5) hit .321 for the Cyclones and then .301 for Class A Capital City. RHP Aaron Heilman (1) was sent to high Class A and responded by going 0-1, 2.35 with 39 strikeouts in 38 innings.

Best Athlete: SS Corey Ragsdale (2) and OF Darren Watts (12) are loaded with tools. Ragsdale was an all-state performer for his Arkansas high school basketball team. LHP Jayson Weir (9) is extremely athletic for a pitcher. He draws comparisons to Mike Hampton because both are short, aggressive southpaws from central Florida who might have been able to make it as outfielders. The Mets will keep Weir on the mound to take advantage of his 88-91 mph fastball and solid breaking ball.

Best Hitter: 3B David Wright (1), one of the top high school bats available, hit .302-4-16 at Rookie-level Kingsport. He should develop true corner-infield power to go with his ability to hit for average.

Best Raw Power: OF Alhaji Turay (2) has plenty of power but needs to be more disciplined at the plate. He has solid all-around tools, including average speed and a strong arm.

Fastest Runner: Watts is a little quicker than Ragsdale, running an effortless 6.6-second 60-yard dash. He was the first player ever drafted from the University of British Columbia, which should produce a high first-rounder (Jeff Francis) in 2002.

Best Defensive Player: The Mets are very high on the glovework of Garcia at second base, Ragsdale at shortstop and Wright at the hot corner.

Best Fastball: Heilman throws an easy 90-94 mph, maintaining consistent velocity and boring action.

Most Intriguing Background: Unsigned RHP Trevor Hutchinson’s (20) brother Chad reached the majors this year with the Cardinals. Unsigned LHP John Sawatski (40) is related to former big league catcher and Texas League president Carl Sawatski.

Closest To The Majors: Heilman has a good chance to begin 2002 in Double-A. A 2000 supplemental first-round pick of the Twins, he’s very polished and won’t require much time in the minors. LHP Lenny DiNardo (3), who slid a couple of rounds in the draft when he faded late in the college season, also has savvy and command of three pitches.

Best Late-Round Pick: Watts or Corr. 1B Jay Caligiuri (13) hit .328-5-34 and was Brooklyn’s MVP.

The One Who Got Away: The Mets signed their first 15 picks, and 18 of 19. Hutchinson was considered a potential first-round pick before he tailed off at the University of California. He has a late-breaking slider and an average fastball, and the Mets didn’t sign him after he had a strong summer in the Cape Cod League.

Assessment: The Mets had a balanced draft, mixing hitters and pitchers, high schoolers and collegians. Heilman and possibly DiNardo could help restock the big league rotation in a hurry, while the position players will take longer to develop.

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