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Mets Draft Report Card

Best Pro Debut: LHP Scott Kazmir (1) signed late and pitched just 18 innings in the short-season New York-Penn League. Nevertheless he produced spectacular numbers: 1 ER (0.50 ERA), 5 H, 7 BB, 34 SO. 3B/2B Blake Whealy (13) hit .289-10-34 to earn NY-P all-star honors.

Best Athlete: OF Tyler Davidson (8) has a body (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) that scouts love, and speed and arm strength to go with his obvious offensive potential. He hurt his wrist taking batting practice before his first pro game and required surgery.

Best Pure Hitter: OF Bob Malek (4) hit .427 and .402 in his last two seasons at Michigan State, but some teams backed off after he blew out his right elbow in May. He hit just .207 in the NY-P while playing through the pain, then had Tommy John surgery once the season ended.

Best Raw Power: Davidson can put on a show in batting practice.

Fastest Runner: OF Jon Slack (5) runs a 6.5-second 60-yard dash. He’s a stronger version of former Mets first-rounder Jason Tyner.

Best Defensive Player: 3B Shawn Bowman (12) signed after starring at the plate for Canada at the World Junior Championships. A converted shortstop, he’s rangy and has a strong arm.

Best Fastball: Kazmir had the most electric arm of any pitcher who signed out of the draft. He sat at 93-94 mph all year and touched 96-97 with regularity. And remember, he’s lefthanded. RHP Adam Elliott (6) touched 93-94 mph in high school.

Best Breaking Ball: Kazmir’s slider gives him a second plus-plus pitch, and he can change speeds off of it. He also has a feel for a changeup. The only knock on him is that he’s just 6 feet tall. Ron Guidry, whose size never worked against him, was a similar pitcher.

Most Intriguing Background: Kazmir teamed with the Expos’ Clint Everts to give Houston’s Cypress Falls High two first-rounders in the same June draft, just the fourth time a high school has accomplished the feat.

Closest To The Majors: The Mets will do everything they can to avoid zipping Kazmir through the minors, but he’s not going to make it easy on them. Would anyone be surprised if he’s pitching at Shea Stadium next September?

Best Late-Round Pick: Bowman. Among players who have made their pro debuts, Whealy and RHP Bryan King (19) stand out. King gets good riding action on his 90-91 mph fastball.

The One Who Got Away: The Mets liked Canadian C Chris Robinson’s (30) makeup, bat and live body, but his price tag got too high for them to buy him away from Illinois.

Assessment: Kazmir’s rumored bonus demands caused him to drop to the 15th pick. Not only did the Mets steal him there, they also didn’t have to break the bank, signing him for $2.15 million. That easily soothed the sting of not having a second- or third-round pick.

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