Mets Draft Report Card
BEST PURE HITTER: OF Jarred Kelenic (1) hit .413 in a 12-game tune-up in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before advancing to Rookie-level Kingsport on July 10. He endured a 4-for-50 stretch early in the Appalachian League but recovered to hit .330/.378/.524 in 24 games from Aug. 3 to the end of the season. Kelenic turned 19 in July and was old for his class, but he has extensive wood-bat experience, having played Wisconsin high school ball with wood and having starring for Team USA.
BEST POWER: OF Zach Rheams (27) launched 17 home runs as a Texas Tech senior, then advanced quickly to low Class A Columbia, where he hit eight homers in 45 games. He posted elite exit velocities in pro ball that rival system-mate Peter Alonso. Kelenic has 20-homer potential.
FASTEST RUNNER: SS L.A. Woodard (16) is an 80 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale who swiped 23 bases as a Middle Tennessee State junior and eight more in his pro debut.
BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: The Mets believe Kelenic is absolutely a center fielder with plus range and plus arm strength. C Nick Meyer (6) is a Team USA vet who called his own game at Cal Poly and records consistent sub-2 seconds pop times on throws to second base. SS Manny Rodriguez (10), a University of Cincinnati senior, made highlight-reel plays at short-season Brooklyn and owns a plus-plus arm.
BEST ATHLETE: Kelenic embodies the Mets' renewed focus on acquiring up-the-middle athletes.
BEST FASTBALL: RHP Bryce Montes de Oca (9) touched 100 mph at Missouri but didn't pitch after signing because of a hip injury. RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson (2) topped out at 97 mph and averaged 93 in a pair of Rookie-ball assignments. The Mets haven't drafted a premium prep arm like him since taking Michael Fulmer in 2011.
BEST SECONDARY PITCH: RHP Ryley Gilliam (5) walked 5.2 batters per nine innings as a Clemson junior and continued to hand out free passes in pro ball, but his 12-to-6 curveball with tight rotation helped him strike out 16.1 per nine at short-season Brooklyn. He commands his 78-82 mph, high-spin breaking ball well.
BEST PRO DEBUT: OF Ross Adolph (12) hit .276/.348/.509 at short-season Brooklyn and ranked third in the New York-Penn League with an .857 OPS. The lefthanded hitter from Toledo claimed MVP honors at the league's all-star game, and his home park at Brooklyn might have obfuscated his power. He homered seven times on the road but hit zero at home.
MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Cal State Fullerton RHP Tommy Wilson (19) is the son of actor Thomas F. Wilson, who portrayed Biff Tannen in the "Back To The Future" films.
Simeon Woods Richardson Steps Up In Big Moment
The 20-year-old righthander more than held his own against a lineup stacked with all-stars in spring training.
CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: As a reliever who sits 94-96 mph and misses bats with a plus breaking pitch, Gilliam could move quickly.
BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: The distinction goes to Adolph, Rheams or 22nd-round SS Jaylen Palmer, who played high school ball not far from Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y. He's a strong athlete who hit .310 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League while playing shortstop and third base.
THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: OF Jake Mangum (32) opted to return to Mississippi State. The center fielder was drafted as a sophomore, so he's given up very little negotiating leverage by returning to school.