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.
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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.