Mets 2020 MLB Draft Preview: New York Can Add To Quietly Productive System
Unlike the NBA or NFL drafts, MLB teams do not draft for immediate need. There’s good reason for that, as even the most MLB-ready draft prospects usually take two seasons to get fully established in the majors. But as we ready for the 2020 MLB draft, it is useful to look at where teams are deep and where they are thin at the MLB and minor league level.
Also of note:
2019 RECORD: 86-76
STATE OF THE SYSTEM: A lot of focus has been placed on the Mets’ disastrous trade that sent Jarred Kelenic to Seattle in exchange for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano, but their farm system has quietly been very productive the last few years. Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Amed Rosario all graduated within the last two seasons, and another wave of talent is ascending from the lower levels. The Mets don’t have much in the upper levels, but that’s because their upper-level talent has largely graduated to become major leaguers.
BEST DRAFT PICK OF THE DECADE: RHP Jacob deGrom (ninth round, 2010). The Mets found a converted shortstop at mid-major Stetson, waited as he recovered from Tommy John surgery in the minors and have watched him blossom into a two-time Cy Young award winner. After leading the NL in ERA in 2018, he led the senior circuit in strikeouts in 2019. In six seasons, deGrom has finished top 10 in Cy Young voting four times.
WORST DRAFT PICK OF THE DECADE: SS Gavin Cecchini (first round, 2012). All nine of the Mets first or supplemental first-rounders selected between 2010-16 reached the majors, an incredible testament to their amateur scouting department. That includes Cecchini, although he had the least effective career of them all with only 36 games played.
DEEPEST POSITION(S): Shortstop. Two of the Mets’ top five prospects—Ronny Mauricio and Andres Gimenez—are shortstops, while Rosario has the position held down in the majors. Defensive wizard Luis Guillorme is another notable shortstop prospect who has big league time.
WEAKEST POSITION(S): Outfield. None of the Mets top 15 prospects are outfielders, and their No. 1 outfield prospect is a 16-year-old yet to play his first professional game. With McNeil, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis in tow, the Mets might not need any additional outfielders for a few years. That’s a good thing, because no one is coming from the farm system for a long time.
DRAFT TRENDS: The Mets went college-heavy in the middle of the decade, but they’ve progressively swung toward high school players in recent years. The Mets drafted high school players with their first three picks last year, and overall have taken high schoolers with four of their last six first-day selections.