Which Sandy Draft Pick Will Reach the Mets First? | Astromets Mind

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Which Sandy Draft Pick Will Reach the Mets First?

Sandy Alderson took over for the Mets after the 2010 season and several of his draft picks might be on the verge of getting their first major league call up. Who is going to get the first call-up? I play the odds game below 

2011 Picks

Brandon Nimmo, OF, 1st round – Only recently promoted to AA, Nimmo is still at least a season away from the majors. So while he is still likely to be the best Mets draftee from 2011, he is unlikely to be the first promoted. On the other hand, he does have the type of talent that can force its way up in a hurry once things click, so he’s kind of the ‘sleeper’ in this race. Assuming that doesn’t happen this season, he’s likely to start next year in AAA with Las Vegas, and almost everybody’s stats look good there, so I think Mets fans will get their first look at Nimmo sometime next season.

Odds he’s first: 10:1

Cory Mazzoni, RHP, 2nd round – Originally omitted from this list because he’s only 13 innings into his “rehab” (spring training?) and being used as a starter. Talent-wise, he’s the best pitcher on this list. If used as a reliever, he should rise to the top of the depth chart pretty quickly. As a starter, he handled AA pretty effectively last season – 26.2 K%: 6.7 BB% with four homeruns allowed in 66 IP – so he should end up at AAA when his “rehabbing” ends. In the AAA rotation, he’d slide in behind Noah Syndergaard on the depth chart (until Rafael Montero returns), and he’d have a line to get to the majors.

Odds he’s first: As reliever – 4:1, As starter: 7:1

Logan Verrett, RHP, 3rd round – Verrett is an interesting piece in my opinion, and his future is not clear, but he’s unquestionably been a very effective pitcher during the first two innings of his appearances, and even better in the 4th (the 3rd inning has not been kind, with 12 ER in 18 IP). Looking just at the first four innings of his starts, he has a 2.89 ERA in 71.2 IP with 83 hits allowed and a 50 K: 13 BB ratio – high groundball rate too. That ERA jumps to 9.88 after the 4th, with 55 hits allowed and a 20 K: 5 BB ratio in just 27.1 IP. The hits are still a bit high earlier in the game (some of that is the high offensive environment), but that is a huge drop off in results later in games. If the Mets need a spot starter and don’t want to promote Syndergaard just yet, then they could choose Verrett. Or, if the Mets want to move Verrett to the pen, he might thrive and be ready the next time the Mets need someone. When he’s on, he’s a groundball machine.
Odds he’s first: 12:1

Tyler Pill, RHP, 4th round – Pill has been rolling since April 28 – 3.00 ERA over 69 innings with 60 hits allowed (.639 OPS) and a 24.2 K%: 5.8 BB%. With a 6-man rotation in Binghamton and Carlos Alvarado not that effective in Las Vegas, the Mets might have a move coming. Still, without overwhelming stuff, Pill will have to prove his worth in Las Vegas, and even then may only be in the spot starter conversation. That’s not a knock on Pill, but a reflection of the Mets current starting pitching talent. Of course, that conversation changes with injuries.

Odds he’s first: 25:1

Jack Leathersich, LHP, 5th round – Leathersich was the favorite in this race early, and for a long time, but then he flopped pretty hard in his first chance with Las Vegas, and hasn’t yet had another chance. He has seen a slight improvement in BB% his second season with Bingo – he walked a batter an inning with Las Vegas – and has similar results despite a ~.070 increase in BABIP against. For now, he needs another shot to prove himself with Las Vegas before the Mets will consider giving him a chance, but that shot should be coming soon.

Odds he’s first: 15:1

Daniel Muno, INF, 8th round – In case you missed it, Muno was probably the 51s best hitter in June. He can play all four positions on the infield, although he might be stretched at SS, and seems to be a successful follower of the Mets Offensive Philosophy™. As the Mets don’t currently have any real backup middle infielders on the major league roster – Campbell technically is, but he’s stretched as a 2B – Muno may be needed soon. Flores is the obvious first call, but the Mets might not want to waste him on the bench for a month again. On the other hand, Muno would need to be added to the 40-man roster. The only other 40-man middle infielder that the Mets could call up is Wilfredo Tovar, and he hasn’t played since late May.

Odds he’s first: 3:1

Chase Bradford, RHP, 35th round – He’s been money wherever he pitches thanks to some elite groundball rates and strong control. The groundball and walk rates have needed to be better than average in Las Vegas because his strikeout rate has halved since his promotion, and it was merely average before that. Still, he’s been the 51s hottest relief pitcher, having not allowed an earned run over his past ten appearances spanning 17.2 IP – he was charged with two unearned runs in his second inning of work Friday night, but they did score after he left. Still, I’m not certain he’s passed Buddy Carlyle or Ryan Reid on the depth chart (there’s also Zack Thornton, although he struggled for awhile in June), so it may take several moves for him to get his chance.

Odds he’s first: 4:1

2012 Picks

Kevin Plawecki, C, 1s pick (35th overall) – The Plaw had a great season with Binghamton before his promotion, surpassing the low power output expected of him, while showing great contact ability and a willingness to take some walks. I’m not too worried about his ‘slumping’ through his first ten games in Las Vegas, but he’s probably not ready for the majors just yet. He’s made some strides with his defense this season, but that part of his game is still a work in progress, so there would be more pressure on his bat right now. Because of that, if something happens to Travis ∂’Arnaud, I’m not sure the Mets would look to Plawecki just yet.

Odds he’s first: 8:1

Matt Reynolds, INF, 2nd round – Reynolds has been having one of the best seasons of any Mets minor leaguer. His high BABIP at Bingo was ‘supported’ by a very high line drive rate, which is Reynolds game. He’s not going to hit for much power, though it only took him about 60 PA to total nine extra base hits with Vegas, after he needed about 250 PA to reach nine with Binghamton. His SSS success so far with Las Vegas is not without its warts, as he’s seen his K% and BB% go in the wrong direction. Overall, he seems very similar to Muno, although Reynolds is more of a line drive hitter, and Muno has more pop. Just like Muno, Reynolds current path to the show is as a utility infielder. Unfortunately for Matt, Muno reached Las Vegas and is not struggling, which I think gives Muno the first chance.

Odds he’s first: 6:1

Matthew Bowman, RHP, 13th round – I had initially left Bowman off this list, as I had his odds slightly behind Pill in my head. Of course, that was hours before I saw his promotion to Las Vegas for a start in game two of Saturday’s double-header. I’ve seen both a few times and Bowman probably has better stuff than Pill, though Pill has shown better command of his repertoire. He recently told Tim Heiman that trusting his catchers and being more aggressive in the strike zone has really improved his results this season. The catcher trust improved greatly after he had an opportunity to pitch to Travis ∂’Arnaud and thought better than to call the major league catcher off. Also, he said a spring training hamstring injury had set his mechanics back some earlier in the year. I can’t speak about the mechanical adjustment, but he was noticeable more aggressive in the zone last week than the first time I saw him in April.

Odds he’s first: 25:1

2013 Picks

No one from this draft has a chance to make the majors this season, and all are long shots for next season. Based on early results, I’d say the race is on between L.J. Mazzilli (4th round) and Robert Coles (28th round) to be the first 2013 draft pick to reach the majors. Though there are more exciting prospects from the draft, these two have been successful in 2014 and might have quicker paths to the show than the rest of their class.

From what I read about him last year, Mazzilli profiles as more of a utility infielder than everyday starter. He’s currently on pace to move on to the AA-level by the start of 2015, and he’s being used as an everyday utility infielder. Of course, he may have to get in line for his chance at AAA/MLB. He had a ‘polished’ reputation when the Mets drafted him, so he was expected to handle the A ball levels, but I still think he surprised everyone when he hit five homeruns in two weeks for Savannah at the end of May and into June.

Coles dominated with Savannah in the first half and has barely missed a beat since his promotion. He’s held the opponent scoreless in 20/25 appearances so far in 2014, and to one run or less in 23/25 appearances. Also, he’s pitched more than one inning 11/25 times, and at least two innings 6/25 times. If he can have a successful second half for St. Lucie, there would be no reason for him not to start the season in Bingo next year (except, I suppose, an already full pen). A successful April and May for Bingo would put him waiting for a spot in the Las Vegas bullpen, though that may be a bit crowded.

2014 Picks?

He hasn’t even signed yet, and he may choose not to (seems unlikely he would pass), but Michael Conforto was touted as someone who wouldn’t need much minor league seasoning. If he signs, he is the favorite from this draft to reach the majors first.

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