Further demonstrating their knowledge of players not formerly on the 2002 Expos, the Mets made two selections in the Rule 5 draft today. The Mets' first round pick, Brad Emaus, is a second baseman from the Blue Jays organization. Emaus lost his prospect status after a disappointing 2009, but had a bounce-back 2010, hitting .290/.397/.476, mostly for Triple-A Las Vegas. Here's what Kevin Goldstein said about the then-prospect after his breakout 2008:
The Good: Emaus just plays the game right. He works the count well, has an excellent knack for contact displayed by more walks (60) than strikeouts (56) last year and gap power with the ability to pound mistakes. He makes the plays on any balls within reach and has a strong enough arm for third base, a position he played at times in the Hawaii Winter League. He's a baseball rat who gets the most from his somewhat limited tools, thanks to a maximum effort style and his passion for the game.
The Bad: He'll never light up scouts with his tools, and his projection falls below star-level because of it. He's not especially quick, which costs him some range in the infield.
Perfect World Projection: A solid everyday second baseman.
Glass Half Empty: A utility type who can play anywhere in the infield except shortstop.
Goldstein ranked him seventh in the Blue Jays organization here, but openly thought about bumping him higher:
I really like this guy. He ranked seventh on my Top 11 prospects list for the Jays, and I'm already worried he was too low. After leading the Florida State League in runs scored last year while finishing among the league leaders in several other categories, Emaus cracked three doubles in his Double-A debut on Wednesday and added three more hits last night, including his fourth double of the year, in a 4-3 win over New Britain. Yes, he's short and kind of squat, and his range at second base isn't going to impress anyone, but the guy can hit. I might be over-reacting here after whiffing so hard on Dustin Pedroia, but again, the guy can hit.
Dustin Pedroia, you say?
Las Vegas is a good hitting environment, but Emaus' 81:69 BB:K will play anywhere. With his minor league track-record, expect Emaus to compete for the second base job. Sandy Alderson talked about Emaus as a potential everyday player and his Rule 5 status (must be on the 25-man-roster or DL) gives him an advantage over Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner.
Pedro Beato is a Brooklyn boy, picked by the Mets in the 2005 amateur draft and then by the Orioles in the 1st round in 2006. Beato's a "power arm," albeit with a career 6.2 K/9 in the minors. He had a 2.11 ERA, repeating AA last year, and will compete for a bullpen spot. Beato relies heavily on his sinker. He's battled some tough injuries in his young career.
Elvin Ramirez, the lone lost Met, drew a lot of Rule 5 attention after recently mowing down hitters with a 99 mph fastball in the Dominican Winter League. As Toby Hyde explains here, Ramirez's "breakout" blindsided the Mets and conveniently came after they had to submit 40-man rosters. Still, I'm not going to cry over his loss. Ramirez has a minor-league track record of absolutely awful control.
The real story of the day is Emaus, who could be the Mets second baseman of the future. Both J.P. Ricciardi, the GM who drafted Emaus, and Paul DePodesta, his secret admirer, I guess, vouched for him, another advantage in the forthcoming second base competition.