After writing individual scouting reports for each of the Mets’ first 21 picks, I’m going to start churning them out five at a time to save me time. Most of these guys will barely be a blip on your radar screens anyway, so it doesn’t pay to cover them with the same depth as the other guys. On to the picks from round 21 to 25:
21st round: RHP Morgan Earman, Desert Christian Academy (CA). The Mets took three projectable righties in a row, culminating in Earman’s selection. Earman has been clocked as high as 94 from a true three-quarters arm slot but more typically has been seen in the high-80s. He’s 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, so there’s some room for his body mature, if less than each of the Mets’ previous two picks. His curve, sitting in the mid-70s, will flash above average, but sometimes comes in too soft and other times doesn’t drop enough; he needs to become a lot more consistent with the pitch. The changeup isn’t much of a factor. Command in general is a problem for Earman, and it could improve with some mechanical changes, such as shortening the length of his arm action, lengthening his stride, calming some occasional head violence, and reducing his hip rotation. The arm action is especially worrisome to me, as he pronates very late, and it can look flat-out painful at times. He’s expected to fulfil his commitment to Arizona.
22nd round: RHP Daniel Procopio, Central Technical School (Ontario). The Mets went north of the border and selected Procopio, another prep pitcher though one who lacks the projection of the previous three selections. He stands just six feet tall, and tops out at 92, so I’m not sure we can really expect anything else to arrive. It does play up a little bit, owing to some deception resulting from a late release point. There’s some effort in the delivery, and he’d be better served by shortening his arm action some and being a little less drop-and-drive in his delivery, but otherwise he’s pretty clean. His breaking ball has some potential showing good shape, but he needs to throw it harder. As an athletic kid from a cold-weather region, he has some potential to improve and projects as a bullpen piece down the road. The Mets will need to buy out a commitment to Northern Kentucky, which isn’t impossible.
23rd round: RHP Gaither Bumgardner, South Carolina-Upstate. USC Upstate senior Bumgardner was a two-way player in college, playing outfield as well as pitching for the Spartans. However, the Mets see Bumgardner purely as a pitcher despite a .349 lifetime average in the Atlantic Sun because he lacks any kind of power at the plate. However, the Mets like his arm and the athleticism and projection his 6-foot-6, 215 pound frame have to offer despite his advanced age. He throws in the low-90s and maintains it well but lacks a plus offspeed pitch. I haven’t seen him pitch, so I can’t comment on the specifics of his mechanics, but I do know he has had arm injuries in the past; he pitched just one inning in 2012 due to a sore arm.
24th round: RHP Matt Brill, Moline H.S. (IL). Brill is an athletic 6-foot-2, 190 pound right-handed prep pitcher with some current velocity and a little room still to grow into his frame. The fastball will come in at 87-89 and touches 91, so he could use a little more juice, but his curve will flash above average. There’s no changeup to speak of. His delivery is okay--there are some things to iron out and I wish he’d turn the ball over a tad sooner, but there’s workable material here. He’s committed to Appalachian State, and his signability is iffy. He profiles better in relief at the moment, but there’s a chance he could start with improved mechanics and a third pitch.
25th round: RHP Ricky Jacquez, Central Arizona College. Short at 5 feet, 9 inches and 165 pounds, Jacquez probably doesn’t profile as anything more than a reliever. After eschewing the Cubs’ offer in 2011, he went to Texas but transferred last year to an Arizona JuCo after being dismissed for team rules violations. He has a very quick arm and has been clocked as high as 96 despite his limited stature. He needs to watch his location, because it lacks life. He also throws a curve that can be a little slurvy at times and flatten out and an average changeup that has a chance to become above average. Mechanically, he has a high-effort delivery with a long arm action that helps him generate power but also makes him an injury risk. The power arm makes him an interesting guy if the Mets sign him, and I think they will if they make a competitive offer.