2014 Mets Draft Scouting Reports: Rounds 31-35

The Mets went entirely with high schoolers from rounds 31 to 35. Kurtis Horne and Brady Puckett are tall and projectable arms, while Chris Glover and Jonathan Teaney are more polished. The lone position player taken, Jordan Hand, is a catcher with power potential.

Our penultimate installment:

Kurtis Horne, LHP, Round 31

Horne is a Canadian prep pitcher who is primarily projection right now. He throws with below average velocity for a lefty at 86-88 miles-per-hour, occasionally hitting 90 on the gun, and that won’t do it unless he fills out his frame. And he has time to do that, being the youngest player the Mets drafted, not turning 18 until August. Currently, he’s all arms and legs, having a lanky, long 6-foot-5-inch, 200-pound frame. He did add some over the last six months or so--last September he was throwing 83-85 and brushing 87.

What the Mets have to hope for is that more playing time and better coaching are all Horne needs to improve, because he’s pretty raw, even by high school standards. He has a clean delivery, albeit with a long, slow arm action, and sometimes he can just look awkward on the mound. His changeup has some promise, but he shows little feel for his breaking ball right now. Command is also an issue. If Horne does sign with the Mets, he’s going to need quite some development time. Luckily for the Mets, he is only slated to head to the junior college ranks, so he might be able to be had cheaper than some others, but the price tag might still be more than the Mets want to spend on someone this far away from the majors.

Chris Glover, RHP, Round 32

Glover has an already-mature frame at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, and he throws a nice, easy 85-88, touching 90. The projection is questionable due to his already being fairly developed, but maybe a pro coach can squeeze a little more velocity out by lengthening his stride. What velocity he has comes pretty easily though he does have a high elbow in the back, stressing his shoulder.

His offspeed offerings are a mixed bag. He’ll throw a slider and a split-change, the latter of which is more advanced than the former. He throws it with good arm speed, but it does need a little more late bite and velocity to be an effective out pitch.

Glover is also a first baseman with raw power who does not get cheated at the plate, but his future is clearly on the mound. Glover may be signable here, as his commitment is only to McLennan Community College.

Brady Puckett, RHP, Round 33

I mentioned that Kurtis Horne is primarily projection right now. Well, Brady Puckett is all projection. Puckett is a towering 6 feet, 8 inches tall and 225 pounds. I haven’t seen him pitch, but he throws in the mid-80s with a soft curve that needs tighter spin and no changeup to speak of. In other words, he’s a long-term project who plans to attend Lipscomb, where he’ll hopefully add some velocity so he can get drafted higher another day. There is no chance of a signing here, as the price required to buy Puckett out of his college commitment is likely far more than he is currently worth to the Mets.

Jordan Hand, C, Round 34

Hand has surprising athleticism for a 6-foot-3, 215-pound catcher, possessing above average speed as well as plenty of strength that gives him at least above average raw power, at least to his pull side. His swing is pretty smooth from the video posted below, though he has a very deep hand load that really adds some length to his swing. I have seen a little bit of his defense, and he has some promise behind the plate, but he needs refinement and it might make more sense in the long haul to move him off the position to the outfield, because he should have the athleticism and arm for right. He might even be able to stick at third.

I won’t say too much more because I haven’t heard a whole lot else about him other than the video posted below, which is a recruiting video that he had put together. He’s committed to Cal State Fullerton, and I’d bet on him attending.

Jonathan Teaney, RHP, Round 35

Teaney doesn’t have a tremendous amount of size at 6 feet, 1 inch and 175 pounds, and many scouts don’t think he has the frame to add much weight. Despite this, I like Teaney and wish the Mets could sign him but don’t think it will happen.

Teaney has fringy velocity right now, throwing 89-91 and hitting 92 on occasion. He has a very quick arm that generates velocity, but the whole delivery is very max-effort. He drives himself toward the plate very aggressively, and there’s some length at the back of his arm action that generates power but slows his tempo. Since he is so aggressive toward the plate, I think he’d be better served by streamlining it some so he can better time his delivery. It might also improve his command some. What is most impressive about Teaney is his curve. He throws the pitch hard, around 81 miles-per-hour and he’s really able to get on top of it, thanks to a very, very overhand arm slot that may take some hitters by surprise. It’s one of the better breaking balls in the prep ranks. I’ve also heard he throws a change that flashes above average.

Teaney’s committed to San Diego, and, as I said before, he is expected to fulfill that commitment.

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