2014 Mets Draft Scouting Reports: Rounds 36-40

The Mets finished up their draft by selecting five more prep players: two shortstops, a center fielder, and two righties. Signings are unlikely across the board, save perhaps 39th-round Puerto Rican outfielder Arnaldo Berrios. He projects as a fourth outfielder down the road.

And finishing up:

Garett King, RHP, Round 36

Garett King is a Nebraska commit with below average present velocity and some projection present in his 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame. He throws his fastball at 84-86 and will hit 88 from time to time, but it’s his offspeed stuff that makes him shine. He has a legitimate four-pitch mix, something you don’t often see in the high school class. The slider is his best pitch, a mid-70s pitch with tight rotation and late break, if not a whole lot of depth. He’ll also throw a low-70s curve with more drop and a mid-70s changeup. All three will flash at least average, the slider above average.

Mechanically, he is a good athlete with a pretty smooth delivery, and he does throw plenty of strikes. But his arm action is long, his tempo slow, and he could stand to lengthen his stride a little. The problem with King is that the lack of fastball velocity could hold him back. Another couple years will give teams a better idea of what he really is and how much upside is actually there. He’s all but certain to attend Nebraska.

Tristan Gray, SS, Round 37

Gray is a lean, tall, lefty-swinging shortstop who would have gone earlier in the draft if he didn’t have a firm commitment to Rice, where both his father and brother played baseball.

Gray has athleticism, displaying solid range, fluid infield actions, and an above average infield arm--he’s been clocked as high as 89 on a mound. As I said, he’s very lean, so there’s some fear that he might outgrow the position as he adds muscle, but I think he’ll also be somewhat lean. He should stick at the position.

I’m less convinced by his bat. He has a loose swing and squares up on the ball well, but he doesn’t have much of a weight transfer, and he tends to just throw his hands at the ball despite loading his hands high, which can give him too much of an uppercut. There’s some power potential there if he ever adds strength, but I’m not sure it will ever translate in games. He has the talent to be an average major league shortstop, but there’s a long path to that point, and I fear it runs straight through Rice.

Kyle Dunster, RHP, Round 38

Dunster is a shorter (5 feet, 11 inches, 180 pounds) right-handed pitcher from Greenwich, Connecticut, with fringy velocity and little projection. I haven’t seen him pitch but am told he has a max-effort delivery with a high elbow in his arm action, a red flag for future shoulder troubles. He’ll throw his fastball in the high 80s, touching 90 and will also show a high-80s curve and changeup.

His commitment is to Boston College, and I’ll be shocked if he foregoes it to sign with the Mets.

Arnaldo Berrios, OF, Round 39

Berrios is a smallish switch-hitting center fielder from Puerto Rico, where he attends the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy. He has some speed, a little bit of pop and arm strength, but none of those things stand out. I rate his speed as solid average, and he has enough present strength to muscle balls into gaps, although his swing path is too flat to generate much homerun power.

Contact is a question mark. He’s very aggressive at the plate with iffy pitch recognition and little discipline. And while his swing isn’t overly long, his upper body is very noisy as he loads his hands, almost flapping his back elbow as he swings. It could make it more difficult for him to square up on the baseball once he starts seeing better velocity on a more consistent basis. He generates more bat speed and power from the right side, but I actually think his swing from the left is a little smoother.

He should stick in center, although I’m not sure he’ll have enough range to really excel there. I haven’t been able to ascertain his college commitment, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Mets can pull off a signing here.

Dale Burdick, SS, Round 40

Burdick is a middle infielder who has the speed and range to play short but probably doesn’t have enough arm strength to stick there. Because of that, he’s far more likely to end up at second as a professional.

At the plate, he has a smooth swing with a quiet hand load that allows him to drive his hands through the zone. He’ll also show some great hip rotation in his swing. Unfortunately, he undermines this somewhat by leaking his weight too early, making his approach more hands-oriented than scouts would like.

In the field, Burdick shows quick feet, and he puts his above average speed to good use, expanding his range. Unfortunately, I’d rate his infield around a 45 or 50 on the scouting scale, which would tab him as a second baseman, not a shortstop. He’s committed to Mississippi State and will almost certainly attend. It’s a good move to; I can see him having a very nice college career, which could propel him into the draft’s top ten rounds easily.

And that does it for the scouting reports for the 2014 draft. I’ll hopefully be back with some closing thoughts sometime over the next week or two before I go back into hibernation until the 2015 draft. Remember to continue checking out our draft tracker, which will be updated with signings periodically.

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