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Mets winter meetings:Mets Rule 5 draft recap scouting report

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Let's take a closer look at the prospects coming and going from the Mets system after last Thursday's Rule 5 draft.

Former third round pick Logan Verrett is headed to Baltimore, but will he stick?
Former third round pick Logan Verrett is headed to Baltimore, but will he stick?
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of the winter meetings all around the country, the true baseball wackos gather around their computers or mobile devices to listen to the audio stream of the Rule 5 draft. I don't know why we do it anymore, as the odds of finding another Johan Santana or Dan Uggla dropped precipitously after teams were given an extra year of control over all minor league players in the 2006 collective bargaining agreement.

But we still care a bit too much, and this year the Mets were unusually active in both comings and goings, so here's a closer look at the players selected by and from the Mets in the 2014 edition of the draft.

Mets added

Sean Gilmartin, LHP

I should be useful here. I saw Gilmartin pitch against the Double-A Binghamton Mets this June in New Britain. He had a pretty good game, too, out-dueling Angel Cuan (okay, "out-dueling"). As a general rule, I don't take notes on opposing players unless they are either already well-known prospects or they do something to grab my attention. There's just not a lot of upside in it for me to watch what Sean Gilmartin is doing when I can watch how Kevin Plawecki is reacting to it. So yeah, no notes on Sean Gilmartin.

Fortunately my colleague Chris Blessing, most recently of ROTOscouting, saw a Gilmartin in 2012 and 2013 as a Braves prospect and gave me the basics. The changeup is the only pitch that projects as major league quality, and his minor league success came from hitting his spots. Chris also thought the Mets might play with his arm slot and breaking ball some to try and fit him into that more traditional LOOGY role.

Given the current lack of other options, I think Gilmartin can win a job with a good spring, but this isn't really an impact move. It's the Rule 5 draft, though, so if you can find a major league contributor, even a fringy one, that's a nice win.

Mets lost

Logan Verrett, RHP

As I've said on recent episodes of the Amazin' Avenue Audio podcast, I would have added Verrett to the 40-man over Jack Leathersich and Akeel Morris. However, I didn't really expect him to get poached. I pegged Domingo Tapia as the more likely Mets arm to get picked in the major league phase of the draft. Tapia may have survived in part due to the overabundance of right-handed pitchers with big fastballs available this year, such as the Astros' Jandel Gustave, who was picked one spot before the Mets' selection of Gilmartin. Gustave and Tapia are the type of arms that tend to be more attractive to teams in the Rule 5, and Verrett does not exactly fit that mold.

Verrett is close to major league ready, though, having spent all of 2014 in the Pacific Coast League, but as a starter he profiles best as a #6, up-and-down type. I saw him live in 2012 and 2013, and he mixed four pitches, primarily relying on an upper-80s fastball and a low-80s slider that can flash plus. He will occasionally feature a fringy changeup and a get-me-over curve. That profile leaves little margin for error, and unfortunately Verrett's fastball command has not been good enough to keep even upper-minors bats from putting a sting into it. And this year in Vegas he stopped missing bats and was hit especially hard, even accounting for the offensive environment.

So can Verrett stick for a full year in Baltimore? Baseball America rated his chances as 'very low,' but they only considered him as a a starter. I don't think that will be his role with the Orioles, nor would it have been his eventual role with the Mets. He is best used in short bursts, where he can then throw his slider about half the time. I have taken to calling him "the poor man's Luke Gregerson." At this point Verrett might even have a bit more fastball than Gregerson in a one-inning role, but he's not going to show Gregerson's plus-plus slider.

If the fastball/slider combo plays up enough in short outings, he could be effective (especially against right-handed batters) in a middle relief role. I don't think it's likely the Orioles carry him in the 'pen the whole year, but I give him more of a puncher's chance than Baseball America does, especially since under Dan Duquette the Orioles have been aggressive about using and keeping their Rule 5 picks.

Greg Peavey, RHP

It's a little unusual to expose a player as close to the majors as Peavey during the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft. However, there wasn't really a spot for Peavey in a system suddenly crowded with upper-minors arms. The Mets will likely have to find starts in Binghamton and Vegas for Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Steven Matz, Gabriel Ynoa, Luis Cessa, Michael Fulmer, Domingo Tapia, Rainy Lara, and Matt Bowman. There will probably be a non-roster invitee or two in the Triple-A rotation as well. The organization still has Darin Gorski and Angel Cuan available to pop in for spot starts when needed, so Peavey was more expendable than a comparable minor league player further away with perhaps a bit more upside.

Peavey has now made 48 starts in Double-A across three seasons and has pitched to almost an even 4.00 ERA. He finally made some headway this year, but that was as a 25-year-old repeating the Eastern League. Frankly, the stuff is short. The fastball sits in the upper-80s, none of his secondary offerings even project as major league average, and I don't see the stuff potentially ticking up enough with a move to the pen like with Logan Verrett. Peavey could be useful to a team that needs a little more upper-minors starting pitching depth, but the Mets are certainly not that team right now.

Cam Maron, C

Losing Maron will hurt a bit more than losing Peavey, if only because organizations always need catchers. But I would bet one of the reasons Maron was available here is that he doesn't project as a catcher at higher (even minor league) levels. When I saw him in Savannah the arm was well below average. I harp on Plawecki's throwing deficiencies a lot, but you can live with Plawecki's arm given everything else he brings to the table. I don't think you can do the same with Maron's. Although he bumped his caught-stealing rate a bit in 2014, Florida State League teams still stole a base a game off him at a very good success rate. And basestealers usually get better as you move up the organizational ladder.

It's too bad because he is an interesting prospect otherwise. The usual log line for Maron has been "Josh Thole lite," and he had very Thole-ish season in his second go-round in St. Lucie. He is a good athlete for a catcher, has some bat-to-ball skills, and a front-office-approved approach at the plate, but ultimately if he can't catch the bat won't play elsewhere. That is one of the risks inherent in most catching prospects.

Juan Gamboa, SS

Juan Gamboa has long been a favorite of Amazin' Avenue prospect writers (okay, just Rob Castellano), but spent all of last season on loan in the Mexican League. He can pick it, though, and like with catchers, organizations always need shortstops.

Randy Fontanez, RHP

I have seen Fontanez three out of the last four seasons, but he tends to bleed together with a dozen other guys in the system that can hit the low-90s, have a breaking ball, but lack the zing on either or overall command to really dominate upper minors bats.