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2015 Mets Draft Profiles: Rounds 26-30

Between rounds 26 and 30, the Mets selected two college players from small schools and three prep arms with commitments to very good schools.

Continuing our look at the Mets’ draft with their next five selections:

Round 26: Shane McClanahan

McClanahan may not have been drafted if not for a velocity jump this past spring. After throwing in the mid-80s last year, the lefty’s fastball has risen to the 87-90 range, occasionally touching 92, providing teams with the hope of a low-90s fastball in the future as he continues to fill out his projectable 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame.

He also brings a curve, slider, and change, and the slider in particular will flash above average. In truth, he usually gets caught halfway between a slider and a curve, and if I were a pitching coach, I’d tell him to focus on one and drop the other. The slider would be my choice for McClanahan, as the reports I’ve seen suggest he doesn’t get nearly enough drop on his curve. His arm action is a little whippy with some length in the back and late elbow pronation. His command draws positive reports from scouts.

Unfortunately, the velocity jump probably priced McClanahan out of the Mets’ budget. Once only committed to Charleston Southern, McClanahan backed out when South Florida offered a full scholarship, and that’s going to be difficult to buy out. Unsurprisingly, it sounds like McClanahan has no intention of signing with the Mets.

Round 27: Jake Higginbotham

Speaking of unfortunate, I don’t think the Mets will pull in a signing here either. Higginbotham has a strong commitment to Clemson, and it’s very doubtful the Mets will be able to offer enough money to persuade the lefty to break it.

Higginbotham’s definitely on the shorter side, but he could still add strength to his 6-foot, 160-pound frame, but in truth I wouldn’t expect him to add much to his 87-90 fastball. He’ll also throw a mid-70s curve with some very good pitch, a potentially above-average offering that won’t require too much work to get there. Reports suggest that he shows a good feel for a changeup, but he never throws the pitch, so feel free to take that report with a grain of salt.

I like his mechanics. They’re close to picture-perfect with just some late arm pronation pushing him back, and his quick arm helps mitigate the damage. An excellent athlete, Higginbotham made some clear and immediate strides after taking up pitching in 2010, and I expect that trend to continue as he gets better coaching. I’m looking forward to following his college career at Clemson.

Round 28: Anthony Dimino

Dimino went to Belmont Abbey College, a school I didn’t know existed. Or if I did, I completely forgot about it. A Division II school, you can’t expect Dimino to have seen the toughest competition in the country, so it’s important to treat his .452/.486/.599 line with a healthy dose of skepticism. Dimino is a redshirt junior who had been attending South Carolina-Upstate but transferred two season ago after not playing as a freshman. He missed his true sophomore season due to transfer rules.

Dimino is rather new to catching, having been a high school shortstop and having not played at all during his first two college years. During his sophomore year, he began the transition to backstop, splitting his time between catcher and right field. He has a strong arm, but he’s still developing his skills behind the plate. Nevertheless, his coaches were high on his burgeoning receiving skills, even letting him call his own games in the season’s second half.

Should he need to move off the position, he may struggle to hit enough as a corner outfielder or first baseman. I haven’t seen him hit or spoken to anyone who has, but he did most of his damage with singles and doubles, and if the contact ability doesn’t hold up, he may really struggle to make an impact with the bat due to a lack of secondary skills. He has already signed with the team.

Round 29: Seth Davis

Immediately after selecting a Division II player, the Mets selected Davis, a left-handed pitcher from Division III Augustana, in Rock Island, Illinois. Although a starter at Augustana, the relatively diminutive (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) lefty is likely to be a reliever at the next level.

Davis was a very steady performer for the Vikings, graduating as the school’s all-time leader in innings pitched and strikeouts. In 2015, he posted a lackluster 3.70 ERA—not great for Division III—but with a shiny 92 strikeouts in 65.2 innings.

Unfortunately, I don’t know much else, other than he has a good-looking curveball, throws strikes, and has a short arm action. Without a velocity reading, it’s tough to get a full picture, but I wouldn’t expect much there. Davis has already signed with the Mets.

Round 30: Jackson Wark

Jackson Wark might have the best name in the Mets’ draft class. The Alberta native is a towering presence on the mound, standing 6 feet, 6 inches and 220 pounds. Unfortunately, it isn’t yet clear exactly how good the righty really is.

He is somewhat projectable, and he’s already throwing 89 miles-per-hour with his fastball, so it’s possible he could add another four or five miles per hour, especially in light of the fact that he’s a cold-weather prep pitcher, and those often lag behind their warm-weather counterparts. His slider needs more consistent spin, and as far as I know he doesn’t have a changeup.

His mechanics are a mess, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his command suffers as a result. He needs to do a better job of drifting through his settling point, because right now he’s too drop-and-drive. He also has a cross-fire delivery that is probably robbing him of both command and velocity, and he needs to lengthen his stride. His arm action is way too long, with a lot of scapula load. He does get good torque in his torso, which is good, but he also pulls his glove side way down at the end of his delivery, which often affects a pitcher’s release point.

With so much work to do on his part and the Mets dealing with a limited pool allotment, Wark is certain to attend St. Louis University.