Major League Baseball's amateur draft begins tonight, and the New York Mets will make three picks as the league goes through the first two rounds. The Mets have two first-round picks. Their first is the 19th overall pick, which is theirs thanks to their regular season record last year and the teams that had been slated to pick ahead of them but forfeited a first-round pick to sign a free agent over the winter.
After that, the Mets have the 31st overall pick, which they received as compensation for the Washington Nationals' signing of Daniel Murphy. Their third and final pick tonight will be the 64th overall pick, their regularly-scheduled pick in the second round.
Let's take a look at what the Mets have done in the first two rounds under Sandy Alderson. There's been some turnover since the first Alderson-era draft in 2011, as Chad MacDonald was the team's scouting director for the first draft but departed following that season. He gave way to Tommy Tanous, who has held the position ever since. And Paul DePodesta, who had been the Mets' vice president of player development and scouting since Alderson took the job as general manager, was around for all of those drafts but left the team for a job with the Cleveland Browns during the offseason. The general expectation is that nothing will change drastically in terms of the Mets' strategy despite his departure.
In this front office's first draft, it selected high school outfielder Brandon Nimmo with the 13th overall pick in the draft. He recently turned 23 years old and is playing in Triple-A Las Vegas, where he has a .317/.395/.481 line with three home runs and four triples. And with the 44th overall pick in that draft, a compensation pick at the end of the first round, the Mets took right-handed high school pitcher Michael Fulmer, who they traded to the Tigers alongside fellow minor league pitcher Luis Cessa last summer for Yoenis Cespedes. Fulmer also turned 23 recently, and he's pitched very well for the Tigers in his first eight major league starts.
In 2012, the Mets again had two picks in the first round. They went with high school shortstop Gavin Cecchini with the 12th overall pick and college catcher Kevin Plawecki with the 35th pick. Cecchini is currently playing in Las Vegas, and the 22-year-old has hit .326/.394/.410 with one home run. Plawecki is on the Mets' major league roster right now, though he has struggled to hit in his big league career thus far. Between the time he spent with the Mets last year and this season, he has a .213/.286/.290 line with a 61 wRC+ in the majors. His minor league track record was much better than that, but it hasn't translated at all yet.
The Mets went with another high school player in 2013: first baseman Dominic Smith. He'll only turn 21 years old on June 15, and he's playing in Double-A Binghamton this year. He's hit .264/.317/.385 with four home runs in his time there.
And in 2014, the Mets took the best-known of any of their first-round picks—college outfielder Michael Conforto—with the 10th overall pick. After performing well in the minors for a little over a calendar year, Conforto was called up from Double-A Binghamton to the Mets at the end of July last year and never looked back. A regular in the team's lineup, he's hit .258/.327/.490 with 18 home runs and a 124 wRC+ in 401 major league plate appearances. He also hit three home runs in the playoffs as the Mets won the National League pennant. Conforto is the Mets' most recent first-round pick, as the team did not have one last year because it signed Michael Cuddyer, who had declined a qualifying offer, in free agency.
High school: Nimmo, Fulmer, Cecchini, Smith
College: Plawecki, Conforto
This front office's first second-round pick was college pitcher Cory Mazzoni in 2011, who was taken with the 71st pick in that draft. He spent a few years in the organization before he was part of the trade that brought Alex Torres to the Mets just a couple days before the 2015 season began. He threw 8.2 innings for the Padres last year out of the bullpen but had a 20.77 ERA in them.
The Mets had two second-round picks in 2012. They used the 71st pick in the draft on infielder Matt Reynolds, who is on the team's active roster right now. He struggled last year in Triple-A Las Vegas, and he's struggled in very limited playing time with the Mets this year. He was actually on the Mets' World Series roster last year because of injuries, despite not having played a major league game to that point of his career, but he did not appear in the series. And with the 75th pick in that draft, the Mets took high school pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz, who they did not sign and was re-drafted by the Red Sox in 2013.
In 2013, the Mets took high school pitcher Andrew Church, who hadn't done much at the minor league level coming into this year but has gotten off to a fantastic start. He struck out fifteen, walked none, and allowed just one in two starts for the Single-A Columbia Fireflies. He earned a promotion to the High-A St. Lucie Mets today.
The Mets had no second-round pick in 2014 because they signed Curtis Granderson in that offseason. And in 2015, they took high school outfielder Desmond Lindsay with the 53rd overall pick. Between his time with the Gulf Coast League Mets and the Brooklyn Cyclones last year, Lindsay hit .263/.364/.386 in his age-18 season. He fared much better in the GCL than he did with Brooklyn, but again, he was just 18 years old. He hasn't started playing in games yet this year.
High school: Stankiewicz, Church, Lindsay
College: Mazzoni, Reynolds
In total, that's seven high school players and four college players that the Mets have taken in the first two rounds over the past five drafts. Only four of the eleven players have been pitchers, and since Stankiewicz didn't sign with the team, just three high-end picks have turned into actual Mets minor league pitchers.
Five of the eleven players have played in the big leagues, three of them for the Mets and two for the teams they were traded to by the Mets. As for the players the Mets might draft tonight, be sure to check out Steve Sypa's extensive series of draft preview profiles.