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2016 Mets draft profile: CF Ian Strom

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With their 23rd selection in the 2016 draft (Round 22, Pick 670), the Mets selected Ian Strom, an outfielder from Massachusetts.

Name: Ian Strom
Born: Hopedale, Massachusetts
Age: 21 (12/12/1994)
Height/Weight: 6'2"/200 lbs
Position: CF
Bats/Throws: L/L
School: University of Massachusetts (Lowell, Massachusetts)

A graduate of Hopedale Junior-Senior High School in Hopedale, Massachusetts, Ian Strom attended the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. As a member of the River Hawks, the outfielder has a cumulative .276/.329/.349 batting line over 126 games. His best season came in 2015, his sophomore season. In 34 games that year, Strom led the team in batting average (.333) and stolen bases (17 in 20 attempts). Coming on the heels of his best season, he proceeded to have his worst season as a River Hawk, hitting .230/.308/.305 in 52 games thanks to a .277 BABIP, roughly 70 points below the level he had established in his previous two seasons.

Strom has a funky, compact swing reminiscent of Hunter Pence's. He stands square at the plate, slightly crouched. He utilizes a toe tap as he swings and does not open his body much. The left-hander is able to spray balls around the field when he makes contact, but does not have much in-game power and is unlikely to develop it. His effectiveness at the plate is likely to be extremely BABIP dependent.

Strom is something of a defensive wizard. In fact, during his time at the University of Massachusetts, he made SportCenter's Top 10 plays multiple times—one of which, coincidentally, featured an excellent play by former Mets outfielder Matt den Dekker, who was also noted for his defensive prowess. While playing in the Futures League during the summer of 2015 as a member of the Worcester Bravehearts, many coaches and personnel remarked that Strom was not only the best defensive outfielders in the league, but that he was one of the best defensive outfielders they had ever seen.

His speed and arm strength are both above average, but his instincts in the outfield are what set him apart from other fielders. Strom reads the ball extremely well and navigates the outfield efficiently, homing in and racing down balls in the air. He always gives maximum effort, and regularly lays out and dives in order to make catches, rather than play balls off the hop.