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Mets select Andrew Ely in Triple-A Rule 5 Draft, lose Jose Medina

The Mets gained a defensive-oriented shortstop, but lost a young left-hander.

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Dash Winningham and Justin Brantley must be looking for their former teammate.
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After selecting (and subsequently trading) Burch Smith in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, the Mets selected Andrew Ely from the Chicago Cubs with their first pick in the Triple-A portion of the draft. The 24-year-old Ely was selected by the Cubs in the 32nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of the University of Washington. A .311/.391.384 hitter, the Idaho native was more known for his defense than his output at the plate. Possessing quick reaction times, lateral range, a quick transfer and release, and strong and accurate throws, Ely showed good shortstop instincts.

After hitting well for the AZL Cubs, Chicago’s Rookie-level affiliate, Ely was promoted all the way up to the Iowa Cubs, their Triple-A affiliate, bolstering their defense during their race with the Omaha Storm Chasers for first place in the PCL American Northern division. The infielder played the 2015 season with more age- and talent-appropriate teams, splitting the year with the South Bend Cubs, Chicago’s Low-A affiliate, and after he struggled, the Eugene Emeralds, their Short-A affiliate. Ely opened the 2016 season with the South Bend Cubs once more, and after hitting better, was promoted to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Chicago’s High-A affiliate. Though he struggled with the bat with the Pelicans and likely warranted repeating the level, the organization promoted him and assigned Ely to the Tennessee Smokies, their Double-A affiliate. There, he hit .259/.356/.355 in 97 games. Playing mostly shortstop and second base, Ely remains a primarily defensive-oriented player.

Selected by San Diego Padres pick after the Mets selected Ely was Mets left-hander Jose Carlos Medina. Signed by the Mets as an international rookie out of Mexico in 2012, the 16-year-old had an amazing season with the DSL Mets in 2013, posting a 0.35 ERA in 52.0 innings, allowing 35 hits, walking 6, and striking out 41. The results far outpaced the stuff, and the southpaw would go on to have a solid yet unremarkable tenure with the Mets near the bottom of the minor league ladder. Most recently, in 2017, he split time with the Columbia Fireflies and the Brooklyn Cyclones. In Columbia, Medina posted a 2.70 ERA in 23.1 innings, allowing 27 hits, 7 walks, and 17 strikeouts. With the Cyclones, he posted a 3.53 ERA in 51.0 innings, allowing 57 hits, 7 walks, and 30 strikeouts. The southpaw’s fastball sat in the mid-80s, and he complemented it with a developing slider and changeup. His control was his best asset, walking few batters, but his stuff was not equipped to handle batters in the upper minors.