We continue our player profiles from the Mets’ 2017 amateur draft with their picks from the 26th through the 30th round. You can check out all of our draft coverage here.
26: Gavin Garay, 1B, St. Petersburg College
A hometown kid, Gavin Garay was born in LaGrangeville, New York, a town in Dutchess County roughly an hour-and-a-half from Citi Field. He attended John F. Kennedy High School, where he served as team captain for the Gaels as a senior, and attended St. John’s University upon graduation in 2015. He only got into limited action for the Red Storm in his freshman year, playing in 16 games and hitting .258/.343/.290. To facilitate his professional career starting earlier, the infielder took a gamble and transferred to St. Petersburg College in 2017. His plan was successful, as not only he was able to make the team as a walk-on, but he thrived, hitting .357/.402/.568 with five homers in 48 games.
At 6’2”, 200 pounds, Garay has an athletic body and still has a little room to fill out more. He has a sound approach at the plate, barreling the ball for extra base hits with regularity with his short stroke. He has below-average speed but moves well in the infield. He has demonstrated smooth footwork and glove work at both corner positions, and has a strong arm, which should play well at third.
27: Billy Oxford, RHP, Azusa Pacific University
Billy Oxford went 10-2 with a 2.67 ERA during his varsity career at Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, walking 27 and striking out 92 in 70 innings. Upon graduation, he enrolled at St. Mary’s College of California, where he studied for two years. As a freshman, he appeared in 19 games out of the bullpen and made two starts, posting a 6.86 ERA in 39.1 innings, allowing 47 hits, walking 21, and striking out 21. In 2016, his sophomore year, Oxford was limited to 2.2 innings, posting a 16.87 ERA with 12 hits allowed, 2 walks, and 1 strikeout. He left St. Mary’s College of California and enrolled at Azusa Pacific University in 2017, faring much better against NCAA Division II competition. Pitching primarily as a starter, he posted a 2.64 ERA in 88.2 innings, allowing 84 hits, walking 14, and striking out 77.
Oxford throws from a high three-quarters arm slot. His fastball sits around 90 MPH. He mixes in a mid-70s curveball, and less frequently, a mid-to-high-70s slider and a mid-to-high-70s changeup.
28: Jeremy Vasquez, 1B, Nova Southeastern University
Jeremy Vasquez had a very productive career at Martin County High School, where he was a first baseman and outfielder. After batting .524 with a .617 on-base percentage and four home runs, Vasquez was ranked among the best prep first baseman in the country. He went undrafted because of his strong commitment to the University of Florida.
In his first year as a Gator, he was as good as advertised. Despite missing some time recovering from a broken hand, Vasquez hit .339/.424/.459 in 42 games. As a sophomore, he was shifted into right field, and his performance at the plate suffered, as he hit .291/.387/.358. That summer, he played for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod League, and fared poorly, hitting .219/.318/.301 in 23 games. Instead of returning to the University of Florida for his junior year, Vasquez transferred to Nova Southeastern University, a NCAA Division II school in Fort Lauderdale. The newly minted Shark had a highly productive season for his new team, hitting .317 with 15 home runs.
Vasquez has a smooth left-handed swing, and has shown a consistent ability to square up on most pitchers. Coming into the 2017 season, Vasquez didn’t have much of a power stroke, but he revamped his approach at the plate to get more power during his time at Nova Southeastern University, and the results were tangible. His strong, quick wrists guide the barrel to the ball from a deep load with an easy flow. He is able to square up on just about everything, having no issues with elite velocity or breaking balls.
Defensively, Vasquez is a below-average runner, but he has shown enough range to be a passable outfielder. Around the bag, he has smooth actions with soft hands. In the outfield, while his range is not the best, he has a quick release on his throws.
29: Liam McCall, RHP, First Coast High School
A tall, projectable right-hander from First Coast High School in Florida, Liam McCall is the sixth alum to be drafted, and the first since 2015. Interested in numerous colleges in Florida, McCall eventually settled on a commitment to Seminole State College of Florida.
Thrown from a three-quarter arm slot, McCall’s fastball currently sits in the high-80s. Given his size, the right-hander should be able to add additional velocity to the pitch in the years to come. He rounds out his pitching repertoire with a changeup thrown in the high-70s, and a curveball and a slider, both thrown in the mid-70s.
30: Ian McWilliams, RHP, Beech High School
Baseball runs in the blood of the McWilliams family. Ian McWilliam’s older brother, Sam, was drafted out of high school by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 8th round in 2014 MLB Draft. His younger brother, Zack, played in the Little League World Series. Ian, himself, has had a good high school career, pitching 35.2 innings for the Beech High School Buccaneers in posting a 1.96 ERA. McWilliams has a strong commitment to University of Alabama: Birmingham.
McWilliams’ fastball sits in the high-80s, but as he puts on additional size, the pitch should get more velocity on it. In addition to his four-seam fastball, he sometimes mixes in a two-seam fastball when he is on the mound. He complements the fastballs with a curveball, which sits in the low-to-mid-70s, and a changeup, which sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s. McWilliams is still working on both pitches, which is one of the reasons why he is intent on attending college.