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The 2019 draft was a radical departure in process but not results

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The Mets utilized a very different strategy on day two of the 2019 MLB Draft, but the group was no better or worse than past draft classes in those same rounds.

Jake Mangum and Antoine Duplantis
Steve Sypa

When Matthew Allan went unselected on the first night of the 2019 MLB Draft, Marc Tramuta and Tommy Tanous had a long night ahead of them of phone calls and planning. When the it came the Mets’ turn to select when day two of the draft began, they selected Allan, radically altering their likely strategy for the rest of the day. With a slot value of $667,900 and a talent that would clearly need a lot more than that to sign with the team, the Mets would have to go with money-saving picks for the next seven rounds in order to afford Allan. And so the senior selections began.

Round Name Position School Slot Value Signing Bonus
4 Jake Mangum CF Mississippi State (MS) $487,900 $20,000
5 Nathan Jones RHP Northwestern State (LA) $364,400 $10,000
6 Zach Ashford CF Fresno State (CA) $277,100 $10,000
7 Luke Ritter 2B Wichita State (KS) $216,600 $10,000
8 Connor Wollersheim LHP Kent State (OH) $174,000 $1,000
9 Joe Genord 1B South Florida (FL) $154,600 $10,000
10 Scott Ota RF University of Illinois at Chicago (IL) $145,300 $1,000

The strategy worked, and the Mets were able to sign Allan. Along with first-round selection Brett Baty and second-round selection Joshua Wolf, the trio of high schoolers infused the system with much-needed high-upside players. One might be tempted to write off the players that the Mets selected in rounds four through ten, but that is not the case.

Jake Mangum hit .253/.343/.303 in 53 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones, stealing 16 bases and playing generally above-average outfield defense. Nate Jones posted a 6.59 ERA in seven starts with the Brooklyn Cyclones, allowing 10 hits, walking 8, and striking out 14. Zach Ashford hit a combined .254/.357/.390 in 37 games with the GCL Mets, 16 with the Brooklyn Cyclones, and 5 with the St. Lucie Mets. Luke Ritter hit .244/.352/.369 in 67 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones. Connor Wollersheim posted a combined 2.25 ERA in 8 appearances with the Kingsport Mets and 3 with the Columbia Fireflies, allowing 14 hits, walking 11, and striking out 8. Joe Genord hit .203/.274/.392 in 63 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones, slugging 9 home runs, the most since Travis Taijeron hit 9 in 2011. Scott Ota hit .273/.355/.519 in 51 games with the Kingsport Mets, pacing the team in OPS.

Some of the above performances are good. Others were only so-so. But, as compared to years past, where the Mets were paying college juniors much higher sums of money, the 2019 seniors did no better or no worse as a whole.

2018

Round Name Position School Slot Value Signing Bonus
4 Adam Hill RHP South Carolina (SC) $507,800 $507,800
5 Ryley Gilliam RHP Clemson (SC) $379,400 $550,000
6 Nick Meyer C Cal Poly- San Luis Obispo (CA) $285,200 $350,000
7 Kevin Smith LHP Georgia (GA) $222,300 $222,300
8 Tylor Megill RHP Arizona (AZ) $176,700 $50,000
9 Bryce Montes de Oca RHP Missouri (MO) $152,100 $152,100
10 Manny Rodriguez SS Cincinnati (OH) $141,800 $10,000

2017

Round Name Position School Slot Value Signing Bonus
4 Tony Dibrell RHP Kennesaw State University (GA) $413,100 $380,000
5 Matt Winaker OF Stanford (CA) $307,800 $280,000
6 Marcel Renteria RHP New Mexico State University (NM) $237,600 $125,000
7 Conner O’Neil RHP Cal State- Northridge (CA) $186,200 $10,000
8 Trey Cobb RHP Oklahoma State University (OK) $153,400 $20,000
9 Cannon Chadwick RHP Arkansas (AR) $139,700 $10,000
10 Stephen Villines RHP Kansas (KS) $132,300 $10,000

2016

Round Name Position School Slot Value Signing Bonus
4 Michael Paez 3B Coastal Carolina (SC) $446,500 $446,500
5 Colby Woodmansee SS Arizona State (AZ) $334,500 $334,500
6 Chris Viall RHP Stanford (CA) $250,500 $250,500
7 Austin McGeorge RHP Cal State- Long Beach (CA) $187,800 $175,000
8 Placido Torres LHP Tusculum College (TN) $175,400 $10,000
9 Colin Holderman RHP Heartland Community College (IL) $163,700 $400,000
10 Gene Cone OF South Carolina (SC) $156,600 $150,000

Because the Mets went to this well so early, they had their choice in college seniors and were able to select the talents they believed were cream of the crop. While the upsides of majority of those players still seems fairly limited- most appear to be organizational filler-few players from prior drafts who were selected in those same rounds have stood out themselves. While a handful of these players at varying points have been identified as players of note, only two have appeared on prior Amazin’ Avenue top prospect lists: Tony Dibrell (2019) and Stephen Villines (2018, 2019). The Top 25 list for the upcoming 2020 season has yet to be compiled, but it is questionable whether or not any of these names will end up making the list.

It will be interesting to see what kind of draft strategy the team employs in the 2020 draft, but by using the unorthodox top-heavy method they used in 2019, the team seemingly did not sacrifice the potential to draft what they identify as quality college sophomores and juniors.