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2019 Mets Draft: Potential hitters

With the 2019 MLB Draft in a few days, who are the likeliest position player candidates the Mets might target?

Brett Baty

Born: Spicewood, Texas

Age: 19 (11/13/1999)

Height/Weight: 6’3”/210 lbs.

Position: 3B

Bats/Throws: L/R

School: Lake Travis High School (Austin, Texas)

Entering Lake Travis High School, Baty was a three-sport star. He started at quarterback as a freshman for Lake Travis High School, but chose to focus on basketball and baseball as a sophomore. Heading into 2018, Baty chose to stop playing basketball as well, despite leading the Cavaliers to the 6A regional quarterfinals with his dad as the teams’ coach. Focusing on baseball exclusively, Baty is now regarded as one of the top prospects in the upcoming draft. He has a commitment to Texas, and has been good enough this spring to be placed on a Golden Spikes Award (given to the best amateur baseball player in the country) watch list.

Baty’s carrying tool is his bat. He’s lauded for both his natural feel for hitting and the raw power his smooth, left-handed stroke generates. Those natural tools are put to good use with a surprisingly polished approach for a prep hitter (more on this later). High school stats aren’t particularly informative, but Baty’s senior year stats are worth mentioning just for the absurdity of it; he’s batted .658 with 16 HR in 119 PA, walking 35 times against only six strikeouts.

Defensively, Baty is still a capable third baseman and has a good chance of sticking there. His arm is above average and plays well at the hot corner, but there are some concerns that he could grow out of the position. Those concerns haven’t manifested themselves yet, however, and as long as he doesn’t let his body slip out of shape and lose athleticism, he should be able to remain an average defender at third.

The most interesting part of Baty’s story is his advanced age. At 19-and-a-half, Baty is older than many college freshman, and is five months older than the next notable prep player in this class. Playing against competition that’s often a year or more younger than he is makes Baty difficult to evaluate, as he hasn’t really faced much talent at a similar skill level. Such concerns could eventually depress his draft stock, and the track record of 19-year-old first round picks isn’t great. At the same time, the package is impressive for any draft prospect, and pinning down just how much of an advantage Baty’s gotten from being a bit older is a nebulous process at best.

Hunter Bishop

Born: Palo Alto, California

Age: 20 (8/24/1998)

Height/Weight: 6’5”/210 lbs.

Position: OF

Bats/Throws: L/R

School: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)

Hunter is the younger brother of Braden Bishop, who was selected by the Mariners in the 3rd round of the 2015 MLB Draft and is generally considered their tenth best prospect. Unlike Braden, who went to St. Francis High School, Hunter went to Junipero Serra. He had a great senior year, hitting .426/.512/.663, and ended up being selected by the San Diego Padres in the 24th round of the 2006 MLB Draft, the 714th player overall. That summer, he had a choice: sign with the Padres, take the athletic scholarship to the University of Washington, where his brother went, to play football, or take the athletic scholarship to Arizona State, to play baseball. In the end, he chose Arizona State. It is worth mentioning that only two players in the history of baseball have gone from Junipero Serra High School to Arizona State University: Hunter Bishop and Barry Bonds.

Bishop had a strong freshman season in 2017, appearing in 51 games and hitting .301/.363/.484 with 5 home runs and 4 stolen bases. He was unable to repeat that in his sophomore year and hit .250/.352/.407 with 5 home runs and 5 stolen bases in 49 games. Bishop has given no particular reason for his struggles, alluding only to the mental side of the game getting to him. Indeed, it is worth mentioning that Bishop was dealt a tough hand, as his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when he was just 18. Together with his brother, they founded the 4MOM Foundation, a charitable organization for Alzheimer’s research. Bishop has since rebounded from his poor 2018 and is among the best hitters in the PAC-12, finding himself among the PAC-12 leaders in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and home runs.

A big reason for Bishop’s transformation as a hitter is an improved swing that he developed while playing for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod Collegiate League last summer. He quieted his mechanics in the batter’s box, raised his hands a bit, and moved closer to the plate, giving him improved bat speed and a better ability to cover the entire plate. The changes significantly improved his ability to hit for average, his ability to tap into his plus raw power, and cut his strikeout rate exponentially. There is still a bit of swing-and-miss, but Bishop has a good eye and is willing to take balls and draw walks- some have even criticized him for being too passive.

In the field, Bishop is deceptively speedy. At 6’5”, 210 lbs., he is a big guy, but he possesses plus speed. That gives him the ability to cover ground in the outfield, and though he only began playing centerfield this season, he has taken to it and many evaluators believe he will be able to stick there. If center proves a mismatch for Bishop, he projects to be an above-average corner outfielder due to his combination of range and an average-to-above-average arm.

Corbin Carroll

Born: Seattle, Washington

Age: 18 (8/21/2000)

Height/Weight: 5’11”/160 lbs.

Position: OF

Bats/Throws: L/L

School: Lakeside High School (Seattle, Wash.)

As soon as he entered high school, Corbin Carroll has spent his summers on exhibition teams, traveling the country and playing the best high school athletes from around the United States in front of scouts and evaluators. He has had his eye on the prize for years and has put in the work to achieve his dream, sacrificing afternoons, weekends, holidays, and summer to hone and perfect his craft. Only nine players from Washington have been drafted within the first 20 picks over the last 20 years in the MLB Draft, and thanks to his extreme dedication to the craft, Corbin Carroll has a chance to be the tenth.

The biggest knock against Carroll is his size. He debuted with Lakeside High as a 5’7”, 135-pound freshman and has not grown much, growing a few inches and putting on about 25 pounds. Despite his size, the left-hander is all muscle. The left-hander stands upright in the batters box and uses a unique big leg kick. His swing is short, quick, and compact, taking a direct path to the ball. He hits from a narrow base using a unique, big leg kick. He is really able to put a jolt in the ball thanks to his natural strength and his short, quick swing, regularly recording exit velocities in the mid-to-high-90s. The majority of his power right now are line drives, but he flashes the ability to turn on the ball and drive it to his pull side, and most evaluators believe that additional muscle if it comes and launch angle adjustments to his swing will allow Carroll to develop more in-game power.

Carroll currently plays centerfield and should maintain the ability to do so for a long time. He is a high-energy, quick-twitch muscle athlete with plus speed. In addition to helping him beat out groundballs and steal bases, his speed allows him to cover plenty of ground in the outfield. He shows excellent range in center, and has a strong, accurate arm.

Carroll has a commitment to UCLA.

Riley Greene

Born: Oviedo, Florida

Age: 18 (9/28/2000)

Height/Weight: 6’1”/190 lbs.

Position: OF

Bats/Throws: L/L

School: Hagerty High School (Oviedo, Florida)

Riley Greene has been on the radar of scouts and evaluators for a long time, but prospect fatigue has not set in in his case. Rather, Greene has continually grown and improved as a player, improving his standing among those baseball decision makers. While he has loud tools, just like other players his age that excel and stand out, the outfielder has a work ethic and commitment to being the best that drives him to get better and better, putting him in the conversation of the best prep bat available in the 2019 MLB Draft.

Green stands tall and spread in the box with a smooth, line-drive oriented swing. He has a slight hitch in it, but his bat speed is well above average, more than enough to succeed and thrive in spite of it. The ball explodes off of his bat, touching triple-digit exit velocities- and once he begins filling in more and receiving professional coaching, the raw power that he shows in batting practice should begin manifesting more in-game. The power looks effortless, and he uses the entire field. He is patient at the plate and has a very advanced understanding of the strike zone. He knows how to work the count, take a pitch, foul pitches off, and generally put himself in the best situation he can to succeed.

Defensively, Greene has a fringy arm and below average speed, meaning he would not fit in right or center, projecting best as a left fielder. He has improved his speed slightly over this spring as compared to last season, and has an accurate arm and takes efficient routes, but both the arm and range will need to jump significant grades for Greene to be able to handle right or center without being a liability.

Greene has a commitment to the University of Florida.

Josh Jung

Born: San Antonio, Texas

Age: 21 (02/12/1998)

Height/Weight: 6’2”/215 lbs.

Position: 3B

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: Texas Tech (Lubbock, Texas)

A four-year letterman at MacArthur High School in San Antonio, Texas, Josh Jung helped the Brahmas to four-straight playoff appearances and three second-round berths. After hitting .563 as a junior with four home runs and posting a 1.91 ERA on the mound, Jung had an underwhelming senior season, which may or may not have contributed to his going undrafted in the 2016 MLB Draft. Already having committed to Texas Tech University, not going drafted made the decision to attend college much easier for the infielder.

In his first year with the Red Raiders, Jung hit .306/.395/.453 in 62 games, launching six home runs. In addition to being named to a variety of honorary teams, the third baseman was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year. That summer, he hit .368/.454/.521 for the Santa Barbara Foresters of the California Collegiate League, and when he returned to Texas Tech in the fall, he had a season that made his outstanding freshman year look pedestrian. Jung played in 65 games in 2018 and hit .392/.491/.639, launching 12 home runs. His batting average led the team and was the highest by a Red Raider since Keith Ginter hit .426 in 1997, and in addition, he led the team in RBI and triples. During the season, he hit the sixth cycle in Texas Tech history, and was the first to do so while going 5-5 in a game. Jung has been unable to keep up that torrid pace for the 2019 season, but he has been a well-above average player.

At the plate, Jung has a wide stance, with his hands set high. He swings with a slight leg kick and stride, and while his high hands add some movement and length to the swing, his plus bat speed lets him get the barrel through the zone quickly. His swing is fluid and smooth, with the ability to cover the entire plate. The ball jumps off of his bat and with his combination of bat speed and raw strength, the ball can leave the yard on any given swing. Jung generally shows more of a hitter’s approach than a slugger’s, spraying hits around the entire field and not selling out for power, but evaluators believe his power totals will increase as he physically matures and better learns when to get aggressive on his pull side. He is patient at the plate, waiting for pitches he likes, but is not overly passive. He has an eye for spin, and is good at laying off of borderline pitches.

Defensively, Jung is able to reasonably handle duties at the hot corner because of his athleticism, but once he begins losing that, he will likely have to be moved to a less difficult position on the defensive spectrum. He lacks quick twitch muscle and is often wooden and slow to react as a result. He reads the ball off the bat well, has soft hands, has good instincts, and has more than enough arm strength to handle the position, but once his already middling mobility is compromised, he will need to be moved off third.

Shea Langeliers

Born: Keller, Texas

Age: 21 (11/18/1997)

Height/Weight: 6’/190 lbs.

Position: C

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: Baylor (Waco, Texas)

A three-year letter winner at Keller High School, Shea Langeliers posted a cumulative .327 average with 31 doubles, three triples, and nine home runs. In addition to the solid offense, he was an excellent backstop, being named defensive district MVP in his senior year. He had a strong commitment to Baylor University, but the Toronto Blue Jays drafted him regardless, as a courtesy, in the 34th round of the 2016 MLB Draft.

Langeliers had an excellent freshman year, hitting .313/.388/.540 in 55 games, 53 of which were at catcher. That season, he set the Baylor University single-season record for most runners caught stealing (26), was ranked 10th in lowest single-season caught stealing percentage (55.9%), and was one home run short of tying Baylor’s record for most home runs hit by a freshman, set by Max Muncy in 2010. That summer, he played for the Chatham Anglers in the Cape Cod League and hit .234/.324/.469. When he returned to Baylor for his sophomore season, though his defense was as phenomenal as ever, the backstop was not as impressive with the bat. Thanks to a .263 BABIP, Langeliers only hit .252/.351/.496, though he did hit a career high 8 doubles, 11 home runs, and drew a career high 35 walks. His junior season got off on the wrong foot, as he broke his hamate and missed a few weeks, but when he returned, his bat was as potent as it had been in his freshman year.

At the plate, Langeliers utilizes a crouched stance, with a small load that lets him stay balanced before, during, and after he swings. His quick stroke is short and compact, with the bat head staying in the zone for a long time. His swing that generates only slight lift, spraying line drives and line drive home runs. Being an excellent defensive catcher, he is quick to recognize pitches and has a keen understanding of the strike zone, resulting in Langeliers being very selective at the plate. While he can be too passive at times, he can really turn on pitches he likes, letting his big frame and quick bat generate above-average power.

Behind the plate, Langeliers is noted for his defense. His arm is well above-average, and coupled with his quick pop and transfer, is a deterrent to all but the quickest runners. He regularly posts pop times between 1.90 and 2.0, which would put him in the upper echelon of major league catchers. As a freshman, he threw out 45% of the runners that attempted to steal on him, as a sophomore he threw out 70%, and through his 2019 season, he has a 57% caught stealing rate. Because of the threat that he represents, runners barely attempt to steal off of him, with the last successful stolen base off of him coming on March 30. In addition to throwing runners out, Langeliers is more agile than his big body would seem, blocking the plate with ease. He is a good framer, stealing strikes from hitters, and is considered a team leader and pitchers enjoy working with him.

Kameron Misner

Born: Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Age: 21 (1/08/1998)

Height/Weight: 6’4”/210 lbs.

Position: OF

Bats/Throws: L/L

School: University of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri)

Kameron Misner stood at his native Poplar Bluff High School in his entire high school career, but especially in his senior year. That year, he hit .422 with eight doubles, nine triples, eight home runs, and 29 stolen bases. In addition, he pitched, and posted a 2.13 ERA in 32.0 innings with a team-leading 48 strikeouts. Suffice to say, he was named to various honorary conference teams and was considered one of the top prep players in Missouri. With their 33rd round pick, the Kansas City Royals went local and selected Misner in the 2016 MLB Draft. Rather than sign with his hometown team, he elected to honor his commitment to the University of Missouri.

In his first year at Mizzou, Misner was a true middle-of-the-order threat, having one of the best seasons for a true freshman hitter in school history. He appeared in 58 games and hit .282/.360/.446, earning Freshman All-American honors. His seven homers were the most home runs by a Mizzou freshman since Trevor Coleman in 2007, and his 17 stolen bases were a team high and fourth in the SEC. That summer, he hit .378/.479/.652 for the Newport Gulls of the New England Collegiate League, and when he returned to Missouri for the 2018 season, had an even better year than he did as a freshman. The outfielder hit an impressive .360/.497/.576 and would have been in line to win multiple SEC and national awards had foul ball off the foot in April not forced him to miss the final six weeks of the season. Misner returned to the field for the 2019 season, and while he has not hit the lofty heights he hit in 2018, he is enjoying an excellent season by any measure.

At the plate, Misner stands in the box with a wide stance. His swing is well-balanced, with a toe tap and a virtually no stride during his load. When he makes contact, ball explodes off of his bat, a product of his plus bat speed, his pure strength, and torque from his lower half acting in unison. Misner takes healthy hacks at the plate, leading to more strikeouts than you’d want to see, but he more than makes up with it by the number of walks he is willing to take; over the past two seasons, his walk rate has hovered around 20%. The 6’4”, 210-pound outfielder is extremely athletic and deceptively fast. His combined skill of taking a walk combined with his plus speed often results in Misner ending up at second base after drawing a base on balls and stealing second. His plus speed combined with his power also makes him a bona fide 20-20 threat.

In the field, Misner has enough speed and a strong enough arm to play anywhere in the outfield. After playing mostly left and right field in his first two years at Mizzou, he has been used primarily as a center fielder this season. Though he has looked comfortable in center, his size is likely going to move him to right field in the long term, and he may even be forced to first base in years to come if he loses his athleticism and mobility. Given Misner’s competitive nature and “all gas, no breaks” approach, there is no doubt that the he will exhaust every option before being forced to move to a position lower on the defensive spectrum.

Bryson Stott

Born: Las Vegas, Nevada

Age: 21 (10/06/1997)

Height/Weight: 6’3”/195 lbs.

Position: SS

Bats/Throws: L/R

School: University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Bryson Stott was a four-time letterman at Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas, where he graduated from in 2016. His time there was fruitful, as he helped the Desert Oasis Diamondbacks to four straight playoff appearances and an 80-58 cumulative record from 2012-2016. An extremely advanced hitter, he batted .325 or higher in all four years he played baseball there, hitting .410 in his senior year. A good hitter but still not fully developed, he went undrafted in the 2016 MLB Draft, and enrolled at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where he had an instant impact.

Immediately slotted in as the Rebels’ starting shortstop, Stott hit .294/.359/.379 in 54 games, safely reaching base at least once in 44 games. That summer, he played for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters of the Northwoods Collegiate League and hit .352/.442/.451 in 71 games. Returning to UNLV for his sophomore season in 2018, Stott was even better, hitting .365/.442/.556 in 59 games. He reached base safely in 54 of those 59 games, and his 30 doubles led the entire NCAA. He played for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod League that summer, and hit .275/.383/.325 in 12 games for them. Returning to Las Vegas for his junior year, Stott has continued hitting the ball well, but has increased his power exponentially.

At the plate, Stott has a wide stance, with his hands held high. Swinging with a small leg kick and stride, Stott uses an all-fields approach. Prior to the 2019 season, his power was still developing, but he began tapping into his raw power this season. His bad speed is plus, allowing him to spray line drives around the field and turn on pitches to his pull side. He goes up to the plate with a game plan and shows a strong understanding of the strike zone. His strong wrists and quick bat give him advanced bat-to-ball skills, and thanks to a good understanding of the strike zone, he rarely chases pitches and is able to work the count until he gets a pitch he can drive.

Defensively, Stott has all the tools needed to play shortstop at a high level. He is athletic, has strong instincts, a quick first step, above-average range, solid footwork and glovework, and a plus arm, supposedly being clocked as high as 97 MPH.