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Deconstructing the draft: 2010

The Mets had a franchise-changing draft in 2010.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After a 2009 season in which the Mets went 70-92 and came in fourth in the NL East, the team began to change its focus from the present to future over the course of 2010. The team’s performance in 2019 earned them the seventh overall pick, and they gave up their second round pick to the Boston Red Sox as compensation for signing Jason Bay in the offseason. They made 49 selections, and signed 33 players. Of those 33 players, seven went on to play in the major leagues, including several long term contributors to the team that drafted them. With the team on the verge of finishing under .500 for the second straight season, the Mets suddenly found themselves in the midst of a soft re-build. Luckily enough, the team’s 2010 draft class would form the foundation of the team’s next playoff caliber teams in 2015 and 2016.

With their first selection in the 2010 MLB June amateur draft, the Mets selected Matt Harvey, a right-handed pitcher out of the University of North Carolina. Harvey was originally drafted by the Angels out of high school in 2007, but turned down the team’s offer of a $1 million signing bonus to attend UNC, where he served as the team’s ace during his junior season. Harvey posted a 3.10 ERA and struck out 93 batters in 90.0 innings pitched over 13 starts, and boasted one of the best fastballs in the draft class. The pitch sat in the low to mid 90s and topped out at 97 during his time in college, and generated more than its fair share of ground balls. While his offspeed stuff remained work in progress, scouts raved about his prototypical starter’s build that seemed to point towards durability down the line.

By now, we all know the story of Matt Harvey. He spent the next two seasons pitching adequately in the minors before making his debut and breaking out in a huge way during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The first in a number of highly touted Mets pitching prospects to make an impact at the big league level, Harvey dazzled in his first season and a half in the big leagues, posting 6.9 fWAR in 2013 and being named the starting pitcher in the All-Star Game at Citi Field in July. After missing all of 2014 while recovering from Tommy John Surgery, Harvey had an excellent 2015 and helped pitch the Mets to their first pennant in 15 years before injuries took their toll on his abilities. For his career, Harvey has put up 14.4 fWAR and 10.3 bWAR in 827.0 innings pitched across 145 games.

With their third round selection, the Mets selected Blake Forsythe, a catcher out of the University of Tennessee. Forsythe spent four years in the Mets system, before bouncing between Double-A and Triple-A with the Phillies and Athletics from 2014 to 2015. Forsythe has not played professionally since 2015, having played 409 games in his minor league career.

With their fourth round selection, the Mets selected Cory Vaughn, and Outfielder out of San Diego State University. The Mets drafted Vaughn with dreams of him developing into a power/speed threat in the outfield, but Vaughn’s hit tool never really came around enough for either to play all that well in games. Vaughn spent parts of six seasons in the Mets system, before being released in 2015. He his played in independent ball since 2016, including spending 2017 through 2019 playing for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League.

With their fifth round selection, the Mets selected Matt Den Dekker, an outfielder out of the University of Florida. At the time of the draft Den Dekker was seen as an excellent defensive center fielder who needed to continue to develop on the offensive side of the ball. Den Dekker’s bat never really came around, but his athleticism and defensive reputation earned him a relatively lengthy career shuttling back and forth between Triple-A and the major leagues as a team’s fourth or fifth outfielder. After making his big league debut with the Mets in 2013, Den Dekker amassed 415 plate appearances in 166 big league games across five separate seasons. For his career, Den Dekker has put up 1.0 bWAR and 1.1 fWAR for the Mets, Nationals, and Tigers.

The Mets biggest success in the 2010 draft came in the ninth round, when they selected Jacob deGrom, a right-handed pitcher out of Stetson University. deGrom’s journey from light-hitting college shortstop to back to back Cy Young Award winning ace of the Met’s staff is well documented. deGrom popped up on team’s draft radars after converting to pitching in his junior year. The Mets drafted deGrom on the strength of his raw athleticism and ample arm strength, with hopes of helping him refine his stuff enough to stick in a big league rotation. He missed all of the 2011 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, and was a relatively unheralded prospect after parts of four seasons in the Mets minor league system before making his big league debut in 2014. deGrom blossomed from there, winning the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2014, was the team’s best pitcher on the 2015 National League Championship winning team, and won back to back Cy Young awards in 2018 and 2019. Truly one of the team’s franchise icons and a once-in-a-generation talent, deGrom has put up 32.3 fWAR and 36.2 bWAR, which is currently tied for the the third highest total among the notoriously stacked 2010 draft class with Andrelton Simmons, behind just Chris Sale (45.3 bWAR) and Manny Machado (37.0 bWAR).

With their tenth round selection, the Mets selected Akeel Morris, a right-handed pitcher out of Charlotte-Amalie High School in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Mets drafted Morris as a relatively raw pitcher out of high school, whose max-effort mechanics pointed towards a bullpen role in the future. During his time in the minors, Morris developed an excellent change-up that paired well with mid to low 90s fastball. After spending the first three years of his professional career as a starter in the low minors, Morris converted full time to a relief role with Savannah in 2014. The stuff played up a bit out of the pen, and his fastball-changeup combination helped him rise through the Mets system relatively quickly from there, eventually making his big league debut straight out of Advanced-A ball in 2015. After his ill-fated big league debut, Morris returned to the minors for the rest of 2015, before the Mets traded him to the Braves for Kelly Johnson in 2016. Since then, Morris has pitched in 17 big league games between the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and has posted 0.1 bWAR and -0.2 fWAR in 22.0 inning pitched across three seasons.

With their eleventh round selection, the Mets selected Adam Kolarek, a left-handed pitcher out of the University of Maryland. Kolarek pitched in the Met’s system for six seasons, before signing with the Rays in 2016. He made his big league debut for the Rays in 2017, and has spent most of the last three seasons with the Rays and Dodgers, having put up 0.9 bWAR in 103.0 innings pitched at the big league level to date.

With their twenty-fourth round selection, the Mets chose Erik Goeddel, a right-handed pitcher out UCLA. The Mets offered Goeddel a $350,000 signing bonus to forego his junior season at UCLA, where he pitched on the same staff as Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole. Goeddel started for his first three seasons of professional baseball before converting to a relief role with Triple-A Las Vegas in 2014. Goeddel made his big league debut for the Mets in 2014, and was a frequent contributor out of the Mets bullpen in each of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons. Goeddel spent 2018 between Seattle and Los Angeles, and has put up 0.4 fWAR and 1.3 bWAR in 141.1 innings pitched across 141 games in a big league career that spanned five seasons.

With their thirtieth round selection, the Mets chose Josh Edgin, a left-handed pitcher out of Francis Marion University. Edgin served primarily as a lefty-specialist middle reliever during his time with the Mets, and was the first player from the Mets 2010 class to reach the big leagues. Edgin pitched in parts of five big league seasons with the Mets, and put up 0.1 fWAR and 1.6 bWAR in 129.0 innings pitched across 177 games.

The Mets drafted and signed seven big leaguers in the 2010, including two players who contributed more than 10 WAR at the big league level. The selections of Harvey of deGrom specifically would prove to be significant moments in franchise history, and helped lay the foundation for the team’s playoff runs in 2015 and 2016.