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Deconstructing the draft: 1970

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The 1970 MLB June Amateur Draft wasn’t exactly the greatest.

New York Mets Bruce Boisclair
Bruce Boisclair

Lovable losers for the majority of the decade, the 1969 Mets came out of nowhere to win the National League Pennant. Facing off against the Baltimore Orioles, a powerhouse team that won 109 games and featured six 1969 all-stars and two future Hall of Famers, the Mets beat Baltimore 4-1, winning their first World Series championship. Gutsy performances from Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry held the mighty Orioles to a .146/.220/.210 batting line, allowing the offense led by Donn Clendenon, Al Weis, and Ron Swoboda to do their thing.

Kings of the baseball world, the 1970 MLB June Amateur Draft was almost an afterthought. With a young and extremely talented pitching core, and very little turnover from their championship team, the Mets did not necessarily have to worry about their future. Thanks to their 100-62 record in 1969, the Mets selected second-to-last, behind only Baltimore; their first pick would be the 23rd selection.

With their first selection in the 1970 MLB June Amateur Draft, the Mets selected George Ambrow, a shortstop put of Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, California. According to scouting reports at the time, George Ambrow was close to a five-tool player, with good grades across the board. He had some knee troubles at the beginning of his senior year and played a little more third base than shortstop, perhaps explaining why he dropped down to the Mets, but he was still an athletic, aggressive player with all of the instincts and abilities you would want to see in your top draft selection. In the end, he did not sign with the Mets, instead electing to attend the University of Southern California.

With their second selection in the 1970 MLB June Amateur Draft, the Mets selected Gary Nevinger, a right-handed pitcher from Vandalia High School in Vandalia, Illinois. The Mets and Nevinger could not agree on a signing bonus- the pitcher was looking for more than the Mets were willing to offer- and elected to attend college instead, going to the University of Georgia. Ironically, Nevinger would be eligible to be drafted in 1971 and was once again selected by the Mets, signing with them the second time around.

With their third selection in the 1970 MLB June Amateur Draft, the Mets selected Michael Graham, an outfielder from John J Pershing College in Beatrice, Nebraska. The outfielder signed with the Mets, their highest draft pick to do so that year, but would never appear in a major league game, spending only a few years in organized baseball before being released. With their fourth selection, the Mets selected Ronnie Collins, a shortstop out of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Like Graham, he signed with the organization but only spent a few years in organized baseball before being released. With their fifth selection, the Mets selected George Schneider, a left-handed pitcher out of Cold Spring Harbor High School in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. He elected to attend Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina instead of signing and never would never play professionally.

The 1970 MLB June Amateur Draft would go for 41 rounds. Of the forty-one picks that the Mets made, twenty-two signed, slightly more than half. Of those twenty-two players, only a single player made it to the majors: twentieth-round selection Bruce Boisclair, the 486th player selected overall.

An outfielder drafted out of Killingly High School in Danielson, Connecticut, Boisclair excelled in football and basketball in addition to baseball. A tight end with a football scholarship to Boston College, he surprised many by signing with the Mets and forgoing college. He spent the next six years in the Mets’ minor league system, working his way up from his initial assignment with the Rookie-level Marion Mets to the Triple-A Tidewater Tides, hitting a cumulative .277/.355/.364 in 590 games.

He had a brief cup of coffee in September 1974, but became a major league regular in 1976, when he competed for and won a bench role in spring training. He would play with them from 1976 until 1979, serving as a starter, platoon bat, and pinch hitter. All in all, he hit .263/.324/.360 in 410 games. A wrist injury hampered him in 1979 and led to his release in 1980. He signed with the Hanshin Tigers and appeared in 80 games with them, hitting .249/.338/.407. After the season ended, he signed a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays in a comeback attempt but failed to make the team out of spring training, ending his professional career at age 28. All in all, the outfielder accrued 1.0 bWAR/0.6 fWAR.