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2021 MLB Draft: Back to the Future

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Seven of the twelve prep players selected by the Mets in the 2018 MLB Draft signed with the team. How have those other five done now that they are once again draft eligible?

2018 Major League Baseball Draft
Mookie Wilson

Mike Picollo

33rd Round, 980 Overall

Picollo has had an extremely limited collegiate career. He attended UNC Wilmington after turning down the Mets but redshirted in his freshman year and did not pitch. He made his collegiate debut in 2020 and pitched a scoreless inning against the University of Dayton, walking one and striking out one, before the NCAA ended all sporting activities due to COVID-19. He returned to the mound for the Seahawks in 2021, appearing in two games and allowing one run in 1.1 innings, giving up a hit, walking two batters, and striking out a batter. As stated in his LinkedIn biography, the right-hander is more interested in following in his father’s footsteps and leveraging the time he has spent in baseball into a scouting career rather than a future as a professional athlete.

Ian Mejia

35th Round, 1,040 Overall

After turning down the Mets, Mejia attended University of Arizona, where he redshirted and did not play. He transferred to Pima Community College for the 2020 season and appeared in 7 games in the pandemic-shortened year, starting 6 of them. He posted a 3.28 ERA in 35.2 innings, allowing 32 hits, walking 28, and striking out 33 in his season there, transferring to New Mexico State University for the 2021 season. Pitching primarily as a reliever for the Aggies, Mejia appeared in 17 games, starting 3 of them, and posted an 8.24 ERA in 31.2 innings, allowing 38 hits, walking 24, and striking out 17.

Mejia will maintain his collegiate eligibility through the 2022 season, his senior season.

Denzel Clarke

36th Round, 1,070 Overall

After turning down the Mets, Clarke attended Cal State Northridge. In his freshman season, he was the only player on the Matadors to play all 55 games, majority of them in left field and a handful in center. He hit .243/.353/.424 with 5 home runs, 12 stolen bases in 14 attempts, 21 walks, and 54 strikeouts. He revamped his swing mechanics that summer and hit the ground running in his sophomore season, hitting .400/.529/.775 with 3 home runs, 5 stolen bases in 7 attempts, 5 walks, and 15 strikeouts. COVID-19 unfortunately limited him to just 15 games, all starts in center, before the NCAA cancelled the season. In 2021, he played in 38 of the Matadors’ 40 games, all in center. He hit .324/.445/.570 with 8 home runs, 15 stolen bases in 17 attempts, 26 walks, and 40 strikeouts, winning All-Big West Conference Second Team honors and being named Big West Defensive Player of the Year, the first Cal State Northridge to ever do so.

Clarke was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 4th round of the 2021 MLB Draft, the 127th player selected overall.

Nick Zona

38th Round, 1,130 Overall

After turning down the Mets, Zona attended James Madison University. He started all 30 games he appeared in and would have continued but missed the rest of the season due to injury, which was quite unfortunate as he was hitting .337/.387/.388 with 6 walks, 20 strikeouts, and 9 stolen bases in 13 attempts. He returned fully healthy in 2020, but once again had his playing time limited, this time because of COVID-19. In 16 games, he hit .370/.433/.426 with 4 walks, 5 strikeouts, and 5 stolen bases in 6 attempts. Zona missed some time in mid-to-late March and mid-to-late April and ended up hitting .193/.217/.250 in 23 games, hitting his first career collegiate home run, walking 2 times, striking out 19 times, and stealing 2 bases in 3 attempts.

Zona will maintain his collegiate eligibility through the 2022 season, his senior season.

Kody Darcy

39th Round, 1,160 Overall

After turning down the Mets, Darcy attended Xavier University. He appeared in 33 games, starting 26 of them, in his freshman year and hit .170/.284/.273 for the Musketeers, hitting 2 home runs, stealing 1 base in as many attempts, and walking 10 times to 38 strikeouts. In 2020, he appeared in 13 games and made 12 starts for an Xavier team that had the second toughest schedule in the country when factoring in the early cancellation of the season. As such, the infielder hit .146/.186/.341 with 2 home runs, 0 stolen bases, and 2 walks to 20 strikeouts. A draft eligible sophomore due to his advanced age, he went undrafted in the extremely limited 2020 MLB Draft and returned to Xavier for his junior season. He hit .143/.263/.143 in 27 games in 2021, hitting 0 home runs, stealing 0 bases in 1 attempt, and walking 7 times to 22 strikeouts. Following the end of the 2021 Musketeer season, he joined the Ridgefield Raptors, a team in the West Coast League, a wood bat summer collegiate league.

The 22-year-old infielder will maintain his collegiate eligibility through the 2022 season, when he will be a senior.