clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 Mets Draft: Reviewing the 32nd overall pick

Let’s look back at the players picked 32nd overall in baseball’s amateur draft.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets
Dave Magadan
Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

Since the Rule 4 Draft was instituted in 1965, 32 of the 58 players selected with the 32nd overall pick have gone on to make a major league debut. As of today, nineteen have produced positive value for their team, with Aaron Judge currently the most successful of all of those players. The Mets have had the 32nd overall pick one other time, in the 1983 MLB Draft.

Dave Magadan

In 1983, thanks to a 65-97 record, 6th in the National League East, the Mets selected third baseman Dave Magadan in the second round of the 1983 MLB Draft with the 32nd overall pick. Magadan had a season for the ages prior to being drafted, hitting .525/.602/.829 in 56 games with the University of Alabama, slugging 9 home runs, walking 42 times, and striking out 12 times, ultimately being named a finalist and winning the 1983 Golden Spikes Award. The season was a high water mark in his collegiate career, but the excellence was not a flash in the pan, as he hit .389/.450/.515 in 55 games in his freshman year and .395/.482/.544 in 51 games in his sophomore year. He set numerous single-season and career Crimson Tide records, many of which still stand.

The 20-year-old was assigned to the Low-A Columbia Mets for the remainder of the season and hit .336/.462/.446 in 64 games with them, hitting 1 home run, walking 51 times, and striking out 29 times. In 1984, he was promoted to the High-A Lynchburg Mets and hit .350/.494/.431 in 112 games with 4 home runs, 104 walks, and 43 strikeouts. In 1985, he was promoted to the Double-A Jackson Mets and hit .309/.441/.356 in 134 games with 0 home runs, 106 walks, and 57 strikeouts. In 1986, he was promoted to the Triple-A Tidewater Mets and hit .311/.411/.412 with 1 home run, 84 walks, and 45 strikeouts. The mid-1980s Mets minor league system had an abundance of talent, and Magadan was only named to a Mets top prospects list by Baseball America once, in 1987, behind Gregg Jefferies, Randy Myers, Keith Miller, Kevin Elster, and Craig Repoz.

The third baseman steadily advanced through the system, making a bold prediction that he made after being drafted that would move up one league a year eerily prescient, and made his MLB debut on September 7, when the big league rosters expanded. He logged a hit in his first major league, pinch-hitting for Kevin Elster in the fifth inning and singling off San Diego Padres right-hander Ed Wojna, and would end up going 8-18 in 10 games.

In 1987, Ray Knight signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles and Kevin Mitchell was traded to the San Fransisco Giants, opening up third base for Howard Johnson and Magadan to receive regular playing time. Johnson, a more established veteran, won the position out of spring training, as Magadan had a cancer scare, but the 24-year-old rookie still got plenty of playing time. Appearing in 85 games, he hit .318/.386/.443 in 192 at-bats, walking 22 times and striking out 22 times. He received a bit more playing time in 1988 and 1989 thanks to injuries to Keith Hernandez and hit .277/.393/.334 in 112 games in 1988 and .286/.367/.393 in 127 games in 1989.

The Mets and Keith parted ways in 1990, and although veteran Mike Marshall was initially signed to take over the first base job, his poor performance led to Magadan receiving the bulk of the playing time there beginning in June. He 27-year-old appeared in a career-high 144 games and hit .328/.417/.457 with a career-high 6 home runs, 74 walks, and 55 strikeouts, winning MVP votes. Magadan was unable to continue that high level of production as torn cartilage in his shoulders bothered him all year in 1991 and the first baseman ended up hitting .258/.378/.342 in 124 games. The Mets signed veteran Eddie Murray that winter to be their new first baseman, leading to Magadan being relegated to a platoon situation at third base once again. Sharing his playing time with Bill Pecota, Magadan hit .283/.390/.346 in 99 games, his season ending prematurely in early August after getting hit by a relay throw and breaking his wrist while sliding into second base.

The injury would not only be the last game Magadan would play in 1991, but it would be the last game he would play as a Met. A free agent, the Mets never even reached out to engage in contract negotiations. In December, he signed with the Florida Marlins, officially bringing his Mets career to an end. Over the course of seven seasons, Magadan appeared in 701 games with the Mets and hit a cumulative .292 /.391/.386 in 2088 at-bats, slugging 21 home runs, walking 347 times, and striking out 248 times, accruing 15.9 fWAR/14.1 rWAR.

Magadan would play nine more season, suiting up for the Marlins, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, Oakland A’s, and San Diego Padres. His best season in these post-Mets days came in 1995, when he signed a one-year contract with the Astros. Originally signed as a left-handed bat off the bench to back up Jeff Bagwell at first base and split time at third base with Craig Shipley, he started out the season strong and eventually became the Astros’ primary third baseman. Appearing in 127 games, Magadan hit .313/.428/.399.

Following the conclusion of the 2001 season, the sixteen-year veteran officially retired. He was hired by the Padres as a roving minor league hitting instructor in 2002 and has been coaching ever since. In 2003, he was brought on by Bruce Bochy to be the Padres major league hitting coach in 2003 and remained in that role until 2006. In 2007, he was hired by the Boston Red Sox for that same role and remained with Boston for six years until 2012. In 2013, he was hired by the Texas Rangers to serve as their hitting coach and he remained in the role until 2015. In 2016, he was hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks for that same role and remained with Arizona until 2018. In 2019, he was hired by the Colorado Rockies to serve as their hitting coach and he remained in the role until 2022.