The Mets have the No. 10 overall pick in the upcoming 2014 MLB First Year Player Draft.
All of the major outlets posted mock drafts last week.
According to the experts, the top of the draft is well defined. The Mets will not get a crack at the first tier of both college (RHP Carlos Rodon, LHP Kyle Freeland and RHP Aaron Nola) and high school (LHP Brady Aiken and RHP Tylek Kolek) arms. Also, both top prep position players, OF/C Alex Jackson and SS Nick Gordon are likely to be gone as well. The players likely available for the Mets selection is extremely fluid, with four different publications tying the Mets to three different players.
The Mets have mostly been connected to a college players — specifically position players — this year, after drafting prep position players (Brandon Nimmo in 2011, Gavin Cecchini in ’12 and Dominic Smith in ’13) with their first pick in the last three years under Sandy Alderson. A fourth straight prep position player seems unlikely.
Injuries to top pitchers, including Eastern Carolina’s RHP Jeff Hoffman, have certainly altered this draft. Hoffman was a candidate to go first overall before his Tommy John surgery, and is still likely to go in the top of the first round this year, and sign for below slot, opening up an opportunity for a team to spend more in the later rounds on players with higher bonus demands. In 2012, the Mets passed on a pitcher headed for Tommy John surgery, Lucas Giolito, with sky-high bonus demands, to draft Cecchini. Hoffman, as a collegian, has much less leverage, and presents a different scenario in terms of gaming out subsequent picks.
The Rockies, at No. 8. have been linked to some of the same players as the Mets at No. 10.
Here is the experts’ take on the Mets’ likeliest selection and their comment.
ESPN (Keith Law) – LHP Sean Newcomb (Hartford)
The Mets are just on the best player available, whoever that turns out to be, which could include Newcomb, Bradley Zimmer, Aaron Nola (although I can’t see him getting here) or Michael Conforto. I’ve heard them on all of the college arms, but again I don’t think that implies they’re not looking at bats.
BA has Newcomb going No. 8 to the Rockies, whereas Law has the Rockies selecting on Evansville LHP Kyle Freeland.
Baseball America – OF Michael Conforto (Oregon State)
The Mets are in on the top college bats. Oregon State’s Conforto is hitting at a .393/.545/.632 clip and fits the bill for an organization looking for power.
Under Law’s scenario, the Mariners drafted Conforto at No. 6.
MLB.com (Jon Mayo) – LHP Sean Newcomb
The Mets have been on the southpaw from the get-go, and he’s done nothing to sway them away.
Mayo has the Mariners selecting the inconsistent Tyler Beede from Vanderbilt at No. 6, which opens up the choice for the Mets between Newcomb and Conforto at No. 10. Under his scenario, the Brewers would pluck Conforto at No. 12.
Scout.com (Kiley McDaniel) – RF Alex Jackson Rancho Bernardo HS (CA)
The Mets are hunting for a bat here (unless Nola falls) with Conforto, Zimmer, Jackson and Turner all mentioned and this is the first spot where Florida prep 2B Forrest Wall is in play. In this scenario, Turner and Zimmer are off the board and I have the Mets passing on Conforto to take Jackson, who GM Sandy Alderson saw during a scorching hot streak last month. This is probably as low as Jackson could go, with a real chance he goes in the top 5.
This is the only mock draft where Jackson lasts past the Cubs at No. 4 and ESPN and MLB.com both have him going No. 2 overall to the Marlins.
McDaniel also has the Brewers jumping on Conforto at No. 12 if the Mets pass and Newcomb slipping to the Angels at No. 15.