At #35 Mets Select C Kevin Plawecki

With the first of their two picks as compensation for losing Jose Reyes to the Marlins, the Mets picked C Kevin Plawecki from Purdue.

Baseball America had him ranked #67 among all players entering the draft.
Their comment:

an offensive-minded catcher with enough defensive savvy to make it to the majors as a regular behind the plate. Plawecki has a mature approach, focusing on staying inside the ball and driving it back up the middle. Scouts marvel at his ability to make contact, as he has struck out just 28 times in 154 games over three seasons with the Boilermakers. A 6-foot-1, 215-pound righthanded hitter, he could develop average power once learns to backspin balls and turn on pitches. Defensively, Plawecki has fringe arm strength that plays up thanks to a quick release, and he has thrown out 40 percent of basestealers while making just one error this spring. He throws from a low three-quarters slot that costs him velocity and accuracy, and he developed a tired arm when he used a more traditional release point. He’s an efficient receiver who calls his own pitches and takes charge of his pitching staff. Add it all up, and Plawecki draws comparisons to a righthanded-hitting version of A.J. Pierzynski.

 

ESPN.com had Plawecki ranked #74 entering the draft and largely agrees on the profile:

He’s a fringy defensive catcher who’s better at the mental aspects of the position than the physical aspects, but whose ability to make contact should help him become an above-average hitter for the position.

He has a largely linear swing, and while he keeps his weight back well he doesn’t use it to drive the ball, instead making a lot of gap-to-gap contact; his swing can get long, which is particularly damaging due to his lack of power, and he’ll need to keep it consistently shorter in pro ball. Behind the plate, his receiving is average but his arm is below-average, just not enough to force him off the position. He has an everyday catcher ceiling because of makeup and scarcity at the position he plays.

 

Based on the rankings of ESPN and and Baseball America, this pick seems like a reach. I heard from a scout friend that he had a second round grade on Plawecki.