Draft: Mets Hoping Top Arms Fall (To Them, not Off)

2013-MLB-draftAt Baseball America, JIm Callis has an updated comment on the Mets draft strategy:

“I discussed college bats for the Mets in last week’s first-round projection, but am beginning to hear they’d love for one of the better college arms (Gray, Appel, Shipley, Stanek, Manaea) to get to them. Not sure that will happen, though.”

Gray and Appel are the consensus top two pitching talents. It’s very, very, very hard to imagine they’d get out of the first four picks.

In his first mock draft, Callis had the Indians and #5 picking Braden Shipley, the Royals at #8 going after Ryne Stanek and Sean Manaea lasting until the Pirates at #14.

Of the three guys who might realistically make it to the Mets at #11, Shipley seems the next least likely. A converted shortstop, BA writes that his “fastball sits in the 93-95 mph range and gets as high as 98, and he already has feel for one of the draft’s best changeups.”

Stanek is a tall hard-throwing RHP out of Arkansas. In the last two years alone, the Mets have drafted three Arkansas commits (Brandon Nimmo, Michael Fulmer and Teddy Stankowicz) and one actual Razorback (Matt Reynolds) in the top two rounds.

Manaea, a LHP out of Indiana State is one of the bigger wild cards in the top half of the draft as he touched 96 last summer, but has worked 88-93 this year while dealing with a hip problem that was the result of a cascade injury from a rolled ankle. As BA wrote, “There’s still time for him to work his way as high as No. 3 to the Rockies, but teams that never thought they’d have a shot at Manaea are making sure they do their due diligence.” Keith Law seems to think he’s slipping, possibly out of the top ten. Coming off a good outing last Friday, Law, who had Manaea #3 in his March pre-drat Top 50, wrote, “There still are teams in the back half of the top 10 who are considering the left-hander, but he’ll need more efforts like this to keep that consideration.”

From my perspective, I would add Stanek and Manaea to the list of college hitters from last week as among the Mets’ likeliest selections. They would need something really improbable to happen to make Gray, Appel or even Shipley available at #11.