Mailbag: Protected Draft Pick?

John asks:

Hey Toby, I know it\’s a little early, but exciting to think about.  Any idea who the Mets might look to take in the 2013 draft? A lot of mocks have them looking pitcher at Bobby Wahl.  You\’re thoughts?

Yali asks:

Does the Mets 11th pick of next years draft get protected since they basically are only drafting 11th because the Pirates were unable to sign the 9th pick of last years draft?

Yali’s question first. No, the Mets’ 11th overall pick is NOT protected this year. The rule is that the top 10 picks are protected. In 2013, that includes the teams with the nine worst overall records, and the Pirates, who pick up a compensation pick for failing to sign their 2012 first rounder Mark Appel from Stanford. The Mets finished with the 10th worst overall record at 74-88. The 2013 draft order is here at MLB Trade Rumors.

This is bad news for the Mets. In the event that the Mets sign a free agent who qualifies for compensation, they would have to forfeit their first round draft pick. Obviously, this decreases the (already slim) odds that the Mets will sign an impact free agent.

John’s question next. As far as being excited about the Mets owning the 11th pick, I would not qualify myself as excited about it. I’d rather see the Mets win 95 games, make the playoffs and pick at the back end of the first round.

Secondly, mock drafts in September or October, 10 months out from the draft are sheer folly. I had to google Bobby Wahl. He’s a right-handed pitcher out of Mississippi, who Keith Law at ESPN had ranked #11 in the ’13 draft class in his late August rankings, citing his “above average fastball/breaking ball combo.” So, yes, he’s a reasonable potential target. This is his Mississippi profile and this is a profile at bigleaguefutures.net. In the last few Alderson/dePodesta drafts, the Mets have gone after college pitchers with extremely low walk rates, and strong K/BB rates. Wahl had a 2.9 BB/9 (32 BB/99 IP) in his sophomore season with a 3.25 K/BB ratio (104 K/32 BB). However, I suspect that for the Mets to be really interested at #11, they would want to see an even lower walk rate this year in college or indications his control would improve as a professional.

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