Here is the latest from many of the experts on who they believe the Mets will select with their No. 12 overall pick in tonight’s First Year Player Draft.
Albert Almora, OF, Mater HS – Almora is the most polished high school player in the draft, and once he fills out his 6’-2”, 180-pound frame, could end up being the best position player to come out of this draft. He has all five tools and is a high character player with great leadership abilities. He has been a member of Team USA a record-tying six times and was the MVP of the 2011 Pan Am Championships as Team USA won the gold medal by going undefeated in the event. He hit .603 with six home runs, 34 RBI and 27 stolen bases this season.
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Harvard-Westlake HS – Forty-eight hours ago, I would have done a mock without Giolito, but he suddenly has a number of rumored landing spots, beginning with New York, who seem to be definitely at least kicking the tires on the draft’s biggest wild card. He’s a tough sign here, an even tougher one later, but the Mets are rumored to be making another splash. If they get cold feet today, they could go in a number of directions, all of them high school-based, and in particular Corey Seager, Cecchini and another possible difficult sign in Lance McCullers.
Gavin Cecchini, SS, Louisiana HS – Will the Mets go with two straight high school hitters in the first round? The buzz is that they really like Cecchini’s tools and makeup, and he is more advanced than last year’s pick, outfielder Brandon Nimmo. If they go with a more advanced type, any of the above pitchers would come into play, as could Marrero and Shaffer from the college-hitter ranks. If Marrero doesn’t go to the Pirates, he could land here, as could one of the college pitchers, but for now, the Mets go with their second successive high school hitter. If Cecchini doesn’t go here, he could drop a bit.
Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke – The Amazin’s have been severely hampered by bad personnel decisions and massive turnover in their scouting department in the past 10 years. Paul DePodesta, the club’s de facto scouting director, runs each prospect through a computer and analyzes them with his secret formula. Stroman, an undersized righty with electric stuff, could reach Citi Field quickly.
Max Fried, LHP, Harvard-Westlake – Best known for his curveball, Max Fried is a likely first rounder with the ability to move into the top half of the round. He is a tall, thin lefty with a lot of projection. Fried throws his fastball from 90-94 with late movement. A sharp, mid 70′s curve is his top pitch. He has been working on the pitch since he was 12 years old and used Sandy Koufax’s curve as a model. Fried’s third pitch is a change that has potential. He has shown good control throughout the summer. Fried is my favorite prep lefthander in the 2012 class. For me, he has top of the rotation potential. In addition to his baseball talent, Fried has played three years of high school basketball and is a top student.
David Dahl, OF, Oak Mountain HS – New York appears to be deciding between the high school position players and college pitchers. In this scenario, it would come down to Dahl or Cecchini vs. Wacha.
Gavin Cecchini,SS, Louisiana HS – I spoke to a team scout who said Cecchini absolutely can stay at shortstop but he does not have his brother’s (Garin Cecchini) potential with the bat. He does have the ability to hit for a high average with potential double-digit power. The Mets would love if Almora or Hawkins fell here but I still think Cecchini has a lot of upside and the Mets would be happy to take him at 12. I could also see Michael Wacha or Lucas Giolito (depending on health) going here.
Lance McCullers, RHP, Jesuit HS
The Mets broke out and went big to sign prep outfielder Brandon Nimmo in last year’s draft and there are rumors they are prepared to endure another tough negotiation this year. McCullers shouldn’t be a terribly difficult sign in this spot and still gives them a high-ceiling arm.
Thoughts from Joe D. – This should be an interesting draft for the Mets and I’m hopeful they can grab one of the two power hitting outfielders or Max Fried if he were to fall that far. Our buddy Joe DeMayo from St. Lucie To Flushing will be having a live draft chat at his site. I’ll probably be popping in there from time to time as will Petey Pete, and you’ll even see our old pal Tejesh there as well. It’s going to be an exciting night.
Lets Go Mets!