Many Mets fans have extremely passionate opinions about how well the Mets drafted and signed International free agents during the Omar Minaya era. It is a hotly debated topic, but after every heated debate, there are never any clear answers to how the Mets drafted during this period. Because of the lack of clarity, I felt this would be a great subject to research extensively.
With help from Satish Ram, I compiled the draft results of all 30 teams (as well as IFA signings) during the 2005-2010 seasons, and I compared them to the Mets. The results provide a clearer picture of how the Mets stocked their farm during 2005-2010, and the results debunk some the most common arguments about Minaya’s tenure. The link to our data is at the end of this post. below.
This research shows that the Mets compared to all other 30 teams are above average. The Mets finished 10th overall with 37 total points, and the MLB average is about 30 points. When compared to other teams, the Mets actually produced a strong amount of players – in fact, only seven teams produced more.
The Mets also have some starters with All-star potential like Ike Davis, Jon Niese and Matt Harvey. In addition to those three, they have quality starters like Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy that still provide value in other ways. The Mets do not have a proven superstar player, which is what prevents them from ranking higher, but their combination of depth, quality starters, and potential all-stars separate the Mets from the average team.
Some have argued the fact that Atlanta has had much more success drafting in comparison to the Mets and use this as a knock against the 2005-2010 era. While it’s true the Mets fall way short of Atlanta, my research shows why it is misleading to use Atlanta as a measuring stick.
Virtually every team in the major leagues falls way short of Atlanta.
Atlanta crushed the competition with a staggering 58.5 points. If we were to use Atlanta as the standard for all teams, every team would look like they drafted poorly as well. The best way to judge how the Mets drafted is to compare how they did to every team, and when done so, they look significantly stronger.
Another common misconception is that the Mets haven’t drafted any elite players and that defines their drafts as mediocre. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s true the Mets haven’t drafted an elite player, but the results show that this doesn’t make the Mets’ drafts mediocre. It just prevents the Mets from ranking even higher.
Many of the elite players were already picked before the Mets even had a chance to pick in their drafts. The Mets could not have drafted a player like Evan Longroria, Ryan Braun or Troy Tulowitzki because they did not have the opportunity to do so.
Sure, there are a few elite players who fell into the later rounds, but since my research shows there are only 35 or so all-stars drafted, and only some fell to the later rounds, criticizing the Mets for not drafting those players is like criticizing the Mets for not finding a needle in a haystack.
This is why I also made a separate ranking which includes draft positioning. It penalizes the teams who continually pick high, and it gives points to teams who pick later to level the playing field.
When I take draft positioning into account, the Mets jump up to 5th overall with 39 points (the MLB average is 28.6). It’s true the Mets hurt themselves by giving up 1st round picks in some years, but even if they didn’t give up any picks, they would still be operating at a disadvantage against teams like the Nationals and Rays who had the luxury of many top draft picks. What the adjusted ranking does prove is that the Mets did a solid job with what they had available to them.
The reasons why the Mets have been struggling are due to factors like disastrous free agent signings, devastating injuries, financial problems, and an overall failure to surround the team with quality players through trades and free agents.
The players drafted from 2005-2010 are not the problem, but currently they are part of the solution. The results back this up. Many of these players have bright futures, and will be fundamental to getting this franchise back on the right path.
Note from Joe D. – Special acknowledged to Mr. North Jersey of Real Dirty Mets for all of his assistance today. Thank you for helping to format the data into a more legible and presentable format. Mostly, thank you for reaching out to us and volunteering to help resolve some issues for us.