This rebuilding process seems to be dragging on too long. Do you think the Mets will go with young high school players again in June with their first round pick? I feel as though we desperately need some near MLB ready college bats and can’t afford to use our top pick on another player who is 4-5 years away from helping the major league team. Thoughts? – Justin
Great question, Justin. The one thing that I have stressed through many of these drafts talks is that unlike the NFL or NBA drafts, there is little chance of instant gratification from any type of player. Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, and Jose Fernandez are very rare cases of a quick return for the pick.
College players may have a quicker time-table in terms of getting to the majors — but this does not guarantee MLB readiness. I’m guessing the top bat in the draft, Kris Bryant, is closest to being ready, but he will be in the top-5 overall. Colin Moran, Hunter Renfroe, or Austin Wilson are different stories however as the next best three college bats in the draft.
Colin Moran has an unorthodox swing that has many moving parts — one that will take a while to tame down. Hunter Renfroe will have to work on his swing and prove that he wasn’t a fluke after two not-so-great years. His power is enticing and can already be ranked as plus power, but he needs to prove himself in the minors first.
Austin Wilson has a large stigma attached to him by going to Stanford, which teaches contact over power, evident by the team leader only having eight homers. The college likes to teach a more mechanical swing that is geared towards contact on a flatter plane, rather than the usual hip-rotation uppercut swing that generates power. Wilson will have to overcome the Stanford stigma after getting drafted, and possibly change his swing/entire approach at the plate to tap into the power he has. There are also some holes in his swing that cause him to swing and miss frequently, which is not promising.
These problems could be solved soon or not at all, however. The draft is one large roll of the dice no matter what. We’ve seen multiple promising players turn out to be busts, and many players we haven’t found promising to be amazing.
I find myself favoring the college bats here for once but only because I think the bats I want in the high school ranks (Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier) will be snagged by the time the Mets make their pick. They won’t be MLB ready right away by a long shot. However,if all goes well, they could arrive in the range of 3-4 years – some even sooner if lucky. Renfroe might be the closest to being ready out of the above mentioned group, by the way.
I still think the Mets made a big mistake by letting the first round pick stand in the way of adding Michael Bourn this past offseason. What are the odds they get a dynamic leadoff hitter with game-breaking speed and gold glove defense? – Carl S.
Good question, Carl. The player that fits your preferred criteria in the first round would probably be Phillip Ervin. Honestly, Ervin is my favorite player in this draft. I’ve talked about his dynamic nature before when I discussed his scouting report and I think he’s the type of player that you’re looking for — and he should definitely be available at No. 11.
5’11”, 190 lbs, B/T R/R
Ervin might be one of the most intriguing players in the draft. He is a legitimate power-speed threat; earning MVP honors in the Cape Cod League last summer with a .323 average, 11 home runs, and 10 steals. According to Mayo, he is a plus-plus runner who can stick in center field, but has average power, and an above-average bat. His statistics speak for themselves, showing an ability to play above his tools, and be a legitimate game-changer with his speed.
Interestingly enough, Kiley McDaniel chooses Ervin as his second choice for the Mets pick after Meadows for his most recent mock draft. If I’m right about Meadows not falling to the Mets, the Mets could draft one of the most dynamic hitters in the draft in Ervin, who is also a base stealer with some good power – and is quite the athlete on defense.
Now although Ervin fits the role that you are thinking of, it is important to note that not a single mock draft has the Mets taking Ervin outright. Even though he is projected to be taken in the first round, it is not likely that the Mets will take him. I’m disappointed by that reality, and perhaps you will be too, but Ervin should be there at No. 11, so at least the Mets will have the chance.
Anyway, thank you for your questions! I can answer more by draft day, feel free to email into the Mailbag and label them for draft. I look forward to answering more as draft day approaches!