The draft is slowly creeping up on us, and is now less than a month away. It’s do or die time for scouts, and for some draft hopefuls, coming down to the wire to show that they deserve a shot to call baseball their profession. On June 6, everyone is expecting the Houston Astros to take Stanford Pitcher, Mark Appel, with the first pick in the draft. After that, it’s really anyone’s guess.
The Mets have four picks in the first three rounds this year (11, 48, 76, 84). There are numerous draft strategies that teams use — drafting for organizational need, drafting players in premiere positions, taking best player available — many factors come in to play when looking at players to draft. The Mets have been said to be targeting college bats this season. This is a sound strategy, because the organization is overflowing with pitching talent, but it lacks offensive punch.
The fastest way to boost the offense is by selecting players that are still young, yet have been playing against top notch talent in college. College hitters should have a shorter route to the show, and be able to help out the big league team faster than high school players. Selecting polished hitters seems to be working out for the Mets, after seeing the early success of Kevin Plawecki, Jayce Boyd and Matt Reynolds.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the players the Mets should be taking a long look at when they are on the clock with their top pick:
Round 1: Pick 11
Hunter Renfroe is said to be the pick here, mainly because the Mets are said to be targeting college bats. But a high schooler named Austin Meadows has more upside, and the Mets can probably get him with the No. 11 pick. Meadows is big and fast — 6 feet 3 inches tall, 200 pounds, and runs the 60 yard dash in 6.3 seconds. He’s physically mature for his age, and should fill out even more as he develops over the next few years.
Meadows a left-handed batter with a short and compact swing. The swing can get long at times, but his bat speed can make up for it when it does. He doesn’t load much, but has some lift which will produce the long ball. He shows ridiculous and effortless raw power, and good plate discipline. His pitch recognition is advanced for his age. He is a solid defender, and whether or not teams think he can stick in center field will determine if he is a top ten pick or not.
The Mets should go with Meadows due to the incredible upside. He’s said to be a quick learner and has good aptitude for the game. He projects to be a middle of the order hitter and has All-Star potential. He should be there at No. 11 for the Mets, and if he is, they would be foolish to pass.
If the Mets feel the absolute need to go with a college bat in round one, then the man they want is Austin Wilson. The Stanford outfielder stands in at 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 245 pounds. Don’t let the weight scare you, he’s extremely athletic for his size. He runs a 6.7 in the 60 yard dash, which is also solid speed for his size. He has a plus arm and is a solid defender. He is also said to have excellent character and work ethic.
He was previously drafted out of high school in 2010, but turned down the opportunity to play in the Cardinals organization to go play for the Cardinal in Stanford. He was labeled as an extremely raw talent coming out of high school, but his time at Stanford has helped him develop his game, although he still isn’t a finished product. He has good plate discipline and excellent power that could generate some moon shots.
If the Mets go with either Austin, it would be a solid pick. Both players have top-ten-pick potential, so for the Mets to get them at No. 11 would be a steal. If the Mets had their choice of the two, they would probably go with Wilson, considering he is a college bat. But since Wilson isn’t as polished as most college hitters, if Meadows is on the board, I don’t see how they pass on him. Either way, they both would be solid additions to the Mets organization.