Why Did DePodesta Pass On Michael Wacha?

An article by posted on October 28, 2013

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at St. Louis Cardinals

Mike Puma of the New York Post spoke to Paul DePodesta who rationalized why he passed on Michael Wacha and selected Gavin Cecchini with the 12th selection of the 2012 Draft.

“Our guys liked Wacha a lot in 2012 — one of the top college pitchers on the board,” Mets VP of player development and amateur scouting told The Post on Friday.

But the Mets also liked their organizational pitching depth. At the time, Harvey was less than two months from making his major league debut and Wheeler was dominating at Double-A Binghamton. Jenrry Mejia was returning from Tommy John surgery and the Mets had four pitchers they drafted in rounds 2-5 of the 2011 draft — behind outfielder Brandon Nimmo — that were creating a buzz (Cory Mazzoni, Logan Verrett, Tyler Pill and Jack Leathersich). That didn’t include Michael Fulmer, whom the Mets had received with a compensation pick. The Mets also had young pitchers under their control on the major league staff in Jon Niese and Dillon Gee.

“Therefore, we were really focused on position players at the top of the 2012 draft,” DePodesta said. “We didn’t even sign a pitcher in that draft until our fifth selection. So, we really liked Wacha, and he was high up on our board, but as an organization we needed to use our high picks that year to create more value in our position player prospects.”

The Cardinals eventually selected Wacha seven picks later with 19th pick. The 22-year old phenom is having an incredible postseason in which he’s gone 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA. This after he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Nationals during his final start of the regular season.

Cecchini, 19, played 51 games for the Brooklyn Cyclones this season and batted .273/.319/.314 with no homers, 18 runs and 14 RBI in 194 at-bats.

DePodesta said he views Cecchini as an everyday shortstop in the major leagues, but Puma reports that scouts are lukewarm, at best, on Cecchini.

In fairness to Cecchini he was one of the youngest players in the NY-Penn League this year.

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