Early Look at the 2018 MLB Draft

Photo Credit: Perfect Game

The Mets will get the sixth pick in next year’s MLB Draft. Since 2010, the Mets have had two top-10 picks and both have been All-Stars, Michael Conforto and Matt Harvey.

The average career bWAR for the sixth pick is 14.5 and 71% of them have played in the major leagues. The last time the Mets had the sixth overall pick they took LHP Geoff Goetz who was later traded for Mike Piazza.

Having a higher pick also means a higher draft pool. The Mets can spend more money on younger players and convince them to sign instead of going to school. The Mets did that with Mark Vientos this past year, who commanded money akin to a first rounder despite being selected in the second round.

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com posted the top 10 college prospects and top 10 high school prospects. This is a very early list but the initial look shows a pitching heavy class. Three of the top four high school prospects are pitchers and the top three college prospects are pitchers.

The high school players who could reach the Mets are RHP Kumar Rocker, Matt LHP Liberatore, and OF Jared Kelenic.

Rocker is right at the top of list of power arms. Velocity comes naturally to him and has a very good slider to go along with his arsenal. Liberatore reminds you more of the safe pick in terms of a high schooler. He has good control but not the electric stuff like Rocker does. Kelenic is the high schooler with the most advanced approach in the draft class. The good news is, he is an outfielder and he can definitely hit for power. His defense has gotten praise.

Another player worth keeping an eye on is Nolan Gorman. A true third base prospect who can hit for power that should here his name called early in the draft. He tends to swing and miss which would be the main thing slowing him down.

Ideally, RHP Ethan Hankins or SS Brice Turang could fall to the Mets but both are pipe dreams unless teams ahead of the Mets opt to go under the slot. That happened last year when the Twins went with Royce Lewis over Kyle Wright, Brendan McKay, and Hunter Greene. The same thing happened in 2016 when the Phillies chose Mickey Moniak over other costly options. Regardless, it is tough to see five teams passing on Hankins or Turang unless either have a dreadful spring.

College players that could interest the Mets include LHP Shane McClanahan, RHP Casey Mize, OF Griffin Conine, and SS Jeremy Eierman. McClanahan was a 26th round pick by the Mets in 2015 but did not sign. He’s a hard throwing lefty that should go high in the draft, especially with better command. Mize has a great combination of stuff and command.

Conine’s scouting report on MLB.com sounds an awful lot like Michael Conforto‘s scouting report. Conine’s reads, “He provides left-handed power to all fields, manages the strike zone well and fits the right-field profile with his pop, athleticism and solid arm.” Of course, Conforto is now one of baseball’s best hitters but Conine seems to look like the top college bat in the class (who can survive in the outfield) similar to what Conforto was.

Eierman will likely stick at third base and he should hit for power but there is some swing and miss to his game.

Baseball America predicts the Mets will select Shane McClanahan. McClanahan did have Tommy John Surgery but he did establish himself a top prospect heading into 2018.

This is a very early rundown of the 2018 draft but hopefully this gives fans a little more positive outlook heading into the 2017-2018 off-season.

About Dilip Sridhar 193 Articles
I became a Mets fan in the 2008 season. Since the Alderson regime, I've embraced saber-metrics and advanced stats to back up my eye tests. I study computer science at Stony Brook