MLB Draft Preview: My Choice

How do you handle a 7th overall pick? Do you take the best player available, or the safe pick? Do you take the high-upside high school player, or the more advanced college player? Pitcher or hitter?

I’m actually kind of conflicted on this. I’ve looked at the draft for the last few days, thinking along each philosophy. But I won’t be calling in the pick on Monday, June 7. The New York Mets will.

Who should the Mets pick with the 7th overall pick in the draft? Well, who are the nominees?

The first three picks will be Bryce Harper (Washington), Manny Machado (Pittsburgh), and Jameson Taillon (Baltimore). So of the top players that I featured, there will still be LHP Drew Pomeranz, LHP Chris Sale, OF Bryce Brentz, OF Michael Choice, C Yasmani Grandal, 3B/2B Zach Cox, OF Josh Sale, RHP Karsten Whitson, and RHP Deck McGuire.

If front of us are Kansas City (who could take Grandal or Pomeranz/Sale), Cleveland (Michael Choice, or one of the pitchers), and Arizona (Best available pitcher).

The next thing, and this is huge for the Mets, is that the Mets may not take the best player available, they may just take the most signable.

Grandal, who would have been my favorite pick, will not come to the Mets unless they are willing to give him the money he wants.

A franchise Catcher who can hit, can be a major asset to a team, and can deepen the lineup at a position where adequacy can pass as long as defense is prime. A good hitting, switch hitting, strong-armed, Catcher could have been huge.

The probable “best-pitcher-available” could be Chris Sale. Now, it’s possible that the Royals, Indians, and D-Backs all take pitchers, thereby removing Sale from the equation.

Sale, however, is a lefty who throws 4 plus pitches, with his fastball in the low-to-mid 90’s. Sale throws a lot of strikes and will record a lot of K’s. His secondary pitches have a sink, that would be perfect for Citi Field. Sale, in my eyes, could be a future front-of-the-rotation All-Star.

So what’s the problem? His delivery. Scouts fear that his delivery could lead to future injury. Do you risk it?

Deck McGuire is the safe, quick pick. He likely is a finished product with little development left, but he could make the team soon. At least by 2012, with a possible cup of coffee in September 2011. He will not be a top-end starter, but he will have a long career as a number 3.

So who else do I like at the spot? With the draft lacking a true Evan Longoria type hitter (one who you know will be good fast), who is the best hitter once Harper is off the board?

If you read my Outfield review, you know I like Michael Choice. I think he will be a .300, 30 HR hitter for years to come.

Michael Choice possesses the tools to be a quality defensive player at one of the corners. A CF in college, he will likely slide over to Left or Right. Choice also has the skills to swipe a few bases.

When you get a top-10 pick in a draft, you are not just looking for an everyday major league hitter, you’re looking for a featured player for years to come.

Choice will be a strong lineup presence. Projecting ahead, he should be ready by the time Bay is in decline. Choice could be rock of our outfield, regardless of who plays in the other two positions.

Choice would also jump F-Mart as out top OF prospect. Maybe as our top prospect overall. Choice will obviously take a few years in the minors. But when blooms, he will be bat behind Ike.

I’d want to see Yasmani Grandal or Deck McGuire as Mets. Same with Chris Sale, though I don’t think he’ll still be there at 7.

My heart says Grandal or McGuire.

My head says that Michael Choice is the best hitter available, and combined with his defense and speed, I don’t think I can pass that up.

Who do I think the Mets are really going to pick? No clue.

I’ve done my best to research the prominent players available over the past week and make the scout lingo and stats easy to understand. I’ve laid out the evidence, and made my cases.

I just have a weird feeling that they will choose someone I have not covered.

So tell me, who do you want to see at Citi Field in 5 years?

Update 10:12 PM: The Kansas City Royals have reportedly agreed to a pre-draft deal with Yasmani Grandal.