This off-season there was a lot of excitement around the Rule 5 selections of both Brad Emaus and Pedro Beato.
The excitement on my end came because many written opinions out there seemed to think Emaus was ready to compete for the starting job at 2B. Seeing as the Mets didn’t have a sure thing, what’s not to like about that?
With regards to Pedro Beato, I think we all fell in love with him early on because we saw that he had big league stuff.
Yet, many of the critics of Alderson like to point to the Rule 5 failure of Brad Emaus as though a Rule 5 draft pick is a certainty.
Several years ago when I worked in Minor League Baseball, I was invited to a Minor League affiliate dinner for the Tampa Bay Rays. This was the Winter of 2007, and the Rays were coming off a 66 win season but poised to make a legitimate run at the big bad AL East.
So there I sat, enjoying the open bar after a brief discussion with Joe Maddon at one of the Gaylord Opryland Resort ballrooms in Nashville, who is one of the nicest baseball guys you’ll ever meet.
I got to talking with Mitch Lukevics,Tampa Bay’s Director of Minor League Operations. He is a very strong speaker, and when you look over his resume you know why. From 1989 to 1995, Lukevics was the Director of Minor League Operations for the New York Yankees.
The same Yankees that developed Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams. When you look at Lukevics record with the Yankees and now the Rays, isn’t it clear that the Mets need a Minor League Director like him?
Anyway, I have always been fascinated by the Rule 5 draft and so when I got to ask him a question, I asked him his view of the draft. I can’t quote him because this was several years ago, before I ever wrote a blog. I can tell you that he expressed to me the Rule 5 draft being a gamble, but when it works and you find a big leaguer you’re not only lucky, but you’re good.
I decided to take a look at the Mets Rule 5 Draft history since Frank Cashen took over. It’s not pretty. So when critics of Alderson like getting on him about Brad Emaus, they also tend to ignore Pedro Beato. Since the winter of 1980 (the same time the Wilpon’s bought into the franchise), the Mets have had 7 General Managers.
During that time frame, did you know that the Mets didn’t make a Rule 5 selection until 1989 when they drafted Brent Knackert from the White Sox? Here’s a brief look at the Mets Rule 5 selections since 1980.
Brent Knackert from the Chicago White Sox in 1989.
Doug Simons from the Minnesota Twins in 1990.
Mike Draper from the New York Yankees in 1992.
Charlie Greene from the San Diego Padres in 1993.
Kelly Stinnett from the Cleveland Indians in 1993.
Kevin Lomon from the Atlanta Braves in 1994.
Jim Mann from the Toronto Blue Jays in 1999.
Julio Santana from the San Francisco Giants in 2000.
Frank Brooks from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003.
Steven Register from the Colorado Rockies in 2007.
Rocky Cherry from the Baltimore Orioles in 2008.
Darren O’Day from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2008.
Carlos Monasterios from the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.
Pedro Beato from the Baltimore Orioles in 2010.
Brad Emaus from the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010.
That is 15 players drafted in the Rule 5 by the Mets since 1980.
Doug Simons appeared in 42 Games for the Mets in 1991, posting a 2-3 record with a 5.19 ERA. He was traded in a minor league swap the following April.
Mike Draper appeared in 29 games in 1993, posting a 1-1 record with a 4.25 ERA. He was released in September of that year.
Charlie Greene had 1 plate appearance for the Mets in 1993.
Kelly Stinnett is a name most fans probably recognize. He was a Met in 1994 and 1995, played in a total of 124 games before he was traded in 1996 for Cory Lidle. Lidle would later be drafted by Arizona in the expansion draft.
Kevin Lomon appeared in 6 games going 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA before the Mets packed his bags for him and sent him back to Atlanta.
Jim Mann appeared in 2 games with a 10.13 ERA before the Mets sent him back to Toronto with an apology note.
Darren O’Day could have been a great Rule 5 pickup, had the Mets not had a lack of pitching depth. O’Day was the odd man out after just 4 games. He would be selected off waivers by Texas, and in 2009 he would appear in 64 Games 2-1 with a 1.94 ERA and in 2010 he appeared in 72 games going 6-2 with a 2.03 ERA. Oops.
Those 7 players plus Beato and Emaus are the only ones to ever appear in a game for the Mets after being taken in the Rule 5 draft. Sure, Brad Emaus may have been a failed attempt, but in terms of Mets history, he falls right into place with everybody else.
As for Pedro Beato, he has appeared in 33 Games, posting a 3.29 ERA and I know many of us expect him to be a fixture within this Mets bullpen for years to come. If Beato appears in just 10 more games, he will have pitched in more games than any Mets Rule 5 selection since Frank Cashen was running things in Flushing.
Alderson and his staff pride themselves on being able to find talent when nobody is looking.
Sure, from this point on every Rule 5 pick they make could be a bust, who knows? However, in just his 1st off-season as Mets General Manager, he proved to all of us that he has the ability to make the Mets a better team by using every method possible.