With their second, second-round pick (75th overall) in this year’s First Year Player Draft, the Mets selected RHP Teddy Stankiewicz, an 18-year-old pitcher from Fort Worth, Texas. Stankiewicz went 12-2 with a 1.35 ERA this season, having struck out 135 batters in 93 1/3 innings. He was committed to Arkansas, one of the nation’s best baseball programs.
Though disappointed, Arkansas was certain that they were going to lose Stankiewicz, who was the highest signee taken in the draft that was committed to them. “The Fort Worth, Texas native is expected to sign a professional contract”, they said.
On Day Three of the Draft, Mets VP of Player Development and Scouting Paul DePodesta, raved about getting Teddy Stankiewicz who the Mets heavily scouted according to what a source told me. “He really has excellent ability and command of his stuff,” DePodesta said. “He has some velocity, and a quality breaking pitch to go along with it.”
There were many experts on Draft Day who raved about Stankiewicz, in fact, Jonathan Mayo said he didn’t think the Mets would be able to sign the talented right-hander, who he called a high-ceiling pick who could get drafted a lot higher in the future and everybody knows it. “It was a tremendous pick for the Mets, especially if they could sign him, Mayo said. “He’s a Major League starter in the making.”
Razorback head coach Dave Van Horn was thrilled the Mets couldn’t seal the deal with Stankiewicz, “Teddy’s fastball usually sits 90-93 with movement and he can really locate,” Horn said. “He’s very polished for his age. We’re hoping to get him to campus and he’ll have a chance to get in the rotation early and be a contributor right away.”
So what happened, what went wrong?
Did the Mets run out of money or cap room?
No they didn’t. According to Baseball America’s Jim Callis, the Mets came in under budget by $866K after the signing deadline passed, and they could have spent as high as $1.223 million without incurring any penalty under the new CBA.
Was Teddy Stankiewicz’s demands too exorbitant?
The answer to that is not at all. According to what a family source commented to us last week, the difference between signing Stankiewicz or not came down to $80,000 dollars. The family was merely looking for him to get the slot amount of $680,400, but the Mets were unwilling to go a penny more than $600,040 dollars for their No. 75 overall pick. “The Mets offer was less than slot”, Chris Stankiewicz said. “Even though slot would have gotten it done. It was disappointing because he was very excited about being a a New York Met.” One more thing I think is important to note. The telephone never rang on deadline day (Friday the 13th), the Mets in fact confirmed that there were no last minute offers made to Stankiewicz or any other unsigned selections.
Was this the second round pick from the Marlins that we got for losing Jose Reyes?
Not exactly. The Mets had two second round selections, pick No. 71 which they used to select another Razorback, third baseman Matt Reynolds, and of course pick No. 75 which they used on Stankiewicz. It could have easily been the other way around, and according to comments made by Paul DePodesta, “We loved the Arkansas kids. They have a great program and know talent when they see it.” In an interview with ESPN’s Adam Rubin, DePodesta offered some consolation saying that the organization will have an extra pick in next year’s draft. The Mets will get the No. 76 pick next year for failing to sign Stankiewicz. Still, when the Mets lost Reyes, it was DePo who was quick to remind us about getting the Marlins’ second round pick (their first round pick was protected) and later added that this year’s draft class was loaded with talent and some exciting pitching prospects. Stankiewicz was the first pitcher the Mets selected in the draft.
So what happens now?
Not much really. The Mets will get the consolation pick next year and the money they saved rolls over. Until then, everyone will keep their fingers crossed that next year’s draft class will be as rich in talent as this year’s was. One month down, eleven to go.