Mets Draft Update: College Hitter Seems More and More Likely

Travis Swaggerty/Photo by Bobby McDuffie Photography

Mocks are coming out at a faster given how quickly the draft is approaching us. Without further ado, lets dive right into them. Here is last week’s write up (focused on Jonathan India) and the one a week before that (focused on Joey Bart and Matthew Liberatore). Teddy Klein also does write ups over on Mets Minors.

Kiley McDaniel and Eric Logenhagen of Fangraphs released their latest mock draft. They have the Mets taking South Alabama outfielder, Travis Swaggerty. I have been mentioning Swaggerty for several weeks now and Fangraphs adds, “The Mets are almost exclusively on college prospects here, with Kelenic and Liberatore the two preps under consideration.” McDaniel and Logenhagen add that, “The Mets have had heat in to see Swaggerty recently and he makes the most sense here.”

Swaggerty fits the bill of what the Mets seem to be looking for as does Jonathan India. Swaggerty is a very good athlete who can play Center Field. His speed grades out very well on MLB.com and he has a good ability to get on the base paths. Think someone like Christian Yelich or Andrew Benintendi (Teddy and I like those comps) while also being a good center fielder in the process.

Swaggerty has held steady as the No. 9 prospect on Baseball America and most scouting reports think he will be able to hit for power in professional ball. His tools grade out well across the board with his speed and defense being the best heading into the draft. As for the stat line part, Swaggerty is hitting .303/.459/.564 this year with 13 home runs (a career high), while walking 19.25% of the time to striking out just 14.23% of the time.

Video courtesy of Baseball America.

McDaniel and Logenhagen also write, “Teams believe the Mets are looking at upside prep prospects for their second pick, with heat in to see Meadows and New York prep righty Lenny Torres recently.” Torres, a very young and local product. He only turns 18 in October and his upside in incredibly high. Baseball America ranks him as their 54th prospect. He is still getting used to pitching but his fastball has touched 98 this spring while sitting around 94-96. He still needs to work on his breaking pitches but in terms of a very high potential player in the second round, Torres fits the bill. He will be going to St. Johns in the event he does not sign but teams might come to an agreement with him before the draft.

Keith Law of ESPN released his updated mock draft today though he still has the Mets taking Florida third baseman Jonathan India with the sixth overall pick. Law previously noted “I’m also hearing they’d prefer a college player, hitter or pitcher, here.”

Others

It is probably worth talking about Jarred Kelenic. Kelenic like Swaggerty, can play center field at the big leagues on a regular basis while having a higher ceiling than Swaggerty. That said, Swaggerty’s floor is higher and could be in the Majors much faster the Kelenic. Kelenic’s biggest disadvantage this spring may have been the bad weather but no one doubts the talent he possesses.

Video courtesy of Prospect Pipeline.

Joey Bart was initially seen as an option for the Mets but Fangraphs had him going second overall to the Giants in this mock. They mention that the Giants have “long been connected” to him and that he is the “heavy favorite” to be the second pick.

Also per Fangraphs, the White Sox really want Nick Madrigal. No shock seeing how he has the highest hit tool in this draft. They also say the White Sox could pivot to Swaggerty if Madrigal is off the board but it seems unlikely that both will be off the board by the time the Mets pick. That said, if both are gone, the Mets would conceivably turn to Jonathan India.

Teddy Klein’s Thoughts

I’ve said many times that Mets are looking for good athletes for their top picks, which is the way to go. Swaggerty was a good example as someone who has great athleticism, being a plus runner with a nice left handed stroke that has added power to convince scouts that it is above-average to plus raw, as well as a Cape track record with wood bats. He, Madrigal and India are top college performers at positions of intrigue with the ability to move quickly.

Kelenic and Liberatore are top boom or bust guys with great upside, with Kelenic having five tool center field upside and Liberatore being an excellent arm from the left side with additional projection. They both also just fit into the Best Player Available depending on the scout. Kelenic has been rumored to go in the top 5 picks, and has a lot of upside to tap into. The only thing that held back scouts was the fact that he’s not from a warm weather state (Wisconsin) and plays less than others, but like Nimmo, did himself favors by playing travel baseball.

Parker Meadows is Pirates’ 2013 top pick’s younger brother with some great athleticism of his own and very high upside. Torres has risen through the ranks and provides high upside. I can’t wait three weeks. Let’s fast forward three weeks!

 

About Dilip Sridhar 436 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.