COVID-19 might finish up getting away the baseball year, but MLB nevertheless designs on keeping the draft. How will the New York Mets reply?
MLB is moving forward with the 2020 draft even with COVID-19 robbing prospects of a year. That’s heading to make this annual function the most complicated to scout in MLB background, and the New York Mets are heading to have to draft nearly blindly.
Substantial school gamers have missed out on a senior year that would’ve enhanced or harm their draft stock. School gamers have some tape to observe, but they missed out on nearly a complete year as nicely.
Baseball is a activity in which a single year of improvement can modify a prospect’s outlook. Look no even further than the Mets’ 2019 draft class for case in point.
Josh Wolf was a no-title prospect who likely would’ve either long gone undrafted or been picked late all through his junior year of higher school. He came again his senior marketing campaign throwing around 95 miles for every hour and all of a unexpected was a 2nd-spherical talent.
This year’s crop of prospects has been robbed of the means to have that sort of breakout period. That likely suggests groups will stay away from higher school prospects when probable. They are previously a riskier wager than college or university gamers, but insert the deficiency of a year, and it is difficult to see a lot of groups getting that sort of danger.
With that explained, the Mets have liked to pick higher-danger higher-reward gamers under Brodie Van Wagenen. In his initial draft, the Mets picked 3 higher schoolers in the initial trio of rounds.
With that aggressive solution in brain, in this article are 5 prospects the corporation could goal appear June ten.
Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas
Casey Martin was a borderline leading-ten choose in advance of the college or university year began. He possesses some of the very best actual physical equipment in the draft — elite speed, power, and higher than-typical defense.
That is not plenty of to carry him nevertheless. Scouts were being hoping to see enhanced contact costs in 2020. Ahead of COVID-19 place an finish to the college or university baseball year, Martin had the worst batting typical of his collegiate profession and his power quantities tanked nearly .one hundred points. He in addition struck out at an absurd 37.two% clip — nearly ten% even worse than his 2019 K-amount.
Those quantities have tanked Martin’s draft stock, as he’s now a borderline-initial spherical prospect and is expected to be a supplemental or 2nd-spherical choose.
The uncooked equipment are there for Martin to be a star. He has the prospective to be a thirty-thirty participant even though offering strong defense at shortstop. Scouts just don’t believe in that he’ll make plenty of contact to at any time be that form of participant nevertheless.
Van Wagenen confirmed all through the 2019 draft that he is not worried to acquire a danger. Martin has arguably the best ceiling of any participant in this class, so don’t be astonished if Van Wagenen gambles on Martin’s Trevor Story-esque upside at No. 19 overall.
Cole Wilcox, RHP, Ga
Cole Wilcox was a initial-spherical prospect coming out of his school, but a strong dedication to the College of Ga and higher agreement calls for caused him to slip. He ultimately went to the Washington Nationals in 2018’s thirty seventh spherical but opted to show up at Ga as an alternative.
Wilcox struggled in his initial year with the Bulldogs. He opened his freshman year in the bullpen but moved into the starting up rotation by the finish of the marketing campaign. He appeared in 19 online games (six starts) and recorded a 4.07 Era, struck out 9.seven batters for every 9 innings, and walked five.seven batters for every 9 innings.
His quantities as a starter were being even even worse. He recorded a 4.15 Era even though hanging out seven.seven batters for every 9 innings and walking 4.five batters for every 9 innings. Items only received even worse in the Cape Cod League, wherever Wilcox built two starts and was shelled.
He didn’t look something like the pitcher he was in higher school, but every little thing adjusted this spring. Wilcox was equipped to make four starts in advance of the year was shut down, obtaining place jointly a phenomenal performance.
He pitched 23 innings, obtaining recorded an Era of 1.57 with 12.five strikeouts for every 9 innings and .eight walks for every 9 innings. Unnecessary to say, he appeared like an entirely unique pitcher.
Wilcox has some of the very best stuff in the class. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and touches ninety seven. He has two higher than-typical breaking balls: a changeup and a slider.
Even so, Wilcox had two major worries coming into this year: his regulate and motion. He confirmed enhanced regulate this spring, only walking two batters in 23 innings. His motion is a more durable correct nevertheless, as it is uncomplicated to browse.
Batters choose up his fastball conveniently, which qualified prospects to Wilcox obtaining shelled. Hence, repairing his motion will be a very long-expression undertaking.
The Ga hurler will have ace-stage prospective with the proper coaching, and the Mets are regarded for their pitcher improvement. New York could look to acquire benefit of the shortened college or university baseball year and steal a a lot enhanced Wilcox at No. 19 overall.
Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State
Dillon Dingler is one of a lot of in a stacked 2020 catching class. He separates himself with his unequalled athleticism behind the plate. Dingler played centerfield his freshman year at Ohio State in advance of moving to catcher, which can make him a scarce prospect with higher than-typical speed and a plus-plus arm.
He is not heading to gain a Gold Glove behind the plate, but Dingler can do far more than just maintain his possess. The Buckeye could be a plus defender with one of the very best arms when all is explained and carried out.
Dingler is a get the job done in progress, which is true for most catchers. They spend so a lot time getting excellent receivers behind the plate and finding out how to handle pitchers that their offense tends to acquire a move again.
Dingler was far more of a contact hitter all through his sophomore year. He slashed .291/.392/.424 with just 3 property operates even though also thieving eight bases in 49 online games. J.T. Realmuto led catchers in steals with 9 in 2019.
That year place Dingler on scout’s boards, but it was his eye-opening start off to the 2020 marketing campaign that placed him in the initial spherical. 13 online games is a smaller sample measurement, but Dingler was a unique beast at the plate in these matchups. He place up a .340/.404/.760 slash line with a profession-higher 5 property operates in just 50 at-bats.
The prospective he flashed in that limited time span has caused scouts to reevaluate his bat. He appears to be like like an typical hitter from the two contact and power standpoints, but his eye and willpower are the two higher than typical.
His talent behind the plate and his special athleticism are plenty of to make him a initial-spherical collection as groups desire of a Realmuto comparison.
The Mets only have one catcher in their leading 20 prospects, generating it one of the thinnest positions in the team’s farm technique. Dingler is not the higher-upside participant that Van Wagenen is regarded to favor, but his special skill established and flexibility could make him one to observe.
Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
UCLA’s Garrett Mitchell is one of the most polarizing gamers in the draft. He has 5-instrument prospective, elite speed, plus contact means, a plus arm, and he’s an higher than-typical fielder. The one instrument that scouts are waiting around on is his power. Mitchell puts on a clearly show in batting practice, but his in-video game performance in these regards nevertheless leaves a great deal to be preferred.
Mitchell has just six property operates in his college or university profession, all of which came all through his sophomore year in 2019. He in addition hit 12 triples that similar year on his way to slashing .349/.418/.566.
The power wasn’t the similar in his limited 15-video game sample in 2020. He had just seven extra-foundation hits, six doubles, and a triple. That deficiency of property run power has some scouts involved, as they see a participant who could be one thing unique but is not bringing that to the plate.
There are also inquiries regarding how nicely Mitchell will deal with MLB velocity. He has a very long swing that leaves a hole in the higher aspect of the zone. School pitchers haven’t been equipped to acquire benefit, but MLB pitchers absolutely will. Some consider he’ll have to rework his swing entirely, which he previously did in higher school.
If Mitchell’s power does not build, he could present value with his contact means, quickness, and defense. He could bat at the leading of the buy with his hole power and speed, two characteristics that might help in turning him into one of the leading leadoff hitters in baseball.
Scouts are divided on Mitchell. Some see a foreseeable future 5-instrument MVP-caliber participant even though some others see a person who’ll never dwell up to the expectations placed on him.
If he falls to the No. 19 overall choose, expect the Mets to pick him. Van Wagenen is not shy when it arrives to on elite equipment. Mitchell could be the most current wager the 46-year-aged standard supervisor can make.
Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS
At this time a year back, Pete Crow-Armstrong was the leading prep participant in the draft. He struggled on the summer months circuit and his stock took a hit, but he was on the increase again prior to the year shutdown.
Crow-Armstrong is not your usual leading prospect. His power is under typical and his contact means is just higher than typical. He does not present a ton of offensive upside, but that could modify as he grows into his six-foot-1, 180-pound body.
Crow-Armstrong thrives in the industry as nicely as on the foundation paths. He has plus speed, plus arm toughness, plus defense, and is an aged-school leadoff hitter with the defense to make him an higher than-typical participant.
Pete reminds some scouts of Lorenzo Cain in conditions of equipment and Grady Sizemore in conditions of playstyle. If he can insert muscle and improve his power to an typical stage, he’ll have the prospective to be a perennial All-Star centerfielder.
The concern is that if Crow-Armstrong’s power does not build, his offensive means will be established nearly entirely by his batting typical. That will not bode nicely in a present day league wherever power is valued far more than contact.
If the Mets go for a higher school talent with the No. 19 choose, it might be Crow-Armstrong. The talent is serious and Lorenzo Cain-esque gamers are nevertheless very valued. If the gamble pays off and the power can make itself regarded, Crow-Armstrong could be the steal of the initial spherical. That probability will likely be tantalizing to the upside-chasing Van Wagenen.