June 05, 2008

Day One of Draft is Over; Mets Like Outfielders!

It's impossible for anyone to say that a team drafted "well" or "poorly" based merely on statistics from high school or college. Unlike basketball and football, where draftees can make a more immediate impact, it's rare (as in practically never) that a player moves from draftee to pro. Baseball players generally need more repetition and practice at higher levels, and that's why they've set up such an extensive minor league system.

Taking that into consideration, by all accounts, the Mets seemed to have selected wisely today, based on their needs and the talents of the players that they selected in the first six rounds (and sandwich round) of today's draft.

Their picks, in order:

Round 1 - Pick 1 (18): Ike Davis - 1B/OF, University of Arizona

From the Mets website:
Davis, 21, projects as either a slugging first baseman or a corner outfielder. He's played mostly first base and pitcher during his three years at Arizona State, and this season, he is hitting .394 with 16 homers in 49 games for the Sun Devils, leading them to the third overall seed in the ongoing NCAA Tournament.

For more on Davis, click here and here.

Round 1 - Pick 2 (22): (David) Reese Havens - SS/2B, University of South Carolina
From the Mets website:
Havens, 21, is a shortstop out of the University of South Carolina who could potentially convert into a catcher in the future. He is batting .359 with 18 homers in 63 games as a junior for the Gamecocks this season, and hit .314 with five home runs in the Cape Cod League last summer. Though Havens has never played catcher in organized baseball and was named to the Southeastern Conference's All-Defensive Team as a shortstop this season, he acknowledged that converting to a backstop could be his ticket to the Majors.

Havens was one of the players that the Red Sox wanted, and some were surprised the Mets selected him this low. However, he is an intriguing athlete, along the lines of the Dodgers Russell Martin, who was also converted from an infielder to catcher. Perhaps lightning can strike again!

For more on Havens, click here and here.

Sandwich Pick: Brad Holt - RHP, UNC- Wilmington
Holt seems to be out of the same school as Mike Pelfrey- great, exploding fastball, large frame (6'4", 195) and no breaking pitches. Let's hope he gets enough time in the minors to develop those pitches, as Holt projects to a #2-3 pitcher in the rotation if he does, indeed, get the off-speed stuff working.

For more on Holt, click here.

Their remaining picks:

Round 2: Javier Rodriguez, OF, Puerto Rico Academy HS
From Baseball America:
He is the best pure hitter from Puerto Rico and has good bat speed. With a lean, athletic body, Rodriguez should have the ability to add muscle to his long frame. He shows above-average raw power to the pull side, though there is some length to his swing. Rodriguez is an average to above-average runner, clocking in at 6.7 seconds in the 60-yard dash.

Round 3: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF, Azusa Pacific University

For more on Nieuwenhuis, click here.

Round 4: Sean Ratliff, OF, Stanford
For more on Ratliff, click here.

Round 5: Charles Doyle, C, Coastal Carolina
For more on Doyle, click here.

Round 6: Joshua Satin, 2B, California

For more on Satin, click here.

Six of the Mets first seven selections were college ball players, and they all seemed to be power hitters. A friend of mine watched Nieuwenhuis at APU, and was quite impressed with him once he got over how to spell his last name! He thought he had the type of power you'd want from someone hitting third through fifth in the order; mere conjecture at this point, but nice to hear.

Rodriguez, according to the MLB draft presentation, is quite an intriguing prospect, with excellent power potential, and rated the top Puerto Rican talent in the draft.

Ratliff and Doyle are also power hitters, and Doyle, the 2008 Big South Player of the Year, is currently ranked as the third best backstop in college, according to RIVALS.com, and is supposed to be an athletic receiver with good overall defensive skills.

By the way- according to that same site - Rivals.com - Satin is the number 2 middle infielder and Havens is the number 5 middle infielder. Davis was ranked as the third best first baseman, due to his injury; no other draft picks from today were rated by this service.

Satin, an intriguing pick, is a member of the PAC-10 All Academic Team, and is also a power hitter. He was raised a few towns from where I live, and has been a "player of note" in Southern California as a high school student, as well as a top player for the Cal Golden Bears.

Now, I know that I said that this is all an inexact science, but that doesn't mean we can't get excited about these prospects, just as we did when those prospects numbered the likes of Shawn Abner, Tim Leary, Terry Blocker, John Gibbons, Alex Escobar, Gregg Jeffries and Kirk Presley! Perhaps none of these prospects will amount to anything; and, perhaps, we'll see our next leftfielder, second baseman and catcher come from out of this group. Either way, at least there's fun in speculating what might be...


Humber Pitches To Lumber said...

We drafted Joe Smith two years ago, and he made an impact last year; do you think anyone from this draft might make it to the majors this year?

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

Great name, by the way- and I hope that one of Phil's pitches might someday AVOID a piece of lumber.

Anyway, I doubt that you'll be seeing any of these players this season, and if you did, that would probably signal that something bad happened to the teams' play-off hopes. At best, we can hope for a late 2009 call-up (like September) for either Davis or Havens (depends where Havens ends up playing). With Holt's fastball, and the fact that his stock is rising, if he can get control of some breaking stuff, he might be up sooner then later- but not this season.

YanksSuckAllDay said...

Great- we drafted the SON of a Yankee...next you'll tell me the groundskeepers at CitiField are the little cousins of the groundskeepers of the Yanks, and Bob Shepard's great grand-nephew will be our new announcer...

GoGo7 said...

I won't hold my breath that any of these prospects will amount to anything...I'm still waiting for Steve Chilcott to pan out- you know- they guy we picked INSTEAD of Reggie Jackson!!!

Buckner'sDeadHips said...

I hope that Ike Davis is more mobile than our current first baseman, Bill Buckner...I mean, Carlos Delgado...

KeithGaryRon said...

Darling: Well, Keith, I'm amazed that Havens has made it to 20 homers faster than even Chase Utley in 2008! And Ike Davis hit 42homers last season! And who knew that Brad Holt would get his fastball up to 98mph!!

Hernandez: You know, Ron, those draft experts in 2008 obviously knew what they were talking about.

Cohen: Gentlemen...

Mex & Ron: Yes, Gary??!!

Cohen: Please help me get the rest of these monkeys out of my ass to fly after the other ones!!!

BringBackDavey! said...

I am STILL waiting for Tim Leary to make his comeback and be the dominant starter we all know he will be!!! And right after that, our starting outfield of Jeffries, Escobar and Abner will retire and be voted into the hall of fame like they deserve!!!

Carter For President said...

Can anyone think of a way I can use this draft to my benefit, in order to make me look good and get the job as the Mets manager???

Flushing Toilet said...

Hey- did we pick anyone in the draft today? I mean, anyone who might actually MAKE IT to the majors? I mean, besides the guys you have on your blog here- I mean come on, isn't there SOMEONE who might make it to the bigs??? Please?? Anyone??? Omar???

TheGhostOfCitiField said...

We will see at least 2 of these players on the major league roster by the end of 2009- mark my words! Omar didn't take college ballplayers not to have them get a chance in the majors and quickly. Each of these players has something intriguing about them, and at least one of them is bound to become a decent power hitter...

Wendy, Marvin & Wonder Dog said...

At least we had some first rounders this season- but don't get used to it, if we sign a Sabathia or Teixeira this off-season.

Wouldn't it be great if the guy we chose from the Braves pick actually makes something of himself- and then it's a season of Glavine in exchange for a first round success story!!! I'll take it - especially because it'll get Bravos fans mad!

Anonymous said...

I heard that Davis and Havens have a LOT of potential, that Rodriguez might become a steal, and that the catcher they got, Doyle, might become something special and be a really good clubhouse guy and can catch basestealers...wouldn't that all be great??!! One can dream, so stop bursting my bubble, guys...

Anonymous said...

The Yankees do it again- they take a pitcher that no one drafted but who should have gone in the first 10-15 picks, and they go over slot and grab him! And THAT is why they will always be the big brother to our little brother, until our organization is willing to do whatever it takes to WIN!!

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

The guy you are talking about is Gerrit Cole, an 18 year old who is repped by Scott Boras, throws in the mid to high 90's and is being called the "next Phil Hughes" (it would be nice if the original Phil Hughes did something first). The Yanks made a good move, they spend the money, and they see the results- eventually- but Omar seemed to have drafted who he wanted with the spots he had, and overall, again, I don't put much stock into predictions when it comes to drafts, but this one at least looks promising...especially if you wanted to see us add some power for a change...