The New York Mets took shortstop Anthony Walters with their only third-round pick. He is a redshirt junior out of San Diego State University who can play multiple positions in both the infield and the outfield.
Anthony Walters smacks a two-run homer to tie the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth vs. CSF. pic.twitter.com/vQTs3uiWou
— San Diego State Baseball (@AztecBaseball) February 19, 2020
The Mets took another good athlete with a good frame at 6’1″, 185 pounds. Walters started his college career at UC Berkley and played all infield positions, other than first base, and spent time in left field. He only hit .191 over 34 games then transferred to Mount San Antonio College the following year.
The change of scenery was what Walters needed. He slashed .374/.451/.718 and showed great power with ten home runs over 45 games. Walters earned numerous recognitions, including first-team all-state and first-team all-conference. A torn ACL ruined his 2019, which forced him to redshirt at SDSU. During the 2020 season, he hit .271 with only one home run and 18 strikeouts in 16 games.
Anthony Walters (SDSU) getting ready for the 2020 season! @anthonyyyyyy_13 ✔️head in front of belly button ✔️ soft shoulders, staying square ✔️stretch & 🔥 ✔️party is out front pic.twitter.com/GBa0nXv2WO
— David Ring (@DavidRing4) January 14, 2020
From the video available on his swing, it is clear that he has the foundation for a powerful stroke. Walters is slightly crouched with his hands low and a swing designed to lift the ball in the air. His power is slightly above average but has not capitalized on it yet. An adjustment to stand him up more will bring his hands up with it and allow him to utilize his launch more.
Walters leg kick, high finish, and ability to use the ground to his advantage are already an excellent foundation to build on. Still a primary shortstop, he projects more to move to third base or second base. The Mets have an abundance of players on the left side of the infield in their farm system, so he will likely mainly play second base. He is a fluid fielder with good hands, so we could see him with the same versatility a player like Jeff McNeil brings.
I think Walters signs with the Mets and fits into the mold of the high upside players the organization wanted to draft.