Recapping The New York Mets 2021 Draft Picks (Rounds 16-20)

Simeon Woods-Richardson

Round 16 Selection: RHP Trey McLoughlin (Fairfield)

McLoughlin is a 6’2″, 210-pound pitcher who was a very interesting late-round selection for the New York Mets. Injuries and a COVID shortened 2020 have held him to just eight starts in his final two seasons, but he has been productive when he has been on the field. McLoughlin made five starts with a 4.94 ERA and struck out 32 while allowing just four walks. He has a good fastball, but his power slider is what gets him his strikeouts.

Round 17 Selection: LHP Nick Swack (Xavier)

Swack is coming off a very dominant season where he had a 3.15 ERA over 80 innings pitched and allowed just four home runs. He also contributed three complete games and even picked up a save in his only relief outing of the season. Swack does not bring much velocity as he throws in the mid-80s with his fastball but has a good 12-6 curveball and a change-up which still needs to be refined.

Round 18 Selection: RHP Kolby Kubichek (Texas)

Kubichek is a 6’0″, 180 pound redshirt sophomore who had a very impressive 2021 season. Over 12 starts, he had a 3.86 ERA in 51.1 innings and allowed just three home runs. Kubichek has plenty of growth to do as a pitcher, allowing him to add speed to his low-90s fastball. He struggled towards the end of the season, but it is an enticing project for any farm system to take a chance in developing further.

Round 19 Selection: C Drake Osborn (Louisiana Lafayette)Β 

Osborn was the only catcher the Mets took and is 5’11”, 195 pounds with a solid 2021 campaign. He slashed .339/.417/.497 with three home runs and 24 runs batted in. Osborn was terrific behind the plate, throwing out 19 of 40 base stealers and allowing four passed balls. Reports from Osborn rising through the ranks show his natural leading ability, and he is a good catcher for the Mets young prospects to work with.

Round 20 Selection: SS Justin Guerrera (Fairfield)

The final pick for the Mets was another Fairfield University product in Guerrera. He is a 5’9″, 185-pound shortstop who broke out in the power department during 2021. In 43 games, Guerrera slashed .340/.409/.685, with 13 home runs, 45 RBIs, and eight stolen bases. Scouts are very pleased with his ability to play the middle infield and continue playing there in the Mets farm system. Guerrera is an excellent final pick of a good 2021 draft for the Mets.

Recapping The New York Mets 2021 Draft Picks (Rounds 11-15)

Round 11 Selection: OF Rowdey Jordan (Mississippi State)

Jordan is the first outfielder the New York Mets selected in this year’s draft. He was a member of the National Championship winning team at Mississippi State and had a terrific season. Jordan batted .323 with ten home runs and 45 runs batted in. He has good speed out of the leadoff spot and was successful in nine of ten stolen base attempts. Jordan joins J.T. Ginn, Jake Magnum, and Cole Gordon as former Bulldogs in the Mets farm system.

Round 12 Selection: OF Jack-Thomas Wold (UNLV)

Wold was the second consecutive outfielder the Mets selected, and what he lacks in height, he packs in muscle. He is just 5’10” but is 220 pounds, and it helped lead to a monster offensive season. Wold batted .429 with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs over 33 games in his senior season. His 19 walks to 14 strikeouts showed his newly found ability to control the strike zone. Defensively, he only made one error on the entire season.

Round 13 Selection: OF Matt Rudick (San Diego State)

Rudick is a 5’9″, 170-pound outfielder who is known for his speed. He spent all four years of his college career at SDSU and slashed .341/.424/.859 with his career-high .410 average this past season. Rudick also 17 stolen bases, 41 RBIs, and 26 walks to just nine strikeouts. While not containing a stunning figure, Rudick’s steady improvements at the plate and great speed show the potential for a versatile outfielder in the future.

Round 14 Selection: LHP Nathan Lavender (Illinois)

Lavender is a 6’2″, 210-pound sophomore who had a solid season working both in the rotation and bullpen. Over 57 innings, he had a 4.11 ERA and 79 strikeouts while only walking 15 batters. Lavender features a fastball, slider, and changeup, and each has good movement. His fastball sits 90-92 MPH with good sink, the slider is 81-84 MPH with great horizontal movement, and his changeup is his out pitch at 82-84 mph with over a foot of break vertically and horizontally.

Round 15 Selection: SS Wyatt Young (Pepperdine)

Young is a 5’7″, 160-pound shortstop out of Hawaii and is coming off a terrific junior season. He batted .332 with 62 hits and drew a career high 22 walks. Young projects to be a utility infielder due to his versatility and probably will not add much in the power department. He could become another Luis Guillorme type of player the Mets can plug into multiple positions.

Recapping The New York Mets 2021 Draft Picks (Rounds 6-10)

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

As we count down the days until the New York Mets start their second-half schedule, let’s continue our look at the rest of their draft picks. Here is a recap of their selections in rounds six through ten.

Round 6 Selection: RHP Carson Seymour (Kansas State)

Seymour is a mountain of a man at 6’6″ and 260 pounds and brings power to the mound. His frame allows him to sit in the high-90s with his fastball and throw a power slider which sits in the 89-91 mph range. While scouts are not in love with his fastball, they love the potential surrounding his breaking ball. The movement is 12-6 and has a spin rate of 1,800 RPMs, according to Rapsodo. Seymour struggled to keep runners off base in 2021, which led to an ERA over six and a 1.59 WHIP. His control needs plenty of polish after averaging about five walks per nine, but there is a lot of promise in his arm.

Round 7 Selection: SS Kevin Kendall (UCLA)

The Mets went back to the UCLA well by selecting their second position player from there. Kendall is a 5’10”, a 170-pound shortstop who had a solid year batting .356 with four home runs, 18 RBs, and had 88 hits. He is also a speedy player who is versatile enough to play the outfield and play all of his defensive positions very well. Scouts always like his tools but were waiting for him to emerge as a hitter. His slight frame is unlikely to lead to more power, but he projects to be an athletic player the Mets can move all over the field.

Round 8 Selection: RHP Mike Vasil (Virginia)

Vasil is a well-built 6’5″, 225-pound right-handed pitcher ranked 114 on Baseball America’s Top 500 prospects. He is not a power pitcher as his fastball can touch the mid-90s but sits in the low 90s. Vasil also brings a slider, curveball, and changeup as his secondary pitches, but scouts feel his changeup is the best out of the three. This season he pitched 81.2 innings with a 4.52 ERA and allowed just 18 walks. The command is certainly there for Vasil, but an increase in velocity will be his difference-maker.

Round 9 Selection: RHP Levi David (Northwestern State)

David is another 6’5″, 220-pound pitcher, but he pitches to his size. In 61 innings, he had a 4.41 ERA and an incredible 104 strikeouts, and just 34 hits allowed on the season. Those numbers look amazing, but his 46 walks, 23 wild pitches, and 19 hit batters show his extreme lack of command. His fastball can reach the upper 90s, but it leads to control issues. David’s curveball is a dominant pitch that hitters got five hits and struck out 80 times against. He is also a 50-meter freestyle state champion from his swimming days in high school.

Round 10 Selection: LHP Keyshawn Askew (Clemson)

Askew is a lanky 6’4″, 190 pounds left-handed pitcher, the first lefty the Mets took in this year’s draft. In 57 innings, Askew had a 5.84 ERA with 69 strikeouts and a .289 batting average against. He started red hot when the season began but ran out of gas and pitched to an ERA over ten in his last handful of starts to finish the season. Askew projects as a soft-tossing left-handed reliever with a sinking fastball in the high-80s and a sweeping curveball. As he improves in the minors, he has the ability to turn into an Aaron Loup or Pedro Feliciano type of reliever.

Taking a Look At The Other 2021 New York Mets Draft Picks (Rounds 2-5)

New York Mets

After the New York Mets made a big splash by drafting Kumar Rocker, they moved on to the later rounds of the 2021 MLB Draft. Here is a look at the Mets draft picks for rounds two through five in their first draft under new owner Steve Cohen.

Round 2 Selection: RHP Calvin Ziegler (St. Mary’s High School)

Ziegler is a native Canadian who had to move to Florida during last year’s pandemic to keep his draft hopes alive. He is six feet and 205 pounds, with a consistent low to mid 90s fastball. Ziegler has shown an ability to get into the high 90s at times. His secondary pitches are a curveball and changeup. The break on his curveball varies from a typical over-the-top movement one with more side-to-side break than most. His changeup sits in the mid-80s but rarely throws the pitch. Ziegler is not a lock to sign as he is committed to Auburn University.

Round 3 Selection: RHP Dominic Hamel (Dallas Baptist)

Hamel went undrafted in 2020’s five-round draft and is a 6’2″, 205-pound right-handed pitcher. He had a solid junior season with a 4.22 ERA and 13-2 record over 91.2 innings. Hamel had 136 strikeouts and held batters to a .204 average despite allowing 16 home runs. His fastball ranges from 90-94, but the Mets revamped analytics department was enamored with his spin rates. Hamel allowed 14 home runs on the heater, which shows how important his secondary pitches were.

Round 4 Selection: 1B J.T. Schwartz (UCLA)

The Mets ended their streak of drafting pitchers by drafting the 6’4″, 215 pound Schwartz out of UCLA. After a 2019 redshirt and COVID shortened 2020, Schwartz put himself on everyone’s radar during the 2021 season. Surprising for his size, he batted more like a contact hitter by hitting .405/.528/.635 with eight home runs and 45 RBIs. The best part of his game is his 35 walks to just 22 strikeouts. Despite the contact approach at the moment, he has the size to round into an all-around hitter.

Round 5 Selection: RHP Christian Scott (Florida)

The Mets went back to the trend of selecting right-handed pitchers with Scott. At 6’4″ and 215 pounds, he certainly projects to be a power pitcher as he matures. Scott pitched out of the bullpen for all but one of his 26 games but was a multiple inning pitcher, throwing 53 innings in those appearances. He was an outstanding control pitcher with just nine walks and 51 strikeouts. Scott is a power reliever who can reach into the high 90s with his heater and mid-80s with his slider.

Mets Draft Vandy’s Kumar Rocker With The 10th Pick Of The MLB Draft

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The New York Mets get their man in the 2021 MLB Draft as they take Kumar Rocker with the 10th overall pick. Rocker was the projected number one pick heading into this year’s college season. Inconsistent fastball velocity and Jack Leiter’s emergence forced him to slide to the Mets’ pick.

Rocker is 21-years old and is 6’5″ and 245 pounds, and was a dominant force during his time at Vanderbilt. Despite falling to ten in the draft, Rocker is still one of the top prospects not just in the Mets organization but in all of baseball. In his final season at Vandy, Rocker went 14-4 in 122 innings with 179 strikeouts and a .170 batting average against. His 2.73 ERA usually keeps a potential #1 pick in the draft, but nine other teams felt differently.

Rocker features a fastball sitting anywhere from 92-97 with a power slider that he can manipulate to move in different directions. His fastball velocity was a major question due to some starts varying from the low to mid-90s but working in the Mets organization will maximize his potential. Pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and the rest of their staff have done a terrific job with their pitching this year and potentially being in the same locker room as Jacob deGrom will do plenty to help him.

Before Rocker even throws a pitch for the Mets, this seems like the steal of the draft. Rocker is loaded with potential, has glowing reviews as a teammate, and is a terrific worker. Adding him is the beginning to revamping a weakened Mets farm system and finding sustained future success.

New York Mets Fifth Round Pick: Eric Orze

With their final pick of the 2020 MLB Draft, the New York Mets selected right-handed pitcher Eric Orze. His story is one of strength and perseverance just to make it to this point in his distinguished baseball career. Orze is a two-time cancer survivor and suffered through it during his college career.

Orze began his collegiate career pitching in community college at Northwest Florida State College. In back to back seasons, he posted ERAs over 4.5 but transferred to the University of New Orleans. During 2018, he struggled with an 8.10 ERA in only 16.2 innings. The short season was due to increasing pain in his abdomen, which had been testicular cancer.

He underwent surgery to prevent cancer from spreading. Orze’s fight was not over yet as fluid in his lungs had made it hard for him to breathe. One thing piled on to another as, during the process, doctors found a mole on his back that was melanoma. After a final surgery and due to his weight and strength loss from both cancers, Orze lacked the same energy. He sat out the entire 2019 season to recover.

Long Road Back

Orze finally pitched again in the shortened 2020 season. Over four outings, three starts, he had a 2.75 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 19.2 innings pitched. Orze throws at a high three quarters arm slot but lowers the release point enough to cause the ball to sink. He will not overpower hitters with a 92-94 mph fastball, but the sink makes it a heavy ball to hit.

Orze features a splitter, which has a good drop to it at 83-85 mph. Like most young pitchers who throw the split, it needs more work on its control to become a true strikeout pitch. His slider sometimes looks like a cutter when thrown in the high-80s instead of the mid-80s. If he can effectively differentiate both, he can be a very useful sinker/slider/cutter pitcher who can be a groundball machine.

The physical and mental makeup is all there with Orze. Despite only having a handful of success in college, the fight and performance over the last two years were enough for the Mets to take a risk.

 

 

New York Mets Fourth Round Draft Pick: Matthew Dyer

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The New York Mets looked for versatility with their 2020 draft picks, and Matthew Dyer fit right into the mold. Typically a catcher for the University of Arizona, Dyer, can play every position, except pitcher.

We talked about the good frames for the Mets draft picks, and Dyer is a lengthy 6’4″, 187 pounds. Most people in the organization say he is closer to 200 pounds. Dyer went undrafted in 2019 but had confidence he would earn a selection from an organization during 2020.

Put Him Where He Fits

Over the last few years, Major League Baseball has seen more catchers who move out from behind the plate. Austin Barnes, Willson Contreras, and Willans Astudillo are the most notable utility catchers. Dyer’s defense is good behind the plate with a strong arm, but is not as advanced with framing and receiving. As with most catchers his height, there are questions if he can spend his career there.

If Dyer had to change positions, he would be best suited as a corner outfielder. His arm has been clocked above 90 mph from behind the plate and is faster than most players his height.

Dyer started his collegiate career at the University of Oregon. After hitting .268/.355/.362 during his freshman year, he transferred due to missing home and not meshing well with the Ducks program. Dyer’s original plan was to transfer to a Junior College. After breaking a bone in his left hand and unable to transfer credits, he went to the University of Arizona instead.

Due to NCAA transfer rules, he had to sit out the 2018 season but kept himself ready for 2019. Dyer slashed .393/.480/.571 with four home runs over 42 games but missed the final month of the season due to a broken hand. His average still finished third-best in a competitive PAC-12 behind 2019 number one pick Adley Rutschman and 2019 second-round pick, Cameron Cannon.

Over 13 games in 2020, he only batted .204 but had three home runs, which made him an enticing pick despite the slow start. Dyer has a quick swing and barely gets his front foot off the ground on his load. Despite not much power loaded behind the swing, his hand speed and good swing plane, allows him to drive the ball well. For a fourth-round pick in a year with plenty of guessing, the Mets did well with selecting Dyer, who might pan out to be a diamond in the rough.

 

New York Mets Second Round Pick: Isaiah Greene

The New York Mets took another risk with a high upside pick in outfielder Isaiah Greene. The left-handed hitter out of Corona High School in California was taken with the 69th overall pick of the draft. Greene’s pick was a Compensation Round B pick in exchange for Zack Wheeler signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Greene is a potential five-tool prospect but still has work to do with his bat. He is committed to the University of Missouri and given the talent, he already possesses he may turn down the Mets offer and play in college to move up in future drafts.

Natural Athlete

Speed is the first thing that stands out about Greene. He was at the top one percent of the 2020 draft class in the 60-yard dash and is built well with a 6’1, 180-pound frame. If he is going to be a five-tool player, it will likely happen in left field. Greene’s stellar speed may not be enough to overcome his below-average routes to the ball and arm strength. His development in either college or the minors is going to settle his primary position.

On the bases, his advancement shows. Greene is a good baserunner and base stealer, going his entire high school career without being caught. The most potential comes from Greene’s bat, he has a naturally fluid swing and hits the ball well to all fields. After playing okay during his freshman year, he .389 the following year then dropped to .321 but his the only four home runs of his high school career during 2019.

Greene only hit .067 during five games in 2020 but had five walks and only struck out five times during that span.

What makes his bat intriguing is the two separate directions it can go. Greene has a slight leg kick and his swing is flat through the zone, producing mostly low line drives. Should the Mets stay with that approach they could create a doubles/triples type of hitter, who could potentially leadoff in the future.

Two Hitting Approaches

The other direction would move towards the approach of most hitters in today’s game. Greene would add more height to his leg kick and lift to his swing to put balls over outfielders’ heads, not between them. Already with a good frame, he should be able to add strength to legitimize his power. Right now he projects around 10-15 homers but has 20-25 home run potential.

My prediction is he likely goes to college to round out his game in a solid baseball program at Mizzou. Either way, the Mets did a solid job with this draft pick.

 

Get to know Austin Wells, the Yankees’ first-round pick, with five fun facts

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees selected University of Arizona catcher Austin Wells with their first-round pick in the MLB Draft, the 28th selection of Wednesday night. He became the first player of his college to go in the initial round since infielder Kevin Newman.

You can get to know Wells with these five fun facts (hat tip to MLB.com.)

  • Prior to playing ball in Arizona, Wells starred at the Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, the same that has produced Marty Cordova and current Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo.
  • This is actually the second time the Yankees have selected Austin Wells in the draft. They took him back in 2018 in the 35th round, but he kept his word and went on to the University of Arizona.
  • He comes from a family of athletes: his father also played baseball and his mother was a gymnast, both at the University of Arizona.
  • Wells has been raking for quite some time, and the Yankees got themselves a potential offensive star. Last year, he was named the Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year, hitting .353/.462/.552 in 56 games and starting every game for the Wildcats as a freshman.
  • MLB Pipeline lists him as being 6-foot-2, 220-pound, and says Wells “can generate power to all fields with his simple, left-handed stroke.” He is a very patient hitter who works the count and draws walks, but is also vulnerable to the strike out.

The Yankees got themselves a gem

Before COVID-19 screwed things up, the new Yankees’ player was slashing .375/.527/.589 with two homers, six doubles and 17 walks over his first 15 games.

His scouting report has him as a very good offensive player, but there are questions about his ability to remain a catcher in the long-term. Because of that, he will need to hit a lot to stand out and carve a role regardless of his position.

MLB Pipeline says he is an adequate defender, but throwing could be an issue. He is capable of playing first base and left field, and those two positions could be his home in the future. In that sense, he is very similar to Kyle Schwarber.

New York Mets First Round Pick Pete Crow-Armstrong

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The New York Mets seemed to continue their first-round draft magic by selecting Pete Crow-Armstrong with the 19th overall pick. Crow-Armstrong projects as a center fielder and has defensive tools the Mets currently lack in their outfield depth.

Crow-Armstrong is only 18-years old and bats/throws from the left side out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles, California. Notable MLB alumni from his high school include Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito and Max Fried. His mother, Ashley, is most known by baseball fans for her role as Billy Heywood’s mother in Little Big League.

Tools That Cannot Be Measured

The upside for Crow-Armstrong is infinite. Just a year ago, he was held as the best high school player in the draft class. Struggling with tougher competition lowered the hype but he was playing very well, hitting .512, prior to the season’s sudden cancellation.

There are questions about his ability to hit at an All-Star level but his swing gives him a good base to work off of. Crow-Armstrong’s defensive skills are above his hitting skills and he has the potential to be a Gold Glove quality center fielder. What really sets him apart from every other draft prospect is his mental strength and character make-up.

Leadership is a key characteristic for Crow-Armstrong and it already draws similarities to Pete Alonso‘s leadership. β€œI love to display the intangibles as well as what I can bring physically,” Crow-Armstrong said. β€œAs a baseball player, I want to get fans excited…I want to be more than just a baseball player. I want to make an impact.”

He is a devotee of the Buddist monk Thich Nhat Hanh and credits the monk’s readings to his success on and off the field. Overall, the Mets likely got a steal with the 19th pick and hopefully, GM Brodie Van Wagenen does not trade him for an older player past his prime.