Interesting Late-Round Mets Draft Picks

Kyle Schnitzer highlights the Mets draft picks from round 11 and beyond. – Joe

Instead of talking about every draft pick, lets focus on some of the more interesting ones.

After the first 10 rounds, the draft becomes a crapshoot. three-quarters of these guys will never pan out. Half of them won’t make it out of St. Lucie. We just hope it’s not players selected in the first five rounds.

Recently, the Mets have discovered diamonds in the rough. For instance, Dillon Gee, who is arguably the Mets’ most consistent starter this year. Drafted in the 21st round of the 2007 Draft, Gee has been brilliant this year. The righthander is 6-0 with a 3.33 ERA and is making a run for Rookie of the Year.

Mark Cohoon, a 12th-round selection in 2008, is quietly becoming the talk of the Mets farm system. He looks to join the ranks of success stories past the 10th round, which shows; Mets scouting knows what they are doing (most of the time). And to add a little comfort, take Christopher Schwinden, a college arm taken in the 22nd round of 2008, is on deck for a call-up.

So now let’s take a look at the 2011 late-round picks.

We start with 11th round selection Christian Montgomery, a righthanded pitcher from Lawrence Central HS in Indianapolis, Indiana. Considered by many as a first-round lock at the start of the season, Montgomery saw his stock drop faster than Office Deport in 2010 (Office Depot dropped 37.4%).

According to Baseball America, Montgomery was touching 90-95 mph on his fastball in the beginning of the season. However, his velocity was down to the mid-80s and only topping out at 89 MPH during the late spring. Ticketed to Chipola (FL) Junior College, this pick is very interesting and could bring huge upside if Montgomery can find his velocity again. He was also a member of the U18 Team USA.

Moving to the 15th round, the Mets selected Phillip Evans, a shortstop out of La Costa Canyon HS, California. A 5’10” 180 pound frame, Evans doesn’t look like much. However, his track record is impressive.

An Aflac All-American, Evans is considered a slick fielding infielder who will have to find another position, since scouts question if he can hold down short. While Baseball America says that Evans lacks a standout tool, they had some nice things to say about his character on the field.

“He plays hard, though, and his speed plays up a tick because of his hustle. Evans has a simple, repeatable right-handed swing, and projections on his bat range from fringe-average to plus, depending on the scout. He has some strength in his forearms and projects for fringe-average power, despite his small stature.”

Signability is an issue here, as Evans is committed to San Diego State.

The Mets really must have loved the Under Armour All-American game last summer. Just where they found Brandon Nimmo, the team’s 1st round selection, the Mets drafted another toolsy outfielder in the 20th round, Mason Robbins. Out of George County HS, Robbins is a slugger. Belting 14 home runs with a .500 batting average in 2011, Robbins is also a two-way player. He’s been named the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year for Mississippi. Robbins is committed to Southern Mississippi, putting the Mets in between a rock and a hard place.

Other interesting picks from 10-50 include a pair of Division 2 West Florida players, Dustin Lawley, the 19th round selection; Gregory Pron, 42nd round selection; A.J. Reed, left-handed prep arm in the 25th round; and 23rd round selection Jeff Diehl out of Cranston (R.I.) West HS.

So grading the Mets draft, a solid B- would fit. Yes, some of these picks were very aggressive and might never pan out. But hats off to the new regime going in a new direction. What did you make of the draft?

Kyle Schnitzer's biggest memory as a Mets fan is when Carlos Beltran went down on strike 3 against Adam Wainwright in game 7 of the NLCS. Since then, he hasn't expected much from the Mets. The new regime gives him hope. When he's not writing here, he's writing somewhere else, bussing tables, tweeting, or riding his bike. Follow him on Twitter: @dakyleschnitzer
  1. Mike June 10, 2011 at 11:25 am
    Baseball drafts are hard to grade. You can’t trade around, you are forced to pick where you are. So if no one good is available you either reach, or go for a guy who might not sign. I think the Mets did better than a B- because this regime clearly has changed the drafting culture. High upside, lots of college pitching, and not shying away from the big signing bonus guy.

    Considering the past few years, A- for a job well done and mission accomplished. But like all drafts you won’t know for 5 years how this draft truly grades out.

    • Steve S. June 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm
      Agree totally with your comments, Mike, as well as your grade of A-.

      I believe that the Mets made the right move with Nimmo and some later picks, showing a willingness to go for the brass ring and pay over slot.

      And I wonder what international signings are coming.

      • Kyle Schnitzer June 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm
        An A- might be the Arizona Diamondbacks draft or the Boston Red Sox. As you both said, we won’t find out until a few years to really give this class a grade.

        The fact is, there were better players available at #13. In the baseball draft, you draft the best player available. If the Mets really think Brandon Nimmo was the best there, then fine. There were other players there that could have an impact now or soon, rather than later.

        International signings should be interesting.

        • Mike June 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm
          Well the reasoning from DePodesta was that there was so much pitching depth that they decided to go with a bat in the first round knowing that there might not be another impact bat later. I think with a first pick you grab the guy you want, and my guess is the pitchers they wanted were gone, they saw the value of a Nimmo, didn’t think they could get another high ceiling bat all draft, and went with it.

          No problem with that logic.

    • Kyle Schnitzer June 10, 2011 at 4:11 pm
      Also, to explain the B- grade, that’s the grade for who are considered locks to sign. if they could grab some of these lower round selections, this could be a huge draft class.

      In this case, the grade can rise.

  2. BklynCowpoke June 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm
    I am wondering … Why Major League Baseball doesn’t institute a system where ball clubs can trade away draft positions in trades? I believe this can be done in other sports.
  3. Mic June 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm
    The baseball draft is unique in that rarely does a guy go fro. Draft to majors. As such why trade picks.

    WHAT I WANT, is true punishment!!! I think if a team signs three top free agents the should lose their first round pick for three years…. Now that would level the field and force more trades.