If you haven’t heard yet, the 2012 MLB Rule 4 draft started on Monday. This year is much different from past years, as hard slotting has taken effect. Each team is assigned a certain amount of money, which can be used for bonuses. This prevents big-market teams from drafting players later in the draft who might have gone earlier, but fell due to bonus demands. The draft is modeled with the intent of the small teams getting the better players. It also forces the kids being drafted to decide if they really want to dedicate their lives to baseball professionally, if they aren’t getting first-round money.
Last year, the Mets went in a different direction from the past. After selecting Brandon Nimmo and Michael Fulmer, two high school players in the first round, the Mets flooded their draft board with college arms and toolsy high school players.
In the past, Mets fans were used to seeing college players drafted year after year. Some say it was used to save money, but at the time, the Mets were in contention or believed to be able to contend. The positives with drafting college kids is that a) they’re fairly well-developed, so you you have a good idea of what you’re getting; and b) they might not require as much time in the minors. The downsides: a) they usually don’t have as much “upside” or projectable talent as a high schooler; and b) you don’t get to develop them yourself.
After the jump, you can read my analysis by the New York Mets’ first two selections in this draft. Keep checking back for updates on each pick (until it’s a crapshoot).