With the MLB Draft only 8 days away, it’s that time of year to start looking at potential draft targets for the New York Mets. I find the Rule 4 MLB Draft one of the most interesting drafts to preview because of the fact that it involves both High School and College aged players together.
Like most other sports, scout’s perspectives on prospects are always changing. As a result, the expected draft range for players changes on a daily basis.
The following four players have all been connected to the Mets in one way or another, at least for now. It wouldn’t surprise me to see one of these players drafted 11th on June 6th, but then again it is still early and things can change.
1B DJ Peterson, New Mexico- If this guy gets to the Mets at #11, my gut feeling is that he will be the pick. Despite that he has a small frame, scouts say he has the potential to hit 25 homers and bat .300 in the MLB if all goes well.
I do not see this year’s class of college hitters as very strong at the top, but I do think that Peterson’s bat is being overlooked due to his position. Peterson reminds me of a Wilmer Flores type player, but with power that is already developed.
Peterson is coming off a dominant performance in the Mountain West Tournament, where he had four multi hit games including 2 homers. His team ended up losing to San Diego State in the Finals, but it was nevertheless a spectacular tourney for DJ Peterson.
RHP Ryne Stanek, Arkansas- I have been hearing Stanek’s name come up more and more recently with the Mets. I watch a good amount of SEC baseball, and I have seen many of his starts over the past two years.
Stanek does not have ace stuff. His fastball sits in the 91-93 range, his slider flashes plus, and his change is average for the time being. The most impressive quality Stanek possesses is that he has that “it” factor that you can’t put a numerical value on. When Stanek is on the mound, he has a strong presence and a knack for pitching well in the big games.
In the SEC tournament, Stanek pitched well against the powerhouse LSU: 8IP, 6H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 4K. It was a gritty performance as he did not have his best stuff, but he got the job done. Of all the pitchers in the draft, I view Stanek as the most MLB ready, but I don’t see his ceiling as anything more than a mid rotation starter.
1B Dominic Smith, Serra High School (CA)- If the Mets choose to go the prep player route, Smith is the way to go. Like Peterson, his bat is being overshadowed by the fact that he will probably be a 1st baseman as a pro. Scouts say he will be a plus defender at the position though, and there is a chance he could handle a corner outfield spot.
Despite that the pair of raw outfielders from Georgia (Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier) are ranked ahead of him, Smith is the best all around high school bat in the draft. He is also small, but he has a beautiful swing that reminds me of Adrian Gonzalez’s San Diego years.
One scout even went as far as saying that his floor is the career of Adam LaRoche. Prep first baseman are always a risk, but that’s a pretty high floor for a high school player. I love Smith’s swing so much that I think he could be a Todd Helton in the making.
The downside of Smith is that he is far away from making the big leagues, and that he lacks athleticism and speed. If the Mets drafted Smith, I would be happy at his potential, but a little frustrated that they drafted high school players 3 years in a row.
OF Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi State- Renfroe is one of the more polarizing names in the draft. He is a late bloomer, as his first few years in college were nothing special. This year he led his Bulldogs team to the SEC tournament.
His performance in the tourney was sub par, as he went 6 for 22 with one extra base hit. Renfroe has the potential to be a four or five tool player, although he is one of the riskiest college players in the draft.
He is the classic definition of a one year wonder, so it is tough to tell whether or not his bat is for real. The one thing that is for certain is that the power is for real, as he has hit some long homers.
Renfroe reminds me of a young Jeff Francouer with a bit more speed. If Renfroe can be consistent, then I could see him easily being an above average MLB regular. Renfroe is no doubt a boom or bust pick, which is uncommon for college bats.
Overall this draft is shaping up to be an interesting one because there are so many paths the Mets can take. It is all going to depend on how the 10 teams in front of them draft, but there will be a great player available regardless of how the draft goes.
Other than Brandon Nimmo, Alderson’s drafts have not impressed me, but I hope that changes with the 2013 Draft June 6th-8th.
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