Draft Review ’13: Andrew Church

By Former Writers

September 20, 2013 1 Comment

Welcome to a 2013 Draft Review, where I take a look back at the draft picks from this season and the progress they’ve made so far…

churchWith the 48th pick in the 2013 Draft, the Mets selected a right-handed pitcher out of Basic High School named Andrew Church. Church will turn 19 in October and was a confusing pick to most who thought the Mets would target outfielder Austin Wilson. The Mets, of course, went on to draft Ivan Wilson in the third round as a young outfield with potential, so missing out on Austin Wilson may not be the biggest hit down the line.

Most people looked at Church as an an easy sign — he signed for $850,000 — who could help the Mets spend a little more throughout the rest of the draft. They finished $82,000 under budget for the 2013 draft and left 14 out of 40 draft picks unsigned — but they did sign their first 13 picks. Church was not a random pick, however, and was ranked #89 in BA’s Top 500 at the time of the draft. At the time of the pick, I wrote this…

The talented young man is a right-hander out of Palo Verde High School in Nevada. Listed at 6’3” / 199 LBs, Church still has some growing to do. His secondaries are below average right now, but his body projects out to add a little more bulk. His fastball should pick up a couple miles and his curveball might progress to be his second best offering. Baseball America listed him as the 89th-ranked prospect of this draft.

Paul DePodesta described Church as having the potential for being a solid middle-of the rotation starter who logs innings, with a plus curveball and three-pitch arsenal (fastball that tops out at 93 mph and changeup). “It was a nice mix of stuff and command,” amateur scouting director Tommy Tanous said. “I went back to see Andrew pitch in his high school playoffs and he was tremendous in that game.”

Church spent the year with the GCL Mets and pitched in nine games. He started off in relief over his first three appearances and was knocked around for five runs in four innings. His next six appearances were all starts and struggled through four of them. In the other two, however, he fired five shutout innings and tossed seven innings of three-run ball. The former was his last start of the season, so he at least finished his work in the GCL on an encouraging note.

His line for the season was 9 G, 3-3, 5.91 ERA, 35.0 IP, 49 H, 8 BB, 19 K. He allowed way too many hits to find success, but he did surrender only two home runs and walked only eight batters. In a weird way, Church might have thrown too many strikes and got knocked around because of it. First and last time you will ever see me write too many strikes, by the way. He’s got room to grow both physically and mentally as a young pitcher, and he will likely be a full-time starter in Kingsport next season. There’s definitely hope for him.