Draft Talk: The Very Early Edition

By Teddy Klein

February 21, 2018 24 Comments

In a typical season, one of my favorite times of the year is the Draft. It’s when we get to pick new Mets, what a feeling. The minor leagues get new faces for years to come, and there’s a new ray of hope brought into the organization from the early rounds. The short season commences, and we see a bigger glimpse down the road.

This year is especially intriguing. The Mets have the No. 6 pick, a borderline first round pick in the 46th pick, and a giant pool to grab some nice talent after the top rounds. They have multiple avenues to go, and there’s a lot of time to see which way they go. As well, these draft boards will shift…drastically, as college players with ability emerge, and High Schoolers show flashes of tools they hadn’t, due to growth. This is why it’s very early in the draft.

In fact, it’s so early, that mock drafts have barely arisen, So I have decided to lay out some guys who the Mets may be considering at No. 6 and some guys they should consider at No. 46.

No. 6:

2B/SS Nick Madrigal, Ohio State, 9 for 17 2 2b, Hr, 2 SB in 4 games so far.

The Oregon State cornerstone only has a 5’8″ stature, but has been a high performer in his first two years in college with plus speed, a nice glove, and posting high OBP’s. Madrigal hits everything hard, but doesn’t hit for plus power . . . yet. Madrigal would be the starting shortstop if Cadyn Grenier wasn’t better there.  Madrigal will look very comfortable playing at 2nd base. Should he keep hitting at the insane rate that he does, Madrigal will hold his spot in the top ten and be a good candidate to move quickly.

OF Griffin Conine, Duke 4 for 9, 2B, HR, 3 BB, 3 K in three games so far

Fellow MMN writer Dilip Sridhar would kill me if I didn’t mention this guy. Obviously, you are starting to make the association: He’s Jeff Conine’s son. Conine is his own guy, and he is very talented. An advanced bat with plus power, Conine is a right fielder with a plus arm and average speed out in the field. Conine was an All Star out in the Cape Cod League last summer, and represented Duke well with a .943 OPS and 9 homers in the wooden bat league. For me, the gut feeling comp is Michael Conforto, and if he keeps hitting, he’ll warrant the No. 6 spot despite not being the most athletic choice.

SS/3B Nander de Sedas, Montaverde Academy

Nander de Sedas is oozing with upside. He’s a switch hitter with the ability to hit for contact and has some plus raw power.  This makes for one gorgeous profile for this high school shortstop. At Shortstop, he’s a smooth fielder with a plus arm, but his below average speed suggests he won’t be there forever making third base a very nice alternative. He’s probably the top guy on my personal board.

LHP Shane McClanahan, University of South Florida 6 ip, 3 H, 5 BB, 11 K

If his name is familiar, you probably won’t forget that he was a 26th rounder for the Mets in 2015. The following year, he immediately underwent Tommy John Surgery.  When he got back onto the mound as a Red Shirt Freshman, he came in throwing gas hitting 92-97 while showing a plus change-up and an above average slider, but iffy command. His stuff was on display when he debuted with a six inning blank-frame start with 11 strikeouts albeit with five walks. McClanahan is a true boom or bust pick due to the impressive stuff but checkered injury history.

No. 46

OF D.J. Artis Liberty 3 for 14, 2B, 4 BB, 5 K in 4 games

Artis is currently No. 119 on the top 200 Draft prospects for Baseball America and their top ranked prospect for the Big South college conference, Artis has a blend of athleticism and polish you wouldn’t usually see at this point. Artis led college Division I Ranks last year in walks with 62, and he posted a .500 or better OBP for two years running. Additionally, his power has developed over time.  His isolated slugging percentage doubled from his freshman year to sophomore year (.095 to .193), and it figures to jump further this year. Artis is a plus athlete with plus speed which allowed him to steal a conference leading 23 bases last year and play an above-average center field. Most likely, despite being in a small Division I conference, Artis will get drafted much higher than his current ranking and would be an intriguing grab at No. 46. I’ll keep hyping him until draft day.

3B Nick Northcut Mason HS, Ohio

I’ll precede all the intrigue with this: Northcut is a Vanderbilt Recruit which makes his price tag high. As probably one of the best HS 3B bats in the draft, Northcut has some intriguing athleticism, is able to hit for power for average, and is known as a great defensive 3B.  It’s really only a question of commitment and price tag, but if he’s there, he’s got boom or bust upside.

C Noah Naylor St. Joan of Arc HS, Ontario

A smooth, powerful left-handed stroke, the younger Naylor (Older brother Josh, a top prospect in the Padres system) has some pop of his own.  He out-homered top draft 3rd base prospect Nolan Gorman in a home run derby before the futures game last year. Noah has a good chance of hitting for average and power, but he has questionable defense. Naylor’s arm flashes plus and has some nice accuracy, but his movements and receiving need work. Nevertheless, this is some nice upside to look at, going forward.

RHP Mike Vasil Boston College HS

Vasil is an intriguing arm from cold-weather Massachusetts with some cool upside. The 6’4″ 210 lbs High School pitcher has a lot of upside and possibility.  He throws in the 92-95 range and has the possibility for more as he gets even taller. In addition, he has an above-average curve and an at least average change.  He has some nice control too. With cold weather, he doesn’t have as much in-game experience as the guys in Florida or Texas with travel teams, but that may also give him some less overwork on his arm than other prep pitchers.

Draft Notes:

  • The draft schedule has changed from a weekend schedule to a Monday to Wednesday schedule (to my dismay), Starting on June 4th.
  • Draft Pools and slot bonuses have not been posted yet, but last year’s slots for the 6th and 46th picks were $5,303,000 (an increase from $1,233,800 in 2016) and $1,493,500 (increased from $106,600 in 2016) That puts the estimates for the next No. 6 slot in the $6.7 million range and No. 46 in the $1.65 range.
  • The top High School arm in the country, Ethan Hankins, walked off the mound last weekend with an undisclosed shoulder issue. That will shift draft boards in the coming weeks.
  • Definition: “Red Shirt” is a term that means that a college player missed an entire season due to injury and is then considered skill level in the year before his actual school year; i.e. a redshirt sophomore is a Junior Year college student with two seasons under his belt.

Stats courtesy of TheBaseballcube.com & Respective college websites.

  • Jason Mercado

    Solely based on the article i like Conine, Artis & Northcut. Would like to get another good Bat in the high rounds.

  • Grapeweasel

    I expect them to take the college pitcher with the shortest distance between ceiling and floor.

  • danielm – LGM

    Dilip will probably kill me for this, but I’m feeling Conine at six at all. I’d have at least McClanahan, de Sedas, Gilbert, Madrigal, Swaggerty, and Gorman over him out of guys who will probably be there when we pick

  • OneADayRey

    What a beautiful compact swing on Nander De Sedas.

  • J. Smooth

    De Sedas and Kowar are the dudes.

    Turang reminds me of Bregman. I like him too.

  • Teddy Klein

    Me too

  • Great article. I’d love De sedas or Madrigal. Madrigal reminds me of Trea Turner. De Sedas’ swing looks like it has serious pop and he could duke it out with Vientos to get to Queens first.

    McClanahan would be typical Mets.
    Tantalizing upside showing #1 starter stuff, but with all the questions about our pitching injuries I’m just not sure I’d have the appetite for more risk with this premium pick.

  • Teddy Klein

    that’s my position too, re: McClanahan, his comp is Sale, but already having TJS makes him a bit terrifying.

    Madrigal and Turner are very different for me. Turner was a 80 speed shortstop with a questionable bat at the time of the draft (damn, things change!) and Madrigal has a plus bat and Plus speed, and may be more comfortable at 2nd.
    de Sedas is tantalizing, Part of me wants to profile-comp him to Correa. That’s just me.

    The one pitcher I didn’t list, who I really like is Logan Gilbert of Stetson. A lot of people think he’s very underrated, and would also be a #6 possibility.

  • WallFlores

    I’m here to stop your guffawing ;P.

    Many thanks for this, Teddy. This was a very enjoyable. The #6 prospective picks seem to closely mirror what we’ve been discussing the last few days. After seeing footage of Madrigal as well as his profile and Oregon State background, he really seems like he would be the guy in a perfect world.

    Artis and Northcut look intriguing. Artis looks like he put up some very impressive figures too. Do you think he’s more of a Kirk type if he were picked there? (good athlete who is more likely a 4th OF type at the MLB level)

  • Teddy Klein

    Artis has a very wide outcome rate, but he doesn’t have the pop of Kirk. He’s a hitter, through and through, and barely strikes out too.

  • TexasGusCC

    I hear too much banter about taking a pitcher. This farm system needs bats big time and speed, and for me the best is Madrigal. Initially, I was really loving Banfield for positional scarcity, but as catchers are risks, pitchers are more so. The Mets have tons of quality arms, so time to start addressing the forgotten offense.

    I’m too worried Madrigal won’t even be there! How do you not take a talented hitter, no matter what his height? Are the Astros upset with Altuve? Doubtful. Madrigal has talent, lots of it, and talent wins!

    The Dodgers, Astros, Yankees, and Cubs have loaded up on talent, not pitching alone. If Madrigal is there, there isn’t another choice. If he isn’t, well, I may not even care.

    For the 46th pick, Artis sounds good and Naylor too. I’m not afraid of Naylor’s need for work, but not too sure about Star H. S. third basemen because there’s too much growing that needs to be done. Prefer polished college bats instead as they are closer to the MLB competition than high schoolers are.

  • JohnJC

    TY for this also !!

  • GODforto

    The pool for the 1st round pick is $6.7 million? That’s insane!

    Great article Teddy. A lot of things can change between now and June but this was a good preview.

  • Teddy Klein

    that’s an estimate at best.

  • MetsNextYear

    Love this article, can’t wait to see what happens in the draft

    I am also watching Joe Gray Jr- my sister taught him in middle school a few years ago and says he’s a great kid.

  • MetsNextYear

    “McClanahan is a true boom or bust pick due to the impressive stuff but checkered injury history.”
    – Sounds like a perfect fit. LOL

    I also like de Sedas, he seems like he has such a high ceiling

  • Teddy Klein

    Northcut is actually pretty polished, one of the better bats of the HS class and already impressive defensively. I’ve seen an Arenado comp put on him. I’m really not sure why he isn’t higher up.

    I’m not a fan of taking pitchers first, especially the Mets.

    de Sedas and Madrigal are my top guys in the draft. Both could become real monsters.

  • Gautham Pawnday

    Nice article, I really like de Sedas’ swing.

    Does Madrigal’s height scare you a bit? I mean, how often does another Altuve come along?

  • Teddy Klein

    Not really. Did you know that the entire Boston Red Sox outfield was under 5’10” last year?

  • Gautham Pawnday

    I sure didn’t. Very interesting.

  • Teddy Klein

    *5’10” and under.

  • mpetr37349

    Madrigal looks like he has the bat, and all around skill set, to move through the Met’s system quickly. Would be a great pick.

  • mpetr37349

    Ouch! Broken wrist.

  • Rbuxbaum

    After watching Altuve this last year it’s tough not to look at Madrigal and dream. So far the kid does nothing but produce; looks like a player and produces like one. Love his bat speed from the video. Have a good feeling about him. de Sadas also very impressive but could be 4-5 years out. Madrigal could get here as quickly as Conforto did and bot could we use the talent at 2B.