Round 11, Pick 320 – LHP Franklin Parra
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 187 DOB: 9/13/99 (18)
School: Copiague High School (Senior)
Committed: San Jacinto Juco College
In the second round of the 2009 draft, the Mets selected a high-school lefty out of Long Island. After struggling from injuries in the early part of his career, Steven Matz broke into the Major Leagues in 2015 and has aided the Mets to two postseason appearances. Nine years and nine rounds later, the Mets chose another prep southpaw from Long Island when they drafted Franklin Parra out of Copiague High School.
The lefty had an unique experience when he was selected. On draft day, Copiague’s principal Joseph Agosta called him into his office and they both waited until the Mets finally selected in him in the 11th round. “When the Mets called my name, it was the best moment of my life,” remarked the 18-year-old.
Although he didn’t start baseball until middle school, he showed an aptitude for it immediately and found himself into professional baseball little more than a half decade later. He moved around while in high school but eventually settled in Copiague High School, where he developed into their ace. Although he finished with a 2-3 record, that was more of a testament to his team’s poor play than his performance. He posted an insane 19.5 K/9 in his senior year. He was committed to San Jacinto Juco College, but chose to he’ll his college education in order to play with the Mets.
He’s far from a finished project, but there is a lot to like about his upside. His mechanics are clean and he utilizes his high leg kick well to gain more velocity. Pitching from a high 3/4 arm slot, his delivery is also very deceptive. His fastball, which definitely has room to grow, currently sits around 89-to-93 mph. A nasty slider and a decent curveball complement it well. His curveball already has late break, which bodes well for his future. Both off-speed pitches have shown potential, however, they currently blend into each other to form a slurve.
When the difference is obvious between his off-speed pitches, he dominates, but he’ll need to learn how to differentiate the two pitches in pro ball. He also has a rarely-used changeup in his arsenal, which could also develop into an above-average offering in the future. He commands all of his pitches well, which points to a future as a starting pitcher. Although he had 1.250 OPS as a senior, he will focus on pitching.
Since Parra is a prep arm, it could be difficult to project him. He’s definitely a project, so don’t expect him to be in Queens anytime soon. However, his upside is considerable and he has a projectable frame. As he grows, he should be garner more velocity and will hopefully show better break on his off-speed deliveries. Right now, as a possible four-pitch pitcher, he’ll have every chance to be brought up as a starter. He signed an overslot deal with the Mets worth $150,000.
Parra has thrown two scoreless innings for the Gulf Coast League Mets to begin his pro career.