Best pick: Jarred Kelenic
Cliché, I know, but Kelenic is the only 2018 draftee who will find himself in the Top 10 of our BP Mets midseason list. Add in the fact that he’ll reportedly sign for less than slot and this is a no-doubter.
Best value: Bryce Montes de Oca
The Mets are presumably going to give MDO a shot as a starter, which could pay huge dividends if successful. There’s probably a 5% chance he ever develops the command required for that, but worst comes to worst, he profiles as a potential closer. I’d say that’s pretty good value for the ninth round.
Most likely to challenge Manager Todd Frazier to an arm wrestling match during a 5-15 stretch in 2027: Saul Gonzalez
I can see it already: By 2027, Gonzalez has developed into one of the leagues best starters but the Mets inability to provide him with adequate run support has him fuming. After striking out the side to end the seventh, Mets manager Todd Frazier pulls Gonzalez aside to let him know that David Wright Jr. will be pinch-hitting for him. The problem is Gonzalez isn’t in line for the win, which has been replaced by the quality start by all 31 teams except the Mets at Frazier’s request, and the pitcher isn’t interested in exiting until the Mets score a run. After some name-calling ensues, a table is brought from the locker room into the dugout and Gonzalez challenges Frazier to an arm wrestling match to determine if he stays in the game. Frazier loves the grit and determination shown by Gonzalez and decides to lose on purpose to let his ace get back on the mound. He then retrieves a vintage 2018 “Salt and Pepper” shirt from his office and gifts it to Gonzalez while reminding him of “the good ole days.”
Best facial hair: Nick Meyer
- 3rd Mustang in 5 years to earn honor (Peter Van Gansen, 2015; Chris Hoo, 2014)
- .984 fielding (395 putouts, 44 assists, 7 errors in 446 chances).
- Earned 2016 BWC Freshman Field POY.#RideHigh #BWCBaseball #PlayBig pic.twitter.com/PYt50PuoVS
— Big West Baseball (@BigWestBaseball) May 30, 2018
I mean look at that thing. That’s a Rollie Fingers-esque ‘stache! Hands-down the easiest winner to select.
Most likely to debut with a team other than the Mets: Simeon Woods-Richardson
Fran Fraschilla famously went on ESPN during the 2014 NBA Draft and proclaimed that Bruno Caboclo, the 20th overall pick by the Toronto Raptors, was “two years away from being two years away.” Simeon Woods-Richardson, the Mets’ second-round pick, has yet to turn 18 and is probably two years away from being two years away. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mets traded him in that time span as part of a package for more immediate help to the big league club.
Best potential: Jarred Kelenic
The only player selected with five-tool potential. Need I say more?
Most likely to be a roommate of Noah Syndergaard: Nick Meyer
In addition to his glorious mustache, Meyer has some incredible hair to boot. It’s easy to envision a battery of Syndergaard and Meyer sharing shampoo tips while discussing how to break the news to Robert Gsellman that they’ve taken his Xbox away.
Most likely to get redrafted by the Mets in 2021: Ian Mejia
A 6’4” right-hander with room to add to his frame and a commitment to Arizona, it’s unlikely that Mejia and the Mets will be able to strike a deal. They famously took third rounder Carlos Cortes in the 20th round of the 2016 draft before selecting him again this year, and we can’t rule out a run at Mejia in 2021. The Mets love tall right-handed college pitchers more than they love tall right-handed prep pitchers, so there may be no escaping the orange and blue for Mejia.
Quickest to the majors: Ryley Gilliam
Gilliam was a surprising pick in the fifth round since he projects as a reliever only, but that should allow him to move through the system quickly. He’s already got two potential plus offerings but he needs to work on getting comfortable throwing his changeup out of the bullpen. As a dominant college arm from one of the best conferences in D-1, Gilliam should be the first player in the class to reach Citi Field.
Most likely to outperform expectations: Denzel Clarke
Clarke’s an athletic outfielder with some pretty intriguing tools for a 36th-round pick. He just turned 18 in May and is already 6’4” with a ton of room to add to his frame. If he can add some power to his game, he might develop into a fourth outfielder type.
Most likely to become the next Wilmer Flores (Fan Favorite): Chase Chambers
Chambers slugged 17 long balls after hitting 18 last season to go with an insane .404/.508/.669 triple-slash for Tennessee Tech in 2018. When the National League finally institutes the DH, Chambers will get the call and steal the hearts of Mets fans with his clutch home runs.
Best fastball: Bryce Montes de Oca
MDO already has a plus-plus fastball that gets incredible sink and movement and sits in the mid-to-high-90s, touching triple-digits with regularity.
Best name: Zachary Hammer
Zachary Hammer is an incredible name for a baseball player, much less a pitcher who actually throws a curveball. Zach has one of the best names in the entire 2018 class, but there simply isn’t a name out there that can compete with Rangers 32rd rounder Owen Sharts. It remains to be seen if the Mets will sign the 21st rounder Hammer, but there’s some intriguing upside here.
Coolest skill: Carlos Cortes
A natural left-handed thrower, Cortes’ dad taught him how to throw right-handed at a young age in an effort to improve his versatility. It turned out better then they both could’ve imagined, as Cortes profiles at second base in the pros.
Most excited to meet Tim Tebow: Also Carlos Cortes
Cortes gave an interview to MLB.com after the Mets selected him and mentioned unprompted that he’s looking forward to meeting the former Heisman trophy winner.
Photo credit: Brad Penner – USA Today Sports; Photo illustration: Kate Feldman