A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

College Prospects, Part I

The Draft is usually about trying to get the best possible talent regardless of the position they play. The latter rounds may be about filling organization holes, but the first few rounds are about getting bang for your buck. Having a guy like David Wright does not preclude you from drafting a third baseman if he is the best talent available because a player takes three or four years to develop and reach the major league level and a lot can change between now and then. They can also be valuable trading chips down the line as well or you can try, fit them in at another position, etc.

As far as this year's draft goes, there will be loads of talent at positions the Mets actually need to fill organizationally. I'm not partial to drafting high school or college kids, but this year and where the Mets are drafting, it looks like college players are the best bet. I'm not a moneyball person by any means, but there are some guys that have very good plate discipline with some power from the left side of the plate and those are certainly a few areas the Mets could stand to improve upon in their system. The position players coming out of college are one of the stronger fields in recent years the Mets will most likely capitalize off that. Of course the draft is near impossible to predict, but I see the Mets going college in first round with their 9th overall pick. With that said, I'll be lining out a few guys that could be a good fit for the Mets and that I'll be following throughout the year to see if they make more progress in their development. I've left off some guys since they will almost certainly be off the board by the time the Mets turn comes around, but I've also added some guys that can possibly push their way up the draft board with another huge year though they are not at a level where they would go in the top ten right now. Try not to fall asleep....here's Part I.

1B: STEPHEN HEAD Mississippi

Stephen head is first baseman who throws and bats from the left side. According to BA, he is very athletic and agile and could possibly play the outfield if a move is warranted.

"He has very good raw power," the AL scouting director said. "I saw mostly pull power. He really looks for inside pitches; he showed that he can cover the outside half, too. He showed me a better swing (than Mayberry)."

Stephen more than doubled his homerun output from his freshman year to his sophomore year and is expected to increase his output again this season and perhaps push 20 homeruns. Head is also said to have prototypical left handed swing and is a very polished hitter that should be able to hit in pro ball immediately.

Year
G
AB
R
H
2b
HR
RBI
BB
SO
AVG
OBP
SLG
2003
58
208
31
70
10
6
44
23
33
.337
.385
.490
2004
60
228
41
79
13
13
53
23
37
.346
.419
.583


Head fits the need for the Mets to add power and a left handed bat to their organization and since Craig Brazell was regarded as the best left handed bat developed since Rico Brogna, I think the Mets may show some interest. The fact that scouts think he is versatile and agile enough to handle a move to the outfield speaks a lot about him as an athlete and is a great trait to have in any ballplayer. He also held his own with his first go at hitting with a wooden bat by hitting .271 while leading his team in homeruns (3) and RBIs (15) in the Cape Cod League which only improves his standing as a prospect. If this guy shows big time power, he could be a perfect match for the Mets who dumped their best first base prospect and could fill that hole with a lefty power hitter.

C: JEFF CLEMENT Southern California

Jeff Clement earned first team pre-season All-American for the second straight year. Clement bats from the left side of the plate though the throws with his right arm. He was also voted by BA as one of the college players with the best raw power. Sometimes homerun totals and power could be deceiving in college with metal bats, but Jeff Clement proved he can make the transition to a wooden bat by continuing to hit with Team USA this past summer. He was 3rd on the team in RBIs, 2nd in homers (three players tied for first) and did not make an error in the 23 games played. He lead Southern California in home runs and RBIs for the second straight year and continued to show excellent plate discipline. With team USA, he was 2nd on the team in BB and walked 38 times in 52 games in his 2004 season after walking 32 times in 56 games in his 2003 season.

Year
G
AB
R
H
2b
HR
RBI
BB
SO
AVG
OBP
SLG
2003
56
208
53
62
8
21
53
32
43
.298
.402
.649
2004
52
198
36
58
12
10
43
38
39
.293
.416
.515


"He and (Alex) Gordon have the best raw power I saw all summer," an American League scouting director said. "He just destroyed balls. I saw him hit balls to right, right-center that were just bombs."

Sound too good to be true? Kind of…according to BA, defense is a question for Clement, but scouts say his excellent makeup and work ethic should allow him to improve his fringe-average skills behind the plate through repetition and hard work.

While Clement should be off the board when the Mets pick, it will be close. BA tried to do the impossible and predict the first round of the 2005 draft and slotted him at #7. If he falls to the Mets, they need to get this kid. A left-handed, power hitting, 100+ walk catcher does not come around often.

RP: CRAIG HANSEN St. John's

Craig Hansen put himself into position to become a first round draft pick after his Cape Cod League last summer. According to BA, he possesses two plus major league pitches and used them to rack up 41 strikeouts in 22 innings while allowing just two walks and no earned runs. He posted an absurd 20.5 K/BB ratio pitching in the Cape and owned a 0.49 WHIP. Not bad, huh? He pounds the strike zone, and pounds it hard with a high 90's fastball.

"He was up to 97 with an 86 mile per hour slider that looked like a curveball it had so much depth," an AL scouting director said. "We just want to see more of him. We want to be able to see him hold that stuff for two games in a row. I really didn't know he was even a guy going into the Cape last summer. He just knocked your socks off."

Year
W
L
G
IP
H
H/9
R
HR
BB
BB/9
K's
K/9
K/BB
AVG
ERA
2003
2
2
21
39.2
51
H/9
37
1
21
4.76
41
9.30
1.95
.325
7.03
2004
1
2
13
15.1
5
H/9
5
2
8
4.70
24
14.07
3.00
.122
3.52

It’s hard to pick a reliever when you have so much talent out there to choose from, but this guy looks downright nasty. If he puts up a huge year, he could special. BA rated him as being the hardest thrower amongst prospective closers, owning one of the best breaking balls in the country, and tabbed him as one of the closest to the majors. It’s easier for relievers to jet through the system as Huston Street showed last year, who chosen in the supplemental first round by the A’s. At this point, Hansen looks like he has more upside than Street. He has two plus pitches already and could turn into a Gagne type with an off speed pitch by keeping batters completely off balance. He has to get some serious consideration by the Mets if he carries over his success from the Cape Cod League in which is numbers were otherworldly as he was just flat out nasty.

* * *

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  • You are supposed to be able to translate the article, but it just was not working for me.

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