In a season full of disappointments, at least one thing has gone right for the New York Mets. Second round-pick Simeon Woods-Richardson has been impressive.
With their second selection (#48 overall) in the 2018 MLB Draft, the New York Mets took a gamble and selected 17-year old Simeon Woods-Richardson out of Kempner High School in Sugar Land, Texas. Thus far, the gamble has paid off.
In Woods-Richardson’s first five appearances for the GCL Mets, he sports an impressive ERA of 0.00. In 11.1 innings pitched, he has 15 strikeouts and has allowed just 6 hits (Stats as of 8/15).
In his two starts and three relief appearances, he has displayed an excellent fastball and a very nice 11-5 curveball. His fastball sits around 95 mph and has reportedly topped out at 99 mph. This is an incredible feat for a 17-year old and it’s amazing to think that he still has a lot of room for improvement.
The Mets obviously saw something in him to go above slot value to select him. As we all know, the Mets have always been very stingy, so this was surprising. The pick was valued a shade below $1.5 million, but the club signed him at $1.8 million. This was partly due to the fact that he was already committed to play college baseball at the University of Texas. The extra $300,000 enticed him to go pro immediately.
Had the Mets decided to sign another free-agent during the 2017 offseason, such as Lance Lynn or Mike Moustakas, they would have had to forfeit their 2018 2nd round draft pick, as well as some international free agency money.
Clearly, it was the correct decision not to go after a lower-level free agent and instead take a gamble on a player like Woods-Richardson with such a high ceiling.
According to MLB Pipeline, Woods-Richardson is ranked as the Mets’ number 23 prospect, but he is sure to rise on the list as he matures and gets promoted in the minor leagues.
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The Mets may have hit the jackpot with their second-round pick of Woods-Richardson. Only time will tell.