Round 3 – Craig Swan
By the time the Mets get to the third round, the misses look a lot more frequent. However, in the 1972 draft, they did manage to make a pretty good choice when they took pitcher Craig Swan.
Nearly all of Swan’s MLB career took place in a Mets’ uniform. Only his final two games were spent elsewhere. Although he pitched in the bleak 1970s and early 1980s, he was one of the more productive arms throughout the decade.
Swan isn’t Tom Seaver. For many younger fans, he’s a name from the past we don’t hear much about. In Mets history, he’s the best they’ve ever promoted to the big league roster from the third round of the draft.
Round 4 – Angel Pagan
By a few miles, Angel Pagan is the best player the Mets have drafted in round number four. How bad is this franchise when drafting in the fourth round? Only 14 fourth-round picks in Mets history have ever made the big leagues and not all did it with them.
Pagan is similar to Swan. He was a really good outfielder for the Mets between their good days in the late 2000s and the even better ones in the mid-2010s.
In four years with the Mets, he managed to hit .284 and gave them Gold Glove-caliber defense. Although he’s not remembered as an all-time Met, he’s the best they’ve ever taken in round number four. Thank goodness they reacquired him from the Chicago Cubs.
Round 5 – Nick Evans
We’re getting into some real sloppy territory. Pagan saved the fourth round. I’m not so sure anyone can do so for round number five.
The best player the Mets drafted in the fifth round was Burt Hooton. Unfortunately, he didn’t sign in 1968. Selecting exclusively from the list of draft picks who actually played for the Mets, Nick Evans is the best.
A .256 batting average with the Mets hardly registers as “all-time best” yet here we are. A consistent failure to find good picks in the fifth-round have left us with an undesirable selection here.