What can we expect from New York Mets first-round pick Pete Crow-Armstrong based on how past 19th overall selections have done?
In 2016, the club had the 19th pick and took Justin Dunn. He’s actually the last of the 19th overall picks to make his major league debut with the last three in between yet to reach the show.
Before Dunn, there are a few other names Mets fans will find familiar. In 2012, Michael Wacha was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in this spot. In 2005, the Texas Rangers took John Mayberry Jr. Just three years earlier in 2002, the Los Angeles Dodgers made James Loney a part of their organization.
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Crow-Armstrong is only the second Mets pick at the 19th spot in franchise history. Dunn has already been traded so there’s not much specific franchise history or superstition to rely on. However, we do have years of 19th overall draft picks to look at. Maybe this can give us some kind of a clue as to what Crow-Armstrong’s ceiling may be.
By far the greatest player drafted 19th overall is Roger Clemens. He’s a Hall of Fame pitcher if not for his use of PEDs. I don’t need to go into what he achieved during his career. Post World War II, he is easily a top ten and possibly even top-five pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Clemens is certainly an outlier for all rankings. His WAR is nearly twice the second-best 19th overall pick in history. This second-place finish goes to Bobby Grich, one of baseball’s forgotten stars of the 1970s and 1980s.
Other notable names on the list in descending order by WAR include Alex Rios, Mike Scioscia, and Shannon Stewart. Realistically, this is probably the best the Mets can hope for from PAC. Each of them made a mark on baseball but isn’t close to a household name.
Over the last two decades, most of the 19th overall picks have been pitchers. From 2006-2014, the pick was void of position players. Arguably the most successful pick during that span was Andrew Cashner.
A lot of us are hopeful Crow-Armstrong can become an everyday outfielder patrolling the grass beyond the infield dirt at Citi Field. As with any pick, the floor and ceiling stretch far and wide from all-time legend to a lifelong minor leaguer.
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Frankly, to get a Shannon Stewart or Alex Rios career out of him would be a good thing. As the history of 19th overall picks show, there’s a very limited chance to land a Hall of Famer.