The current New York Mets front office regime has not always done the most obvious thing in building up this franchise. The obvious thing to do would be to buy the best free agents possible—something they kept themselves from doing over the winter.
When it came to this year’s draft, the Mets had common sense staring them right in the face. Pitcher Kumar Rocker, literally the only college player I knew before teammate Jack Leiter tossed a no-hitter, dropped to the number ten spot in the draft.
Rather than get fancy or try to outsmart the rest of the general managers, the Mets made the easiest selection they could. They took Rocker.
The Mets front office just reloaded the future with this selection
The Mets did a few things with this draft pick. Adding Rocker gives them a fabulous young arm they can lean on in the future. It was perhaps the most perfect selection they could make because of a few things that have happened with their minor league system in recent years.
The two pitchers the Mets drafted in the first round back in 2016 are no longer with the club. Justin Dunn was traded to the Seattle Mariners and Anthony Kay went to the Toronto Blue Jays. They still do have 2017 first-rounder David Peterson, but before him, we have to go back to the 2011 draft to find a first-round pitcher taken.
And just like Dunn and Kay, he was traded away.
The Mets aren’t completely absent of pitching talent on the farm. They do have Matt Allan and J.T. Ginn within their top ten. Thomas Szapucki remains an arm with upside as well.
The addition of Kumar does, however, open up the possibility of the Mets doing something they would rather not do: trade away a young arm from the farm. Clear trade deadline buyers, it may be slightly easier to part with one of their minor league arms to upgrade the 2021 roster.
You could have put just about anyone in the draft room for the Mets this year to make the Rocker pick. A well-known and excellent pitcher, there’s no downside to it.
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More than any other professional sports draft, baseball is one where you take the best player available. Regarded much higher than 10th overall pick worthy, the Mets did what they were supposed to: add the most talented guy they could.