NY Mets 2021 MLB Draft Review: Rounds 1 through 3
By Nick Prasad
Between July 11th and 13th 2021, the New York Mets selected their future franchise pieces In the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. Needless to say, it was an exciting one for the blue and orange!
After 2020’s draft, 20-rounds is a complete breath of fresh air, as the prospect market was HOT! The Mets began round one in the 10th selection spot. I’ve mentioned before that the Mets are 19th ranked of 30 MLB teams in farm systems, with only 3 of the top 10 prospects being pitchers. You can never have enough pitching. This year, the Mets drafted 12 pitchers alone!
Also, may I remind everyone, 3 months ago I wrote an article titled, “New York Mets: Pitchers to watch for in the 2021 MLB Draft”. Although I had high hopes, I sort of mentioned that the Mets 10th overall pick did not look hopeful to draft Kumar Rocker… well, the “baseball gods” heard that…
That being said, let’s take a look at the future of the New York Mets.
2021 New York Mets Draft Picks and Summaries
ROUND 1: 10th Pick, RHP Kumar Rocker
A part of Vanderbilt’s 1-2 pitching punch, Kumar Rocker sits 6th overall in Major League Baseball’s top 100 prospect list. This kid is monstrous on the mound, with a football body type similar to his father who was an NFL player. Rocker stands 6’5”, 245lbs, displaying strength in a muscular body type with good usage of power from the legs and hips. He’s a strike-thrower, not afraid to attack the zone, can paint corners, and work top and bottom shelf. He works a fastball, slider, and changeup. His fastball is most relied on, carries impressive velocity, sitting 95-96mph with great command. He’s touched up to 99 max on his fastball from time to time. His slider is his out-pitch and will be very crucial as he climbs the Mets ranks. His slider can be used like a curveball as well, changing movement, direction, and placement. His changeup was very absent from his game repertoire; it’s a usual back-pocket option but not a needed one.
Rocker has started 39 career games for Vanderbilt, going 28-10 over 236 and 2/3 innings, 321 strikeouts with only 68 walks. Rocker finished the 2021 season with a 2.73 ERA. His career headlines also were impressive, being named Baseball America’s Freshman of the Year, 2019 College World Series Most Outstanding Player, and he also threw a no-hitter in 2019.
Rocker is a strikeout machine and considered elite; this was a 10th round steal by the Mets, and truly is a boost for the future of this organization.
ROUND 2: 46TH Pick: RHP Calvin Ziegler
The New York Mets round 2 selection (46th overall) is a fairly familiar face. Right-hander Calvin Ziegler was their pick, the top pitching prospect in all of Canada. I spent time scouting Ontario and eastern Canada; Ziegler competed in the Canadian Premier Baseball League with the Great Lakes Canadians which I coached against. Watching this kid was like watching magic; high schooler throwing 97mph? Yep, unheard of. Aside from the CPBL, Ziegler was throwing for the TNXL Academy in Florida, prepping for the Draft. He was a commit to Auburn University.
He’s ranked 268th of 500 top-ranked prospects by Baseball America, and 134th on MLB Pipeline. Ziegler is a right-hander with a ton of talent. He’s 6’0”, 205lbs, tall with an athletic build from top to bottom. He has a loose arm, repeats his delivery well with solid fundamentals and arm action. Ziegler is known for his fastball; better yet he’s known for the drastic increase in fastball velocity between 2019 and present. We’ve seen 89-91 maximum transpire to 91-94 average, with a top-velocity of 97mph. His fastball is his hottest tool currently, with great command and ability to move around the zone. His curveball is a well-hooking breaking ball between 82-84mph that can be thrown for strikes, accompanied by his most dominant option, the slider. His changeup is also complimentary to his repertoire.
Ziegler will be a key took for the future of the Mets on the pitching side. He recently signed his contract and is excited to start the journey!
ROUND 3: 81st Pick: RHP Dominic Hamel
Another arm to the system, out of Dallas Baptist University, right-handed pitcher, Dominic Hamel. The 96th ranked prospect by MLB is impressive on the rapsodo charts. Hamel is an overall 50 on the 20-80 scale, however, spin rates on his pitches are phenomenal. He throws a fastball, maxing 96mph which can touch all of the strike box. His curveball breaks well, shoots downward into and off the zone. The slider bites late in the early 80s with good late-breaking action, and the changeup works low with good velocity reduction. He’s struck out 136 batters over 91.2 innings going 13-2. The Mets can see good innings out of this kid in the near future.