The narrative of the 2021 Mets draft results has completely changed for the better

The 2021 draft could've been disastrous but has since turned into one of their most promising classes.
Oct 7, 2022; Peoria, Arizona, USA; New York Mets pitcher Mike Vasil plays for the Peoria Javelinas
Oct 7, 2022; Peoria, Arizona, USA; New York Mets pitcher Mike Vasil plays for the Peoria Javelinas / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the tenth overall selection in the 2021 MLB amateur draft, the New York Mets added no one to the organization. It was the year where Kumar Rocker fell to them and without much hesitation, they decided to take a chance. As it turns out, Rocker’s medicals were frightening enough for the Mets to turn down an offer to him and thus set the course for what could have been one of the worst drafts in club history.

Not so much. The Mets gained a compensatory pick the next year and used it on catcher Kevin Parada who, at the very least, is someone they can dangle out there in a trade. More importantly, the Mets pushed forward in that draft and went pitcher-heavy through the 20th and final round.

Now in 2024, the 2021 draft isn’t about how the Mets missed on Rocker. It’s about all of those other gems they were able to pick up in between.

Did the Mets rebuild their pitching staff in the 2021 MLB Draft?

Calvin Ziegler was the lone high school selection by the Mets in the draft and while injuries have curtailed his career at the moment, we can continue to play the waiting game with him. In the meantime, the Mets successfully brought in three pitchers shortly after who all look like candidates to make the majors in 2024.

Dominic Hamel was the third-round pick. A successful year in Double-A for the 2023 season should push him to begin the year in Triple-A and on the verge of a major league promotion. A 25-year-old as of March, it’s easy to forget he’s even there with the fifth-round selection the Mets took.

Maybe their biggest steal of the draft was taking Christian Scott in the fifth round. The organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2023, Scott is now one of the most highly-regarded prospects the club has. As if this wasn’t enough, Mike Vasil came to them in the eighth round of the draft. Already experienced in Triple-A, he’s a candidate to see some early action in the majors during the 2024 season.

Three starting pitchers we can pencil in as rotation options in the not too distant future is fantastic. It could’ve been even better. Carson Seymour and Nick Zwack were used in the infamous Darin Ruf trade. In a far more acceptable deal, the Mets traded Keyshawn Askew to the Tampa Bay Rays for Brooks Raley. Add those three into this group still with the Mets and the 2021 Draft looks like even more of a home run.

Other noteworthy draft picks include Nate Lavender and Trey McLoughlin. Both relievers, it’s nice to see the Mets are successfully building some bullpen arms who aren’t just starters getting their feet wet in the majors. 

Compare this to the 2019 draft and we see where the Mets have righted the ship. In those 40 rounds, Brett Baty is the only player to make the majors with any club. This was a draft purposefully built around having enough bonus slot money to pay for Matt Allan. It’s why building your entire draft around one player can be faulty.

In 2021, it turned out to be a draft about more than Rocker. The Mets didn’t rest for a single round.