The New York Mets and Major League Baseball have successfully pushed through April of the 2023 season. It is inconceivable that the topic of the MLB amateur draft has pondered back to discussion as the annual selections stand just over two months and away.
Steve Cohen and the Mets gifted New York City a team with a bright vibrant ribbon that has strong World Series potential. We all know behind the scenes, Billy Eppler advised by Thomas Tanous, Vice President of Amateur scouting, are working constantly in the shadows to ensure the Mets future is set up for success. The Mets first pick of this year’s draft will be in the competitive balance round A with pick number 32. The team exceeds the balance tax threshold by more than $40 million, therefore they drop 10 spots in the selections. In the first two rounds, the Mets will choose 32nd and 56th. The Mets will guarantee seven picks in the first four rounds.
NY Mets focuses and expectations in the 2023 Major League Baseball amateur draft
The Mets opened 2023 with the 11th-best MLB farm system, thanks to a slew of tremendous years of aggressive drafting and international signings. New York’s 2022 signings shot the rankings all the way from the 20th spot to the 11th. What does this mean for the club? It means the club’s pockets are fat and expendable come the trade deadline. At least four of the top 30 Mets prospects will see the major league field this year. Any player ranked in the top 10 of the 30 prospect list could be flipped to make a purchase.
This farm system is expected to slowly evaporate, creating room for draft replenishment. Right off the bat, we know a catcher and middle infielder must be on the shopping list, followed by pitching. The promotion of top catching prospect Francisco Alvarez and infielder Brett Baty already starts the hunt for replacements.
The Mets 2022 selections were phenomenal, signing huge names such as infielder Jett Williams, RHP Blade Tidwell, and second baseman Nick Morabito. These names make up the talented layers of the farm system. The 2023 version of the draft can seek and compensate some new talents.
NY Mets draft plan needs to prioritize specific areas of their farm system
The Mets employ catcher Francisco Alvarez on the 40-man roster platooning with Tomas Nido, while Kevin Parada sits in the third spot of the top 30 rankings. Both catchers are durable in the market, whether it's pre-trade deadline or the off season market. There is only one catcher in top prospect ranks, and the Mets should consider drafting another one high in the selections. Anywhere between rounds two and three would be ideal for New York to find a top-prospect caliber catcher, considering Kevin Parada was taken in the first round.
Catching prospect Kyle Teel would be an ideal pick; Teel is a left-handed hitting backstop out of the University of Virginia. Teel would be possible in round two, no later. Any selections after round two would give you options such as Ralphy Velazquez or Cole Carigg, who aren't very ideal as they are utility catchers that play other positions.
Pitchers will always be priority in any draft scenario. In 2022 the Mets drafted 13 pitchers; 15 prospects of the top 30 are pitchers. Nine of these pitchers are expected to graduate to the big league level within the end of this year and 2024; a select few of these arms can be dealt as collateral before the 2023 trade deadline. Pitching should a focus during this draft, especially left-handed pitchers. The Mets have two southpaws in the farm rankings and could add more depth. Blade Tidwell was a second-rounder in 2022, comparable for 2023 would be a pitcher such as Chase Dollander, also out of Tennessee. Dollander ranks high within the draft prospect rankings, and his repertoire grades would put him right near Tidwell on the list.
The Mets will have a wide variety of talent to fill their selections and they have opportunity to maintain or improve their grassroots.