The MLB draft is where all teams, especially the New York Mets, find the stars of tomorrow. One of the coolest things about the draft is supplemental first-round picks. You receive a supplemental first-round pick if you end up losing a star player to free agency. The way supplemental picks have been doled out has changed over the years, but the original premise stays the same. The Mets have drafted 11 players from supplemental first-round picks over their 60-year history. Let's see who they chose and how they turned out!
1983 Mets supplemental first round pick Calvin Schiraldi
The Mets earned the 27th pick in the 1983 MLB draft when pitcher Pete Falcone left in free agency. They chose to select pitcher Calvin Schiraldi from the University of Texas. He made his MLB debut one year later, but he struggled to a tune of a 7.63 ERA in two years with the Mets. Schiraldi was traded to Red Sox for Bob Ojeda after the 1985 season and found some success out of the Red Sox bullpen in 1986 (1.41 ERA). He played five more seasons as a backend reliever split between the Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, and Rangers, and compiled a 4.28 ERA in eight years of MLB action.
1991 Mets supplemental first round pick Bobby Jones
The Mets earned the 36th pick in the 1991 MLB draft when outfielder Darryl Strawberry left in free agency. They chose to select pitcher Bobby Jones from Fresno State. He made his MLB debut in 1993 and for eight years he was a constant regular in the Mets rotation. He even made an All-Star team in 1997. He never was as good in the following years, however, and he struggled down the stretch of his career. After the 2000 season, Jones left the Mets and played two unspectacular years with the Padres before retirement. He had a career 4.36 ERA in ten years of major league work.
1992 Mets supplemental first round pick Jon Ward
The Mets earned the 30th pick in the 1992 MLB draft when pitcher Frank Viola left in free agency. They chose to select pitcher Jon Ward from the California high school ranks. He chose not to sign with the Mets, and instead attended Cal State Fullerton. It wasn't a wise move, as the next time he was drafted was the 8th round in the 1995 draft by the Cardinals. Ward lasted two years in minor league ball and never made the majors.
1994 Mets supplemental first round pick Jay Payton
The Mets earned the 29th pick in the 1994 MLB draft when pitcher Sid Fernandez left in free agency. They chose to select outfielder Jay Payton from Georgia Tech. He made his MLB debut in 1998, after dealing with tons of elbow injuries in the minor leagues. He eventually became the starting centerfielder for the 2000 World Series team and placed 3rd in rookie of the year voting that year. He was traded to the Rockies at the 2002 trade deadline, which ended his four and a half year run with the Mets. After the 2002 season, he played seven more years in the league with the Rockies, Padres, Red Sox, Athletics, and Orioles. Payton finished his twelve-year career with a .279 batting average and hit 119 home runs.
2000 Mets supplemental first round pick Bobby Keppel
The Mets earned the 36th pick in the 2000 MLB draft when first baseman John Olerud left in free agency. They chose to select pitcher Bobby Keppel from the Missouri high school ranks. He struggled in six years in the Mets minors before electing minor league free agency. Keppel signed a minor-league deal with the Royals and finally made his MLB debut in 2006. He lasted three years split between the Royals, Rockies, and Twins with a 5.36 ERA, before leaving for Japan where he finished his career.
2001 Mets supplemental first round pick David Wright
The Mets earned the 38th pick in the 2001 MLB draft when pitcher Mike Hampton left in free agency. They chose to select third baseman David Wright from the Virginia high school ranks. He made his MLB debut in 2004, and never looked back. He immediately becomes a star and lynchpin to the Mets lineup for the next ten years. During this time, he made seven All-Star teams, along with receiving two gold gloves and two silver sluggers. Unfortunately, his career was derailed by injuries, most notably by spinal stenosis in 2015. He was able to return for the 2015 World Series playoff run and was big in Game 3, by hitting a home run to give the Mets the lead. However, he was only able to play 39 games in two years after the 2015 run due to recurring back problems. Wright retired in 2018, as one of the best Mets players of all time, and a franchise icon.
2007 and 2008 Mets supplemental first round picks Eddie Kunz, Nathan Vineyard, and Bradley Holt
These three pitchers were drafted all in two years and combined a total of four major league appearances. The Mets earned the 42nd and 47th picks in the 2007 MLB draft when pitchers Roberto Hernandez and Chad Bradford left in free agency. They chose to select pitcher Eddie Kunz from Oregon State and Nathan Vineyard from the Georgia high school ranks. Kunz made his MLB debut a year later in 2008 and didn't perform well in his four-game cup of coffee. He was sent down back to the minors and was traded to the Padres in 2011. He never made it back. Vineyard never made it to the majors and only played two years of minor league ball. The Mets earned the 33rd pick in the 2008 MLB draft when pitcher Tom Glavine left in free agency. They chose to select pitcher Bradley Holt from UNC Wilmington. Like Vineyard, Holt also never made the major leagues and fizzled out in the minors.
2011 Mets supplemental first round pick Michael Fulmer
The Mets earned the 44th pick in the 2011 MLB draft when pitcher Pedro Feliciano left in free agency. They chose to select pitcher Michael Fulmer from the Oklahoma high school ranks. Before he ever played for the Mets, he was sent to the Tigers, in the famous Yoenis Cespedes 2015 trade deadline deal. He made his MLB debut the next year in 2016 and won the AL Rookie of the Year while making an All-Star team in 2017. After a great start, Fulmer got sidetracked by Tommy John surgery and has been slowly making his way back. He was effective in the bullpen for the Tigers in 2021.
2012 Mets supplemental first round pick Kevin Plawecki
The Mets earned the 35th pick in the 2012 MLB draft when shortstop Jose Reyes left in free agency. They chose to select catcher Kevin Plawecki from Purdue. He made his MLB debut in 2015 and became a backup for the Mets for four seasons, although he didn't hit much during his tenure. He was traded to the formerly named Indians after the 2018 season, but in 2020 when landed with the Red Sox is when he became a nice hitter off the bench. For the last two seasons, Plawecki has hit .305 with Boston, giving himself a nice little niche as their solidified backup catcher.