The New York Mets have semi-dismantled what appeared on paper to be a world series favorite in 2023. The notorious Mets pitching rotation has been severed and lacking two high-end pieces; Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Although the fate of the 2023 season is diminishing, there is significant hope for the future.
As Justin Verlander was sent back to the Houston Astros, the Mets were repaid with a player that has increased the value of the team’s farm system. Outfield-prospect Drew Gilbert was shipped to Queens from Houston, Texas, and compliments the grassroots program just fine. Gilbert was originally drafted out of Stillwater, High School by the Minnesota Twins in the 35th round in the 2019 MLB draft. He honored his commitment to the University of Tennessee where he competed until he was drafted again in 2022, in the first round (28th overall) by the Astros.
Mets Drew Gilbert Analysis: Collegiate overview
Gilbert’s career saw some action on the bump at University of Tennessee, however, it was cut short at 16.1 innings and he embraced life in the outfield and in the lineup. He was highly valuable for Tennessee, holding various accolades and honors such as 2021 USA Baseball Collegiate National team, 2022 Baseball America All-American second team, 2022 Perfect Game All-American, and more.
His freshman year softly broke him into the Southeastern Conference with 15 game played finishing with a .350 batting average. After this season Gilbert saw himself more consistently on the field and in the batter’s box where as a sophomore, he proved his presence in the lineup and field to be detrimental to the team’s performance. In 2022 he broke out the gate with 72 hits, 70 RBIs, 11 home runs, and came across to score 60 times. He finished with a .362 batting average and a .455 on-base percentage. With such a performance with the top-ranking collegiate program that year, Houston selected him as their first-round pick with the intention of him being a starting center fielder by 2026.
Mets Drew Gilbert Analysis and Scouting report
At 22-years of age, Gilbert stands 5’9”,195lbs with a smaller athletic frame and agile-aggressive characteristics. His strong arm and his speed are just above average and equip him well for his defensive position in center field. He covers mass areas of the outfield within the range of his zone and his quick-twitch style of play gets him to hard-to-reach balls, almost guaranteeing outs. On the offensive end, his speed deploys on the base pads where he executes his confidence and ability to run; Gilbert finished three college seasons with 16 stolen bases; his .400 career on-base percentage led to 116 runs scored for Gilbert. He has the ability to increase these numbers and focus on leading the running game.
Gilbert is a line-drive type hitter with launch-ability. His raw power and quick hands make for hard hit baseballs, scorching liners up the middle, darting opposite extra-base hits, and quick turn on the inside pitch for a pull-side poke. He uses the height levels of the strike zone and protects the outer portion of the plate, making good contact, using all fields.
Mets Drew Gilbert’s professional experience and value to the club
Gilbert has been having a very satisfying first year in professional baseball, starting and playing a chunk of the season with the Astro’s A and AA squads. Platooning between the two, Gilbert has recorded a .274 batting average, a .363 on-base percentage, and a .458 slugging percentage. He’s smacked 38 RBIs on 85 hits and 12 home runs, all while stealing 10 bases.
Gilbert is the highest-ranked of four outfielders listed on the Mets top 20 prospects list. His estimated arrival time to the show is 2025 with the possibility of showing face a lot earlier. Such a prospect once proven in AA-AAA will add value to a major league lineup; the Mets have an all-arounder from the defensive side to offense and the running game. He can be severe collateral for future trade possibilities if not utilized, holding major stock. The Mets have hit the jackpot with this trade acquisition.