For all the letdown and suffering New York Mets fans have endured, there is one part of the organization that has quietly established a strong track record in recent years.
Stretching back over the past decade, the Mets have shown a propensity to find and draft quality talent through amateur scouting. In fact, a large portion of last year’s roster was homegrown – that is, drafted and developed by the Mets. These not only include first round picks like Brandon Nimmo (2011), Dom Smith (2013), and Michael Conforto (2014), but also later round gems like Seth Lugo (11th round, 2011), Jeff McNeil (10th round, 2013), and Pete Alonso (2nd round, 2016). And if you stretch back a bit farther, there was this prospect named Jacob deGrom they nabbed as the 272nd pick in 2010 – he worked out all right.
Of course, other Mets’ draftees have achieved Major League success – just not in orange and blue. Michael Fulmer, for example, was a supplemental first-round pick in 2011 who became the primary piece in the Yoenis Cespedes trade in 2015. Fulmer went on to win 2016 AL Rookie of the Year with the Detroit Tigers and was an All-Star the following season. He did require Tommy John surgery after that but has worked his way back to become an effective closer.
The common thread in both instances is that, unlike other sports, it takes time for baseball prospects to reach the big leagues, let alone their full potential.
For the Mets, a new wave is finally on the verge of bursting onto the major league scene.
Let’s look at some of the Mets top prospects selected over the past five years (2017-2021), along with a few key international free agents they’ve signed over this time, who could become household names in the not-too-distant future.