The Major League Baseball Draft starts on Sunday night, and it’s a big one for the New York Mets. After not signing Kumar Rocker last year, the Mets have two first round selections at #11 and #14 overall. They have two more picks on the first night: #52, their second round pick, and #75, a compensation pick for losing Noah Syndergaard in free agency.
Let’s look at a few names the Mets should select on night one of the MLB draft.
At #11: Dylan Lesko, RHP
Dylan Lesko is one of the best arms in the draft. Lesko had an insane 2021 season, tossing 60 innings and striking out 112 batters with an ERA of 0.35. The 18-year-old had Tommy John surgery in April, but given the talent and how thin pitching is in the early rounds of this draft, there’s no way he escapes the first round. MLB Pipeline rates his fastball at 60 on the scouting scale, and his changeup is the best in the class at 70.
There’s a chance that a team ahead of the Mets reaches for Lesko, or the next best pitcher, Brock Porter. I feel that it’s important for the Mets to get a starter early, since most of their top prospects are hitters, so if one of those guys is available, that’s the move here. If neither is available, it’s possible that Jace Jung could fall to the Mets, and he is a fantastic hitter.
At #14: Chase DeLauter, OF
Chase DeLauter is a very well-rounded player. He played center field at James
Madison University, but scouts see him moving to a corner spot in the pros. He had an insane .437/.576/.828 slash line this year before breaking his foot and missing the rest of the season. His best tool is his power, rated at 60 on the scouting scale, but he is average or better in every category (55 hit and run, 50 arm and field).
At #52: Noah Schultz, LHP/Jud Fabian, OF
As the draft goes on it gets harder to predict, so there are a few options here. Noah Schultz is another high school arm committed to Vanderbilt. He is a long, lanky slinger, coming in at 6’9” and 220 pounds. His best pitch is his sweeping slider.
Jud Fabian is a power bat who was drafted by the Red Sox in the second round last year, but didn’t sign and went back to college. He has big power, and he was able to cut down on his strikeout rate, which is promising. He’s an above-average defender in a corner outfield spot.
Landon Sims is another name the Mets need to watch. He is ranked #44, so it’s unlikely that he’s available here, but if he is that would be a heist for the Mets. He had Tommy John surgery in March, but he is a very talented pitcher. His fastball is rated as a 65 and his slider is a 70, so he has two great pitches that would make him an electric reliever.
At #75: Trystan Vrieling, RHP/Sal Stewart, 3B
Trystan Vrieling is an intriguing option out of Gonzaga. He’s very polished in the sense that he throws four quality pitches, with his fastball, changeup, and curveball all being rated as 55’s, and his slider is 50. The only question about him is his control, which isn’t crazy, but there are times he loses the plate a bit.
Sal Stewart is a third baseman coming out of high school. He has above-average power and he’s an above-average fielder. The only knock on him is his speed, or more accurately, lack thereof, but that’s not a deal breaker as a corner infielder. He is another Vanderbilt commit, because apparently every high school player in the first two rounds is.
It'll be interesting to see what the Mets do on Sunday night, and throughout the rest of the draft. It's rare to have two first rounders, so this will have a significant impact on the future of the franchise.