The draft is one of the most exciting times of the baseball season, and the New York Mets had a fantastic one. Jim Callis of MLB even went as far as saying that the Mets had the best haul of the draft.
One component of any draft is steals. Which talented player is going to fall farther than expected and get scooped up by a team who never thought they’d have a chance at him? There are a couple of options for the Mets this year.
One I considered was first-rounder Kevin Parada. How can the #11 pick in the draft be a steal, you ask? Well he was mocked as high as #3 overall, so he did drop a bit after some wild choices early on (Kumar Rocker #3??). I decided against him because their second rounder fell further.
The steal of the draft for the Mets is starting pitcher Blade Tidwell
According to MLB Pipeline, Tidwell was originally projected to go in the middle of the first round before he missed part of the season with a shoulder injury. He then fell in the rankings to #27, but the Mets were able to scoop him up at #52.
Tidwell has an advanced four-pitch mix. He’s got a big fastball that sits in the mid-to-high 90’s, and a really good slider in the mid-80’s. Both of those pitches are rated as 60’s on the scouting scale. His change is a 55 and gets a lot of whiffs, and even his show-me curveball is an average pitch at 50.
He’s a big kid at 6’4” and about 210 pounds. He won’t have any problems staying in the rotation, especially as he bulks up a little and refines his mechanics in the minors.
Anytime you can get a first-round talent later on is huge. The Mets have done this in the past with pitchers Matt Allan and J.T. Ginn, so it’s clearly a strategy that they like and have gotten very good at. It will be exciting to follow Tidwell, as well as the rest of the 2022 draft class, and see what they turn into.