New York Mets Amateur Draft Strategy

The baseball amateur draft starts this Thursday and the Mets have plenty of needs in their farm system. Obtaining Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins this off season drained several of the Mets top prospects. That trade included the Mets numbers 2, 3, 4, and 7 prospects. I still like the trade and the contract for Santana. I think he’s got the right stuff and fluid motion to avoid long term injuries enough to be successful over the next seven years.

That said, the Mets need to re-stock young players. Bob Klapisch wrote a good column today on the Mets strategy for this draft.

There’s been a lot of noise about how the Mets have been good citizens by maintaining MLB’s draft slotting. Maybe too good of citizens for many fan’s liking. Omar Minaya points to the team having the highest payroll in the National League to prove that they aren’t afraid to spend. I have to agree with that philosophy. Paying players big money that haven’t done anything is really hit-and-miss. I’d rather see them pay big money to proven players in free agency. They can always sign foreign players that are younger and cheaper as long shot, potential type players.

This week the Mets have three of the top 33 picks in the draft. Although the Mets need pitching, that may not necessarily be the Mets strategy:

Minaya says the Mets will abide by only one edict when choosing between college or high school candidates, and deciding whether to pursue pitchers or position players: This time around, the GM said, “we’re going after the best available players. That’s going to come first.”

After this season Oliver Perez, El Duque, and Pedro Martinez are all free agents. The good news is that C.C. Sabbathia will be a free agent too. He had a poor start to this season, so that should bring his contract down a little in terms of length and dollar value.

I’d rather see the Mets spend big money on Sabbathia than a player that’s never played an inning in the Major Leagues.

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