New Mets Era Gets Boost From the Draft

Two high schoolers with high ceilings for the Mets.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Alderson is putting his stamp on the Mets.

    In the first round of the baseball draft on Monday night, the Mets drafted a high school outfielder from Wyoming named Brandon Nimmo.

    Included in the raft of information that followed Nimmo's selection was a note about how he didn't actually play high school baseball. Sparsely populated Wyoming isn't a hot bed for baseball at that level, so Nimmo had to make do with American Legion ball and other kinds of competition to catch the eye of major league scouts.

    We've become so accustomed to expecting the worst from the Mets over recent years that hearing that felt like yet another punch line. Only the Mets would pick a player with that kind of limited background 13th overall when they have such a serious need to build their farm system.

    But easy analysis is not something that works in a baseball draft. Players take so long to develop and come from so many different places that only a fool would attempt to stamp a draft pick as a success or failure in the hours after it was made.

    What's important is what the selection of Nimmo represents for a franchise that is just starting to be shaped by the front office that came into power after last season. We're starting to find out what Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi have in mind for building the organization into a formidable power.

    In Nimmo, they took a player who is raw right now but who has one of the higher ceilings of any hitter in the draft. They also took a player who will cost some coin if they hope to sign him away from his scholarship at Arkansas, the same school that is holding a spot for Michael Fulmer, a hard-throwing right-hander that the Mets took with the 44th pick.

    Fulmer will also cost some money which certainly raises eyebrows given the financial state of the Mets. Compared to signing free agents, though, the draft is cheaper and it gives you players that can then be signed to advantageous long-term deals if things work out the right way.

    That said, there's a lot more risk than if the Mets had taken college players who were closer to the big leagues and lacking the leverage that Nimmo and Fulmer have in contract negotiations. The flip side is that there's a greater reward than there would be with a prospect with more finish but less upside.

    It's that last point that matters more than anything else. Alderson is taking the long view when it comes to building this team and not trying for the quick fixes that defined the Omar Minaya era.

    The future is starting to come into view for the Mets and it appears patience is going to be a virtue.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.