The MLB draft in 2021 is right around the corner, beginning on July 11. The Mets farm system is definitely not at the place it once was. Sandy Alderson and his regime are going to try to bring it back up to snuff. Alderson always stressed that the Mets have a great farm system, and has now inherited a team with a weak one. The Mets will have a great chance at this, as they have the #10 pick in the draft, allowing them better access to future stars.
That being said, what positions should the Mets focus on when drafting players this year?
Here are the rankings from 8-1 on the positions the Mets should focus on.
8 Relief Pitching
I know, I know. The Mets have an awful relief system. That being said, drafting a reliever in the draft is never a priority. It is important to draft relievers, but they are so difficult to project how they will turn out. Because of that, relief pitching will almost always be last in terms of priority.
The Mets are really set at shortstop. Not only is Francisco Lindor locked up for 11 years, but the number two prospect in the Mets system is Ronny Mauricio, a shortstop. The Mets also have Shervyen Newton at shortstop in the farm system, meaning they have two great shorstops in the minors.
6 Third Base
The other position that is really unnecessary to look at is third base. At least in 2021 that is. Three of the Mets top 30 prospects are third baseman, and at the top of that list is Brett Baty. It is unclear how Baty will perform at the Major League level, but they still have two more backups in Mark Vientos and Jaylen Palmer.
We are getting into the positions that I feel are important to upgrade, but at the bottom of that list is the outfield. The Mets have a solid outfield right now, but the outfield may be completely different in three years. It is unclear whether Conforto will be staying long-term. Dom Smith will probably be playing first base from next year on, hinging on the DH. Brandon Nimmo may not get a long-term extension after next season. The Mets have the prospects in the minors to upgrade. However, will they all live up to the hype? At the top of the list of Mets outfield prospects is Pete Crow-Armstrong. Many feel he will turn into quite the player, so he isn’t in much of debate. Khalil Lee and Alexander Ramirez are the other top prospects in the outfield for the Mets that could potentially be starting in a few years. Under them, there are solid names, but still a need to upgrade.
Francisco Alvarez is the number one prospect in the Mets organization. His rough Spring Training performance led to many questions from fans. However, he is still likely to be the Mets starting catcher in a few years once James McCann’s contract expires. Many expect Alvarez to be a star in the majors, but what if he doesn’t pan out that way? The Mets don’t have any catching prospects behind Alvarez in the top 30, meaning that they are hinging a lot on his success. I feel it is important to have at least some backup behind him.
3 Second Base
The Mets are really thin at second base. When I say really thin, it means that there is only one player in the top 30 who is listed as second base: Carlos Cortes. Cortes is the #19 prospect in the Mets system. In a farm system that is not full of prospects, being the 19th prospect isn’t a great rating. There is a clear need for a higher-level prospect in the farm system at this position, but is it worth going out and using your #10 pick for?
2 First Base
We all would like to think that Pete Alonso will be in a Mets uniform mashing baseballs for a very long time. Pete’s early career seems to foreshadow a long career in New York. However, you must always have a backup plan of some sort. The Mets do not have one. Alonso was the only top 30 prospect at first base before he got called up, and that has remained. The Mets still do not have a top 30 prospect at that position, leaving a clear hole. If something were to happen to Alonso, an injury or a trade, the Mets have no backup plan at first in the minors. I would not be surprised if the Mets draft a first baseman in the second of third round.
1 Starting Pitcher
You can never have too many starting pitchers. Most of the Mets top 30 prospects consists of pitchers, some starters. Matthew Allen is the Mets top starting pitching prospect, but behind him there isn’t much that stands out. JT Ginn was the Mets second-round pick in 2020, and is also poised to come up in 2023 alongside Allen. However, behind those two, it is hard to pick out anybody that is pegged to be a top 3 starter. Mostly every start in the Mets top 30 is likely to be a four or five starter, meaning that it is important for the Mets to bolster it even more. I personally think the Mets should opt to draft a starting pitcher in their #10 spot.
What do you think? What positions do you think the Mets should focus on?
Photo Credit MetsInsider