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11/30/09 11:16 AM EST

Mets hope for quality out of thin '09 Draft

No standouts yet, but waiting for Matz to make pro debut

With the 2009 season and Arizona Fall League (where several 2009 draftees got their first taste of pro ball) in the books, we're taking a look at the early results of each club's '09 First-Year Player Draft class: how their top picks performed, late-round picks who fared well, which picks are likely to move up the ladder quickest and which picks clubs were unable to sign.

With a tough season at the big league level in 2009, it would be great to report that the Mets organization had a terrific Draft to give the system a much-needed infusion of talent. Unfortunately, that wasn't necessarily the case.

NL East

AL East

NL Central

AL Central

NL West

AL West

The Mets didn't have a first-round pick, forfeiting theirs to the Angels when they signed free-agent closer Francisco Rodriguez during the 2008 offseason. Then they weren't able to come to terms with successive picks in the fifth and sixth rounds, making them one of just four teams that had more than one of their top 10 picks going unsigned.

Critics have pointed out the Mets' unwillingness to go over slot in recent Drafts. They didn't spend a ton overall in 2009, though they did go well over slot to sign their first pick. The Mets have been much more aggressive in bringing talent to the system via the international route, but it appears, at least at the outset, that the 2009 Draft did not add much.

Top five picks

2. Steven Matz, LHP: Sure, the Mets stayed in their backyard by taking Matz out of Ward Melville High School in Long Island, but the left-hander was considered one of the better high school arms in the Northeast heading into the Draft. He signed right at the deadline on Aug. 17, so he didn't get to make his pro debut this past summer. Like many high school pitchers, he's got some work to do, but he has a chance to throw three decent pitches as a pro.

3. Robbie Shields, SS: The Florida Southern College standout signed in early July and played in 44 games with Class A Brooklyn in the short-season New York-Penn League. He hit .178 AVG/.273 OBP/.267 SLG over 146 at-bats for the Cyclones. A balky elbow didn't help matters. It remains to be seen if he'll be a shortstop long term, but that's where he played every day for Brooklyn once he signed.

4. Darrell Ceciliani, OF: The Mets sent Ceciliani, a junior college product from Columbia Basin Community College in Washington State, to their rookie-level Appalachian League affiliate in Kingsport, Tenn. Over 42 games, he hit .234/.313/.310, but showed his above-average speed by stealing 14 out of 16 bases, while almost entirely playing center field.

7. Darin Gorski, LHP: The Mets didn't sign their fifth- and sixth-round picks, so Gorski is next after Ceciliani. The Kutztown University lefty went 3-4 with a 4.91 ERA over 62 1/3 innings for Brooklyn. Though he allowed just 51 hits (.220 batting average against), he struggled with command (26 walks vs. 50 strikeouts).

8. John Freeman, C: Catchers who hit with some power from the left side are always at a premium, so it's no surprise the Mets took a shot with the McNeese State University product. He didn't show much pop in his pro debut with Kingsport, where he hit .221/.271/.305 in 131 at-bats.

Best of the rest

Ronald Harris, an outfielder taken in the 14th round out of Northwood University in Texas, hit .292/.378/.415 with 13 steals, mostly with Kingsport, though he earned a late promotion to Brooklyn. Joseph Bonfe, a third baseman, went from Sierra Junior College in California to Kingsport in the Appy League as a 21st-round pick and hit .327/.426/.462 over 40 games and even got a little taste of the NY-Penn League. Kurt Steinhauer, an outfielder, was drafted in the 27th round and hit .328/.428/.525 in 36 games between the Gulf Coast League and Kingsport. At age 23, he'll have to show he can do that for a longer period of time and at a higher level. Brandon Sage was a lefty taken out of South Alabama in the 37th round who posted a 2.03 ERA and .224 batting average against in 31 innings for Brooklyn. He had a .205 BAA and an 0.84 ERA vs. left-handed hitters, perhaps a sign of his future role.

Fast risers

The Mets don't have too many draftees who appear like they could hop on the fast track. Shields hit well in a brief Cape Cod stint prior to his junior season and might have the best chance of moving up fairly quickly if he can regain his stroke. If Sage grabs hold of a lefty-specialist role, that could help him advance at a faster rate.


Of their 49 Draft picks in 2009, the Mets were unable to come to terms with 14 of them. The biggest names, of course, belong to the fifth and sixth rounders, a pair of big arms. With Damien Magnifico, perhaps the rumors of a large bonus demand were true. Instead, he headed to Howard Junior College and will thus be eligible again for the Draft in 2010. The Mets took David Buchanan because of his arm strength, but they weren't able to come to terms with the Chipola Junior College product. The right-hander enrolled at Georgia State and can also be redrafted next year.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.