Postseason hero Michael Wacha Could have been a Met

Posted: October 28, 2013 in Future Mets, News, Opinion
Tags: , , ,

By Steven Inman

Photo by CBS Sports

Photo by CBS Sports

Cardinals rookie right-hander Michael Wacha has captivated the baseball world in the month of October, generating a ton of buzz and shutting down championship caliber teams like the Dodgers and Red Sox. His story with the Cardinals almost didn’t happen however, as Wacha could have been taken by 18 other teams, including the Mets. Wacha, the NLCS MVP, has gone 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in the postseason so far. He is expected to start Game 6 of the World Series at Fenway Park.

Wacha was taken with the 19th overall pick in the 2012 year’s draft. The Mets had the 12th overall pick that year and took high school shortstop Gavin Cecchini. Look 18 teams could have had Wacha so I’m not blaming the Mets for not taking him. I’m blaming them for the reason why they didn’t take Wacha. “Our guys liked Wacha a lot in 2012, one of the top college pitchers on the board,” Mets Vice President of Player Development Paul DePodesta told Mike Puma of the New York Post on Friday. “We were really focused on position players at the top of the 2012 draft,” DePodesta said. “We didn’t even sign a pitcher in that draft until our fifth selection. So, we really liked Wacha, and he was high up on our board, but as an organization we needed to use our high picks that year to create more value in our position player prospects.”

The idea that the Mets would pass on stud pitchers just because their farm system is lacking position players is just absurd to me. The MLB draft is a crapshoot at best and you must take the best available player especially in this scenario when it doesn’t look like money was a factor. The thought that they just zoned out on half the talent pool (pitchers) early on in the draft only makes their scouts jobs even more difficult. It doesn’t make a ton of sense. Keep in mind they did the same thing the year before when they took OF Brandon Nimmo (who didn’t have high school baseball in his state and is still in High A) over Jose Fernandez who was taken one pick later. That year they also suggested they were only looking at position players. The Mets in 2013 also only were focused strictly on position players with their first round pick.

The Mets have some nice starting pitching in their minor leagues but they don’t have nearly enough to simply stop looking for more talent.

Look maybe Nimmo and Cecchini become solid players for the Mets but they only should have been selected if they were the best available according to the Mets, they shouldn’t have been taken just because the Mets don’t have a ton of position player prospects. Alderson has taken a position player in the first round all three drafts and they still don’t have a position player prospect that is thought of all that highly elsewhere except for Travis d’Arnaud who was acquired in a trade.

For the record at the time I wouldn’t have drafted Wacha either so I can’t completely kill the Mets here. My reports on Wacha were that he was supposed to be one of the first guys from this draft to the big leagues (he was) but he was probably more of a mid to back end starter. The name I kept hearing was Jon Garland and I wouldn’t have drafted a young Garland in the first round. The Mets have the 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft and hopefully they take the best available talent, no matter what position he is.

  1. frank says:

    One of the best and most well thought out posts I have ever read ! Keep up the great work Steve !

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