Grading Mets’ 2021 MLB Draft, with breakdowns of every pick

Dominic Hamel/Kumar Rocker Treated Image

Dominic Hamel/Kumar Rocker Treated Image

The 2021 MLB Draft is in the books, and the Mets made 20 picks over the three days. There were 19 of the 20 picks coming out of college, with only one high school pick being second-round selection Calvin Ziegler from the TNXL Academy in Florida.

The Mets drafted 12 pitchers compared to eight position players. They needed to add pitching depth to the organization, as they have signed multiple pitchers from independent ball to fill out minor league rotations this year due to injuries.

Mets VP of Scouting Tommy Tanous, who has been in the scouting department for a decade and has led the scouting department for the last five years, said after Day 3 of the draft that this was one of their deeper player pools they have had under their watch. Despite reportedly going over slot with first-round pick Kumar Rocker, they were able to stay around slot value with all of their picks in the Top 10 rounds.

In the last couple of drafts, they have gone significantly over slot in the second round with J.T. Ginn in 2020 and in the third round with Matt Allan in 2019. The effect from doing that meant the Mets spent the remainder of the Top 10 rounds drafting “senior signs,” which are college seniors who typically would sign for lower signing bonus amounts.

On Day 3 of the draft, the Mets went with mostly prospects who may not have the loudest tools, but they were all big-time college performers. The standout, for me, was 11th round pick Rowdey Jordan, who was a big impact player for the National Champion Mississippi State Bulldogs including a double in the final game of the College World Series off of Rocker. Jordan likely profiles as a fourth outfielder, but I still consider him an interesting prospect.

Jordan joins 2019 fourth-round pick Jake Mangum, 2019 32nd round pick Cole Gordon and Ginn as former Mississippi State players in the Mets organization.

Here is my breakdown and quick scouting report on the first 10 picks and some stats for the selections in rounds 11-20:

Round 1, Pick No. 10 – RHP Kumar Rocker – Vanderbilt

If you told me in five years we looked back and Rocker was the best player from this entire draft class, I would not be surprised at all. He had some inconsistencies this spring, but he has big time stuff and a chance to be a No. 2 starter. With the Mets history of developing pitching, I am confident they will maximize Rocker’s potential.

Round 2, Pick No. 46 – RHP Calvin Ziegler – TNXL Academy (FL)

Ziegler was drafted from a high school in Florida, but he comes by way of Canada. He was the top Canadian born prospect in this draft class, and is a mold of clay that the new analytics and player development staff has to be salivating to get their hands on.

His fastball is up to 97 mph with 100 percent spin efficiency and an above-average slider that shows plus-spin rates. Ziegler needs work on his changeup and command.

He reminds me a little bit of when the Mets used a second-round pick on Simeon Woods-Richardson in 2018.

Round 3, Pick No. 81 – RHP Dominic Hamel – Dallas Baptist

“A spin rate monster” is how Hamel was described to me. His fastball is up to 96 mph with late life. His two breaking balls are a power slider with high spin rates and a curve with sharp downward movement. He also calmed down his delivery that was a bit violent in his earlier college years. He has the looks of a No. 4 starter with potential for a little more, and worst case he likely is a multi-inning reliever.

Round 4, Pick No. 111 – 1B JT Schwartz – UCLA

Schwartz is likely a first baseman only at the next level, but I can imagine the Mets at least trying him in left field.

He hit .396 this year for the Bruins while walking (37) more than he struck out (28). He is a pure hitter who can barrel up balls to all fields who needs to tap into more power if he is to stick as a first baseman.

Round 5, Pick No. 142 – RHP Christian Scott – Florida

Scott is the first of four reliever profiles the Mets drafted in the Top 10 rounds. He has a two-pitch mix with a fastball that has touched 98 mph, but is mostly 92-95 and a mid-80s slider. He throws strikes but did not miss as many bats as you’d like to see in college. He looks like a future middle reliever.

Round 6, Pick No. 172 – RHP Carson Seymour – Kansas State

Seymour started for Kansas State, and Mets Scouting Director Marc Tramuta says for now they will keep him as a starter, and if he ends up a reliever down the road, they will adjust. I surely don’t work in player development, but I would make the move now and let him just focus on his fastball that will touch 99 mph and one of the hardest sliders in the draft class that will touch 92 mph.

He needs work on command, but if he is able to put that together, he could be a late inning reliever at the big-league level.

Round 7, Pick No. 202 – SS Kevin Kendall – UCLA

Kendall was the second UCLA Bruin to be drafted by the Mets. His best tool is his above-average speed, he has made big strides in his pitch recognition skills and that led to him hitting for by far the highest average of his college career this year at .356 and got on base at a .413 clip. He has also played second base and center field, so he likely profiles as a utility player.

Round 8, Pick No. 232 – RHP Mike Vasil – Virginia

Vasil had a chance to be a top two-round selection out of high school, but decided to pull himself out of the MLB Draft to fulfill his college commitment to Virginia. He had a bit of an up-and-down college career, but when he’s right his fastball will sit 92-94 and touch 95 with an above average change-up. Tanous said after Day 2 of the draft that he thinks Vasil has the potential to pitch in the middle of a big-league rotation if they can get him to maintain his early game velocity deeper into games.

Round 9, Pick No. 262 – RHP Levi David – Northwestern State

David has a bit of an interesting background, as he was a swimming state champion in the 50-meter freestyle back in high school in addition to a baseball player. He features one of the best curveballs in the draft, which is a plus-plus pitch in the mid 80s that had a 72 percent swing-and-miss rate. His fastball has touched 99, but in order to control it better he throws it more in the 94-95 mph range. He, like Seymour, could be a late-inning reliever if he can put it together.

Round 10, Pick No. 292 – LHP Keyshawn Askew – Clemson

Askew is a reliever who throws from a low, three-quarter arm slot and has had his velocity tick up this year from an 87-89 mph guy to more of an 89-92 mph with a solid slider. Tanous called him one of the most competitive players he has scouted in a while. I think he has a chance to be a very difficult matchup against left-handed hitters with his arm slot and improved stuff.

Round 11, Pick No. 322 – OF Rowdey Jordan – Mississippi State

.323 average, .417 on-base percentage with 22 doubles, 10 home runs and 45 RBI in 68 games.

Round 12, Pick No.352 – 1B/OF Jack-Thomas Wold – UNLV

.429 average, .491 on-base percentage with 13 doubles, 12 home runs and 43 RBI in 33 games.

Round 13, Pick No. 382 – OF Matt Rudick – San Diego State

.410 average, .484 on-base percentage with eight doubles, four triples, four home runs and 41 RBI in 44 games. He also stole 17 bases.

Round 14, Pick No. 412 – LHP Nathan Lavender – Illinois

7-2 record with a 4.11 ERA in 13 appearances (nine starts). In 57 innings he struck out 79 batters while walking 15.

Round 15, Pick No. 442 – SS Wyatt Young – Pepperdine

.332 average, .405 on-base percentage with 12 doubles, three home runs and 23 RBI in 45 games.

Round 16, Pick No. 472 – RHP Trey McLoughlin – Fairfield

2-0 record with a 4.94 ERA in five starts. In 23.2 innings he struck out 32 while walking 4.

Round 17, Pick No. 502 – LHP Nick Zwack – Xavier

6-5 record with a 3.15 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts). In 80 innings he struck out 75 while walking 33.

Round 18, Pick No. 532 – RHP Kolby Kubichek – Texas

5-3 record with a 3.86 ERA in 12 starts. In 51.1 innings he struck out 41 while walking 27.

Round 19, Pick No. 562 – C Drake Osborn – Louisiana-Lafayette

.337 average, .415 on-base percentage with 17 doubles, three home runs and 24 RBI in 51 games.

Round 20, Pick No. 592 – SS Justin Guerrera – Fairfield

.340 average, .409 on-base percentage with 13 doubles, 13 home runs and 45 RBI in 43 games.


Overall, I think the Mets accomplished their goal in this draft to improve the depth in the farm system while also adding some upside, especially in the Top 10 rounds.

If I had to put a letter grade on the draft, I would give it a B+, mostly due to landing one of the best prospects in the draft in Rocker and I see multiple future big leaguers from their Top 10 selections.

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