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Balanced Draft nets top-ranked OF for Mets

Depth stressed on Day 3, with near 50-50 split for pitchers, position players
MLB.com

The 2018 MLB Draft is now complete, and the Mets have added 40 new names to the organization. The organization selected two high school standouts on Day 1, then shifted to all college players on Day 2 and ended up with an assortment of players on Day 3.

This is the first year since 2014 that the Mets chose a position player in the first round, when they selected outfielder Michael Conforto. For the past two years, they have used their first-round picks on college pitchers, and in '15 they did not have a first-rounder after signing Michael Cuddyer and forfeiting their first-round pick.

The 2018 MLB Draft is now complete, and the Mets have added 40 new names to the organization. The organization selected two high school standouts on Day 1, then shifted to all college players on Day 2 and ended up with an assortment of players on Day 3.

This is the first year since 2014 that the Mets chose a position player in the first round, when they selected outfielder Michael Conforto. For the past two years, they have used their first-round picks on college pitchers, and in '15 they did not have a first-rounder after signing Michael Cuddyer and forfeiting their first-round pick.

Draft Tracker: Every Mets Draft pick

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

On Monday night, the Mets selected prep outfielder Jarred Kelenic with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the MLB Draft. Kelenic is an 18-year-old high school student at Waukesha West High School in Wisconsin.

The Mets have been scouting Kelenic since he was 15 years old, and they took note of the young player's drive and work ethic as well as his multifaceted skill set.

The 6-foot-1 outfielder has played center field for the majority of his career, but scouts are not sold that he will stay there. His arm strength makes his potential in right field foreseeable, but with his quickness and instincts, center is not out of the picture.

"[Jarred is] somebody we think is going to come into this organization and provide offense and defense," Mets vice president of international/amateur scouting Tommy Tanous said. "[He's a] true two-way player."

Kelenic only views the Draft as a stepping stone in the process.

"If and when I get to the big leagues, that's not going to be enough for me," Kelenic said. "I'm always looking for the highest competitive opportunity and biggest stage. Ever since I was really young, I wanted to play this game for a living and be considered alongside the best people ever to play the game."

Video: Tanous, Tramuta talk Mets Draft pick Jarred Kelenic

In the second round, with the 48th overall pick in the Draft, the Mets selected right-handed pitcher Simeon Woods-Richardson from Kempner High School in Texas.

Woods-Richardson is a 17-year-old prep star who has a fastball that reaches the mid-90s, but his curveball was the pitch that impressed the scouts the most.

Video: Draft 2018: Mets draft RHP Woods-Richardson No. 48

Woods-Richardson was at a Buffalo Wild Wings with his family when he received the phone call that he would be drafted. He was not expecting to go on Day 1, but he described the feeling as "pure excitement."

On Day 2, the Mets' Draft selections consisted of five pitchers, four of them right-handed, and three position players -- a second basemen, a catcher and a shortstop.

The third- and fourth-round picks happened to both be college teammates at the University of South Carolina. Carlos Cortes, a switch-throwing versatile player, and right-hander Adam Hill were both at practice when they found out they would be a part of the Mets organization. The Gamecocks are still in contention to reach the College World Series and will be playing in the NCAA Super Regional on Saturday in Arkansas at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Video: Draft 2018: Mets draft 2B Carlos Cortes No. 83

On Day 3, the Mets drafted 30 players, but there was no set method to Wednesday's madness, with the players drafted with no discernable target position or age. The organization picked up 14 pitchers -- 10 right-handers and four left-handers -- and 16 position players --- four outfielders, four catchers, two shortstops, one first basemen, two second basemen and one third basemen.

Hearing their names called in the 2018 MLB Draft was a dream come true for these young men. The Mets franchise is looking forward to what they can do in years to come.

Erin Fish is a reporter for MLB.com.

New York Mets