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Cortes thrilled to join Mets, play alongside Hill

Versatile player has unique ability to throw with both hands
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Mets drafted Carlos Cortes as a second basemen in the third round of the MLB Draft on Tuesday afternoon, but the 20-year-old is really a jack of all trades. His most prominent talent may be the fact that he can throw with both arms, though that talent did not come easily.

2018 Draft Tracker

NEW YORK -- The Mets drafted Carlos Cortes as a second basemen in the third round of the MLB Draft on Tuesday afternoon, but the 20-year-old is really a jack of all trades. His most prominent talent may be the fact that he can throw with both arms, though that talent did not come easily.

2018 Draft Tracker

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When Cortes was 8 years old, the natural-born lefty's father wanted him to become more versatile in the field. Being a southpaw, it would be hard for Cortes to develop as an infielder, especially a shortstop. The two began to work at his ability to throw from both sides.

"I had to learn how to do it. My dad kind of forced me to do it," Cortes said. "I had to work at it a lot, it was really miserable."

It took Cortes until age 14 to get really good, and although it was a dreaded process, it has paid off for him in the long run. Cortes credits his father as the biggest influence on his baseball career, and for good reason.

"He just teaches me the game, he's taught me since I was a young kid," Cortes said. "He's really had the biggest impact on my career and throughout my entire life."

Cortes played mostly left field at the University of South Carolina, but he will likely end up at second base in his professional career. The 5-foot-8, 210-pound stout-framed player has played catcher, pitcher, third base, second base and all outfield positions. He throws with his left hand while playing in the outfield, since he grew up an outfielder, and his right while playing the infield.

Cortes' South Carolina teammate, Adam Hill, was drafted just one round later on Tuesday afternoon. The two are excited to join the Mets organization together. They celebrated with their team at practice while preparing for the NCAA Super Regional after defeating UNC Wilmington, 8-4, in the Greensville Regional Championship on Monday.

Asked what he was most looking forward to, Cortes answered, "Just to be a professional. It's something you dream about. And I guess to meet Tim Tebow, that's pretty cool, too."

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon ET.

Erin Fish is a reporter for MLB.com.

New York Mets