Mets add best of college ranks on Draft Day 2
NEW YORK -- Over the course of Day 2 of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft, the Mets infused their system with the national collegiate leaders in batting average, ERA, home runs and RBIs.
Mere coincidence, insists vice president of amateur scouting Paul DePodesta.
"That's actually news to us," DePodesta laughed after the conclusion of Day 2. "But I'm glad they've had that success already."
National leaders or not, college players dominated the second half of Draft Day 2 for the Mets, who selected a pair of relievers -- among other prospects -- who could advance rapidly through their farm system.
The Draft concludes Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 on MLB.com beginning at noon ET.
Round 6 (179th overall), RHP Chase Ingram, Hillsborough (Fla.) CC
The Mets went the junior college route with their fifth pick, selecting one of the best arms available in that class. Ingram was among the national junior college leaders in strikeouts, ERA and wins, thanks to a plus curve and low-90s fastball. He often pitches out of the stretch, hinting at a future as a potential reliever. But scouts consider his stuff good enough to develop as a back-end starting pitcher.
Round 7 (209th overall), RHP Corey Taylor, Texas Tech
Big and projectable describes Taylor, whom the Red Raiders list at 6-foot-1, 250 pounds. The Texas Tech senior used that size to his advantage in posting a nation-leading 0.31 ERA this season, almost exclusively as a reliever. His college success, combined with his advanced age (22) gives him the potential to reach the big leagues as fast as anyone in the Mets' 2015 Draft class.
"This was just a case of they were some of the better arms on the board," Mets scouting director Tommy Tanous said of the Mets' decision to draft multiple college relievers in the first 10 rounds. "At some point, you just have to take the best players. These happened to be those."
Round 8 (239th overall), C Patrick Mazeika, Stetson University
Had Mazeika been born a few years earlier, he might have caught one of Jacob deGrom's rare mound appearances at Stetson, before the future Rookie of the Year converted to pitching full-time. As it was, Mazeika carved out his own niche at the university, batting .307 in 58 games this season with a career-high seven home runs and 53 RBIs. Mazeika also threw out 34 percent of would-be basestealers, leading the Atlantic Sun Conference in runners caught stealing.
Round 9 (269th overall), OF Kevin Kaczmarski, University of Evansville
The nation's leading college hitter, Kaczmarski paced Division 1 with a .465 batting average, also posting a .543 on-base percentage that shot him up Draft boards this spring. A baseball lineage helps Kaczmarski, whose father spent three years in the Padres organization and whose two uncles also played college ball. Kaczmarski earned all-Missouri Valley Conference First Team honors for the third consecutive year this season, stealing 13 bases in 46 games.
Round 10 (299th overall), RHP Witt Haggard, Delta State
Like Taylor, Haggard is a senior reliever who shouldn't need much Minor League seasoning. More of a strikeout pitcher than Taylor, Haggard also has plenty more walks on his resume. But he posted a 2.89 ERA over his last two years at Delta State, holding opposing batters to a .218 average this season. At age 23, he could see Flushing in the very near future.
Haggard was originally recruited as a quarterback at the University of Mississippi, before transferring to Delta State to focus on baseball.