NEW YORK -- Once the celebration died down from Quinn Brodey's selection as the Mets' third-round pick in the 2017 Draft, Brodey shut down his laptop and wandered outside, keen on a dip in his aunt and uncle's pool. He brought his phone, and it wasn't long before it rang."Dude,"
NEW YORK -- Once the celebration died down from Quinn Brodey's selection as the Mets' third-round pick in the 2017 Draft, Brodey shut down his laptop and wandered outside, keen on a dip in his aunt and uncle's pool. He brought his phone, and it wasn't long before it rang.
"Dude," came Matt Winaker's voice from the other end of the line. "I'm joining you."
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With those words began the next, unexpected chapter of the pair's journey together. Teammates at Stanford the past three seasons, Brodey and Winaker will soon reprise those roles in the Mets' organization. Just two rounds after Mets scouts tabbed Brodey with the 97th overall pick on Tuesday, they dipped back onto the Stanford campus to take Winaker in the fifth round at 157th overall.
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"That had kind of been on the back of my mind as soon as they took Quinn in the third," Winaker said in a telephone interview. "I started thinking, 'Man, there's a chance we could play together. There's a chance it's connected.' And of course I was really excited about that. I can't wait to get out there and continue our journey together."
The Mets swear the connection was mere coincidence -- that both Brodey and Winaker were the top players on their Draft board when the time came to pick. It's easy to see why. As a junior, Brodey led the Cardinal in nearly every major offensive category, batting .314 with 11 home runs -- including one of his two career inside-the-parkers -- and 51 RBIs in 58 games. Though he played primarily left field at Stanford, Brodey hopes to have a chance to man center with the Mets, who believe he is capable at all three outfield positions.
Also listed as an outfielder on the Mets' Draft board, Winaker played mostly first base as a junior, hitting .308 with nine home runs in 58 games.
"We just thought those were the two best players at each part of the Draft," Mets director of amateur scouting Marc Tramuta said. "We liked both of them. They both performed in college. They're both somewhat athletic. They're versatile in the outfield, can play both corners. They're a little bit similar in terms of their swings."
That much, at least, is definitely no coincidence. For three straight seasons, Brodey and Winaker have taken batting practice in the same group, often swapping suggestions about their swings. Winaker described Brodey as "steady" and "very businesslike" with a "fantastic work ethic." Brodey said the two "feed off each other."
And it will help, both players know, to have a bit of that bedrock forming their professional support systems. Unlike most players, who sign their first contracts and then walk into a room of entirely unfamiliar faces, Brodey and Winaker will at least have each other.
"It certainly does not hurt," Winaker said. "It will be nice for us to go out there and figure things out together for the first time. I'm sure we will be encountering a lot of new experiences, new sets of difficulties, new sets of people that we encounter along the way."
Added Brodey: "It's just reassuring to have someone you know around you. It's just comforting to know there's someone there who's familiar with you and the way you do things and the way you work, the kind of person you are. To have that -- someone I can just go to into this totally new, unknown experience with -- is definitely reassuring and comforting. It's exciting, too."
The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon ET.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.