2009 Draft Recap: Rounds 1-15

Robbie Shields - the 2009 third round pick

InsidePitchMagazine.com continues its recap of the season that was for the Mets organization. This time, we look back at the 2009 draft class. In Part One, rounds 1-15 through are reviewed. Look inside to find out how the organization's early picks fared in their first shots at professional ball.

Round 1 - no selection

Round 2 - Steven Matz

The Mets went down to the signing deadline to ink their top overall pick, former high school left-hander Steven Matz who was actually selected in the second round at 73rd overall. The Mets went with the local product from East Setauket, NY and wooed him away from his commitment to Coastal Carolina. Matz already boasts good fastball velocity at 90-91 MPH and already has a changeup and curveball in his repertoire, but both need professional coaching to become effective at the next level.

We did not get look at Matz this season as his signing date denied him the ability to suit up in the Gulf Coast League, but he will attend Instructs at the Dominican complex this winter with a likely arrival in short-season ball in 2010.

Round 3 - Robbie Shields

For the second straight season the Mets went with a shortstop with their second selection and plugged him in Brooklyn where he achieved marginal success in his first season. He signed somewhat late, about three weeks later than the rest of his class, but still got 2/3 of the NYPL season under his belt.

Shields first garnered attention after a strong but albeit short stint in the Cape Cod League in 2008 and was recognized as one of the highest value shortstops in the draft. While his first season offensive numbers do not show it, his value remains with the bat but expect a shift in roles defensively next season as he likely logs greater time at second base, third base and in the outfield.

Round 4 - Darrell Ceciliani

The Mets went for youth and projectability when they selected Ceciliani out of Columbia Basin Community College. The early comparisons likened him to Jacoby Ellsbury and that style of play does suit the fourth round pick. Now obviously such a comparison has yet to hold water, but Ceciliani showed glimpses of it this season in Kingsport, using his above average speed to swipe 14 bags in 16 chances and cover large swaths of ground in centerfield. He got off to a hot start as he hit .303 with two home runs and eight RBI in 20 July games but slowed down the stretch. He opened the eyes of his coaching staff but year two will provide a much clearer picture.

Round 5 - Damien Magnifico

His last name and reportedly big arm would have drawn attention in rookie ball, but Magnifico did not sign following a lengthy holdout that saw him escalate his signing bonus demands beyond what the Mets were willing to offer.

Round 6 - David Buchanan

Buchanan was another hard-throwing hurler who ultimately did not sign. The right-hander impressed scouts with his velocity in pre-draft workouts but a poor delivery and general wildness would have made him a project without any certainty of results.

Round 7 - Darin Gorski

The Mets went with the left-hander in the seventh round and Gorski filled out the back end of the rotation for Brooklyn where he struggled with consistency and finished with rather unimpressive numbers. It was a rookie performance did not create many believers as Gorski features a mid to high-80s fastball, flashes some promise with his breaking stuff—but not enough—and thus generally does not have the stuff that will get hitters out at a higher level.

Round 8 - John Freeman

Freeman held his own in the rotating catcher's spot in Kingsport where he hit .221 with one home run and 16 RBI. His bat grew more consistent as the season wore on, hitting .164 through his first 24 games before ending the season at a .308 clip in his final 15 games. But the focus of Freeman's season was growth behind the plate. Coaches saw positives in his development this summer, but next season will determine if he can seize a spot on the catching prospect depth chart.

Round 9 - Jeff Glenn

Glenn was another late signee, inking on August 13, but the former high school catcher was on the organization's radar leading up to the draft as they had him workout in Port St. Lucie and the organization was heavily focused on his signability. Glenn had signed to play at Santa Fe Community College, but the Mets brought him on board and now Glenn will also head to the Dominican complex to workout this fall.

Round 10 - Nick Santomauro

As previously mentioned on this site, Santomauro is one of the most intriguing guys from this draft class. He hit for a marginal average, displayed some power and rough positioning in the outfield but his athleticism and quick bat are both unique to the draft class. The former Dartmouth outfielder is raw on the edges and next season will be an important step, but in a system hungry for outfield prospects, the positive feedback about Santomauro bodes well heading into 2010.

Round 11 - Sam Honeck

Honeck struggled in the second half of the season in Brooklyn, but the organization believes it struck solid value in the 11th round when it selected the former Tulane first baseman who was a first team all-conference in Conference USA. Honeck hit just .176 in his final 16 games, but he demonstrated strong line drive skills that had some scouts coining him as the best pure hitter on the Cyclones roster. He boasts solid defensive skills but needs to get his offense back on track in 2010.

Round 12 - James Ewing

Not much can be made of former Southern Mississippi second baseman's season as he appeared in just five games this season. Contractual issues about Ewing's signing and injuries limited his playing time.

Round 13 - Zachary Dotson

Dotson was the third of the Mets late signings as he too signed on August 13. Dotson was an early round talent that fell to later rounds based on signability issues, including whether or not he would fulfill his signed letter of intent to the University of Georgia. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound left-hander offers promise and the Mets went over slot to get him. The 18-year-old will make his debut next season and while it is attractive to have him begin his career near his home town in Savannah, short-season ball is the safer bet.

14th Round - R.J. Harris

It will take a second season to figure out what kind of value the Mets landed in the 14th round, but early returns on Harris have been favorable. The outfielder shows good athleticism, size, strength and budding power. He sees the ball well, has good plate coverage with a natural ability to go the other way. Now, it will be on Harris to harness those skills and collectively make them better. He is a potential sleeper from this draft class.

15th Round - Casey Schmidt

Schmidt was the ultimate project. The right-hander was draft eligible as a sophomore and impressed with his pure arm strength, but having not pitched over the last two seasons meant the organization would have had to commit to a full overhaul of his mechanics and pitching. Schmidt, who had already once been through Tommy John surgery, returned to college.

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