I get it, the notion is that the team must always replenish the farm system in an effort to consistently develop and promote promising cheap talent. Having a farm system stocked with attractive talent can benefit the big league team in a multitude of ways. In addition to providing a direct boost upon promotion, prospects can be traded away for proven major league talent when the time was right. But here is my question, how is that any different than sacrificing one now?
The Major League Baseball Entry Draft is unlike any other draft in sports. Guys taken in the first round represent no guarantee of Major League success. They are often high school kids who scouts believe have the tools to succeed. Three, four or even five years later they may threaten to break through with the big team, provided injury, better talent or plain life in general doesn't get in the way.
Assuming the best players are chosen in the first round, he is a look at the Mets first round picks over the past decade:
Phil Humber (2004), Mike Pelfrey (2005), Kevin Mulvey (2006), Eddie Kunz (2007), Ike Davis (2008), Steve Matz (2009), Matt Harvey (2010), Brandon Nimmo (2011), Gaven Cecchini (2012), and Dominic Smith (2013)To be fair, the jury is still out on the most recent three as they continue the aforementioned lengthy maturity process. However, with the obvious exception of Matt Harvey, none of these guys are a ringing endorsement for keeping draft picks. Hell, two of these guys (Mulvey and Kunz) don't even play baseball anymore. When you draft a player you're basically buying a lottery ticket or placing a bet based upon future success.
I don't mean to say that the Mets shouldn't make every effort to constantly replenish their farm system, but what I am saying is that I don't think they should avoid signing a proven major league quantity just so they can hold onto the hope of drafting a major leaguer. Most draft picks don't turn into true prospects, and it seems even fewer prospects turn into quality major leaguers. I don't see what's so hard about that math. The Mets have the opportunity to sign former all-stars who can help the major league team win baseball games now. They shouldn't balk at that opportunity to draft a guy who might, might, might help the team some time down the road.
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