NEW YORK -- For the first time since 2009, when they took Steven Matz with their top overall pick, the Mets do not have a first-round selection in the Draft. They can only hope they'll be as successful this time around.
The 2015 Draft will take place from Monday, June 8 through Wednesday, June 10, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Monday at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 75 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of Day 2 begins with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, with exclusive coverage of Day 3 beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of over 1,700 Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Mets, whose first selection is the 53rd overall pick:
In about 50 words
With the notable exception of Matz, most of the Mets' highest-ranked prospects have graduated to the big leagues. That leaves the system as relatively barren at the upper levels as it has been in years. Without a first-round pick, it will be more difficult for the Mets to replenish their farm.
The organization knew what it was sacrificing when it signed Michael Cuddyer to a free-agent contract this winter, forfeiting its first-round pick in the process. Though the Mets were not thrilled with the idea of losing a Draft pick, they pointed to their overall farm-system depth to justify it. Losing one first-round pick wasn't going to change that, the front office contended, but gaining Cuddyer had the potential to transform their lineup.
Cuddyer's slow start may have some questioning that decision, but the Mets still don't feel hamstrung by their lack of a first-round pick. Vice president of amateur scouting and player development Paul DePodesta and his team will focus instead on the club's second-rounder.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the Draft's first 10 rounds. The more picks a team has and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a club's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $100,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.
Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.
Because the Mets don't have a first-round pick, their pool ranks last in the Majors at $3,587,800. Their top pick in the second round has a slot value of $1,142,700.
Already this season, seven Mets prospects have debuted in the big leagues, including pitcher Noah Syndergaard and catcher Kevin Plawecki. With Matz the only blue-chip pitching prospect left in the upper levels of their farm system, replenishing that stash should be high on New York's to-do list. Not only have the Mets been much more successful at drafting and developing pitchers than hitters over the past two decades, but general manager Sandy Alderson also subscribes to the philosophy that an organization can never have too much pitching.
That being said, the Mets have selected a position player in the first round in each of Alderson's four years as GM. In each of their last two Drafts, the Mets picked six hitters and two pitchers in the first eight rounds. It may be time for that trend to start shifting back in the other direction.
RECENT DRAFT HISTORY
The Mets' decision to have Michael Conforto skip Class A Savannah has paid early dividends. Last year's top pick hit .283 with seven home runs over his first 46 games at Class A Advanced St. Lucie, earning him a promotion to Double-A Binghamton last Friday. By this time next year, he could be well-established as one of the best prospects in baseball.
The Mets' 24th-round pick in 2010, Erik Goeddel struggled through five up-and-down years in the Minors before injuries forced the Mets to call him up to the big leagues after Opening Day. He responded with 14 consecutive scoreless outings, keeping himself in the mix throughout April and May.
In The Show
Seven Mets have debuted this summer, including DePodesta's first three draftees to reach the big leagues -- Plawecki, infielder Danny Muno and reliever Jack Leathersich. A fourth rookie, outfielder Darrell Ceciliani, was drafted by the Mets before Alderson and DePodesta came to town. Syndergaard was a supplemental-round pick of the Blue Jays, coming to the Mets via trade.
The Mets' recent top picks
2014: Conforto, OF, Double-A Binghamton
2013: Dominic Smith, 1B, Class A St. Lucie
2012: Gavin Cecchini, SS, Double-A Binghamton
2011: Brandon Nimmo, OF, Double-A Binghamton
2010: Matt Harvey, RHP, Mets