Mets draft defensive shortstop whiz to open Day 2

Mets draft defensive shortstop whiz to open Day 2

In the third round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, the Mets made it two position players.

A day after making Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto their first pick (10th overall), they chose high school shortstop Milton Ramos with the 84th overall pick Friday.

"He's known for his defense," said Mets scouting director Tommy Tanous. "[The bat] is a lot stronger than people think. This is not a below-average bat by any means. I think sometimes when you talk about shortstops with superior gloves, people automatically think it's a non-offensive player. That's certainly not the case for Milton. Tremendous hands. He's going to be plenty strong enough to hit."

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on at 1 p.m. ET.

Ramos, considered one of the best players available entering the Draft's second day, is a highly touted defender out of the American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla. This year, Perfect Game named him a First-Team All-American.

The Mets will try to lure Ramos away from Florida Atlantic -- about an hour from his hometown of Hialeah, Fla. -- the Division I school to which he is committed.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds, Ramos still has some filling out to do, which makes sense given that he won't turn 19 until October.'s Jim Duquette said on MLB Network that Ramos reminds him of a high school shortstop the Mets took in the first round of the 2012 Draft, Gavin Cecchini, who is ranked as the organization's No. 8 prospect by's Jonathan Mayo went as far to suggest that Ramos could be a Major League defender -- right now.

The bat, however, is the question. With American Heritage this spring, Ramos hit .424 with a .500 on-base percentage. He also drove in 21 runs and scored 19 times in 21 games.

When it comes to adjusting to the professional game, Ramos might already have an edge. His American Heritage coach, Bruce Aven, was a veteran of five Major League seasons with four different teams before retiring following the 2002 campaign. The former outfielder was a career .273 hitter, with his best season coming in 1999 with the Marlins when he hit .289 with 12 homers and 70 RBIs.

"He has above-average speed, a solid arm and great hands," Aven told the Miami Herald prior to Ramos' senior season. "His range is unbelievable. What determines how high he goes in the Draft is his bat."

Tim Healey is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.