Mets take big man on campus with fifth-round pick

The Mets went into the 2014 First-Year Player Draft looking for college arms, and in the fifth round Friday afternoon, they got their guy -- or at least one of them.

Josh Prevost, a right-hander from Seton Hall, became the Mets' fourth selection (145th overall) and the first pitcher taken by the club in this year's Draft.

The 22-year-old was named the Big East Pitcher of the Year following his senior season with the Pirates, during which he went 12-2 with a 1.62 ERA.

"The biggest surprise when you go and see him pitch is his actual command and control of his pitches," said Mets scouting director Tommy Tanous. "Supreme strike-thrower. Tremendous competitor. He has a lot of things that we look for, and still, as a college player, has some upside with his size."

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

MLBPipeline.com's Jonathan Mayo called it a "good senior sign," meaning Prevost is among those whose NCAA eligibility is up, and therefore he might sign a team-friendly, below-slot deal that allows the Mets to spend more on other picks.

Mayo also said Prevost, who stands at a towering 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, is certainly a starting pitcher long term, a role in which Prevost found his groove during his breakout season this spring.

After tossing a combined 15 1/3 innings his freshman and sophomore seasons, then 58 1/3 as a junior in 2013, Prevost went undrafted last June. He came back with a vengeance this spring, however, throwing 116 1/3 innings while serving as Seton Hall's ace.

Prevost struck out nearly a batter per inning and limited opponents to a .158 average. Of his 15 starts, six were complete games and three were shutouts.

He did it all with a fastball that sits around 90 mph -- but has touched 94 -- as well as a slider and changeup.

Given his height, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Prevost was also a standout on the basketball team at Montgomery High. In addition to being named to the all-conference first team, he set a school record for blocks in a season as a senior.

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