The Mets selected OF Michael Conforto with the 10th overall pick of the 2014 First Year Player Draft on Thursday night. Considered to be “the best pure hitting prospect of the draft” by Chris Crawford of ESPN among others, Conforto batted .341 with 31 homers and an on-base-percentage of .463 in three collegiate seasons.
The 21-year old Oregon State product is the first Mets player selected out of college in the first round (non-supplemental) since 2010, when they selected Matt Harvey out of North Carolina with the 7th pick of the 2010 amateur draft. Since that time, the Mets have used their first selections on high school position players Brandon Nimmo (OF), Gavin Cecchini (SS) and Dominic Smith (1B). The Mets last picked a collegiate position player with their first overall pick in 2008, selecting Ike Davis (1B) out of Arizona State.
Conforto projects as a left-fielder with limited range and a below-average arm, demonstrating the confidence the Mets' front office has that he will evolve into a serious threat at the plate. By all accounts, Conforto is a perfect fit for the Sandy Alderson school of hitting. In a system that preaches patience, Mets director of amateur scouting Tommy Tanous was quoted as saying, “This is a guy who has the ability to lay off pitches and the ability to really hurt pitches” (metsblog.com).
In taking a polished hitter like Conforto, the hope is that he will be able to breeze through the Mets farm system, making an impact in the big leagues by the end of 2015 or early 2016. Paul DePodesta, the team’s vice president of amateur scouting told CBSNewYork, “We do think he’s an advanced hitter, and certainly has a chance to move quicker than the high school players that we’ve taken the last few years.”