SNY contributor Joe DeMayo answers fan questions in this edition of the Mets Minor League Mailbag…
– From @CoronazRomeo: Hey @PSLToFlushing love the podcast! My question is about Matt Rudick. Similar to Jeff McNeil, who was never a top 30 prospect, does he go from unranked to fringe to legit prospect?
Joe: First off, thank you for the kind words about The Mets Pod! Make sure you subscribe, leave a five-star rating and a nice review!
OK, now that plug is out of the way.
The 24-year-old Matt Rudick is for me one of the biggest breakout prospect in the Mets system so far this season. He is an under-sized outfielder listed at 5-foot-6 and 170 pounds. He was a 13th round selection in the 2021 MLB Draft out of San Diego State University, where he always made contact and got on base. He had a career .341/.424/.435 slash line as an Aztec.
This year with Double-A Binghamton, Rudick has simply been one of the better players in all of minor league baseball. As of this writing he is 15th in all of minor league baseball with a 176 wRC+.
For those that are looking for the standard slash line, he is slashing .319/.465/.542 (1.006 OPS) with 11 doubles and seven home runs in 43 games.
He has above-average pitch recognition skills as well as bat-to-ball skills as evidenced by his 18.6 percent walk rate and 13.7 percent strikeout rate.
I think his size limits some power potential, but a contact-oriented outfielder who can play all three spots and is performing at a high level certainly catches my eye. I would expect that he should find his way to Triple-A Syracuse before long and he should easily be a top-30, if not top-20 prospect in the system that can be looked at as a fourth outfielder option in 2024.
– From @shea_mulcahy: MLB Draft question. Do you see a potential reunion with Brandon Sproat? Or has that ship sailed in the Mets minds?
Joe: I love how far the appreciation of the MLB Draft has come and a big credit to MLB for making it feel like a more important event moving it to a primetime spot in All Star Week. This year the draft is taking place next month at Lumen Field, the home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.
Brandon Sproat was the Mets’ third round selection in the 2022 MLB Draft that they failed to sign. The Mets have a history of re-drafting players, having done it with Carlos Cortes and Jake Mangum, who is now with the Marlins.
I do not believe there was any animosity on either end with Sproat, and if he is willing to sign the waiver to permit the Mets to draft him again, I believe that is a possibility.
Sproat had turned down the Mets, seeking first round money, or he would go back to Florida and attempt to earn his way into the first round of the 2023 draft.
He had an uneven year with the Gators, posting a 4.71 ERA in 15 starts and allowing 11 home runs. That’s the bad, the good is the stuff was there, up to 100 mph and he only allowed 63 hits in 84 innings while striking out 106 batters.
My guess at this point is Sproat is looking more at a second round selection, but given the Mets’ first pick is at No. 32 (their pick dropped 10 spots for exceeding the luxury tax by $40M+) and their next one is not until No. 56, they may need to take Sproat at 32 if they want him.
There is no denying the Mets organization needs to add pitching, and they will add plenty in the 20-round draft. However, the job of the scouting department is to bring the best talent into the organization, period.
The Mets had the No. 1 prospect in baseball in catcher Francisco Álvarez and still drafted a catcher in Kevin Parada with the No. 11 pick in the 2022 Draft. Bring in the best talent you can, and it typically will always work itself out.
In talking to scouts, the strength of this draft class is definitely with the high school and college hitting. There are always interesting college and high school pitchers, but do not be at all surprised to see the Mets take a bat with their first pick again.
Names like third basemen Yohandy Morales and Brock Wilken, as well as outfielder Jack Hurley are among quite a few that I’ve heard the Mets connected to.
Source: Yahoo Sports