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New York Mets to Select No. 12 in 2012 First-Year Player Draft: Fan's Take

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On Tuesday, April 17, Major League Baseball announced the order for the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. The New York Mets will select No. 12 when the event is held on June 4.

The last and only time the Mets selected No. 12, they took a promising prep player named Lastings Milledge out of Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton, Florida. Unfortunately, Milledge never fulfilled his potential in New York or the three other MLB teams he played for over six seasons. But the Mets shouldn't be discouraged. Here are five No. 12 picks who were worth it.

5. Jay Bruce (OF) -- Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2005, this young slugger is just getting started. Bruce entered this season with 100 career home runs in four seasons. He smashed a career-high 32 long balls in 2011; it was the fourth straight year his home runs total increased. A 40-HR season may be next.

4. Billy Wagner (RP) -- Wagner, who played for the Mets from 2006-09, was drafted by the Houston Astros in 1993. During his 16-year MLB career, the fire-balling Wagner saved 422 games, including 101 for the Mets. A seven-time All-Star, he hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2010.

3. Matt Morris (SP) -- Drafted by St. Louis in 1995, Morris was a two-time All-Star. He won a career-high 22 games for the Cardinals in 2001. Morris won 79 games in a five year stretch, but his earned run average wasn't always pretty. He finished his career with a record of 121-92 and 3.98 ERA.

2. Nomar Garciaparra (SS) -- Garciaparra, who was drafted by Boston in 1994, won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1997. He was the face of the Red Sox franchise for a few years, but the team traded away the six-time All-Star during the 2004 season rather than extend his contract. Boston went on to win the World Series for the first time since 1918.

1. Kirk Gibson (OF) -- Gibson started his career with the Detroit Tigers, who drafted him in 1978. He played 12 seasons in Detroit before signing as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988. He won the NL MVP in his first season in Los Angeles. Furthermore, a hobbled Gibson hit an iconic walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series and the Dodgers went on to beat the Oakland A's in five games.

More Mets content from this Yahoo! contributor:

Five New York Mets We Loved to Hate: Fan's Take

Top Five First-Round Draft Picks in New York Mets History

Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets.


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