The 2019 Mets may be floundering, but they at least have three new touted prospects in the system.
The team secured one of the best 2019 draft classes Friday by signing third-round pick, Matt Allan, a high school pitcher from Florida, for $2.5 million, according to a source. Allan slipped to the third round due to concerns about his asking price.
The Mets, whose drafts are run by VP of International and amateur scouting, Tommy Tanous, and amateur scouting director, Marc Tramuta, signed three of MLB.com’s top 36 draft-eligible players.
“It’s unreal. I don’t think I could get the smile off my face,” Allan said at Citi Field after signing his contract. “Even just kind of watching and looking at everything here just makes me want to be here and help the team. I’m excited.”
Allan entered the draft as a potential first-round pick, but he wanted a large figure to forego his commitment to the University of Florida.
ESPN and Baseball American had Allan ranked as the top preps pitcher in the draft, and MLB.com rated him as the No. 13 prospect.
Some teams at the back end of the first round had interest in Allan, but they decided not to select the righty.
The Mets used their first two picks on a high school hitter and pitcher in Brett Baty and Josh Wolf, and then decided they would go for the home-run pick.
Chasing Allan marked a calculate risk since the Mets would have to be assured they could meet his demands, and they would have to alter the rest of their draft.
Selecting Allan forced the Mets to use the rest of their picks in the first 10 rounds on college seniors they knew they could sign for less than slot value. That saved money would then be used to try to entice Allan to sign.
Mets officials were confident throughout the process they would be able to save enough money to make the selection work.
Sources said first-year general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, a former agent, helped to make it all happen. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon also had to OK the team spending extra to land Allan although the team did not exceed the five percent overage teams are allowed before they have to forfeit draft picks.
The Mets worked with Allan’s agent, Scott Boras, to make the deal come together.
“We’re very excited. (Allan) is a tremendous high school talent, somebody we really manipulated our entire draft to try to bring him to the organization,” Van Wagenen said before the Mets hosted the Braves. “We think this particular pitcher has a chance to be a No. 1 or no. 2 starter. An opportunity like this doesn’t present itself very often, and to take a very unique and aggressive draft strategy with picks four to 10 is something we were pretty eager and excited to pull off.”
Allan primarily relies on his fastball and curveball, but is hoping to polish his change-up. He pitched a perfect game while tallying 17 strikeouts this year.
“Ultimately, my goal was to make it to the big leagues and make it here and stay there,” Allan said. “The situation put in front of me was too good to pass up.”
Adding three talented prospects will be quite helpful since the Mets needed to add some new pieces to their system after Van Wagenen often dipped into the prospect well in the offseason in his attempt to bolster the roster.
Kelenic has the tools to be an All-Star, and Diaz and Cano have both underperformed with Diaz blowing his fourth save Thursday. League sources have mentioned how awful the deal already looks for the Mets.
Van Wagenen also traded six prospects to acquire reserves J.D. Davis and Keon Broxton, the latter of which has already been traded to another team.
Allan and Baty should soon be ranked among the team’s top 10 prospects.
“The scouting department did tremendous job of identifying and the motivation to sign this kid this year,” Van Wagenen said of Allan. “We made a compelling pitch that we were the right fit, and the two sides are seeing things the same way that good things can happen.”