Under-the-radar Mets picks from 2021 MLB Draft

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UCLA JT Schwartz batting
UCLA JT Schwartz batting

The Mets’ 2021 draft class is complete, with the big prize at the top.

While plenty has been discussed about first-round pick Kumar Rocker, second-rounder Calvin Ziegler and third-round selection Dominic Hamel, the rest of the group has some interesting names as well.

Here are seven players to keep an eye on as they start signing their first pro contracts and join the organization.

1B JT Schwartz, Fourth Round

Despite being a junior at UCLA this year, Schwartz came into the season with just 15 games of college experience. After redshirting as a freshman and falling victim to the pandemic in 2020, he made up for lost time by becoming one of the best hitters in the Pac-12, finishing top-three in the conference in average (.396), on-base percentage (.514), and OPS (1.142).

There’s no doubt that Schwartz’s hit tool is the best of the eight position players selected by the Mets this year. Questions about his power ceiling are valid, and being limited to first base defensively isn’t ideal. His contact and plate discipline skills make him a good bet to at least hit his way through the minors.

RHP Christian Scott, Fifth Round

RHP Carson Seymour, Sixth Round

RHP Levi David, Ninth Round

The Mets filled out their draft board on Day 2 with some hard-throwing relief types like this trio. All three had varying levels of college success, but they can all absolutely sling a baseball.

Scott is the only one who actually did come out of the bullpen in college, working effectively but giving up the home run ball more often than you’d like. His fastball will have to play up in pro ball and his off-speed pitches need continued refinement.

Seymour and David were both starters this season, but both have major control questions. Working with high-90s fastballs and potentially plus breaking balls, they could move quickly through the system working late in games.

SS Wyatt Young, 15th Round

Teams aren’t necessarily trying to find future all-stars in the late rounds of the draft, instead focusing on adding high-character players to fill out their system. The hope is that one or two could eventually break through.

There are no guarantees on Young, but the Mets liked the shortstop out of Pepperdine enough that they were worried he would be gone before their pick, even this late. Undersized at 5-foot-7, Young still hit .332 at gets solid marks for his hit tool and glove up the middle. He’s a well-liked teammate that should be able to hang around in the organization longer than most players at his draft spot.

RHP Trey McLoughlin, 16th Round

SS Justin Guerrera, 20th Round

Northeast area scout John Kosiack stumped for McLoughlin and his Fairfield University teammate Guerrera on Day 3. Mets VP of scouting Tommy Tanous said that the department always makes an effort to see very successful college programs, because, as he put it, someone has to be driving the engine. The 39-5 Stags fit that bill.

McLoughlin didn’t pitch much over his final two seasons in Connecticut, but his strikeout-to-walk numbers were excellent this year after returning from a shoulder injury. He also made his way to the prestigious Cape Cod League before getting drafted, an invitation that isn’t extended to just random players. He looks the part of a starter in pro ball, and could even add some more velocity in the right pitching program.

Guerrera was the best hitter on the Fairfield squad that made the finals of their NCAA Regional, hitting .340 with 13 home runs while playing a solid shortstop.