New York Mets: Rule 5 Draft preview
Mark J. Rebilas, USATSI

With the Rule 5 Draft approaching for the New York Mets, here are a couple of names to know.

Forecasting the Rule 5 Draft is a daunting task.

There are many, many variables: what’s the risk-reward factor, what are the needs of the teams, and what is the likelihood of the player cracking the big-league roster?

At the end of the day, though, talent is talent. The Mets have a couple of unprotected players who could potentially be on the radar of other teams.

Here they are:

Philip Evans, 2B/SS/3B

Evans is arguably the crème de la crème of the entire event. He has a short, compact stroke that contributed to his Eastern League leading .335 batting average last season. He’s shifted from shortstop to second base in deference to Amed Rosario, which hasn’t helped his fielding whatsoever.

Paul Sewald, RHP

Sewald was stellar as Las Vegas’ closer last season, and was whispered to be on the team’s radar as a potential late-season call-up. He’s no longer considered a prospect, but that hasn’t stopped him from effectively retiring hitters. He has a fastball in the low 90s, as well as a plus-slider. Most importantly, he’s been lauded for pounding the strike zone and maximizes on his repertoire.

Champ Stuart, CF

Stuart has tremendous speed, which translates into stolen bases, and an above-average glove. He was successful on 87 percent of stolen base attempts last season, and could be just the seventh player in MLB history from the Bahamas. However, he’s a considerably poor hitter, and teams have recently placed much more of an emphasis on that aspect of the game.

Tomas Nido, C

Nido made his mark both defensively and offensively last season, winning the Florida State League batting title and throwing out 42 percent of runners. Although he’s only in Single-A advanced, we’ve seen teams gamble on guys of his caliber before; remember when the Mets lost Jesus Flores to the Nationals a couple of seasons ago?

Other notables include RHP Beck Wheeler, RHP Chasen Bradford and RHP Luis Mateo. Wheeler went unprotected and undrafted last season, but could be an option for a team looking for a guy with a mid-90s fastball. Bradford regressed statistically last season, but walks few batters and induces ground balls. Mateo split last season with Binghamton and Las Vegas and put up very solid numbers.


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