5 Biggest Draft Busts In New York Mets History

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5 Biggest Draft Busts In New York Mets History

5 Biggest Draft Busts In New York Mets History
The Star-Ledger - USATODAY Sports

For a franchise like the New York Mets, the MLB Draft is critical to future success. Eventually, the Mets will get back in a position where they are able to spend money in free agency, but for now they have to rely on building from within, which means building a strong farm system through the draft.

This past offseason, the Mets declined on trying to sign outfielder Michael Bourne because it may have meant having to give up their first round pick in the draft, something they were unwilling to do, which shows how important the draft is to them. It’s imperative that the Mets find productive major league players in the draft, especially in the early rounds, and as they continue to rebuild, the Mets have to avoid players that end up being busts.

Of course, in the past the Mets have had their fair share of busts in the draft. The baseball draft is more of a crapshoot than any other draft in professional sports, so teams never know what exactly they’re going to get when they draft an amateur. Even with all the advanced scouting that goes on today, mistakes are still made, and unfortunately for the Mets and the other teams that make them, those mistakes are remembered by fans and critics.

As the Mets and the rest of baseball prepare for the start of this year’s draft on Thursday, let’s revisit some of the blunders the Mets have made in the draft. Here’s a look at the five biggest busts in Mets’ history:

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5. Aaron Heilman

5. Aaron Heilman
Jeff Curry - USATODAY Sports

The Mets took Heilman with their first pick in the 2001 draft, and while he had a couple good seasons for them, he never became a major league starter or a dominant reliever. Also, he’ll always be remembered for giving up the home run to Yaider Molina in the 2006 NLCS. He’s not a huge bust, but he was never the player he was expected to be, and Mets fans will never remember him fondly.

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4. Reese Havens

4. Reese Havens
Eric Kilby - Flickr

Drafted in 2008 four picks after Ike Davis, Havens was supposed to join Davis on the right side of the Mets infield for years to come. However, injuries and inconsistencies have held him back and prevented him from fulfilling his promise. Havens is still with the Mets in triple-A, but he’s not in their future plans and may never get to the big leagues, which is disappointing for a former first-round pick.

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3. Lastings Milledge

3. Lastings Milledge
Wknight94 - Wikimedia Commons

The Mets had such high hopes for Milledge that for a long time they refused to trade him, even in a deal that could have sent Manny Ramirez to New York. There were always concerns about his attitude, work ethic, and maturity level, which plagued his time with the Mets, and prevented him from living up to his talent and potential. Eventually the Mets shipped him out of town, receiving Ryan Church and Brian Schneider in return, which shows how disappointing his career with the Mets ended up being.

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2. Billy Beane

2. Billy Beane
James O. Watson - USATODAY Sports

We all know him as the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, but before he was one of the most recognizable front office people in baseball, he was a first round pick of the Mets in 1980. The Mets thought he would be a star, but he never amounted to much as a player, despite showing off tantalizing amounts of talent as an amateur.

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1. Eddie Kunz

1. Eddie Kunz
Justin Brockie - Flickr

Whoever thought it would be a good idea for the Mets to draft college reliever with their first pick in the 2007 draft should be out of baseball. The Mets were desperate for pitching help and assumed Kunz would get to the big leagues quickly, which is what happened. Within a year of being drafted Kunz made his big league debut, but he didn’t last long in the majors and he never became the closer he was projected to be, falling well short of the Mets high expectations for him. His major league career was brief, and Mets fans will never forget how disappointing it was and how quickly he flamed out.

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