When it comes to the MLB Draft, teams rarely target specific positions, as the draft is such a crapshoot and it generally takes players so long to get to the big leagues and make an impact, if at all. But the New York Mets did so in 2012 when they drafted Kevin Plawecki, who’s now one of their top catching prospects, when they lacked legitimate catching prospects, and they need to do so again on a larger scale in the 2014 MLB Draft with regard to left-handed pitching.
There’s no denying that the Mets are rich with pitching prospects, but so few of them are left-handed. The Mets have one big-time left-handed pitching prospect in Steven Matz, as well as a few lefties like Jack Leathersich and Adam Kolarek who could eventually help the Mets out of the bullpen. But other than those three, the Mets have no lefties with a realistic chance of reaching the big leagues, so they need to make it a point to add left-handed pitching to their farm system through the draft.
That’s not to say that the Mets need to use their first-round pick on a left-handed pitcher, although that is a possibility as lefty Sean Newcomb is a distinct possibility for the 10th overall pick. Whether they take Newcomb or not, the Mets need to make a point to look for left-handed pitchers between Round 3 and Round 8, specifically college pitchers like Newcomb with a chance to move through the system quickly and contribute in the big leagues in a relatively short period of time.
Throughout the rest of the draft, the Mets also need to be on the lookout for left-handed high school pitchers they can groom over a longer period of time and give them some semblance of left-handed pitching depth throughout their farm system.
This is obviously an unusual strategy for the MLB Draft, and the Mets certainly shouldn’t go miles out of their way to pick up left-handed pitching. But the Mets have used just four draft picks over the past two years on left-handed pitchers, and the team only signed one of those picks. This has created a profound lack of left-handed pitching throughout the farm system, which is something the Mets must start to address in the 2014 MLB Draft.