Addressing organizational needs in the 2014 MLB Draft can be tricky. You can target players all you want, but they may not be available by the time it’s your turn to pick. That’s why a lot of teams simply draft the best player available when their turn comes up. But if the New York Mets could have the best of both worlds, the best player that also fills an organizational need would be shortstop Trea Turner of North Carolina State.
You could say the Mets are short on shortstops, especially in the upper levels of their organization. In Queens, light-hitting, average-fielding Ruben Tejada has been getting most of the playing time, while Wilmer Flores has been trying to prove he can slug as well in the majors as he did in the minors (while not hurting his team too much on defense).
At triple-A, the shortstop situation has been so dire that outfielder/first baseman Eric Campbell has had to play there at times. Matt Reynolds is tearing up the Eastern League with a .352/.436/.415 slash, but questions remain about his defense. The Mets have more hope in the lower decks of their organization, such as former first-rounder Gavin Cecchini playing in Class-A, but he’s still three years away.
If the Mets can draft a college shortstop like Turner, he could make it to the majors on an accelerated schedule. He would be a good fit in the organization. His patient approach at the plate results in a lot of walks, and he has good speed, which would be a perfect combination for a leadoff hitter — something else the Mets lack right now.
Some think his swing is “too low” for the majors, but that could be fixable. He doesn’t hit for power, but he has been a .300 hitter in college.
Will he be available when the Mets’ pick comes up at No. 10? There’s the rub. One of the nine teams ahead of New York could gobble Turner up. In that case, the Mets could draft the best player available, or try to fill another organizational need. GM Sandy Alderson has indicated that the Mets may look to draft more college players early, which would be a departure from Alderson’s previous drafts.
But if at all possible, Turner would be a perfect draft pick for the Mets.