Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mets #4 2016 MLB Draft Pick: 3b Blake Tiberi

Blake Tiberi, the Mets third round pick and a a third-team All-ACC selection, was the fifth-ranked college third baseman in Baseball America’s 2016 draft ranking:
  1. Nick Senzel (#6 overall in BA, drafted #2 in 1st round) 
  2. Will Craig (#45 overall in BA, drafted #22 in 1st round) 
  3. Bobby Dalbec (#118 overall in BA, drafted #52 in 2nd round) 
  4. Sheldon Neuse (#129 overall in BA, drafted #118 in 4th round) 
  5. Blake Tiberi (#157 overall in BA, drafted #100 in 3rd round) 
Every college player in the above top 5 was drafted higher then his Baseball America ranking. Further, Baseball America ranked four high school third basemen higher than Will Craig, who made the 2016 D1Baseball All-America team (First team) — as did Mets second round pick, 1B Peter Alonso. The website said that Craig "played solid defense at third base and demonstrated a very advanced approach at the plate to go along with his power." Here's his slash line for 2016 college season: .379/.520/.731.

Were there really four high school players who were better 3B prospects than Craig? That makes the BA ranking suspect. Further, only seven 3B (both high and college) were drafted ahead of Tiberi; whereas, Baseball America ranked 13 high school and college players ahead of him.

Tiberi's 2016 slash line was .340/.387/.553. Not as good as Craig's, but pretty good. How many of those four high school athletes drafted ahead of him could have put up those numbers last year for Louisville? Could have even started for Louisville?

Of course, they're several years younger than Tiberi, who is 21, so Batting America is just implying how they think those high school athletes would do at the college level, which is that they'll do even better then Tibari, a leap of faith.

The Mets were seeking players with a strong track record of success against high-level competition. In Tiberi, they have gotten such a player. Their draft strategy makes sense.

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