Monday, July 18, 2022

Mets MLB Draft Day 2 Summary


Citi Field. Photo by Jason Schott.

The second day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft was on Monday, and the Mets selected eight players in rounds 3-10. The Mets selected pitcher Brandon Sproat in the third round, third baseman Jacob Reimer in the fourth round, shortstop D'Andre Smith in the fifth, pitcher Tyler Stuart in the sixth, pitcher Jonah Tong in the seventh round, pitcher Dylan Tebrake in the eighth, third baseman Chuck Estep in the ninth, and pitcher Zebulon Vermillion in the tenth. Bios of these players follows below.

Brandon Sproat, the Mets' third round pick, is a right-handed pitcher from the University of Florida. The 21-year-old from Pace, Florida, went 9-4 with a 3.41 ERA (34 earned runs in 89.2 innings) over 17 games, 16  of which were starts. In his final six starts of the season, he went 5-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Sproat, who is 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, pitched for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in 2021 and topped out at 99-100 MPH (miles per hour) with his fastball. He was previously drafted by the Texas Rangers in the seventh round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of Pace High School (FL).

Jacob Reimer, 18 years old, is a third baseman from Yucaipa (CA) High School, and he was the Mets' fourth round choice. He is the highest draft pick from Yucaipa High School since current Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the supplemental first round (43rd overall) of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft. Reimer is ranked as the 77th-best high school prospect from California by Perfect Game. He competed at the 2021 Perfect Game National Showcase at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay.

D'Andrew Smith, a shortstop from USC was the Mets fifth-round selection. The Diamond Bar, California, native hit .286 (60-210) with eight home runs, 23 RBI, and he tied for the team lead with 40 runs scored in 2022. He is the first USC infielder to be selected in the first 10 rounds of the First-Year Player Draft since Ricky Oporesa was drafted in the third round (116th overall) by the San Francisco Giants.

Tyler Stuart, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Southern Mississippi, was chosen by the Mets in the sixth round. He made 22 appearances (four starts) and went 4-0 with a 3.38 ERA (14 earned runs in 40.0 innings), 38 strikeouts, and one save in 2022. In the Hattiesburg Regional, he made three appearances and did not allow a run in 2 2/3 innings. Stuart missed his redshirt freshman season in 2020 after he underwent "Tommy John" surgery.

Jonah Tong, a 19-year-old right-handed pitcher from Georgia Premier Academy in Statesboro, Georgia, was the Mets' seventh round selection. He hails from Ontario, Canada, but he pitched the 2022 season in the United States. In seven games (five starts) with Georgia Premier Academy, he went 4-2 with a 1.63 ERA (seven earned runs in 30.0 innings) with 46 strikeouts and a complete game. Before Georgia Premier, he attended Bill Crothers Secondary School in Canada. Tong was the fifth Canadian player selected in this year's First-Year Player Draft.

Dylan Tebrake, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher from Creighton University in Nebraska, was the Mets' eight-round choice. He was named the Big East Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2021 and 2022. During those two seasons, Tebrake went 16-2 with a 2.82 ERA (52 earned runs in 165.2 innings pitched) with 190 strikeouts in 29 starts. His 115 strikeouts in 2022 were the fourth-most by a Creighton pitcher in a single season. The two-time All-Big East First Team selection finished his career at Creighton with a record of 21-5, 230 strikeouts, and a 2.86 ERA in 222.0 innings over four seasons.

Chase Estep, a third baseman from the University of Kentucky, was the Mets' ninth-round selection. In 2022, he had a slash line of .302 batting average/.416 on-base percentage/.560 slugging percentage, had a team-high 49 RBI, and tied for the team lead with 13 home runs and 16 stolen bases. Prior to this past season, Estep had one home run over his first three collegiate season. In the summer of 2021, Estep played for the Kenosha Kingfish of the Northwoods League and hit .294 (27-92) with an .833 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in 25 games. Estep's uncle, Chris Estep, was a 12th-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates from Kentucky in the 1988 MLB June Amateur Draft. His father Chris played two seasons at Kentucky from 1992-1993.

Zebulon Vermillion, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound right-handed pitcher from the University of Arkansas, was selected by the Mets in the tenth round. In 24 relief appearances this past season, he went 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA (seven earned runs in 26.1 innings), 28 strikeouts, and two saves. In four games during Arkansas' run to the 2022 College World Series, Vermillion tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He finished his collegiate career with a record of 10-1 with a 3.58 ERA (42 runs in 105.2 innings) and 100 strikeouts in 71 games, six of which were starts. 

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