|Citi Field, with the Tom Seaver Statue in front. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets made four selections on the first day of the 2022 First-Year Player Draft on Sunday night. In the first round, the Mets selected catcher Kevin Parada, who played college baseball at Georgia Tech, with the 11th overall pick, and shortstop Jett Williams with the 14th pick from Rockwell-Heath High School in Texas. In the second round they chose Blade Tidwell, a right-handed pitcher from Tennessee, with the 52nd overall pick, and Nick Morabito, an outfielder who went to Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC, in the second round compensation with the 75th overall pick.
Kevin Parada, a native of Pasadena, California who is 20 years old, was ranked as the top catcher, and No. 6 overall prospect, by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. He played two years at Georgia Tech, and put together an amazing season, as he set a single-season record at the school with 26 home runs. He hit .360 (91-250), with those 26 home runs, along with 88 RBI, 30 walks, a .715 slugging percentage, and he struck out just 32 times. Parada, who led the ACC in runs (78) and RBI (88), won the Buster Posey Award, which is given to the top collegiate catcher. He also earned All-ACC First Team honors in 2022 and was a unanimous All-American selection, plus a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Houser Trophy. Parada is the fourth catcher from Georgia Tech to be selected in the first round of the draft, after Jason Varitek (1993, 1994), Matt Wieters (2007), and Joey Bart (2018).
Jett Williams, an 18-year old from Rockwell, Texas, is a Mississippi State commit who was ranked as the 15th overall prospect by Baseball America and the 21st overall prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was ranked as the No. 1 high school prospect in the state of Texas, according to Perfect Game and was named to both the Perfect Game First Team Senior Preseason All-American and the Perfect Game Texas-All Region First Team for the 2022 season. Williams, who is 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, is known for his speed, as he can run a 6.50 60-yard dash. This past season, Williams hit .411 with seven home runs, 41 RBI, 53 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases at Rockwell-Heath High School. Last summer, he played in the 2021 Perfect Game National Showcase at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay.
Blade Tidwell, a native of Loretto, Tennessee, who is 21 years old, was named to the Preseason All-American - First Team by both Baseball America and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2022. In 13 games (nine starts) this season, his second at Tennessee University, went 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA (13 earned runs in 39 innings) with 51 strikeouts and 11 walks. He was named to the 2021 SEC All-Freshman Team after he won 10 games, the second-most in school history for a Freshman behind a name Mets fans would be familiar with, R.A. Dickey. His 10th win of that season came in the super-regional against LSU, sending the Volunteers to the College World Series for the first time in 16 years. In high school, he teamed with Ryan Weathers, currently a pitcher with the San Diego Padres, to lead Loretto High School to the Tennessee state Class A championship in 2017.
Nick Morabito, 19 years old and a McLean, Virginia native, was named the 2022 District of Columbia Gatorade Player of the Year after he hit .545, with a .644 on-base percentage and a 1.119 slugging percentage, and he hit 12 home runs, and had 52 stolen bases. He is listed as the 82nd-best prospect by Baseball America and the 91st best prospect by MLB Pipeline, and he was ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the state of Virginia by Perfect Game.