Mets in the right on Draft's first day
Club selects seven right-handed hurlers in first nine picks
The Mets history is pitching-rich, and the most prominent pitchers they have developed are all right-handed -- Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Jason Isringhausen and -- we're still waiting to see Philip Humber and Mike Pelfrey.
And now they may have more right-handed pitchers in the Minor Leagues.
The Mets used seven of their first nine selections, and half of their first 18 in the First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday to choose right-handed pitchers.
"We think we got some quality arms," amateur scouting director Rudy Terrasas said after the first 18 rounds were completed.
The Mets' most intriguing selections among the right-handed pitchers were Kevin Mulvey of Villanova, their first selection and 62nd in the Draft, Joe Smith from Wright State University, a sidearmer who throws in the 90s, and the sons of two former big-league players -- Jesse Barfield and Terry Puhl.
The Mets went for quantity as well as quality. Two of the right-handed pitchers are tall by baseball standards -- 6-foot-8 John Holdzkom of Salt Lake Community College (Calif.) and 6-foot-10 Nathan Hedrick of Barton County Community College (Mo.). "We can have a basketball team," Terrasas said.
Thumbnails of the Mets' first 17 selections -- they had no first-round pick -- are as follows:
Round 2: Kevin Mulvey, RHP, Villanova University
Mulvey was no newcomer to the draft process. He had been selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 34th round of the 2003 draft and opted not to sign.
Mulvey is 6-2 and 190 pounds. His fastball is considered to be a plus-pitch by big-league standards, and he is said to have a sharp-breaking slider. He is developing a curve. He tied for the Wildcats lead with 14 starts this year, pitching five complete games while producing a 3-8 record and a team low 3.61 ERA in 92 1/3 innings. He allowed 91 hits and held opponents to a .254 batting average, Mulvey struck out 88 and walked 22. Villanova was shut out in three of his losses and scored merely one run in two other loses.
Round 3: Joe Smith, RHP, Wright State University
Smith underwent shoulder surgery as a high school senior and couldn't make the Wright State roster as a freshman in 2003. But as a 2004 walk-on, he dropped his arm slot to sidearm, and his velocity shot into the low-90s. He began to dominate. He had an 0.75 ERA this season and would have led Division I, but he was five innings short of qualifying.
"He's very tough on right-handed hitters," Terrasas said. "He's a ground ball pitcher with an above-average breaking ball and a changeup."
Round 4: John Holdzkom, RHP, Salt Lake Community College (Calif.)
"A power arm," is what Terrasas calls the 6-foot-8, 18-year-old who had some control issues. He did strike out 44 and allowed merely 15 hits in 31 2/3 innings. But he walked 40.
Round 5: Stephen Holmes, RHP, University of Rhode Island
Holmes had a 22-4 career record at RIU and his 1.30 ERA in his 2006 season was the lowest in the nation. He struck out 93 and allowed 106 baserunners in 104 innings. Fourteen were hit batsmen. Evidently, he isn't opposed to pitching inside.
Round 6: Scott Schafer, RHP Pasadena Memorial (Texas) HS
Shafer, 18, played his high school baseball in his Terrasas' hometown, so he was personally evaluated by the Mets director of amateur scouting. Terrasas liked his competitive nature.
Round 7: Daniel Stegall , OF, Greenwood (Ark) HS
An 18-year-old left-handed batter with a pretty swing.
Round 8: Nathan Hedrick, RHP, Barton County Community College (Mo.)
Hedrick produced a 6-1 record, 10 saves and a 2.35 ERA in 34 1/3 innings, appearing in 26 games -- all in relief. He had 38 strikeouts and 17 walks.
Round 9: Jeremy Barfield, OF, Klein (Texas) HS
Barfield is built more like his father Jesse, the former Blue Jays and Yankees outfielder, than his brother Josh, the Padres second baseman. At 17, he is 6-foot-5, 240 pounds. He has an odd combination -- bats right, throws left like Rickey Henderson and Cleon Jones.
Round 10: Phillips Orta, RHP, West Nebraska Community College.
The Mets loves his athleticism on the mound.
Round 11: Andruw Moye, RHP, Alpharetta (Ga.) HS
An 18-year-old who impressed the organization at a tryout camp in Port St. Lucie. He could take lessons from a resident in his hometown, Tom Glavine.
Round 12: Nick Giarraputo, 3B, Simi Valley (Calif) HS
A big, rangy kid (6-foot-4 and 195 pounds) who the Mets expect to fill out an hit for power.
Round 13: Daniel Murphy, 3B, Jacksonville University
The club likes his experience -- he's 21 -- and his left-handed swing.
Round 14: Duane Privett, LHP, College of Southern Idaho
The Mets were following a draft-and-follow selection when they discovered Privett.
Round 15: Justin Dallas, C, Park Vista Community (Calif.) HS
The Mets see him as a well-above average defender, a well-rounded player who hits.
Round 16: Tobi Stoner, RHP, Davis & Elkins College (W Va.)
A projectable body with a wide variety of pitches.
Round 17: Steve Puhl, C, Saint Edwards University (Texas)
The son of former-Astro Terry Puhl, he is a switch-hitter with power, a combination that intrigues the Mets.
Round 18: Ritchie Price, SS, University of Kansas
Good range, good height (6-foot-2), consider a good defender
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.