Amateur Signing Bonuses: Mets

Next up in our look at each team's spending on amateur players, the Mets…

  1. Mike Pelfrey, $3.55MM (2005)
  2. Phil Humber, $3MM (2004)
  3. Matt Harvey, $2.525MM (2010)
  4. Scott Kazmir, $2.15MM (2002)
  5. Lastings Milledge, $2.075MM (2003)

The Mets made Pelfrey the ninth overall pick in 2005 after three utterly dominant years at Wichita State (2.19 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 1.7 BB/9), and just a year later he was making his big league debut. He didn't stick for good until the middle of the 2007 season, but the Amazins have gotten their money's worth. Pelfrey owns a 4.31 ERA in 113 career starts (and three relief appearances), and he just wrapped up the best season of his young career: 3.66 ERA in 204 innings. He'll be a fixture in New York's rotation for years to come.

Humber was the first of three Rice pitchers taken within the first eight picks of the 2004 draft (joining Jeff Niemann and Wade Townsend), going third overall. He missed the second half of 2005 and the first half of 2006 after having Tommy John surgery, but he made his major league debut shortly after returning. Humber spent most of the 2007 season in the minors, and he threw just nine innings for the Mets (6.00 ERA) before being sent to the Twins in February 2008 as part of the Johan Santana trade.

Harvey was the team's first round pick this year, seventh overall, marking a change in the team's recent stance of adhering to MLB's slot recommendations. He didn't pitch after signing and will start his career next spring. Kazmir was the 15th overall pick in 2002 but as we all know that he never appeared in a game for the Mets. After posting a 2.41 ERA, 11.2 K/9, and 3.7 BB/9 in 49 minor league starts, he was traded to the then-Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano at the 2004 trade deadline. Nothing more to say here, this one's been beaten to death already.

Milledge was considered one of the three or four best prospects in the 2003 draft, but his stock took a hit after he was expelled from high school before his senior year for alleged sexual misconduct with a minor. The Mets gambled on him with the 12th overall pick, but negotiations between the two sides were halted a few months later after more allegations arose. The team eventually signed him after being satisfied with the results of their own investigation. Milledge climbed the ladder and made his big league debut in 2006, though he drew the ire of some team veterans by showboating. He hit .257/.326/.414 in 391 plate appearances with the Mets before being traded to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider after the 2007 season.

22 Responses to Amateur Signing Bonuses: Mets Leave a Reply

  1. raffish 5 years ago

    Now that’s an embarrassing list.

    • Why’s that? Pelfrey’s been pretty good, Humber helped get us Johan, Harvey was JUST drafted, and Kazmir has been god awful the last couple seasons or so. I agree Milledge was an abomination but other than him the rest really aren’t that bad. Stop hating on the Mets.

      • MetsEventually 5 years ago

        Well…Kazmir traded for Vic Zam…Humber doesn’t pitch anymore though he’s translated into Johan…Milledge…L-Millz…favorite rappers…favorite rapper.

        God knows about Matt Harvey.

      • Infield Fly 5 years ago

        [Chuckle] We could use a break from the weekly beatdowns (even if some are deserved sometimes). Thanks for the “lift” bro!

      • raffish 5 years ago

        Pelfrey is no better than Doug Fister. Seriously. Look at the age/numbers. They’re almost identical (Fister is a little better). Would you celebrate 3 million and a top ten pick for Doug Fister?Humber is 28 and has done nothing at the MLB level.Kazmir had a nice little run, but never logged many innings due to his poor control. And as someone mentioned, he was part of a lousy trade.Milledge is of little consequence.All we know about Harvey is that no one had him as high as the Mets.

        • jimboslice9 5 years ago

          If you watch Pelfrey pitch though, you can see he obviously has the potential to be a great starter. You don’t get to 10-1 with a sub-2 ERA by accident.

          Humber was turned into Johan, so while that was a bad pick, they turned it into something good.

          Kazmir is negligible, he has basically turned into what they gave him up for, but he did do well for a few years.

          Milledge, well, is Milledge.

          And you can’t really say anything about Harvey. So what if it was a bit of a reach. It may pan out, it may not, you can’t tell.

      • ryankrol 5 years ago

        Kazmir is the only player on this list that actually accomplished something. And 2010 was his only really “bad” season. 2009 he was plagued with injuries in the first half and was one step beneath dominant in the second half. I doubt he’ll have as bad a year in 2011 as he did in 2010, but either way being in a World Series 2 years ago and having a good track record all the way back to the age of 19 probably makes Kaz the only player on this list who was worth the money at the time.

      • myname_989 5 years ago

        Because it’s the truth.

        Mike Pelfrey has had two good seasons, and two pretty terrible seasons. The fact that Phil Humber “helped” to acquire Johan Santana means little along the lines of his amateur signing bonus. It was still a bad pick, and he was overpaid in his slot. Despite Scott Kazmir’s 2009 – 10 struggles, he was an integral part of the 2008 Rays AL Champions team, and had very good numbers in a tough AL East in years prior. If anything, he was the best proven pick / sign on that list, stupidly traded for Victor Zambrano. And we all know how Lastings Milledge turned out.

        He said it’s an embarrassing list because it is.

        • qbot86 5 years ago

          You can’t say that the trade for Johan Santana can’t count as a positive for Humber, that we just need to look at his success as a major leaguer, but then turn around and say that the Kazmir trade counts against them. Can’t discount the positive trade but still count the bad one.

          • myname_989 5 years ago

            I think you misunderstood what I was saying. The thread is for amateur signing bonuses. You don’t draft players to trade them. You draft players that are going to help your team in the future. Phil Humber was a terrible sign at a $3MM bonus. You don’t get your money back because he gets traded for Johan Santana. After everything is said and done, Humber was still a bad pick, and they overpaid for him.

            On the other hand, I said that Scott Kazmir was the best pick on the list. The Mets’ downfall with him was trading him for Victor Zambrano, where he nearly doubled the latter’s productivity.

            Both prospects were traded, but in different scenarios. Humber was a bad pick, traded for a good result. Kazmir was a good pick, traded for a bad result. As far as the Mets’ amateur signing bonuses go, Humber was a mistake, Kazmir was not.

          • qbot86 5 years ago

            Ok, I agree with that

  2. Pelfrey is descent some years but he really doesn’t do much for me. He’s hittable and has only been usable about every other year. Until he gets more consistent he’ll be a wild card.

    Humber was a bust but at least he busted with the Twins, good move by the Met’s to move him and get something really nice back. On the flip side, Scott Kazmir. Ouch. Sure, he’s had problems lately but he was pretty good for awhile after he was traded. The Met’s essentially wasted him.

    Milledge doesn’t look like he’s going to pan out, too bad because he had the talent. Off field issues probably caused most of his problems, attitude, behavior, whatever. The Met’s didn’t get much for him but something was better than nothing I guess. They probably shouldn’t have drafted him but a high upside talent was probably worth the shot.

  3. raffish 5 years ago

    And Mike, does Pelfrey deserve such high praise as he received in your opening paragraph? You mention his ERA and innings totals, but nothing else? What about his execrable K/BB or K/9? Or his WHIP? How about his H/9, or SLG, or OBA? Look past his win total and ERA, man. To boot, he pitches in a pitchers park in the inferior league. The guy is a 4/5 starter.

    • jmits90 5 years ago

      Yea and maybe you should look at his fip or war… Pelfrey is not going to hit his ceiling but he is more than a serviceable pitcher and a good pick for the mets

      • raffish 5 years ago

        Don’t really have to. The other numbers speak plenty.

        And I’m not saying he isn’t a serviceable pitcher. But with those percentages he could easily be 7-13 with a mid-4’s ERA, and then no one would be touting him for much of anything. Look at Doug Fister.

        • qbot86 5 years ago

          Double post

        • qbot86 5 years ago

          Ummm, actually you do have to. Otherwise it’s called cherry-picking stats and your argument is less than valid. Nice try though.

          • raffish 5 years ago

            Fine. 4.5 xFIP. Roughly 3.0 WAR. Does that inspire you? ~doug fister chuckles~

          • whats your obsession with doug fister…?

          • raffish 5 years ago

            He’s a spot on comparison for Pelfrey. They have virtually identical stats, age, percentages, etc. They both even started off 2010 red hot.

            The point was, no one gives a toot about Fister. He’s an afterthought, almost a joke of a pitcher. Yet he’s slightly outperforming a guy about whom people want to sing praises. I find it comical, and as you can tell by my previous post, so does Doug Fister.

  4. MetsEventually 5 years ago

    Matt Harvey…the darkside is clouding my sight on him…

  5. qbot86 5 years ago

    If I were Doug Fister I’d be concerned with this man’s obsession

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