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.

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