Leading up to the amateur draft, Desmond Lindsay's name did not appear on Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list or mlb.com's Top 200 rankings.

And though the centerfielder shined while facing stiff competition on the summer circuit, he prepped at tiny Out-Of-Door Academy in Sarasota, Florida.

Nevertheless, the Mets considered themselves lucky to land Lindsay, 18, with the 53rd overall pick in the MLB Draft Monday night.

"We felt like it was an opportunity for us in a year when we didn't have a first-round pick to maybe reach up and try to get a first-round talent," Mets vice president of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta said. "So that's what we did."

The Mets gave up their 14th overall selection this year as compensation for signing Michael Cuddyer. Their first pick came in the second round, and they scooped up the 6-foot, 200-pound Lindsay.

The Mets believe they have drafted a righthanded hitter with power potential and enough speed to play centerfield. Mets scouting director Tommy Tanous called Lindsay one of the fastest players in the draft and "an offensive machine."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Lindsay missed roughly a month this spring with a hamstring injury but has returned to action with no health issues. "Without the hamstring injury this spring, we don't think there would be any way he would have lasted to the 53rd pick in this draft," DePodesta said. "There's just too much talent there and a combination of power and speed that's just difficult to find."

The Mets believe signability will be no issue with Lindsay. His grandmother is a devoted Mets fan. "Desmond will be a Met," Tanous said. "I don't think there's much of an issue there."