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Mets select Mississippi State centerfielder Rowdey Jordan on Day 3 of MLB Draft

Mississippi State outfielder Rowdey Jordan makes a catch

Mississippi State outfielder Rowdey Jordan makes a catch for an out against Virginia in the eighth inning during a game in the College World Series on June 22 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. Credit: AP/John Peterson

While so much of the buzz was rightfully focused on Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker in this year’s draft, the Mets quietly selected the player who beat them both.

Two days after drafting Rocker in the first round, the Mets selected Mississippi State’s Rowdey Jordan in the 11th round of the draft — the centerfielder who went 3-for-6 with two runs against Rocker and the rest of Vanderbilt to defeat them in the College World Series this year.

Jordan, 22, is an athletic switch hitter with excellent speed and enough defensive aptitude that centerfield could stay his future, said Marc Tramuta, Mets director of amateur scouting.

Going up against Leiter and Kumar was "definitely a factor" in choosing Jordan, Tramuta said, "and coming from a winning program also."

"He can run, a really good performer, some bat to ball skills, so we were happy with the pick. It’s the sum of the parts guy but he does have a plus tool on the run and a contact guy that led off for the College World Series champion."

So ended the final day of the draft, where the Mets made their 11 to 20 selections. All told, they drafted 12 pitchers and eight position players — 19 of which were college players. And despite awarding Rocker a reported $6 million signing bonus (far heftier than the $4.72 million the 10th overall pick was expected to get, but unsurprising given Rocker’s pedigree), the team wasn’t forced to make value picks to stay within their allotted bonus pool money, said Tommy Tanous, vice president of amateur and international scouting.

The first 10 players drafted get signing bonuses, and the Mets were given $9,026,300 to work with; going over the allotted amount leads to hefty fines and, if egregious enough, loss of draft picks.

"We feel really strongly about this draft," Tanous said. "The biggest difference from this year and in years past was the depth of the draft and the fact that we were able to hold steady with slot round players all the way through the first 10. In the past, I think you’ve seen us take …more budget cuts in rounds four through 10, certainly in rounds eight, nine and 10. This year, we were able to maintain a little more depth throughout and we didn’t even take a money-saving pick in the first 10 rounds."

The Mets drafted a tantalizing bat in first baseman/outfielder Jack-Thomas Wold in the 12th round — a player who this season with UNLV hit .429, sixth best in Division I, and boasted a 1.284 OPS.

"We’ve had some success with those bats in the past — it’s power and it’s someone that controls the strike zone," Tanuos said. "I’m not saying he’s a Jeff McNeil, but I’m saying there are some profiles we like in those picks."

The Mets drafted Matt Rudick, an outfielder from San Diego State 13th. With the 14th pick they chose lefthanded pitcher Nathan Lavender, of Illinois. No. 15 went to Wyatt Young, a shortstop from Pepperdine. No. 16 was righthanded pitcher Trey McLoughlin of Fairfield. The 17th pick went to lefty Nick Zwack, of Xavier. No. 18 was righthander Kolby Kubichek of Texas. They chose catcher Drake Osborn of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette 19th. Justin Guerrera, a shortstop from Fairfield, rounded out the picks at 20.

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