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Mets select Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto with 10th overall pick in draft

Oregon State's Michael Conforto rounds first base on

Oregon State's Michael Conforto rounds first base on a hit against UNLV during an NCAA college baseball regional tournament game in Corvallis, Ore., Sunday, June 1, 2014. Credit: AP / Mark Ylen

The Mets selected power-hitting Oregon State junior outfielder Michael Conforto, a two-time Pac-12 player of the year, with the 10th overall pick Thursday night in Major League Baseball's first-year player draft.

Conforto, who hit .345 with seven home runs and 56 RBIs this year, is not considered major league-ready but could be closer to the big leagues than anyone else the Mets may have considered selecting. He is being advised by Scott Boras.

Conforto has a good athletic pedigree. His mom, Tracie Ruiz-Conforto, was a two-time Olympic gold medalist in synchronized swimming. His father, Mike, was a linebacker at Penn State under Joe Paterno.

"I had a few options football-wise," he said. "I decided against it just purely for the fact that I had a great future started in baseball. I could see the way football affected my dad . . . he's going to need double knee surgery, he's having trouble walking around. I love football, but baseball was always another great passion for me. I made that transition over to just baseball. My baseball career really took over."

Mets vice president for player development and scouting Paul DePodesta said, "It's difficult to say how he's going to move through the system. That said, he's obviously a different player than we've taken in the last three years. We've taken high school players. Not only is he a college player but this is a pretty polished college player . . . He certainly has a chance to move quicker than the high school players we've taken the last few years."

Added director of amateur scouting Tommy Tanous, "He is going to make a pitcher come in with a pitch that pitcher doesn't want to come in with and then he is really going to unleash on the ball. That's probably one of his biggest strengths."

The Yankees did not have a first-round pick. With the 55th overall pick, they selected Mississippi State lefthander Jacob Lindgren in the second round.

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