NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York Mets believe they found a “first-round talent” in 18-year-old outfielder Desmond Lindsay, who was taken with the 53rd overall pick in the MLB draft on Monday.
Mets vice president of amateur scouting and player development Paul DePodesta said Lindsay, a product of Sarasota’s Out-Of-Door Academy, has plus tools on offense with a combination of speed and power.
“We’re excited about this one,” DePodesta said, according to the team’s official website. “I think this one has probably as much upside as anyone we’ve taken in the second round since we’ve been here.”
Lindsay didn’t make MLB.com’s list of top 200 draft prospects or Baseball America’s top 100. DePodesta said the high schooler’s stock was hurt by a recent hamstring injury.
“We felt like this was a real opportunity for us with Desmond,” DePodesta said. “There’s just too much talent there, and a combination of power and speed that’s just very difficult to find. So 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 get a first-round talent.”
Lindsay was a Perfect Game First Team All-American and named to the Florida All-Region First Team in 2015. DePodesta said the Mets came out of the draft with a “complete offensive player,” while amateur scouting director Tommy Tanous called the right-handed batter an “offensive machine.”
“This is an athlete that probably has a plus-plus run tool for us,” Tanous said of the 6-foot, 200-pounder. “He’s one of the faster kids in the Draft. Although he’s a fairly strong kid, this is a kid that can run.”
Tanous also expressed optimism that the team will sign Linsday, who has committed to the University of North Carolina. His grandmother grew up in Connecticut as a fan of the Amazin’s.
“Desmond will be a Met,” Tanous said. “I don’t think there’s much of an issue there.”
The Mets sacrificed their 2015 first-round pick when they signed veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer.