The New York Mets recently announced that the club made four selections on day one of the 2022 First-Year Player Draft. In the first round, the Mets selected catcher Kevin Parada with the 11th overall pick from Georgia Tech and shortstop Jett Williams with the 14th overall pick from Rockwall-Heath High School (TX). In the second round, the Mets selected Blade Tidwell, a right-handed pitcher from Tennessee with the 52nd overall pick. The Mets final pick of day was Nick Morabito, an outfielder from Gonzaga College High School (DC), selected in the second round compensation with the 75th overall pick.
Parada, 20, was ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, as well as the top catcher. In his two-year career at Georgia Tech, Parada slashed .330/.420/.638 with 35 home runs, 130 RBI, 120 runs and 12 stolen bases in 112 games. In 2022, the backstop batted .360 (91-250) with 88 RBI and a .715 slugging percentage. He set a Georgia Tech single-season record with 26 home runs, which was tied for the sixth most in Division I.
Additionally, Parada led the ACC in runs (78) and RBI (88) and drew 30 walks while striking out just 32 times over 253 at-bats. The Pasadena, Calif., native was the winner of the Buster Posey Award in June, awarded to the top collegiate catcher. Parada earned All-ACC First Team honors in 2022 and was a unanimous All-American selection as well as a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Houser Trophy.
In 2021, the 6-foot-1, 197-pounder was named as a Freshman All-American by D1Baseball, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Perfect Game and was selected to the Freshman All-ACC team. Parada is the fourth catcher from Georgia Tech selected in the first round of the draft joining Jason Varitek (1993, 1994), Matt Wieters (2007) and Joey Bart (2018).
Williams, 18, is a plus runner with a 6.50 60-yard dash time. The Mississippi State commit was ranked as the 15th overall prospect by Baseball America and the 21st overall prospect by MLB Pipeline. The 5-foot-8, 175-pounder ranked as the No. 1 high school prospect in the state of Texas according to Perfect Game and was named to both the Perfect Game First Team Senior Preseason All-American and the Perfect Game Texas-All Region First Team for the 2022 season.
This past season, Williams batted .411 with seven home runs, 41 RBI, 53 runs and 24 stolen bases at Rockwall-Heath High School. The Rockwall, TX native was selected to play in the 2021 Perfect Game National Showcase at Tropicana Field.
Tidwell, 21, went 3-2 a 3.00 ERA (13 earned runs/39.0 innings) with 51 strikeouts and 11 walks in 13 games (nine starts) at Tennessee in 2022. The 6-foot-4, 207-pounder was named to the Preseason All-American – First Team by both Baseball America and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2022.
Tidwell, a Loretto, Tenn. native, was named to the Knoxville Regional All-Tournament Team after tossing a career-high 7.2 scoreless innings against Alabama State. The 27th best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Tidwell was named to the 2021 SEC All-Freshman Team after he won 10 games, the second-most in school history for a Freshman behind R.A. Dickey. His 10th win of his freshman campaign came in the super-regional against LSU, sending the Volunteers to the College World Series for the first time in 16 years. Tidwell teamed with Ryan Weathers to lead Loretto HS to the Tennessee state Class A championship in 2017.
Morabito, 19, was named the 2022 District of Columbia Gatorade Player of the year after batting .545 with 12 home runs, 52 stolen bases, a .644 on-base percentage and a 1.119 slugging percentage this season. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder was listed as the 82nd-best prospect by Baseball America and by MLB Pipeline as the 91st best prospect. A McLean, VA, native, Morabito was ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the state of Virginia by Perfect game.
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