Thursday, November 3, 2011
Chad MacDonald leaves for Padres
By Adam Rubin
Chad MacDonald, who oversaw amateur scouting and the draft in conjunction with Paul DePodesta, only spent roughly 12 months with the Mets organization. So his legacy will be the 2011 draft that included taking high school outfielder Brandon Nimmo 13th overall, then prep right-hander Michael Fulmer out of Oklahoma with the 44th overall selection.
MacDonald is leaving the Mets to join his former Arizona boss, Josh Byrnes, with the San Diego Padres. MacDonald will be vice president and assistant GM.
The Mets will fill MacDonald's draft role with Tommy Tanous, a scout for the organization last season who has ties to J.P. Ricciardi from Toronto.
Speaking with ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday, MacDonald expressed satisfaction with his lone draft with the Mets.
"I felt good on two fronts," MacDonald said. "One, the players. And, two, the process. I think the process of being open to scouting all players -- geographically, high school, college -- and being able to take some risks in taking some high upside guys. We did that with Nimmo and Fulmer, and we took high school guys we liked and college guys we liked. And now I think our staff, which is geared up and ready for 2012 -- one of the better staffs in baseballs -- knows all (amateur) players are in play. So when you show up at the ballpark, if anything they know the Mets have a chance to draft and sign any of those players. I think that will bode well for the Mets organization for years to come."
Nimmo, 18, hit .211 with two homers and four RBIs in a combined 10 games between the Gulf Coast League and Kingsport.
What's the impression of Nimmo now compared to draft time?
"I said at the draft he's an impact player, impact person -- a center fielder with speed, who can hit and who is going to have power," MacDonald said. "Wherever the new walls are in New York, he's going to run through them for the Mets. The Mets fans are going to cheer for Brandon for a lot of years to come."
Several lower-tier picks had solid pro debuts, including right-hander Jack Leathersich (fifth round) and infielder Danny Muno (eighth round) with Brooklyn.
Asked if there was anyone who really stood out in the Mets system after signing, beyond the first few rounds, MacDonald said: "Those two guys, and then even the high school kid (shortstop Phillip) Evans (15th round), who we were able to give some money to, really improved in instructional league.
"We signed like seven young high school arms, which this organization hadn't done before. We hope we hit on all seven of them. Odds are that's not going to happen, but each one of those guys brings something to the table that says, 'This guy is going to be a major league starting pitcher.' They're all young. They all have the ingredients -- size, arm strength, arm action, delivery. Some of them you're just waiting for the velocity to come. Others you're waiting for the breaking ball to come. But (Matt) Budgell (10th), and (Craig) Missigman (37th), and (John) Gant (21st), and (Robert) Gsellman (13th), and (Christian) Montgomery (11th), I'm telling you what, that's the way to do it. And I think that's the way the Mets will continue to do it even after I'm gone."