I would like everyone to welcome our newest contributor here at New York Mets Online – Mike Grisso.  In his first piece, Mike looks towards the 2009 draft and suggests Blake Smith would make a fine addition to the team.

You can’t argue with the things that went down for the Mets in the off-season.  Picking up K-Rod and his league leading saves record for a measly 24th, 1st round pick was a no-brainer.  Plus, we still receive a supplemental pick at 42.  Unfortunately, this year’s talent pool is a little down with exception to the Aztec phenom Stephen Strasburg.  Hopefully this will work in our favor.

The first thing the Mets need to do is figure out where they are going.  Seriously, we’ve blown division leads for what seems like forever, and now we have to listen to the Phillies being called World Champions?  So let’s roll back the tapes, figure out the biggest (true) reasons we lost back-to-back division titles in the waning weeks, and work towards the future.

Most likely with the 42nd pick, the Mets are going to have to groom this player for three or four years to start.  This means by 2013, Castillo, Tatis, Sheffield, Delgado, will most likely all be retired due to age or lack of playing time.  Well, except for Tatis who’s been sitting on the bench, making $1.7 million for 9 at-bats in 2009.  He might just hang with Julio Franco or something.

Anyways, the pitching staff is young with exception of Livan Hernandez who can leave anytime he’s ready.  Heck, I’ll even pack the bags for him.  However, Mike Pelfrey (sorry man, I’m a big Wichita State fan) will never be a true no. 2.  However, the back end of the rotation should be lights out for 95% of the year with Putz and K-Rod.  After it’s all said and done, the only way to figure out who the Mets should take is to look around the farm system.

It’s a bummer that the only areas Mets players are shining in the minors, are places where they won’t get a shot for a long while in the MLB.  Seriously, even if William Flores dominated the Minor Leagues, he would either have to move over to 2nd, or wait for Reyes to get hurt.  This is just one example of many.

After weighing the options, all the free agents at 1B and OF, the draft should almost always revolve around pitching.  You find yourself someone that can step up in a few years, it will be better to boost your team during the season, then calling them up in September when everything is lost.  So once we rule out Strasburg (although Washington couldn’t sign Crow last year), what do we have left?

Well, by the time the draft reaches the Mets, they would be inclined to take Blake Smith if he’s there.  He’s a right handed pitcher out of California who played on the national team as a relief pitcher.  He had a 1-0 record, with 11 strikeouts in 9 innings pitched and 2 saves.  Add in the 0.00 ERA and it’s a pretty strong performance.  At the beginning of the season he was up for the National Player of the Year watch, but due to a down year that went by the way side.  I still like his upside, but who do you like?