New York Mets: top 5 players drafted that went unsigned

HOUSTON - DEC. 19: Roger Clemens, pitcher for the Houston Astros, photographed on December 19, 2001 (TEXAS). Roger Clemens at 2700 Albany in Houston, TX. (Photo by Pam Francis/Getty Images)
HOUSTON - DEC. 19: Roger Clemens, pitcher for the Houston Astros, photographed on December 19, 2001 (TEXAS). Roger Clemens at 2700 Albany in Houston, TX. (Photo by Pam Francis/Getty Images) /
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The New York Mets finally got their man after he spurned them on draft day.
The New York Mets finally got their man after he spurned them on draft day. /

New York Mets: Top 5 Players Drafted That Went Unsigned

3. John Olerud,  58.1 WAR

The Mets eventually got their guy, unfortunately, he came ten years after they originally drafted him. John Olerud was selected in the 27th round of the 1986 draft out of Interlake High School, in Bellevue, Washington. With Olerud and Cey both coming out of the Pacific Northwest, those scouts up there were really finding the diamonds.

Olerud chose not to sign as he was headed to Washington State to play baseball. Olerud became a legend for the Wildcats even being named College Athlete of the Year by Baseball America in 1988. As a pitcher that year Olerud was 15-0 and as a hitter, he cracked 23 home runs.

Olerud left after three years with the team where he hit .434 and was drafted in the 3rd round by the Toronto Blue Jays. In Toronto, he kept on hitting. He was a key member of the Blue Jays back-to-back World Series titles in ’92 and ’93. In ’93 he led the league with 54 doubles, .363 batting average, and 1.072 OPS.

In December of 1996, the New York Mets finally got there man. They acquired Olerud in a trade for pitcher Robert Person. Olerud spent three years with the Mets and did nothing but rake. He had a .315 average including .354 in ’98 and came close to driving in 100 runs all three years, eclipsing the total with 102 in ’97.

Rather than bring him back after the three years, they let him walk, and he signed with the Seattle Mariners. Olerud played seventeen seasons total and was a lifetime .295 hitter. The Mets caught a glimpse of his greatness, but they were wishing they would have had him right out of high school.