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Mets hoping to find gems in late rounds

Mets hoping to find gems in late rounds

NEW YORK -- The Mets had just two picks on the first day of the First Year Player Draft. The late rounds promise their share of hidden gems; the Mets just hope to be the team that unearths them.

The Draft will conclude on Thursday with the 31st through 50th rounds, beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET.

MLB.com's coverage will include a live pick-by-pick audio stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.

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Fans will not only be able to follow along every minute of the way online, but they'll be able to interact directly with Draft-eligible players and MLB.com Draft experts, among others.

The Draft Tracker will also feature the addition of Twitter, and the participation of "tweeters" such as MLB.com Draft expert @JonathanMayoB3, who will also be serving as on-air talent for all three days of the Draft; and reporter @LisaWinstonMLB, who will be writing the up-to-the-minute coverage for MLB.com.

In addition, MLB.com has created a Twitter account devoted to the Draft, where you can stay updated on every piece of info as it becomes available (@MLBDraft).

Mets -- Top five selections
Pick
POS
Name
School
72LHPSteven MatzWard Melville HS
103SSRobert ShieldsFlorida Southern Col
134CFDarrell CecilianiColumbia Basin CC
164RHPDamien MagnificoNorth Mesquite HS
194RHPDavid BuchananChipola JC
Complete Mets Draft results >

The Mets' roster is loaded with players taken later in the Draft, from sixth-rounder John Maine to 31st-rounder Pedro Feliciano. The Mets' have some recent success in the later rounds, with Bobby Parnell, taken in the ninth round in 2005, and Daniel Murphy, selected in the 13th round in '06, both earned time late last season before making the team out of Spring Training this year. Parnell is now the primary setup man to Francisco Rodriguez while Murphy was the Opening Day left fielder.

Maine, taken by the Orioles in the sixth round in 2002, has blossomed since being traded to the Mets before the '06 season. The right-hander has compiled a 36-27 record with a 4.01 ERA in 83 starts with the Mets. That doesn't include a 1-0 mark with a 2.63 ERA in three postseason starts.

Omir Santos, a 21st-round pick by the Yankees in 2001, took a little longer to make his impact in the big leagues. Santos played in the Minors for the Yankees and Orioles for eight seasons before signing with the Mets in the offseason. An injury to Brian Schneider opened the door for Santos, who has hit .261 with three home runs in 28 starts for the Mets.

Schneider (fifth round), Sean Green (ninth round) and Tim Redding (20th round) are other late-round picks who have contributed for the Mets this season.

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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