Who is Jonathan Malo?

Twice drafted by the New York Mets, shortstop Jonathan Malo's name has come up in scouting circles as a new entry to watch in the team's system.<br> <br> Malo, 21, is a product of St-Roch-de-l'Achigan, Quebec, and was selected for the first time in 2002 out of Miami-Dade (Fla.) Community College in the 40th round.

It's just an easy road trip to get from Mike Piazza's old junior college to Port St. Lucie, but Malo decided to decline in order to attend Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. The Mets came calling again a year later, drafting him in the 48th round as a draft-and-follow.

This time, Malo signed, inking with the Mets for a $125,000 signing bonus. A working visa problem robbed him of a chance to play minor league ball in the United States last season, but Malo was invited to the Instructional League and the Mets' January minicamp in Port St. Lucie.

After years of waiting, Malo – who said he has been compared to Nomar Garciaparra for his glove and contact hitting – will finally get his chance to play professional baseball this spring.

"I was just trying to get away from Canada," Malo laughs. "If you want to get better, you can't stay there. You've got to go to the States and get some better weather. But I like the Mets, I think there's a great field here [in St. Lucie] and I think it's a good organization with all the new guys here too."

With his sizable amount of experience under his belt, the 6'1", 180 lb. infielder believes he might be able to skip rookie ball this season. He's been clocked in the mid-90s on his throws from shortstop, a Garciaparra-esque trait, but it's anyone's guess how he'll fare with the stick against professional pitching.

Malo did face some minor league pitching on Florida excursions as a Canadian summer league player years ago, but April will mark Malo's first at-bat as a pro. He admits he's curious how it'll work out.

"I'm probably going to be a contact guy at the plate, hopefully hitting .300 or a little more, but nobody knows," Malo said.

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