Ben T asks:
Why does Arizona pick ahead of the Mets? What was the tiebreaker?
The tiebreaker is the previous year's record. So despite finishing with identical 70-92 records this year, the D-Backs edge the Mets on overall level of lousiness as their 82-80 2008 record was worse than the Mets 89-73 mark.
Ben T. follows up:
This year for example, after the Nationals selected Stephen Strasburg, who was the best pitcher and best prospect in the draft, the Mariners selected OF Dustin Ackley, the best college hitter at #2 and then the Padres went for OF Donavan Tate, the top prep position player. After Tate, teams avoided prep position position players until pick #16. Also, after Tate, teams went signability, or at least mixed cost into their calculations. At #4 the Pirates drafted BC C Tony Sanchez, and while the pick was widely panned at the time, the 21-year-old hit .309/.409/.539 in his debut, mostly at West Virginia in the SAL. The next eight teams all picked pitchers, mixing HS arms with college arms, while taking players' bonus demands into heavy consideration. On the slipping front, the Rockies at #11 and the Rangers at #13 drafted Tyler Matzek and Matt Purke (although Purke didn't sign), who were generally considered the two best LHP arms in the draft.