Top 41: 26 – RHP Chris Flexen, 27 – Casey Meisner, 28 Andrew Church

Lets look at a cohesive group of young arms in my Top 41, young pitchers with better than average fastballs who have not played full-season ball yet. I tend to be pretty conservative with young pitchers especially those below full-season ball since there are just so many misses.

This trio begins the fun part of the rankings.

 

#26 – RHP Chris Flexen

Flexen K-Mets HeadBats/Throws: Right/Right
Height/Weight:  6’3”, 215 lbs
Acquired:  14th rd (Memorial HS)
Born:  7/1/94
2013 Rank: 32 Stats 
Why Ranked Here: Big league pitcher’s body, big league fastball. There’s a mid-rotation MLB starter in here if everything works out (or even #2), and the downside as a bullpen flamethrower if they don’t. Flexen is a loose-limbed 6’3”. He’s lean and moves easily. His fastball was sitting 93-94 at the end of 2013 and touching 96. The Mets had him scrap a lousy cutter to trim his arsenal to focus on his fastball, curve and changeup. The Mets went overslot to sign Flexen to a $374,400 contract in the 14th round in 2012 when his raw talent dictated a much higher selection.

Flexen moves ahead of the 2013 draftees behind him because he’s a year ahead developmentally and has, for the moment, the best fastball of the group.
2013:  Flexen repeated the Appalachian League in 2013 through no fault of his own; the Mets did not field a Gulf Coast League team in 2012 so the Appy was the lowest level for high school draftees like Flexen. In his second time around the League, Flexen improved dramatically: cutting his walk rate from 9.3% to 4.4, while bumping up his strikeout rate from 17% to 23%.
Dr. Pangloss Says: Good MLB starter
Debbie Downer Says: Young pitchers and…
Projected 2014 Start: Savannah
MLB Arrival: 2017

 Recent Stats

ERAG/GSIPHRERHRBBSOHBPWP
2012 APP5.637/6323823202142602
2013 APP2.0911/11695318166126263

 

 

 

BB/9SO/9SO/BBHR/9H/9R/9BB%SO%HR%TBF
2012 APP3.97.31.90.610.76.59.317.21.3151
2013 APP1.68.15.20.86.92.34.422.92.2271

 

 

#27 – RHP Casey Meisner

Bats/Throws:  Right/Right
Height/Weight:  6’7”/190 lbs
Acquired: 3rd rd ’13 (Cypress Woods HS; Cypress, TX)
Born:  5/22/95 (Cypress, TX)
2013 Rank: NA | Stats
Why Ranked Here: He’s 6’7”! He was throwing 93-94 mph in the Gulf Coast League in 2013 in a borderline dominant August. The Mets seemed pleased with the progress his curve and changeup made. According to Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus, he repeats his delivery reasonably well for a huge guy.
2013:  In four starts in August, Meisner went five or six innings in each on his way to a 2.86 ERA and a K/BB of 3.4 (17K/5 BB) in 22 innings.
Dr. Pangloss Says: Frontline starter
Debbie Downer Says: Or nothing. Injuries, etc.
Projected 2014 Start:  Brooklyn Cyclones
MLB Arrival: September 2017

Recent Stats

ERAG/GSIPHRERHRBBSOHBPWP
13 GCL3.0610/435.333117120102811

 

 

 

BB/9SO/9SO/BBHR/9H/9R/9BB%SO%HR%TBF
13 GCL2.57.12.80.07.94.36.919.40.0144

 

 

#28 – RHP Andrew Church

Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Height/Weight:  6’2”/190 lbs
Acquired: 2nd Rd ’13 (Basic HS; Henderson NV)
Born:  10/7/94 (Henderson, NV)
2013 Rank: NA | Stats
Why Ranked Here:  The Mets’ 2013 second-rounder has a chance to be a mid-rotation starter. At the time he was drafted, Mets VP of Amateur Scouting and Player Development said of Church: “We feel like he has a chance to be a solid middle of the rotation starter. It’s three pitches, all for strikes. We think he has a chance for a plus breaking ball. Could also log a lot of innings. Athletic. Works fast. Fits into our overall organizational pitching philosophy.”

Baseball America had him throwing 90-93, touching 95 at the time of the draft with a curveball that “flashed” plus.

Church had a messy high school career that spanned three high schools and prevented him from pitching a full high school season until 2013, but the Mets saw him multiple times in the summer of 2012 and early in 2013.

2013:  Church made three relief appearances from July 3rd through the 13th before making his first of six starts on July 20. Statistically, there’s little significant in his work in the GCL.
Dr. Pangloss Says: As the Mets’ brass said, maybe there’s a #3 starter in here.
Debbie Downer Says:  He’s a long way away.
Projected 2014 Start: Brooklyn Cyclones
MLB Arrival: 2018

 

Recent Stats

ERAG/GSIPHRERHRBBSOHBPWP
13 GCL5.919/635492623281923

 

 

 

BB/9SO/9SO/BBHR/9H/9R/9BB%SO%HR%TBF
13 GCL2.14.92.40.512.66.75.011.91.3159

 

13 comments
Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

I'm curious if Toby's view on Whalen changed or he simply didn't make the list because earlier reports from Toby weren't that positive (BA liked him more than Flexen in their APP top 20)

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

3 of the guys you hope are in the "next wave" after the Ynoa/Cessa types. All 3 are intriguing

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@Daniel Wexler Remember a few short years ago when guys who were intriguing like this a few years ago were inside the top 12 prospects?


It really is impressive the turnaround this franchise's farm as made.

bigred12
bigred12

I think flexin our on track to a 2017 MLB year,church we will have to see what he can do this year I'm not to confident about him though. I believe he was a waisted pick as I've seen him throw in the gcl last summer,really like Meisner though huge projection

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@bigred12 Church reportedly touched 95 in workouts for some teams (per Law) he was a reach to save money but he still could be intriguing.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@bigred12  The hope he's the next Glasnow/Thor. Law loved his future FB putting a 70 grade on it. 

bigred12
bigred12

What about Meisner ? I feel he was a bargain and is the diamond in the ruff! Yea he's still raw,but they had him in low 90's per draft,touched 95 mph several times last year. Be curious to see what he does this year

Sylvan Migdal
Sylvan Migdal

@Daniel Wexler @bigred12  I don't care who Chris Crawford thinks is a reach. The question is, did the Mets themselves think he was a reach?


I know the "experts" didn't rank him as the 48th best prospect, but if I were the Mets and I was trying to save cap space on certain picks, I wouldn't look to "reach" for a guy I don't think is quite as good but who costs less — I would look for a guy who my scouts think is equal to or better than the "consensus" top prospects on the board, and who costs less.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@Sylvan Migdal @Daniel Wexler@bigred12 Plawecki also didn't save them much money so it's a slightly different situation. They also didn't have any catching in the system when the pick was made. He signed for 1.4 million a savings of 67,400 (a pretty nominal savings). 289,000 on Church (a riskier than average HS arm) is quite a savings. Of course he could end up better than guys who got more money or were ranked higher but the savings 100% were a key part to why he was picked. Not sure how there is any debating that. I already noted he touched 95 in workouts and is intriguing. He wasn't a "punt" pick. They have X players they know will take X below slot and they put it together like a puzzle.

Daniel Wexler
Daniel Wexler

@Sylvan Migdal @Daniel Wexler@bigred12 Church went higher than projected by EVERYONE in an attempt to save money to spent on other players. This is a fact. Not sure how it's a "reach". Like Plawecki it may well work out. It's not an insult to say this is what happened but Church 

Manuel said "likely a pre-draft deal" aka a money saver, BA had him #89 overall

Chris Crawford called him the biggest "reach" of the 2nd round Mets (No. 48) | Andrew Church, RHP, Basic HS (Henderson, Nev.): Church’s story is a sad one -- he went to three different high schools and wasn’t able to pitch for his last school -- but it’s the talent that makes this a questionable pick, not the situation. He has average stuff, without a lot of projection and feel for pitching. That doesn’t equal a top-50 pick, in my estimation.

Law had him #79

This isn't an insult to Church to say that while they may have really liked the player, the fact he was willing to sign for under slot (to spread out the money) was a MAJOR factor in him being taken. They went "expensive" in the first and spent money in other places. They absolutely passed on other guys who were considered better prospects/more costly at 48. You honestly believe if all things were equal money wise that Andrew Church was the #1 talent on the board? He signed for 289,000 under slot. That's why he was picked at 48. His talent is why he was selected at 48 among the guys who were willing to take less. Every team does this.

Sylvan Migdal
Sylvan Migdal

@Daniel Wexler @bigred12  It's a bit of an exaggeration to say he was a "reach to save money". Obviously the Mets did save some cap space on him, but that doesn't necessarily mean they thought he was a worse player than the more expensive options they passed on.


People called Plawecki a reach for basically the same reason (picked 30 or so spots before where the "industry consensus" ranked him), but if you re-drafted the 2012 draft now, I bet he wouldn't even fall to the Mets at 35.