Short-Season Saturday: Chris Flexen’s Professional Debut. Luis Mateo Makes a Bid for Savannah

SSA: Brooklyn Cyclones 6, @ State College Spikes (PIT) 3 

CF Brandon Nimmo was 2-for-3 with a triple, his first as a Cyclone, and a walk and a strikeout. He’s hitting .230/.387/.368 in 25 games with 21 walks against 26 strikeouts.

Then there’s Luis Mateo: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 HBP. In 30.2 IP in the New York-Penn League, he’s allowed a whopping 21 base runners and struck out 38. He’s shut out the opposition in three of his five starts. He’s 22 and has stuff in a fastball/slider combo that is simply too good for NYP hitters.


R: @ Johnson City Cardinals 11, Kingsport Mets 3

RHP Chris Flexen, the Mets’ 14th round pick this year, made his professional debut. The stuff was impressive, but the results were not. The Mets went overslot to sign him away from Arizona State, and his $374,400 bonus was the sixth-largest of the draft class.

His line: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Yeah, thanks to a wild pitch, he fanned six, but only went 1.2 innings. The impressive parts: he showed a 92-94 mph fastball and then four other pitches. He used his cutter a lot, at 85-86 mph, it looks like a slider, but he calls it a cutter. He also showed a curveball at 74-75 that has a chance to be average, a slider at 81 mph and changeup at 83 with some good armspeed.

He was hurt by fastball command. “I went out there, left a few pitches up, guys swung the bat,” he said. “Just gotta go back, analyze everything and fix the mistakes. I was leaving a lot of fastballs up and middle. So, location, location, location. Gotta hit the spots better.”

The Mets will keep Flexen in a piggy-back role for the duration of his time in Kingsport.

The K-Mets started slender 19-year old RHP Persio Reyes. Reyes showed a fastball at 89-94 mph, settling in around 92 in the third inning and then 90 in the fourth as he lost steam. His changeup around 81 was his second-most frequent pitch – it was ok, but not a put-away offering. He threw maybe five curveballs from 71-74 mph that on the whole were poor. He’s extremely skinny (as you can see in the picture at right.  D’oh. I misplaced my USB cord. Pictures coming tomorrow.) and there’s arm strength out of a delivery with some effort, but his fastball command within the strike zone and he must learn to spin a breaking ball. In fact, there was even more velocity than he took to the game. In the third inning, he took a hard line drive off his right shoulder-blade. After he was examined by the trainer, he threw a warmup pitch, reaching back for 96 mph, harder than any pitch he threw in game action, to prove that he was healthy enough to continue.

Matt Budgell, the Mets’ 2011 10th rounder threw an inning of relief. The rail-thin RHP was 84-90, sitting 87-88 and showed slider at 76 and one at 82. It was not an inspiring set of weapons.

The K-Mets bats had a rough night, although C Tomas Nido clubbed a double off the left-centerfield wall and walked once in his four trips to the plate.

Little 2B Brendan Kaupe was 1-for-2 with an infield single, two walks and a pair of nice diving plays defensively.

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