Mets Minors: Chris Flexen leads second wave of pitching prospects

This season is destined to be something of a disappointment.  Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler again spend time on the DL and the Mets need a major win streak to pull back to .500 baseball.  With Harvey’s Met tenure drawing to a close it’s time to look at some of the names for guys who might build out the back half of the rotation in 2018 and beyond.

 

Chris Flexen, RHP: A late draft pick who was given significant over slot money when the Mets drafted him in 2012.  He was always said to be a potential diamond in the rough and, at various points in his minor league career, he’s looked it.  His K/9 has always hovered around 9.0 and his WHIP has fluctuated but stayed relatively close to 1.00 making him a solid prospect with potential to eat some innings.  In 2017 he’s made strides as, after coming back from injury, he’s pitched exceedingly well through several games in Binghamton.  One stat that seems to explain his sudden dominance is that he hasn’t walked a single batter where in 2016 he had half as many walks as strikeouts.

 

Marcos Molina, RHP: A name that you’ve probably heard about, Molina is high in the esteem of Met scouting.  Molina, like Flexen, has had some injury problems but the scouts love his stuff and they believe he even has front of the rotation potential.  He hasn’t had the same AA success as Flexen to start his 2017 campaign but he also hasn’t been bad.  He definitely factors into the 2018 discussion.

 

P.J. Conlon, LHP: While Conlon has cooled off recently he’s still one of the better pitchers in the Met system.  As one of only a handful of lefty starters, Conlon brings a different look from others among the Met prospects.  If injuries keep befalling the Mets in 2017, I would not be shocked to see the Mets promote Conlon to the majors for a spot start.

 

Corey Oswalt, RHP: He hasn’t been as successful as others in 2017 but you cannot discount Oswalt’s 2.36 ERA and solid WHIP numbers.  His strikeout numbers aren’t great but he’s got potential to reach the majors and that’s plenty.

 

Nabil Crismatt, RHP: Playing just behind this quartet, in Port St. Lucie, you have Crismatt.  He’s been the Ace of the St. Lucie staff putting together good numbers across the board.  The Mets are not likely to skip him passed AA in 2018 but they should give him a look come spring training.

 

AAA: Las Vegas 51s

 

Amed Rosario the slump continues – Just as the Mets ready to cut ties with Asdrubal Cabrera, Rosario begins to look unready for the majors.

 

Dominic Smith keeps at it – Smith seems to get a hit in every game he plays.

 

Gavin Cecchini in the majors.

 

Kevin Plawecki heating up – How much a .910 OPS in AAA means is up for debate.

 

AA: Binghamton Rumble Ponies

 

David Thompson red hot – He’s hit .382 with 4 home runs over his last 10 games.

 

A+: Port St. Lucie Mets

 

Justin Dunn stumbles as he started to hit his stride – Again, the issue is control.  He cannot give up 5+ walks in an outing and expect success.

 

Wuilmer Becerra looks better – Fewer strikeouts and several stolen bases are both positive signs.

 

Peter Alonso wakes up – Over his last 10 he is hitting over .400 with 3 home runs!

 

Jhoan Urena resurgent – Expect Urena to be back in the Top 25 of a lot of Met prospect rankings.

 

Jordan Humphreys show’s his mortality – His first start in Advanced A was clearly a pretty tough transition.

 

Merandy Gonzalez A+? No problem – Gonzalez, on the other hand, looks great in his first outing.

 

A: Columbia Fireflies

 

Desmond Lindsay hurt – He hasn’t played since 6/12

 

Thomas Szapucki is back, baby – 6.0 IP, 2 hits and 10 strikeouts.  Thomas, how we missed you!

 

Jacob Zanon healthy – When he plays, he steals bases.  He’s also getting on base, for now.

5 comments for “Mets Minors: Chris Flexen leads second wave of pitching prospects

  1. Mack
    June 26, 2017 at 11:04 am

    David –

    Like the way you think.

    I have Molina over Flexen, but I think both will be ready by next season’s all-star break.

    Keep up the good baseball news.

    • David Groveman
      June 26, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Hey Mack,

      Glad to have you by. Molina is likely the top talent (ceiling) of these guys.

  2. June 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    At least two and possibly all of those first four guys should be in Triple-A next year. Mickey Jannis, too. You never know if/when it’s going to click for a knuckleballer. Regardless, they should have some better depth starters on hand for next year.

    • David Groveman
      June 26, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      Aside from Crismatt, I would say they probably all should be in AAA.

  3. TexasGusCC
    June 27, 2017 at 1:53 am

    As my first opportunity to check in today (if you knew me you would faint) I had an opportunity to see the scores tonight and for sure the cupboard is bare in the top level. In Tacoma, the 51’s blew an 8-0 lead in the sixth and the home team didn’t even need to bat in the ninth inning. Also, the Rumble Ponies blew a slim lead early on and lost by one, but neither team scored after the fourth inning.

    The AA game was Conlon’s start and let’s just say he didn’t have it tonight. But overall, I have not read encouraging things about him. Overall, he’s a lefty Tyler Pill at best; 86-88 mph fastball, a fringe curve and fringe change of pace and everything you read tell you his unorthodox delivery is his reason for success against these “lower level hitters” – and it’s put that way. That won’t last in the majors and he needs at least two “out” pitches of some type. Oswalt doesn’t seem like more than a reliever, but Flexen and Molina have a chance to be big factors due to their stuff. Crismatt is a tougher call, even though he’s a favorite of mine, because he doesn’t throw very hard (he sits in the low 90’s) but has plus control and pitches to give himself a chance.

    Even though the Mets graduated so many players in 2015, having so little talent in your top two levels is a failure of sorts by the scouting department. Bonehead moves like losing the 11th overall pick in signing Cuddyer, drafting an enigmatic Andrew Church in the second round and even taking a track star as your first round pick in 2011 are decisions that wound a farm system.

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