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2012 Mets Draft Scouting Report: RHP Chris Flexen

First of all, a word of apology: computer issues followed by some prior personal commitments made it very difficult to resume my scouting reports in a timely manner over the past two weeks, but all is well now, and I should resume this week. So, sorry for the delay, and I hope to have the whole draft completed by the end of the week.

The Mets made California prep product Chris Flexen their 14th round selection, and this was a very intriguing pick. The general feeling among teams was that Flexen was a fourth- or fifth-round talent who wanted second-round money. Guys like that have a tendency to fall on draft day, and many assumed Flexen would fulfill his commitment to Arizona State. The Mets apparently liked Flexen enough to offer him $374,400, an offer the 17-year-old righty accepted. It's probably a touch cheaper than most thought Flexen would sign for, though it's still well over the slot allowment of $100,000, so the Mets will have to add the difference to their bonus pool.

No matter the amount, Flexen's a very interesting new addition to the organization. He throws regularly at 90-92, brushing 94, and he adds a slider, curve, and change. In general, his command draws high marks. The change definitely lags behind the other two pitches, as is almost always the case with high school pitchers, but the slider can be a plus pitch when it's on, showing hard, late bite. He does need to be more consistent with the pitch, but I think it should be at least above average in the long run. The curve is not terribly effective.

Mechanically, he needs work. He takes a healthy stride towards the plate, but the tempo is still a little slow, and he'll sometimes need to rush his arm action to catch up with his body as it drives toward the plate. There's also a high elbow in there, and I would not be surprised to see shoulder issues in his future. The good news is that he's quite young for a high schooler, not turning 18 until July, and he's regarded as a hard worker. A team could streamline the arm action some to reduce the stress on his shoulder. Despite the youth, however, I would not expect additional velocity, as Flexen has a mature body already (6-3, 215 lbs.) and I don't see any avenues to make his delivery more efficient.

All said, he's an interesting mix of stuff and polish who will still require a little work.