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2012 Mets Draft Scouting Report: LHP Paul Paez

Through the first 17 rounds of their draft, the Mets selected 11 pitchers, every single one of them a righty. Finally, with their 18th selection the Mets took Paul Paez, a diminutive high school southpaw from southern California, snapping the trend in two.

Standing just 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, Paez doesn't bring velocity to the table. He can touch 91 with the heater, but he typically sits in the high 80s. There's no more velocity coming either: the height limits him to an extent, and the delivery is already pretty max-effort. He does open himself up a little soon, robbing the delivery of some torso torque, but that might somehow help him a little in the deception department and the return from keeping him closed longer would likely be negligible. The fastball does have some life on it, also. The offspeed stuff is a mixed bag. He throws a soft drop curve that can look very pretty, but he telegraphs the pitch a little, and I'm not sure how many hitters it's going to fool. He doesn't really have a change, but I don't see any reason why he couldn't learn one.

What's most impressive about Paez is that he has excellent command over his fastball and curve combo. You don't see that often in high school pitchers, and you could see Paez moving quickly as a result. The delivery is nice, featuring a long stride, quick tempo, and a smooth arm action. As I said, it is max-effort, but that's really just something that comes with the territory when you discuss short lefties.

There's a lot of polish here, and I do like Paez, but in the long run, his ceiling is probably that of a reliever rather than a starter. He's committed to San Diego, and I'd question whether a reliever is worth the resources it would require to buy out such a commitment.