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2012 Mets Draft Scouting Report: RHP Corey Oswalt

The Mets aimed for long-term upside when they selected San Diego prep product Corey Oswalt in the seventh round. Oswalt had been a very intriguing third base prospect prior to 2012, but he impressed scouts more with his potential on the mound this season. While he had bat speed, raw power, and a strong arm as a third baseman, his swing was also long and had timing problems, his footwork in the field clumsy, his footspeed well below average. Scouts feel much better about his future on the mound now.

Like Teddy Stankiewicz in the second round, projection is a big part of what the Mets like about Oswalt. He's listed at 6-4, 200 pounds, and he has a tall, lanky frame that you can picture adding muscle in time. Right now he's throwing 88-90 or so, bumping 92, so it's possible that the righty can add a couple miles-per-hour to get regularly in the low-90s, for roughly average velocity. The fastball also has a little bit of sink down in the zone. His breaking ball--and honestly, I can only call it that, though I think he's trying to throw a curve--is a hard pitch and it'll sometimes show some hard drop to it. It can be at least an above average offering. Other times it looks like a slider or he spins it so much it bounces way in front of the plate. He really has no idea what the pitch is going to do once it leaves his hand. Command over both pitches is really more an idea at this point than a reality. I have not seen a changeup, but Baseball America says he is working on one.

Mechanically, there's a lot to work on. His arm action is too long and has some late pronation. He doesn't stride in line to the plate. He sometimes has trouble finding his release point and arm slot. These things are excusable and even expected because he's so new to pitching. It's going to take time for him to figure these things out. You never know how a kid will take to a new way of pitching, so there's definitely some uncertainty, and he's not young for a prep prospect (I'm not sure I would classify him as old, either, but a month or two older and I certainly would).

The upside here is as a fourth starter or so, maybe a third if more than the average goes his way. Nothing to sneeze at when you're talking about a seventh-round pick, but he has an awful lot of work to do before that happens.