LOD’s 2018 Prospects: New York Mets-Pitchers
LOD’s picks for top prospects to look out for in 2018.
During the 2017-2018 offseason, we here at LOD are putting together a different kind of prospect list than you’re used to seeing. As opposed to typical prospect rankings, we are going position by position to give you the names to look out for in each organization in the upcoming season.
As LOD Senior Editor Jake Berry tackles the Los Angeles Dodgers Prospects, I decided to delve into the New York Mets and share with our readers who we think you should watch out for in the upcoming 2018 season.
The Mets have the tools on the big club to make a run for a Division crown and possibly another World Series berth, but it will just take the right leadership and healthy bodies. But the farm system isn’t as strong as it has been over the last few years, but there are a few young guys that in the near future will be able to make an impact on the big club.
See below as we give you two Mets pitchers to look out for in 2018.
RHP – Chris Flexen – 2017 Teams: St. Lucie Mets (Class A Advanced) Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Double-A) New York Mets (MLB)
2017 Statistics (Minors): 61.1 IP, 6-1, 1.76 ERA, 63 K’s, 10 BB, 0.82 WHIP
2017 Statistics (Majors): 48 IP, 3-6, 7.88 ERA, 36 K’s, 35 BB, 2.02 WHIP
Chris Flexen was drafted by the New York Mets in the 14th round of the 2012 MLB draft and five years later he rose to the top and made his Major League debut this past summer.
It all began for Flexen with the Kingsport Mets (rookie ball) in 2012, appearing in seven games (six starts) while posting a 1-3 record, with a 5.36 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 32 innings.
In 2013, he was nearly flawless in 11 starts, finishing 8-1, with a 2.09 ERA, two complete game shutouts, and 62 strikeouts in 69 innings. He also earned an All-Star selection, Topps Appalachian League Player of the Year and Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week in July and August.
Flexen was moved up to the Sally League (Class A Full Season) in 2014 and in 13 starts with the Savannah Sand Gnats, he was 3-5, with a 4.83 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 69 innings.
Flexen underwent Tommy John Surgery in July of 2014 to remove bone chips in his elbow. He then returned to the mound on June 24 making three starts with the Gulf Coast League Mets and the Brooklyn Cyclones, prior to making his way back to the Savannah Sand Gnats finishing strong with a 4-0 record, a 1.87 ERA in six games, and 33 strikeouts in 33.2 innings.
In 2016, Flexen earned a promotion to the St. Lucie Mets (Class A+) and in 25 starts, he had a complete game shutout, posting a 10-9 record, with a 3.56 ERA, and 95 strikeouts in 134 innings.
This past summer saw Flexen start with St. Lucie for three games and then get promoted to Double A Binghamton Rumble Ponies. He didn’t waste time as he tossed a five hit shutout in his first start with Binghamton, allowing no walks and six strikeouts in seven innings.
Flexen started seven games for Binghamton, earning two complete games, with a 6-1 record, 1.76 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 48.2 innings.
On July 27th, the New York Mets decided to promote Flexen to the big club from Double-A with the hopes that he would step in and help with the major void left by the injured starters.
Flexen struggled in his first go around in the majors, but pitched well enough to earn three wins in 14 games (nine starts). He did show signs of improvement when he was moved to the bullpen, but not taking anything away from his starts especially being moved up from Double-A and placed in the Mets starting rotation, he performed as well as could be expected.
Scouts agree that Flexen will be a long-term starter in the majors, possibly as a No. 4 or 5 in the rotation.
Flexen, who should start in Triple-A in 2018, is one prospect that will get looked at during Spring Training to see if he can help the big club sometime during the season. Expect to see him be an impact pitcher in the big leagues very soon.
LHP – David Peterson – 2017 Teams: Brooklyn Cyclones (Low A)
2017 Statistics: 3.2 IP, 0-0, 2.45 ERA, 6 K’s, 1 BB, 1.36 WHIP
The Mets drafted Peterson in the 1st round of the 2017 June MLB draft out of Oregon University. The 6’6″ lefty played this past summer with the Brooklyn Cyclones appearing in just 3.2 innings, and posting a 2.45 ERA.
With not many innings under his belt last season, the jury is out on Peterson, but the Mets feel they have found a diamond in the rough and they proved that by making him the organizations #1 prospect going into 2018.
MLB Scouting report on Peterson states that his success stems from his fastball-slider combination. His height and his 240-pound frame is strong and his durable build is made for starting. A plus for an organization looking for arms that can withstand a full major league season.
Peterson dominated in his Junior year at Oregon, striking out 140 batters in 100 innings. He had six double-digit strike out games with the top there being 14, 17 and 20.
With the Mets pitching woes over the last few years, Peterson will be closely monitored in his development, but he should rise through the ranks fairly quickly as the Mets hope to have him ready to be an impact on the big club soon.
Other Notable Pitchers:
Stay tuned as we move through the Mets system and talk about some of their top prospects at each position. Next up: Catchers