Right-hander Chris Flexen is making up for time lost at the beginning of the season.
Drafted by the Mets in the 14th round in 2012 and handed an over-slot signing bonus to keep him from enrolling at Arizona State, Flexen did not get started this season until May 17. That's because he underwent surgery during spring training to clean out bone chips in a knee.
After making three starts with Class A St. Lucie, Flexen then tossed a seven-inning shutout in his Double-A debut on June 7. He is now 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts since joining Binghamton.
In his last start, Flexen retired the opening 14 batters before surrendering a solo home run. That proved the lone baserunner that Flexen allowed while striking out 10 in six innings.
"I didn't even realize what I had going on," Flexen said. "I was just out there trying to be aggressive. I realized after the fact, after the home run, that I lost the no-hitter and the perfect game all on one swing. But I know they've got a pinch count for me coming back, so I just try to go out there and win."
Flexen, who turned 23 on Saturday, was added to the 40-man roster in November. His fastball sits at 91-94 mph. He also throws a curveball, slider and changeup.
Flexen is fully aware he nearly was dealt to the Reds for Jay Bruce one year ago. Brandon Nimmo and Flexen had been in the original deal with Cincinnati, but Reds officials ultimately got cold feet over medical info and pivoted to Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell.
"Obviously they saw something they didn't like, but I don't know," Flexen said. "I knew about the trade and all that stuff. My agent had spoken to me about it and said I was one of the minor leaguers that was in that deal. Obviously last minute they rearranged the deal. It was a little nerve-wracking, actually. It's kind of weird going through it in the moment and thinking about being with a different team and having to make new friends. I was little sad I was going to leave all the friends I had already made here in the Mets organization."
"It worked out for my personal situation," he continued. "I love being a Met, and I hope to make the big-league squad, and I hope to make an impact at that level."
Top prospect watch...
Although he hit only .237 in June, Amed Rosario has come out of his funk to hit safely in seven straight games. He's hitting .344 (11-for-32) with three RBI during that stretch.
Dominic Smith's 19-game hitting streak came to an end on the Fourth of July with an 0-for-4 night against El Paso. The hitting streak was the longest by a Las Vegas player since Wilmer Flores had a 22-game hitting streak with the 51s in 2014.
Organizational Leaders (Position Players)...
Average: Guillermo Granadillo, GCL Mets, .500; Hansel Moreno, GCL Mets, .500; Kenneth Bautista, GCL Mets, .400; Rigoberto Terrazas, Kingsport, .390; Jeremy Vasquez, Kingsport, .348; Juan Uriarte, Kingsport, .333; Walter Lagrange, Kingsport, .325; Edgardo Fermin, Kingsport, .321; Dominic Smith, Vegas, .321; Amed Rosario, Vegas, .320.
Home Runs: Travis Taijeron, Vegas, 15; Dash Winningham, Columbia, 11; Josh Rodriguez, Vegas, 10.
RBIs: Amed Rosario, Vegas, 52; Dash Winningham, Columbia, 49; Michael Paez, St. Lucie, 47; Travis Taijeron, Vegas, 47; Dominic Smith, Vegas, 46.
Steals: Champ Stuart, Binghamton, 21; Patrick Biondi, Binghamton, 15; Amed Rosario, Vegas, 14; JC Rodriguez, St. Lucie, 11; Jhoan Urena, St. Lucie, 11.
Organizational Leaders (Pitchers)...
ERA: Jaison Vilera, GCL Mets, 0.00; Daison Acosta, GCL Mets, 1.46; Merandy Gonzalez, St. Lucie, 1.54; Jordan Humphreys, St. Lucie, 1.79; Ronald Sanchez, Kingsport, 2.00; Corey Oswalt, Binghamton, 2.13; Jose Carlos Medina, Brooklyn, 2.16; Tyler Pill, Vegas, 2.36; Trent Johnson, Brooklyn, 2.45; Nabil Crismatt, St. Lucie, 2.70.
Wins: Jordan Humphreys, St. Lucie, 10; Merandy Gonzalez, St. Lucie, 9.
Saves: Chasen Bradford, Vegas, 9; Adonis Uceta, Columbia, 8; Tyler Bashlor, St. Lucie.
Strikeouts: Nabil Crismatt, St. Lucie, 85; Jordan Humphreys, St. Lucie, 83; Merandy Gonzalez, St. Lucie, 75; PJ Conlon, Binghamton, 74; Blake Taylor, Columbia, 63.
Adam Rubin (Facebook | Twitter | Contact) has covered the Mets since 2002. He previously worked for the Daily News and ESPN. He also serves as assistant athletic director for strategic communications at NYIT. He is a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the University of Pennsylvania.