Q&A with Mets 3rd Round Pick Casey Meisner

With their second third round pick and the 84th overall pick in the 2013 First-Year player draft, the Mets selected 6-foot-7, right-handed pitcher Casey Meisner out of Cypress Woods High School in Texas. In this exclusive Draft Day Q&A, he talks about the best day of his life, his arsenal of pitches, his future with the Mets, and more.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: Tell us what is going through your mind after being selected by a team like the Mets.

Casey Meisner: Oh, well you know, I wasn't really expecting the Mets to pick me up. You know, I kind of had an urge that they were, but at the same time I didn't really know what to think. After the draft was coming up it came up so fast and it just happened like that, but now that I'm here and see the way that the organization is, I really am enjoying it and I feel good about the way that they treat me and the way that they're going to develop me as a pitcher and I'm happy to be with them. And I don't really know what the other organizations are like and their minor league systems, but I'm glad that I am with the Mets now.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: So you would say you were a bit surprised when the Mets selected you?

Meisner: Yeah, very, very much so. You know, I had a … I was more leaning towards the Padres or the Rangers, because they literally called me every day and talked to me about it and everything. And then at the last minute, the morning of the draft, the Mets called me. They were a bit interested, but not as … like I said the Rangers or the Padres and they called me the day of and said: "Hey, we're looking at you as the 84th pick for this much, would you like to do that?" I said: "Absolutely." And so some of the other teams were thinking later than that and so I thought that that was the best opportunity to go with the Mets and so I didn't have a problem with that and said "absolutely."

InsidePitchMagazine.com: You said you didn't really have any idea of what other minor league farm systems were like. Was it the same with the Mets? Did you not really know what to expect or what it would be like?

Meisner: I did kind of know what to expect in a way as in they told me where I was going to be and how many kids there were going to be and […] what the day was like: You wake up, eat breakfast, you do your [daily work], you grab lunch and then you're either done for the day or you have a game or something. You go back to the hotel and you repeat that cycle every day. So I did kind of know what it was they do, not the Mets specifically, but all the minor league teams. They ran me through it every day, but I didn't really know how the minor league system works … what exactly they do every day. As the Mets got me on a throwing program to develop my arm a little more before I start pitching and then worked with me individually on my bullpen, it's only my second day here and haven't thrown in the bullpen or anything, just done some long toss. And I didn't know how the Rangers did this or the Padres or the Reds or any other team, but now that I'm here I am enjoying it.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds? Give us a scouting report please - what are your strengths and what do you need to work on the most?

Meisner: I throw four-seam and two-seam fastballs, mainly I feel more comfortable with a two-seam, I feel like it moves a lot more and I still … I have more command and a little more speed on it, ranges from 91 to 93 consistently, topped out at 95 at the very beginning of the year, haven't touched that again, but I think that since now that I've had a little more rest the last couple of weeks I think that I'll be able to strengthen up a little more and get the speed back up there. So I typically throw my two-seam more than I do my four-seam. I like to paint the outside a lot more than the inside, so I think I'm going to have to work on painting the inside a little more, but I also throw a curveball 12-6. It's a loopy curveball, about 76 or 78 miles per hour. I think that it needs to be thrown a little harder; at least that's what mainly the scouts have been telling me. The Mets haven't really had a chance to see me throw at their minor league system with the actual pitching coach so I haven't heard any insight on that. And my command is pretty well on that, I love to throw that more than my changeup. My changeup, I throw a circle changeup. I throw that about 74-75 [mph]. I feel comfortable with all three pitches including, like I said, my changeup, I feel like I throw it well, but I think that my arm speed slows down a little bit and I know that that's a big thing as I don't want to be tipping my pitches as I work my way up in that system. These hitters are a lot better and they're going to be able to tell what I'm throwing so I just need to keep my arm speed the same and throw every pitch the same.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?

Meisner: Yeah, honestly my favorite team were the Phillies and my favorite player was Ryan Howard as a hitter. It wasn't typically a pitcher, but probably my favorite pitcher was Randy Johnson, because I kind of compare him to myself, he is really tall and lanky, has a high-velocity fastball and that's why I liked him so much because I kind of compared him to myself. He's had a lot of success.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: So our next question was going to be who would you compare your stuff to at the major league level, would you say Randy Johnson? Or do you have somebody else in mind?

Meisner: I would compare myself to Randy Johnson, but specifically no I don't have anybody else in mind. You know, I could kind of compare myself to Justin Verlander, just the way that he throws and he's over the top and he has a very commanding fastball. And he lives off his fastball and that's typically what I'm going to be made to be doing. Now his curveball, probably much better than mine, but yeah that's one other person I would compare myself to.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?

Meisner: I would have to say the day that I got drafted was the best day of my life especially where I got picked up. And l loved to see my dad's face, his big smile and it's just me and my dad growing up, there's no mum in the picture and just to see the smile on his face and how proud I made him, it really made me even prouder as a kid.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: So you already signed with the Mets. What made you decide to go pro instead of going to college? Was it a hard decision at all or did you always know you wanted to go straight to the majors?

Meisner: You know, as a kid I kind of said "I want to be on the mound as a pitcher, I want to be in the middle of a MLB stadium for whoever, pitching around the whole crowd." And growing up I always wanted to be in the major leagues, just like every other kid. They want to pursue their dream and do that too. And never thought that … my dad always had told me "just keep working hard, you have a slim chance, every one in 10,000 kids make it to the major leagues." And, you know, kind of proving to him that I have a chance now that I actually got drafted and pursuing my dream into the minors. Well, then at first my sophomore year, junior year, it was still just baseball for my high school and then my dad and I were just looking into just getting into a college at that point. No scouts had been talking to us or anything. Then I started [to] travel a little more so whenever it came, I think July 1 of the end of junior year, whenever colleges are allowed to start actually calling you and talking to you, me and my dad sat down and I had been getting many letters from every college there is around. Then I just sat down with the top five and it was [Texas] A&M, Texas Tech, Miami, Rice and Florida. Those were my top five and those were the ones I really wanted to go to and then I just called every one to see what they kind of had to offer, to see why they wanted me there and why it would be a good choice for me to pick them. In the end Coach Tadlock for Texas Tech came in from Oklahoma and we were talking and he just seemed like he actually wanted to help me. He seemed like it would be the best place to go, it was more comfortable whenever I talked to him and Ray Hayward is the pitching coach and I believe he was … he coached for the Marlins for a little bit. So I kind of felt like it would be the best development place to go to and that's why I picked Texas Tech. But then it started to become a little bit more real whenever we started talking to all the scouts. I had all 31 teams come into my house and talk to me about getting drafted so it kind of became easier to make a choice since I wanted to pursue my dream. But the way I look at it is I'm just looking for development and in the end, after college I'm going to want to go into the minor leagues and I'm going to want to start my career. So the way I look at it, if I went to college, I have to wait three years and in the end I'm going to want to go to the minor leagues and I'm going to want to try to make it to the major leagues. So I just kind of said I always have time to go back to college, they pay for it and everything and so I said I'm going to go ahead and start my minor league career now instead of waiting three years and then starting it then. There's no point to wait, because I'm going to get better development in the minor league system than I would in college also.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: Tell us what is going through your mind after being selected by a team like the Mets.
\r\n
\r\nCasey Meisner: Oh, well you know, I wasn't really expecting the Mets to pick me up. You know, I kind of had an urge that they were, but at the same time I didn't really know what to think. After the draft was coming up it came up so fast and it just happened like that, but now that I'm here and see the way that the organization is, I really am enjoying it and I feel good about the way that they treat me and the way that they're going to develop me as a pitcher and I'm happy to be with them. And I don't really know what the other organizations are like and their minor league systems, but I'm glad that I am with the Mets now.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: So you would say you were a bit surprised when the Mets selected you?
\r\n
\r\nMeisner: Yeah, very, very much so. You know, I had a … I was more leaning towards the Padres or the Rangers, because they literally called me every day and talked to me about it and everything. And then at the last minute, the morning of the draft, the Mets called me. They were a bit interested, but not as … like I said the Rangers or the Padres and they called me the day of and said: \"Hey, we're looking at you as the 84th pick for this much, would you like to do that?\" I said: \"Absolutely.\" And so some of the other teams were thinking later than that and so I thought that that was the best opportunity to go with the Mets and so I didn't have a problem with that and said \"absolutely.\"
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: You said you didn't really have any idea of what other minor league farm systems were like. Was it the same with the Mets? Did you not really know what to expect or what it would be like?
\r\n
\r\nMeisner: I did kind of know what to expect in a way as in they told me where I was going to be and how many kids there were going to be and […] what the day was like: You wake up, eat breakfast, you do your [daily work], you grab lunch and then you're either done for the day or you have a game or something. You go back to the hotel and you repeat that cycle every day. So I did kind of know what it was they do, not the Mets specifically, but all the minor league teams. They ran me through it every day, but I didn't really know how the minor league system works … what exactly they do every day. As the Mets got me on a throwing program to develop my arm a little more before I start pitching and then worked with me individually on my bullpen, it's only my second day here and haven't thrown in the bullpen or anything, just done some long toss. And I didn't know how the Rangers did this or the Padres or the Reds or any other team, but now that I'm here I am enjoying it.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds? Give us a scouting report please - what are your strengths and what do you need to work on the most?
\r\n
\r\nMeisner: I throw four-seam and two-seam fastballs, mainly I feel more comfortable with a two-seam, I feel like it moves a lot more and I still … I have more command and a little more speed on it, ranges from 91 to 93 consistently, topped out at 95 at the very beginning of the year, haven't touched that again, but I think that since now that I've had a little more rest the last couple of weeks I think that I'll be able to strengthen up a little more and get the speed back up there. So I typically throw my two-seam more than I do my four-seam. I like to paint the outside a lot more than the inside, so I think I'm going to have to work on painting the inside a little more, but I also throw a curveball 12-6. It's a loopy curveball, about 76 or 78 miles per hour. I think that it needs to be thrown a little harder; at least that's what mainly the scouts have been telling me. The Mets haven't really had a chance to see me throw at their minor league system with the actual pitching coach so I haven't heard any insight on that. And my command is pretty well on that, I love to throw that more than my changeup. My changeup, I throw a circle changeup. I throw that about 74-75 [mph]. I feel comfortable with all three pitches including, like I said, my changeup, I feel like I throw it well, but I think that my arm speed slows down a little bit and I know that that's a big thing as I don't want to be tipping my pitches as I work my way up in that system. These hitters are a lot better and they're going to be able to tell what I'm throwing so I just need to keep my arm speed the same and throw every pitch the same.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: Did you have a favorite team growing up or a favorite player?
\r\n
\r\nMeisner: Yeah, honestly my favorite team were the Phillies and my favorite player was Ryan Howard as a hitter. It wasn't typically a pitcher, but probably my favorite pitcher was Randy Johnson, because I kind of compare him to myself, he is really tall and lanky, has a high-velocity fastball and that's why I liked him so much because I kind of compared him to myself. He's had a lot of success.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: So our next question was going to be who would you compare your stuff to at the major league level, would you say Randy Johnson? Or do you have somebody else in mind?
\r\n
\r\nMeisner: I would compare myself to Randy Johnson, but specifically no I don't have anybody else in mind. You know, I could kind of compare myself to Justin Verlander, just the way that he throws and he's over the top and he has a very commanding fastball. And he lives off his fastball and that's typically what I'm going to be made to be doing. Now his curveball, probably much better than mine, but yeah that's one other person I would compare myself to.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: What would you say is your best moment in baseball and why?
\r\n
\r\nMeisner: I would have to say the day that I got drafted was the best day of my life especially where I got picked up. And l loved to see my dad's face, his big smile and it's just me and my dad growing up, there's no mum in the picture and just to see the smile on his face and how proud I made him, it really made me even prouder as a kid.
\r\n
\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: So you already signed with the Mets. What made you decide to go pro instead of going to college? Was it a hard decision at all or did you always know you wanted to go straight to the majors?
\r\n
\r\nMeisner: You know, as a kid I kind of said \"I want to be on the mound as a pitcher, I want to be in the middle of a MLB stadium for whoever, pitching around the whole crowd.\" And growing up I always wanted to be in the major leagues, just like every other kid. They want to pursue their dream and do that too. And never thought that … my dad always had told me \"just keep working hard, you have a slim chance, every one in 10,000 kids make it to the major leagues.\" And, you know, kind of proving to him that I have a chance now that I actually got drafted and pursuing my dream into the minors. Well, then at first my sophomore year, junior year, it was still just baseball for my high school and then my dad and I were just looking into just getting into a college at that point. No scouts had been talking to us or anything. Then I started [to] travel a little more so whenever it came, I think July 1 of the end of junior year, whenever colleges are allowed to start actually calling you and talking to you, me and my dad sat down and I had been getting many letters from every college there is around. Then I just sat down with the top five and it was [Texas] A&M, Texas Tech, Miami, Rice and Florida. Those were my top five and those were the ones I really wanted to go to and then I just called every one to see what they kind of had to offer, to see why they wanted me there and why it would be a good choice for me to pick them. In the end Coach Tadlock for Texas Tech came in from Oklahoma and we were talking and he just seemed like he actually wanted to help me. He seemed like it would be the best place to go, it was more comfortable whenever I talked to him and Ray Hayward is the pitching coach and I believe he was … he coached for the Marlins for a little bit. So I kind of felt like it would be the best development place to go to and that's why I picked Texas Tech. But then it started to become a little bit more real whenever we started talking to all the scouts. I had all 31 teams come into my house and talk to me about getting drafted so it kind of became easier to make a choice since I wanted to pursue my dream. But the way I look at it is I'm just looking for development and in the end, after college I'm going to want to go into the minor leagues and I'm going to want to start my career. So the way I look at it, if I went to college, I have to wait three years and in the end I'm going to want to go to the minor leagues and I'm going to want to try to make it to the major leagues. So I just kind of said I always have time to go back to college, they pay for it and everything and so I said I'm going to go ahead and start my minor league career now instead of waiting three years and then starting it then. There's no point to wait, because I'm going to get better development in the minor league system than I would in college also.
\r\n
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