Mets Minors Report 4/18: T.J. Leads System In RBI, Charting DeGrom’s Performance, The Wheeler Debate

An article by posted on April 18, 2013
Wheeler & D'Arnaud: Is the Mets future tandem nearing their debuts?

Wheeler & D’Arnaud: Is the Mets future tandem nearing their debuts?

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Prospect Pipeline

  • Brandon Nimmo had another two hits in yesterday’s game. He now has had a multi-hit game ten times this season.
  • Travis d’Arnaud was pulled from last night’s game after being struck with a ball on the ankle while he was behind the plate. The ankle is probably one of the most painful spots to get hit with a ball, as the ankle bone is pretty much completely exposed. This sounded precautionary as there were no reports of d’Arnaud being sent for X-rays.
  • Newly promoted Jacob deGrom got the nod for Binghamton last night. Like I said yesterday, many had him penciled into the Binghamton rotation at the start of 2013, so it was really only a matter of time before he got the call. He could not have pitched a better game. So good, in fact, that Binghamton head coach, Pedro Lopez, announced after the game that deGrom would be joining the B-Mets staff, and they would likely move to a six-man rotation once Cory Mazzoni is back from his injury.
  • Sandy Alderson commented on what would determine when top prospect Zack Wheeler is called up to Flushing. He stated while the Super Two status is taken into consideration, Wheeler’s performance will ultimately determine when it’s his time. With the Mets backend of the rotation struggling the way it is, it won’t take many more solid starts before they go with Wheeler. I wouldn’t be surprised if Collin McHugh and Wheeler are both called up within the next month if the Mets rotation continues to falter. I would expect Rafael Montero to get called up to Las Vegas if, and when, Wheeler, McHugh, or both guys join the Mets during the next few weeks.
  • Andy Martino, of the Daily News, commented on the Wheeler situation in his post this morning:

    Wheeler is 0-1 for Triple-A Las Vegas this season, with a 3.86 ERA. In 14 innings, he has allowed 17 hits and six walks while striking out 17.  You can throw out his first two starts, mediocre because of a since-popped blister on his pitching hand — but while Wheeler’s third game was much better, he still allowed three earned runs in 5.1 innings.

    The stuff was excellent, say people who were there, but his line didn’t scream “promote me now!” Plus, that was Wheeler’s first healthy game of the season. Little soon to be buzzing about the big leagues, don’t ya think?

    I agree that his first two starts may have been less than stellar due to the blister. However, I totally disagree with the fact that his stat line has to scream “promote me now!” If this was the determining factor, where would Matt Harvey be right now? Don’t get me wrong, stats do play a part when determining if a player is ready, but it goes way deeper than that. It’s not too soon to be buzzing about the big leagues. Two or three more solid starts, and Wheeler will join the Mets. There isn’t much more developing that is necessary. I would estimate that if Wheeler were called up right now he would be better than 80% of major league pitchers based on his stuff alone. With some added fine tuning at the major league level, he will be in the top 10% of pitchers in the league.

  • Wilmer Flores is quietly having a solid year with Las Vegas. He is batting .288 with five doubles and only struck out three times in fourteen games. He has also played the majority of games at second base this season and has done a solid job defensively.
  • After a quick chat with B-Mets beat writer Lynn Worthy, I learned that the reason DeGrom did not start season in Double-A as I initially projected, was because he showed up to spring training with a fractured finger that took time to fully heal. As Lynn told me, “Jake broke it while working for a friend’s cattle company. Apparently he had a bad day when he got kicked in the hand by a calf. True story. (Joe D.)
  • I am looking forward to seeing Jeurys Familia work out of the Mets bullpen, after a small taste of the majors last year, I think he now knows what he’s up against and I expect great results. The fact he now knows that his ticket to the big time will depend on embracing his role as a reliever, and his solid work out of the bullpen for Las Vegas will prove instrumental toward achieving success. (Joe D.)
  • While players like Josh Satin, Kevin Plawecki and Brandon Nimmo are getting most of the ink these days, the one player who leads the Mets Minors in RBI is T..J. Rivera who has driven in 13 for St. Lucie. Jack Leathersich had this to say about Rivera in an interview I did with him. “He’s the real deal. I’ve never been around a kid who prepares as well as he does. He just really loves the game and it seems like everytime I see him he’s out on the field working on something. Rivera plays hard and is completely balls to the wall – he’ll do anything to make sure we win.” (Joe D.)

Stat Line of the Night

Jacob deGrom: 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 8 K

The statistics are even more impressive when you break them down. Take a look at this from MMO contributor John B. who charted the game from behind homeplate:

  • Total Pitches: 102, Strikes: 71 – 69% Balls 31
  • Full Windup: Pitches: 90, Strikes: 62 – 70% Balls: 28
  • Fastballs: Pitches: 66 Strikes: 46 – 70% Balls 20
  • Off-Speed Pitches: 24 Strikes: 16 – 67% Balls 8
  • Stretch: Pitches: 12 Strikes: 9 – 75% Balls 3
  • Fastballs: Pitches: 7 Strikes: 4 -57% Balls 4
  • Off-Speed Pitches 5 Strikes 5 – 100%

Tweet of the Day

Transactions

  • Jeurys Familia was called up to the Mets and Greg Burke was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.
  • RHP Cory Mazzoni who missed his scheduled start Monday with inflammation in his right elbow and landed on the disabled list, will be heading to New York today to be examined by Mets doctors. Also joining him will be RHP Luis Mateo, who left Monday’s game because of discomfort in his right forearm/elbow area. Both prospects will get an MRI today, so keep your fingers crossed.
  • Wednesday night at Tradition Field, Pedro Feliciano and Frank Francisco each threw a scoreless inning of relief for Single-A St. Lucie. Feliciano allowed no hits and recorded two strikeouts, while Francisco pitched a perfect inning. Both pitchers have shown increased velocity from the beginning of spring training and could be very close to being ready.

Prospect Audio/Video

Mike Newman of ROTOscouting.com headed to Historic Grayson Stadium, home of the Savannah Sand Gnats, and provides some fresh scouting on hot-hitting Brandon Nimmo including this video footage:

He says that as Nimmo continues to learn how to identify pitches to drive, his power should uptick as well. Early in the season, his strikeout and walk percentages have both decreased. While one might dismiss this as small sample size, Nimmo’s controlled aggression is a sign of growth from a scouting standpoint.

If this holds true, then Nimmo is bound to put baseballs in play at a higher rate than last season, resulting in the accumulation of extra base hits…By the end of the 2013 season, don’t be surprised if Nimmo has overtaken Wilmer Flores as the best position prospect in the organization, assuming Travis D’Arnaud loses eligibility later in the season.

Holly Madison tosses out the first pitch. Wally Backman said she had great form.

Holly Madison tosses out the first pitch for Vegas 51s. Wally Backman said she had great form. I agree. (Joe D.)

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