Montero and Puello Headline An Exciting Crop Of Prospects Knocking At The Door
Here is the rest of my interview with Lynn Worthy, who covers the Binghamton Mets as the regular beat writer for the Press & Sun Bulletin. Lynn provides some great insight on
Which player’s performance has impressed you the most thus far and do you believe it will eventually translate well in the majors?
The most impressive so far would have to be Rafael Montero because of the command he’s displayed. Cesar Puello’s recent play has made it a close call, but Montero has performed so well all season. While his stuff isn’t at the level of Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler, he has consistently demonstrated remarkable control beyond what I saw from either Harvey or Wheeler at this level.
It’s a very interesting question to consider how well Montero’s actual stuff translates to a major-league level. I’m not sure. I would tend to think his margin for error will be even smaller against those hitters. There could be a real possibility of him getting hit hard at times. This certainly isn’t an exact comparison, but Collin McHugh had tremendous success and command of multiple pitches in Binghamton and also pitched well at Triple-A. His first start in the big leagues was also stellar, but he has also been hit hard at times.
Montero’s command will be a big plus, and I do think he’s shown a strong ability to work through a lineup a second or third time and keep hitters off-balance. On several occasions he has racked up the majority of his strikeouts after the first time through the lineup. It will be interesting how he gets used if/when he does reach the big league level.
Joe D. – Sandy Alderson spoke very highly of Montero on Monday during his WFAN interview, and we may see him skip a Triple-A assignment and jump straight to the big league team.
“Montero went up and pitched one game at Triple-A, and pitched very well. He’s got 23 or 24 straight scoreless innings at Binghamton. There has been some conversation. Look, he won’t need to go to Triple-A, but very soon we’ll either decide to leave him at Binghamton or promote him to Las Vegas. If we decided to leave him at Binghamton, you could probably infer from that that he could join us directly from Binghamton.”
Is there a player you’re most excited to see promoted to Binghamton from the lower levels?
I’m very interested to see righthander Noah Syndergaard pitch. It looks like, based solely on statistics, that he is another strike-thrower. His strikeout to walk ratio seems impressive. He’s been a highly-touted prospect in both the Mets system and the Blue Jays system prior to the trade.
I’m also curious to see the power Aderlin Rodriguez has in person. I’m not sure how soon he’d be promoted. When it does happen, it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to Eastern League pitching. Specifically, can he make adjustments when pitchers get an idea of what his strengths and weaknesses are. The pitchers certainly make adjustments in the Eastern League.
Joe D. – Syndergaard has been making quite a name for himself since joining the Mets and more than one scout has told me he will ultimately be the prize from the Dickey trade and not Travis d’Arnaud. Syndergaard was the only pitcher from a very talented St. Lucie rotation to be named to the FSL All Star game.
With players like Puello, Leathersich, Montero, and Verrett getting a lot of attention, which B-Mets player is flying under the radar and impressing you with their play?
Darrell Ceciliani has really hit well as of late. He batted just .228 in April, but he was just under .300 in May and is hot lately. He is an exciting player at the plate because he has good speed and can blast balls into the gaps for doubles or triples. He has made some mistakes on the bases (getting picked off), and he does strike out. He is also just an energetic guy who definitely has fun playing the game.
Allan Dykstra has tremendous power as a left-handed hitter. He works counts well and draw a lot of walks. Though he’ll strike out a lot too. If he would go the other way once in a while, I think he’d be a nightmare.
Wilfredo Tovar’s defense has been eye-opening since he got here. His offense shows flashes at times, but those are flashes that come and go.
Satish - Wilfredo Tovar is quite the young player. He is the most talented defensive player in our system but has trouble mustering even below-average offensive skills. If he can find his way with the bat, he would immediately jump into real prospect status in my eyes. Otherwise, I can’t say that I’m that crazy about him right now. I’m also on the fence about Allan Dykstra, but in a bit more of a positive fashion because he has shown consistent flashes of talent. His ’11 season saw him slug 19 home runs and 22 doubles in 475 plate appearances, resulting in a .474 slugging percentage. His numbers this year have improved on that, with eight home runs and 17 doubles already through only 209 plate appearances. Although you usually hope for more power from a first baseman, prospects like Dykstra or Jayce Boyd could turn out to be solid stop-gaps until we get a player of that caliber.
Who was your favorite player that you’ve covered and do you maintain friendships with many of the players that you get to cover?
The players who have been here for multiple years or who have been here for an entire season usually get to be fairly friendly. In some cases, I may drop a line to via social media to the guys who have gone on. I’m not sure if I have a favorite guy, but there are several I’ve enjoyed just talking to about things that weren’t directly related to their own play.
I’d list Rob Carson, Greg Peavey, Erik Turgeon (now retired) and Reese Havens among those. Mark Cohoon is back here this season, and he’s a great guy to cover. McHugh was always good to talk baseball and pitching with. I’m sure I’m forgetting some.
Looks like Travis Taijeron is off to a nice start, but wow… Cesar Puello is on fire. What can you tell us about him?
Cesar Puello has been in one of those stretches where he hasn’t missed his pitch many times, if any. He had a three-game series here against Trenton where he went 7-for-12 with two doubles, four home runs, eight RBI, four runs scored, and only ONE strikeout.
He’s had several reporters like myself ask him about the reports that he could possibly face suspension because of Biogenesis, but he hasn’t let any of it distract him. He regularly talks about being faithful and reading the Bible. I believe one time I saw him carrying a Bible in the clubhouse.
He talked to me a few times about working on getting on top of the ball more instead of upper cutting, and allowing the strength in his legs and lower body to generate power.
He really seems locked in to the point where he is looking for a particular pitch or location, and he’s not giving in and chasing other pitches early in the count as he may have done earlier in the season.
Satish - Puello enjoyed perhaps the best week of his MiLB career last week when he crushed six home runs in just 25 at-bats. He posted a .600 average, going 15-for-25, with three doubles, six home runs, and 15 RBIs. He also stole three bases. Puello’s recent hot hitting has catapulted him to the front of our outfield prospect corps. By the way, Puello is day to day with a bruised finger after being removed from last night’s game in case you were wondering why he was pulled.
* * * * * * * * * *
I want to thank Lynn for taking some time to answer a few questions for us. Follow him on Twitter at @PSBLynn and make sure to read his daily coverage of the B-Mets at the Press & Sun Bulletin or PressConnects.com.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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