Mets Minors Weekly: Mora Turns It Around For St. Lucie

WEEK IN REVIEW

The Las Vegas 51s (15-19, fourth in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern division), who went 2-4 this week, suffered from Blake Beavan‘s performance on Saturday, when he allowed ten runs in his organizational debut. Don’t blame Desmond Jennings, though, as the veteran hit .440 with a home run over the period.

The Binghamton Rumble Ponies (18-12, first in the Eastern League Eastern division) jumped into first place in their division with a 4-3 week, helped by strong pitching and a 12-run offensive explosion on Sunday.

The St. Lucie Mets (15-20, fifth in the Florida State League South division) were able to climb out of last place in their division with a 4-3 week, aided by seven innings of one-run ball from Andrew Church on Tuesday. Church has endured a rocky start to the season (as every St. Lucie starter has), but he seems to be righting the ship after a similar start at the end of April.

The Columbia Fireflies (17-16, third in the South Atlantic League Southern division) lost their first three games of the week (including a 12-2 defeat followed by a combined no-hitter) before rattling off three consecutive victories. Gabriel Llanes tossed his first career complete game (which would have been a shutout had he not allowed an unearned run in the ninth inning) on Wednesday.

METS MINORS NEWS & BUZZ

The Mets inked 29-year-old veteran Gustavo Nunez to a minor league deal on Thursday. The shortstop is a career .267 hitter, and will report to Binghamton.

Colby Woodmansee is expected to return to action around the All-Star break, after undergoing surgery for a core muscle tear in April. The shortstop played only two games with St. Lucie—in which he went 0-7 with four strikeouts—before being shut down.

Merandy Gonzalez was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Month for April, while P.J. Conlon was named the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week for the period ending on May 7. Conlon became the second consecutive Rumble Pony to be recognized by the league, as outfielder Champ Stuart won the award the week prior.

Baseball America released their revised list of the top 100 prospects in baseball on Thursday, and three Mets made the cut. The most notable selection was Andres Gimenez, who was listed at 97 after being left off the preseason version. Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith were also featured, at number five and 65, respectively.

As part of a ten-run fifth inning on Sunday, Dale Burdick hit two home runs for Binghamton. It was the first multi-home run game by a Mets farmhand this season, and helped the Rumble Ponies hit three home runs in one inning for the first time in six years.

Both Marcos Molina and Chris Flexen threw in extended spring training earlier this week. They’ve been on the disabled list the entire season for the St. Lucie Mets.

ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERS

AVG – Patrick Mazeika .368 (STL), Amed Rosario .364 (LVG), Jhoan Urena .361 (STL), Dominic Smith .328 (LVG), Luis Guillorme .327 (BNG)

OPS – Patrick Mazeika 1.043 (STL), Jhoan Urena .969 (STL), Travis Taijeron .907 (LVG), Amed Rosario .902 (LVG), Michael Paez .860 (COL)

HR – Patrick Mazeika 5 (STL), Travis Taijeron 5 (LVG), Michael Paez 4 (COL, Eight tied with 3

RBI – Patrick Mazeika 27 (STL), Dash Winningham 22 (COL), Michael Paez 21 (COL), Dominic Smith 21 (LVG), Amed Rosario 20 (LVG)

SB – Champ Stuar 11 (BNG), Patrick Biondi 10 (BNG), J.C. Rodriguez 8 (BNG/STL), Luis Carpio 7 (COL), Anthony Dimino 7 (STL/COL)

STARTER ERA – Tyler Pill 0.81 (LVG/BNG), Jordan Humphreys 1.63 (COL), Merandy Gonzalez 1.88 (COL), Corey Oswalt 2.04 (BNG), Gabriel Llanes 2.33 (COL)

RELIEVER ERA – Alberto Baldonado 0.00 (BNG), Tim Peterson 0.00 (LVG/BNG), Kyle Regnault 1.35 (LVG/BNG), Matt Blackham 1.62 (COL), Max Kuhns 1.69 (COL)

SO –Jordan Humphreys 49 (COL), P.J. Conlon 41 (BNG), Merandy Gonzalez 35 (COL), Corey Oswalt 33 (BNG), Nabil Crismatt 28 (STL)

SV – Alberto Baldonado 6 (BNG), Chase Bradford 5 (LVG), Adonis Uceta 3 (COL), Tyler Bashlor 3 (STL), Three tied with 2

WHIP – Colin Holderman .538 (COL), Tim Peterson .550 (LVG/BNG), Rafael Montero .603 (LVG), Jordan Humphreys .707 (COL), Merandy Gonzalez .787 (COL)

PROSPECT PULSE

Patrick Mazeika was selected by the Mets in the 8th round of the 2015 draft as a catcher from Stetson University, a Division I school in DeLand, FL, that is known for producing MLB All-Star pitchers Jacob deGrom and Corey Kluber. Mazeika made his professional debut with the Kingsport Mets, where he finished second in the league in batting average (one point behind teammate Kevin Kaczmarski) and was named an Appalachian League postseason All-Star.

Now in his third minor league season, Mazeika is absolutely tearing up the Florida State League, hitting .368/.430/.613 with a career-high tying five home runs through Thursday. Given that Kaczmarski, a fellow college draftee, is currently with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in Double-A, a promotion for Mazeika could happen sooner rather than later.

Patrick caught up with MMN for a Q&A, where he discussed his success, catching top prospects, and more.


On his goals entering spring training…

“My goals coming into spring training were just to stay healthy and strong. I was able to get a lot of work in during that time to prepare for the upcoming season.”

On the keys to his success so far this season…

“The first thing that has allowed me to be successful has to be the guys in front of me in the lineup. They’ve been getting on base and giving me a chance to drive them in. I’ve also been able to get into a more consistent routine.”

On his development since being drafted…

“I’ve developed in every aspect since being drafted. Getting to work with all the coaches and coordinators has helped me develop a lot defensively and I continue to make adjustments to progress as a hitter.”

On working with new St. Lucie manager Chad Kreuter

“Chad has been great. I’ve learned a lot from him in the few months I’ve known him. His experience as a big league catcher has been great so far, whether it’s in certain situations or during the daily drill work we do as catchers.”

On his versatility…

“Being able to play first base and catch hasn’t been too difficult. I played both and college and I’m able to maintain my first base work during batting practice everyday.”

On the best arms he has caught in the organization…

“P.J. Conlon was very good last year. So far this season, Johnny Magliozzi has thrown the ball really well here in St, Lucie, and also Justin Dunn is just getting going and has been fun to catch lately.”


TRANSACTION REPORT

5/5

Rafael Montero recalled to New York from Las Vegas.

5/7

Tim Peterson transferred to Las Vegas from Binghamton….Adam Wilk recalled to New York from Las Vegas.

5/8

Victor Cruzado activated from Las Vegas’ disabled list.

5/9

Josh Smoker optioned to Las Vegas from New York….Anthony Dimino placed on St. Lucie’s disabled list….Leon Byrd transferred to St. Lucie from Extended Spring Training.

5/10

Ricardo Cespedes transferred to Columbia from Extended Spring Training….Jose Miguel Medina transferred to Extended Spring Training from Columbia.

5/11

Gustavo Nunez signed to a minor league contract and assigned to Binghamton….Alberto Baldonado transferred to Las Vegas from Binghamton….Cory Burns and Tim Peterson transferred to Binghamton from Las Vegas….Dale Burdick transferred to St. Lucie from Binghamton….Kevin Canelon placed on St. Lucie’s temporarily inactive list….Arnaldo Berrios transferred to Extended Spring Training from Las Vegas.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

After an abysmal beginning to his 2017 season, OF John Mora has caught fire over the past week for St. Lucie, as he garners this week’s top player award. The 23-year-old entered the week batting .177, but he was able to raise that figure 49 points to .226 over the last seven days, in which he hit .458/.536/.750. Mora also cranked his first home run of the season on Wednesday, and was able to swipe three bases. While those numbers are impressive, Mora has shown extreme improvement in the contact department, striking out only once in 24 at-bats this week, despite his K-rate sitting at a career high 16.4%. He could still benefit from some added patience, as his 6.8 BB% is the tenth lowest total in the organization.

This could prove to be a make or break season for Mora, who is over one month into his second full season in the Florida State League. He put up interesting numbers each season until he reached St. Lucie, where his average tapered off, his run production went down, and his speed numbers were sliced in half. With a history of on-base skills, plus speed, and nobody producing in Binghamton, Mora could be looking at a mid-season promotion, should he have more weeks like this one.

UPCOMING SCHEDULES

Las Vegas: Omaha (5/12-14), Iowa (5/15-18), @ New Orleans (5/19-22)

Binghamton: Akron (5/12-14), OFF (5/15), Altoona (5/16-18), @ Bowie (5/19-21)

St. Lucie: @ Jupiter (5/12-13), OFF (5/14), @ Lakeland (5/15-18), Dunedin (5/19-21)

Columbia: @ Delmarva (5/12), @ Lakewood (5/13-16), OFF (5/17), West Virginia (5/18-21)

As a reminder, all 51s, Rumble Ponies, and select Fireflies games can be seen on MiLB.tv.

Photos by Ed Delany

About Jacob Resnick 45 Articles
Jacob Resnick got hooked on Mets baseball once he saw Cliff Floyd seal the final out to clinch the NL East in 2006. Ever since, he's been cheering through the good and the bad. He won the 2011 SNY Kid-Caster contest and reported on SNY's Kids Clubhouse in 2012. Writing now for MetsMinors.net and Metsmerized Online. LGM!