Mets Minors Weekly: Vasquez Off to Blistering Start for Kingsport

Photo Credit: Allen Greene Photography

WEEK IN REVIEW

The Las Vegas 51s (35-56, fourth in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern division) find themselves in the cellar yet again, as they are a concerning 15 games out of first place.

The Binghamton Rumble Ponies (47-38, third in the Eastern League Eastern division) have played mediocre baseball since sweeping Harrisburg to open the month of July.

The St. Lucie Mets (40-48, fifth in the Florida State League South division) have seen attendance numbers soar in July, but those fans are unlikely to witness any postseason baseball in 2017

The Columbia Fireflies (48-40, second in the South Atlantic League Southern division) are a league-worst 8-12 since the All-Star break.

The Brooklyn Cyclones (6-17, fourth in the New York-Penn League McNamara division) are mired in a terrible rut, having not won a series since the second set of the season.

The Kingsport Mets (8-11, third in the Appalachian League West division) have recovered from an eight-game losing streak to win five of their last nine contests.

The GCL Mets (5-9, fifth in the Gulf Coast League East division) won their first back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday, but they have been slow out of the gates in 2017.

The DSL Mets1 (24-11, second in the Dominican Summer League South division) are in the midst of a blistering stretch in which they have won 14 of their last 15 games.

The DSL Mets2 (24-10, first in the Dominican Summer League San Pedro division) saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday, but they are still one of the top teams in the Dominican circuit.

METS MINORS NEWS & BUZZ

The Mets were well represented in Sunday’s Futures Game, as Amed Rosario, who went 0-2 with two strikeouts, and Tomas Nido, who went 2-2 with a pair of RBI, participated.

Rosario also took part in Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game. He went 0-4 in the PCL’s 6-4 victory, but was a focal point of MLB Network’s coverage of the event.

Tim Tebow hit his first career walk-off home run Thursday night in game two of St. Lucie’s doubleheader.

After he was hit in the head with a pitch on Tuesday, 3B Carl Stajduhar was placed on Brooklyn’s disabled list as he undergoes the normal concussion protocol. In his last three games before the injury, the Mets’ 18th-round pick hit .600 (6-10) with ten total bases and two RBI.

Top pitching prospect Thomas Szapucki was placed on Columbia’s disabled list after leaving his July 6 start with forearm soreness. Szapucki originally missed the first two months of the season with an impingement in his throwing shoulder.

ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERS

AVG – Dominic Smith .331 (LVG), Amed Rosario .327 (LVG), Kevin Taylor .307 (BNG), Patrick Mazeika .295 (STL), Luis Guillorme .294 (BNG)

OPS – Dominic Smith .886 (LVG), Travis Taijeron .884 (LVG), Amed Rosario .839 (LVG), Michael Paez .834 (STL/COL), Patrick Mazeika .819 (STL)

HR – Travis Taijeron 16 (LVG), Dominic Smith 12 (LVG), Josh Rodriguez 11 (LVG), Dash Winningham 11 (COL), Michael Paez 9 (STL/COL)

RBI – Dominic Smith 58 (LVG), Michael Paez 52 (STL/COL), Amed Rosario 52 (LVG), Travis Taijeron 52 (LVG), Dash Winningham 51 (LVG)

SB – Champ Stuart 28 (BNG), Jose Miguel Medina 18 (STL/COL/BRK), Amed Rosario 16 (LVG), Patrick Biondi 15 (BNG), Jacob Zanon 14 (COL/BKN)

STARTER ERA – Merandy Gonzalez 1.44 (STL/COL), Jordan Humphreys 1.79 (STL/COL), Chris Flexen 1.82 (BNG/STL), Corey Oswalt 2.17 (BNG), Tyler Pill 2,75 (LVG/BNG)

RELIEVER ERA – Adonis Uceta 1.38 (COL), Matt Blackham 2.21 (COL), Kyle Regnault 2.31 (LVG/BNG), Ben Griset 2.43 (BNG), Tim Peterson 2.68 (LVG/BNG)

SV – Cory Burns 10 (LVG/BNG), Adonis Uceta 10 (COL), Chasen Bradford 9 (LVG), Tyler Bashlor 8 (STL), Alberto Baldonado 6 (LVG/BNG), Johnny Magliozzi 6 (STL)

WHIP – Chris Flexen .791 (BNG/STL), Jordan Humphreys .868 (STL/COL), Merandy Gonzalez .905 (STL/COL), Marcos Molina 1.173 (BNG/STL), Tyler Pill 1.195 (LVG/BNG)

PROSPECT PULSE

(Jacob Resnick/Mets Minors)

With their fifth round selection in the 2017 draft, the Mets selected Matt Winaker, a 1B/OF from Stanford, who they assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones to play both positions. Through his first 15 games as a professional, the 21-year-old is hitting .236/.344/.255 with three RBI.

Matt joined MMN for a Q&A where he discussed life as a pro, Stanford, and more.


On his first few weeks as a professional…

Getting drafted was an amazing day, that’s something that I’ve literally been dreaming about for a long time, so getting to experience that was amazing. Then coming out here, the coaches gave me a couple of days to get acclimated, figure out what the routine was here, and work my way back into playing shape before putting me in the lineup, so that was productive. Then getting into the lineup, I wanted to just contribute to some wins, but I had to wait a little while for that. Losing is never fun, but we’re playing better baseball, so I think some wins are in our future.

On his defense…

It’s super important for my game. It’s something that I take a lot of pride in, because I know that even if I’m not hitting, I can contribute on the defensive side. I can save runs, even if I’m not producing them. I love first base, I love being able to move my feet around the bag, and kind of work a little bit of the artistry.

On having three Stanford alumni in the Cyclones’ clubhouse…

It’s been awesome. Quinn [Brodey] is in my class, [Chris] Viall is a year older, so Quinn and I have been together the last three years, we’ve been in a BP group, we’ve been working together, and obviously he’s a good friend of mine. Then it’s been really cool to learn from [hitting coach Sean] Ratliff here. He’s someone who has been there, done that, so I’m picking his brain all the time.

On the differences between the New York-Penn League and the Pac 10…

There are some similarities and differences between here and the Pac. In the Pac, there will be a lot more pitchers who throw slower but are kind of artists on the mound, real crafty. Out here, there are just a lot more guys who throw hard. The velocity is a little firmer, not as many of the crafty lefty types, but in all, it’s a similar game. It’s still baseball.


TRANSACTION REPORT

7/7

Briam Campusano transferred to GCL from St. Lucie….Jeff McNeil activated from St. Lucie’s disabled list….Craig Missigman activated from St. Lucie’s disabled list….Jordan Humphreys placed on St. Lucie’s disabled list.

7/8

Ryan McAuliffe assigned to GCL.

7/9

Gary Cornish activated from Columbia’s disabled list….Thomas Szapucki placed on Columbia’s disabled list.

7/12

Natanael Ramos sent to GCL on a rehab assignment….Yom Felipe transferred to DSL1 from GCL.

7/13

Kevin Taylor activated from Binghamton’s disabled list….Gene Cone activated from Columbia’s disabled list….Ali Sanchez placed on Columbia’s disabled list

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Jeremy Vasquez is not the type of draft pick that is expected to make an impact from the jump. Selected in the 28th round by the Mets in June, Vasquez played two years of college ball at Florida (where he was teammates with St. Lucie first baseman Peter Alonso) before transferring to Nova Southeastern, a Division II school that has produced only four major leaguers. While the odds aren’t stacked against him as high as, say, a 40th round pick, Vasquez certainly could not have predicted that he would be off to the hottest of starts to begin his professional career. Over the last seven days, he hit .333/.393/.792 with three home runs, 12 RBI, and a pair of doubles.

Vasquez had never been known as a power hitter until he arrived at Nova Southeastern (he hit two in his time with the Gators), which makes his four long balls through his first 16 games that more impressive. The Mets’ first base depth chart tapers off a bit after Dominic Smith and Alonso, so a potential prospect in Vasquez is a welcome sight.

UPCOMING SCHEDULES

Las Vegas: Albuquerque (7/14-16), Fresno (17-20), @ Memphis (21-24)

Binghamton: @ Reading (7/14-16), Akron (17-19), @ Harrisburg (20-23)

St. Lucie: Daytona (7/14), @ Fort Myers (15-17), Jupiter (18-20), @ Florida (21-24)

Columbia: Greensboro (7/14), Kannapolis (15-17), OFF (18), @ Lexington (19-21)

Brooklyn: State College (7/14-16), Staten Island (17-19), @ Connecticut (20-22)

Kingsport: @ Pulaski (7/14), Johnson City (15-17), @ Bluefield (18-20), @ Princeton (21-23)

GCL: HOU (7/14), OFF (15), @ MIA (16), WSH (17), STL (18), @ HOU (19), OFF (20), MIA (21)

DSL1: @ STL (14), OFF (15-16), @ LAA (17), LAA (18), WSH (19), @ WSH (20), COL (21)

DSL2: @ DET (14), OFF (15-16), AZ2 (17), @ AZ2 (18), @ ROJ (19), ROJ (20), @ TX2 (21)

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

About Jacob Resnick 63 Articles

Jacob Resnick covers the Mets’ minor leagues for Mets Merized and MetsMinors.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Jacob_Resnick.