Mets Merized Online » Phillip Evans http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:11:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Collins Concerned Murphy Won’t Be Ready For Opening Day http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/collins-concerned-murphy-wont-be-ready-for-opening-day.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/collins-concerned-murphy-wont-be-ready-for-opening-day.html/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 20:52:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=176689 daniel murphy

With just eight games left until Opening Day, Terry Collins told reporters that he is concerned that Daniel Murphy won’t be ready to begin the season on time.

Murphy ran yesterday and reported no problems, so we’re not sure if there’s been any setback. He’s been dealing with a strained right hamstring that has kept him out a week now.

“Any hamstring is typically, minimum, a couple of weeks,” general manager Sandy Alderson said.

“For him to come back sooner than roughly Opening Day would be a little surprising. But given the way he felt and the fact it was a very mild strain, it’s still a possibility he could be ready. I don’t think it’s anything we can predict right now.”

Murphy was slated to get back into a game this weekend, no word if that’s been called off.

If Murphy were to begin the season on the DL, the Mets will most likely go with Matt Reynolds as his replacement at second base.

March 24

According to manager Terry Collins, second baseman Daniel Murphy has been cleared to return to baseball activities.

For now there is no specific timetable set for his return, but clearly this is a very positive development.

We’ll update this post as soon as we learn more.

March 20

The team announced earlier today that Daniel Murphy will miss at least a week with a right hamstring pull after reviewing the results of an MRI taken on Friday.

The Mets will continue to go with Matt Reynolds or Danny Muno at second base in Murphy’s absence.

“We’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” Murphy told reporters. “There’s nothing I can do about it now other than try to let it heal.”

However, a report from Adam Rubin says Murphy could open the season on the disabled list according to general manager Sandy Alderson.

“He’ll be out a week or so, maybe a little longer,” Alderson said. “Hamstrings take longer than people want to admit.”

With the Mets slated to open the season at Washington in 16 days, Alderson acknowledged Murphy could be facing a season-opening DL stint.

Alderson also said there are no plans to bring back Dilson Herrera — either now or at the start of the regular season.

The candidates to replace Murphy are either Reynolds or Muno if necessary, and Herrera is not an option

Don’t worry about Ruben Tejada as his name never even came up and Alderson added that Wilmer Flores will remain the shortstop no matter what.

“Wilmer is the shortstop. Wilmer is the shortstop,” Alderson said twice. “It’s taken us this long to convince you guys that Wilmer is the shortstop.”

mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/collins-concerned-murphy-wont-be-ready-for-opening-day.html/feed/ 0
Prospect Pulse: Don’t Sleep On SS Gavin Cecchini http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/prospect-pulse-dont-sleep-on-ss-gavin-cecchini.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/prospect-pulse-dont-sleep-on-ss-gavin-cecchini.html/#comments Sat, 14 Feb 2015 16:30:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174658 Gavin - Cecchini Photo

It’s not often can a first round pick be called underrated. But among fans, prospect-lovers, and high-profile analysts, the verdict seems to be out on shortstop Gavin Cecchini. The 21-year-old was regularly absent from Mets top prospects rankings this offseason, and most people seem unimpressed with his high-floor, low-ceiling combination. However, after examining Gavin’s 2014 statistics both traditionally and sabermetrically, along with recent scouting reports, I would not be surprised if Cecchini develops into an above-average major league starting shortstop just a couple years down the road.

Statistical Analysis

Credit Cecchini’s 2013 season for burying his prospect stock. Across 51 games with the Low-A Brooklyn Cyclones, Cecchini lacked any power and exhibited incredibly poor plate discipline. He finished the year having totaled a pathetic eight extra-base hits (all doubles), posted an abysmal .041 ISO, and struck out in nearly 15% of at-bats.

Though it went largely unnoticed, Cecchini drastically improved in a multitude of categories the following year. His batting average actually dropped twenty points to .247, but don’t let that mark fool you; he got remarkably stronger and significantly improved his approach at the plate

A year after hitting no home runs and banging only a few extra-base-hits, Cecchini cleared the wall eight times, barreled 27 doubles, and legged out five triples in 2014, all career-highs by wide margins. Furthermore, he nearly halved his K/BB ratio and did much of this damage calling the cavernous Grayson stadium his home.

Lastly, BABIP, a great explanation for improved numbers, also gives a favorable review of Cecchini’s 2014 season. Across two levels in 2014, Cecchini batted only .279 on balls in play, 30 points lower than his 2013 figure. Considering his improved power numbers, it is very likely that the low BABIP reveals bad luck and not weak contact. Maybe luck will join Cecchini’s side during the 2015 season, which would result in an even better season against the advanced pitching of the high minors.

Scouting Report

Considering the various uncontrollable factors that influence minor league stats, we must examine scouting reports on Cecchini’s raw tools if we want to best analyze his performance and major league future.

According to Baseball America, Cecchini has a pure swing that should allow him to develop into an above-average hitter with fringe-average power. His speed is merely average, but a plus baseball IQ should allow him to swipe 15 bags over the course of a full season. Most importantly, Cecchini should not only be able to stick at shortstop, but his good range, strong arm, and quick hands will allow him to be an above-average defender at maturity. Furthermore, scouts rave about his baseball instincts and competitiveness, which will enable the prospect to maximize his potential and likely elevate his game above what his raw tools might suggest.

Cecchini gavin

MLB Projection

With Phillip Evans moving to St. Lucie, Cecchini should begin this season at Double-A Binghamton as the team’s starting shortstop. Amed Rosario and Milton Ramos stole the shortstop spotlight in this offseason prospect rankings, so the pressure is on Cecchini to continue his development and stay relevant within the Mets organization.

An advanced plate approach, improving power, and stellar baseball awareness make it reasonable to imagine Cecchini batting around .270, slugging 10-15 home runs, and playing solid defense in the bottom third of the Mets’ lineup in two years time.

Two years may seem long to wait for such middling production, but in the new offensively-starved MLB, those numbers would make Cecchini well worth his first round selection. In fact, had Cecchini been a major leaguer last season, his .707 OPS would have ranked seventh among national league shortstops. Mets shortstops averaged a .629 OPS in 2014.

I’m not trying to argue that Cecchini will ever hit like Cal Ripken or field the position like Ozzie Smith. But if you can get past the prospect fatigue, therein lies a player that has no glaring weakness and does all the little things right.

I’m a fan of the Wilmer Flores experiment and a big supporter of toolsy prospects Amed Rosario and Milton Ramos. Still, among this extremely talented group, Cecchini offers the most balanced skill set and has the ability to contribute in the near future.

Watch out, by midseason 2016, Gavin Cecchini could emerge as the first true long-term replacement for Jose Reyes.

mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/prospect-pulse-dont-sleep-on-ss-gavin-cecchini.html/feed/ 0
State Of The Mets Shortstop Position Still Far From Certain http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/state-of-the-mets-shortstop-position-still-far-from-certain.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/state-of-the-mets-shortstop-position-still-far-from-certain.html/#comments Mon, 28 Oct 2013 14:57:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131789 cecchini

Jonathan Mayo took an interesting question in a mailbag feature a week ago in which he discussed two of the Mets’ most prominent shortstop prospects.

The Mets have two shortstop prospects in short-season, Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini, who could be ready for Class A Savannah. Who do you see as the better prospect and how do you think the Mets will handle the two of them going forward?

Based on our rankings, the quick answer is Cecchini. The 2012 first-round pick is currently No. 8 on the Mets’ Top 20. Rosario began the year 20th on the list but dropped off through no fault of his own, but because the Mets added talent via the Draft and trade market.

It’s possible Rosario will end up as the better player or at least with more upside than Cecchini. The Dominican Republic native won’t turn 18 until next month but played well in his U.S. debut in the rookie-level Appalachian League. Cecchini, for his part, is a grizzled veteran at age 19, one who just finished his second summer of pro ball in the short-season New York-Penn League.

The conundrum Mike raises isn’t one that’s likely to surface anytime soon. After a solid turn with Brooklyn, Cecchini should move up to full-season Savannah in 2014. But there’s no rush for Rosario. He can spend a summer playing in Brooklyn, and it shouldn’t be surprising if the pair continue that way, with Cecchini a step ahead on the Mets’ ladder.

The Mets have expended a lot of resources in trying to find a replacement for Jose Reyes who signed with the Marlins after the 2011 season without an official offer from the Mets.

Sandy Alderson’s initial plan was to replace Reyes with then second baseman Ruben Tejada, but the move backfired defensively and eventually it caught up with him offensively as well. Tejada, 23, batted .202 with a .519 OPS in 57 games in 2013, and has lost favor both with Alderson and manager Terry Collins.

The Mets eventually gave the starting shortstop job to career journeyman Omar Quintanilla last season. The 32-year old batted .222 with a .559 OPS in 95 games with the Mets.

The Mets drafted two shortstops in 2011, Phillip Evans and Daniel Muno. A year later they selected Gavin Cecchini with the 12th overall pick in the draft. Two months later they would give Dominican shortstop Amed Rosario a record signing bonus for an International Free Agent.

Both Evans and Muno have struggled offensively, with Muno also serving out a 50 game suspension for PEDs. Cecchini played for the Cyclones last season and batted .273 with zero home runs and 14 RBI in 198 at-bats. Rosario batted .241 for Kingsport in 2013.

Alderson has repeatedly stated that he intends to address the shortstop position this offseason either by free agency or trade.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/state-of-the-mets-shortstop-position-still-far-from-certain.html/feed/ 0
Talking Nimmo, Plawecki, Boyd, Wheeler, Ynoa With Our Sand Gnats Beat Writer http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/talking-nimmo-plawecki-boyd-wheeler-ynoa-with-our-sand-gnats-beat-writer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/talking-nimmo-plawecki-boyd-wheeler-ynoa-with-our-sand-gnats-beat-writer.html/#comments Sat, 28 Sep 2013 15:17:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130233 plawecki

Hey everyone, enjoy this interview session with our Savannah Sand Gnats beat writer, Wally Murphy, who attended every single Savannah home game for us this year… Thanks, Wally… Joe D. 

The Sand Gnats had a tremendous first half, which led them to clinching the playoffs. After Plawecki and Boyd were promoted and left holes in the lineup, did you think they still had a chance to win the championship?

When Kevin Plawecki and Jayce Boyd were promoted to St. Lucie, I did not believe the Savannah Sand Gnats would win the SAL Championship. My friends who attend the games did not believe it would happen either. It was incredible to see their success this season — which seemed to come against all odds.

Brandon_Nimmo_Sn

There have been a lot of opinions (some negative, some positive) about Brandon Nimmo’s season. What are your thoughts on his 2013 performance and his development moving forward?

During the first half of the season, Brandon Nimmo, was injured which impeded his progress. He improved the second half of the season. He played in 110 games and hit .273. Nimmo led the team in strikeouts with 131.  The second half of the season, pitchers adjusted and got Nimmo out numerous times on curve balls. He did a good job tracking down fly balls at spacious center field at Grayson Stadium. He is young and has time to work on his hitting.

Savannah’s pitching staff was dominant all season…what aspect of their dominance impressed you the most?

Savannah’s pitching was dominant all season. What was impressive was how consistently they pitched giving their team an opportunity to stay close and win a game.

Jayce-Boyd

Who would you tab as the most valuable position player? Why?

The most valuable position player was first baseman Jayce Boyd.  He appeared in 65 games during the first half and batted .361. It seemed every game he played, he picked 1-3 throws in the dirt helping the infielders avoid throwing errors. Boyd told me he practices fielding balls in the dirt. I definitely noticed the results throughout the season.

Which player do you feel took the biggest step forward in their development?

A player making great strides, Maikis De La Cruz. He played all three outfield positions and only made three errors. In 96 games, he batted .261. He impressed quite a few people with his athleticism.

Which player took the biggest step back in their development?

One starter who had a rough season was shortstop Phillip Evans. He batted .203 in 106 games and led the team with the most errors with 26. Evans did miss games with an injury, but he really struggled all throughout the year.

Gabe Ynoa

Who is your most valuable pitcher? Why?

Without question, the most valuable pitcher was Gabriel Ynoa who won 15 games and lost just four. In 135.2 innings pitched, Ynoa struck out 108 and his ERA was 2.72.  He started two playoff games and won both and his ERA was 1.23. He was the most impressive pitcher on the staff this year.

Which player do you think had the best season while flying under the radar?

Reliever Beck Wheeler had the best season flying under the radar. In 50.1 innings pitched, he struck out 74. The closer had 19 saves. His ERA was 2.32 all year and he anchored the bullpen for the Sand Gnats.

What are you going to miss the most from this year’s team?

While the pitching was dominant, the team hitting was inconsistent. Fans did not know if the team would get a few hits or 16 hits like they did in a playoff game against Augusta. However, this led to more excitement than anything else because Savannah pulled off a lot of unlikely victories. It was an exciting season following the Savannah Sand Gnats and I was thoroughly entertained.

nimmo reynolds sand gnats

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/talking-nimmo-plawecki-boyd-wheeler-ynoa-with-our-sand-gnats-beat-writer.html/feed/ 0
Ynoa’s Quality Start Propels Sand Gnats To Game One Win, 10-2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/ynoas-quality-start-propels-sand-gnats-to-game-one-win-10-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/ynoas-quality-start-propels-sand-gnats-to-game-one-win-10-2.html/#comments Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:03:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128585 94sv

Savannah 10, Augusta 2

Do you guys remember when I told you that Gabriel Ynoa was pretty good? Well…surprise, surprise. He was pretty good tonight. Ynoa dazzled over nearly eight strong innings of work for Savannah and permitted just two earned runs to cross the plate in Game One of this playoff series. He allowed seven hits, struck out four, and made me look like a pretty smart guy. Ynoa gave up five of his seven hits over his final two frames, the seventh inning and eighth, and that’s where the runs crossed the plate. In fact, Paul Sewald allowed an inherited runner to score coming out of the bullpen. So putting things in perspective, he shut down a playoff team on the road for six innings while allowing just two hits. That’s my guy right there. Sewald went on to finish the game for the Sand Gnats.

The Savannah offense was kind enough to spot him a boatload of runs, however, and staked him to ten runs. Maikis De La Cruz lined an RBI hit in the third inning and Phillip Evans went deep in the sixth, but the real damage was a six-run fifth inning for the Sand Gnats. Four hits in the inning, combined with two walks and a hit by pitch, led to some serious damage for the Gnats. Another four-hit attack in the top of the ninth gave the Gnats two more runs. Stefan Sabol did some huge damage on the night with four RBI.

This was a great all-around victory for Savannah, who take a crucial 1-0 lead in this three game series. Steven Matz will take the mound in Game Two for the Sand Gnats on Friday when they return to Savannah.

Key Stats

Maikis De La Cruz: 3-for-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R

Stefan Sabol: 3-for-5, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 R

Phillip Evans: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R

Brandon Nimmo: 2-for-4, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 1 R

Gabriel Ynoa: 7.2 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 4 K

Paul Sewald: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 4 K

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/ynoas-quality-start-propels-sand-gnats-to-game-one-win-10-2.html/feed/ 0
Congratulations To The Savannah Sand Gnats: Nimmo and Matz Help Clinch Championship http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/congratulations-to-the-savannah-sand-gnats-nimmo-and-matz-help-clinch-championship.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/congratulations-to-the-savannah-sand-gnats-nimmo-and-matz-help-clinch-championship.html/#comments Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:42:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=122093 FirstHalfCelebration1_lvyexe44_gga4501g

Congratulations to the Savannah Sand Gnats, who won the First Half Southern Division Championship for the third time in four years, with a game-clinching RBI from Brandon Nimmo last night.

The Gnats currently hold a record of 41-26 on the heels of last night’s 2 – 1 victory. (For the record, Plawecki clarified that the drink in the picture is non-alcoholic.)

Here’s a short recap of the game from our own Wally Murphy who attends each game at Historic Grayson Stadium for MMO and MMN:

Game two of the four game series between the Savannah Sand Gnats and the Greenville Drive was played in front of 3,017 fans on Friday evening at Grayson Stadium. It was an exciting game with Savannah winning 2-1 in twelve innings.

Savannah starter Steven Matz, pitched 5.1 shutout innings, allowing just two hits and walks and he struck out 10.

Savannah scored a run in the second inning when leading off, right fielder Maikis De La Cruz laced a double and was chased home by a Stefan Sabol RBI single. Greenville tied the game at 1-1 in the 8th inning when Mookie Betts singled, advanced to third on a double by Jose Vinicio, and scored on a ground out.

In the 12th inning for Savannah, Jeff Reynolds and Phillip Evans singled. Eudy Piña walked to load the bases. On a 3-2 count, Brandon Nimmo filed out to center field to score Reynolds with the winning run.

Great to see Matz deliver a solid performance and Nimmo starting to heat up again. Look for a few promotions to Advanced-A St. Lucie in the coming days, with Boyd and Plawecki headlining the group…

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/congratulations-to-the-savannah-sand-gnats-nimmo-and-matz-help-clinch-championship.html/feed/ 0
Gsellman Roughed Up, Sand Gnats One-Hit In 11-0 Loss http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/gsellman-roughed-up-sand-gnats-one-hit-in-11-0-loss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/gsellman-roughed-up-sand-gnats-one-hit-in-11-0-loss.html/#comments Sat, 18 May 2013 08:33:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119218 517savannah

Augusta 11, Savannah 0

To sum this one up quickly, the Sand Gnats allowed 11 runs to cross the plate for Augusta, but only six of them were earned. Savannah only mustered one hit and three walks as a team on offense against that offensive onslaught, so it was a really tough game all around.

Robert Gsellman made the start and lasted four-and-two-thirds innings, and was on the hook for the first seven runs. Only two of them were earned, however, as his work in the fifth inning was ruined by an Phillip Evans error with two outs. A run scored on the error, and Mitchell Delfino, the next batter, proceeded to rip a grand slam against Gsellman to effectively make the score 7-0. Two-out runs seemed to be the theme of the evening against Gsellman, as he allowed his first run in the second off a two-out RBI double.

Yucary De La Cruz was the only Sand Gnat to get a hit in this one. Julian Hilario and Paul Sewald combined to finish the game for Savannah, but had little luck of their own, allowing four more runs to cross the plate.

A not-so-fun fact, the error by Phillip Evans was number 12 this season to date. Yeesh.

Key Stats

Robert Gsellman: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 1 HR, 1 BB, 7 R, 2 ER, 1 K

Julian Hilario: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 ER, 3 K

Paul Sewald: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 2-2 inherited runners scored.

Yucary De La Cruz: 1-for-4

Maikis De La Cruz: 0-for-3, 1 BB

Kevin Plawecki: 0-for-3, 1 BB

Jeff Reynolds: 0-for-2, 1 BB

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/gsellman-roughed-up-sand-gnats-one-hit-in-11-0-loss.html/feed/ 0
Mets Minors Report 5/8: Nimmo Still Out, Bowman K’s 7 In FSL Debut, Montero Is White Hot http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-minors-report-58-nimmo-still-out-bowman-ks-7-in-fsl-debut-montero-is-white-hot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-minors-report-58-nimmo-still-out-bowman-ks-7-in-fsl-debut-montero-is-white-hot.html/#comments Wed, 08 May 2013 14:28:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117948 collin-mchugh

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Prospect Pipeline

  • It was supposed to be an epic matchup of top pitching prospects in Trenton, between the B-Mets and the Trenton Thunder yesterday — the Double-A version of the Subway Series. Rafael Montero was on the hill for Binghamton, while Jose Ramirez took the hill for Trenton. If you look at the box score, it looks as if Ramirez did the share of dominating, but it was Montero who bounced back, and looked masterful for six innings. Montero now has 48 strike outs to just eight walks this season. You can read my recap on Montero’s performance last night, here.
  • Montero wasn’t the only pitcher that bounced back last night. Collin McHugh was even more dominant, pitching seven complete innings, while giving up no runs and compiling five strike outs and no walks. Round Rock only managed five hits against McHugh. I actually had to double-check to make sure Las Vegas didn’t build a dome after seeing those numbers.
  • Eudy Pina makes his Mets Minors Report debut today, and with good reason. Pina smacked two home runs in Savannah’s win yesterday morning. He also added a double and compiled four RBIs on the day.
  • Phillip Evans has been flirting with the Mendoza Line, but he erupted for three hits in yesterday’s game, one of which was his first home run of the season.
  • Cesar Puello provided all of the B-Mets offense with one swing of the bat yesterday. He crushed an 0-2 hanger from Jose Ramirez over the left field fence, which also extended his hit streak to 14 games.
  • Travis Taijeron has been named Florida State League player of the week. Taijeron, an 18th-round pick in 2011 from Cal Poly Pomona, hit .474 with one homer and six doubles in six games through Sunday.
  • Third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez also has heated up with the FSL club. Rodriguez is 7-for-17 with two homers and nine RBIs in his past four games, which has upped his season average to .218. (Rubin)
  • Right-hander Jeff Walters, whose eight saves with Binghamton lead the Eastern League, has an interesting distinction. Walters was drafted five times — out of high school, twice out of junior college, then after his junior and senior years at the University of Georgia. He signed after being selected in the seventh round by the Mets in 2010. Told getting drafted five times must be some type of record, Walters said he actually knows another person who experienced it — his former high school pitching coach, Randy O’Neal, who ended up being the 15th overall pick in the 1981 draft by the Detroit Tigers the final time. (Rubin)
  • Jack Leathersich now has 27 strikeouts in 15.0 innings pitched for Double-A Binghamton. For his young pro career in the Mets system, he now has an insane 166 K’s in 99.2 innings.
  • Matthew Bowman pitched six innings and struck out seven to earn his first win in his Florida State League debut as the Mets defeated the Daytona Cubs 13-3 on Tuesday. Bowman was promoted from Savannah, where he went 4-0 with a 2.64 ERA in five starts.
  • We want to welcome Matt Musico and Wally Murphy to MMO Minor League Team! Matt was formerly the Executive Editor of Rising Apple where he led the site to great heights. Wally has been covering the Savannah Sand Gnats for eight years and has never missed attending a home game in all that time. Two powerhouse additions to an already great minor league team. Welcome Aboard, guys!

Stat Lines of the Day

Eudy Pina: 3-for-5, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R

Phillip Evans: 3-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB

Collin McHugh: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K 

Transactions/Injuries

The Mets are taking it slow with Michael Fulmer as he returns from surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Fulmer has not pitched again in a game since throwing two innings in an extended spring training game last Monday.

Right-hander Luis Mateo is making progress with a throwing program after leaving his Double-A debut April 15 with elbow inflammation. He was due to throw a bullpen session either yesterday or today.

Brandon Nimmo still has not returned to the lineup since April 29 because of a hand contusion. The Mets now consider it more serious than initially thought and will have him seen by team doctors with a possible MRI as well. DL stint looming.

Carlos Vazquez assigned to Brooklyn Cyclones from St. Lucie Mets.

C Xorge Carrillo assigned to St. Lucie Mets from Brooklyn Cyclones (This one confused me, why not promote Kevin Plawecki?).

St. Lucie Mets placed C Albert Cordero on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to May 6, 2013.

Quote of the Day

The quote of the day comes via Twitter and was in response to Rafael Montero‘s performance last night:

I really can’t stress enough how impressive Montero was yesterday. It was easily the best start I saw from a pitcher this year. Most people were busy watching Matt Harvey, and didn’t get to watch Montero, and the box score doesn’t give Montero any justice. Watching Montero attack the hitters and be able to put the ball where he wanted made it look like he was a man among boys — he just looks like he doesn’t belong (in a good way). He has fluid and smooth mechanics that almost seem to put the hitters to sleep at the plate. Before they know it, Montero’s 94 mph fastball just went by and nipped the black ever so slightly…Strike Three! This guy is the goods.

Photo of the Day

Wow, these Mets Minors Reports are hot.

Wow, these Mets Minors Reports are hot.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/mets-minors-report-58-nimmo-still-out-bowman-ks-7-in-fsl-debut-montero-is-white-hot.html/feed/ 0
Ynoa Rocked For Four Home Runs, But Savannah Pulls Out 9-6 Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/ynoa-rocked-for-four-home-runs-but-savannah-pulls-out-9-6-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/ynoa-rocked-for-four-home-runs-but-savannah-pulls-out-9-6-win.html/#comments Wed, 08 May 2013 07:01:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117936 57savannah

Savannah 9, Hickory 6

Eudy Pina and Phillip Evans played their hearts out behind Gabriel Ynoa to ensure that his rough start against Hickory would not lead to a loss. Pina lead off the game with a home run for Savannah, who held a 1-0 lead until Ynoa served up a two-run shot to Jorge Alfaro in the bottom of the second.

Pina came through again for the Sand Gnats in the top of the third, where he launched another home run – this one a two-run shot, and saw it followed up later that inning by a Kevin Plawecki sacrifice fly. Ynoa would manage to last five innings, but it was a struggle for him, as he was taken deep on four separate occasions for a total of five earned runs over that span.

Phillip Evans helped to put a stamp on this victory in the top of the seventh, when he ripped a pitch to left field for his first home run of the year, plating Jeff Reynolds.

Beck Wheeler saw his awesome start to the season finally slow down just a little, as he allowed an earned run for the first time in 2013, leaving his ERA at 0.71. Bret Mitchell slammed the door in the ninth with a scoreless innings and two strikeouts for his fourth save of the season. Ynoa did end up with the win in this one – his fourth of the campaign.

Key Stats

Eudy Pina: 3-for-5, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R

Chad Zurcher: 2-for-5, 1 R

Phillip Evans: 3-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB

Gabriel Ynoa: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 HR, 0 BB, 5 ER, 4 K

Julian Hilario: 1.0 IP, 1 BB, 2 K

Tyler Vanderheiden: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K

Beck Wheeler: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 HR, 1 ER, 2 K

Bret Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 2 K

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/ynoa-rocked-for-four-home-runs-but-savannah-pulls-out-9-6-win.html/feed/ 0
Plawecki Is A God Among Men In 9-2 Savannah Victory http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/plawecki-is-a-god-among-men-in-9-2-savannah-victory.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/plawecki-is-a-god-among-men-in-9-2-savannah-victory.html/#comments Sun, 05 May 2013 10:00:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117574 54savannah

Savannah 9, Hickory 2

Kevin Plawecki is an absolute monster and Rainy Lara pitched an excellent game. Should I go on?

Lara started the game for the Sand Gnats with the organizational ERA lead – and spoiler alert, he kept that title by the end of the game. He allowed merely an unearned run over seven spectacular innings, where he allowed just four hits and struck out six. Eudy Pina botched a play to allow a runner to reach via error in the bottom of the fifth, and Lara gave up an RBI single right after that. Lara has been on top of his game all season and his ERA now stands at a microscopic 1.45.

Savannah had only given him a single run of run support through the first seven innings, however, and it came on a wild pitch. In the top of the eighth, right after Lara’s last frame, the Sand Gnats rallied behind him for four runs, led by a two-run single by Chad Zurcher. A throwing error by Hickory’s Luis Marte allowed two more runs to cross the plate.

Then came the top of the ninth, and Kevin Plawecki, being the gracious man that he is, was worried that the game was a little too close for comfort at 5-1. So he proceeded to blast a pitch for a grand slam and all but lock up Rainy Lara‘s fourth win of the year. Hunter Carnevale handled the last two innings for the Gnats.

Key Stats

Eudy Pina: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 BB

Chad Zurcher: 1-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 R

Kevin Plawecki: 3-for-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R

Stefan Sabol: 0-for-1, 2 R, 3 BB

Phillip Evans: 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB

Rainy Lara: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 K

Hunter Carnevale: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 ER, 3 K

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/plawecki-is-a-god-among-men-in-9-2-savannah-victory.html/feed/ 0
Plawecki Rips Three Doubles En Route To 6-3 Savannah Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/plawecki-rips-three-doubles-en-route-to-6-3-savannah-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/plawecki-rips-three-doubles-en-route-to-6-3-savannah-win.html/#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 09:00:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117136 51Savannah

 

Savannah 6, Kannapolis 3

The Savannah Sand Gnats defeated the Kannapolis Intimidators 6-3 Wednesday to pull into a three-way tie for first place with the Asheville Tourists and Augusta GreenJackets. Savannah (16-9) has won seven of the eight games on the team’s current home stand.

The Gnats took a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning when 1B Jayce Boyd singled softly into right to bring home CF Eudy Pina.

Savannah extended the advantage to 5-3 with a single run in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, SS Phillip Evans rolled a single through the right side to plate RF Gregory Pron. Pina’s infield single in the seventh brought home the Gnats’ sixth and final run.

Savannah catcher Kevin Plawecki was 3-for-5 with three doubles to lift his season line to .402/.462/.696 with a league-leading 15 doubles in 24 games.

The Intimidators (16-9) scored two runs in the top of the first inning against Savannah starter Matthew Bowman.

The Gnats evened the game with two runs in the bottom of the first, keyed by a Plawecki RBI double and then took a 3-2 lead in the second on a sacrifice fly to left by 2B Chad Zurcher.

The Intimidators tied the game at 3-3 in the third on an RBI single by Ruben Sierra Jr.

Bowman found his groove late, retiring 15 of the final 16 batters to face him after a leadoff single in the fourth inning. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter while becoming the first Gnats’ pitcher in 2013 to finish eight innings.

The Gnats send RHP Gabriel Ynoa (2-2, 3.38) to the mound against RHP Myles Jaye (3-0, 0.90) Thursday at 7 pm.

Key Stats

Eudy Pina: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Kevin Plawecki: 3-for-5, 3 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R

Phillip Evans: 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R’

Gregory Pron: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 HBP, 1 SB

Matthew Bowman: 8.0 IP, 7 H, 0 BB, 3 ER, 8 K

Bret Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K

(Team Report)

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/plawecki-rips-three-doubles-en-route-to-6-3-savannah-win.html/feed/ 0
Rainy Lara Strikes Out Nine In 1-0 Savannah Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/rainy-lara-strikes-out-nine-in-1-0-savannah-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/rainy-lara-strikes-out-nine-in-1-0-savannah-win.html/#comments Sun, 28 Apr 2013 05:33:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=116571 427Savannah

Savannah 1, West Virginia 0

Rainy Lara and Bret Mitchell combined on a six-hit shutout to propel the Gnats to their fifth straight win, a 1-0 shutout of the West Virginia Power in front of 2,969 fans at Historic Grayson Stadium Saturday night. The shutout was third of the season for the Gnats (14-8).

In his fourth start, Lara became the first Gnats’ starter to work into the eighth inning in 2013. He threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 25 batters he faced in his 7.1 shutout innings. He struck out nine and did not walk a batter to win his third game of 2013 with a 1.88 ERA.

The Gnats scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth. LF Stefan Sabol began the inning with a single to left field and 3B Yucary De La Cruz followed with a single to right that sent Sabol to third. SS Phillip Evans then bounced into a fielder’s choice to bring home Sabol.

The Power (9-14) only had one inning all night in which they had more than one baserunner.

Reliever Bret Mitchell recorded the final five outs, working around a leadoff single in the ninth, for his second save of the year.

The Gnats send RHP Matt Koch (1-1, 8.38) to the mound Sunday against RHP John Kuchno (1-0, 4.26). First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 pm.

Key Stats

Kevin Plawecki: 2-for-3

Gregory Pron: 1-for-3

Stefan Sabol: 1-for-3, 1 R

Phillip Evans: 1-for-3, 1 RBI

Rainy Lara: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 9 K

Bret Mitchell: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 2 K

(Team Report)

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/rainy-lara-strikes-out-nine-in-1-0-savannah-win.html/feed/ 0
Team Effort For Savannah Leads Them To 4-2 Victory http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/team-effort-for-savannah-leads-them-to-4-2-victory.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/team-effort-for-savannah-leads-them-to-4-2-victory.html/#comments Sat, 27 Apr 2013 07:14:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=116481 426Savannah

Savannah 4, West Virginia 2

The Savannah Sand Gnats won their fourth straight game, defeating the West Virginia Power 4-2 Friday night at Historic Grayson Stadium in front of 3,002 fans.

The Gnats (13-8) took a lead they never relinquished with a three-run bottom of the first.Clay Holmes walked RF Gregory Pron with the bases loaded to force home the first run of the night. Starter Clay Holmes then plunked DH Jeffrey Glenn for the second run. SS Phillip Evans singled deep in the hole at shortstop to drive in the final run of the inning.

The Power (9-13) picked up two runs in the top of the second inning against Savannah starter Steven Matz, helped by a pair of walks. CF Raul Fortunato and 2B Ashley Ponceeach contributed RBI singles. Matz picked up some help from his defense to end the inning when LF Stefan Sabol made a running, over-the-shoulder grab on the warning track.

Matz went 4.1 innings, but the Savannah bullpen finished the game with 4.2 scoreless frames with one hit and five strikeouts. Julian Hilario earned his second win of the year for his two scoreless innings in which he allowed a walk and fanned two.

The Gnats added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning on an RBI single by 3B Yucary De La Cruz.

Beck Wheeler worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of 2013.

1B Jayce Boyd was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 straight games – the longest by a Gnat in 2013 and the longest active streak in the SAL.

The Gnats send RHP Rainy Lara (2-1, 2.70) to the hill Saturday against LHP Orlando Castro (2-1, 1.77). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05.

Key Stats

Chad Zurcher: 2-for-4, 1 BB

Jayce Boyd: 1-for-4, 1 R

Gregory Pron: 0-for-2, 1 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB

Phillip Evans: 1-for-4, 1 RBI

Jeffrey Glenn: 1-for-2, 1 RBI

Steven Matz: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, 3 K

Tim Petersen: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K

Julian Hilario: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K

Beck Wheeler: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K

(Team Report)

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/team-effort-for-savannah-leads-them-to-4-2-victory.html/feed/ 0
Cessa Shines With Six Shutout Innings In Savannah Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/cessa-shines-with-six-shutout-innings-in-savannah-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/cessa-shines-with-six-shutout-innings-in-savannah-win.html/#comments Wed, 24 Apr 2013 04:16:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=116127 423Savannah

Savannah 9, Delmarva 1

Luis Cessa tossed six shutout innings to lead the Savannah Sand Gnats to a 9-1 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds Tuesday night at Historic Grayson Stadium in the first game of the Gnats’ 10-game home stand.

Cessa, who improved to 2-0, with a 1.02 ERA after his third start, scattered five hits in six innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

The Gnats (10-8) scored twice in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. After 2B Chad Zurcher walked to start the frame, 1B Jayce Boyd doubled up the left centerfield gap to drive home Zurcher. LF Gregory Pron ripped a double almost in the same spot as Boyd, that bounced over the wall for a ground rule double, to bring home Boyd.

The Gnats expanded their lead to 5-0 with a three-run fourth inning keyed by SS Philip Evans. With two on and two out, Evans dropped a two-run double down the right field line and then scored on RF Eudy Pina‘s single into left field.

Savannah added a run in the fifth and then three in the sixth. Both of the Gnats’ three-run innings – the fourth and sixth – began with two outs and the bases empty. Boyd drove home a run in the sixth and finished 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and two RBI.

The Shorebirds (11-8) scored their only run in the top of the eighth inning against reliever Julian Hilario.

The Gnats send RHP Matthew Bowman (2-0, 1.62) to the mound on Wednesday in the second game of the three-game series against the ‘Birds. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.

Key Stats

Brandon Nimmo: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB

Jayce Boyd: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB

Kevin Plawecki: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Gregory Pron: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI

Phillip Evans: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R

Eudy Pina: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB

Luis Cessa: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 7 K

Tyler Vanderheiden: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 0 ER

(Team Report)

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/cessa-shines-with-six-shutout-innings-in-savannah-win.html/feed/ 0
Savannah Offense Can’t Support Ynoa In 3-2 Loss http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/savannah-offense-cant-support-ynoa-in-3-2-loss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/savannah-offense-cant-support-ynoa-in-3-2-loss.html/#comments Fri, 19 Apr 2013 09:00:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=115292 419savannah

Lakewood 3, Savannah 2

The Savannah offense was only able to muster five hits and two runs to back up Gabriel Ynoa – who did not pitch all that bad.

Ynoa toed the rubber for Savannah on Thursday evening and pitched a solid game, allowing three earned runs over six innings off five hits and two walks. He struck out two and looked a little more comfortable than he did in past starts. A sacrifice fly and a two-out RBI single in the first charged Ynoa with his first two runs, and he was victimized by a wild pitch that led to another sacrifice fly in the fourth inning for his third run allowed. Julian Hilario took over after the sixth, and it was smooth sailing for him, as he provided two perfect innings with four strikeouts.

The only sign of life for the Savannah offense was a Eudy Pina two-run home run with two outs in the fifth, which scored Phillip Evans. The Sand Gnats scattered their hits, including doubles by Yucary De La Cruz and Stefan Sabol, but they could never really muster anything out there. The sizzling hot Brandon Nimmo finally showed his human side with an 0-for-4. You have those nights sometimes.  Here’s looking forward to tomorrow…

Key Stats

Yucary De La Cruz: 1-for-4, 1 2B

Stefan Sabol: 1-for-3, 1 2B

Eudy Pina: 1-for-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB

Brandon Nimmo: 0-for-4

Gabriel Ynoa: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 ER, 3 K

Julian Hilario: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/savannah-offense-cant-support-ynoa-in-3-2-loss.html/feed/ 0
Rainy Lara Impressive Even In Defeat As Savannah Falls To Rome, 2-1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/rainy-lara-impressive-even-in-defeat-as-savannah-falls-to-rome-2-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/rainy-lara-impressive-even-in-defeat-as-savannah-falls-to-rome-2-1.html/#comments Mon, 15 Apr 2013 07:18:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=114588 414Savannah

 

Rome 2, Savannah 1

On Sunday afternoon at Historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah, the Rome Braves edged the Sand Gnats 2-1 to gain a split of the two game set.

Savannah (5-5) scored their lone run in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI fielders choice by right-fielder Eudy Pina.

Sand Gnats hurler Rainy Lara was perfect through the first four innings while striking out five – but he allowed a lead-off single in the fifth to break his streak. Heading into the sixth with a 1-0 lead, Lara again yielded a leadoff single. A subsequent fielding error on a bunt by Lara himself created a first and third situation, and the walk that followed loaded the bases with none out. After a force out at home, Braves DH Josh Elander singled home the tying and go ahead runs, giving the Braves a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish.

Despite the loss, Savannah received superb pitching from Rainy Lara. Lara pitched five-and-one-third innings allowing two runs off three hits and a walk. He struck out seven as well. Brett Mitchell and Beck Wheeler were outstanding in relief as well, as they combined to finish the game. Mitchell struck out three over an inning-and-two-thirds pitched, while Beck Wheeler provided two perfect frames.

Key Stats

Rainy Lara: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 ER, 7 K

Brandon Nimmo: 2-for-4

Phillip Evans: 3-for-4

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/rainy-lara-impressive-even-in-defeat-as-savannah-falls-to-rome-2-1.html/feed/ 0
Mets Minors: Rainy Lara Rocks In Gnats Victory http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/mets-minors-rainy-lara-rocks-in-gnats-victory.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/mets-minors-rainy-lara-rocks-in-gnats-victory.html/#comments Mon, 08 Apr 2013 06:50:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=113634 bapture

Savannah Sand Gnats, 4 Rome Braves 0 

It was raining goose eggs in Rome all day Sunday as Sand Gnats righty Rainy Lara baffled Braves hitters with six innings of two-hit scoreless baseball, and the Gnats defeated the Rome Braves 4-0 to split the four game set to open the season.

Rainy Lara (1-0) handled the first six innings with absolute expertise as he allowed just two hits and a walk, while striking out six. He was relieved by Brett Mitchell, who redeemed himself after a shaky outing against Rome in the season opener by pitching two scoreless frames and yielded just a single. Hunter Carnevale spelled Mitchell with a perfect ninth punching out two. It was a display of pitching dominance for the Gnats overall.

Savannah (2-2) put up a three spot in the third inning, opening the inning with back to back singles by the red hot Brandon Nimmo and Phillip Evans. Jayce Boyd worked out a walk to load the bases for Kevin Plawecki, who promptly lined an RBI single to center that brought home Nimmo. With the bases still full of Gnats, Stephen Sabol followed Plawecki with a single to right, plating Evans and Boyd to give Savannah a 3-0 lead. Savannah added a run in the fourth after Brandon Nimmo drilled a two-bagger and Jayce Boyd pushed him across with a two-out single. This made the score 4-0, which stood as the final result.

Brandon Nimmo is hitting .471 so far in the young season, while Satish’s guy Kevin Plawecki rocks a .467 average to this point as well. The top three hitters in the lineup, Nimmo/Evans/Boyd, all had three hits in Sunday’s game.

Key Stats:

  • Brandon Nimmo – 3 for 4, 2B, 2 R, BB
  • Philip Evans – 3 for 5, R
  • Jayce Boyd – 3 for 4, 2B, R, RBI, BB
  • Rainy Lara – 6.0 IP, 2 H, BB, 6 K, 0 ER, W

By Joe DiOrio

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/mets-minors-rainy-lara-rocks-in-gnats-victory.html/feed/ 0
Baseball America: Mets Minor League Roster Analysis http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/baseball-america-mets-minor-league-roster-analysis.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/baseball-america-mets-minor-league-roster-analysis.html/#comments Fri, 05 Apr 2013 11:00:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=113175 Baseball America released a brief minor league roster analysis for each team’s Top 10 Prospects. Here is Matt Eddy’s lowdown on the Mets.

BA Top 10

Things they said:

  • The top two starters from the 2012 short-season Brooklyn club will skip a level and proceed directly to high Class A St. Lucie.
  • RHP Luis Mateo’s wicked fastball-slider combo enabled him to lead the New York-Penn League with 85 strikeouts a year ago, but he’s already 23, having missed three years while sorting through various injury and identity issues.
  • RHP Hansel Robles signed at age 18 and spent four years in short-season ball, but his Brooklyn breakout included an ERA title (1.11) and streak of 45 straight innings sans an earned run, two signs that the 22-year-old is ready to be challenged.
  • Mateo and Robles highlight a St. Lucie rotation that also includes power righties Noah SyndergaardJacob deGrom and Domingo Tapia.
  • Shortstop Gavin Cecchini, last year’s first-rounder, begins the year in extended spring training, much like center fielder Brandon Nimmo (first round) and shortstop Phillip Evans (15th), a pair of 2011 draft picks who kicked off their careers with Brooklyn in 2012.
  • RHP Michael Fulmer had surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee during spring training and will join the St. Lucie rotation later this spring.
  • They also predict that the Mets’ top two prospects, starter Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud, will probably not spend more than half a season in the Pacific Coast League.

Good stuff…

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/baseball-america-mets-minor-league-roster-analysis.html/feed/ 0
Mets Minors: Nimmo, Plawecki, Matz Highlight A Promising Savannah Roster http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/mets-minors-nimmo-plawecki-matz-highlight-a-promising-savannah-roster.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/mets-minors-nimmo-plawecki-matz-highlight-a-promising-savannah-roster.html/#comments Wed, 03 Apr 2013 13:45:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=112853 Historic Grayson Stadium : Home of the Savannah Sand Gnats

Historic Grayson Stadium : Home of the Savannah Sand Gnats

Savannah, which starts playing on Thursday, has been speculated over and over to continuously have some top talent this season, and the people who speculated these were mostly right. There are a lot of prospects to be watching on this roster, both on the hitters and pitches side. I will list them as a convenience, as well as two potential sleepers for both hitting and pitching.

Starting Pitchers
Matthew Bowman
Gabriel Ynoa
Steven Matz
Rainy Lara
Logan Taylor
Matt Koch
Luis Cessa

Relievers
Hunter Carnevale
Julian Hilario
Jake Kuebler
Bret Mitchell
Timothy Peterson
Paul Sewald

Catchers
Kevin Plawecki
Jeffrey Glenn
Nelfi Zapata

Infielders
Jayce Boyd
Chad Zurcher
Phillip Evans
Cole Frenzel
Yucarybert De La Cruz
Jeff Reynolds

Outfielders
Brandon Nimmo
Stefan Sabol
Eudy Pina
Gregory Pron

Pitchers To Watch

Matthew Bowman:  A righthanded pitcher drafted in the 13th Round out of Princeton. He throws from 88-92, and has touched 95 according to Paul DePodesta. He throws both a curveball in the low-70’s, which is an average offering, a slider, with more promise, but less consistency, and a changeup in the high 70’s, but is the most consistent off-speed pitch in his arsenal. What really separates him from the rest is the delivery he uses, which is incredibly similar to Tim Lincecum. He is the Savannah’s opening day starter.

Steven Matz:  A 2009 Second round pick, out of Melville HS, East Setauket, N.Y. Matz went under the knife in spring training in 2010 with Tommy John surgery, and didn’t pitch for 2 years. He burst back onto the scene, throwing harder than ever, getting up to 98 and dominating the competition in Kingsport, before succumbing another injury. He will be an interesting arm to watch if he can stay healthy.

Gabriel Ynoa
Rainy Lara
Luis Cessa

According to Aaron Fitt of Baseball America, Luis Cessa has the most promise of the three, running his fastball up to 95, but showing an average Changeup and fringy curve. He also lists that Lara and Ynoa both throw 88-92. Ynoa has an average changeup, and below average Slider, while Lara had below average secondary pitches. They all have impeccable control, but will look to develop their secondary pitches this year.

Hitters to Watch

Brandon Nimmo:  You know the story, Wyoming kid, potential 5 tool player, I wrote an extensive analysis on March 6th about him. Baseball America ranked him 11th on their top 20 prospects list for the league. It would have been preferable to see him in the top 10, but he has enough time to prove himself to the scouts. He has proved to me from what I’ve seen and reports I’ve had the opportunity to analyze that Nimmo is a legitimate first round draft pick. You can read the rest of my projection and analysis on Nimmo here.

Phillip Evans:  A high school shortstop from California, Phillip Evans hit .252 with 5 home runs and an interesting eye at the plate (31 – 48 BB/K) with the Brooklyn Cyclones. He proved doubters wrong as someone who is able to stick at shortstop for the time being. He is an above average hitter with average power.

Kevin Plawecki:  The supplemental first-round pick from the 2012 draft. He is an average hitter with average power, but an amazing eye at the plate (25 BB to 24 K). Mitch Petanick has a excellent write-up on Plawecki on his Prospect Pulse segment.

* * * * * * * *

Here are two more previously unmentioned sleepers:

RHP Julian Hilario:  Apparently throws 90-92, touches 94, with a low-80’s slider and stiff changeup.

OF Stefan Sabol:  Mets 17th Round Pick, who was a former catcher, a highly touted one at that. He is going to be starting left fielder, and has a lot of power in his right-handed bat.

* * * * * * * *

In Savannah this year, the Mets are showing a very promising team, featuring two young top picks in Brandon Nimmo and Steven Matz. They also feature a very interesting middle infielder prospect in Phillip Evans. The only thing that is evident, is the lack of hitting prospects on the team besides Nimmo, Evans, Plawecki, and Sabol.

The rotation, which is seven pitchers deep, has a large influx of interesting arms, with Steven Matz headlining the bunch. Pitchers though will be experiencing some piggy-backing. Matt Koch and Logan Taylor will probably piggy-back together, since they both were college relievers, and then relieved in Brooklyn before being converted to starters.

Most of the relievers aren’t high up on the prospect radar, and are mostly of the soft tossing variety except Julian Hilario, who is my sleeper for this year.

Either way, this team has many arms to keep an eye on, and a few high-upside bats as well. It will be interesting to see how this team progresses through this season which begins Thursday evening at 6:30 PM at Historic Grayson Stadium. They should be a fun bunch to watch.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/mets-minors-nimmo-plawecki-matz-highlight-a-promising-savannah-roster.html/feed/ 0
An Alternative Mets Top Prospects List (My Top 20) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/an-alternative-mets-top-prospects-list-my-top-20.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/an-alternative-mets-top-prospects-list-my-top-20.html/#comments Fri, 01 Feb 2013 15:20:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=106487 After reading the wonderful prospects list that some of my fellow MMO writers put together, (which is incredibly well-done, well-researched and a must-read for prospect gurus), I decided to share my own prospect list, which I have been working on for a while, with you all.

In putting together this list, I tried to balance as best I could major league readiness with the so-called “ceiling” of each prospect. In compiling the list, I looked at and analyzed career statistics, video, scouting reports, and the opinions of some well-respected scouts and Mets minor league experts before coming to my conclusions. Enjoy!

20. Jack Leathersich, LHP

Height: 5’11″

Weight: 205

Throws/Bats: L/R

jack leathersich

We may be seeing Josh Edgin 2.0 as Jack Leathersich shoots up the ladder. Another college lefty reliever. However, Leathersich is rather unconventional, and has been slightly more successful than Edgin was in his short time in the minors. Although he had a 4.12 ERA over the second half of the year when he was with St. Lucie, Leathersich had an astronomical strikeout rate of 14.2 batters per nine. That’s 35.5% of the hitters he faced.

There is still one question with Leathersich, a very important one. Is his success because of his talent or a deceptive delivery? Watch his delivery below and you’ll see what I’m talking about:

He struggled to get hitters out for the first time in his career with St. Lucie last year, and we’ll have to wait and see how his delivery translates to the higher levels.

2013 Outlook: Leathersich has been shooting up through the lower levels, and will likely continue to do so. He may even be an outside candidate to pitch for the Mets in the second half this year. Then, we’ll see what he’s got. He will start the year with Binghamton in all likelihood and go from there. If his success continues, he will move up fast.

19. Cory Vaughn, RF

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 225

Throws/Bats: R/R

Cory_Vaughn

A former fourth-round pick and son of former major leaguer Greg Vaughn, right fielder  Cory Vaughn is a physically-gifted, all-around athlete. Coming out of San Diego State in 2010, Vaughn was projected as a five-tool player, and did a little bit of everything once he turned pro. In his first professional season with the Cyclones, he hit .307/.396/.577 with 14 home runs in just 72 games. He also swiped 12 bases and hit five triples.

In 2011, Vaughn saw his numbers drop. He had a decent first half with Savannah, batting .286 (although he hit only four home runs) until he was called up to St. Lucie, where he struggled even more. In an injury-riddled second half, Vaughn hit only .219 in 63 games.

2012 was another year of mixed results for the 23 year-old outfielder. Everything was there – the power, speed, defensive skills – except for the hit tool. Vaughn struggled to but the barrel on the ball consistently, hitting just .243. The key to Vaughn’s success going forward will be his ability to hit for average. The other tools are there, but the one he didn’’t show this year is the most important to future success.

2013 Outlook: Vaughn has played 189 games for St. Lucie, so but he may end up there again. He may start the season there again because of his struggles at the plate last season. He will be turning 24 in May, so the clock is ticking. We’ve seen what happens to guys like Zack Lutz and Josh Satin getting “stuck” in the minors because of age. Vaughn still has some time, but he can’t afford to spend the majority of 2013 in St. Lucie.

18. Phillip Evans, SS

Height: 5’10″

Weight: 185

Throws/Bats: R/R

Phillip Evans

The Mets got a steal two years ago when, in the 15th round they drafted a high school shortstop named Phillip Evans. Evans was a 2nd-round talent, but scouts were scared off by his commitment to San Diego State. Luckily, the Mets were able to grab him late and sign him for $600,000.

Scouts say Evans has an advanced approached at the plate. He also generates a decent amount of power, despite being very small. (He is listed at 5’10”, but is much shorter). He hit .252 in his first full professional season with Brooklyn. He had an OPS of .665, but hit five home runs, third on the team.

The Mets will have to decide over the next few years where exactly Evans fits. He has a weak throwing arm and often has to take a few steps before making a throw to first. The general belief Is that he will eventually have to move to second base.

2013 Outlook: Phillips will probably split time with Savannah and St. Lucie this season.

17. Matt den Dekker, CF

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 205

Throws/Bats: L/L

Matt den Dekker

It was like two separate seasons for Matt den Dekker in 2012. In the first half, we saw his bat come alive, as he hit double after double (along with a few home runs), batting .340 in 58 games for Double-A Binghamton. Den Dekker was arguably the best player in the league, socking 21 doubles, four triples, and eight home runs. He also stole ten bases and continued to play incredible defense.

The second half was a different story for den Dekker, after he was called up to Buffalo. He was striking out more, walking less, and most importantly, hitting the ball less. Here is how his first half in Binghamton compared to his time with Buffalo:

Matt den Dekker half comparison

Den Dekker is facing the same strikeout problem that held Kirk Nieuwenhuis back last season. He has to lower his strikeout rate drastically or he is going to have a very difficult time hitting in the big leagues. You can’t get away with a 25% strikeout rate in the bigs. He’s too much of a free-swinger (as you can tell by his walk rate, which was already low in the first half) and big league pitching will test him.

2013 Outlook: Last year, den Dekker was a candidate to make the team out of Spring Training, but that’s not happening no matter how he performs in spring games. He will need to put together a few months with lower strikeout rates in order to get the promotion.

16. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP 

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 158

Throws/Bats: R/R

Gabriel Ynoa

After dominating the Dominican Summer League two years ago and pitching well in the Gulf Coast league in 2011, Gabriel Ynoa once again had a fantastic season, this time as a part of Brooklyn’s incredible pitching rotation.

Ynoa showed ridiculous control, walking only 1.2 batters per nine innings. The skinny right-hander has always been known for his excellent command, and in over 200 pro innings, he has walked only 22 batters.

Ynoa made 13 starts in the New York-Penn League this season, and in 76.2 innings, he had just a 2.23 ERA. He also struck out 7.5 batters per nine, up from only 4.3 the year before. He has a good changeup and a low-90s fastball that he commands very well. Hopefully, he will fill in his 6’2” frame (he’s listed as only 158 pounds), which could help him put a little more heat on his fastball.

2013 Outlook: Ynoa is so young and still has to build up some innings. He will probably go to Savannah in the spring and stay there the entire season.

15. Wilfredo Tovar, SS

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 160

Throws/Bats: R/R

Wilfredo Tovar

Tovar has always been known as a very skilled defensive shortstop. That’s his best skill, and he is probably the best defender in the entire Mets system. The questionable part of his game has always been his bat.

Signed out of Venezuela at 16 years old in 2008, Tovar had a tough time hitteing at even the lowest levels of the minor leagues, hitting just .203 in 49 games in the Venezuelan Summer League. He saw some improvement in the following years, as his batting average hovered around .250. Last season, he started to see some big changes.

After playing the better part of two years with Savannah, Tovar started the year with St. Lucie, and he started hitting the ball much better. In his 65 games with St. Lucie, he hit .284 with a career-high .377 on-base percentage and 11.3% walk rate, a significant improvement from the year before. He had a tough second half in Binghamton, with his numbers reverting back to what they were pre-St. Lucie, but that may have been due to the fact that he was 20 playing in Double-A.

Tovar certainly has the potential to be a Ruben Tejada-type player with an even better glove. We just have to wait and see how the bat develops. He started hitting some more extra-base hits this season, which was a very good sign. He will need that gap-to-gap power in order to become an MLB regular.

2013 Outlook: The Mets will be in no rush with Tovar. He will begin the season in Binghamton and play most of the season there.

14. Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 210

Throws/Bats: R/R

Aderlin_Rodriguez

Possibly the best power hitter in the system, Rodriguez had a breakout campaign in 2012. The 21 year-old corner infielder, repeating low-A Savannah, displayed incredible power throughout the first half. He clubbed 16 home runs and slugged .497 in just 318 at-bats. This is in Savannah, where home runs go to die. Rodriguez has power to spare.

After 83 games in Savannah, Rodriguez finally made the trip to St. Lucie, where he would spend the rest of the season. There, he saw his batting average and walk rates plummet, but his power numbers stay well above-average. He finished his time in St. Lucie with a .190 ISO and eight home runs in 42 games.

Rodriguez’s power could take him a long way. He still doesn’t really have a defensive position. However, if Rodriguez can keep his power numbers up and improve his walk rate, it won’t matter what position he plays because his bat will make up for whatever he lacks defensively.

2013 Outlook: Rodriguez only played 42 games in St. Lucie, so he will probably play another half season or so before going to Binghamton.

13. Kevin Plawecki, C

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 205

Throws/Bats: R/R

kevin_plawecki

The Mets used their supplemental round pick last year on a young catcher from Purdue named Kevin Plawecki. Scouts praised him for his refined approach at the plate and his ability to hit home runs. One year later, Plawecki is the second-best catching prospect in the farm system, behind only Travis d’Arnaud.

Plawecki signed early and played 61 games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, and showed off his power. He led the team in home runs with seven despite hitting only .250. His patience was also very impressive as he had a walk rate of 9.9%. Combine that with a fantastic 9.5% strikeout rate and you can see why the Mets drafted him so high.

On the downside, Plawecki hit only eight doubles last season, and will need to work on his gap-to-gap power. Also, while he threw out almost 50% of base stealers, he still has work to do defensively.

2013 Outlook: Plawecki is still a few years away. However, because of his patience at the plate, he will likely play most of the year in St. Lucie as opposed to Savannah.

12. Gavin Cecchini, SS

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 180

Throws/Bats: R/R

Gavin_Cecchini

Gavin Cecchini is what scouts call a “baseball rat.” He comes from a baseball family. His father is the baseball coach at his former high school and a former college player. His brother Garin Cecchini is a speedy third baseman and one of the top prospects in the Red Sox organization. Gavin is a smart baseball player with great instincts. He doesn’t have the raw talent that some of his fellow 2012 draft picks have, but scouts say he has outstanding baseball instincts.

Cecchini signed very quickly, allowing him to get some experience in Kingsport to start of his career. His bat proved to be a work in progress as he hit only .240 and hit only one home run. However, his swing is smooth and he has the potential to be a very good line drive hitter. He doesn’t have the power, but that was never expected of him.

Cecchini’s defense is really why he was drafted. He doesn’t have particularly great speed or arm strength, but otherwise has the tools to be a good defender. As I mentioned, he has great baseball instinct which will help him read hitters and make him an even better defensive player at a position where that’s very important.

2013 Outlook: Cecchini is still a very raw talent, and will likely stay in St. Lucie for extended spring training before heading to Brooklyn. The Mets will take it slow with him and we probably will not see him until at least September 2015.

11. Jacob DeGrom, RHP

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 185

Throws/Bats: R/L

Jacob Degrom

DeGrom had a stellar season for Savannah, surprising a lot of followers of Mets minor league baseball. Before the season started, he wasn’t very highly-rated and was outside of Toby Hyde’s top 41 list. The 24 year-old had surgery in the fall of 2010, just months after he had been made a 9th round pick by the Mets. He sat out the entire 2011 season rehabbing, and was able to start the season with Savannah.

Despite the serious injury, DeGrom came back with a vengeance, immediately dominating South Atlantic League hitters. He displayed excellent control, walking only 1.6 batters per nine innings, while striking out 7.8. He ended up making 15 starts with Savannah, tossing 89.2 innings with a 2.51 ERA along the way, before earning a late-season promotion to St. Lucie for the playoff run.

DeGrom made four starts to end the regular season in St. Lucie and an additional one in the playoffs, allowing just five runs in 27.2 High-A innings. DeGrom will need to develop his off-speed stuff in order to stay a starter, but is on track for a successful career. There is still a concern for his health after his Tommy John surgery, but after watching how he responded this season, that may not be a problem again.

2013 Outlook: DeGrom will likely pitch no more than a few months in St. Lucie, especially if he keeps pitching like he did last year. Expect him to debut sometime in late 2014 or 2015.

10. Luis Mateo, RHP

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 170

Throws/Bats: R/R

Luis_Mateo

Mateo followed a long and unconventional path to get where he is today. He was originally signed by the Giants five years ago for $625,000, bone chips were found in his elbow, and the Giants voided his contract. Later that year, he signed with the Padres for $300,000, but after an MLB investigation, it was revealed that Mateo had lied about his age. He served a suspension, and finally signed with the Mets in 2011 for only $150,000.

Mateo dominated the Dominican Summer League in his first pro season in 2011, making 13 starts (63 innings) and posting a 2.00 ERA. He impressed the Mets front office enough to skip the Mets’ rookie affiliates and head straight to short-season Brooklyn, where he would become the face of a very formidable pitching staff.

Mateo used a combination of two dangerous fastballs and a sharp slider to dominate the league, posting a 2.45 ERA in 73.1 innings and even more impressively, a K/BB ratio of 9.44. In those 73.1 innings, he struck out 85, and walked nine. You can make an argument that this is the result of a 22 year-old in the low-A New York-Penn League, which is why he’s not ranked in the top five on this list. Had he been two or three years younger, I would put much more stock in the numbers he put up, but until I see him dominate in the Florida State League or Eastern League, that uncertainty remains.

2013 Outlook: As long as Mateo keeps pitching well, the Mets will keep promoting him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he only makes a few starts with Savannah, or skips Savannah entirely like he did Kingsport.

9. Rafael Montero, RHP

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 175

Throws/Bats: R/R

Rafael_Montero

Rafael Montero transformed his reputation this year with a stellar season between Savannah and St. Lucie. Despite pitching 71 innings in 2011 with a 2.15 ERA between the Dominican Summer League, the Gulf Coast League, Kingsport, and Brooklyn, Montero wasn’t taken too seriously before the season started. In just a few short months, however, he became one of the highest-rated pitching prospects in the entire farm system.

Montero, 22,  signed a little late in the game as a 20 year-old out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, but has rocketed through the Mets’ system. Boasting a low-90s fastball, a solid slider, and a changeup, Montero has excellent command, walking only 1.4 batters per nine innings last season while striking out 8.1.

Montero has a special combination of control and pure stuff. It’s still early, but I expect we’ll see great things from him. He is one of many promising young pitchers working their way through the lower minors that could definitely be in the Met rotation in a few years.

2013 Outlook: My guess is Montero will split the season between St. Lucie and Binghamton (If he continues to pitch well) much like how he split the season between Savannah and St. Lucie this year.

8. Domingo Tapia, RHP

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 186

Throws/Bats: R/R

Domingo_Tapia

Domingo Tapia’s future role is still very much up in the air. Tapia, 21, had a breakout year last season with Savannah. Although his ERA (3.98) was slightly worse than his 2011 mark (3.38), he had a much better season. Tapia, whose repertoire consists of a high-90s two-seam sinking fastball, a high-90s four-seam fastball, a high-80s changeup, and a below-average breaking pitch, struck out 8.4 batters per nine, much better than his 5.8 mark in 2011. Despite having pitched just over 220 professional innings, Tapia already seems destined for the bullpen. He doesn’t have much of a breaking pitch, relying almost completely on his sinker and four-seam fastball. That combination has worked so far, but won’t work as he climbs the minor league ladder, especially as a starter. It may also be difficult for him to develop a breaking pitch considering how low his arm slot is. He is still very young, however, so there is still time for Tapia to develop a breaking pitch. Now the decision rests with the front office: to keep him a starter, they may have to raise his arm angle, possibly jeopardizing his sinker. The Mets will have to decide whether they will take that risk or move him to the bullpen.

2013 Outlook: The future is unclear in regards to Tapia. While scouts agree that he has a great sinker and a good four-seam, his role is still up in the air. As for this season, you’ll probably see him in St. Lucie.

7. Jeurys Familia, RHP

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 230

Throws/Bats: R/R

Jeurys_Familia

Last year was a bumpy one for Jeurys Familia. In 2011, it looked like he had finally started to put it together as a starter, pitching 23 games with a 2.90 ERA in 124 innings between St. Lucie and Binghamton. It looked like the mechanical issues were starting to get fixed and he was looking more and more like a starter. That changed this past season, as Familia regressed.

Familia was very inconsistent in his season with Buffalo. Every few starts, he would dominate and strike out seven or eight batters, but those starts were few and far between. For most of the season, Familia struggled with his control, worked up a high pitch count, and was unable to go deep into games. He has the stuff to be a good pitcher, but he doesn’t have the makeup of a starting pitcher.

Familia has what it takes to be a successful reliever, which is where I think he will eventually end up. The Mets will probably give him another year as a starter (unless they feel they really need him in the bullpen) to develop his breaking pitches. If he doesn’t stay a starter, the transition may take a few months but eventually, he could be the full-time closer and be a good one too.

2013 Outlook: A bullpen role seems most likely long-term unless Familia makes major improvements with his control and secondary pitches this year or in 2014. He will start the year in Triple-A and go from there.

6. Brandon Nimmo, OF

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 185

Throws/Bats: R/L

Brandon_Nimmo

The Mets took a big risk in 2011 when they drafted 18 year-old outfielder Brandon Nimmo out of Wyoming. Why was it such a risk? There is no high school baseball in Wyoming, so the only experience Nimmo had was on top-tier club teams in his area. That, on top of an injury in high school that caused him to miss an entire season put him at a disadvantage when making the jump to professional baseball. This season, after playing only ten professional games in 2011, made the jump to Low-A Brooklyn in the tough New York-Penn League, where many of the top college picks are sent. After a full season there, the numbers don’t stand out as those of a future star, but considering his experience in high school, his season was impressive. He batted just .248, but had a very high walk rate of 14.3%. He also displayed some power, hitting six home runs in 266 at-bats. His ISO (Explanation) of .158 was ninth best in the New York-Penn League. Among players under 20 years of age (with a minimum of 200 Plate Appearances), he was first in that category. He finished tenth in the league in homers, and was the only player under 20 in the top ten. However, he didn’t show much speed or hit lefties very well. Nimmo is someone who is still very inexperienced, so fans have to be more patient than usual with him. The front office will surely take it slow with him, as he is still a very raw talent.

2013 Outlook: The Mets will take it slow with Nimmo this season. He will probably spend the entire year with Savannah. It’s still too early to get a real sense of what type of player Nimmo will be, but the signs so far point towards Nimmo eventually becoming an average to above average major league player at worst. But again, it’s too early to make any conclusions (as is the case with any of these prospects) because he is a rather unconventional prospect.

And my Top 5…

5. Wilmer Flores, 2B, 3B

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 190

Throws/Bats: R/R

Wilmer_Flores

One year ago, Wilmer Flores was on the brink of irrelevancy. He had played 200 games in High-a Port St. Lucie, and hadn’t put up stellar numbers. His 2011 season was one with many ups and downs, and the statistics didn’t look pretty in the end. While he managed to hit a respectable .269 in 559 plate appearances, his on-base percentage was .309 – the second lowest mark of his minor league career. He had signed out of Venezuela as a 16 year-old in 2008 with very high expectations. He was supposed to become a hitting machine, and someone who could eventually become an elite power hitter. In his first season, playing in Kingsport, Brooklyn, and Savannah, he had a .180 ISO, and it looked as if the power was developing early. However, after that, the home runs disappeared and in 2011, he hit a low point, hitting only nine home runs in over 130 games for St. Lucie. His prospect status was in jeopardy. He fell out of the top 15 on many Mets prospect rankings. People started to wonder – what happened? That all changed this season.

Flores broke camp with St. Lucie for the second year in a row, but immediately started hitting the ball much better. He started hitting for power again, slugging ten home runs in 64 games. He had an excellent first half with St. Lucie, batting .289 with a .799 OPS, all capped off by an FSL All-Star Game MVP Award.

He was then called up to Binghamton, where he had a hard time adjusting in his first few weeks. After his adjustment period, he took off again, and hit even better than he did in St. Lucie. Flores continued to hit home runs, slugging eight in 66 games in the Eastern League. He also hit well over .300 for the first time since 2008. His walk rate rose to 7.3%, still below average, but almost a career-high for Flores, and his strikeout rate to its lowest point (10.9%) since he was in Kingsport as a 16 year-old. Between the two leagues, Flores finished with an even .300 batting average, a .827 OPS, 18 home runs, and 30 doubles in 493 at-bats.

What else is there to love about Wilmer Flores? He’s still just 21 years old. He still has plenty of time to get better. The only question mark left with Flores is his defense. He played second base and third base in the minors last year, after posting a dreadful .959 fielding percentage in his career as a shortstop. Flores is big, which may make it difficult for him to be a middle infielder. However, if the Mets want to keep him around, that’s where he may stay because it doesn’t look like Ike Davis or David Wright are going anywhere. If the Mets staff can get him to a point at second base where he is average or slightly below average, he will make up for his sub-par defense with production at the plate.

2013 Outlook: The Mets will not want to rush him (that has hurt him in the past), but Flores got a lot of playing time in the Venezuelan Winter League (in which he played well), so you could see him begin the season with Las Vegas. He isn’t too far off, and could get a cup of coffee at the end of September this year before making his real debut sometime in 2014.

4. Michael Fulmer, RHP

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 200

Throws/Bats: R/R

Michael_Fulmer

19 year-old Michael Fulmer has quietly become one of the Mets’ top pitching prospects. While most of the attention has gone to Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Noah Syndergaard, Fulmer is looking like he could be a fixture in the Met rotation as well.

Fulmer was selected by the Mets 44th overall in the 2011 MLB Draft out of Deer Creek High School in Oklahoma. Originally slated to go to the University of Arkansas, the Mets took a risk drafting him, but he eventually signed with them for just under $1 million. He was only able to pitch in four games with the GCL team in 2011 before the season ended.

Fulmer was thrust into the world of professional baseball this year, starting the season with the long-season Sand Gnats of the South Atlantic League. The fifth-youngest pitcher in the league, Fulmer was at a bit of a disadvantage facing hitters older than him, but he still had major success. Armed with a mid-90s fastball to go along with a quality curveball and developing changeup, Fulmer made 21 starts, pitching a total of 108.1 innings. He posted a 2.74 ERA and struck out 8.4 batters per nine, while walking only 3.2, very good for a pitcher right out of high school.

Scouts have been very impressed with Fulmer’s stamina and ability to go deep into games. He has the physical ability to have success at the higher levels.

It’s still very, very early to project what Fulmer could be. He’s still developing, but all signs point towards him becoming a productive starting pitcher.

2013 Outlook: Fulmer will follow the traditional track, and will pitch for St. Lucie, probably for the whole season. He will make his debut sometime in 2015 if he stays healthy.

3. Noah Syndergaard, RHP

Height: 6’5″

Weight: 200

Throws/Bats: R/L

Noah_Syndergaard

When the Mets traded R.A. Dickey to Toronto, most of the attention went to a certain catcher the Mets got in return. But the Mets acquired another notable player in the trade, a pitcher who has been nothing but dominant in his three-year minor league career: Noah Syndergaard.

Syndergaard, 20, looks much more refined than most pitchers his age. He has much better command than Zack Wheeler had at that age (and maybe even better control than Wheeler right now), walking just 2.7 batters per nine this past season in the Midwest League, which is on the same level as the South Atlantic League. Since coming to the Mets, many writers and scouts have compared him to Zack Wheeler. Syndergaard actually pitched much better this season in A-ball than Wheeler did, as you can see below:

Syndergaard is often compared to Wheeler from a dominance standpoint, but they are two much different pitchers. Syndergaard throws two fastballs. One is a high-90s four-seam and the other is a sinker. Syndergaard does not possess a good secondary pitch, while Wheeler has a very good one.

Overall, it’s tough to compare Syndergaard to Wheeler because they are at completely different stages. Wheeler is knocking at the door to the big league club while Syndergaard probably has two to three years in the minors left before he debuts. However, it’s great to see such success so soon, and I’m hopeful that the Mets will put Syndergaard in a situation where he can develop his secondary pitches because if he does, he could be a very dominant pitcher.

2013 Outlook: Syndergaard pitched the entire season for a long-season Low-A team, so the next logical step for him is St. Lucie. As of right now, I would project him to make his MLB debut in 2015.

2. Travis d’Arnaud, C

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 195

Throws/Bats: R/R

Travis_dArnaud

There is a reason why in the negotiations for R.A. Dickey, Sandy Alderson held out for Travis d’Arnaud. He is a game-changer, and one of the few players in the minor leagues that can make trading away the reigning Cy Young Award winner worthwhile. d’Arnaud is of a rare breed of catchers: he can hit for power, average, and is decent with the glove.

A former first-round pick, d’Arnaud didn’t put all those tools together until two years ago, when he had a breakthrough season in Double-A New Hampshire. He had already been a highly-regarded prospect, but he became arguably the most promising catching prospect in the game after his fantastic 2011 season, in which he hit 21 home runs with a slash line of .311/.371/.542.

In 2012, d’Arnaud continued to rake with the bat, this time in Triple-A Las Vegas, where he hit 16 home runs in 67 games. Hitting numbers are inflated by the hitter-friendly Cashman Field in Las Vegas, but d’Arnaud actually hit slightly in away games. The numbers are there. The power is there. d’Arnaud was on track to make his MLB debut in the second half of the season, but had his year abruptly cut short when, in July, he tore his PCL.

d’Arnaud has earned the praise of scouts around the country. Before last season’s excellent performance, Baseball America had him listed as 17th in their overall prospect rankings, tops among catchers. Here’s what they had to say about him:

“He’s a rare catching prospect that projects to hit in the middle of a lineup. He is an above-average hitter who should hit for at least average power. He doesn’t walk much but makes consistent hard contact, getting hits even when his timing is off or he gets off balance. He has the bat speed and strength to hit plenty of homers and lets his power come naturally, employing a short stroke and all-fields approach.”

Power at the catching position is certainly a valuable commodity that very few catchers possess. d’Arnaud seems to have that rare skill and while he is not expected to be a Mike Piazza-type, his minor league power numbers match up well with Piazza’s, meaning d’Arnaud’s power is legit:

darnaud graph

At minimum, d’Arnaud looks to be a serviceable MLB catcher, but he can be so much more than that. He has the tools to be a dynamic, all-around catcher who can hit fifth or sixth in the lineup. The only question that remains is health, but he doesn’t seem to have any long-term issues.

2013 Outlook: The Mets are in a situation that many front offices encounter every year. They really believe d’Arnaud is a future star. However, d’Arnaud breaking camp with the big league club in April would mean he becomes a free agent after the 2018 season. If he comes up later, however, he won’t become a free agent until after the 2019 season. It seems like a ridiculous thing to consider now, but down the road it will be something that really matters if d’Arnaud turns out to be the star people think he could be. For that reason, and to test out his injured knee, I would say he spends the first month or so with Las Vegas.

1. Zack Wheeler, RHP

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 185

Throws/Bats: R/L

Zack_Wheeler

When the Giants picked Zack Wheeler sixth overall in the 2009 MLB Draft, they were taking a player with enormous upside, but not very polished. In his first professional season a year later at age 20, playing in the South Atlantic League, Wheeler showed just that: a high “ceiling” but with work to be done. In his first season, he walked 38 batters over 58.2 innings, and struck out 70. He made 13 starts and appeared in eight out of the bullpen.

In 2011, Wheeler broke camp with San Francisco’s California League (A+) affiliate, San Jose. There, he was once again inconsistent. He pitched well, but couldn’t get over his control problem, and was walking 4.8 batters per nine innings. When the Giants needed a bat for the stretch run in 2011, they were reluctant to part ways with Wheeler because of his potential, but gave him up any way in a desperate move to bolster the offense at the trade deadline. And what looked

Once in the Mets organization, Wheeler’s command started to improve. He finished the year in the tough Florida State League, with Port St. Lucie. He pitched extremely well there, allowing just six runs in 27 innings and walking only five, setting him up for a Double-A debut in 2012.

After a productive ending to 2011, Wheeler picked it right up again, and steamrolled through the Eastern League. He made 19 starts, and had a 3.26 ERA in 116 innings. During his time in Binghamton, he kept his strikeout rate up (9.1 K/9) and his walk rate relatively low (3.3 BB/9), earning him a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo, where he finished the season. He struggled in his six starts at the next level with his command, but in a small sample size (33 innings) like that, it’s not much of a concern right now.

Wheeler Prospect snip

2013 Outlook: Wheeler has “ace” written all over him. With his electric fastball and very good secondary stuff, my guess is he will be very successful in the big leagues. Look for him to debut a few months into this season, unless the Mets are unable to acquire a fifth starter. He needs a bit more seasoning in Triple-A before he gets called up.

What do you think? What do YOUR rankings look like? Also make sure to check out MMO’s OFFICIAL top 25 prospects, but together by the brilliant Satish Ram (“Perseus”) and Sean Kenny.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/an-alternative-mets-top-prospects-list-my-top-20.html/feed/ 0