Mets Merized Online » Phillip Evans Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:10:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Minors: MMO 2016 All-Star Team Fri, 30 Dec 2016 11:00:42 +0000 amed-rosario-ed-delany

With the 2016 year coming to an end we will take a look at the top minor league players from the New York Mets system over the past season. We based our choices on how they did statistically and not prospect ranking.


CatcherTomas Nido (St. Lucie Mets) – The only full season catcher to hit at least .320 and throw out at least 40% of basestealers. The 22-year old was the FSL batting title, a mid-season all-star as well as an end-of-the season all-star.

First BaseDominic Smith (Binghamton Mets) – Hit .302/.367/.457 with a career high 14 home runs and 91 RBI. Smith, 21, struck out only 74 times compared to 50 walks.

Second BaseT.J. Rivera (Las Vegas 51s) – Started only 14 games at 2B this year but we had to find a spot for the Pacific Coast League’s batting title winner. In Vegas, he hit .353/.93/.516 with career highs in doubles (31), homers (11) and RBI (85).

ShortstopAmed Rosario (St. Lucie, B-Mets) – Between St. Lucie and Binghamton he hit .324/.374/.459 with 24 doubles, 12 triples and five home runs. Rosario, 21, was also named as our Position Player of the Year.

Third BaseDavid Thompson (Columbia, St. Lucie) – The Mets 4th rounder from 2015 was one of the best players in the South Atlantic League before getting promoted to St. Lucie. He struggled to hit consistently there, but continued to be a run producer, finishing with 95 RBI (most in Mets minors) on the season. His 34 doubles were second among Mets minor leaguers and he finished with a .280/.333/.444 slash line overall.

Outfield:  Brandon Nimmo (Las Vegas 51s) – He played all three outfield spots this year for the 51s on the way to a great bounce back season in which he hit .352/.423/.541 and got his first taste off major league action. His .423 on-base led the PCL while his 11 home runs and 25 doubles were both career highs.

Outfield: Desmond Lindsay (GCL, Brooklyn) – The 19-year old five tool player had a great season once he has was able to get on the field after an injury delay. He hit .297/.418/.450 with a 20 BB/26 K ratio in 32 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Outfield: Travis Taijeron (Las Vegas 51s) – The 51s power hitting right fielder led the PCL with 42 doubles while tying for the Mets minor league lead with 19 homers. The 27-year old hit .275/.372/.512 and finished fourth in the PCL with 88 runs batted in.



SS/2B: Gavin Cecchini (Las Vegas 51s/Mets) – He hit .325/.390/.448 in his first season in Triple-A with eight homeruns, two triples, 27 doubles as he drove in 55 for the 51s. Cecchini, 23, showed his skills to make contact as he struck out just 55 times in 446 at-bats.

SS/2B: Andres Gimenez (DSL Mets1 & 2) – The 18-year old Gimenez was outstanding in his first pro season with the Mets. His short swing and mature approach helped him to hit .350/.469/.523 to go with 27 extra base hits. He walked 46 times compared to only 22 strikeouts on the season.

C/1B: Patrick Mazeika (Columbia Fireflies) – Mazeika was one of the bright spots in the inaugural season for the Columbia Fireflies as he hit .305/.414/.402 in 70 games. The 23-year old showed his ability to make consistent contact as he struck out just 39 times while walking 38.

2B/3B/SS: Phillip Evans (Binghamton Mets/St. Lucie Mets) – The Eastern League batting champ hit .335/.374/.485 with eight home runs, 30 doubles and drove in 39 runs. He shared the Mets Sterling Award for Binghamton with Dominic Smith.

OF: Raul Beracierta (DSL Mets1 & 2) – The 17-year old outfielder played every outfield position in his first pro season. Beracierta hit .327/.397/.403 combined between the DSL Mets1 & 2. He was the Mets Sterling Award winner for the DSL Mets1.

Photo: Allen Greene, Kingsport Mets

Photo: Allen Greene, Kingsport Mets


P.J. Conlon (St. Lucie Mets) – The 23-year old started the year dominating in the Sally League for the Columbia Fireflies. In 12 starts for the Fireflies, he would go 8-1 with a 1.84 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He would be named the Sally League’s Pitcher of the Week ending June 11, 2016. He would also be named to their All-Star Team.

Conlon would be promoted and pitch even better for the St. Lucie Mets. In 12 starts, he went 4-1 with a 1.41 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.  Between the two levels, he was 12-2 with a 1.65 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. His combined 1.65 ERA was the best full season starter ERA in the minor leagues this season.

Thomas Szapucki (Brooklyn Cyclones) - Szapucki made tremendous strides this year dominating at two levels of the minor leagues this season. He started out this season playing in the Rookie League for the Kingsport Mets. In five starts, he was 2-1 with a 0.62 ERA and 0.86 ERA while striking out a whopping 14.6 batters per nine innings.

The 20-year old was promoted to Brooklyn where he went 2-2 with a 2.35 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP in four starts. He continued to strike out batters at an exceptional rate striking out 15.3 batters per nine innings in the New York Penn League. Overall, Szapucki made nine starts between both levels going 4-3 with a 1.38 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and a 14.9 K/9.

Harol Gonzalez (Brooklyn Cyclones) - The 21-year old was perhaps the most dominating pitcher in the New York Penn League going 7-3 with a 2.01 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 13 starts and one relief appearance. Gonzalez led the league in ERA and strikeouts (88). He also ranked third in wins, second in innings pitched (85.0), and tied for second in WHIP.

Ricky Knapp (Las Vegas 51s) Knapp started the season at the Advanced A Level St. Lucie Mets, and he would make his final start of the season with the AAA Las Vegas 51s. The reason was Knapp’s mastery at each level of the minor leagues this season.

In 15 starts and one relief appearance with St. Lucie, Knapp was 9-4 with a 2.36 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. From there he would make six starts with AA Binghamton showing better control going 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. When incorporating his three spot starts for Las Vegas, Knapp was 13-6 with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.

Andrew Church (Las Vegas 51s) - In his nine starts for the Full Season A Columbia Fireflies, Church was 5-2 with a 2.22 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP. After what had been two good starts to start the year with Columbia, Church made six starts in St. Lucie going 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP, and a complete game.

The 22-year old Church pitched so well he was rewarded with a relief appearance (was supposed to be a start) at the end of the year with the Las Vegas 51s. Overall, Church made 15 starts and one relief appearance going 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.

paul sewald


Closer - Paul Sewald (Las Vegas 51s) This season he saved 19 games for the 51s with a 3.29 ERA (league average 4.46) and 1.20 WHIP. He had a 21.2 K-BB% which was the fifth best in the Pacific Coast League.

Closer - Joseph Zanghi (Brooklyn Cyclones) A little reported (outside of MMN, here is our interview with him) signing after he was drafted by the Reds in the 24th but failed to sign. The converted position player had a tremendous pro debut with 45 strikeouts in 29.1 innings for Brooklyn. He also saved eight games, had a 1.23 ERA and did not allow a home run.

Closer - David Roseboom (Binghamton Mets) The lefty got even better as the season progressed allowing only two earned runs in 25.2 second half innings. He went 14 for 15 in save chances and held opponents to a .168 batting average for the season (2nd best in Eastern League).

Setup Man - Gary Cornish (Brooklyn Cyclones) Yet another Cyclone that posted ridiculous strikeout numbers in his pro career with 44 strikeouts in 25 innings. His 0.64 FIP led the entire minor leagues for pitchers with at least 20 innings, as did his 15.84 K/9. He was the Mets 19th round pick from San Diego.

Crossover - Ben Griset (St. Lucie Mets) The 24-year old lefty did whatever was asked of him this year including three spot starts, 12 relief appearances of at least two innings and collecting three saves. He finished the season with a 1.80 ERA, 1.033 WHIP and struck out 66 in 60 innings. He held lefties to a measly .457 OPS without a home run or triple in 51 at-bats.

Longman - Nelmerson Xavier Mariano Silvano Angela (DSL Mets) The 18-year old lefty was really a starter for much of the season despite only getting six “starts” in 14 appearances. To finish off his great season he pitched five no-hit innings with four strikeouts in his last appearance. He went 3-0 with two saves, 1.88 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and held opponents to a .171 average.

Swingman - Nabil Crismatt (Brooklyn, Columbia, Binghamton) It was a weird start of the season for the righty who inexplicably started in the Brooklyn bullpen after dominating the Appalachian League in 2015. Ended up making 13 appearances (7 starts) with his final start of the year coming for the Binghamton Mets. Overall, he had a 2.47 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and struck out 74 in 65.2 innings. His 10.57 K/BB ratio was the 10th best in the minor leagues.

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MMO Interview: Hard Throwing Relief Prospect Kevin McGowan Fri, 23 Dec 2016 16:31:29 +0000 3

New York Mets right-handed pitching prospect Kevin McGowan had a breakout season after switching to a reliever. McGowan, 25, pitched to a 2.35 ERA and 1.091 WHIP in 84.1 innings over three levels. As a reliever he held opponents to a .222/.269/.349 slash line in 2016.

McGowan made 42 appearances including four spot starts after working almost exclusively as start starter the previous three seasons. He had a 0.82 ERA in 33 innings for the St. Lucie Mets before being promoted to the Binghamton Mets. He then pitched to a 3.62 ERA over 49.2 innings for the B-Mets and also made a 1.2 inning cameo with the Las Vegas 51s.

The Mets drafted McGowan in the 13th round of the 2013 draft out of Division II Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. He went to high school about an hour away in Nashua, New Hampshire and playing baseball in the northeast is one of the topics we touch on.

McGowan saw an uptick in his fastball out of the pen sitting in the mid 90’s and topping out in the upper 90’s. He also saw improvement with the consistency of his breaking ball that helped him have a great season. He set a career high with a 8.9 K/9 and tied a career best with his 2.3 BB/9. He allowed only 70 hits and four home runs in his 84.1 innings of work in 2016.

I would expect to see Kevin get an invite to major league spring training camp this year.

MMO – First off, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions and congrats on a great season. You had success this year in part because of a switch from starting to relieving, how did that come about?

Kevin – Probably from just trusting my stuff and throwing my fastball a lot more. Over the past season or so when I was starting I threw way more off speed then I needed to. Basically trying to be too cute. But it worked out cause for the first time in pro ball I actually had a decent breaking ball. So it paid off this season

MMO – What do you think changed to make your breaking ball more effective?

Kevin – I just never really had one. Or at least a consistent one. It took time, but I finally developed feel for the pitch so I can locate it and add and subtract velocity when I need to.

MMO – Did any specific coach in the Mets system help you make that pitch more consistent?

Kevin – My guy Phil Regan (Assistant Pitching Coordinator)! That dude always takes care of me and has always taken the time to help me out. But Marc Valdes (St.Lucie Pitching Coach) and I always worked well together and he seems to kinda know what I need to make it a better pitch for me. And I was with Glenn Abbott (B-Mets Pitching Coach) for a while this year and him and I talked a lot about how to approach pitching. A main point he would always bring up is breaking ball and my breaking ball specifically. He always wanted to make sure I kept depth with the it so it wasn’t flat. So a huge thanks to those guys.

MMO – What are you doing this offseason to get ready for the 2017 season?

Kevin – Just working out at AB athletics here in Nashua, New Hampshire. And playing golf pretty much until the snow hits. Then it’s video game season haha.

MMO – When I talked to David Roseboom he told me you were the best hitter in the B-Mets bullpen, said you had moonshot power. Any truth to this? And is it Bartolo Colon power?

Kevin – Well besides Tyler Pill. He shouldn’t count though cause he was Fullertons’ 3 hitter in college. And Idk man. Bartolo is a legend. But I if you ask my father he’ll tell you I was always a better hitter than pitcher. So batting practice is just wicked fun for me. Five o’clock hitter though for sure.

MMO – What do you think you need to improve to take the next step in your development and get closer to the big leagues?

Kevin – Just build off of last season and continue to get more consistent. Then hopefully get a chance to help out the big league club.

MMO – Growing up in Maine I know what it’s like, but can you explain to the readers about how hard it is to get baseball games/practices in up in the Northeast and some of the challenges you faced in high school because of the weather.

Kevin – Yeah it’s pretty nuts. I haven’t played nearly as much baseball as my competition just cause the weather is brutal up here. High school you had to really dress warm cause it was cold usually most of the time and couldn’t really avoid the cold. Our home field was a Triple-A stadium at one point so we at least had actual dugouts and could avoid the wind. Obviously not all high school fields are nice, so we were pretty fortunate for that.

College was even worse. Started in February and we played probably every game cause we had on a turf field. I honestly can’t remember a game getting snowed out, we played plenty of games when it was snowing. And my college has to have the worst location to play because there’s a lake right behind the field and we’re at the bottom of mountains, so it was never warm. Lots of wind.

My freshman year when we hosted regionals there was still snow behind the fences in May. I remember walking to practice in January and it was no joke -20 plus the wind. So practices when it was too cold would be in our indoor facility which was a bubble. Unfortunately it wasn’t heated well. Practice sometimes was shoveling the snow off the field. With all that being said, we had heated dugouts. Thank god. I don’t mean that to come off like I hated it cause honestly Franklin Pierce was for sure the best college experience I could ever imagine.

MMO – Who of your teammates this year, at any of your 3 stops, impressed you the most?

Kevin – I’ve always been a big Rosario guy, I think he’s the truth. So I feel like I’m never surprised with what he’s capable of. Same with Dominic Smith. Also the truth. Paul Pierce 34! It’s been fun watching those guys starting to reach their potential. And there’s still more room for them to grow which is kinda insane. Pimp C (Corey Taylor) was a lot of fun to watch too. Throws hard and doesn’t mess around. He’s always in attack mode. Ricky Knapp finally showed what I always thought he was capable of and had a sick year. Matt Oberste was hitting rockets all of the yard again.

It was good to see Boomer (David Roseboom) have the year he had. I mean when I saw him in St. Lucie he was struggling. It was great to see him turn it completely around. I think it kind shocked people. Going from that tough half in the FSL to dominating the Eastern League. He’s a high energy, weird dude so watching him get fired up as a closer was hilarious. Sewald is always nasty so when I saw him throw it was nothing surprising. He pitches with a huge chip on his shoulder and it’s great to see him continue to succeed. And of course Jeff Glenn, unreal bullpen catcher. Oh yeah Phillip Evans! Another guy I watched struggle for a bit in St. Lucie and then have an unbelievable season. Won a league batting title. That was sick to see. Pumped for him.

MMO – You must have grown up a Red Sox fan, have you changed your allegiances to the Mets?

Kevin – Oh yeah I was a Sox die hard. Papi retiring hurts though. I have pictures of him all over my room. Same with Pedro and Manny Ramirez. Those three were my idols growing up. But guys who I played with are now a part of the big league club and they seemed to have a seamless transition to the show which is awesome. So I’m always rooting for Robert GsellmanSeth LugoJosh SmokerMichael Conforto and all the guys I’ve played with. It fires me up watching them succeed. Obviously it makes me want to be a part of it. So my allegiances have changed for sure.

MMO – Thanks again man for answers and good luck next season.

Kevin – Yeah for sure.

Photo Credit -

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No Mets Taken In Major League Rule 5 Draft Portion Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:38:45 +0000 philip-evans


The Major League portion of the Rule 5 has concluded and the New York Mets didn’t have an unprotected player drafted and didn’t select a player.

The Mets also passed in the Triple-A portion of the draft. They had two players taken from their minor leagues, lefty reliever Paul Paez was drafted by the Seattle Mariners and lefty reliever Adrian Almeida was taken by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Original Report – Dec 7

The Rule 5 Draft takes place Thursday morning as the culmination of the 2016 Winter Meetings in Maryland. It will be streamed live on at 9:00 a.m. ET.

The New York Mets currently have a full 40-man roster so they will not be able to draft a player. However, there is a good chance of them losing one player and possibly more after deciding to protect high ceiling players instead of those close to being major league ready. They added Amed Rosario, Wuilmer Becerra, Tomas Nido, Marcos Molina and Chris Flexen to their 40-man roster to protect them from the draft.

Before we get into the players the Mets could lose, let’s go over the rules of the draft because they’ve changed in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Under the new CBA, Major League Rule 5 picks will cost the selecting team $100,000, which is double the $50,000 that had previously been the amount. Triple-A Rule 5 picks will cost the selecting team $24,000, again double the previous amount.

In brief, the drafted player must stay on the team’s 25 man roster he is drafted by (or traded to) for the entire season, or must be on the active roster for 90 days if they serve time on the disabled list. If the drafting team decides they don’t wish to keep the player on the 25-man roster they have to put him on waivers and then offer him back to his original team for $50,000 if he passes through.

As mentioned above, the Mets currently have a 40-man roster and Sandy Alderson said during his press conference on Wednesday night that it’s unlikely that they take a player in the Major League portion. However, the Mets were also said to be discussing players they could take in the Triple-A phase on Wednesday night. The Double-A portion of the draft was eliminated in the recently finished CBA.

The Triple-A portion of the draft doesn’t have the same roster restrictions. Once the player is taken, they become the property of that organization. One of the most notable picks the Mets have made in the AAA phase is right-handed pitcher Henry Owens in 2003. The most recent example of success in the minor league Rule 5 is when the Miami Marlins selected Justin Bour in 2013.

Now let’s take a look at some players the Mets have left vulnerable to being selected on Thursday morning:

Phillip Evans INF – The utility infielder continues to get the most buzz among Mets players left unprotected including being a part of Baseball America’s ”Cream of the Crop”. He had a breakout 2016 season when he hit .335/.374/.485 and won the Eastern League batting title for the Double-A Binghamton Mets.

The 24-year old is also hitting .311/.386/.446 in the Puerto Rico Winter League. Prior to 2016, Evans had four straight seasons with an OPS lower than .700. He can play shortstop, second base and third base.

Paul Sewald RHP - The reliever with a nasty slider that has dominated his entire minor league career with a 2.20 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 66 saves in 72 chances. The 26-year old continues to post strong strikeout numbers, 80 in 65.2 innings this year for the Las Vegas 51s, despite a fastball that tops out in the low 90′s. He is mentioned in BA’s Rule 5 preview under the Enough Stuff, Good Control category, similar to former Mets’ prospect and 2015 draftee Matt Bowman.

Sewald admitted during an interview with me that he went to pitch in the Mexican Winter League in hopes of opening eyes in other organizations. He pitched to a 3.32 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 11 saves in 19 innings for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo.

Other players that could intrigue teams include right-handed starter Ricky Knapp (2.69 ERA, 1.14 WHIP over 3 levels in 2016), right-handed reliever Kevin McGowan (95-97 MPH fastball, successful move to bullpen), outfielder Champ Stuart (two plus tools in speed/defense), right-handed starter Nabil Crismatt (2.47 ERA in 2016, plus changeup) and right-handed reliever Tyler Bashlor (Heavy upper 90′s fastball).

Ultimately, I think there is a good chance that Evans gets taken while the buzz for Sewald has died down some recently. Knapp would be a similar pick to Bowman when talking about stuff and upside, but doesn’t have the upper level experience that Matt had.

Some names to keep an eye on from around the league that could get drafted are shortstop Zach Vincej, right-handed pitcher Aaron Slegers, outfielder Andrew Pullin, right-handed pitcher Justin Haley, infielder Eric Wood, and left-handed pitcher Ryan Sherriff.

The Minnesota Twins kick off the draft since they finished with Major League Baseball’s worst record. Expect the San Diego Padres to be active as they’ve been the past few years and have the third pick. The Baltimore Orioles are another team that have a recent history of drafting players and they currently have four open spots on their 40-man roster.

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Mets Minors: MMO All-Star Bench Led by Cecchini Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:30:52 +0000 gavin-cecchini

We are releasing the players we’ve chosen as part of a group voting for the Mets roster of the best 25 minor leaguers this season. These players are chosen strictly on their numbers and not on their prospect rankings. It’s going to be a four part series with the position players already posted and the starting rotation already posted with the bullpen still to come. Here is who we have chosen for the bench in our All-Star team:

SS/2B: Gavin Cecchini (Las Vegas 51s/Mets) – The former Mets first round pick had his second straight season were he hit above .300 and finished third in the PCL in hitting. He hit .325/.390/.448 in his first season in Triple-A with eight homeruns, two triples, 27 doubles as he drove in 55 for the 51s. Cecchini showed his skills to make contact as he struck out just 55 times in 446 at-bats. The Mets will let Cecchini play second base in he AFL to see if he can learn that position to play it good enough in the majors.

SS/2B: Andres Gimenez (DSL Mets1 & 2) – The 18-year old Gimenez was outstanding in his first pro season with the Mets. Gimenez showed the ability to hit for a high average and power in the Dominican Summer League. His short swing and mature approach helped him to hit .350/.469/.523 to go with 27 extra base hits. He walked 46 times compared to only 22 strikeouts on the season. Gimenez has the talent to stay at short but also played some second this season. He was the Mets Sterling Award winner for the DSL Mets2.

C/1B: Patrick Mazeika (Columbia Fireflies) – Mazeika was one of the bright spots in the inaugural season for the Columbia Fireflies as he hit .305/.414/.402 in 70 games. Mazeika showed his ability to make consistent contact as he struck out just 39 times while walking 38. Mazeika turned it on in the second half hitting .342/.465/.456 to end his season with an impressive stat line.

2B/3B/SS: Phillip Evans (Binghamton Mets/St. Lucie Mets) – The Eastern League batting champ hit .335/.374/.485 with eight home runs, 30 doubles and drove in 39 runs. Evans started the season with the St. Lucie Mets and hit just .143/.273/.143 in nine games. His performance in the Eastern League was impressive as he won the Eastern League batting title with a 4 for 6 final game. He shared the Mets Sterling Award for Binghamton with Dominic Smith.

OF: Raul Beracierta (DSL Mets1 & 2) – The 17-year old outfielder played every outfield position in his first pro season. Not only did he play a very solid outfield he also had a good season with the bat. Beracierta hit .327/.397/.403 combined between the DSL Mets1 & 2. He hit his first pro home run on the 11th of July. To go with his home run he also hit three triples and seven doubles while driving in 23 runs. A solid season all around for the young outfielder. He was the Mets Sterling Award winner for the DSL Mets1.

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Mets Minors Recap: Herrera Grand Slam Powers 51s Thu, 23 Jun 2016 13:15:42 +0000 dilson herrera bubble

Las Vegas (39-33) 12, Reno 10 Box Score

Dilson Herrera came up to bat in the 8th inning of a tie game and hit a grand slam to put the 51s up 10-6.

It is time for the Mets to bring up Nimmo and send down Michael ConfortoHere you can watch the blast from Herrera.

Edgin gave up his first runs of the season for Las Vegas.

Altoona 6, Binghamton (28-41) 3 Box Score

The B-Mets squandered plenty of chances as they went 4 for 17 with runners in scoring position.

Smith has seen an uptick in his walks during June but his slugging percentage has dropped to just .300 in the month.

Peterson has now struck out 45 batters in 30.1 innings this season.

Palm Beach 3, St. Lucie (35-32) 1 Box Score

Another Mets team that had trouble with runners in scoring position, going 0 for 7 and leaving six runners on.

Guillorme extended his hitting streak 11 games in which he has raised his average from .229 to .263.

Tapia has struck out four in his first 4.1 innings of the season after missing most of 2015.

Columbia Fireflies had their final night of the all-star break, they are back at it Thursday at home vs Augusta.

Connecticut 7, Brooklyn (2-4) 5 Box Score

I feel like a broken record for mentioning another Mets minor league team that struggled with RISP, the Cyclones were the worst yesterday going only 1 for 12.

It was the first professional home run for Zanon who hit 14 this year for Lewis-Clark State College.

Llanes has now allowed 16 hits in ten innings (two starts) to begin his Cyclones career.

DSL Mets1 (6-9) 4, DSL Yankees 3 Box Score

It was the first home run in the career of the 18-year old Rodriguez who is playing his first season of pro ball.

DSL Red Sox 3, DSL Mets2 (6-10) 2 Box Score

Gimenez failed to reach base for the first time in his professional career.

The Kingsport Mets begin their season in the Appalachian League tonight at 7:00 PM ET with Thomas Szapucki getting the start.

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Mets Minors Report: Nimmo Blasts Two Homers, Herrera and Rosario With Four Hits Fri, 10 Jun 2016 12:28:53 +0000 Nimmo3-400x266

Las Vegas 51s (32-27) 17, Albuquerque 7

The 51s busted out with 23 hits and blew the game open with a six-run fourth inning in part thanks to a bases-clearing double by Sean Gilmartin. They knocked out the Rockies top pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman after only 2.1 innings.

  • Dilson Herrera 2B – 4 for 6, HR (1oth), 4 RBI, 3 R, 2B, .295/.336/.516
  • Brandon Nimmo CF – 3 for 5, 2 HR, BB, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B, .325/.403/.521
  • T.J. Rivera 3B – 2 for 4, HR, 2 BB, 2 R, .362/.400/.529
  • Gavin Cecchini SS – 2 for 6, RBI, R, 3 errors (15), .327/.392/.407
  • Travis Taijeron RF – 4 for 6, HR, 2B (21, leads league), 4 R, 2 RBI, .305/.387/.562
  • Sean Gilmartin SP – 3 for 3, 4 RBI, 2B, R, (6 for 15)

Nimmo now has three homers in his last two games after hitting only five all of last year. One of the blast last night was off a lefty to raise his slash line to .327/.353/.571 against them this year.

Edgin has yet to allow a run in 9.1 innings this year for Vegas and has 12 strikeouts in that span.

Binghamton Mets 3 (25-33), Trenton 2 (35-24) F/12

Xorge Carrillo ended the game with a run scoring single in the bottom of the 12th inning, it was the B-Mets first hit of the night with runners in scoring position.

Evans extended his hitting streak to nine games but still has not walked in 92 at bats for the B-Mets.

Bullpen combined for 4.1 innings of one-hit ball with Peterson getting his first Double-A win.

St Lucie Mets 10 (28-30), Dunedin 6 (27-32) F/10

The Mets scored four runs in the top of the 10th to get the victory after they scored three runs in the 8th to tie the game.

Wuilmer Becerra was out of the lineup again, he has been since June 2nd without an injury given. Would have to assume it’s the same shoulder injury that kept him out of action earlier in the season. Team combined for 17 hits, Jhoan Urena was the only hitless player and he also committed his 13th error.

Church struggled with his control, allowing 11 baserunners in his St. Lucie debut. Tapia was pitching for the first time since April 18th, 2015 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery

Columbia Fireflies 11 (30-30), West Virginia 2 (30-29)

The Fireflies scored three runs in the first inning and would never relinquish the early lead. They went 6 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

  • Vinny Siena 2B – 2 for 4, 2 R, BB, SB, .292/.430/.380
  • Kevin Kaczmarski LF – 2 for 4, R, RBI, SB, .250/.331/.400
  • J.C. Rodriguez SS – 3 for 5, 3 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, .270/.329/.403
  • David Thompson 3B – 3 for 5, 3 RBI, R, .294/.353/.489
  • Dash Winningham 1B – 2 for 4, RBI, R, .239/.312/.370

Thompson took back the RBI lead with 45 on the season while Siena is second in the league with 46 runs scored.

Ingram snapped a personal three-game losing streak, picking up his first win since May 9th. Davis has not allowed an earned run in his last 10.2 innings with 14 strikeouts in that time.

Roster Note: RHP Gaby Almonte was added to the roster from Brooklyn with the Fireflies needing a starter.

For more on the Mets minor leagues and the draft go to

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Mets Minors Recap: Flexen Tosses One-Hitter Fri, 03 Jun 2016 13:46:20 +0000 flexen960_g0vlq17d_ncyz2jqa

Las Vegas (28-25) 9, Reno (26-27) 8 F/10 Box Score

The 51s scored five in the ninth inning and Roger Bernadina hit a solo home run in the top of the tenth to salvage another game in which the bullpen struggled. Here you can watch the game-winning blast.

Rivera was back at third base last night after playing left field for the last week or so, he has a PCL leading 46 RBI on the season now.

  • Gabriel Ynoa RHP: 6 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2.84 ERA
  • Chasen Bradford RHP: 1 IP, 2 H, ER, 2.49 ERA
  • Zack Thornton RHP: 1 IP, 3 H, ER, 5.88 ERA
  • Josh Smoker LHP: 2 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 K, Win (2-1, 6.45)

Worst outing of the year for Ynoa that put’s his ERA at a season high 2.84 and WHIP at 1.26. Smoker continues to do two things this year, give up a ton of hits and strike out a high rate of batters.

Erie (21-32) 6, Binghamton (21-31) 5 Box Score

The B-Mets lost in excruciating fashion when Alberto Baldonado allowed a walk-off bases clearing double with two outs and two strikes on the batter. He inherited the three baserunners from Akeel Morris.

It was the first home run for Mazzilli since his first game in 2015 on June 1st. Evans has four straight games with multiple hits but has yet to walk for the B-Mets.

Jannis seems to be finding a groove with his knuckleball having walked only three batters in his last 18.2 IP (three starts).

St. Lucie (26-26) 8, Fort Myers (26-27) 0 F/7

Chris Flexen pitched a complete game shutout allowing only two baserunners, a single in the third and a hit by pitch in the sixth.

Hopefully Mora is breaking out of a season long slump and an even rougher previous three-game stretch in which he went 1 for 10 with six strikeouts.

  • Chris Flexen RHP: 7 IP, H, HBP, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, Win (4-5, 3.50)

Flexen was dominant as he commanded his fastball and hit 96 MPH on the gun twice. Over his last two starts he has allowed only two hits in 13.1 innings.

Fort Myers (27-27) 4, St. Lucie Mets (26-27) 3 F/7 Box Score

The Mets blew a 3-1 lead, losing on a walk-off single with one out in the seventh. They have now lost six of their last seven games.

Taylor has now hit three home runs in his last five games and has knocked in eight runs in that span.

Hagerstown (34-19) 6, Columbia (28-26) 3 Box Score

Fireflies wasted numerous scoring chances going just 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

Thompson played his first game in the field since returning from the disabled list.

Haggard pitched for the first time since April 10th, he was showing off a 95 MPH fastball with a good breaking ball.

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Collins Concerned Murphy Won’t Be Ready For Opening Day Fri, 27 Mar 2015 20:52:04 +0000 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.”

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Prospect Pulse: Don’t Sleep On SS Gavin Cecchini Sat, 14 Feb 2015 16:30:02 +0000 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.

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State Of The Mets Shortstop Position Still Far From Certain Mon, 28 Oct 2013 14:57:33 +0000 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.

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Talking Nimmo, Plawecki, Boyd, Wheeler, Ynoa With Our Sand Gnats Beat Writer Sat, 28 Sep 2013 15:17:56 +0000 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.


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.


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

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Ynoa’s Quality Start Propels Sand Gnats To Game One Win, 10-2 Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:03:17 +0000 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

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Congratulations To The Savannah Sand Gnats: Nimmo and Matz Help Clinch Championship Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:42:11 +0000 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…

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Gsellman Roughed Up, Sand Gnats One-Hit In 11-0 Loss Sat, 18 May 2013 08:33:25 +0000 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

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Mets Minors Report 5/8: Nimmo Still Out, Bowman K’s 7 In FSL Debut, Montero Is White Hot Wed, 08 May 2013 14:28:47 +0000 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 


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.

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Ynoa Rocked For Four Home Runs, But Savannah Pulls Out 9-6 Win Wed, 08 May 2013 07:01:28 +0000 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

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Plawecki Is A God Among Men In 9-2 Savannah Victory Sun, 05 May 2013 10:00:08 +0000 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

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Plawecki Rips Three Doubles En Route To 6-3 Savannah Win Thu, 02 May 2013 09:00:12 +0000 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)

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Rainy Lara Strikes Out Nine In 1-0 Savannah Win Sun, 28 Apr 2013 05:33:26 +0000 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)

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Team Effort For Savannah Leads Them To 4-2 Victory Sat, 27 Apr 2013 07:14:17 +0000 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)

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Cessa Shines With Six Shutout Innings In Savannah Win Wed, 24 Apr 2013 04:16:41 +0000 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)

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