Mets Merized Online » savannah sand gnats Sun, 01 Feb 2015 12:00:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Prospect Pulse: Dominic Smith’s Power Will Come Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:00:27 +0000 Dominic - Smith

Heading into the 2014 season, Dominic Smith was considered one of the best position players in the Mets minor league system. Baseball America rated him as the Mets’ 4th best prospect, and the 92nd prospect overall in MLB. Smith was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 draft, and quickly got off to a hot start early in his career. He batted .303 with an impressive .398 on base percentage in 173 at-bats at the rookie level during his first professional season. After this encouraging performance, the Mets aggressively promoted Smith to Single-A Savannah where he played for the entire 2014 season.

The most discussed topic about Smith this year has been his extremely low power numbers. Over 461 at-bats for Savannah, Smith has hit just one home run along with 26 doubles. While these stats appear problematic, they are not much of a concern when they are put into context. Smith played his home games at Historic Grayson Park, which is considered to be one of the toughest places to hit for power in the minors. Over the past several years, Grayson Park has yielded the least amount of home runs throughout the entire minor leagues.

In addition to playing half of his games in an extreme pitcher’s park, Smith is one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League at just 19 years old. The average player in the league is close to 22 years old, making Smith is about three years younger than the competition.  Since Smith is far less experienced than the pitchers he has faced, he should not be judged harshly based off his numbers this season. Power is often the last skill that develops for prospects, so it is likely that he will hit for more power as he get gets older and stronger.

Despite his underwhelming power stats, there are a few positives worth noting this season. Smith posted a respectable .271 average and a .344 OBP. He also showed a good eye at the plate and an ability to hit for contact with 51 walks and just 77 strikeouts. While these numbers are not excellent, they are promising signs that he could develop into a solid hitter in the future.

It would have been nice to see Smith produce more in his first full season, but the Mets need to remain patient with him. He is obviously some time away from the majors, but his upside is still tremendous. He has the potential to hit for average and power while also playing a solid defense at first base. Smith clearly has the tools to eventually advance to the majors, and it is only a matter of time before his power begins to manifest itself.

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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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Mets Minors: The Week in Review – Congrats To The Sand Gnats! Mon, 16 Sep 2013 04:57:26 +0000 nimmo reynolds sand gnats

The best news to come out of this past week in the Mets minor league system was the Savannah Sand Gnats capturing their first SAL Championship since 1996. The only bad news about that? Mets Minors has officially closed the book on the 2013 season, looking ahead to 2014. Don’t worry though, we’ll be rolling out some solid and constant content to keep you occupied on MMN while the weather starts to get a little colder and snow starts to fall.

Here’s the news that came up this week from the Mets’ affiliates in the minors:

Las Vegas 51s

The 51s watched their first playoff run since 2002 end prematurely, but the season continued for Las Vegas shortstop, Ruben Tejada. Mike Baxter, Aaron Harang, and Juan Centeno were the first round of call-ups following the end of their seasons in the PCL last Monday. The club waited to re-call Tejada until last Tuesday to delay his free agency another year. He doesn’t look to be a big part of the future, but if a couple days can buy the organization another year of control…why not, right?

Rafael Montero was also named to Baseball America’s MiLB All-Star team.

Binghamton Mets

The B-Mets ran into the Trenton Thunder at the wrong time, as their divisional foe went undefeated in the postseason on their way to an Eastern League title. Closer Jeff Walters spent a small amount of time with Las Vegas to bolster their ‘pen for the rest of the playoffs. However, manager Pedro Lopez got his first call to the Show, joining the MLB staff for the remainder of the season. Wally Backman‘s invite never came.

St. Lucie Mets

St. Lucie already has Hansel Robles, Cam Maron, and Aderlin Rodriguez heading to the Arizona Fall League, but one more pitcher will be on his way. Reliever Cody Satterwhite will be joining them soon on the Scottsdale Scorpions. A former draft pick of the Detroit Tigers, Satterwhite spent time in Indy Ball this season before signing with the Mets.

Savannah Sand Gnats

Obviously, the biggest news coming out of Savannah was their championship victory against the Hagerstown Suns. After Jacob Lugo evened the series at one game a piece on the road, the Gnats leaned on two great pitching performances from Gabriel Ynoa (recap here) and Steven Matz (recap here) to close the deal.

MMN Original Content:

Exclusive Interview with B-Mets Second Baseman Daniel Muno

Remembering September 11th: 12 Years Later

Player of the Week: Mike Baxter

Zach Lutz Getting a Chance to Show He Belongs in the Big Leagues

Photo Gallery: Savannah’s SAL Championship Win

Mets Should Consider Using Darin Gorski in the Big League Down the Stretch

Pitcher of the Week: Steven Matz

Trenton Thunder Claim EL Title; B-Mets Ran into Them at the Wrong Time

Featured Post: Wilfredo Tovar Shouldn’t be Overlooked at the Shortstop Position

Prospect Time Machine: Jeromy Burnitz

Pedro Lopez Joins MLB Staff; Wally Backman’s Invite Lost in the Mail

Matz Has Earned His Rule V Protection With Flying Colors

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Kershaw Says Harvey Should Start All-Star Game Sun, 14 Jul 2013 14:23:07 +0000 matt-harvey

Sandy Alderson told reporters before Saturday’s game that the decision to skip his start yesterday was based largely on reducing his workload.

“He would pitch in the All-Star Game whether he pitched today or not,” the Mets’ GM said. “That wasn’t the reason we made the decision. We made the decision on his projected workload over the course of the season. His blister was a factor and the ability for him to pitch a side (session) and get ready to come in and open the second half strong.”

Harvey has tossed 130 innings this season and was on pace for 249 innings. Considering he pitched a combined 169 innings between the majors and minors last season, increasing his workload by 80 innings would have been sheer insanity for the 24-year old righthander.

Harvey has averaged more than 6.2 innings per start and will be capped somewhere between 200-210 innings in 2013, according to Alderson.

The undisputed ace of the team, Harvey is 7-2 with a 2.35 ERA and a 0.915 WHIP. He’s racked up 147 strikeouts while walking only 28 batters this season.

The starting pitcher for the National League has yet to be announced by manager Bruce Bochy. But Harvey’s main competition, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, gave Bochy the all-clear on picking Matt Harvey.

“Harvey should start,” Kershaw told FOX Sports ”There’s no reason, especially if it’s in New York, that he shouldn’t start. That’s what the fans will want. I’ve got no problem with that.”

Kershaw is 8-6 on the season, but leads the National League with in ERA (1.98), WHIP (0.908), ERA+ (181), and shutouts (2).

Classy move by Kershaw… Now the next move belongs to Bochy…

matt harvey i got this

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Jayce Boyd Is Now Menacing Florida State League Pitching Mon, 24 Jun 2013 18:11:43 +0000 Jayce-Boyd

Jayce Boyd finally got that long waited promotion to Advanced-A, right after the SAL All Star Game as I had speculated. But don’t think for a moment that the better class of pitching has slowed him down any… It hasn’t.

The right-handed first-bagger has a four game hitting streak and has nine hits in his first 17 FSL at-bats with a home run on Sunday and five RBIs in his first week.


Before his promotion to Advanced-A St. Lucie, Boyd was among the top ten in many offensive categories the South Atlantic League:

  • .361 Batting Average (1st)
  • .441 On-Base Percentage (1st)
  • 46 RBIs (9th)
  • 123 Total Bases (9th)
  • 35 Walks (8th)

Matt Musico, the executive editor for, wrote the following about Boyd last week shortly before his promotion:

Jayce Boyd was a sixth-round draft pick by the New York Mets in last year’s MLB Draft, and has certainly made people within the organization take notice with his performance with the Savannah Sand Gnats through 62 games this season.

After signing with New York, the Florida State University product joined the Cyclones in Brooklyn for 54 games and 201 at-bats. He put together decent numbers in his first professional season (.239/.320/.368), but certainly nothing eye-popping. In 2013, he’s turned into a force at the plate, with last night’s 4-for-4 performance (including a triple, home run, and three RBIs) against Greenville as the team’s cleanup hitter as another reminder.

His patience at the plate has been the most notable part of his approach since joining the Mets organization. In Brooklyn, he walked 25 times compared to 30 strikeouts. The same trend is appearing this year with Savannah, as he’s drawn 35 free passes, compared to only 32 strikeouts.

While Boyd is hitting well in just about every scenario thrown his way this season, he’s especially killing southpaws when they take the mound. Only 36 of his 240 at-bats have come against left-handers, but he’s put together a ridiculous .472/.568/.611 line, good for a 1.179 OPS.

I’ve said this before and I will continue saying it until he proves me wrong, but Boyd could end up being the first baseman of the future for the Mets.

I still believe that if they can rebuild Ike Davis‘ value, he will be shopped and likely traded this offseason.

As most of the readers here know, I said the same thing last year and yet they brought him back and gave him a huge raise while avoiding arbitration. I suspect they strongly regret that now and I’d bet that won’t happen again this Winter.

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Prospect Spotlight: Jayce Boyd Leads League In Batting and On-Base Mon, 17 Jun 2013 14:59:50 +0000 jayce-boyd

Jayce Boyd was a sixth-round draft pick by the New York Mets in last year’s MLB Draft, and has certainly made people within the organization take notice with his performance with the Savannah Sand Gnats through 62 games this season.

After signing with New York, the Florida State University product joined the Cyclones in Brooklyn for 54 games and 201 at-bats. He put together decent numbers in his first professional season (.239/.320/.368), but certainly nothing eye-popping. In 2013, he’s turned into a force at the plate, with last night’s 4-for-4 performance (including a triple, home run, and three RBIs) against Greenville as the team’s cleanup hitter as another reminder.

After the first half of the season in the South Atlantic League, Boyd is among the league leaders in numerous offensive categories:

  • .361 Batting Average (1st)
  • .441 On-Base Percentage (1st)
  • .494 Slugging Percentage (13th)
  • 46 RBIs (9th)
  • 123 Total Bases (9th)
  • 35 Walks (8th)

His patience at the plate has been the most notable part of his approach since joining the Mets organization. In Brooklyn, he walked 25 times compared to 30 strikeouts. The same trend is appearing this year with Savannah, as he’s drawn 35 free passes, compared to only 32 strikeouts.

While Boyd is hitting well in just about every scenario thrown his way this season, he’s especially killing southpaws when they take the mound. Only 36 of his 240 at-bats have come against left-handers, but he’s put together a ridiculous .472/.568/.611 line, good for a 1.179 OPS.

Now that he was able to participate in spring training this season and comfortably start the season with Savannah, Boyd has been pleased with how he’s been hitting, sending a clear message to the organization that he wants to be taken seriously.

In an article on, Boyd spoke to Jonathon Raymond about his approach at the plate:

I feel pretty comfortable at the plate, but you always go through ups and downs, no matter what. It’s about minimizing the downs and maximizing the ups, and I’ve been trying to do that all season. Tonight I had a good night, and hopefully I’ll keep it going from there. I just want to keep as even-keeled as possible. You try not to get too low when things are going bad and not get too high when things are going great. Stay there in the middle with what you can control, and good things usually happen when you have that plan and that process.

Spoken like a true ballplayer trying to get better each day. I love the approach, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the second half of the season will bring Jayce, especially since it should be at the next level.

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Lower Minors: Plawecki Smacks Two More Doubles, DeGrom Ks 7, Taijeron Rips Erupts With Four Hits Sat, 13 Apr 2013 14:01:59 +0000 412StLucie

St. Lucie 6, Bradenton 5

Jacob DeGrom started the game strong for St. Lucie by retiring the first eight batters that he faced, but he ran into trouble in the fourth inning.  DeGrom gave up three runs off four hits in the frame. He then gave up a home run to Willy Garcia in the sixth that put St. Lucie behind 4-3.

However, the Mets were able to retake the lead due to some sloppy defense by the Bradenton Marauders. Travis Taijeron scored the tying run in the seventh on a fielding error. Then, in the ninth, Cam Maron reached base on an error, advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then scored on a dropped fly ball by the second baseman to put St. Lucie ahead. The Marauders committed six errors in the game.

Unfortunately, St. Lucie quickly gave back the lead in the bottom of the ninth.  T.J Chism recorded the first two outs of the inning, but gave up a fly ball that was just out of the reach of second baseman T.J Rivera that tied the game.

In the 12th, St. Lucie went ahead for good. Charles Thurber scored the winning run on a force out, and Hamilton Bennett picked up the save in the bottom of the inning.

Player Notes:

Jacob DeGrom pitched better than his line showed since many of the hits he gave up weren’t hit very hard.

T.J Rivera crushed a three run double off the CF wall for the first runs of the game, but he failed to come through twice with runners on third with less than 2 outs later in the game.

Aderlin Rodriguez had a rough night at the plate going 0-6 with 2 K’s.

Key Stats

Jacob DeGrom: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K,  1HR
T.J Rivera: 2-for-7, 2B, 3 RBI
Travis Taijeron: 4-for-5, 3B, 2B,  1 R, 1 BB


Rome 5, Savannah 2

Savannah (4-4) jumped out to an early lead on a Kevin Plawecki‘s RBI double in the top of the first. Rome (5-3) got the run right back in the bottom half of the first through an RBI single by Carlos Franco. They took the lead in the second after an error by SS Phillips Evans with the bases loaded. Not to be outdone, the Sand Gnats evened the score in the top of the fourth on a double play with the bases loaded, which scored Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki had led off the inning with a double, one of two on the evening.

Rome took the lead for good with a three spot in the bottom of the fifth inning off Gnats starter Gabriel Ynoa, who failed to record an out in the fifth before being lifted. Ynoa would go four innings, allowing five runs, four of them earned, on eight hits and two walks. He did strike out four. The Gnats were kept in the game with stellar relief work by Bret Mitchell who pitched two perfect innings and they got a perfect inning each from Beck Wheeler and Tim Peterson.

Key Stats

Brandon Nimmo: 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 R
Kevin Plawecki: 3-for-4, 2 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI
Gabriel Ynoa: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 4 K

(Recaps by Vinny B. and Fonzie13)

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Mets Minors Confidential: Wheeler Gets MRI, Flores Is Slumping Thu, 11 Apr 2013 12:00:05 +0000 mm confidential

Las Vegas 51s

For those of you with weak constitutions, you might want to go away now as I talk about blisters…more specifically, the one that Zack Wheeler apparently had on his throwing hand. It unfortunately burst during the Tuesday night start against the Fresno Grizzlies and the Mets were concerned enough to send him for an MRI.

He had been dealing with the blister throughout both of his two starts in 2013, so the question now arises of how or if the blister threw Zack off his game. Sources have stated that the pain was so bad that Wheeler actually was unable to throw his slider.

His stat line might be underwhelming to begin the season, but the intangibles are there and I cannot stress enough the amount of potential that this young man radiates with.

Outside of Zack Wheeler news, Josh Satin hit another moonshot and Andrew Brown continues to impress so far. Wilmer Flores, after starting the year 3-for-3, has gone 1-for-18 since…he is logging some time at second base, however.

Binghamton Mets

The rains came down in Binghamton and their game with Erie was suspended yesterday and pushed to August 9th. The B-Mets were leading 1-0 at the time of the suspension.

St. Lucie Mets

Although St. Lucie dropped their first decision of the 2013 season last night, it was a 1-0 final result. What does that mean? Their pitching continues to be superhuman.

Savannah Sand Gnats

So Savannah came through for themselves on Guaranteed Win Wednesday – so no free tickets are being handed out down there. A converted infielder, Jake Kuebler, was able to pitch his way to earning his first professional save last night. Nice job!

Kevin Plawecki continued his hot hitting, going 3-5 with 3 doubles and raising his batting average to .444 on the season.

I am really starting to like what I see from Matthew Bowman. He was strong against yesterday en rout to the aforementioned Sand Gnats win.

Pitcher Paul Sewald was placed on the DL for Savannah yesterday – and Beck Wheeler will get pushed up from Brooklyn to take his place.

Tweet Of The Day


For those of you that follow the minors extensively, Cubs prospect Jorge Soler is in for some trouble after he grabbed a bat and charged at the opposing dugout.

Have a good day!

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Mets Minors: Plawecki Slams Three Doubles, Matt Bowman Shuts Down Opposition In Savannah Win Thu, 11 Apr 2013 07:05:49 +0000 410Savannah

Savannah Sand Gnats 7, Augusta GreenJackets 0

The Savannah Sand Gnats swatted a new season-high 14 hits against the Augusta GreenJackets on their way to a 7-0 win Wednesday night at Historic Grayson Stadium. The Gnats (4-3) have won two straight games for the first time in 2013.

Opening Night starter Matthew Bowman delivered a strong start for Savannah, scattering four hits over six shutout innings for his first win of the year. He struck out four and did not walk a batter. Jake Kuebler, a converted infielder, working as a full-time pitcher in 2013, took care of the final three innings to earn his first professional save.

The Gnats scored in four straight innings, from the second through the fifth.

The GreenJackets (4-3) finished 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Savannah scored their first run in the second. LF Stefan Sabol walked, stole second and came home on DH Gregory Pron‘s single into right. Sabol completed the game’s scoring by launching a two-run homer down the left field line in the fifth to cap a three-run inning.

Savannah made it 4-0 in the fourth. With two outs and the bases empty, 2B Yucarybert De La Cruz doubled. RF Eudy Pina followed by tripling up the right-center field gap. As he went hard into third base, Augusta 3B Mitch Delfino could not handle the one-hopped throw. As the ball bounced back towards the infield, Pina hopped up and raced home.

Gnats’ catcher Kevin Plawecki doubled home a run in the bottom of the fifth. It was the first of three doubles for Plawecki who lifted his batting average to .444 (12 H/27 AB) through seven games.

The Gnats play in Rome Thursday and Friday evening. Also, with their win during Wednesday’s game, they did not have to give out free tickets to everyone in attendance.

Key Stats

  • Kevin Plawecki – 3 for 5, 3 2B, R, RBI
  • Stefan Sabol – 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, SB
  • Eudy Pina – 3 for 4, 2B, 3B, RBI, R
  • Matt Bowman – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 4 K, 0 ER, W
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Mets Minors Confidential: Boyd and Satin Sizzling, St. Lucie Has A 0.57 ERA Wed, 10 Apr 2013 15:42:49 +0000 mm confidential

Las Vegas 51s

Zack Wheeler made his second start of the season last night for Las Vegas and lasted five-and-a-third innings, allowing four runs (one earned) off eight hits and three walks, while striking out six. A few things to note past that line? First off, Wheeler fields his position pretty well, which is always a positive. Another positive is the fact that his breaking ball looked really strong early and flashed real potential. He recorded 16 outs and 14 of them were via ground-out or strikeout. He still struggled with his command a little – but there’s no rush, Zack. You’ll get it down.

On the other side of the ball, Josh Satin continues to pummel the ball. He has a .480/.800/1.319 slash to begin the season, and he jacked his second home run of the season last night.

Adam Rubin says the Mets have pretty much settled on a position for former shortstop Wilmer Flores. Flores exclusively has manned second base for Vegas, except for one game at DH. A team official said Flores still may get a start at third base or first base “here and there.”

Binghamton Mets

Say what you want about Rafael Montero and I will probably ignore it as I drool over him. A pitcher with strong command and above-average stuff is always someone worth keeping tabs on, and Montero justifies the publicity he has been getting with another solid start last night. The important number? He did not walk a single batter again, putting his K/BB ratio at infinity right now (15:0) through his first two starts.

The B-Mets have gone 6-for-9 in stolen base attempts so far this season. Their six steals have them tied for third in the Eastern League. Daniel Muno and Cesar Puello each have two steals; Cory Vaughn and Josh Rodriguez both have one. Opponents have gone 1-for-2 in stolen base attempts against Binghamton pitchers.

St. Lucie Mets

Michael Fulmer is making progress from March 12 surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He returns to throwing off a mound this week.

Hansel Robles, who was forced from his first start with St. Lucie with an apparent injury after a pickoff throw, is scheduled to start for the Class A club on turn tonight. Robles experienced a sore upper back.

Are you kidding me, St.Lucie? An 0.57 E.R.A. through your first five games? Is this a video game? I should calm down. It’s not like they’ve won their first five games right? …They have?

Wow. Nice job all around, guys. Kudos to Luis Mateo for a great start, who snagged the #10 ranking on our 2013 MMO Top 25 prospects. He’s going places.

Savannah Sand Gnats

Luis Cessa was strong in Savannah’s victory last night – and Jayce Boyd is absolutely on fire, batting .545 through the first six games of the Sand Gnats’ season.

Minor League promotions are always fun – and Savannah has a good one coming up tomorrow… Guaranteed Win Wednesday. If the Gnats do not win Wednesday, every ticket holder to Wednesday’s game will receive a free ticket to the Gnats’ game on Sunday, April 14th against the Rome Braves.

Organization Batting Leaders (ESPN)

Average: Jayce Boyd, Savannah, .545; Josh Satin, Vegas, .480; Brandon Nimmo, Savannah, .417; Kevin Plawecki, Savannah, .409; Andrew Brown, Vegas, .381; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .378; Cam Maron, St. Lucie, .368; Josh Rodriguez, Binghamton, .353; Alonzo Harris, Binghamton, .346; Matt Reynolds, St. Lucie, .316.

Homers: Josh Satin, Vegas, 2; Alonzo Harris, Binghamton, 1; Kevin Plawecki, Savannah, 1; Josh Rodriguez, Binghamton, 1.

RBI: Andrew Brown, Vegas, 8; Jayce Boyd, Savannah, 6; Kevin Plawecki, Savannah, 6; Wilmer Flores, Vegas, 5; Josh Satin, Vegas, 5.

Steals: Brian Bixler, Vegas, 2; Danny Muno, Binghamton, 2; Cesar Puello, Binghamton, 2.

Prospect Talk

Our Mets prospects are always tweeting! Time to have a little fun and pick some out…

Anyone around here like fishing? Andrew Massie has something for you.

Or maybe you’re a Bob Dylan fan? Stefan Sabol has you covered.

But I really hope that like myself and John Mincone, you’re a Knicks fan…

Have a great day, everyone.

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Mets Minors: Jayce Boyd Continues On Torrid Pace In Savannah’s Win Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:40:33 +0000 Savannah_4_9

Savannah 7, Augusta 2

Luis Cessa, in his first start of the year, held the Augusta Green Jackets in check into the seventh inning to help the Savannah Sand Gnats earn a 7-2 win Tuesday night at Historic Grayson Stadium. Cessa, who worked six and two thirds innings, became the first Savannah starter to pitch into the seventh inning in 2013.

The Gnats (3-3) broke a 1-1 tie with a single run in the second inning when 2B Chad Zurcher singled home LF Gregory Pron and never trailed again.

Savannah added two runs in the third inning to build a 4-1 advantage. 1B Jayce Boyd, who was 3-for-5, began the inning with a double to center field. He came home on SSPhilip Evans’ sacrifice fly. Later in the inning, 3B Cole Frenzel doubled home DH Kevin Plawecki.

Boyd finished 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. The Mets’ sixth round pick in the 2012 draft has hit safely in all six Gnats games, going 12-for-21 for a .545 batting average.

The Green Jackets (4-2) took a brief 1-0 lead in the top of the first when 3B Mitchell Delfino doubled home SS Matt Duffy.

The Gnats evened the game with a run in the bottom of the first. CF Brandon Nimmowas hit by a pitch, and came around to score on an RBI double up the right-centerfield gap by Plawecki.

Cessa settled in after allowing the first inning run to keep the Green Jackets off the board for the next five innings. He allowed an unearned run in the seventh on a Zurcher throwing error.

The Gnats picked up a run back in the bottom of the seventh and added two in the eighth to complete the game’s scoring.

The Gnats and Green Jackets play the deciding game of their three-game set Wednesday night at 7:05 at Historic Grayson Stadium. Savannah will send RHP Matt Bowman (0-0, 3.38) to the hill against Augusta RHP Martin Agosta (1-0, 0.00).

Key Stats:

  • Jayce Boyd: 3 for 5, 2B, R, RBI
  • Kevin Plawecki: 2 for 4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
  • Cole Frenzel: 2 for 4, 2 2B, R, RBI
  • Luis Cessa: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, BB, 5 Ks, W
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Mets Minors: Familia Earns First Pro Save, Wheeler and Montero Both Take The Hill Tonight Tue, 09 Apr 2013 20:15:08 +0000 mm confidential

Notes, Quotes, Tweets, and other assorted Mets Minors news from scouring the web…

Las Vegas 51s

Officially installed as the team’s closer, Jeurys Familia picked up his first professional save in Las Vegas’ 4-3 win at Fresno on Monday night.

The big news today is that Zack Wheeler makes his second start for Las Vegas tonight at 10:05 ET as he looks to bounce back from a rough season debut. He will be opposing former Met prospect Yusmeiro Petit.

Travis d’Arnaud continues to rake, but so is John Buck for the Mets. This is going to be interesting to watch.

Binghamton Mets

After a slow offensive start, the B-Mets rallied to score seven unanswered runs to defeat Erie, 7-2, in the series opener. RHP Rafael Montero will make his second start of the season tonight after a brilliant performance on Opening Day against Akron. Montero struck out eight batters without walking any in 5.2 innings.

RHP Erik Goeddel logged the second quality start of the season by a B-Met starting pitcher as he threw 6.0 innings and gave up two runs in last night’s win. RHP Logan Verrett also went 6.0 innings in his first start of the season. So far, every Binghamton starting pitcher has gone at least 5.0 innings on the mound.

St. Lucie Mets

The Lucie rotation has been as good as advertised and keep throwing up goose eggs.

Savannah Sand Gnats

Logan Taylor tossed five scoreless innings in his Savannah debut last night, but the Gnats lost to Augusta, 6-5. Savannah’s 2-3-4 hitters Brandon Nimmo , Kevin Plawecki, and Jayce Boyd are a combined 26-56 (.464) with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 12 RBI, and 12 bases on balls.

The Gnats send RHP Luis Cessa (NR) to the mound against RHP Jose Reyes in game two of the three-game series Tuesday at 7:05 pm.

Mike Newman says: After scouting Nimmo, he understood the comparison in terms of size and projection. However, Nimmo’s baseball movements are more fluid and easy. When he barrels the baseball, it’s one of the prettier prospect swings scouted in person. His contact skills and present power have me thinking there’s more in the tank as he fills out too.

Newman also took some footage of Plawecki yesterday:


Brooklyn Cyclones

Monday night’s Cyclones Alum of the went to Josh Satin who went 3-for-4 for Las Vegas as the 51s beat Fresno.

The 600 box seats they put on sale for $1.50 in a promotion to honor the birthday of Ebbets Field sold out in less than three minutes. Happy Birthday Ebbets Field!

Tweet Nothings…

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Mets Minors: Rainy Lara Rocks In Gnats Victory Mon, 08 Apr 2013 06:50:15 +0000 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

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Mets Minors: Kevin Plawecki Packs The Power In Gnats 12-3 Win Sat, 06 Apr 2013 17:11:51 +0000 Capture

Savannah Sand Gnats 12, Rome Braves 3

The Savannah Sand Gnats were up by eight runs by the time they allowed starter Gabriel Ynoa to exit, as they defeated the Rome Braves on Friday with a dominating perfomance, 12-3.

Kevin Plawecki had a great game, going 3-for-5 with a homer, two runs scored and two RBI. Plawecki was the only man to homer in the 12-run affair.

The Gnats (1-1) came on strong early, taking advantage of three Brave errors to score six runs off opposing starter Mauricio Cabrera(0-1), although only three of them were earned. It was their five-run third inning that really did the damage, however, where the Gnats capitalized on a throwing error that allowed two runs to cross the plate and picked up RBI hits from Brandon Nimmo and Philip Evans. Nimmo and Evans each had nice nights offensively too, with Nimmo going 2-for-6 with a 3B and 2 RBI while Evans went 2-for-4 with a 3B, 2 RBI, and a walk.

In the meantime, 19-year old Gabriel Ynoa (1-0) was dealing through five innings, where he allowed only one hit and walk each, while striking out six.

Tim Peterson surrendered a three-run double in the sixth to account for all of Rome’s runs, but Paul Sewald shut the door over the next innings, allowing no baserunners and striking out five for his first save of the year. An interesting fact to note is that Savannah actually drew more walks (12) than they banged out hits (10).

The Gnats head to Rome to play a weekend series there with the starter yet to be announced.

Key Stats

  • Kevin Plawecki - 3 for 5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
  • Brandon Nimmo - 2 for 6, 3B, R, 2 RBI
  • Gabriel Ynoa - 5 IP, H, BB, 6 K
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Lower Minors: Nimmo Shines In Savannah Debut, Maron and Reynolds Ignite Offense Fri, 05 Apr 2013 13:12:17 +0000

sand gnats

Rome Braves 5, Savannah Sand Gnats 3

The Rome Braves scored three runs in the top of the eighth to come from behind to defeat the Savannah Sand Gnats 5-3 in front of 2,509 fans on Opening Night at Historic Grayson Stadium.

CF Brandon Nimmo, the Mets’ first round pick in the 2011 draft, was 2-for-3 with a walk in his Savannah debut. Both of his knocks were hard singles up the middle.

The Gnats (0-1) took a 3-2 lead into the top of the eighth inning with reliever Bret Mitchell on the hill. With one out and the bases empty, Braves 1B Edison Sanchez chopped a ball to SS Philip Evans’ right that bounced by him for a fielding error. DH Aris Alcantara followed with a single up the middle to put runners at the corners.C Tyler Tewell then rolled a swinging bunt up the third base line to bring home Sanchez to tie the game at 3-3. The very next batter, RF Felix Marte laced a two-run double to left field giving the Braves a 5-3 lead.

The Gnats scored three times in their half of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead. Singles from 2B Chad Zurcher and Nimmo began the frame, with Nimmo’s chasing starter Rafael Briceno from the ballgame. 1B Jayce Boyd greeted relieve Bryam Garcia with double over the head of Braves centerfielder Tony Mueller that scored

Zurcher and Nimmo to tie the game at 2-2. After Boyd went to third on a wild pitch, he scored on 3B Cole Frenzel‘s sacrifice fly.

The Braves (1-0) scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings against Savannah starter Matt Bowman.

Rome reliever Francois Lafreniere (1-0) earned the win, while Mitchell (0-1) took the loss.

The Gnats and Braves play game two of their two game series Friday in Savannah. The Gnats will send 19-year old RHP Gabriel Ynoa to the hill with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

Key Stats

St. Lucie

St. Lucie Mets 7, Jupiter Hammerheads 2

The St. Lucie opener was delayed about one hour due to inclement weather, but once the game started, the St. Lucie Mets jumped all over their opponents right out of the gate. They scored three runs in the first inning, and that was enough as the Hammerheads only scored two runs for the remainder of the game. The Hammerheads scored those two runs by launching home runs off of St. Lucie starter, Hansel Robles, in the first and fourth innings.

A scary moment came in the fourth inning, when on an errant pick-off attempt, Robles seemed to have hurt his throwing arm. After attempting to throw a couple of warm-ups, he was removed from the game. He left the game after going 3.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and adding six strikeouts.

Offensively, Cam Maron and Matt Reynolds both had a multi-hit games going 2 for 3 at the plate. Aderlin Rodriguez had two RBI and a double at the plate. It was truly a team effort on offense as five St. Lucie players chipped in with RBIs on the night.

Estarlin Morel picked up the win for St. Lucie after entering the game when Robles left with an injury.

Key Stats

  • Matt Reynolds – 2 for 3 – walk, RBI, run scored.
  • Cam Maron – 2 for 3 – double
  • Aderlin Rodriguez – 1 for 3 – double, 2 RBI, run scored
  • Hansel Robles – 3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 2 HR (left game in fourth inning with injury)
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Prospect Pulse: The 2012 Savannah Sand Gnats Wed, 18 Jan 2012 13:51:21 +0000

With a little more than a month to go before the start of Spring Training, the time has finally arrived for Petey’s 2012 Mets’ Long Season Minor League Roster Preview! Woooo Hooooo! I know that all winter long, you’ve been anxiously awaiting this series in which Petey either impresses the pants off people, or makes a complete ass of himself! You choose! But choose wisely Grasshopper.

So, without further adieu, I proudly present you with Part 1: The 2012 Savannah Sand Gnats:


Camden Maron (C) – Of all the Mets catchers playing in the lower levels of the minor leagues, Maron is clearly the best prospect of the bunch. Very raw when drafted in the 34th round of the 2009 draft from Hicksville (NY) High School, he has excelled at learning the basics of catching mechanics and techniques, and is fast becoming a solid force behind the plate. He receives the ball well, exhibits proper mechanics with his transfer and throws, and has a strong accurate throwing arm. And get this Mets fans, he even blocks balls in the dirt! Can you imagine? As far as his hitting, think Macky Sasser, only with a real high OBP, because he takes walks. He is a left-handed hitting hacker with a good eye at the plate, if you can possibly imagine such a thing. In 201 AB’s for Kingsport last year, Maron scored 38 runs and had 64 hits for a .318 batting average. But at the same time, while striking out 34 times, he walked 38 times for an OBP of .434, good for second in the Appalachian League.

Jeff Glenn (C) – Another catcher drafted out of high school by the Mets in the 2009 draft. This time it was the 9th round and the Mets plucked Glenn out of high school in Winter Haven, FL. A righty hitter, Glenn caddied for Maron last season at Kingsport, with 157 AB’s, in which he batted .255 with 3 HR’s and 19 RBI’s. An athletic catcher, Glenn still has some things to work on defensively, like teaching his 6’3″ frame to make quicker throws to second, but he should be a good compliment to Maron in handling the back-stop duties once again.

Xorge Carrillo (C) I doubt they will have the luxury of carrying three catchers, but if they decide to, Carrillo will more than likely be the guy. In 92 AB’s last year as Brooklyn’s primary catcher, the right-handed hitter from Arizona State hit .217.


Aderlin Rodriguez (1B) - This guy needs to get back on track after a year in which his career was stuck in reverse. He will more than likely be staying behind in Savannah for a second season. One big problem for Rodriguez was his 44 errors at 3B last year. The remedy? Well they couldn’t fashion him a glove made out of a garbage can, so they are moving him across the diamond. No not into the opposing dugout! To first base! I guess they figure he’s not as likely to make errors over there. We’ll see. The other issue for the righty slugger has been contact. Or lack there-of. He hit a miserable .221 last year and struck out 106 times in 516 AB’s. He has to stop chasing crappy pitches in the dirt, and out of the strike zone, and get himself into more favorable hitting counts. But the good news is, he’s strong, 6’3″, he did manage to hit 17 HR’s and drive in 78 last season, and he is only 20 years-old. Stay tuned.

Phillip Evans (2B) - What is not to like about this kid? He barely got his feet wet in pro ball last year, after being drafted by the Mets right out of high school, but this player has such an abundance of natural talent, that I fully expect him to be able to hold down a starting middle infield spot for the Gnats next season. He has a short, well-balanced, compact swing, with good speed through the hitting zone due to his strong hands and wrists. In the infield he makes all the right moves with his soft hands, quickness, footwork, and solid throwing arm. He even exhibits signs of leadership qualities. Next year will go along way to showing that Evans was an absolute steal in the 15th round of last years draft.

J.C. Gamboa (SS) - I’d be listing Evans as the shortstop if it weren’t for this guy. The lefty-hitting Gamboa is poised to simply explode onto the scene next year at Savannah. The mighty-mite from Mexico is only 5’7″ and about a buck fifty-five, but he makes all the plays from short with a great deal of style and athleticism, has a very strong throwing arm, and hits with surprising pop. I can’t wait to see him display his wares on the stage at Historic Grayson Stadium, for an entire season!

Dustin Lawley (3B) – In 2011 Lawley got 232 AB’s for Kingsport before getting called up to Savannah to be bench help for the SAL play-offs. He hit .284 while scoring 37 runs, with 66 hits, 17 2B’s, 3 3B’s, 9 HR’s, 43 RBI’s, and an OPS of .825. After leading his team in nearly every offensive category last year, he is a no-brainer to be playing everyday in Savannah in 2012. The question is, where? He split his time between CF and 3B in 2011, but with the log-jam of outfielders caused by combining elements from Kingsport and Brooklyn, I would expect him to be the Savannah third baseman next year.

Cole Frenzel (1B/DH) - I expect Frenzel to make the team mainly on the strength of his left-handed power bat coming off the bench. He can be used to spell or platoon with Rodriguez at first, and could be used as the primary DH. Last year as Brooklyn’s regular first-baseman, Frenzel struggled a bit as he tried to get acclimated to pro ball, hitting .238 in 160 AB’s with 1 HR and 20 RBI’s.

T.J. Rivera (INF) - Signed as a free-agent by the Mets last year, this 23-year-old Bronx native is a good solid ball-player who can handle the glove at 2B, 3B, and short. He can swing the bat a little too, and is a good steady influence on his teammates. He would be ideal to back up in the Savannah infield next year.

Brandon Brown (INF) - Another very serviceable player who can handle any of the infield positions. Last season at Brooklyn, he mashed 6 HR’s in just 142 AB’s, while hitting .303. The problem is both he and Rivera bat right-handed, and play the same positions so they both might not make the team.


Travis Taijeron (LF) - Last year’s starting left-fielder for the Cyclones, Taijeron busted out of the gate in his professional debut. A NYPL All-Star, the 6’2″ righty slugger swatted .299 in 194 AB’s, leading the team in 3B’s (5), HR’s (9), RBI’s (44), and SLG% (.557). He was also 2nd in OBP with a .387, behind only Danny Muno. Although he spent some time in CF last year out of necessity, he is better suited for the corners, and the emergence of Tillman Pugh should take care of CF moving forward.

Tillman Pugh (CF) - This will be the year when the 23 year-old speedster from Oakland, CA, who grew up idolizing Rickey Henderson, breaks out with a real opportunity in a long-season league. It’s time to take the brakes off him, put him in CF and just let him play. Tillman Pugh interview

Charley Thurber (RF) - The Cyclones starting right-fielder from last year, the lefty-hitting Thurber has a good eye at the plate and is a good contact hitter right now. He should emerge as a power threat at some point, as he grows into his 6’4″ frame. He has a gun for a throwing arm, and he just needs to play everyday. Charley Thurber interview

Greg Pron (OF) - The 6’6″ Pron had a great year at Kingsport in 2011 as their starting right-fielder. In 211 AB’s he scored 42 runs, with 67 hits, 14 2B’s 1 3B, 7 HR’s, 34 RBI’s, 6 SB’s, an OBP of .389, and a SLG% of .493. As a righty hitting slugger, he could fill in for Thurber against tough lefties, and could be used in a rotation between the two corner outfield spots, and DH.

Julio Concepcion (OF) – Playing time may be hard to come by, but the 6’4″ left-fielder deserves a shot at long season ball, even if it’s coming off the bench. Last year at Kingsport he batted .299 in 241 AB’s with 32 runs, 72 hits, 15 2B’s, 3 3B’s, 2 HR’s, 33 RBI’s, and 4 SB’s.

Brandon Nimmo (OF) – If Nimmo gets a look see in the long-season South Atlantic League, I doubt the Mets would throw him to the wolves right away. I could see them easing him in gradually as a fourth outfielder, to give him time to soak everything in. Remember this is the kid that didn’t play actual high school ball growing up in Wyoming, and he is brand new to professional baseball. He may even be left behind in extended ST. But if he does make the Sand Gnats, it would only be until the short-season leagues begin in June.


Juan Urbina (SP1) - Entering his third professional season, the 18-year-old lefty seems poised for a big year, his first in a long-season league. Urbina got bumped around in the first half of his 2011 season, but finished strong to really help his confidence going into this year. In a recent interview with MMO, Urbina described his arsenal for us: “Fastball, curveball and change-up. This year I hit 95 mph, but I was from 90 to 93 mph most of the time.” Urbina will be fronting a very young, but very talented rotation at Savannah this year.

Dom Tapia (SP2) - Tapia brings his 100 mph heat to the South Atlantic League. The 6’4″ fire-balling right-hander, who actually just turned 20, will be lighting up radar guns all over the Sally League, and if he can add some off-speed stuff to his repertoire look out!

Bret Mitchell (SP3) - The “old man” of the staff, or the one that’s not still a teenager, is Mitchell. A very talented right-hander from Minnesota. In a recent interview with MMO Bret detailed his pitches: “I have a four pitch arsenal of: fastball, curveball, slider, change. My fastball is high 80′s – low 90′s. My curve is a 12-6, which I use for my out pitch. I started throwing my change-up last year, and I give it a lot of the credit for my success last year. My slider is my 4th pitch. It is hard, and I use it as another way to keep hitters unbalanced. My approach to pitching is attacking early, throw strikes, mix pitches and set a tempo.” I look for Mitchell to have a big year as one of the anchors of this rotation.

Akeel Morris (SP4) - Another teenager with an explosive fastball. I talked with Akeel for an exclusive MMO interview in October and this is what he told me about his arsenal: “As of now I’m throwing a fastball, curveball and a change up. My fastball is usually low to mid 90′s, it peaked at 96 this season. Curveball is mid to upper 70′s, and change up is upper 70′s to low 80′s.” Like with the other youngsters on this list, much depends on the development of his off-speed stuff, but this year will be a big opportunity for Morris to show what he can do.

Rafael Montero (SP5) - There has been a great deal of buzz around the organization about this Montero kid. A right-hander that throws in the mid-90′s. Somehow I get the feeling he will emerge from the competition to grab the last rotation spot. Having just turned 21 in October, he’s not another member of the Kiddie Korp., but he shows plenty of upside just the same. If he winds up in the pen, or in extended, some other candidates to fill the fifth rotation spot would be right-handers: Marco Camarena and Jacob Lugo, or lefty Carlos Vazquez.


T.J. Chism (LHP) - Chism will anchor a very talented bullpen at Savannah this year. He should be one of the team’s closers, if he pitches as well as he did last year for Brooklyn. In 2011 he went: 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA, and 6 saves. His WHIP was 0.88, and his opponents batting average was .179. In a recent interview with MMO, T.J. described his pitches: “I throw a 2-seam and 4-seam fastball which I usually work around 87-89 topping out around 91 from a 3/4 arm slot. A change-up and slider which range anywhere from 75-80 mph depending on how I feel that day. My change-up and slider really excelled when I moved to the 3/4 arm slot during the beginning of my second year. And I was able to locate my fastball alot better as well.”

Jeremy Gould (LHP) - The perfect second lefty for the Savannah pen will be Gould, who also had a superb year in Brooklyn in 2011. The 6’4″ south-paw pitched to a record of 1-3 with a 3.26 ERA, with 46 K’s and 10 walks in 30 IP’s.

Todd Weldon (RHP) - Weldon shared the closer duties with Chism last year at Brooklyn, and that tandem worked really well. For Weldon’s part he went: 2-1 with a 2.56 ERA, and 6 saves. Opposing hitters batted only .193 off him and he turned in a WHIP of 1.01.

Steve Winnick (RHP) - Winnick put up some good numbers at Brooklyn last year as well. A record of 4-0 with an ERA of 2.97, a WHIP of 1.05 and opponent’s batting average of .203 should get the 6’1″ right-hander an opportunity at Savannah.

Tyson Seng (RHP) - The same thing I said about Winnick could be said about Seng, who went: 3-1 with a 0.90 ERA, and chipped in 2 saves. In 30 IP’s he struck out 32 while walking only 5, and his WHIP was 1.07.

Jeffrey Walters (RHP) - A starter for Brooklyn in 2011, Walters pitched with uneven results. He had trouble getting past the fifth inning in most starts, and wound up with 14 starts, going 4-6 with a 3.32 ERA. He does have a very “live” arm though and the Mets are rather intrigued by the guy, so this year would be a good time to try him out of the pen either as a set-up man, or a long-man.

Carlos Vazquez (LHP) - The other candidate for the long-man position in the Savannah pen will be Vazquez who, like Walters, was also in the Brooklyn rotation in 2011. He went 4-2 with a 3.61 ERA in 14 starts. As with Walters, Vazquez was never able to pitch deep into games, and would be better served in the pen. At 5’11″ 180 lbs., there are also questions as to whether the left-hander’s body would hold up through the rigors of being a starter. I got to see him pitch last season and he showed a good fastball/curveball combination. If he can add a third pitch it will go along way towards helping him this year.

Well there you have it. Interesting prospects all around the diamond, a very strong outfield, talented young starters and an experienced quality bullpen. This team looks very strong for next year. Other than a predominately right-handed rotation, there is very good lefty-righty balance in the line-up and the bullpen. Perhaps I’m sipping the Kool-Aid, but I like this roster and think the Gnats will have a very good chance at a third consecutive Division Championship in 2012. Go Gnats!

Check back in a few days when I will unveil the 2012 St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League.

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Savannah Sand Gnats – Team Report – Stretch Run Edition Thu, 04 Aug 2011 17:30:25 +0000 With a little over a month to go in the Savannah Sand Gnats season, the Mets affiliate in the low A, South Atlantic League, find themselves solidly in first place in the Southern Division. As first half winners of the division, they are guaranteed a playoff berth, and they have a 3.0 game lead in the second half standings as well. Their overall record this season stands at 63-44 for a .589 winning percentage. As successful as the season has been for the Gnats so far, the reason for that success can be explained in one word, pitching. Very good pitching. The hitting on the other hand has been a very different story.


As a team the Gnats are last in the South Atlantic League in: runs, batting average, OPS, hits, HR’s, RBI’s, and total bases. Not much to get excited about here, most of the regulars and top prospects are in the midst of disappointing seasons. The following are the key players for the Gnats, and as you will see, many are not having good years:

Blake Forsythe C – The 2010 3rd round draft choice has not done much this year to cause his stock to rise. As a platoon catcher, and part time DH, Forsythe has been doing better at the plate lately, hitting .306 in his last 10 games to raise his average all the way to .240. There is still room for improvement as his OBP stands at .346, but his .391 SLG % shows some promise, mostly on the strength of his 21 doubles. Forsythe must cut way down on his strikeouts, moving forward, if he wants to have any chance of climbing up the organizational ladder. As it now stands, in 271 AB’s he has already whiffed 82 times.

Sam Honeck 1B – The 2009 11th round draft pick is not having a very good year after coming back from a broken leg which ended his 2010 season. He is hitting a pedestrian .227, with a putrid OBP of .306, and an equally poor .346 SLG. Luis Nieves 2B – Luis has inherited the 2B job but there is some question about whether he will continue to man the position when the playoffs arrive. He is hitting only .248 with an OPS of .623.

Wilfredo Tovar SS – The slick fielding youngster started the season at 2B until Robbie Shields was promoted to St Lucie. Tovar was then moved to the other side of the second base bag, to anchor the infield from short. Even though Tovar’s defense is good enough to play in the bigs right now, much like Rueben Tejada, his hitting lags quite a ways behind. Tovar has regressed at the plate this year, his first in long-season ball. He is hitting .228 in 381 AB’s, and woeful OPS of .577.

Aderlin Rodriguez 3B – Is perhaps the biggest disappointment of any Mets farmhand this year. In 401 AB’s he has hit only .219, and while he started this year as one of the top power hitting prospects in the system, it has translated
to only 13 HR’s so far. His OBP is only .275 and his SLG is only .367, and he has struck out a whopping 88 times. The one plus that can be taken from his season, is the 65 RBI’s he has managed so far.

Darrell Ceciliani CF – has struggled mightily so far in his first time through a long-season league. Despite batting lead-off every day his batting avg. sits at .242, and the 2009 4th round draft choice has an OBP of only .329.

Rafael Fernandez OF – has been hitting third in the order lately despite hitting only .249 with 4 HR’s and 42 RBI.

Cory Vaughn OF – was hitting .284 with an OPS of .814 when he was promoted to St Lucie a little over a month ago.

Alberto Cordero C – The other half of the catching platoon with Forsythe, Cordero is putting together a nice season, hitting .262 with 5 HR’s and 29 RBI’s.

Alonzo Harris LF, and Joe Bonfe OF – have each been making positive contributions lately after finding their way into the regular starting line-up. After a slow start, Harris has his average up to .280, while Bonfe is now hitting .258.


The poor hitting certainly hasn’t affected the pitching staff which ranks first in the league in: Wins, ERA, fewest hits, Runs, ER’s, WHIP, Saves, SHO’s, and are tied for second in fewest losses and CG’s.

The one starter to be promoted to St Lucie after a strong start at Savannah was RHP Greg Peavey.  After posting a 6-2 record with an ERA of 3.12 in 14 GS, Peavey was promoted and replaced in the rotation by:

Angel Cuan LHP – Cuan was used in long relief in the first half of the season and racked up some wins. Although only having made 8 GS so far, Cuan’s record is now at 9-1, with an ERA of 3.00. His WHIP is a very low 1.04, and his batting avg. against is only .246.

Gonzales Germen RHP – He seems to be getting stronger as the season wears on, doing exceptionally well in five of his last six starts. Germen is finally showing consistency which had been alluding him earlier this year. With a record of 7-5, and an ERA of 3.70, the young Dominican righty, in 19 GS and 105 IP, has surrendered 109 hits, 28 walks, and struck out 101.

Ryan Fraser RHP – Last year’s closer at Brooklyn, has been a mainstay in the Gnats rotation this year starting 17 games, he has compiled a record of 6-7 with an ERA of 3.59. Fraser has to cut down on his walks if he hopes to stay in the rotation, but he may be destined for a move back to the pen anyway, where his velocity on the fastball picks up an additional three or four miles per hour.

Yohan Almonte RHP – Almonte has shown excellent development with his secondary pitches this year, as well as his poise and maturity on the mound. Keep an eye on this kid cause he could move rather quickly from this point on. In 18 GS this year he is 5-6, with a 3.72 ERA. His WHIP stands at an outstanding 1.15 but he has been bitten a little bit by the gopher ball, giving up 13 HR’s in 92 IP.

Taylor Whitenton RHP – This kid has put up some outstanding numbers in his 15 GS this year at Savannah. His record is 4-2, with an ERA of only 2.61. In 83 IP he has given up 52 hits, and 38 walks, while striking out 90. SAL opponents are hitting only .179 off him. This year should give him a leg up as far as a rotation spot at St Lucie in 2012.

Two pitchers have worked their way back from injury, one of them RHP Michael Hebert, the 7th round pick from the 2008 draft, has now made 3 GS for the Gnats and is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA. So far, opponents are only hitting .184 against him. The other RHP Erik Goeddel the 24th rounder in 2010 who was signed over-slot, is finishing a rehab in the GCL, and will be rejoining the Gnats staff any day now. Before he got hurt this year, Goeddel was 2-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 7 GS.

The bullpen has had some dominant performances this year and is probably the strength of this team. Led by Hamilton Bennett, the 6’1″ LHP who was the Mets 2010, 29th round draft pick out of Tennessee Wesleyan College. Ham took over as closer after Josh Edgin got promoted to St Lucie a month ago and he has been dominant all year. His record is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA. In 42 IP over 26 G’s, he has given up 25 hits and 14 walks while striking out 45 and picking up 10 saves. Opponents are hitting .176 against him.

Josh Edgin LHP – Promoted to St Lucie about a month ago, Edgin had not allowed a run in his last 2 months at Savannah. The 6’1″ LHP, who was the Mets 2010, 30th round draft pick out of Francis Marion University, was completely dominant with a 1-0 record and a 0.87 ERA and 16 saves. In 31 IP over 24 G’s, he gave up 14 hits, 10 walks, and 3 ER’s. He whiffed 41, and batters were hitting .135 against him.

Adam Kolarek LHP – In 14 G’s out of the Savannah pen, the 6’3″ Kolarek, the 2010 11th round draft pick out of Maryland, has gone 5-0 with an ERA of 1.09. In 33 IP he has given up only 19 hits and 4 ER’s while striking out 38. Opponents are hitting .170 against him.

Chase Huchingson LHP – This 6’5″ southpaw was signed by the Mets a year ago as an undrafted free agent out of Central Arkansas. He has helped this staff all year in many roles including 8 GS but has pitched mostly out of the pen. In 71 IP, Chase has given up merely 52 hits and 22 walks, while striking out 79. Opposing hitters are hitting only .204 off him. This guy was a very good find for the past administration. A 6’5″ lefty signed as an undrafted free agent? Not bad.

Ronny Morla RHP – This 6’3″ Dominican right hander, was acquired by the Mets in last December’s Minor League portion of the Rule 5 draft from the Oakland Athletics. He has done a very nice job in 25 games out of the pen. Over 34 IP he has given up 19 hits (only one HR) and 19 walks while striking out 37. He is 2-3 with a 2.88 ERA and opponents are hitting a paltry .158 against him.

With this kind of outstanding pitching depth and quality arms, the Savannah Sand Gnats should be able to go deep into the playoffs in 2011. Hopefully the bats will wake up in time for the post season. Let’s Go Gnats!

Next up, the Brooklyn Cyclones!

This Fan Post was contributed by Pete!

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Metsmerized Interview With Mets Outfield Prospect Cory Vaughn! Fri, 29 Jul 2011 22:38:40 +0000

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults—8.3 percent of the population—are living with the diabetes. Among these is Mets outfield prospect Cory Vaughn.

Vaughn, the son of former Major League slugger Greg Vaughn, was drafted out of high school by the Phillies in 2007 but opted to attend San Diego State University. He was then drafted by the Mets in last year’s draft.

All he’s done so far in the Mets system is hit, hit and hit some more. He clubbed 14 home runs last year for the Brooklyn Cyclones and got off to a hot start with the bat this year for the Savannah Sand Gnats. He was promoted to the St. Lucie Mets about a month ago.

From a young age, baseball dominated Vaughn’s life, and he remembers running around big league clubhouses with his dad. Though he always asks Greg for tips, Vaughn realizes that the two played in completely different eras.

“I’m my own player,” said Vaughn. “My game is a little bit different than my father’s was.”

While Vaughn is most known for his potent bat, he claims that the best aspect of his game right now is his defense. He has a cannon for an arm and worked hard on turning himself in a more complete player.

“It’s inevitable that you’re not going to go out there and get hits every single night,” Vaughn said. “When you’re not getting hits, you have to find a way to make sure that if you don’t get any, whoever’s up to bat isn’t getting any as well if they hit it in your area.”

Though Vaughn is looking forward to future success, he’ll never forget his first year in the minors last summer in Brooklyn. Vaughn loved the fans and atmosphere at Coney Island.

“It was a blast,” Vaughn recalled. “The biggest thing for me was that there was always something to eat after the game regardless of what time it was.”

Vaughn said he couldn’t get enough of the food in Brooklyn, but in one instance, it came back to haunt him.

Pizza is a tough food to handle for diabetics because of all the fat and carbohydrate contents. Vaughn took his insulin to balance his blood sugar, but he wound up taking too much. By the eighth inning of the game, Vaughn had to be removed since he almost passed out. Though this was the only time his diabetes affected his play, he says the Brooklyn pizza was well worth it.

Each day, Vaughn—and teammate Rylan Sandoval who also has Type I Diabetes—checks his blood sugar eight or nine times a day. After a while, Vaughn said he’s grown accustomed to this lifestyle.

“The longer you have it, the more you start to know your own body,” said Vaughn.

Diabetes has far from halted Vaughn’s progress. While at San Diego State, scouts realized he had big time potential. He was actually a college teammate of Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg.

Vaughn describes Strasburg as a “good dude” with some of the nastiest stuff he’s ever seen. How ironic would it be if the two face each other again, only this time in the big leagues with their respective NL East clubs?

With all the recent hoopla surrounding the trade of Carlos Beltran, Vaughn, who is a right fielder, said he couldn’t help but take notice. However, he claims that minor leaguers in general really don’t follow along with how the organization’s Major Leaguers are performing.

“I’m not worried about people ahead of me and how they’re doing,” Vaughn said. “I wish everyone the best of success. I’m just out here trying to be the best ballplayer I can be.”

Vaughn enjoyed playing with David Wright last week when Wright played a few rehab games with St. Lucie. Vaughn said he probably annoyed Wright with the amount of questions he asked, but this just shows that Vaughn genuinely wants to learn and get better.

While he’s been proclaimed as the Mets right fielder of the future, Vaughn is content with taking one step at a time.

“I try not to worry about things that I can’t control,” said Vaughn. “Wherever they want me to be, they’re going to do it.”

Vaughn’s story is an inspiration to the millions of people that suffer from Diabetes. He’s a great example of a person that hasn’t let his condition affect his dreams. Hopefully, if he continues his progress, he’ll be suiting up for the Mets real soon.

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Mark Cohoon Hurls Consecutive CG Shutouts Fri, 11 Jun 2010 14:09:19 +0000

Last night while Jon Niese was throwing a complete game shutout against the San Diego Padres, another young southpaw was doing the same thing for the Mets Single-A affiliate, the Savannah Sand Gnats.

Starting pitcher Mark Cohoon tossed his second consecutive complete game shutout on Thursday night to beat the Greensboro Grasshoppers 7-0.

Cohoon allowed just three hits and a walk over nine innings while striking out five.

He currently leads the SAL league with a 1.44 ERA and in 81 innings pitched this season, Cohoon has a 0.91 WHIP and has walked just 15 while striking out 68 batters, the third best mark in the league.

Just last week Cohoon was named the “Player of the Week” in the South Atlantic League for tossing the first of his back-to-back shutouts, and he could become the first player to win the honor in consecutive weeks. In that game, Cohoon struck out ten batters while walking one. Wow!

On May 5th, Cohoon threw nine shutout innings, but didn’t get the decision in a 12 inning 1-0 win for the Gnats.

Last season, while pitching for the Brooklyn Cyclones, Cohoon also had a solid season season finishing with a 9-2 record and a 2.15 ERA and earned a nod on the All Star team. Batters hit just .210 against him and he had an impressive 20 BB to 70 K ratio.

He was selected in the 12th round of the 2008 draft out of North Central Texas College, and he has been nothing short of impressive ever since signing with the organization.

Keep an eye on this one, because he is ripe for a promotion to Binghamton and could advance through the minors quickly.

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