Week In Review
The Las Vegas 51s (1-3, t-second in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern division) have struggled to get their own runners on base and keep their opponents off them. Their eight home runs allowed are tied for the most in the league.
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies (3-0, second in the Eastern League Eastern division) swept the Portland Sea Dogs in their first series, getting out to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2013. Helped by an opening night shutout new pitching coach Frank Viola‘s staff has posted a league-best 1.18 ERA thus far.
The St. Lucie Mets (1-3, sixth in the Florida State League South division) benefited from Justin Dunn‘s stellar start on opening night but allowed a total of 19 runs over their next three games. The squad should see more success going forward as they boast three of the Mets’ top-seven prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
The Columbia Fireflies (2-2, t-third in the South Atlantic League Southern division) were on the receiving end of back-to-back masterful starts from Tony Dibrell and Joe Cavallaro to open the season. The pair combined for 10.0 innings, two runs allowed, and 14 strikeouts.
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Dominic Smith began his major league rehab assignment with the 51s, playing first base in each of the team’s first three games. While he works his way back from a strained quad, Smith has gone 4-10 with a home run and a pair of doubles.
2017 first-round pick David Peterson remained in Extended Spring Training to recover from a minor physical ailment. He is expected to report to Columbia when healthy.
Anthony Kay made his professional debut on Sunday, 668 days after the Mets selected him in the first round in 2016. Kay underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after being drafted from UConn.
A pair of relief arms acquired after last year’s minor league season made their organizational debuts over the weekend. Eric Hanhold, obtained for Neil Walker, and Daniel Zamora, the return for Josh Smoker, both appeared out of the Rumble Ponies’ bullpen.
Tim Tebow homered in his first Double-A at-bat. He accomplished an identical feat with Columbia in 2017.
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not
Who’s hot: Peter Alonso has come out of the gates on fire in 2018. Begining only his second full season as a pro with the Double-A Rumble Ponies, the 2016 second-round pick has gone 5-11, with a pair of home runs, two doubles, and four runs batted in. Alonso’s first long ball came in his first at-bat of the season and was clocked off the bat at an incredible 112 miles per hour, according to Trackman.
Alonso has battled injuries throughout his short career, but when he has played he’s been almost unstoppable. In 126 games, Alonso has put up a .300/.367/.554 slash line, with an 18.9 PA/HR rate.
He’s shown fantastic power to all fields, and while his defense significantly lags behind, the organization has placed an emphasis on improving his confidence at first base. It’s not unreasonable to believe that Alonso will be hitting home runs at Citi Field by the end of next season.
Left-hander P.J. Conlon enjoyed an excellent season debut on Sunday, striking out nine while only walking one over six innings in his Triple-A debut. He departed with a 2-1 lead, but the 51s bullpen was unable to support their starter. Conlon had been scheduled to make the transition to a reliever in 2018, but a lack of stretched-out pitchers on the Vegas roster led to him remaining in the rotation for the time being.
Who’s not: Bryce Brentz, claimed off waivers from the Pirates shortly before the season began, has not had a smooth transition to the Mets organization. Before getting the day off on Sunday, Brentz was two for his first 12, striking out five times.
OPS — Alonso 1.682, John Mora (BIN) 1.389, Smith 1.355, Tiberi 1.279, Cone 1.000
HR — Alonso 2, Dash Winningham (STL) 2, Nine tied with 1
RBI — Alonso 4, Jose Lobaton (LVG) 4, Six tied with 3
SB — Anthony Dimino (STL) 2, Eleven tied with 1
SO — P.J. Conlon (LVG) 9, Crismatt 9, Joe Cavallaro (COL) 8, Dunn 7, Five tied with 6
Dominic Smith sent on rehab assignment to Las Vegas….Phillip Evans optioned to Las Vegas.
Las Vegas: El Paso (4/9), @ Albuquerque (10-12), @ El Paso (13-16)
Binghamton: Akron (4/9-11), OFF (12), @ Portland (13-15)
St. Lucie: Tampa (4/9-12), Dunedin (13-15)
Columbia: Hagerstown (4/9-11), @ Asheville (12-15)
As a reminder, all 51s, Rumble Ponies, and select Fireflies games can be seen on MiLB.tv. You can read the minor league recap for last night’s games here.