Archive for the 'Mets Minor Leagues' Category

Wheeler Mediocre in Debut

Zach Wheeler went three and a third in his opening day assignment for Las Vegas in Sacramento last evening. He allowed two earned runs on three hits, walking three and striking out three. Wheeler threw 86 pitches, 51 for strikes. The 51s did win the game by a score of 10-5.

Brandon Nimmo went two for three with a walk and scored a run in his debut at Savannah last night. For 2013, the center fielder has moved up to A league from the short season Brooklyn Cyclones.

And in Binghamton, young right hander Rafael Montero pitched 5.2 innings giving up one earned run on two hits. He threw 63 strikes out of 84 pitches fanning eight and walking no one in his first start at double A.

Minors Complete Reg Season

The Mets minor league seasons are now complete. As an organization, the Mets record is 355-343 (.509) not including records from their two instructional league teams in the Dominican Republic. Of the six minor league teams state side, only two have made their respective playoffs.

The St. Lucie Mets of the advanced A Florida State League are currently 1-1 in the first round of the playoffs with the deciding game this evening against the Jupiter Hammerheads (Miami). The Brooklyn Cyclones of the short season New York-Penn League have made the post season for the fourth consecutive year, this time as the wild card. They open the best of three, first round this Friday in Brooklyn against the Hudson Valley Renegades (Tampa Bay).

During the regular season, the St. Lucie Mets compiled the best won-lost record of all Mets affiliates with an 83-52 record. They won the first half division title with an outstanding 49-19 record. After mid season promotions, St. Lucie struggled but did finish a game over .500 at 34-33.

The Cyclones record during the 76 game regular season ended at 45-31, 7 games behind their first round opponent Hudson Valley.

The Savannah Sand Gnats of the South Atlantic (A) League had the only other winning record for Mets minors with an overall 69-67. The Gnats had a fine first half at 41-26 but mid season promotions helped to gut the club who finished just 28-41 and in last place of the second half.

Both the Binghamton Mets (AA) and the Buffalo Bison (AAA) finished under .500.  The B-Mets ended their run with a 68-74 record in 5th place while the Bison went 67-76 and finished in the cellar of the International League’s North Division. It is likely the impatient Buffalo club will end their affiliation with New York meaning the Pacific Coast League is the likely destination for the Mets AAA affiliate in 2013.  On the other hand, Binghamton recently renewed their agreement and will be associated with the Mets for several more years.

Finally the Kingsport Mets, their rookie league team, went a dreadful 23-43 but honestly, no one cares about these records. There were some very good prospects on the K-Mets. At this level, the players are very young, inexperienced and wins and losses hardly matter.

Overall the lower levels of the organization look good. There are many fine young pitching prospects, a testament to the drafts run by Sandy Alderson, J.P. Riccardi, and Paul DePodesta. First and foremost was for Alderson to rebuild the farm system. That process is well under way, having acquired more high impact prospects and a completely retooled scouting system.  While it will take a couple more years for some of these prospects to mature, some could be used in trades much sooner to help land key pieces for the major league club.

In a season of much disappointment, there is something positive sprouting on the farm. Can’t wait for the harvest.

New Blood

The Mets will try and complete the pattern this evening by defeating the Orioles and sweeping the series. They were swept by the Yankees, then swept the Rays in Tampa before being swept again at home against Cincinnati. As this roller coaster season progresses, the Mets continue to bounce back when all looks lost. They have done so again by taking the first two from Baltimore by identical scores of 5-0. It’s the Orioles first visit ever to Citi Field. Hopefully they will not want to come back for a while if the Mets can complete the task of giving Buck Showalter a severe case of acid reflux. Actually his own team appears to be doing that.

With the two shutouts in a row, the Mets now have an 8-3 record in preventing the other team from scoring, the best in the Majors.  Here’s another interesting stat. In games decided by two or three runs, the Mets record is 13-6. They are 9-8 in one run games and in games decided by four runs, the Mets are 2-7. That’s odd. But games decided by 5 runs, the Mets are 8-2. Odd again, don’t you think? In games decided by six or more runs, the Mets are 5-9. So overall the Mets seem to do quite well in low scoring games. In high scoring games they typically lose except if the difference is 5 runs. Go figure.

Minors in full swing…

The Mets minor league affiliates are now in full swing. On Monday, the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League (short-season A) opened their season with a win at home against the Staten Island Yankees. The four game home and home series continued last evening with another win for the Cyclones at SI. Brandon Nimmo, last season’s first round draft pick is playing center field and batting second for the Cyclones. Also at Brooklyn is Kevin Plawecki, the supplemental pick from this year’s first round, 35th overall. Plawecki is a catcher. The Cyclones play in Staten Island again this evening before returning to Brooklyn to face the Yankees tomorrow night.

Also underway are the Kingsport Mets (rookie league) of the Appalachian League who opened with a loss last evening in Princeton, West Virgina. Gavin Cecchini, this year’s first round pick has already been signed and is playing shortstop for the K-Mets. Branden Kaupe, also a shortstop and drafted in the fourth round is playing second base for Kingsport.

The Mets dropped their Gulf Coast League (rookie) Mets this past winter leading to speculation the Mets were really hurting financially. Mets GM Sandy Alderson insisted the move was simply to consolidate what he felt was a bloated farm system. In fact, the Mets had more farm teams than most other organizations.  So far, except for Binghamton of the Eastern League  (AA) and the 0-1 K-Mets, the other affiliates are all having winning seasons. The St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League (advanced A) have already clinched the first half southern division title having run away with the race early on. The Savannah Sang Gnats of the South Atlantic League (A) have a strong second place record as their first half comes to an end as well.  Likely, players who have had an outstanding first half in the A ranks will move up to AA Binghamton whose record is a few games under .500.  Perhaps Zach Wheeler (an ace in the making?) will be promoted to AAA Buffalo since he appears to have dominated double A hitters.

Speaking of aces, Buffalo’s Matt Harvey had another outstanding outing as he pitched six strong innings last night. He gave up one run on six hits and struck out seven while walking only two.

College World Series

Speaking of draft picks, the Mets have two in the College World Series. The 71st pick overall in the second round, Matt Reynolds plays third base for the University of Arkansas.  They are undefeated in the CWS  having won against both Kent State and South Carolina in bracket 2. Both these clubs play each other to determine who will play Arkansas in the double elimination final round. The winner will move on to the championship round.

David Boyd, 6th round pick (200 overall) is a first baseman who is currently playing for Florida State, who won their elimination game against UCLA last night. They will play Arizona for the chance to move on to the Championship round starting on Sunday. Neither Reynolds or Boyd have yet to sign with the Mets.

Minor Pitching

Zach Wheeler pitched another gem for Binghamton last evening against Harrisburg. Wheeler’s line…
7.0innings pitched, 2 hits,1 run, 0 earned runs, 4 walks and 7 strike outs. His ERA for the season is 1.66. It was Zach’s sixth win of the season against two losses. More and more, Wheeler is exhibiting lights out stuff and will likely be moved up to AAA at some point this season.

Matt Harvey pitches tonight for Buffalo.

Minor Results

The Mets minor league  seasons are coming to an end this weekend. The AAA Buffalo Bisons (they really should be called the Bison since the word is plural) and the Binghamton Mets, aka B-Mets, have been eliminated from their respective races floundering more than 10 games under .500.

The lower levels of the Mets org is where much talent lies. However, some like Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia were promoted to Binghamton mid season and improved the B-Mets play greatly. Never the less the teams finding themselves in the playoffs or contenting for a playoff spot are in A league and under.

The Florida State League St. Lucie Mets (high A) won the first half of their season. Therefore they will begin play in the first round of the FSL playoffs next week after their regular season concludes on Sunday. St. Lucie did not play as well in the second half in part to losing the talented pitchers mentioned earlier after the first half ended. The advanced A Mets won the division by 4 games and will take on Bradenton in the first round.

The South Atlantic League Savannah Sand Gnats won the first half as well and may win the second half too. The Gnats currently hold a one game lead in the second half and will play either the second half winner or a wild card team in the first round depending on the second half season outcome.

The Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League (short season A) are currently in a virtual tie for the wild card with Williamsport. A weekend home and home series against the Staten Island Yankees will determine if the Cyclones get to the post season or not.

That’s it as far as the playoffs go. The rookie league teams, the Kingsport Mets and the Gulf Coast Mets did not make the playoffs. Their seasons ended earlier this week. Kingsport of the Appalachian League had a nice season finishing 10 games over .500, just not enough though to get them to the post season.

Buffalo, Binghamton, St. Lucie, and Savannah play roughly around 140 game seasons. The remaining clubs place less than 80 games during the summer.

Nimmo Shines for GCL Mets

Today, first round pick Branden Nimmo went 3 for 3 with 2 walks and drove in 3 runs for the Gulf Coast League Mets. One of Nimmo’s hits was a home run with a man on, his second of the season. He raised his average to .241 and played center field in the game. The GCL Mets won the game 12-2, scoring 10 runs in the 8th inning. Nimmo’s homer was part of the 10 run rally. The GCL Mets are 27-29 in third place in the East division and have been eliminated from post season play.

Update – In Port St. Lucie this evening, Zach Wheeler pitched five scoreless innings, striking out 3 and walking no one. Zach earned the 1-0 win and is now 2-2 since coming to the Mets organization in the Beltran trade.

Mets on Draft

Today is the day that general manager Sandy Alderson and his minions will earn their money. For today is the annual amateur free agent draft to be held in Secaucus, New Jersey at the MLB Network studios. The draft will be televised live starting at 7:00PM EST.

The Mets will have the 13th pick overall this year. Will the Mets go for pitching or a position player. By now, the scenarios have been drawn with the strategy set. The first 12 picks will determine what the Mets do come pick number 13. Accept for many retreads, both good and bad, that the Alderson regime have brought in, most of the players currently in the organization got here under Omar Minaya’s tutelage and GM’s before. Sandy Alderson’s new Mets begin to take shape this evening.

Let’s take a look back at the last 10 drafts for the Mets…

2001 – Out of the University of Notre Dame, the Mets select RHP Aaron Heilman as the 18th pick overall.

Heilman made it to the major league club in 2003. He pitched with the Mets for 6 seasons, ending in 2008. His most notable moment was in game 7 of the 2006 NLCS when he gave a game winning two run home run to Yadier Molina. Heilman had a penchant for giving up big home runs while with the Mets. Heilman is currently with the Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen.

Other notable players from 2001 include David Wright, the compensation pick for the Mets losing Mike Hampton to free agency. Wright, currently on the DL, already has become one of the all time offensive producers in Mets history.

2002 - Out of Cypress Hills High School in Houston Texas, the Mets select LHP Scott Kasmir as the 15th pick overall.

Kasmir of course was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for pitcher Victor Zambrano at the 2004 trading deadline in a controversial move. Kasmir went on to instant success while Zambrano bombed with the Mets. In retrospect, Kasmir has had mild success in the majors and has suffered arm problems as former pitching coach Rick Peterson had predicted. Kasmir is currently on the disabled list as a member of the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim.

Other notable players from 2002 include RHP Matt Lindstrom. Lindstrom, taken in the 10th round, was eventually traded to Florida after the 2006 season where he enjoyed mild success in the bullpen. The power arm pitcher currently is playing for the Colorado Rockies.

2003 - Out of Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton Florida, the Mets select outfielder Lastings Milledge as the 12th pick overall.

Milledge came up with the Mets in the division championship season of 2006 and played in 56 games. Milledge became known as a hot dog causing much ire among other National League teams and fans. Milledge was traded after the 2007 collapse to the Washington Nationals. He has since been traded to Pittsburgh and then to the Chicago White Sox organization.

Other notable players include RHP Brian Bannister. Bannister started off promising in 2006 before a hamstring injury ended his season. The Mets traded Bannister the following winter to Kansas City where he pitched through last season. Bannister is currently playing in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants.

2004 - Out of Rice University, the Mets select RHP Phillip Humber as the 3rd pick overall.

Humber’s contribution to the Mets was to be used in a trade to acquire LHP Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins in 2008. Humber was traded by the Twins to the Kansas City Royals. The Royals traded him to the Chicago White Sox where he currently is pitching in the starting rotation.

Other notables from the 2004 draft include Nick Evans and Mike Carp. Evans is currently on the 25 man roster.

2005 - Out of Wichita State University, the Mets select RHP Mike Pelfrey as the 9th player overall.

Pelfrey has enjoyed both highs and lows as a member of the current Mets starting rotation. Due to the injury to Johan Santana’s shoulder, Pelfrey is the senior member among Mets starters. Pelfrey can be very frustrating. In one start he will pitch fantastically then in the next he can lose focus and get himself in a pile of trouble. Consistency has been Pelfrey’s biggest problem. Overall however, Pelfrey has pitched well this season.

Other notables from 2005 include current pitching rotation member LHP Jonathan Niese who was selected in the 7th round, reliever Bobby Parnell selected in the 9th round, starting catcher Josh Thole selected in the 13th round, and RHP Pedro Beato who was drafted by the Mets in the 17th round but did not sign. Beato was selected by the Orioles and signed the following season. The Mets selected Beato during last December’s rule 5 draft. Beato must remain on the major league roster through this season to remain a Met.

2006 - The Mets did not have a first round pick in the 2006 draft. In the second round, and as their first pick, the Mets selected RHP Kevin Mulvey out of Villanova University. Like Humber, Mulvey was traded to the Twins for Santana. In 2009, the Twins sent Mulvey to the Arizona Diamnondbacks where he still pitches.

Other notables from 2006 include RHP Joe Smith, selected in the 3rd round. Smith pitched for the Mets in ’07 and ’08 out of the bullpen before he was later traded to the Cleveland Indians.  In the 13th round, the Mets selected third baseman Daniel Murphy. Murphy remains a fine hitter at the major league level for the Mets playing first base for the injured Ike Davis. In the 16th round, the Mets picked RHP Tobi Stoner. Stoner has had a couple of call ups but is not ready for prime time as he still continues to improve his skills in the Mets minor league system.

2007 - The Mets had two supplemental picks in the first round. Their first pick, out of Oregon State University was RHP Eddie Kunz. Eddie Kunz had one call up with the Mets but spent most of his time in the minor leagues. He was traded to the San Diego Padres organization over this past March for Allan Dykstra and is now with San Antonio of the Texas League (AA).

Other notables from 2007 include outfielder Lucas Duda selected in the 7th round and RHP Dillon Gee selected in round 21. Gee has been sensational this season in the Mets rotation with a 6-0 record.

2008 - Out of Arizona State University, the Mets select first baseman Ike Davis as the 18th player overall. Davis, currently on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle, had an outstanding rookie season in 2010. He has shown excellent defensive skills and can hit monstrous home runs. Davis should be manning the first base bag for the Mets for many years to come.

Other notables include SS Reese Havens, RHP Bradley Holt, and outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis. All three are currently in the Mets minor league system.

2009 - Again the Mets did not have a first round pick in ’09. Out of Ward Melville High School in East Setauket New York, the Mets select LHP Steven Matz in the second round, 72nd pick overall.  Matz is currently within the Mets minor league system but is recovering from Tommy John surgery performed in May of 2010.

Other notables — too soon to tell.

2010 - Out of the University of North Carolina, the Mets select RHP Matthew Harvey as the 7th player overall. Harvey currently has a 6-2 record with a 2.44 ERA for St. Lucie in the Florida State League (Advanced A).

Other notables  — too soon to tell.

So in the last 10 years, the only first round picks to make a positive impact at the Major League level has been Mike Pelfrey and Ike Davis. However, current Mets players Josh Thole, Jonathan Niese, Bobby Parnell, and  Dillon Gee all came through the Mets system and selected in the later rounds. Let’s not forget about David Wright and Jose Reyes, two superstars (yes Fred, David is a super star).

The much maligned farm system has produced some quality players. The problem has been one of depth. Hopefully the new regime can begin to fortify the system with some serious talent beginning tonight.

This evening, the Mets will pick 13th in the first round. They will then pick 44th, and 71st.