I started a series Monday that will provide the Happy Recap on each minor league Mets team.  I call it Happy Recap in honor of Bob Murphy, whose happy recaps I always enjoyed, along with his terrific, positive announcing of Met games for so many years.

Anyway, the happiest of all happy recaps is that of the Eastern League 2014 Binghamton Mets. The Bingos won 5 of 6 over 2 playoff series, first knocking off Red Sox affiliate Portland, which had the league's best record, and then putting a whoopin' on Richmond.

The playoffs culminated in a game in which future Met starter lefty Steve Matz utterly dominated the Richmond opposition, throwing no hit ball through 7 1/3 and striking out 11 before surrendering his first hit. I am looking forward to Steve joining the Mets' rotation some time in 2015, after his 2nd straight terrific season after his prolonged recovery from TJS had stalled his early minor league career.

Steve had plenty of pitching help, with Greg Peavey (11-3) and Tyler Pill (9-5, with a team leading 120 Ks in 124 innings) having strong starting seasons.  My one disappointment there was Pill not getting more ABs. He went 8 for 19 with no strikeouts in the few games he got to bat in. If he can crack the Mets' crowded rotation in the future aat some point, he can bring his Ruthian bat with him.  

Matt Bowman was only 7-6 at the time of his promotion to AAA, but was 3.11 and almost a K per inning in 17 AA starts, and then did fine in Vegas. He is another bright pitching light in the Mets’ constellation.

Greg Ynoa at 21 found AA more challenging that earlier dominating stints in lower leagues, but has gone 29-8 the past 2 seasons, including the playoffs.  My guess is at 22 in May of next year, the Eastern League will be in for a formidable hombre in Greg for the first half of 2015.  Rainy Lara did OK in 109 innings.  Darin Gorski was excellent (4-2, 2.22) but had a season-ending injury in mid-July.

Cody Satterwhite and Jack Leathersich combined with other relievers to make this the bullpen no one wanted to face.  Cody, who had career injury issues that resulted in him being at the advanced age of 27 in this season as Bingo's closer, did fine indeed (15 saves, 2.33, 9.5 K/9).  Electric Jack K'd 79 in 46 innings before his promo to Vegas late in the season.  He showed mercy on the rest of the hitters.  Hansel Robles was shaky as a starter but excelled in 20 innings in late season relief (1.80, 24 Ks).  

Pitching-wise, the B Mets were 5th out of 12 in ERA, first in K’s, and a close 2nd in WHIP.  No complaints.

Hitting in Bingoville was truly impressive overall.  Offensively, the B Mets were a juggernaut like the Vegas boys were:  718 runs in 142 games (5.1 per game), .278/.353/.423 – all 4 being best-in-the-league stats.  And a close 2nd in HRs and a close 3rd in doubles. 

At season's start, 3 of the team's big bats (Vaughn, Lawley, Taijeron) each really struggled early. Vaughn got bumped to AAA after major league promos there and did a bit better in Vegas.  Dustin L and Travis T both picked it up a lot from June forward, with a combined 28 HRs, 37 doubles, 85 RBIs, and .253 average in a combined 142 games.  Both have significant strikeout issues to fix in order to someday have a real shot at making the big show.

Bingo led its league in homers, largely due to guys like Lawley and Taijeron, but also due to older vets like 33 year old journeyman slugger Brian Burgamy (32 doubles, 23 homers) and 27 year old Matt Clark, who hit 10 homers in 67 Bingo games, then went to the Brewers organization and hit 19 more, including 3 with the Brewers since a call up. 

It was a year of well-deserved mid-year promos of offensive players. We got terrific hitting of the singles variety from Matt Reynolds before his mid-season promo to AAA, and equally terrific of the doubles variety from catcher Kevin Plawecki, both of whom accelerated towards soon becoming major leaguers with their overall 2014 performances.

They were aided and abetted by  the "ERA's", Dilson Herrera and TJ Rivera, who after promotion to AA, both shrugged, said No Biggie, and tore up AA to the tune of a combined .348 in 442 total at bats. Dilson got a "Do not stop in Vegas, come straight to NY" card in September and gave us some glimpses of a possible future star 2B in Flushing.
Brandon Nimmo also was a mid-year promotion to AA, did not hit like the previous two, but kept getting on base at a pretty high rate, did great in the playoffs, and finally showed there's pop in that bat in 2014, and scored an organization-high 97 runs to boot.  Fine season, Brandon, who is now a faster track to Citi.

1B Jayce Boyd tore up Savannah and St Lucie to the tune of .330 in 2013 but needed off-season thoracic surgery.  He struggled early in 2014, and his games were limited due to the presence of matt Clark on the team, but a hitting surge of .354 with 18 extra base hits over his last 52 games after June vaulted Jayce to a final average of .293, and had the playoff’s winning hit to boot. It will be interesting to see how his relatively high on base, low strikeout, lower-than-desired power for a 1B gets him to the pros. 

Wilfredo Tovar missed several weeks with injury, but finished up at .282/.345/.345 in 78 games.  Xorge Carillo, Darrell Ceciliani, and Kyle Johnson also had solid offensive seasons.

Overall, the B Mets finished at  83 – 59 in the regular season and then won 2 playoff series.   KUDOS, GENTLEMEN!    

Somewhere, when he thinks about the Bingo season, Sandy is smiling.  A whole lot.


Reese Kaplan said...

I wonder if Tovar has a chance to assume the Tejada backup MI role if Flores starts? He's on the 40 already and would earn minimum wage, as opposed to arbitration eligible Ruben.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, if it came down to those 2, I'd go Tovar as back up, save the $$, and spend the $$ elsewhere.

Matt Reynolds could be opening day back up in a pinch, if Tovar did not make the cut, and certainly as the season progressed and he got a few more AAA ABs under his belt. So it's not like if they move Tejada, and Flores fails or gets injured, who then backs Tejada up?

I just think a change of scenery from Ruben makes a lot of sense.

My brother says the same about Murphy ("move him on"), wondering where Murph's big hits have been? Seems they've been few and far between. When I told him there was some talk of putting Murph in the OF, he almost choked on his morning donut.

Steve from Norfolk said...


The way you describe Jayce Boyd's hitting kind of reminds me of a guy we had in the 80's named Keith.

Thomas Brennan said...

Steve, there may be real similarities here to Keith. Jayce tore it up in 2013 until he played hurt, got off-season thoracic surgery, and came back slowly on a crowded roster, which reduced his playing time. After June he hit again like the Boyd of early 2013. So 2015 for him is big. If he hits like Keith, wow. He might "only" hit like Murphy, which is not shabby.

Mack Ade said...

I always think you should field the best team you have available to you... thus, Tejada is a better backup than Tovar

Thomas Brennan said...

Interesting with Tejada missing as many games as he did with Flores here. He did pop 5 homers. If money were no object and his teammates want him here, you could come to that conclusion. Sometimes a change helps the team.

I was very surprised to see little Wilfredo lay into one on the last weekend of the season, putting it well back into the seats and only a little foul.

It would be a great case to have the readers vote on with one of those instant survey boxes.

Pete McCarthy was commenting the other day about Starlin Castro and seemed willing to include Thor, Montero (or deGrom, can't recall which) and plawecki to get him. Seemed too steep to me, even if Castro could become a frequent All Star.

Mack Ade said...

Castro will be on the market but he won't go cheap. It would take two top pitchers like Thor AND Montero.

Hardy looks like he's going to be a Yankee,

S.Finch said...

In fact, Castro already is a frequent all-star. Montero & Plawecki i Would trade in a second to get him. Degrom or Thor straight up and i would have to think long and hard. I think THor yes-I'll take the known quantity. Degrom would be tough...

Thomas Brennan said...

Tough decision on Castro if price tag is really high in terms of talent. Speaking to my brother, he is very set against status quo with this team...he wants to use our excess talent NOW to wrest this city away from the Yanks. Makes a lot of sense if it means we make playoffs next season. Easy to do nothing, harder to risk a high profile deal. Sandy's got his work cut out this off season if Wilpons don't tie his hands.

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