HAPPY RECAP - HIGH A ST LUCIE METS – Vol 3 of 7, by Tom Brennan

Continuing my Happy Recap series on the Mets' minor league teams, today I cover the team Ricky Ricardo would have loved, the Lucies, also more commonly known as the St Lucie Mets (SLM), who went 76-62 (11 games over in the first half, but only 3 over in the 2nd half). 

The Lucies also (like their bigger brothers in Vegas and Bingo) had a fine season playing .550 ball.  They, however, missed the playoffs for a few reasons.
First, league rules are stupid to have a team have a fine winning record, have the 4th most wins (2 more and they’d have been 2nd). and miss the playoffs.

Second, Brandon Nimmo, Dilson Herrera, and TJ Rivera were having terrific offensive seasons (carrying the offense and hitting .325 in 190 combined games) when they got mid-season promotions to AA.  Hard to keep up the winning momentum when you lose those 3 bats, and when 26 year old Jairo Perez, who hit a robust .353/.383/.550 in 65 games, missed several weeks in July and August due to injury. After the trio was promoted and Jairo’s injury, runs were understandably harder to come by.

On the positive side of the hitting slate, LJ Mazzilli hit well (.312/.363/.456 in 64 games) following his mid-season promotion from Savannah.  Less successful but still decent post-promo to Lucie Land were Gavin Cecchini (.236/.325/.352) and Jeff McNeil (.246/.325/.319).  Local kid Cam Maron (no, his last name is not Diaz) hit very well (.282/.387/.362 in 98 games) as SLM's starting catcher too, though continuing his carrer with only Thole-like power.  OF Eudy Pina had a nice season at the plate after a slow start with a little pop.  But overall, team hitting was not exceptional, especially post-promotions, and generated little HR power.

Also, Aderlin Rodriguez never seemed to blossom as a power hitter and I'd be surprised if he were to progress further in the Mets’ Kingdom.

Hitting-wise, St Lucie ranked first at .272 due to great efforts from Dilson, Nimmo, Rivera, Perez and Mazzilli; were a distant 2nd in runs with 643; and in true Mets fashion were 8th out of 12 in HRs with just 70 in 138 games.

Pitching-wise, the Lucies were often disappointing.  Rising star lefty Steve Matz was 4-4, 2.21 before (you guessed it) his promotion to Binghamton. While Matt Koch went 10-4, he had a 4.64 ERA and only 63 Ks in 120 innings.  Greg Ynoa was a fine 8-2, 3.95 before his promo to AA.  Michael Fulmer (6-10, 3.97) was mostly MEH, and just got elbow chips removed. Also disappointing again in 2014 to me was hard-throwing, low strikeout Domingo Tapia (6-8, 3.96, 56 Ks in 109 innings).

Out in the pen were the 26 year old Beck Wheeler, who Ks a lot of guys but has a few too many bad outing for me to seriously consider him a prospect, and Paul Sewald, who had pitched extremely well in relief over the past few years and was 4-1, 1.73 in 40 Lucie games. 

Overall, the pitching stacked up weakly versus that of the other 11 Florida State League teams as follows: 9th in ERA (4.12); 4th in Ks (989); and 10th in WHIP (1.39).  Weak - no way to sugar-coat it.
In summary, this was to me the least exciting of the 4 full season teams, after the mid-season promotions.

Of the guys on the roster at year end, I see a few hitters with moderate chances of future big league success (Cecchini, Mazzilli, McNeil, Maron), and none of the pitchers, other than perhaps Sewald, make me think, "man, I bet I'll see this guy in Citi soon".

Chime in folks, if you care to comment on our St Lucie team. Ciao.


Mack Ade said...

St. Lucie suffered in the second half of the season because the better Savannah starters were not sent on.

Thomas Brennan said...

Alvarez and Morris, if promoted at mid-season, would have energized St Lucie and they'd have then made playoffs, iMO. Them with Sewald would have been a dynamite pen trio.

Mack Ade said...

From the outside looking in, I never saw a team handle a pitcher worse than the Mets did with Morris in 2014

Thomas Brennan said...

Morris could have been in. AA by year end, the way he was pitching

Mack's Mets © 2012