This past Saturday was the 1st of 6 games this season I will attending at NYSEG Stadium. April 18th saw the Binghamton Mets against the Harrisburg Senators (Washinton Nationals affiliate). Here are my takeaways.
- SP Luis Cessa- Cessa is not exactly seen as a premium prospect in this organization right now but after seeing him this weekend...IMO...we need to start giving him some more respect. Past scouting reports had his fastball in the 90-92 mph range but in this start, Cessa was pounding the strike zone with four-seamers that were clocking in between 94-96 mph. Cessa has always had plus control and average to plus fastball movement, but now, with he new found plus velocity, he has a legitimate case to become and eventual MLB contributor. He mixed the fastball with an excellent advanced movement change-up that certainly could be an MLB pitch as well. His curveball on the other hand still needs some help. It looks more like a power velocity curve than anything else since it lacked depth in the vertical drop. 1 Senators batter immediately picked up on the spin and was able to wait back on it and drive it into left CF.
- 3B/LF Dustin Lawley- Lawley is a BIG man....you can tell he carries a ton of power around with him. The sound of the wind moving when he swings is just different than the other guys on the team. It has authority behind it. However, defensively, he is a mess. While he was at 3B, he committed 2 throwing errors and made a terrible read on a pop up that he thought was going foul but stayed in play.
- 3B/1B Aderlin Rodriguez- Another guy who you can tell just has a ton of power. However, the difference between him and Lawley is that Lawley has a smoother/cleaner swing. Aderlin's is just a mess. He looked foolish on a bunch of pitches down in the zone but when the pitch was left up he mashed it. In addition, he looked...Unnatural at 1B. His movements were stiff and his glovework was a bit questionable.
- SS Gavin Cecchini- Could be a major alert here, it could be nothing.....While I CANNOT confirm this, I think Cecchini is hurt. Cecchini was not in the starting line-up for this game after going 1 for 3 with 3 runs scored the previous day. Naturally, you figure it was just a normal day of rest. After SS T.J. Rivera left the game with a hamstring pull you naturally thought Cecchini would come in to replace. However, C Albert Cordero made an interesting comment to Coach Pedro Lopez while the trainer was looking at TJ..."Wait who's gonna come in? We don't have any infielders left." No infielders left? Cecchini is sitting right there! Lo and behold, Jayce Boyd came into the game at 1B, Aderlin moved to 3B, and Dustin Lawley moved to 2B. Lawley had never played 2B before. Further adding fuel to this theory....Cecchini did not play in Sunday's game either.
- RHRP Domingo Tapia- Something is very wrong with Tapia. First off, his velocity was WAY down from what we have seen in the past. I was telling some fans behind me that while he has a ton of control issues....that's what will happen when he throws 100mph. He then proceeded to make me look silly by throwing 89-91 mph. That 95-97 mph slider that he's shown in the past? Clocked in at 83-85 mph. Reduced velocity and he still couldn't hit the strike zone.....very concerning (Sure enough Tapia is heading for an MRI on his elbow now.)
- RHRP Vic Black- I was excited to see where Black was in regards to his rehab assignment. However, I came away very disappointed. Don't get me wrong, the movement on his pitches actually looked pretty good, but, the velocity on his fastball was just not there. I logged each pitch...89, 89, 88, 90, 89, 91, 90, 87...there was no zip on the ball. Could it have been a slow stadium gun? Couldn't have been...it had Cessa at 96mph. Something is wrong here too.
- OF Brandon Nimmo- I'll finish on some good news. Nimmo looks excellent! He looks bigger, stronger, faster, and more mature. His AB in the 5th inning with Jared Kind on 1st and Paul Sewald on 3rd was probably the most professional AB by anyone that afternoon. He worked the count into his favor and pulled the pitch he wanted into RF to score a run. Patience goes both ways in this game though.....In the bottom of the 9th, with men on 1st and 2nd, Nimmo used the same approach but found himself in an early 0-2 count. He fought back and got the count to 2-2 but ended up swinging through the 3rd strike. Again a very professional AB, but just like with Lucas Duda, he needs to find that balance between patience and being TOO patient. Very excited to see what the future holds here!