4/9/15

Tom Brennan - MAJORING ON THE MINORS - B METS SEASON PREVIEW

11 comments

Tom Brennan – MAJORING ON THE MINORS - B METS SEASON PREVIEW
Last year was a great B Mets year. Finishing with a terrific record, the Boys of Binghamton went on to win the Eastern League championship behind stellar pitching from top Mets' prospect lefthander Steve Matz.
Matz has moved on to AAA, as has the terrific Dilson Herrera, Travis Taijeron, and others.  More guys likely would have been promoted, if not for a surplus of talent in AAA.

So how does the opening day roster look for the B Mets, as they open their season on the evening of April 9? 
Terrific again.  Let me touch upon a bunch of these guys and you'll get the picture that a championship repeat is certainly possible in Bingoville.

In the outfield:
Top prospect Brandon Nimmo struggled after his mid-season promo to AA last year.  My guess is 2nd time is the charm for him and he is promoted to AAA mid-season. 

Jayce Boyd is moving to the outfield in 2015, making room for Jairo Perez at 1B and perhaps TJ Rivera as well. Boyd had a terrific bat in the first half of 2013, sustained a serious thoracic injury, and as a result started very slowly in AA in 2014, but soared later in the season to finish at .293.  I'd not be surprised if he hits .340 this year with added power. 

Outfielders Gilbert Gomez, Jared King and Eudy Pina have all been promoted to Binghamton, and I wish them well.

Infield-wise:
Former first rounder Gavin Cecchini gets promoted to AA, with help from Lee Mazzilli and his 50 game suspension clearing infield space.  Will Gavin break out in 2015, after signs of growth in 2015?   I'd not be surprised.

The two infield hit machines (Jairo Perez (.363/.396/.539) and T.J. Rivera (.349/.388/.446)), both 26 years old, will see if they can again hit well above .300 in a fight to climb out of obscurity before collecting Social Security.

Catcher Xorge Carillo will shortly turn 26, but I believe he will also turn heads with his bat, as he finally gets real playing time. He had a really fine hitting winter league stint after a very solid year with the stick in 2014.  Backing him up will be light-hitting Al Cordero.
Dustin Lawley, who struggled a bit in 2013 but who has PLUS power, ought to break out this year in his return to AA; his full season #'s last year were dampened by a brutal start. Big bopper #'s in 2015 are expected by me from Lawley, who had 2 doubles in 4 official at bats this spring. 

Josh Rodriguez and disappointing (career-to-date) Aderlin Rodriguez round out the infield contingent.

Starting pitching:
7 guys as of now, including 3 from the vaunted Cyclones rotation of 2012.  Missing is Luis Mateo, whose status in the organization is unclear to me following TJ surgery in 2013, and a rough return in 2014. Some arms don’t heal.  But former 2012 Cyclone alumni from 2012, Gabe Ynoa, Luis Cessa, & Rainy Lara, will be likely starters in 2015, with Ynoa the gem of the 3. 

Michael Fulmer, the hard throwing but oft-injured righty, gets a chance to show us he’s got some goods here in 2015.  Maybe a future pen arm – we’ll see.

An exciting starter promotion is John Gant, who had a terrific year starting for Savannah in 2014.  He is skipping St Lucie and going straight to B Mets, which speaks volumes. Go, Johnny, go.

Matt Koch has been enigmatic in his career, so let’s see whether he will be so-so, or step it up in 2015.  Even more of a career mystery has been Domingo Tapia, who throws very hard but struck out very few in 2014.  My bet is he moves to the pen in 2015, where maybe he channels the great Jeurys Familia, who also never did well as a starter.

In the pen:
Several fine dudes.  First, Paul Sewald, whose career #'s so far have been terrific, and Beck Wheeler join AA.  Wheeler, a guy who strikes out plenty but has occasional disastrous outings that mar his stat line – does Beck plateau in AA?  We'll see.

Dario Alvarez, who jumped from Savannah to the Mets last September, is the lefty crown jewel of the AA pen, and hope is very high for him after a fine spring (10 good outings, 1 bad one).  Other good pen arms include Chase Huchingson, John Church, Adam Kolarek, and Seth Lugo.

All in all, a heck of a roster.  No doubt a winning one.

11 comments:

Reese Kaplan said...

It used to be that AAA evolved into the scrap heap of baseball where you stocked the roster with older players who might put fannies in the local seats and who theoretically could play at the major league level in a pinch, but AA was reserved for the youngsters to show what they could do.

It's odd, therefore, to see so many 25+ players just at the AA level which suggests their prospect window has already closed.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

Mateo follows me on Facebook and I caught him online twice in the past two days.

I asked him how his health is and what his status is with the Mets, but he didn't respond. I'm not sure he understands english.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

You are right about AA when it comes to the Mets.

AA has always been called 'the prospect league' for good reason.

I don't follow the other teams so I'm not sure if they have all these 26-year olds there.

The good news is, so far, no prospect talent is being blocked in St. Lucie by one of these dinosaurs.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, they're older than one would expect, a lot of them, even in St Lucie and Savannah. I guess if a guy is not going to be more than a marginal major leaguer, age is not as critical. And especially for non-pitchers, if they do not expand rosters, there will be a lot of guys who might be good enough to make it as utility guys with no room to get there.

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Mack - Mateo Mystery Hour will continue.

Adam Smith said...

Really excited to see Jayce Boyd with a full, healthy year. He should feast on AA pitching this season. Also, interesting to see Jared King in AA. I think this is a skip up for him? His bat has real potential.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Adam, I project Jayce Boyd at .340 this year for a reason: July 1 on last year he hit .355 in AA - so I too look forward to see if this guy can REALLY HIT, and add power.

2013 5th rounder Jared King is interesting - did not hit well last year in Savannah early, but then got about 50 games in St Lucie where he did very well.

I'd like to see him add more HR power, as he is under 1 per 100 PA in his career so far.

His defense looks intriguing, with just 4 career errors vs. 10 OF assists. Also, 10 of 13 career steals, so maybe he'll expand on that in 2015. He certainly will be one to watch in 2015.

Also to his advantage, he will play the entire year as a 23 year old. With our president and congress, I'd love to have a King - in the Mets OF.

Mack Ade said...

Tom/Adam -

I hope someone on the site could report back what Boyd's new throwing motion looks like from the outfield.

Thomas Brennan said...

I will be monitoring for info on that throwing ability for Boyd, Mack. I guess he has to throw at least half-decently, or the OF would be out of the question.

The Closer said...

The interesting part is the two youngest guys have the highest ceilings, Ynoa (22) and Nimmo (23) and should both probably be playing in Vegas but Vegas is so stacked we can afford to let them stay in AA, which will only help them get better.

I know he didn't pitch well last night but Tapia to the pen was destined for years and I was thinking the same thing with familia as a comp. I love his arm but he just can't seem to put it together.

Maybe this is the year cecchini puts it together but I was never a fan of his from the start. Considering some of the guys that went after him that we could have taken instead, it burns even more. Imagine having, Lucas Giolito, Corey Seager, Michael Wacha, Marcus Stroman, Joey Gallo etc., which is now the who's who of everyones top prospects lists. Giolito is as high as the # 3 top overall prospect and although we are deep at SP, as you can see, you never have enough and if you do, you could always trade one for a big bat instead of signing a 36 yr old one and lose your #15 draft pick and the 2+ million signing bonus money that came along with it. Sorry, I like Cuddyer just don't like what it cost to get him.

Thomas Brennan said...

Man, Closer, I wanted a slugger from the Cecchini draft - and Gallo, with his 104 homers in 1056 minor league at bats by age 20 would look awful good in Mets system. Injury risk and all, my brother was SCREAMING for Lucas Giolito. 2 big mistakes. Cecchini is likely moderately talented surplus.

Mack's Mets © 2012