Tom Brennan – MAJORING ON THE MINORS: WHO'S HOT, WHO'S NOT - VOL. 2
Still early in the season, dear readers – so I herein include a lot of guys…and some guys who are doing so-so are not in here, because then I’d have way too many folks and you'd get tired reading. Within 2 weeks, this list will whittle down as guys really show what they've got:
Sure, they were due primarily to injuries, but 14 games into the season, 4 promotions from AAA already: Kevin Plawecki, Danny Muno, Hansel Robles, and Eric Campbell.
4 happy fellas. Mama mia, that’s-a nice. Good luck to all 4 (so far, thru Tuesday, all but Robles have seen game action with the Mother Ship in Queens, and have done admirably).
SUPER DUPER HOT:
Dilson Herrera (2B - AAA): 17 for 34 in last 7 games for the 21 year old phenom. .392.
Matt Reynolds (SS – AAA): Tearing it up after an 1-16 start in the first 4 games. Since then, 17-39 with 14 RBIs in 9 games. Scorching.
Maikis de la Cruz (LF - Hi A): hitting a robust .405/.432/.619 in 10 games. A surprise to me, or to anyone who did not see Maikis as the next Ted Williams :)
Very subjective between “super duper” and “really” hot, but the guys above have been totally smoking recently.
Alex Castellanos (LF - AAA): 11 extra base hits in 53 PA’s: .340/.436/.766. Mack likes him, and he certainly should.
Seth Lugo (RHSP -AA): 1-0, 1.54 in 2 starts. 13 Ks in 11.2 innings. Very interesting.
Luis Cessa (RHSP -AA): 11.1 shutout innings, 5 hits, 12 Ks. One more like that and he's moving further up my list.
Paul Sewald (RHRP – AA): all this guy EVER does is pitch well. 4 games, 6.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 0 ER. Another Mack guy.
Michael Conforto (LF - Hi A): Michael who? Just kidding. .354/.439/.646 in 13 games. A rising star.
HOT - big list so far:
Jack Leathersich (LHRP - AAA): finally walked a few on Tuesday, and allowed a 2 run shot the prior outing, but 11 Ks in 6 very solid innings.
Travis Taijeron (RF - AAA): Hot extra base hit machine – 4 homers, .333, 9 RBIs in 33 AB’s. Play every day, please.
Johnny Monell (C- AAA): .292/379/.417 in 28 PA’s, more everyday play to come after Kevin Plawecki’s promo.
Chasen Bradford (RHRP - AAA): 5 games, 6.2 IP, no runs. Nice.
Rainy Lara (RHSP -AA): 2-0, 2.31 in 2 starts.
Jayce Boyd (OF/1B - AA): typical Boyd, a lite-powered .300 in 50 ABs.Gabe Ynoa (RHSP - AA): 1-0, 2.25 in 2 starts.
Gavin Cecchini (SS - AA): groin tightness has had him sit a few games. A fine .333/.412/.567 in his first 9 games.
Dave Roseboom (LHRP - A): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 7 K. He did very well in rookie ball after signing last year, too.
Luis Guillorme (SS - A): 11 games, .278/.422 OB. No extra base hits yet. (Update: Three hits Wednesday push him up to .325).
HOT, BUT HURT:Poor T J Rivera gets hurt. At his age of 26, he has to 2 priorities: hit like mad, and not get hurt, which keeps him from hitting like mad. So he pulls a hammy and off he goes to the DL.
Before that, in games, he was an organization-best .441 hitting machine in 9 games, albeit with light power. Get well soon, TJ.
GETTING HOTTER:Steve Matz (LHSP - AAA): 15.1 innings, 11 walks(?) – but 2.93 ERA. So he's decent even while struggling, another sign of a true top prospect.
Brandon Nimmo (CF - AA): .245/.333/.408, with a .324 average and 5 walks in last 10 games. Headed in the right direction.
Noah Syndergaard (RHSP - AAA): 7.2 IP in 2 weeks was not what fans had in mind. Stay healthy and pick it up, Thor.
Amed Rosario (SS - Hi A): .255/.300/.319 in 12 games – treading water after skipping a level is good enough, 'cause the dude is still 19.
Akeel Morris (RHRP - Hi A): scored on in 2 recent games. Scored on in only 2 games all of last year. The lethal righty is human, at least slightly, I suppose.
Darin Gorski (LHSP - AAA): a brutal 3rd outing after a 2-0 start. Is he hitting his ceiling? Up to him to prove otherwise.
Champ Stuart (CF – Hi A): down to .286 after a cold week.
Wuilmer Becerra (RF - A): .211/.268/.421 in 40 PA’s. I like the 2 homers.
FRIGID - BRRRR:
Cory Vaughn (OF - AAA): he’s been in a slump since 2013. Only 2 for 16 vs. lefties so far. Hitting a miniscule .167.Matt Bowman (RHSP - AAA): 3 straight bad outings leaves him with an ERA approaching 11. Last year, just one bad outing in several AAA starts. Would the real Bowman please stand up?
Tyler Pill (RHSP - AAA): Vegas was a nightmare in a 2014 cameo, and so far this year...10 earned runs in 7 innings. (But afterwards, on Wednesday, 3 solid innings before being pulled due to a storm delay, so there's hope).
Dominic Smith (1B - Hi A) – 8 for 40, 1 extra base hit through Tuesday. Keep reminding yourself: he’s young, he's young. Also, last played April 18. He also stunk last April before he got hot, so maybe he just doesn't like April. I like May much better myself - except in Queens.
Gil Gomez (CF - AA): .174 with 10 Ks in 23 AB's. He does not want to hear the theme song of the show Jeopardy played any time soon, but that might just be his tune.
Vicente Lupo (LF – A): 5 for 33, 14 Ks. Ugly. Was last year’s August power surge a complete aberration? Time will tell.
Jhoan Urena (3B, Hi A): he is .196/.241/.314 in 14 games. Struggle is to be expected when you're 20 and skip over a league. Bet bat heats up over the next 2 weeks.
Overall, the 4 teams are playing about .500 ball. I'm betting that shows improvement in the weeks ahead, but I am a cockeyed optimist :)
A long update, folks. Hope it was enjoyable.
Next “WHO’S HOT, WHO’S NOT” next Thursday. Same time, same place.