Tom Brennan - MAJORING ON THE MINORS - WHO'S HOT, WHO'S NOT - Vol. 5
Hitters go hot, hitters go cold. A lot of hot guys have gotten promoted (6 offensive dudes from AAA alone in under 2 months), or have cooled off.
So in this episode of "Who's Hot...Who's Not," the list will emphasize more recently hot guys. Lots of new names.
Team-wise, Las Vegas has finally cooled a bit offensively, which can happen when Eric, Johnny, Dilson, Darrell and Kevin all get promoted. Those guys combined were hitting .357 for Vegas, so that is hard to replace. With solid pitching, they have excelled, despite call ups in Leathersich, Robles, and Syndergaard. Amazing, when you think about it.
Binghamton has played well, with several fine performers. The young St. Lucie squad has its hitting struggles, but some cold guys are heating up, and Tuesday's offensive explosion was encouraging, and Savannah has shown signs of improvement.
TOP 10 HOT HITTERS:
· Travis Taijeron - AAA: .346, which leads the PCL, folks. With 7 homers. No signs of slowing down, and hitting .553 when he does not strike out, indicative of someone who hits the ball very hard. In an organization bereft of minor league power (and in need of more Queens power), I am pulling for Travis to somehow improve on his 1 strikeout every 3 plate appearances flaw,
· Eudor Garcia – A: surprised the 3B did not break camp with the Gnats, but he is hitting .340/.375/.491 in 13 games since his promo to Savannah. Reputed rake, who is raking.
· Jonathon Johnson – A: 26 year olds don’t usually get any attention, but JJ has played 27 games, and the lefty hitting 2B is hitting .317/.380/.427 with 7 steals. Good work. Only 183 minor league official at bats in his career.
· T J Rivera – AAA: recently promoted, T J has hit .314 in 26 games this year, in a season which unfortunately included a DL stint.
· Josh Rodriguez – AA: 29 year old who can HIT. The 3B has a superb .320/.420/.569 line in 34 games, with 7 HR and 25 RBIs.
· Gavin Cecchini - AA: in 29 games, the 2012 first rounder is at .292/.353/.472 with a mere 10 Ks. May be in a break out season.
· Jayce Boyd – AA: the first baseman turned left fielder is channeling his inner Dave Magadan, with 14 doubles and no homers in 33 games. .305/.360/.414 stat line, but .350 in last 10, so he is (as usual) heating up.
· Dominic Smith: Hi A- A few weeks back, I wrote: “really struggling...9 for 59 (.153), 15 Ks, 3 RBIs.” Well, in his last 10 games, much improved: 12 for 38 with 10 RBIs and just 4 Ks. He’s back. Next up: some homers?
· Jeff McNeil – A: the 3B, who is also a 2B, is still rocking, at .326/.384/.356 in 34 games, good for 6th in the league’s batting race.
· Xorge Carillo, Luis Guillorme and Wuilmer Becerra - A: for #10, could not make up my mind, so let me list 3 worthy candidates. Xorge is a AA catcher hitting .307/.370/.455 after a slow start, and really should be higher. My bad, Xorge. Luis has been Mr. Consistent all year at .306/.379/.315. with a lack of power, but a superior glove. 20 year old Wuilmer, like Luis, who is a few weeks older, skipped a season in Kingsport and is doing nicely, with a .264/.311/.456 line with a team leading 14 extra base hits in 38 games.
SPECIAL MENTION TO A RECENT GRADUATE:· Darrell Ceciliani - AAA: .336, 5 homers, and a plane ticket to Queens. A hit in his first Mets’ at bat. Great work. Good luck.
Note: Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, Matt Reynolds, Alex Castellanos, Wilfredo Tovar – all having fine seasons, all cooled somewhat as of late, so all (temporarily at least) are bumped from the Top 10. And I left out Brandon Nimmo due to his recent DL situation.
TOP 10 HOT STARTERS:
Steve Matz - AAA: great - a top tier major league starter currently disguised as a minor leaguer. Get him into a phone booth so he can don his costume with the big S emblazoned on it that screams “SUPER STEVE”. Carries his cell phone at all times, awaiting the inevitable call.
Robert Gsellman - HI A: 7 Starts, 5-0, 1.43. Tremendous all year. Of the guys still in the minors, only Matz has been better. As previously noted, with decent relief pitching, nobody beats the Giz.
Seth Lugo – AA: this hard throwing righty who came out of obscurity 34th pick in 2011, at the age of 21), is 2-1, 1.93, 32.2 IP, 33 Ks in his first 6 starts. So he continues to really impress.
Brad Wieck – A: Big, Bad Brad is still giving up some runs, but he has shown an extreme affinity towards striking folks out. 35 K’s in last 21.1 innings, spanning 4 starts. 80 in 56 career innings. Love the lefty!
Luis Cessa - AA: 6 starts, 3-2, 2.97. 33 IP, 27 K’S, 8 BB.
Rob Whelan - HI A: 1-2, 6 starts, sports a 2.50 ERA, and 1.08 WHIP.
Miller Diaz - HI A: 1-3, 3.06 in 6 starts. 30 Ks in 32.1 innings.
Casey Meisner - A: terrific, at 2-1, 2.31, 1.17 WHIP in 6 starts.
Tyler Pill – AAA: not often does a guy with a 5.75 ERA make the list, but in his last 2 starts, 15 innings, 8 hits, 1 walk, 14 Ks. He’s adjusted.
Duane Below - AAA: OK, so the great and mighty Thor is called up to the big squad in Queens. Who will start in his place? "Look Below".
Duane Below steps in and tosses a 4 hit shutout vs. Tacoma on Tuesday. OK, OK, 3rd start for Duane, but don't mess up my story line! Anyway, he tosses a complete 9 inning shutout! 3-2 and a 2.51 ERA for the veteran lefty, with 78 big league innings under his belt. Hot enough for me. He's on the list.
Sad Note: Marcos Molina - HI A: Unbelievably, it appears he is another Tommy John surgery in waiting. I have developed a deep hatred for Tommy John.
TOP 5 HOT RELIEVERS:
Akeel Morris - HI A: sensational - 19 innings, 4 hits and 29 Ks.
Paul Sewald - AA: 3-0, 1.74, 6 saves, 22 Ks in 20.2 innings. Wow.
Adam Kolarek - started the season miserably, but the turnaround has been drastic. ERA has dropped from 14.14 to 4.50 in a very short period of time. 15 inning scoreless streak.
David Roseboom - A: 2-0, 1.86, 22 Ks in 19.1 innings. 0.83 WHIP.
Scott Rice – AAA: 15 games, 10.2 IP, 3 H, 9 BB (none intentional), 10K, 0.84 ERA. There if we need him.
WHO'S NOT HOT?
Vicente Lupo – A - is (still not) hitting .159 with 39 Ks in 88 at bats.
Gil Gomez – AA - is 4 for 40 with 17 Ks. That bad is a scary place to be.
Back up catchers: Tyler Moore in A, and Jeff Glenn and Adrian Abreu in Hi A, are a combined 10 for 98. Other ice cold catchers are AAA’s Nelfi Zapata and AA’s Al Cordero, who are a combined 10 for 66. That is a whole lot of ugly from 5 catchers from just the top 4 Met teams.
Champ Stuart – started season like a house on fire, now down to .195 with 52 Ks in 33 games, and 4 for 42 in last 10 games. Major swoon.
That's all, folks. Until we meet again.