METS MINOR LEAGUE AWARDS - Tom Brennan
A long minor league season is over, and 2 playoff series (Savannah, Binghamton) are under way - fine, but who got the awards?
You know, best actor in a lumber-swinging drama? That sort of stuff.
In case you missed it, here are the awardees (hopefully, I missed none so far):
GAVIN CECCHINI (see above):
As reported a few days ago by Bill Rosario of MILB.COM, Cecchini, playing in AA Binghamton for 2015, hit .317 (139-for-439) with 26 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 64 runs scored, 51 RBIs, and 3 steals in 109 games. As of August 28, Gavin had ranked among the league leaders in batting average (.317-2nd), hits (139-tied 3rd), doubles (26-tied 4th), OPS (.819-5th), total bases (194-6th), on-base %(.377-6th), runs scored (64-tied 7th), slugging % (.442-7th) and extra-base hits (37-tied 8th).
Cecchini, the Mets' 1st round pick in 2012, was named the Eastern League Player of the Month for July, hitting .387 (48-for-124) with 6 doubles, 3 triples, 2 homers, 21 runs and 18 RBIs in 29 games. He was selected to be the shortstop for the Eastern League All-Star Team.
On two sour notes, Gavin made 25 errors in those 109 games, and Cecchini's season ended on August 19 with a hip impingement. Hopefully, all he needs is R&R and he'll be fine for 2016.
The 2013 first round pick started the season hitting more like Dom Deluise, going 9 for 63 with 1 stinking double and 3 RBIs as of May 7, through 17 games.
After that, the 20 year old hit like - well, a 1st round pick. Playing 101 more games, he hit .330 with 32 doubles, 6 HRs and 78 RBIs in that span. Add a strong glove at 1B - how can one not be excited for this year's FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE MVP? I'll bet a big season is in store for 2016, and maybe he reaches the majors some time in 2016.
We all heard about the fluid glove work in 2014 when Luis was a 19 year old SS in Kingsport, hitting a solid .283. Would he dazzle or disappoint in 2015 at the ripe old age of 20?
Considering he was awarded as SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE MVP FOR 2015, I'd say he dazzled, with a capital D.
Luis was Mr. Consistency in 2015, and was instrumental in the Gnats going 40 games over .500 in their last 114 games (77-37). In 122 games, Luis hit .318, scored 64 times, drove in 55 runs from the 2nd slot, had a.391 OB %, and stole 18 bases. In August and early September, he hit .415 over his final 28 games and was on base almost 50% of the time. Wow.
Extra base hit wise, after just a solitary double in his first 46 games, he had 15 more in his last 76 games. Still searching for his first career triple and homer after 852 at bats, adding some pop will go a long way towards Luis perhaps being an everyday SS in the big leagues within a few years. That aside, man, what a 2015 LUIS had. 2016 can't arrive soon enough for him.
Guys who did not get awards, but should have:
A guy named Steve Shackleford was picked top reliever for AA' Eastern League. He did have 30 saves and go 4-2, but his ERA. was 4.45. Paul Sewald was indispensable in Binghamton making the playoffs. He was In 44 games, saved 24 of 25, 3-0, 1.75, 56 Ks in 51 innings, 0.86 WHIP. In my opinion, no contest, Paul was the best.
He has a career 11-5, 1.82 mark, 47 of 49 saves and 227 Ks in 192 innings. C'mon, man, those are the kind of numbers a fan can stare at and admire. And smile.
So, I will (without consulting Mack) select him as Mack's Mets Eastern League Fireman of the Year.
JEFF led the FSL in hitting most of 2015. He hit .312 there, then got promoted to AA for 4 games, and is with Binghamton for the playoffs.
In 122 games, the table setter scored 80 runs and stole 16 bases. He certainly will be considered the league's best at his position when the dust settles. I'd say he was co-MVP of the FSL to Dominic Smith, in my opinion.
He did not lead the NY PENN league in saves, because (how do I say it delicately) there were few leads to save. He did have an ERA of 0.38 with Brooklyn, saving 13 of 14, and striking out 34 in 24 innings. Pretty superb, if you ask me.
Despite leading the league in average and on base %, Catcher Pat Mazelka fell short in the MVP vote to Carlos Munoz. Pat's line was .354/.451/.540. Munoz was .325/.427/.587. Mazelka played 6 more games, it scored 9 more ru s and drove in 9 more. He also did a superior catching job. Mazelka gets my vote. I select him as Mack's Mets Appalachian League MVP.
A few other non-award notables:
Martires Arias had the 4th best S. Atlantic League ERA (2.29 - league leader was 2.10). He also K'd 115 In 118 innings.
Kevin Kaczmarski, Appalachian League batting champ at .355. Sweet.
Travis Taijeron missed the homer title in AAA by 2 (25), despite having less at bats than the 3 ahead of him and was 5th in the PCL with a .393 slugging %. He got some AAA rookie of the year votes. Lastly:
Akeel Morris had a short rough patch after his tough major league cameo (did he get near some kryptonite?), but still ended the minor league season having thrown 61 innings, allowing just 28 hits, striking out 81, and sporting a 2.05 ERA with 13 of 14 saves. Not at all shabby.
That's all for today, folks. If you read down this far, you too deserve a reward.