AM I THE ONLY ONE EXCITED? WEEKLY MINOR LEAGUE RECAP - Tom Brennan
Man, almost as much as following the mother ship in Queens, I love following the Mets' minor leaguers, to primarily see who is hot, and briefly peek at who is not. It is a nice distraction when the New York Mets can't hit to look elsewhere and see signs of hitting life from a team like the Law Vegas 51s, with 16 runs in 2 contests.
In the past 2 years I have been writing about them for Mack’s Mets, the Mets' minor league teams collectively have been far above .500, and I suspect (without checking) that those teams have had the best collective win-loss records of any organization in baseball over that time span. NICE!
The Mets promoted and traded a slew of minor league fellas in 2015…but we fans still got some pretty amazing players down under.
So how did they do in the first truncated week (Thursday through Sunday), totaling just 12 contests? Some great, some not so great:
STARS OF THE WEEK:
The best of the best for this week in my humble opinion are the triumvirate of Tom McIlraith, Alex Palsha, and Johnny Magliozzi (left to right in picture), who combined to no hit Charleston. Nothing like a dominant, first week no hitter. Magliozzi added the cherry to the sundae by striking out the side in the 9th, all swinging. Ralph Kiner would have had them on Minors Corner, for sure.
AAA LAS VEGAS 51'S: Hard to imagine bad weather in Vegas, but 2 of the first 4 contests were rained out. In splitting the first 2 games of 2016, Rafael Montero gave the 51s a strong 5 innings (3 H, 2 R, 5 K) in the opening win, and Seth Lugo had a poor 4 inning outing in the 51s' loss.
Matt Reynolds (.600) hit an opening game homer, and1B Marc Krauss hit a game winning walk off 2 run shot. Johnny Monell (.500) continues his fine spring hitting, and has 4 ribs in 2 games.
The pen has been not so good....OK... AWFUL....with Dario Alvarez having and ERA of 27.00 and Zach Thornton a ghastly 108.00.
Pitchers LUV Vegas - not.
AA BINGHAMTON METS: More typical was Binghamton's early April weather. One game was a cold rain out, the other cancellation was due to SNOW. April SNOW brings May thaw. They managed to get 2 icy cold games in and split them. Spring arrives May 15.
Righty Rob Gsellman was strong in game 1, and added 7 Ks in 5.2 innings, a missing ingredient last season for the highly regarded prospect. The pen was great and Akeel "the Real Deal" Morris tossed a perfect 9th for the save. Tyler Pill did not get to hit (a DH was used) and so had nothing to make up for his so-so starting pitching effort in the 2nd game.
Dom Smith has just 1 hit thru two games, but bulked up Jeff McNeil homered and drove in both runs in the first game win, and has 3 hits in his first 2 games.
A - ST LUCIE METS: 3-1. No rain outs. Uber prospect Amed Rosario hit a walk off homer in the first contest, and Tomas Nido is 6 for 13 and John Mora is off to a hot start and has 4 RBIs.
The pen has been strong, including Tim Peterson with 2 perfect innings with 5 Ks. Corey Oswalt pitched poorly but the offense bailed him out. Chris Flexen's start went well enough, but the offense did not bail him out, so he has the Lucies' lone loss so far.
A - COLUMBIA FIREFLIES: Besides the No Hit Boys, Vinny Siena had 6 hits and 4 walks in the first 4 games, repeating his blazing start with the Cyclones at the start of last year's short season in Brooklyn. Last year's 4th round pick, David Thompson, coming off a poor 2015 Brooklyn campaign, is off to a hot start with 6 RBIs and 3 extra baggers already.
Ivan Wilson has struck out 8 times in 4 games, a cautionary and familiar sign. The Flies' bullpen has been treacherous and is the reason this team is just 1-3 so far.
So overall, 6 wins and 6 losses through week 0.5. Next week's update, with a full slate of games, should be more meaningful.