LIVE From Lucie: My Report From Tradition Field on the St. Lucie Mets Prospects

                                                  Corey Oswalt walking back to dugout

  Yup, Why not pick the 13 inning game as the one to go see LIVE from beautiful Port St. Lucie.

  I had the pleasure of making the 170ish mile roundtrip to Tradition Field to Watch the Mets Single A team apparently win this marathon after a few wild pitches and an error (I left before the crazy 13th).

  I wanted to take the time to share my thoughts, analysis, reports, pics and a video from the day on the game, the players, the team and what lies ahead for the team.

  The pitcher of the day definitely was Corey Oswalt.  Corey looked solid throughout, throwing mostly in the 85-89 range with his pitches, topping out at 91 (more like an anger pitch from drama going on at the time in the game that inning).  For the most part, Oswalt had the opposing hitters off balance, inducing many pop flies throughout his 5 2/3 of shutout innings. Corey struck out the last batter he faced, but was removed from the game most likely due to a strict pitch count.

  In came.....wait, is that a major leaguer?.....yup, The LOOGY Josh Edgin came on in relief, facing one batter, and striking out said batter to end the 6th.

                                                           Josh Edgin in Relief
  Josh, to my knowledge of the evening, threw only one fastball, at 88mph, during what eventually and quickly became the only batter he faced, ultimately striking out the hitter on his breaking stuff and calling it a night.

 Corey Taylor
  And the award for hard luck pitcher of the night goes to former 7th round pick Corey Taylor.  Corey, whom I now like, sat consistently at 92MPH on his fastball, showing a solid arm, and looking good during his innings of work.  That is, until the umpire called an OBVIOUS foul ball FAIR down the 1B line, leading to a triple, followed by a sac fly and ultimately being charged for 2 runs that should have never happened.  In my humble opinion, we should at least keep an eye on Corey Taylor from this day forward.
  Speaking of guys to keep an eye, both of mine are now becoming set on the lefty Alberto Baldonado. 
                                                                Alberto Baldonado

  The hard throwing lefty and his fastball was sitting steady at 93-94MPH with life.  What my friend and fellow freelance writer Scot Cohen pointed out immediately with Alberto was his significant change in speeds of his pitches. During each at bat, he paired his 90s fastball with a 71-74MPH hook, definitely keeping hitters off balance and showing good command.  I'd like to see where Alberto goes from here, especially since he's one of those lifers in the organization (been with Mets since a teenager back in 2009).

  Yet another arm, in my opinion, to keep an eye on his Robert Coles. Unfortunately, I think even the radar gun was tired at this point, so there was no showing of his MPH, but my ears tell me Robert had life on his fastball, and was making pretty quick work out of things in shutting down the opposing hitters on the night.
                                                                             Robert Coles

                As for the hitters.......Do I really need to explain the first one I'm gonna mention? 
                                                  Amed Rosario base hit in the 7th inning
  Mets top SS prospect Amed Rosario had a very solid day offensively at the plate, going 2-3 with a walk and an RBI (im sorry I refuse to acknowledge the strikeout because the ump made a terrible call, simply not knowing how to call balls and strikes of the opposing teams knuckle baller who entered the game in the late innings).  Rosario showed good discipline at the plate, with hits that were both pulled and hit opposite field on the night.  Rosario also stole a base after his single in the 7th, showing his speed once again.
  Defensively, he didn't get many looks, and in extra innings he had a poor 'oops' moment when a routine grounder went right underneath his glove and into the outfield. But during the game he also continued to show his above average arm strength and quick movements and reactions in turning double plays.

  Another big prospect.....with emphasis on the word BIG..... is outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.
                                                                Wuilmer Becerra

  The first thought out of my friend Scot mind and mouth were.....He's a big man.  Becerra certainly looks very tall, muscular and imposing at the plate, and with the bat in his hands.  Unfortunately, just to add agony to my life, Becerra came to the plate in consecutive at bats in extra innings and was asked to BUNT a guy over :(  Anyway he found himself in a 0-2 hole trying and failing the first time, and then the next at bat he succeeded in doing so.  But again, just me, but your 5th hitter shouldn't be bunting in extra innings with a man on base.  He should be given the chance to win the game.

   Staring at the top of the lineup as usual for the St. Lucie Mets was CF Champ Stuart.
  Champ Stuart
  First things first, of course I love his speed.  Who wouldn't?  He's an 80 grade burner.  My concerns, based off last years eye ball test, was his ability to make consistent contact and catch up to even 90-91 MPH fastballs.   Tonight, I liked what I saw in that Champ had better contact then from last year. He was putting bat on ball, even getting robbed of a hit on a solid grounder pulled to the third base side in the game.  I also liked Champ in the outfield, obviously showing great range, and also showing off a very solid arm that I did not know he had. 
  The #2 hitter in the lineup was Luis Guillorme, the middle infield wizard and now by definition (by me), the 'slap hitter'.  I do like his style.  In his first at bat Luis simply slapped one that chopped over the third baseman's head, leading to a hit.  That looks to be his game.  You can also see how the opposing defense shifts more the opposite way, expecting his balls most likely to go from center to left field. In the field, playing 2B, he definitely showed speed agility, and amazing range, getting to a ball in the game that not many infielders would get to.  The play resulted in a single, but only because it should have already been in center field anyway without his speed and quick reactions of the bat of the ball to begin with.  If I had a concern for Luis it would be that he didn't seem to be very aggressive at the plate.  From my viewpoint, he seemed to take too many strikes that looked to be fastballs right in the strikezone.  It's only one game here, but I watched him aggressively smack the first inning pitch into left field, and I wished he kept that going in the follow up at bats. Also of note, if Becerra is a very TALL and muscular man, Luis is.........not as tall.  But again, he's a middle infielder, and I like his game.  Just want more aggression.
  The other young prospect is 3B Jhoan Urena.
                                                                       Jhoan Urena
  Jhoan had a couple of solid at bats on the night, showing the ability to drive the ball in both directions on the field.  I also liked what I saw from him in the field (well, except for the poor throw that caused 2 runs to score).  Prior to that throw, Jhoan made an outstanding play on a sharp liner down the line, showing some range and showing off a strong arm on that play for the out.   It will be interesting to see what the Mets do with Urena and David Thompson, whom I understand had himself a 4 hit game tonight for the Columbia fireflies.
  Ok, its late, I need to go to bed :)
                                    Luis heading back to the dugout after recording an out

                                          Because you can never have enough Rosario Pics
                                           This might be John Mora.....Im tired

Of note:  John Mora was a beast at the plate tonight with 3 SOLID hits all pulled towards the right field side of the plate in the early innings.

                                                         Wuilmer Becerra at the plate

I Will try to maybe post a follow up when I have more sleep and get my thoughts together :)


Tom Brennan said...

Nice update, Ernest!

I was intrigued to hear a first hand recap on Al Baldonado, who is picking up where he left off last year. Seems a future lefty Mets pen arm.

I hope Becerra gets going soon. As a whole, the mets' 4 minor league teams are not hitting, and the 4 combined have almost 10 less homers than the Mets alone do. And all 4 teams overall are mired in mediocre hitting.

Mora has 4 errors already in the OF - odd.

Oswalt had a good outing but in this day and age, the velocity (or lack thereof) is a major impediment.

I see in AAA, where Vegas got off to an explosive offensive start the past 2 years, they are far from that this year. Nimmo and Cecchini are hitting poorly.

Ynoa off to a great start, but K rate still low. How that might translate to the bigs is anyone's guess.

Akeel Morris has given up more earned runs already than he did in 2013 or in 2014, and is only 6 earned runs short of 2015. Weird.

I saw Vinny Siena has a .492 on base %, and Thompson is hitting .327. Also, Ivan Wilson had 2 doubles and a homer last night and has cut his still-too-high K rate in half, so there is hope there.

Anonymous said...

Just a fabulous piece, Ernest, thank you.

Tom Brennan said...

5 of Josh Edgin's 10 outs so far by strikeout - he must be very encouraged.

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