Posted by Thomas Brennan at 8:00 AM
Tom Brennan - LEFTY LASHERS
The Mets certainly have their share of LEFTY LASHERS on the Mother Ship in Queens.
Big, bad (but surely great in 2017) Lucas Duda; young Michael Conforto: bags-packed Jay Bruce; gent's gent Curtis Granderson; and switch hitters in Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker, and former batting champ Jose Reyes, who hit lefty most of the time. That is a lot of LEFTY hitters. Not to mention thunderous Noah Syndergaard.
Not sure when the Mets over the years had as many lefties as this...are they planning to install a Yankee Stadium porch or something? Might want to, and call it something original like Kiners Korner.
But this article is not about the majors guys. Instead, it asks if there are up-and-comers who swing from the right side of the plate and thus earn the honor (which I share) of being called a LEFTY. I guess lefties are in their right minds and also hit from the right side...I get it now.
Anyway, yes, we have minors lefty bats Here's the best:
Brandon Nimmo - won the triple A batting title....whoops, TJ Rivera edged him out by a point by going 9 for 16 over his last 3 games. But Nimmo did win the LEFTY AAA batting title at .352, and also hit a low power .274 in limited action in Queens. Will he get much of a chance in the bigs on a 2017 team crowded with LEFTY hitters, and if he does, will he do well? Hope he plays like a very successful 1st round pick. His limited power to date may limit his career if not altered.
Dominic Smith - a first rounder two years after Nimmo, he has progressed nicely in most respects, including upping the HR quotient of his power game in 2016.
He hit .302/.367/.457 as a guy who turned just 21 last June, with a nice 91 ribbies in 130 contests. According to his stats, he has achieved parity with current Met 1B Duda in one unfortunate respect...250 pounds. At his listed 6'0" height, that is a bit unsettling. Maybe Weight Watchers needs to send Las Vegas an eating coach?
Kevin Kacsmarski - after only one short season and one full season in the minors KK has already just turned 25 on New Years eve, so he needs to fire it up in 2017. In 175 minor league games so far, a Nimmo-like .309/.381/.451. but just 6 long balls. But those 670 at bats include 47 doubles, 15 triples, and 34 steals.
Seems like a future utility major leaguer in progress to me, but let's see if he can stun us in 2017. Oh, and just 2 errors, with 10 assists, as an OF in 170 games out there, which is terrific for a minors guy.
Pat Biondi of St Lucie is 25, 10 days younger than KK, and is a very speedy, very low power guy who hit .27I with a .352 OBP in 2016 in 99 games. My feeling is there is not enough stick to get Pat to the bigs, but maybe he surges in 2017 and changes minds.
Luis Guillorme - the powerless (one career HR) defensive SS whiz regressed to modest levels of offense after his promotion to St Lucie in 2016 after his MVP season in Savannah in 2015. A boost in the bat going forward could land him a utility IF spot in the bigs someday.
Pat Mazelka - the lefty hitting catcher, who will play as a 23 year old in 2017, has impressed in the same 1 1/2 year time span as Kevin K, with Pat putting up a .329 career minors average so far, with decent pop and excellent contact.
Patrick only made as far as Columbia in 2016 because he missed a good chunk of time with an injury and (righty) Tomas Nido blocked him in St Lucie. Both will undoubtedly move up a level; it is nice to have 2 fine hitting catchers in the system below Kevin Plawecki.
Dash Winningham just turned 21, and 2017 is time to show if he will be a mediocre minors power bat, or start to accelerate. With Columbia in A ball in 2016, Dash had 31 doubles and 12 homers in 465 at bats...but hit just .234. Hoping for a big year from the big 1B in 2017.
His 3 steals in 243 games indicates that the name is not descriptive of that aspect of his game. However, his 29 career homers in under 1000 at bats IS impressive.
Ricardo Cespedes - the teen idol had a fine year in 2016 in Kingsport rookie ball (56 G, .322/.356/.379). He'll only turn 20 at the end of the 2017 season. One to really watch.
Anthony Dimino – WHO? Well, he hit a very nice .325/.437/.410 in 37 games as a catcher in the Gulf Coast league, so let’s add him here, just to acknowledge a good job in 2016. He is already, though, a 23 year old who did a lousy job throwing guys out in 2016, but let’s toss him in the mix just to get him on the outer reaches of our radar system.
Andres Giminez - the SS played the entire DSL season as a 17 year old and killed it, with a .350/.469/.523 in 69 games. Let's hope he is a future super duper star.
Hope none of your LEFTY favorites were LEFT off my list.
Overall, some good signs of hope from the LEFTY hitters down under, in terms of future help for the Mother Ship.
If you missed it, look up my last article: RIGHTY RIPPERS.