Guppies, as I refer to them in a Mets context are minor league aspiring wannabes trying to navigate like salmon though rapids and shark-infested waters filled with land mines to reach the promised land in Queens, where a Citifield lush with thick grass and wonderful post-game buffets lies in wait for them.
TIM TEBOW HOMERS HIS FIRST TIME UP? His 2 run shot started a 14 run Columbia barrage, but he did end up with 1 for 5, 3 Ks, so it was a mixed night for him. Dash Winningham and Paul Paez also homered. Dash and Ali Sanchez each had 3 hits, and Blake Tibieri and Gene Cone each got on base 4 times. 3 strong innings to start for Harol Gonzalez, who was, alas, knocked out in a 5 run 5th.
In St Lucie, a better-pitched game by Andrew Church, but a loss, due to only a run on 6 hits. Pounding Pat Mazelka was 2 for 3 and a walk, with his maiden 2017 homer.
Vegas lost 8-1 despite 10 hits, as the table setters, Gavin Cecchini and Matt Reynolds, went 0-8, with Matt fanning all 4 times up (ouch). Travis Taijeron singled and doubled. The lone pitching highlight was the pen-sational Paul Sewald striking out 3 in a scoreless, hitless final inning.
Binghamton kept its Rumble Ponies corralled due to rain.
What I care about more are the stars I see on each team, listed here with my ranking of prospects done months ago:
AAA LAS VEGAS – SS Amed Rosario (#1), 1B Dominic Smith (#2), OF Brandon Nimmo (#4), 2B Gavin Cecchini (#8), 3B Phillip Evans (#12); RHRP Paul Sewald (#18); LHRP Dave Roseboom (#19); RHSP Ricky Knapp (#23); and OF Travis Taijeron (#24), not to mention whiffling Matt Reynolds (who Mack knew I had to mention).
A case could be made that this is the best Mets minors infield ever. Runs won’t be a problem for this squad.
HIGH A ST. LUCIE - LHSP Thomas Szapucki (#5), RHSP Justin Dunn (#6), 1B Peter Alonzo (#10); OF Wuilmer Becerra (#14); RHP Marcos Molina (#16); and C Pat Mazeika (#20).
Some real, budding star power in this group, assuming Szapucki's sucky (notice my clever rhyme there) shoulder impingement does not become a career-threatening injury.
It's Florida, don't forget the sunscreen, especially at night, boys.
MID A COLUMBIA - OF Desmond Lindsay (#7), Milton Ramos (#25), and of course, Tim Tebow (unranked, but trying harder). Other guys I really like include C Ali Sanchez, who possesses an Uzi for a right arm in throwing out base stealers, starters Harol and Merandy Gonzalez, and Luis Carpio (who swears he will never drive in the Carpio Tunnel).
(What about my #3 and #9 prospects, Rob Gsellman and TJ Rivera? They're not up above, baby, both are on the Mets, and darned happy about it (come to think about it, so am I).
All in all, looking at those listed, and thinking back several years to when I hoped against hope that Reese Havens could resurrect his abilities when not much else was happening in the minors, this year's group is one heckuva great batch.