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.

Last night was OPENING NIGHT in Guppy Country, for the four Mets full-season minor league teams.  How they did was largely irrelevant (it’s just one game for each team, people), but…

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.
That's just the first game of many for each team that played, though.

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.
AA BINGHAMTON - LHSP PJ Conlon (#10); C Tomas Nido (#13); IF Luis Guillorme (#21); LF Kevin Kaczmarski (#22), and 3B David Thompson (#23).  Interesting, solid Rumble Ponies group.  Play well, or you may become Grumble Ponies.

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).
Also, 18 year old uber-prospect Andres Giminez did not make a full season team for 2017 – no surprise - my guess is he plays in Brooklyn.)

There are plenty of other talented guys who barely missed my top 25, like Chris Flexen and very fine RHRP Corey Taylor. 

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. 
Their production and progress in 2017 will be awesome to watch. Two years ago, I made much mention of the Mets minors squads being collectively 100 games over .500.  I’d not be surprised to see these 4 teams alone get close to 100 games over .500.



Mack Ade said...

Thank you Tom for your post this morning.

I hope your post and my side bar will remind everyone of the commitment Mack's Mets has to the minor league players.

My hopes are some of the other writers surface with some new material on the parent team.

Thomas Brennan said...

I thought you would write that when you saw the Guppy, you knew there was something fishy with this article! Thanks for your thanks, following the minors guys is fun, especially when there is tons of talent as there is now.

Agree, would love to see some writers throw an article in the 10:00 slot when open on any variety of topics. Pick a specific topic and do a quick article, it need not be elaborate (like, for instance, most of Reese's great articles).

If there isn't one at 10:00, I'll throw out a 5 minute article there, just to demonstrate how easy it can be.

Reese Kaplan said...

I have a bone to pick with Tom. He left out the most important aspect of the Las Vegas 51s' terrible first game. It took place right here in my hometown of El Paso against the ankle biters aka El Paso Chihuahuas. I may get to see the game in person on Sunday.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, you need to fire the Vegas manager (whoops, he just got there) and take over before they leave El Paso.

Adam Smith said...

Thanks, Tom, for doing what you do. Potentially a very exciting year for the whole organization. So many obvious kids to dream on, and a whole bunch more to root for. I'm a big Guillorme fan, for example, because I love great defensive SS, and because the no-flinch bat catch convinced me that he's just a badass. Ahh, baseball season. The heart sings.

Thomas Brennan said...

Thanks Adam. And Luis sure looked badass in that viral bat clip

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