Tom Brennan: Season Recap: Kingsport Mets


Tom Brennan: Season Recap: Kingsport Mets

Another season recap on yet another losing Mets squad.

Kingsport's Mini-Mets finished up at 29-37, 16 games worse than the league's best team.  This team did feature very decent hitting, but it's pitching was poor overall, hence the 8 games under .500 result.


Eduardo Fermin hit .352 in 19 games.  

Rigoberto Terrazas hit .348 (2nd in the league) in 52 games, although he missed the last 2 weeks.

"Daddy Wags" Wagner Lagrange hit .335 (4th in the league) before being promoted to Brooklyn late in the season to try to resuscitate Brooklyn's moribund offense (I love to use the word moribund, don't you?).  

First baseman Jeremy Vasquez hit .296 with 7 homers in half a season before also sent to Brooklyn for offensive disaster relief.

Juan Uriarte was certainly a welcome catcher and hitting performer in the Mets organization, going .305/.372/.455 in 52 games.  We can only hope the 19 year old is for real going forward.

All of the above hitters nicely also had relatively low strikeout rates.  I am not a big fan of guys who fan. 

Except, that is, for OF Anthony Dirocie.  Showing more power than anyone in the Mets minors not named Pounding Pete Alonso or Triphammer Travis Taijeron, Mr. Dirocie had a terrific 19 doubles, 3 triples and league-leading 11 homers in just 61 games. 

The 93 Dirocie Ks in just 61 games were, however, extremely high, and the 20 year old 5'11" 175 pound slugger has a big red alert to address there if he is not to emulate former high strikeout flame outs Ivan (Hoe) Wilson and Vicente (Vinnie the Loop) Lupo

Pitching wise:

5 relievers (Joshua Payne, Aaron Ford, Ryan Selmer, Billy Oxford, and the also-promoted-to-Brooklyn Steve Villines) pitched very well. Chris James and Joe Cavallaro started 16 games between them in commendable fashion. 

Aaron Ford got bumped all the way to Columbia late in the season and found the hitters much tougher, giving up 9 runs in 5.2 innings there, but the lefty did fan 33 in just 21 innings this year overall, with a fine 1.05 WHIP.  I'll take it gladly.

Steve Villines had a 5 star season, going 3-2, 1.65 between Kingsport and Brooklyn, with 41 strikeouts AND JUST 1 WALK in 27 innings.  How's that 41:1 strikeout to walk ratio, hah?  The 2017 10th round pick's sterling performance reminded me of another former 10th round reliever's sterling performances in his days in the minors: Paul Sewald.

However, 6 other guys who will remain nameless threw over 200 combined innings had a combined ERA of well over 6.00, which is not conducive to team success.

Kingsport actually led the league in hitting for a while before promotions and injuries dropped them to .275, with 365 runs scored, 5.5 runs per game, and 47 dingers.  Best of all the Mets minors teams.

A 4.92 team ERA and 5.6 runs allowed per game did not constitute blue ribbon stuff, though.

But I will take a strong hitting rookie team  like this one, where half the pitchers pitch quite well even if the other half...uhh...suck, anytime, because rookie ball is all about producing quality hitters (check - the K Mets had several) and pitchers (check - the K Mets had several).

It gives real hope that hitting and pitching in Brooklyn will be better in 2018, and that hitting in Columbia will improve too, as these better K Mets graduate upwards in 2018.

Consider me happy with this team's performance despite its LOSING record.  Losers can be winners sometimes.


2016 coveted high school draftee Cameron Planck has not yet pitched in a minors game in 2016 or 2017.  Maybe he's a mirage?  Apparently he had shoulder surgery but is listed as active...hmmm.  Tell him Jack Chesbro went 41-12 in 455 innings in 1904, but he had to actually pitch in games to do it.  Hopefully, we'll see Mr. Planck in 2018.


Hobie said...

Terrazas is Rule 5 eligible, btw. What's up with that?

And it's my observation that there's more hope for high contact players to develop some power than high K guys to turn HR's into 2 singles & a double. Looking forward to progress from Rigoberto, Wags & Uriarte.

Reese Kaplan said...

I don't think they'll protect a guy that low in the minors since the claiming team would have to hold him on the major league roster all year or offer him back to his original team.

Robb said...

Wagner Lagrange is a grade 80 name. If for no other reason then that I want this guy to be a major leaguer. Hopefully he can hit 335 too.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hobie, I agree - going from contact to power is easier from power to contact...the problem is, we have almost no one in the minors who does make contact who gets that power must be added, or for some reason just cannot.

Reese is right - no one is claiming a hitter from rookie ball.

Robb, we do need our own "Daddy Wags", it is an 80 name, so hopefully he hits like crazy in 2018 and then gets to Queens by late 2019. He can beat a guy with 80 speed AND an 80 name who may never get here, Champ Stuart.

Hobie said...

>> Wagner Lagrange is a grade 80 name. >>

LOL. My first thought was that it sounded like a character in a Mel Brooks film, but I'm with you.

BTW, my favorite BB name is Burleigh Grimes ("Ol' Stubblebeard").

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I'm very glad you are doing these affiliate recaps during the same time I handle it by position. Our readers should have a good feel for the system by the time we are done.

Mack Ade said...

Hobie -

You're dating yourself again...

Reese Kaplan said...

My nomination for the best baseball name of all time is Scipio Spinks. I'm guessing injuries must have derailed his career as it only lasted about 5 years but he finished with a 3.70 ERA as a reliever for the Cardinals and Astros, leaving baseball at age 25.

Thomas Brennan said...

Thanks, Mack. Good to present bad news from two angles!

Reese, they should have had a Scipio Peanut Butter Day while he was still playing. I still think having Asdrubel Cabrera and Odubel Herrera hitting back to back would be a real treat.

Hobie said...

I wonder if there's a name for that phenomenon--the sound of one's name conjuring up an occupation. If it's a disease, I have it.

Scipio Spinks should have been a Star Wars character. Washington Irving in a different century, would be a defensive back. Donald Trump a reality TV ... oh.

Thomas Brennan said...

Julius Erving a classics professor? Ed Kranepool a bridge builder?

Hobie said...


On a flight to Houston (c.1970) I was seated with an English prof/sports fan. We decided to make up sports teams from literary icons using the sound of their name to determine sport & position. I wish I had written them down, but I still remember...

FB: Washington Irving DB, John Updike ("Johnny U.") QB, CP Snow WR, & Erskine Caldwell OT...
Basketball: Kahil Gibran (formerly Clifford Irving) C, Nat Hawthorne F & little Tommy Aquinas PG (from Providence)...
Funny, I don't remember many from our baseball team except Octavio Paz was the SS

Hockey was the easiest: Emile ("the Cat") Zola in goal, Guy ("Moose') de Maupassant on D & the Bernoulli brothers, Jacob & Johann (the "Pocket Bernoulli") as forwards.

Yeah, Mack, I've been doing this a long time.

Thomas Brennan said...

Don't forget Homer Bailey. The Mets hate power in the minors and would never draft this guy.

Mack's Mets © 2012