Two of our hotter minors bats got summoned to Queens this week, namely Luis Guillorme (Mets debut) and Phillip Evans - we wish both of them great success, and health.  

At the times they were called up, Luis had been on a recent tear in AAA, and Evans was launching lots of Vegas moonshots (9 on the young season).

I think in this latest in a series of weekly articles on who is hot at the plate and out of the bullpen from the foot soldiers on Mets minor league teams that I will focus on only those who are doing something truly hot or exceptional.  

(Stats thru Wednesday, people, except I included Thursday's explosive Binghamton game - 11 runs, 21 hits.)

Other than Luis and Phillip, bats have been largely mediocre in Vegas, and you all know who else plays there: 

Smith and Wesson a/k/a Dom and Cheech.


When it comes to blazing lumber, I always have to start with Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil, the Batman and Robin of the AA Eastern League Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

Pete (a/k/a Bat Man, or Pounding Pete) is now getting widespread attention of the kind - well - that I actually gave him on this website LAST YEAR - because it was clear to me then how good he is. Most people last year focused on his fielding struggles and overlooked the already Ruthian bat once he got past his hand injury of 2017.  

Let's hope Pete is a major Mets star on the horizon.

So far, Pete is hitting .366/.485 with 11 homers in 38 games and a "mere" .679 slug %. Why mere? Because: 

Jeff McNeil, coming back strong like Robert Redford in The Natural, is a former slap hitter turned BEAST.  

I think .333/.416, with a slugging % of .725 with 24 extra base hits including 10 HRs in just 31 games, is BEASTLY.

Also good to see: teammates Jhoan Urena and Kevin Taylor have ignited - both are hitting in the .290s, and Taylor happily smacked his first 2 homers Thursday night.  

Both are hitting around .360 in May...ahh, warmer weather!

In St Lucie, while Andres Gimenez (.262) is progressing not heatedly but steadily, the hottest bat of late belongs to Anthony Dimino (.291).

However, speedy Gene Cone still leads the team at .303, good for 16th highest in the league.

While catcher Scott Manea (.295/.471/.487) of Columbia's A ball squad has cooled off just a wee bit, I thought it notable to mention that in just 27 games, Scott had been hit by pitches 12  times!  Fluke? Nope.  

He has now been hit TWENTY SIX TIMES in 297 plate appearances.   

Undercover Brother actor Eddie Griffin said, "Nah, dat ain't Wright."

Scotty, baseball's Rocky Balboa, chimed in: 

"C'mon!! Hit me, Creed, you ain't got nuffin'!"

On Monday night, he forced in the winning run when he got plunked by a pitch.  

I wonder if Manea knows about former Mets "almost rookie of the year" Ron Hunt (beaten out for that honor by little-known Pete Rose).  I'll bet Scott does.

Hunt got hit 50 times one year while playing for the Expos, a year in which he fanned just 41 times.  You can't (normally) strike out if you let a pitch hit ya, after all.  

Hunt in fact was hit by a pitch an astounding 176 times in one 6 year stretch.  

Think about that the next time you see a Met, up as the winning run at the plate with the bags full, contort like mad to not get hit by a pitch, and then make out.  And then lose.  

Hunt, like Manea, would take one for the team, both winners.

As a Met for 4 years (with 2 All Star appearances), Ron Hunt also fanned a total of just 133 times. Very nice.

Manea's teammates?

Jeremy Vasquez (.312/.414/.496).

Blake Tiberi (.297/.433/.390).

Both have been the torrid Columbia bats of note this season on the Fireflies Hit Squad.  

In fairness, teammate OF Quinn Brodey has averaged an extra base hit every 9 times up this year, so although he is hitting just .237, he deserves acknowledgment.

I won't mention Tim Tebow this time, I promise.

Because he is not quite scorching hot, just doing better than most pundits expected,  

Last night, he fanned 4 times, and got a hit his fifth at bat.  When not striking out, he is hitting a miraculous .475.


I lay awake at night, wondering: "How can anyone write "PUT IT IN THE BOOKS" without a good pen?

Truly outstanding pen arms so far (defined as almost flawless performance so far in 2018) include the following:


Tim Peterson


Tyler Bashlor (Brennan's Top Dawg)

Joshua Torres

High A:

Joseph Zanghi

Ryder Ryan

Matt Pobereyko

Steve Nogosek

Matt Blackham

Full A:

Aaron Ford

BATS and Pens.  There you have it.

Until next Friday.


Anonymous said...

Good info on Manea, though not a trend I'd advocate. Catching is a brutal position, getting plunked constantly invites injury. I recognize there's an art to it, but still.

Very much doubt that you were one of the few guys who noticed Alonso last season. No need to pat yourself on the back about stating the obvious.

Thomas Brennan said...

Anon, Alonso was hitting under .200 on June 19 last year. When he then got hot for a few weeks in late June, I was fully on board with his possible future stardom. And writing about it.

Others in the blogosphere were still highly focused on Smith and just starting to mention that Alonso was showing signs of life.

That was my point.

Same as this year with Jeff McNeil.

Like they say, "you can look it up."

Thomas Brennan said...

Case in point on people staying skeptical, first about Alonso, now about McNeil:

Another blog site wrote today" SURPRISINGLY it wasn't Peter Alonso who did the heavy lifting. Instead, Jeff McNeil..."

I am not the least bit "surprised" by Jeff tearing things up. The three best hitters in AA are 1) Vlad Guerrero, and 2) Pete and Jeff (tie). Is McNeil hitting even better than I thought he would? Yes, but am I surprised? Not at all - I knew if he was healthy, he'd be REALLY good, and hit great, whether he is a ranked player or not.

At the end of last year, I had Jeff as my 12th ranked prospect, only that low because I had questions as to his health at age 25. If I knew he was going to be healthy, as he is now, I would have had him # 4, behind Alonso, Gimenez, and Peterson.

Alonso? He was my # 1 Mets prospect at the end of last season. Most people did not have him that high. You can look that up, too.

Thomas Brennan said...

Last McNeil observation - former slap hitter, but 2 homers I watched video of this past few days, the announcer described the homers as "way out." He is not luckily sneaking balls over the fences by 6 inches. His power certainly seems legit now.

Mack Ade said...

Anon -

For the record...

Tom was aboard Alonso far ahead of all of us. Check his ranked prospect list on the right side of page one of this site. He has had Alonso ranked #1 for well over a year.

Thomas Brennan said...

Guess who isn't included in the Mets Top 30 Prospects on the official club web page?

Jeff McNeil.

Too old, I guess.

I guess they're wrong.

Thomas Brennan said...

I wonder if Jhoan Urena is finally, at age 23, ready to show he has the chops for a future in the big leagues. A month ago, his play made it look cloudy, but he is surging.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Last Night's Mets Game

This game with Jake deGrom starting, is exactly why you do not trade him, or really either Noah Syndergaard for that matter. These two are elite starters and to replace either one could be impossible to do.

Last night was a 13 strikeout evening for Jake in what five or six innings or work? See my point here? It doesn't matter who the Mets would get back for either starter, it would not be enough and you would have just taken away the best starters here since Dwight Gooden came up in 1985.

These notions to trade either starter had to be begun in a NY Yankee Think Tank!

Thomas Brennan said...

Anonymous, I agree - unless some team has the equivalent of 3 Gleyber Torres to give us for Jake - then I am listening.

Because, to me, Jake = Seaver ability-wise.

Anonymous said...

Brennan and Reese...

You guys are slightly aggitated on your most recent blog postings today. My take? It may not be that bad here guys as you two have suggested.

Someone here asked yesterday, if the Mets should re-sign Cabrera for next season and beyond as his contract ends after the 2018 season. I think it depends a lot on how Jeff McNeil plays the rest of 2018 with hopefully a call-up for him not too far off.

Peter Alonso to me is the next big deal on first base here. I just saw an interview with him yesterday and I was very impressed with how he handled himself, the natural calmness of his demeanor and the passion he has for this game. Very impressed indeed. Peter is on fire down at AA Binghamton batting and he has been noticed by many.

Regarding the catcher position, it's been a sort of "black hole" on this team since Mike Piazza left, let's face it. But need we really despair more? I for one hope not.

Here's who I want here in an order for catcher: 1. JT Realmuto/Miami 2. Wilson Ramos/TBay 3. Tom Murphy/Rockies. Can we get one? My crystal ball is broken, so I simply do not know. But a catcher who can actually hit might not be so bad a thing.

Wilson plays for Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay is one of the best current rebuilding projects I have seen of late. I like Oakland A's too though. But Tampa has a quality younger players at almost all their positions. Trying to find Tampa Bay a weak suit that a trade could shore up for them, is not simple. Maybe pitching? Every single Tampa Bay starting field player is playing quite well so far in 2018. Most I have not really even heard of.

On Tampa, I might like a "four player deal" that would bring back catcher Wilson Ramos and a lefty late inning reliever, if possible. Tampa has two younger lefty relievers in Ryan Yarbrough and Jose Alvarado.

And then finally this...

Our starting rotation may be taking the slow train for some of the five starters, but it is definitely coming around the bend. I see four good ones here (Noah, Jake, Steven, and Zach) but we need possibly two more new ones to make the half dozen so that all six arms are sufficiently rested.

Nabil Crismatt (when ready) is one starter I am really watching now, and the other will probably need to be a trade acquisition. A lefty like TB's Snell would be terrific but good luck getting him because he is having a terrific year thus far and is a dynamo there. So there could be a genuine need for another good young lefty starter for here that will have to be realized at some point perhaps.

Mack's Mets © 2012