8/2/18

Tom Brennan - FLASHING LEATHER IN THE METS MINORS

6 comments
(pictured: Luis Guillorme)


Tom Brennan - FLASHING LEATHER IN THE METS MINORS



I was, for some odd reason, thinking about Rey Ordonez, a guy whose glistening gold shortstop glove got him to the major leagues for a 9 year career.  Heck, he won 3 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1997-99, and in 154 games in 1999, made a mere 4 errors.


It ain't just all about hitting.  Rey, in 261 minor league games, hit only .255/.288/.343.  Yuk.  He wasn't fast either.  He stayed in the big leagues 9 years hitting .246/.289/.310 because of the glove.

Ozzie Smith won a ton of Gold Gloves and it was that very mitt that got him into baseball's Hall of Fame as, arguably, baseball's all time best fielder.  His bat was good, but certainly not hall of Fame stuff.



So, who in the Mets minors is flashing leather, and who has the most work to do?  The answer to the latter, happily, is very few - defense has been a minor league strong point this year.

Let's look team-by-team at Mets Minors guys I consider legitimate prospects based on their bats (primary position is indicated):


LAS VEGAS



Shockingly, at first glance, no LV 51s player has made 10 errors this season.  Not many have played a lot of games, though.

3B Phillip Evans has made 8 in 50 games in the field.  He has not had a good 2017 and 2018, fielding-wise, and that can't help his cause.


1B Peter Alonso may be struggling to raise his AAA average, but has made just 3 errors in 37 games.  Nine in total in 82 games in the field, compared to 19 in 83 games last year.  Not Gold Glove caliber in 2017, but that rate is far better than in 2017, and is a tribute to the hard work he's put in to improve as a fielder.

SS Luis Guillorme made just 4 errors in 50 games this year, after 12 in 130 games last year in AA, so it is one indicator that his defensive whiz rep is highly well-deserved.

1B Dominic Smith has had a highly disappointing season with the bat, but has made just 3 errors at 1B in the majors an minors in 64 games, and none in 19 games in the OF.  It is clear his hitting woes have not hurt his fielding and that the weight loss has likely helped there.

2B/3B Jeff McNeil has made 13 errors in about 90 games, mostly at 2nd.  Not great, but not terrible.  He has been the flip side of Dom Smith, as Jeff has hit extremely well in 2018 but needs to tighten up the D.  (Side note: His maiden major league homer and 2 RBIs on Tuesday took some of the pain away from the Mets' awful 25-4 loss).

BINGHAMTON RUMBLE PONIES:


Only Jeff McNeil (10) had as many as 10 errors with the Ponies in 2018.

SS Andres Gimenez just got there, but his SS defense has been solid, with 13 errors in 92 games this year in A and AA ball, and 12 in 89 games last year, extremely solid defensive results for a 19 year old.

3B Levi Michael defensively has played very well in his career, playing 2nd, SS, 3B and the outfield over the several years since drafted.  Just 6 errors in 50 games this season, and 63 errors in 607 games in his career in the field (mostly in the at 2nd and SS.

C Tomas Nido, recently promoted to AAA, and having logged some major league time, too, this year, has had 5 errors in 60 games and thrown out 19 of 44 would-be base stealers this season.  Defense is his strong suit.

OF Tim Tebow - 59 games in the field, just 1 error, 3 assists.  A very competent 2nd season, fielding-wise.

ST LUCIE METS

IF Michael Paez - other than Andres Gimenez, he has been St Loo's best hitter.  Fielding?  Not good. 20 in 92 games, 43 in 253 games in the field in his career.  Needs to improve there, for sure.

IF Luis Carpio - has shown surprising (to me) power this year, with 10 homers and 18 doubles in 316 at bats, and a hot July, hitting .313/.364/.505, but has 11 errors in 92 games, mostly at 2B - not terrible, not great.  Think he can do better fielding-wise, but I'm thrilled to see the added power.  He had just 4 homers in his first 1,000 minors plate appearances.

He just turned 21 a few weeks ago in mid-July, and he may shove his way into the prospect lists this year if he can stay hot.

C Ali Sanchez - Ali has improved tremendously in one area this season - staying healthy.  Now in his 5th year, he has played just 271 games. 

He is a terrific defensive catcher, with 1 error and 27 of 61 thrown out in 53 games, and thrown out an incredible 48% of 292 stealers in his career.  The bat is also emerging (.267/.300/.389 in 70 games).  Still 21 years old, he could be on the cusp of a surge towards the majors.

COLUMBIA FIREFLIES

3B Blake Tiberi - after missing virtually all of 2017, BT (recently promoted to St Lucie) has had a nice bounce back year, with a .365 on base %, and 9 errors in 84 games at 2B. Decent enough, but to eventually make the Mets, he needs to step things up.

C Scott Manea - 6 errors in 49 games, and 23 of 61 caught stealing - decent for Full A.  That, and his .383 on base % in 78 total games this year definitely puts him on the radar screen of Mets' bona fide catching prospects.  Not bad for a 40th rounder.

SHORT SEASON BALL

Given that the three short season teams' seasons are only 6 weeks old, discernible patterns are harder to identify.  Anyway, here are highlights:

BROOKLYN CYCLONES

C Nick Meyer was touted for his defense when drafted in the 6th round but so far has made 5 errors and thrown out just 7 of 32 in 23 games, so that part of his game has been below expectations in a short sample.  A month older than Ali Sanchez.

2B Carlos Cortes - the 3rd rounder has hit .300 in his last 10 games, and registered 3 errors in 22 games.  Solid, if not spectacular, so far.

OF Anthony Dirocie - no errors and 3 assists in 31 games this year.  And his first Cyclones HR last night, a 3 runner.  Listen to the announcer's call:

https://soundcloud.com/brooklyncyclonesradio/brooklyn-3-tri-city-2
 
A.D. is .333/.426/.565 in 32 games this year.

KINGSPORT METS

2B Luis Santana - .353, and 3 errors in 34 games.  Count me impressed.

SS Sherveyn Newton gets his money's worth: in 34 games, 10 errors, 29 walks, 57 Ks, 30 runs, 26 RBIs.

OF Jarred Kelenic - 3 for 35 slump, but 10 walks, in last 10 games, but he is also 10 for 10 in steals, and 2 errors and 4 assists in 28 games in the field.  Just needs hits.  Probably needed to stay longer in the GCL, where he was tearing it up.

GULF COAST METS

SS Ronny Mauricio - the 17 year old whiz has made a not-unexpected-for-his-age 8 errors in 31 games in the field, but that is certainly not terrible, and .333/.529 slug in 34 games.   Exciting.


That's it - I'm ready to field your questions, and promise I won't get defensive.
















6 comments:

Mack Ade said...

I'm hoping that Guillorme returns to the defensive genius he showed us that he's capable of being, THIS TIME in Queens

Reese Kaplan said...

Is it alright on your defensive missive for me to go on the offensive?

Why would the Mets decide that Levi Michael, he of the great glove and breakthrough bat, be better served at AA than in AAA? I know, I know, they are trying to justify the scrap heap pickup on the 40-man roster. I could see the headline writers now, "Mets Get Jack from Diamondbacks!"

Still, on a team that struggles to score and needs all the offensive help it can get, you'd think the late blooming Jeff McNeil would turn on a few brain cells or light bulbs that there is such a thing as a late bloomer. Reinheimer may be fine and dandy with his PCL .237 AVG but what happened to riding the hot hand? No, instead they banish him to AA.

Wow, it's almost like they had a guy hitting .393 who is capable of playing 3rd base and instead promoted Ty Kelly. Wait, they did that, too, didn't they?

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, Reyes' two homers may have relegated Luis to the back burner. If we knew that all it would take to get Reyes going would be to let him pitch, we could have used him in relief in march.

Reese, logic was never the Coupon Regime's strong point. However, Levi did just get promoted to Vegas and has all of 9 at bats there (3 for 9), so something sensible has happened.

Thomas Brennan said...

I had almost written Luis Carpio off, but age does matter in looking at guys. He just turned 21 three weeks ago, and for a guy that age, I like what I see of late a lot. Power is the ticket. He has added it.

This is year 5 for him - he was an international kid, so I think we have one more year of control on him, since he is just 21 - it will be very interesting to me to see what he does the rest of 2018 and then in 2019 as he turns 22 in mid season.

Anonymous said...

On the 2019 MLB Free Agent List

One word, good luck. Oh wait a minute, that is two words. My bad!

The list of 2019 free agents is thin with talent and long with age. There isn't anyone on it that I would probably want the Mets to go and sign on a three or four year deal. The Mets don't do well with long contracts on older players, I have seen.

I think 70-75% of the players on this 2019 free agent list could be entirely out of MLB next season. Maybe some get a one year deal?

I looked at CR outfielder Charlie Blackmon, he's been a favorite of mine for awhile. But he is too old to sign to anything beyond a one or two year deal, would be another bad older person contract.

Nothing on this list caught my eye. State of MLB lately, maybe? It's all about the kids a team can draft and then develop, plus all the International League players out there.

Develop your own makes some sense.

Anonymous said...

Again, here's my 7-9 inning relievers now...

Drew Smith
Tyler Bashlor (get him one more good secondary pitch)
Roberto Gsellman
Seth Lugo
Bobby Wahl
Antonio Swarzak (once healed and back here whole again)

(Right there, six guys to utilize. Hoping David Roseboom shows up soon. he has been getting it all together lately.) And my wild idea earlier on moving Steven Matz to the bullpen as a lefty set-up. Imagine Matz and Roseboom kicking some "A" setting up Wahl and Swarzak? I can! Maybe in 2019?

A wild idea for certain.

Mack's Mets © 2012