9/25/19

Syracuse Mets 2019 Season Recap

8 comments

Numbers, it’s one of the reasons why people love to follow baseball.  How many homers did Pete hit?  How many hits will Jeff get?  How fast is Thor throwing?

Here are some numbers for you: 256 vs. 2549.  That’s the difference between the distance from NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse to Citi Field and the distance from Las Vegas to Citi Field.

If you are trying to provide your major league team with support from your AAA team it makes a big difference.  As Lindsay Kramer of Syracuse.com pointed out, 24 different Syracuse Players (25 after Donnie Hart was added the other day) were called up to Citi field in 2019.   In all, as players were called more than once, the Mets called up players from Syracuse 55 different times in 2019.  Luis Guillorme and Walker Lockett earned the most miles with 5 different call-ups each.

Syracuse had one of the oldest, if not the oldest rosters in AAA.  Perhaps not the most optimum situation but overall it was a great move by Brodie, Jeff, and whoever else helped make this decision.

First, it helped give the local Syracuse fans a reason to come out to the game.  Despite a brutally rainy and cold “Spring”, Syracuse managed to average 4,962 fans per game this season, an 18 percent jump from the 4,202 in 2018. 

Second, it provided quality depth to the major league club.  When the Mets had injuries or needed players for other reasons, they had Major League caliber players nearby.  Adeiny Hechavarria came up, hit five homers, provided solid infield defense.  Rajai Davis took an Uber to Citi Field and hit a three-run homer to help win a game.  Rene Rivera was able to come up and catch when and injury hit Tomas Nido. 

Finally, and this benefit may be argued, it put the Syracuse team in a position to win.  The team went 75-65 forcing a tie breaker game with the Yankees’ Scranton Wilkes/Barre team that ended in a tragic 14-13 loss.  

Fans at NBT Bank stadium told me how the Blue Jays and the Nationals never did this when they ran the franchise.  They loved the fact that the Mets stocked the team with veterans.  I told one fan, “the Mets have to do this as they don’t have a lot of prospects in the system. They need to do this to have major league caliber players at the ready should they have injuries or slumps in flushing.”  He countered, “yes, but you also have to teach the players how to win.  You have to establish a winning culture at every level in the system.”  

“Look at the Yankee teams”, he added, “Scranton Wilkes/Barre and Trenton win or are at the top of their leagues every year.  They teach their players to play to win and expect to win and it shows when they get to the major leagues”.   I had to admit he had a point.

The season itself was a bit of a roller coaster ride.  Though they found themselves as many as 10 games out in early August, Syracuse Manager Tony Defrancesco kept the team focused on just winning that day.  They came all the way with the International league’s best record and best pitching after the all-star break.   

Syracuse Major League Veteran hitters included:


NAME
G▼
AB▼
H▼
HR▼
RBI▼
SO▼
SB▼
AVG▼
129
473
121
20
84
132
17
.256
97
355
90
25
73
103
0
.254
84
310
89
8
28
72
20
.287
28
74
20
4
13
16
3
.270
118
362
89
13
43
94
11
.246
8
34
8
1
3
7
0
.235
35
126
34
6
22
29
5
.270
25
92
32
0
17
14
2
.348

Danny Espinosa was the team MVP leading the Syracuse Mets in hits and RBI’s.
  It seemed like every time up was a quality at-bar with deep pitch counts.  The Syracuse Mets could use his leadership and ability in 2020.  I hope he comes back.

Minor league veterans included:


NAME
G▼
AB▼
H▼
HR▼
RBI▼
SO▼
SB▼
AVG▼
117
407
101
24
64
127
12
.248
39
119
31
1
12
29
3
.261
82
201
42
10
29
90
7
.209
123
371
85
24
70
165
6
.229
92
303
89
13
48
84
16
.294

My personal favorite of this group was Arismendy Alcantara.
  A 27-year-old switch hitter, Arismendy played 2b, 3b, LF, CF, and RF.  He showed power and speed.  I thought he would a perfect call-up to NY for the bench, but it never happened in 2019.  Here’s hoping it happens in 2020.   

Dilson opted out of his contract during the season, came back, then opted out again at the very end of the season disappointed that he was not called up to New York. 

Broxton Lee, a 7-year minor league free agent from the Marlins, split time between Binghamton and Syracuse and showed excellent skill in centerfield including a great arm.  If the Mets don’t resign Juan Lagares, he would make a good defensive option either on the bench or in Syracuse.

Some of the late season Binghamton call-ups included:


NAME
G▼
AB▼
H▼
HR▼
RBI▼
SO▼
SB▼
AVG▼
12
42
13
1
9
10
4
.310
21
56
10
0
3
11
0
.179
20
63
23
2
11
9
1
.365

Sam Haggerty, obtained in the Kevin Plawecki trade with Cleveland, did so well he was called up to NY, though I wish they had waited until after the playoff game.
  He was one of Syracuse’s best players down the stretch and he could have helped the last weekend of the season. 

Jason Krizan, a 7-year minor league free agent, also did well for Syracuse down the stretch playing the Infield and outfield.   

Tebow:


NAME
G▼
AB▼
H▼
HR▼
RBI▼
SO▼
SB▼
AVG▼
77
239
39
4
19
98
2
.163


Tim struggled for Syracuse in 2019 after being named to the AA Eastern League All-Star team in 2018.  Even with his .163 average, Tim was by far the crowd favorite.  Just like last year in Binghamton. Whenever Tim came to bat in Syracuse the crowd would come alive.  At one Syracuse game this year, a game that Tebow rested, Tim Peterson took to the mound, a certain fan from Albany shouted, “good luck Tim”.  Several people in the crowd turned to him and said, “He’s not playing.”  The word is that Tim will be back for 2020.

The pitching staff featured more standard AAA players but also a few veterans.  40 different pitchers toed the hill for Syracuse in 2019 as Brodie picked up pitchers all over the place to try and get help.  The most notable ones included:


NAME
W▼
L▼
ERA▲
G▼
IP▼
BB▼
SO▼
WHIP▲
6
0
2.68
8
40
10
23
1.07
10
4
2.91
16
86
15
79
1.14
6
5
2.33
15
88
17
72
1.07
5
3
4.46
26
78
21
92
1.46
3
3
3.67
14
76
18
62
1.09
3
0
1.15
24
31
13
30
0.8
3
0
2.30
12
15
7
11
1.09

Harol Gonzalez was tremendous after being called up from Binghamton.  Signed in 2014, he will be eligible for the rule 5 draft in December.  Based on his performance this year in Syracuse, someone will claim him if the Mets don’t add him to the 40-man roster.  Other contenders to start on the mound for the Mets year are Corey Oswalt, Chris Flexen, Drew Gagnon, and Chris Mazza.  All of these did well down the stretch for Syracuse helping them make their run.

Matt Blackham, as we have profiled here on Mack Mets, also may be a rule 5 target based on his 2019 season.  Stephen Nogosek did not allow a run until the tie breaker game with Scranton Wilkes/Barre.  His success this year should give him a shot next year as well. 

As we look to 2020, Syracuse will implement $25 million in government funded improvements to an already good stadium.  This includes new seats and cup holders.   As much as possible, I hope they match the dimensions to Citi Field.  It would help players, especially the outfielders, get ready to play in NY. 

8 comments:

Tom Brennan said...

Quite the recap.

Alcantara - he is a puzzle. Is he 5A, not AAAA? His Ks are a little high, and he did not hit well in the majors. Maybe he is in the majors next year.

A big story in 2019 was the lack of prospects that made loading AAA up with veterans a necessity. Look at AA hitters - they didn't do much, by and large, so it made sense not to promote them.

One guy you did not list was Walker Lockett - so I looked at his 2019 minors stats. In 66 innings, 83 hits allowed and just 45 Ks...pretty darned mediocre. Some might say poor.

So, again, why the heck did Mickey Callaway put the guy with the 8.44 career MLB ERA into a do-or-die game Monday against Miami right after Rosario's slam converted a 6-0 deficit to 6-4, with 3 innings to go. Lockett faces 2 hitters, both get on, next thing it is 8-4. Season over.

MICKEY MUST GO.

Mack's Mets said...

I agree it was a bad move. At the same time, who put Lockett on the MLB roster? Who left off Nogosek and Blackham? What did the bench coach who was paid to help make those decisions have to say about the move? Unfortunately, many of us have seen these poor decisions coming as a result of poor roster planning on September 1.

Mike Freire said...

Excellent recap, John.

It makes much more sense to have our AAA squad in the same State as the parent club, as opposed to the other side of the country, so that is a step in the right direction for our minor league system.

Mack Ade said...

Excellent piece of work

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mack that the Mets bullpen has got to be upgraded and made more dependable overall. And it isn't just the Mets bullpen that was sort of shaky all season either. It is pretty much all MLB bullpens that were hurting in 2019.

Maybe MLB bullpens need to be looked at again, their construction, the pitchers that are being selected to be relievers coming up and being groomed in MiLB. Then re-defined. It certainly is not working right now. Few teams have a solid bullpen.

My idea?

Best I could come up with was the two units of three relievers that alternate every game to stave off the sore arm stuff and arm tiredness at season end. With who is in the Mets bullpen right now, here could be one unit that would likely make some sense.

Justin Wilson, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz. Bu there are others here now as well.

The notion here is to have relievers with definite out pitches, normally the fastball kind that drops. Having finesse style relievers has never made any real sense to me at all actually. Certainly a reliever could have two or even three really dependable pitches in his arsenal to be used at their discretion at any point during the game in which they are called into. But each reliever on the team has got to have what I like to call an outpitch (or two).

Too many bullpens use the finesse style reliever earlier on in games, like when a starter is not having a very good game and has to be removed. But why can't all the relievers have a really dynamic fastball, one that breaks down, and then maybe either a curve, slider, or wicked-ass changeup with really good speed variance away from their fastball?

In the example above, all three relievers would be made interchangeable since all three have more than one pitch and a really above average fastball with movement. Justin Wilson throws 97 mph and is a lefty.

With two set units of three relievers each (like the one outlined above) the Mets could then have a "seventh reliever alternate" who would be used in situations according to his own pitch arsenal and capability. And he would also be that sixth or "substitute starter" who is on the team ready for any emergency starts throughout the season. In other words here, a "rubber arm" with really good stuff.

In conclusion, there needs to be another way to construct a really good bullpen for better results. The Mets bullpen has got to be upgraded and made wiser. Some of the horses are even here now for this.

Anonymous said...

On fixing a really already good team that is close like this 2019 NY Mets team is.

I spoke last week on NY Mets GM's, managers and coaches naturally being perhaps too close to the players to make the best possible sound decisions through objectivity. It happens more than you think in pro sports and no team doesn't do that. It's our humanness.

But the Mets brass needs to stop pretending with some of its AAA MiLB call ups after the season starts. Players that have languished maybe too long in MiLB, and once called up are only so-so or see-saw contributors.

See-saw contributing performance is (to me) literally strangulating this NY Mets team's chances of making a Playoff run in the NL. Combined with the bullpen issues discussed above, these are this team's two killer knockout punches almost every season, as it is with a lot of teams. But then again, it used to always just be the incessant injuries each season, so...

But no injuries and a stronger/smarter bullpen might just be the trick here with all of this stuff. One can only hope.

And what I love most about this 2019 NY Mets team isn't just the excellent team chemistry, but also how hard this team fights to stay alive in their Wild Card aspiration. It's downright impressive from top to bottom. This is the team I have been waiting for!

LGM!!

Anonymous said...

Batting with a two strike count on. (Oh boy)

Have to really stay focused on protecting the plate. Watch how Peter Alonso and others do this. Peter swings at anything and everything close to being called a third strike. It could be a wad of chew or bubble gum even, and Peter is swinging at it just in case.

Polar Bear seldom gets so "picky pants" that if it is a half inch outside the strikezone, he lets it go by. He does not take that chance. He protect his at bat. They all matter really.

Anonymous said...

Up and Comer, a "Natural"...

TBay RF Austin Meadows.

(Woe)

Mack's Mets © 2012