Winter League Update - 10/25: Murphy Returns!

Another Minor League Monday, another Winter League Update and with the Dominican Winter League kicking off last Thursday we've got another big crop of Mets players underway, including the long-awaited return of the Irish Hammer himself Daniel Murphy.  We also saw the assignment of some very interesting top prospects like RF Cesar Puello, 3B Jefry Marte and RHP Jeurys Familia among others.  So, on to the week that was for the winterballin' Mets: 

 

-----------------------------Arizona Fall League-----------------------------

CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
MSS AFL .278 6 18 4 5 2 0 0 3 7 3 8 0 1 .409 .389 .798

Quiet week for the Captain as he only made his way into the lineup for two games and managed just a single hit in six plate appearances while striking out four times.

2B Jordany Valdespin

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
MSS AFL .297 10 37 6 11 2 0 1 7 16 2 6 4 0 .333 .432 .766

Another solid week at the dish for Valdespin as he collected his first homer of the fall season as well as a couple more swipes.  Valdespin has only gone hitless twice in ten games with the Solar Sox as he's shown some strong offensive ability thus far.  Unfortunately, he did make his second and third errors as well this week.

 

C Kai Gronauer

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
MSS AFL .063 5 16 0 1 0 1 0 2 3 1 4 0 0 .118 .188 .305

Tough start for Gronauer out in AZ thus far as he still has just one hit.  However, in his defense he is suddenly facing competition far beyond anything he's seen before and at the same time he's going 3-4 days in between appearances.  Tough to expect anyone to thrive under such circumstances.

1B Josh Satin

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
MSS AFL .333 2 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 3 0 0 .500 .333 .833

Everybody's favorite future utility player Josh Satin showed up out in Arizona this week as part of the league's taxi squad, meaning he can only play on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  In his first appearance he went 2-for-2 with a couple of singles and a couple of walks, a typical Josh Satin line.  In his two games so far Satin has found himself at first base both times as his days in the middle infield seem to be numbered.

RHP Brad Holt

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
MSS AFL 2 0 0.00 3 3 0 0 0 9.0 4 1 0 0 4 9 0.64 .133

Two starts for Holt this week:  Good results in his Tuesday start, allowing just a single unearned run and two hits over three innings, however his wildness resurfaced as he walked three guys, made an errant pickoff throw and threw only 50% of his pitches for strikes.  Saturday's start was flat-out dominant; five strikeouts and one hit over three scoreless innings.  Even better, zero walks and he threw 86% of his pitches for strikes, earning himself AFL Pitcher of the Week honors.  Holt reported that his fb command is back and he's even commanding his breaking stuff (including a newly added cutter) in the strike zone as well.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  People have been wayyy too quick to write Holt off as a bust.

LHP Robert Carson

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
MSS AFL 1 0 0.00 1 1 0 0 0 3.0 3 0 0 0 0 2 2.00 .300

Carson made his first start of the fall league on Thursday and earned the W with three very competent, scoreless innings.

RHP Nick Carr

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
MSS AFL 0 1 5.14 4 0 0 0 0 7.0 8 4 4 1 4 2 0.46 .276

Very rough week for Carr.  In Tuesday's game he gave up two runs in one inning pitched, allowing a couple of hits and three walks; he threw just 16 of 33 pitches for strikes.  In Fruday's affair, he was less wild but not in a good way, allowing four hits including a two-run bomb over two innings.  Carr has the stuff to one day vie for a spot in the Mets 'pen but he's got a lot of work to do before he gets there.

LHP Eric Niesen

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
MSS AFL 1 0 6.75 4 0 0 0 0 4.0 7 5 3 1 2 3 2.00 .350

Niesen continues to look hittable thus far as AFL batters are now hitting .350 off the lefty.  In two appearances this week he allowed a combined four hits, two walks and two runs, all while throwing just 57% strikes.  Lefties are batting a combined .286 against Niesen so far in Arizona. 

 

-----------------------------Venezuelan Winter League-----------------------------

Major Leaguers (for the most part)

RHP Francisco Rodriguez

(Yet to make an appearance)

Against all odds Frankie's throwing down there and should appear in a game soon.

C Henry Blanco

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
MAR VWL .077 4 13 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 8 0 1 .143 .077 .220

Does anyone else imagine that Hank has never heard of the word 'vacation'?

RHP Manny Acosta

(Yet to make an appearance)

Singing for his supper this winter.

RHP Fernando Nieve

(Yet to make an appearance)

Ditto.

3B Mike Hessman

(Yet to make an appearance)

With Buffalo's hitting coach (Jack Voigt) working for the Caribes in the same capacity, Big Hess got the invite.  Damn this guy loves baseball.

IF Luis Hernandez

(Yet to make an appearance)

Still healing up from crushing that homer seconds after crushing that bone in his foot.  That gets my vote for 'Grissioniest Play of 2010'.

 

Prospects (and some tweeners)

SS Wilmer Flores

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
MAR VWL .333 3 9 0 3 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .667

The Mets have brought Flores up to St. Lucie to evaluate his calf injury themselves and let him rehab in the team complex.

3B Eric Campbell

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
ORI VWL .333 10 36 6 12 5 0 0 3 17 4 10 0 0 .415 .472 .887

Solid four-game week for Campbell who collected a couple more doubles and three more walks.

RHP Manny Alvarez

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
MAG VWL 0 0 1.29 4 0 0 0 0 7.0 7 2 1 0 1 6 0.50 .250

Very nice week for Alvarez who posted two two-inning, scoreless relief outings including one that saw him strike out four men on Wednesday.

SS Jose Coronado

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
ORI VWL .143 4 7 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 .300 .143 .443

LHP Jhonathan Torres

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
CAR VWL 0 0 3.00 6 0 0 0 0 3.0 2 1 1 0 2 2 0.75 .167

Twenty year old former starter, pitched this year mostly out of the K-Mets 'pen to mediocre results (5.29 ERA) but the 12.4 K/9 from a lefty makes him worth watching.

RHP Marcos Tabata

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
ZUL VWL 0 0 2.08 5 0 0 0 0 4.1 2 2 1 0 7 3 4.00 .133

Walked three more guys in just one IP this week which brings him to seven walks in under five IP.  That's called living on the edge.

RHP Gabriel Zavala

(Yet to make an appearance)

This twenty two year old, 6'3" converted outfielder posted a 1.93 ERA and 9.9 K/9 in twenty relief appearances in Savannah in 2010 in just his second year as a pro pitcher.  Could become an interesting relief prospect fast.

C Salomon Manriquez

(Yet to make an appearance)

Veteran minor league catcher known for his power and solid D batted .289 with four homers in thirty two games with the B-Mets in 2010.

 

 

Former Mets Greats (to varying degree)

2B Edgardo Alfonzo

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
MAG VWL .158 6 19 0 3 0 0 0 1 3 1 1 0 0 .200 .158 .358

I don't care, he's still awesome.

CF Endy Chavez

(Yet to make an appearance)

Endy lives!

RF Alex Escobar

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
ORI VWL .378 10 37 6 14 5 1 0 2 21 3 6 0 1 .442 .568 1.009

I'm guessing he's seen a lot of Luis Ayala.

RHP Luis Ayala

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
MXC LMP 0 0 4.50 5 0 0 0 1 6.0 9 3 3 1 1 6 1.40 .321

-----------------------------Dominican Winter League----------------------------

Major Leaguers (for the most part)

2B Daniel Murphy

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
AGU DWL .250 3 12 0 3 3 0 0 2 6 1 0 0 0 .308 .500 .808

The Irish Hammer makes his triumphant return as the everyday second baseman for Aguilas.  Three hits, three doubles; classic Murph.

LHP Raul Valdes

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
TOR DWL 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 2.0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0.00 .250

Logging some more innings this winter in hopes of earning a follow-up gig with the Mets.  A lot depends on the contract status of Hisanori Takahashi but personally, I felt Valdes was pretty overrated in 2010.

2B Joaquin Arias

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
ESC DWL .273 3 11 1 3 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 .333 .273 .606

Meh.

 

Prospects (and some tweeners)

3B Jefry Marte

(Yet to make an appearance)

Not surprising to see Marte playing some winter ball after missing nearly the entire second half of Savannah's season with hamstring issues.  Especially with the kind of development he was showing this year offensively (nearly doubled his walk rate to 8.2% while cutting his K-rate from nearly 1/4 of his ab's down under 20%), allowing Marte to get back on the field is a very good idea.

RF Cesar Puello

(Yet to make an appearance)

Another good assignment by the Mets for many of the same reasons as Marte.  Puello too missed a lot of the second half in Savannah (back problems) and he too showed a ton of development at the plate.  Puello's much-discussed revamped approach at the plate paid big dividends as he batted .346 after the ASB and it'll be very interesting to see if he can build on that growth this winter.

Francisco Pena

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
AGU DWL .000 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .300 .000 .300

After missing just about the entire season with a broken ankle, Pena needs to get on the field and start showing some development soon before his prospect status expires.  This winter he'll be playing catcher nearly every day for the Aguila squad under the tutelage of his father, Tony Pena.

CF Pedro Zapata

(Yet to make an appearance)

Speedy 23 year old center fielder was one of Savannah's unsung heroes of the first half.  Fared a lot worse against better competition in St. Lucie in the second half  (Exhibit A: 5:48 BB-to-K rate | Exhibit B: 9/7 SB:CS).  He's got nice wheels and mans a good center field (good enough to keep Puello in right?) but ultimately this guy isn't much of a prospect.

OF Raul Reyes

(Yet to make an appearance)

Despite a couple decent seasons in the lower minors and signs of decent power, the 24 year old right fielder seems to have maxed out his talent in Double-A this year, batting .232 with a .680 OPS and a 9:63 BB-to-K rate with Binghamton.

RHP Jeurys Familia

(Yet to make an appearance)

The Mets rocket-armed righty turned up on the pitching staff of the Gigantes and should make for some interesting innings this winter.  Familia's 2010 season was a strange one that saw his walk rates skyrocket while his velocity continued to climb, so much so that he even made an appearance in the Futures Game.  I think this is a very good assignment for Familia who reportedly struggled with command as a result of consistent work on his secondary offerings.  More innings means more experience throwing changeups which is never a bad thing.

RHP Armando Rodriguez

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
ESC DWL 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1.00 .000

Another of the Mets stronger-armed young righties found himself throwing down in the DR this week.  Rodriguez is an interesting case; he definitely has the arm strength and good velocity to be a major leaguer in some capacity but is behind as far as the development cycle thanks to a late start in pro ball.  At age 23 ARod has never pitched above Low-A nor has he mastered anything close to a consistent secondary pitch.  If the Mets are patient with him and he can continue to develop it's not impossible to see him reach the majors as a starter in his mid-to-later 20's.  However, with his good fb and strong command he will probably have the ability to help the bullpen very soon and if the Mets can't wait OR his development as a starter stalls, you may see Rodriguez as a power reliever in Queens in the next 1-2 seasons.

RHP Yhency Brazoban

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
LIC DWL 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 1.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2.00 .400

Soon-to-be 30 year old one-time major league reliever starred out of the Bisons 'pen in the second half of 2010.  Still has some velocity but he shouldn't be a factor for the big club in 2011 unless things go horribly wrong.

LHP Michael O'Connor

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
LIC DWL 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 2 1.00 .250

Another 30 year old one-time major league reliever, O'Connor actually showed some ability as a lefty longman reliever in the mold of Darren Oliver/Hisanori Takahashi, posting a 2.67 ERA with Buffalo in 2010.  He's never had much success in 114 major league innings (5.45 ERA) and he probably profiles as a quad-A player but if Takahashi does leave this winter, O'Connor at least deserves an audition for that role this spring.

RHP Elvin Ramirez

Team League W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO AVG
GIG DWL 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1.00 .000

23 year old righty posted a 4.17 ERA in St. Lucie in his first season of full-time relief; the good was his strong 7.98 K/9, but the bad?  His awful 5.28 BB/9.

 

 

Former Mets Greats (to varying degree)

RHP Pedro Martinez

(Yet to make an appearance)

Yes, THE Pedro.  Can anything this guy does surprise anyone anymore?  Oh and by the way his pitching coach is his brother, Ramon.

RHP Armando Benitez

(Yet to make an appearance)

Still kickin' around.  With just 30.1 IP (mostly in the minors) over the past three seasons due to injury, this guy just isn't ready to give it up.

RF Victor Diaz

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
AGU DWL .250 3 12 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 1 3 0 0 .308 .250 .558

After spending 2010 in the Mexican League (where he did hit .298 with 29 hrs) Mini-Manny is just hoping for a ticket back into the minors.  Hey, at least he netted us current Mets backup catcher Mike Nickeas.

-----------------------------Mexican Winter League-----------------------------

SS Juan Carlos Gamboa

Team League AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
MOC LMP .167 7 12 1 2 0 0 0 2 2 0 3 1 0 .154 .167 .321

A .321 OPS is not a good thing, even if you are a nineteen year old MI.

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