Mets Daily Farm System Report - 6/15: Walkoff Grand Slam anyone?

New York Mets Daily Farm System Report - Results from the night of Monday June 14, 2010

First and foremost, the Mets signed a whole slew of draft picks yesterday, including mostly everybody from the 7th round down; although 4th rounder OF Cory Vaughn decided to be cool and not hold out like the other, snootier upper round picks.  Ok on to the minor leaguers who are actually playing...

The Usual Suspects

AAA - Buffalo (34-31)

  • RF Fernando Martinez: 1-5, GS(4), 4 RBI (.276/.327/.469) Walk-off Granny, off of resurgent Phils flamethrower Scott Mathieson no less; do yourself a favor and watch the video
  • 1B Mike Jacobs: 2-5, R (.268/.304/.500)
  • Josh Thole: 3-3, 2 2B, HR(2) (.277/.350/.461) Those numbers are looking more Thole-like every day
  • LF Lucas Duda: 1-4, K (.250/.250/.250) Triple-A debut
  • SP Tobi Stoner: 6 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K, HR, HB, Balk (3-6, 5.30, 69.2 IP, 86 H, 23 BB, 51 K, 9 HR)
  • RP Bobby Parnell: 2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K, HR (1-1, 4.46, 38.1 IP, 35 H, 16 BB, 41 K, 3 HR) Two steps forward, one step back
  • ROSTER MOVES: They finally decided to put Big Hess on the DL; apparently his hand was broken on that HBP and they're expecting a 3-4 week recovery time.  However, in an interesting move OF Lucas Duda was moved up to replace him.  He definitely deserves it after his hot start in Bingo but I'm worried about that sub-.200 AVG against lefties thus far.  Also lefty reliever Roy Merritt (aka Future Feliciano) was moved up to Buffalo and the Herd swapped versatile, light-hitting Canadian stopgaps sending down Emmanuel Garcia for Jon Malo.
  • Vote Big Hess a random Bison to Allentown, PA on July 14 for the International League ASG here
  • And for those of you who just can't get enough of Star Wars Night, relive the action here on BisonsTV. There's some incriminating footage of Buster T. Bison who seemingly - GASP - has joined the Dark Side?!

 

    AA - Binghamton (30-33)

    Night Off

  • ROSTER MOVES:  In return for Duda, Merritt & Malo, the B-Mets got back DH Marshall Hubbard, who is suddenly racking up the frequent flyer miles.  There will also probably be a couple more roster moves this week, depending a lot on the health of ailing stars Havens & Nieuwenhuis.
  • Vote Captain Kirk (goddamn they're dropping like flies) somebody else into the Eastern League ASG in Harrisburg on July 14 here
    Hi-A - St. Lucie (29-30)
  • 2B Josh Satin: 1-4, 3 RBI, E(4) (.316/.406/.459)
  • DH Sean Ratliff: 2-4, 2B, RBI, R (.275/.331/.432) DH'd tonight
  • 1B Stefan Welch: 2-3, 2B, RBI, 2 R, BB (.301/.356/.472)
  • SS Jordany Valdespin: 1-4, 2B, R, CS(5), 2 E(11) (.306/.340/.510) Yuck
  • SP Eric Beaulac: 5.2 IP, 2 ER (3 unearned), 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K (2-1, 3.77, 45.1 IP, 42 H, 26 BB, 25 K, 0 HR) He deserved better in this game and I definitely love the lack of homers on the season but I've said it before and I'll say it again, that K:BB won't hunt monsignor.
  • ROSTER MOVES: After going .160/.160/.200 in 17 games at Buffalo, Emmanuel Garcia got the hook and is on his way back to PSL.  That's not the way to get into the team's good graces in a brief tryout.  Also, personal favorite SS Wilfedo Tovar was recalled from extended ST; if you'll remember he filled in admirably for the DL'd Valdespin in May until a non-descript head injury sent him packing.

Lo-A Savannah (38-26)

  • SS Wilmer Flores: 2-5, R (.287/.354/.454)
  • LF Juan Lagares: 2-4, HR(5) RBI (.297/.313/.466) At this point he's the Gnats' most reliable hitter, but if he wants to really move up in prospect rankings he better start taking some walks (40:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio)
  • 3B Jefry Marte: 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, 3 R, BB (.244/.326/.355) Those numbers are getting respectable in a hurry; yet another walk
  • 2B Alonzo Harris: 0-4, E(14) (.243/.278/.381)
  • DH Cesar Puello: 1-4, R, RBI, 2 CS(4) (.245/.331/.302)
  • Kai Gronauer: 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI, R, BB (.266/.345/.367)
  • SP Brandon Moore: 6 IP, 1 ER (2 unearned), 4 H, 1 BB, 3 K, WP (3-4, 2.25, 72 IP, 58 H, 9 BB, 91 K, 5 HR) Leads the circuit in strikeouts by nearly 20 over the next guy
  • For the second week in a row, LHP Mark Cohoon was awarded the SAL Pitcher of the Week; last guy to do that?  Giants stud prospect and fellow lefty Madison Bumgarner

Star of the Night

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It's going to be Savannah 3B Jefry Marte tonight on the strength of a 3-for-4 night with 2 doubles and 3 runs but most importantly another walk.  That marks 21 now, only 4 walks short of his season total from last year.  Those who were ready to jump the shark on Marte earlier this this year forgot that he performed a lot better in the second half last season and looks to do the same this season.  No, he's no Wilmer and yes, his slow start was frustrating, but labeling a 19yr old with this kind of bat speed and a rapidly improving approach at the plate a disappointment is the epitome of short-sighted.

Goat of the Night:  The entire St. Lucie defense which committed 4 errors that led to 3 unearned runs in this one and really had to be bailed out by RHP Eric Beaulac in order to salvage a winner.


System Roundup

  • Crazy one last night in Buffalo (and on SNY for those who watched).  For the second time in a week Manager Ken Oberkfell was tossed for arguing balls and strikes, the Herd pitchers (including Bobby Parnell) sucked again yet their depleted offense just wouldn't quit.  After clawing back all night long, eventually they ended the 7-game losing streak on a Fernando Martinez walk-off grand slam, beating the IronPigs 7-6.  It was only the 2nd in Coca-Cola Field history (Marco Scutaro achieved the feat back in 1999).  John Maine will make another rehab start, this time for the Bisons, on Friday; here's some video of his last one.
  • Despite some sloppy play, the Mets managed to pull out a 6-5 win against the Marauders in quite a see-saw affair.  In an inning where St. Lucie made multiple errors, the Marauders scored 3 early runs to take the lead but RHP Eric Beaulac buckled down and really gave the Mets bat a chance in this one.  The All-Star trio of Satin, Ratliff & Welch came up big in the first game back from the ASB with a combined 6-for-11 and 5 RBI's. 
  • The 100 degree heat didn't bother the Gnats who were quick out of the gates with 5 runs in the first and never looked back in this one, with a 10-4 win over the Rome Braves.  Despite some early error-induced runs, RHP Brandon Moore was his typical lockdown self, allowing just one earned run over 6 innings.  But the story of this one was the Savannah offense which busted out for 10 runs on 15 hits, going 6 for 13 with RISP.  Savannah is now 1 game back of Augusta for the automatic playoff berth with only 6 games left to play before the All-Star Break and wouldn't you know it, the two teams are set to face off for a 4-game series to end the first half in what is sure to be a hell of a battle.
  • Get ready because the Cyclones season starts this Friday against the SI Yankees.

Prospect Spotlight

Buffalo Starter RHP Dillon Gee

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So the question is, what the hell is going on with Dillon Gee?  After a quick start to the season and some talks about a possible promotion, Gee's performance has really fallen off a cliff as his ERA currently hovers around 5. 

Exhibit A, Gee's ERA by month:

April: 2.78   May: 4.62   June: 9.42

The funny thing is his that K-rates are fine (they're actually up a bit this year), he's not really walking any more guys and though he's been a little more hittable, it's not a huge jump.  So again, what's going on?  Someone mentioned possible bad luck in yesterday's report, namely his BABIP but that's not the issue:  So far in 2010 he's posted about a .317 BABIP (MinorLeagueSplits is usually off by a couple points) which is high but compared to his career mark of .308 isn't ground-breaking by any means.

But a quick scan of his line brings us to the home runs issue.  Want to know how serious this issue has been?

Gee's HR's Allowed pre-2010:

13 in 391.3 IP

Gee's HR's Allowed during 2010

13 in 74 IP (leads all of Triple-A)

That's an alarming 1.54 HR/9 rate and he's currently riding an 8-game streak of at least one homer allowed as well as in 9 of his last 10 starts.  That's a serious issue.

So is it bad luck or something more?  Well right off the bat we can rule out the ballpark; Buffalo plays very neutral as it pertains to home runs.  But I am interested by his HR rates:  Prior to this season he'd posted a career mark of just under 6% of HR/FB vs. a whopping 14.3% this season.  Yet his FB/GB has actually gotten a bit better this year, so too has his LD%.  To me this does point to bad luck, though mixed in with a few other negative factors:

  1. Probably not great game-calling considering he's already thrown to 4 different catchers, having seen the same one in back-to-back games in only 3 of his 13 starts. Not to mention the 4 include a converted IF who was until recently out of pro baseball (House), a guy still learning the position (Thole), an injury call-up from A-ball who was released soon after (Maccani) and of course Omir.
  2. Pitching-friendly environments at lower levels (mainly PSL & Brooklyn) may have masked some HR tendencies. 
  3. And most importantly, his stuff just isn't that great.  While he can keep batters off-balance, he throws a lot of strikes and as he's moved up, the hitters have gotten better and the batted balls are going farther.

The way I see it, these HR rates are going to come down because frankly they're just not sustainable unless he's hurt or something.  Now they're probably not going to drop to the 1.3% HR/FB rate he posted in Brooklyn, we have to accept that he's a pretty hittable pitchable with flyball/home run tendencies.  But I expect him to settle in at a rate that allows him to be a decent longman/spot starter/injury replacement in the majors and a considerably better starter for the Bisons in the second half of 2010.

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