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Mets Daily Farm System Report - 8/24: Spotlight on Lutz

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New York Mets Daily Farm System Report - Results from the night of Monday August 23, 2010

The Usual Suspects

AAA - Buffalo (70-58)

  • CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis: 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI, K, E(3) (.232/.317/.393)
  • LF Lucas Duda: 2-3, 2B, RBI, 2 R, 2 BB (.322/.394/.643) Double was off a lefty
  • 1B Nick Evans: 1-4, 2B, RBI, R, BB (.310/.394/.586) Alas, only about two feet short from his fourth straight day with a homer
  • RF Russ Adams: 2-4, 2 HR(13), 4 RBI, 2 R, BB (.270/.327/.479) Batting .405 in August with four bombs
  • SP Dillon Gee: 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 3 HR, WP (13-7, 4.87, 151.2 IP, 161 H, 36 BB, 150 K, 22 HR) Gee showed you what he's all about last night, pitching relatively well between three solo bombs; what you got to see in this game was that when Gee makes mistakes, he consistently makes them up in the zone and with his lack of velocity that means longballs.
  • RP Yhency Brazoban: 1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K
  • RP Sean Green: 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K (0-0, 4.72, 13.1 IP, 17 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 1 HR) Allowed one of Gee's inherited runners to score

AA - Binghamton (60-65)

  • Rained Out
  • Tune in tomorrow where it's not just a doubleheader but Toilet Tuesday, where the first thousand fans will receive - get this - a Binghamton Mets plunger.  Awesome.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the B-Mets are great at promotions.  Watch the digustingly great preview video here.

Hi-A - St. Lucie (56-70)

  • SS Wilmer Flores: 2-4, 2B (.297/.321/.414) His first XBH in 18 ab's
  • RF Rafael Fernandez: 1-4, K (.310/.341/.449)
  • C Kai Gronauer: 1-3, BB, K (.327/.384/.406) Eight-game hit streak
  • SP Brandon Moore: 4 IP, 5 ER (1 unearned), 7 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR (2-4, 4.05, 64 IP, 70 H, 28 BB, 53 K, 4 HR) His lack of stuff has caught up with him a bit at Hi-A

Lo-A Savannah (65-61)

  • CF Matt den Dekker: 0-4, 2 K (.356/.443/.509) Only his second hitless game in fourteen since joinging the Gnats 
  • DH Robbie Shields: 1-4, 2B, 2 K (.272/.291/.412)
  • 3B Brian Harrison: DNP (.250/.250/.375)
  • SP Armando Rodriguez: 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 12 K, 2 Balks (6-10, 3.50, 136 IP, 111 H, 43 BB, 137 K, 5 HR)

 

SHORT-SEASON LEAGUES

 

SS-A Brooklyn (40-21)

  • CF Darrell Ceciliani: DNP (.351/.409/.521)
  • DH Cory Vaughn: 0-4, 4 K (.300/.392/.538) My eyes, the goggles do nothing; batting .143 with a single XBH over his last five games
  • SS Wilfredo Tovar: 1-4, R, K (.350/.350/.409) 
  • Blake Forsythe: 0-3, K, E(1), 2 PB(6) (.232/307/.392) And we thought Ike Davis had a tough pro debut in Brooklyn
  • SP Yohan Almonte: 4 IP, 5 ER (1 unearned), 7 H, 1 BB, 2 K (7-4, 2.23, 76.2 IP, 62 H, 15 BB, 51 K, 1 HR) He's allowed a stinker after his performance this year

RK Kingsport (26-32)

  • 3B Aderlin Rodriguez: 2-4, RBI, BB (.304/.343/.549)
  • LF ZeErika McQueen: 0-4, K (.276/.324/.364)
  • CF Chase Greene: 0-4, RBI, K (.219/.286/.281) Very underwhelming year for the toolsy '09 seventh rounder
  • C Alberto Cordero: 1-3, HR(7), 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, K, SB(1) (.271/.293/.452) Quietly strong season for the power-hitting catcher, I'm curious to see what he'll do in full-season ball
  • SP Eduardo Aldama8 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 6 K (2-2, 5.17, 31.1 IP, 30 H, 7 BB, 26 K, 3 HR) Better late then never from the most talented arm at this level
  • Congrats to RHP Gonzalez Germen who was named the Appalachian League's Pitcher of the Week

RK GCL Mets (28-23)

  • Day Off

Star of the Night

I know Russ Adams probably deserves the nod for his two homer night but let's stick to the real prospects here and dip down for the second straight day and reward a short-season league starter, Kingsport's RHP Eduardo Aldama for his dominant eight innings of work last night.  It's been a tough season for Aldama as he started the year in XST, rehabbing from an arm injury.  He made his debut in late June and is only now seemingly getting that arm strength back.  And arm strength is the key for Aldama who throws an impressive heater in the low 90's with a surprisingly developed, hard-breaking curveball which flashes major league potential.  The key for Aldama at this point is to build that arm strength, stay healthy and go into next season primed for full-season baseball.

By default Goat of the Night honors go to Brooklyn's RF Cory Vaughn thanks to that Golden Sombrero he wore last night.  He's clearly feeling the effects of that elbow injury, just one of a whole number of suddenly banged up Cyclones.

 

System Roundup

  • The Bisons had a nice, easy 12-4 victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox last night in a game that you hopefully caught on SNY.  Starter RHP Dillon Gee pitched a very Dillon Gee-type game, allowing three solo bombs and little else.  Gee extended his league leading totals in strikeouts, wins and homers allowed in this one.  Filling in at right field in FMart's stead, IF Russ Adams crushed a couple of bombs to continue his torrid month of August.  LF Lucas Duda had another XBH (big surprise) while CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis made his return from a brief leave  with a 2-run double but did not look comfortable at the plate.  If you did catch this one you too might have been surprised how good RHP Yhency Brazoban's been looking.  Boxscore
  • St. Lucie was back to their losing ways lat night with a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Jupiter Hammerheads.  Starter RHP Brandon Moore was not sharp in this one, digging the Mets an early five run hole.  That was pretty much the end as the punchless St. Lucie offense could only plate two runs despite eleven hits in the game.   Boxscore
  • The Gnats just couldn't keep up with one of the league's tops offenses last night as the Tourists defeated Savannah 7-3.  The Gnats were probably lucky it was even that close considering that Asheville had three times as many hits in this game but starter RHP Armando Rodriguez managed to limit the damage in yet another very strong start.  Unfortunately the Savannah 'pen opened the flood gates, allowing six runs over the final two innings.  Boxscore 
  • It's been much more of a struggle for the Cyclones of late and Monday night was no different as they were blown away from the word 'Go' in this 8-2 loss to the Renegades.  Starter RHP Yohan Almonte blew up in the first, allowing six runs (five earned) and it was never close after that.  You can't get too upset with Almonte though who hasn't really had a bad start since back when the summer was new.  Instead, look at the offense who managed just three hits (and yes, another error) in this game.  Oh and chalk another one up on the 'Backman Blowup Counter' as Wallyball was ejected from this game.  Boxscore
  • This one belonged to Kingsport starter RHP Eduardo Aldama who flashed his long-term potential with eight dominant innings of three hit, one run baseball as he carried the K-Mets to a 7-1 victory over Danville.  On the offensive side, power-hitting catcher Alberto Cordero knocked his seventh bomb on the season as he cements himself as an interesting player to watch going forward.  Boxscore

 

Prospect Spotlight: Binghamton 3B Zack Lutz

Despite missing over two months with a fractured foot, Zack Lutz has been downright scary this season, mashing Eastern League pitching to the tune of a career high sixteen home runs and a monstrous .308 ISO.  For reference, in his breakout power season Buffalo slugger Luca Duda has a 2010 ISO figure of .279.   Though he's not super young at 23, this is really impressive for Lutz's first full season at Double-A, especially when you consider that despite a slightly increased K-rate he's still walking in 16% of his ab's and features an overall 31:55 BB-to-K rate.  Keep in mind that 52% of his hits this year have gone for extra bases.  And though such an absurd level of power production isn't sustainable if your name isn't Bonds, this isn't just a fluke considering Lutz knocked eleven bombs with an .802 OPS in the offensive-starved Florida State League in under 400 ab's last season. 

Lutz has always been a strong all-around hitter since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2007 draft out of tiny Alvernia University in Reading, PA.  Scouts loved his bat then and now his emerging power is making him look more and more like a potential everyday player at the highest level.  Is he a future star?  I don't know about that, beyond his bat he doesn't offer much in the way of speed (one career stolen base) and his glove at third is average at best but he is athletic and again, he can really hit.   In many ways he reminds me of Cardinals rookie third baseman David Freese which, for those of you who didn't get a chance to see him before he hit the DL back in June, is definitely a good thing. 

Two problems for Lutz though: One, his biggest hurdle to date has been the dreaded injury bug which bit again this year.  Since '07 he has had quad, back and ankle injuries and has broken both feet, so yeah he's injury prone.  The inability to stay on the field has derailed many a promising young prospect from ever becoming anything in the big leagues but if he can find a way to stay healthy for an entire season, look out.  Secondly, if you haven't noticed we've already got a third baseman and he's here to stay.  We're also spoken for at first and our OF situation is already pretty crowded.  It's highly unlikely that Lutz could make the switch to second so there's a good chance the Mets take their time with him and if the right deal comes along I wouldn't be surprised to see him moved at some point.   Either way, with that huge qualifier of health aside, I've bought in on Lutz as a strong bet to be a solid, everyday third baseman in the majors.