With the minor league season over, the Mets have handed out their 2013 Sterling Minor League Organizational Player Of The Year and Pitcher Of The Year awards as well as individual awards for the best players in each Mets minor league affiliate.
This year we had co-winners for the overall player of the year. Binghamton first baseman Allan Dykstra was the first. The former Padres first rounder brought the power with 21 homers and 81 runs batted in while getting on base at an astounding rate, as evidenced by his .436 on-base percentage. The second winner of the category was former Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki. Last year's 35th overall pick hit a combined .305 at Savannah and St. Lucie this year. He also only struck out 53 times, a welcome sight in an era in which players will swing at just about everything.
The Sterling pitcher of the year award went to Gabriel Ynoa. The twenty-year-old did an amazing job in his first year at full-season ball. His control merits a special mention as he walked just 1.1 batters per nine innings. His 2.72 ERA also places him among the best of a bright crop of young right-handed pitchers in the Mets' system.
Here are the individual accolades by team:
Gulf Coast Mets: 1B Dominic Smith
Drafted this year as the 11th overall pick, Smith hit .301/.398/,439 betweel the GCL and Kingsport. The 18-year-old has drawn rave reviews from many people. He was also born when I was in middle school and now I feel like an old man.
Kingsport Mets: RHP Rob Whalen
Just because you aren't drafted in the first few rounds doesn't mean you should be ignored. Whalen blew past hitters in Kingsport. In 72 innings he allowed one home run and he struck out 9.5 guys every nine innings. He also grew up a Mets fan which gives him an 80 on the scouting scale for awesomeness.
Brooklyn Cyclones: RHP Robert Gsellman
A 13th rounder from the heralded 2011 draft, Gsellman would've been drafted a few spots earlier if it had been any other year. The 19-year-old Gsellman bounced around through a few levels this year but his performance in Brooklyn showed that he is ready to permanently stay at the next level for 2014. Opponents hit just .220 against him there and his control was as sharp as it has ever been. His ERA of 2.06 in 70 New York Penn League innings was impressive and his WHIP of 1.01 led all Cyclone starting pitchers. He also had one of the more powerful starts by a Mets minor leaguer on 08/25/2013 when he pitched eight innings and allowed two hits while striking out 13.
Savannah Sand Gnats: 1B Jayce Boyd
Quite possibly one of the nicest surprises of the year. Taken in the 6th round of the 2012 draft, Boyd hit ... and hit ... and hit in Savannah. Between Savannah and St. Luice he hit over .300 with nearly 90 RBIs. With the Mets' first base situation not looking as clear as in previous years, Boyd is one name to keep an eye on in the near future.
St. Lucie Mets: INF/OF Dustin Lawley
Another later pick from the 2011 draft, Lawley crushed the ball in Florida hitting 25 homers in 514 at-bats. That was enough to earn him a promotion to Vegas where he hit .300 in a scant 20 at-bats. It's not out of the question that we could see Lawley on the big league bench sometime during the 2014 season.
Binghamton Mets: RHP Jeff Walters and RHP Noah Syndergaard aka THOR, THE THUNDER GOD
We have co-winners here again. In his second season as a full-time reliever, Walters showed no mercy to Eastern League hitters as they hit only .224 against him. Walters will not need much more time in the minors and should make his big league debut next year.
Noah Syndergaard (again, THOR, THE THUNDER GOD) was one of the most talked-about Mets minor leaguers this year. Acquired in the R.A. Dickey deal, Thor dominated High-A (with stats such as a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 3.11 ERA) and then surprised many by doing even better in Binghamton (3.00 ERA and nearly six strikeouts per walk). It is entirely possible Thor will make his debut before he turns 22 next year.
Las Vegas 51's: Rafael Montero
Perhaps no pitcher has made as big an impact in such little time as Montero. The soon to be 23-year-old started the year at Binghamton before moving to Vegas. All he did in 16 starts was allow four homers in 88 innings (doubly impressive given the altitude in Vegas) with an ERA right around 3.00. He's another guy who should debut for the Mets in 2014.