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Mets Daily Farm Report, April 4, 2014: Opening Day!

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Catch up on all of yesterday’s minor league action from around the Mets farm system!

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the Mets Daily Farm Report! Here we'll be recapping all of the previous night's action in the minor leagues of the Mets organization. This will be your daily dose of hope during the baseball season. Last season we watched as Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero developed into perhaps the top pitching prospect duo in the game. We detailed Cesar Puello's nightly rampage through the Eastern League. We endlessly debated Brandon Nimmo's hand injury and strikeout rate. Who will emerge this season? Who will flounder? Let the games begin!

*All results from games played on Thursday, April 3rd 2014*

AAA - Las Vegas 51's (1-0)_______________________________________


If there's one thing I did not miss during this long offseason, it was recapping minor league baseball games played on the West Coast. Here's to hoping the Mets get back to the right coast next year. Rochester? I'm talking to you. Anyway, Rafael Montero picked up where he left off, tossing six scoreless innings. He struck out five and walked none. The 51s broadcast had one of his fastballs at 92, which sounds about right. There were a couple of well struck balls against Montero, but some quality outfield defense helped him keep the sheet clean. The 51s waited for the for Fresno starter Mike Kickham to depart before they decided to do their damage, which included a grand slam from Zach Lutz.

AA - Binghamton Mets (0-1)_____________________________________


First, the important things: Akron changed their name in the offseason. They are no longer the Akron Aeros. They are now the Akron Rubberducks. This is apparently a nod to Akron's roots as one of the largest rubber producing cities in the world. I'm delaying talking about the game as long as possible here because it was unremarkable from a Mets standpoint. The offense was impotent while the pitching was loose, issuing 11 (!) walks. Granted, they did strikeout 11 as well, which seems like the kind of line Jack Leathersich could put up over a full game. Speaking of Leathersich, he pitched one inning of this game and, true to form, issued a walk before striking out the side. Darin Gorski started the game but couldn't make it out of the fourth. The Binghamton broadcast had his fastball velocity around 86 MPH, which is not unexpected but still kind of stinks.

Hi-A - St. Lucie Mets (1-0)________________________________________


Brandon Nimmo had two hits and TJ Rivera hit a grand slam to lead the Mets of St. Lucie to a 6-5 victory over the Palm Beach Cardinals. Nimmo added a walk and a strikeout, which I'm sure are two things he will be doing a lot of this season. His strikeout rate will be something to keep an eye on, of course. Lowering the strikeout rate and adding some pop are the two things I'm expecting (hoping?) Nimmo to do this year. As for the pitching side of the game, Gabriel Ynoa did not pitch particularly great, only striking out one batter over five and a third innings. He only walked one batter, which should come as no surprise, but the fact that he couldn't miss any bats was disappointing. Certainly something to watch as the season progresses.

Lo-A - Savannah Sand Gnats (0-1)__________________________________


The Savannah Sand Gnats began their title defense in feeble fashion, dropping their opener 6-3 to Lakewood. Robert Gsellman got the start and didn't pitch terribly but did allow 10 hits in his five and a third. I have my money on Gsellman as the prospect who randomly jumps two levels due to injuries in the levels above him this year. Offensively, it was good to see Gavin Cecchini pick up a couple hits in his full season debut. Ditto for Dominic Smith, who picked up a single in four at-bats. And props to Patrick Biondi who just hit a three-run homer as I was writing this in the bottom of the ninth. At a listed 5'9" 160 lbs, and batting from the left side in Grayson, that was some feat, especially considering he hit zero home runs in 226 plate appearances at Kingsport last season. I'll set the over/under at two homers at home the rest of the season for Biondi, and I'll probably take the under.

  • SS Gavin Cecchini: 2-5, K
  • 3B Jeff McNeil: 0-4, K; 2013 12th round pick posted an elite strikeout rate (7%) against admittedly younger competition in Kingsport last year.
  • RF Victor Cruzado: 0-3, BB; A strong performance at Kingsport earned Cruzado a ticket to Savannah to start the year. He's posted strong walk rates in his three seasons in the organization.
  • DH Jared King: 0-3, BB, K
  • 2B LJ Mazzilli: 0-4, K
  • 1B Dominic Smith: 1-4; So happy to see an aggressive assignment for Smith. It was a topic that had been debated often, but I think this is the assignment most expected.
  • LF Stephan Sabol: 1-3, R, BB, K
  • Colton Plaia: 1-4, R, K
  • CF Patrick Biondi: 3-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, K
  • RHP Robert Gsellman: 5.1, 10 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Star of the Night

When a top prospect throws six scoreless with five strikeouts and no walks, he gets the crown. Honorable mention to both TJ Rivera and Zach Lutz, who had meals of grand salami and many rib-eye steaks.

Goat of the Night

Cesar Puello gets the horns. C'mon, Cesar. You're better than that.