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Mets Daily Farm Report, July 7, 2014: MLB Beware- He’s Coming…

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

Noah Syndergaard
Noah Syndergaard
Gordon Donovan

*All results from games played on Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Triple-A - Las Vegas 51's (53-38)_______________________________________


At times this season, Noah Syndergaard's box score has looked less than impressive. Sometimes, he was doing everything right, but the results just weren't there. Other times, he seemed a bit off- the velocity might've been down, or his breaking balls just weren't as crisp in the dry west coast air- and as a result, the results just weren't there. Last night, at Isotopes Park, after a pep talk by Wally Backman, Noah Syndergaard reaffirmed why he is the Mets top prospect, and one of the best pitchers in the minor leagues.

This is AAA, where you're more likely to encounter players not good enough for the MLB than legitimate top-flight baseball talent, but Syndergaard looked like a man among boys. His first time through the order, he allowed only two hits, a knock off the bat of catcher Tim Federowicz that was very generously ruled a hit after glancing off of Wilmer Flores' glove and a rope that shortstop Walter Ibarra lined into center field. Everything else the first time through was either weak contact, or a strikeout- four in total. Noah mostly threw fastballs, blowing it past Isotopes hitters at a glove popping 96, 97, 98 MPH.

In the 4th, the second time through the line-up, he began mixing in his curveball and change-up. Carl Crawford, a legitimate MLB hitter doing his Disabled List rehab with Albuquerque, took two curveballs that arguably should've been strikeouts both times before being blown away by 97 MPH cheese. Jamie Romak, not nearly as accomplished a baseball player but still second in the PCL with a .592 slugging percentage, was completely fooled on a 3-2 change-up. The Isotopes scored their only run of the game in the 5th, but it was a cheap run: Former Met Mike Baxter hit a come backer right up the middle, through Syndergaard's legs that he was second late getting a glove on. After the next batter moved him up on a groundout, Baxter scored when second baseman Delvis Morales lofted a floater a few feet above Wilmer Flores' reach, that dunked in a few inches fair for a weak double. That inning, he also threw what the radar gun said was a 113 MPH fastball. The velocity on that pitch *probably* was wrong, but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe the gun, putting Syndergaard in Steve Dalkowski territory (look him up if you don't know who he is; his was a career every baseball fan should be aware of).

Even towards the end of his time on the mound, Noah was still throwing gas. The fastball was still coming in at 97, 98 in the 7th, when he was up to 80, 90 pitches. He started giving up harder contact, but the defenders behind him had his back, snagging mostly everything that could land for hits- including a nifty grab by Flores at third to steal what probably would've been an RBI double off the bat of Delvis Morales if he hadn't. Noah was removed after 94 pitches; 67 of them went for strikes. Ryan Reid pitched the last two innings, giving up a single that deflected off of Anthony Seratelli's glove.

For paragraphs in, and I didn't even touch the offense- an offense that scored twelve runs! You'd think that would be the story of the game. They scored four runs off of Red Patterson in the 1st, and proceeded to continue hammering away, plating three runs in the 5th, one in the 6th, one in the 7th, two in the 8th and one more in the 9th. Kevin Plawecki, after going 3-25 in his first nine games with Las Vegas, went 3-5 last night. Wilmer Flores, facing a steady diet of breaking stuff after punishing Isotopes pitching over the previous three games (5-12 with four home runs), continued his path of destruction going 2-4 with a walk and a home run, his 11th with the 51s- his fifth in the series against Albuquerque and in as many games. Perhaps most important, though, were the offensive contributions one Cesar Puello, making his first start since coming off the DL with a concussion. Early on in the game, he was not laying off of breaking stuff down and out of the zone- the story of his career. He struck out twice- once swinging, once looking- and grounded weakly to short. Then, in the 7th, off of Paco Rodriguez, one of the Dodgers' top prospects, he hit what can only be described as a monster shot to straight away center. It was a 400+ foot line drive rocket that still seemed to be rising at it cleared the center field wall. In the 9th, Puello struck again. Brock Peterson, a position player, was on the mound. As you would expect a position player on the mound to be doing, Peterson was throwing junk, a something-or-other that knuckled, juked, and jived on its way to the plate. Puello deposited one of those over the left field wall for his second home run of the night, doubling his home run total for the year. Is Cesar Puello, the bane of the Eastern League back, or is this just a flash-in-the-pan tease? Assuming Backman starts him tomorrow, we'll see, as the 51s will take on former productive MLB pitcher Trevor Cahill and the Reno Aces.

Double-A - Binghamton Mets (51-37)_____________________________________

ERIE 10, BINGHAMTON 9 / 10 (Box)

Erie and Binghamton really must like each other. After needing 16 innings on Friday to start the series, the SeaWolves and B-Mets went into extras once again to end it. Both teams were scoring runs early, and often. Rainy Lara allowed six earned runs on eleven hits over 5.1 innings, while Erie starter Kyle Ryan allowed eight earned runs on thirteen hits over 5.2 innings. Going into the 9th, Binghamton had a narrow 8-6 lead. Adam Kolarek, in his second inning of work, gave up a single to the first batter he faced. In stepped Steven Moya, who has victimized Eastern League pitchers this season with twenty home runs, and wouldn't you know it, he added to his tally, hitting his twenty-first to tie the ballgame. Chase Huchingson finished up the inning, but he ran into similar problems in the 10th. After allowing a walk, a single, and an intentional walk, Huchingson gave up a soft looper that scored two.

Down 10-8 in the bottom of the 10th, the B-Mets didn't roll over. Erie reliever Will Startup plunked T.J. Rivera and Brandon Nimmo drew a walk, bringing Travis Taijeron- who was 2-4 with a home run up until that point- to the plate. The right fielder also walked, loading the bases for Jayce Boyd, who was pinch hitting for catcher Xorge Carrillo. Startup got behind on Boyd, and walked him as well, forcing in run and making it a 10-9 ballgame, with bases loaded and no outs. And then, the worst possible thing happened: Kyle Johnson and Dilson Herrera struck out, back-to-back. Two non-productive outs, where anything out of the infield would've tied the game, or possibly even ended it. Brian Burgamy popped up to end the inning- and the game- and just like that, Binghamton went from the brink of victory into the jaws of defeat, to the brink of victory, back into the jaws of defeat.

Advanced-A - St. Lucie Mets (12-3 / 52-32)_____________________________________


Florida State League
South Division

Team Record
St. Lucie Mets 12-3
Palm Beach Cardinals 12-5
Fort Myers Miracle 10-6
Bradenton Marauders 9-7
Charlotte Stone Crabs 4-14
Jupiter Hammerheads 2-14

Low-A - Savannah Sand Gnats (14-4 / 58-26)__________________________________


Robert Gsellman was good, allowing two runs over six plus innings, but maybe Rob Whalen should've been promoted from his rehab assignment to start- despite pitching an inning in relief on Saturday, the right-hander struck out twenty en route to a perfect game. Given that the Sand Gnat scored eight runs over the course of the ballgame, nobody needed to be perfect to win this one, so the combination of Gsellman, Dawrin Frias, and Bret Mitchell was good enough. Dom Smith got things going in the top of the 3rd with an RBI single back up the middle that drove in Yeixon Ruiz and the team didn't look back from there. In the 5th, they scored three thanks to a two-run homer off the bat of Matt Oberste, and a Jorge Rivero RBI single. In the 7th, Smith drove in Ruiz for a second time, this time his hit a more authoritative double into center. In the 9th, the Sand Gnats scored three more, coming on a bases loaded Rivero single that plated two and a Stefan Sabol groundout that plated one more- and if Colton Plaia and Patrick Biondi had not struck out back-to-back, maybe Savannah might have scored more. The only blemishes on the pitching side of Savannah's ledger were a pair of RBI singles in the bottom of the 6th and 7th, both charged to Gsellman.

With the win, the Sand Gnats swept the series, their third sweep in a row. The team hasn't lost since June 26th, when they lost 9-0 in a blowout loss to Charleston. They return home to Historic Grayson Stadium tonight, where they'll host the Augusta GreenJackets.

Short-A - Brooklyn Cyclones (12-9)__________________________________


Brooklyn snapped their five-game skid by shutting out the IronBirds in a lopsided 7-0 win. Carlos Valdez was solid, giving up two hits and walking one, while striking out six in five innings of work. The offense gave him three runs in the bottom of the 4th, when Jhoan Urena hit an opposite field line drive RBI single into left, Michael Katz- on Jewish Heritage Day, and both of his parents in the stands celebrating their 28th marriage anniversary- drove a line drive double into left for another run, and Jeff Diehl grounded out to score one more. Gaither Bumgardner came in the 6th to finish out the game, and he was spectacular. He did not allow a single base runner over his four innings of work. Of the twelve outs he recorded, four were strikeouts and eight were ground balls that didn't make it out of the infield. The Brooklyn bats scored a few runs for him, too. In the bottom of the 6th, the Cyclones plated four more runs. Diehl, Tyler Moore both plated a run, and with the bases juiced, Joe Tuschak drove in a pair.

The Cyclones are off today, but they will look to gain some ground on the first place Renegades when they host them for a doubleheader on Tuesday.

Rookie - Kingsport Mets (7-10)__________________________________


Seconds after the ceremonial first pitch was thrown, Matt Blackham proposed to his girlfriend. That goodwill was lost a few hours later, as the Pulaski Mariners beat Kingsport 4-1. The Mets' 2013 second-round draft pick, Andrew Church, pitched arguably one of the better games of his young career, tossing six innings of two-run ball. His line might look relatively pedestrian, but reading between the lines is encouraging: his fastball was sitting in the mid-90s, he had a good feel for his breaking pitches- particularly his curveball- and he got ahead of nearly every hitter he faced, needing 65 pitches to get through six innings. The offense was, well, offensive. Pulaski starter Zack Littell struck out nine, scattering three hits over seven innings, allowing only one run, a Jose Garcia single that drove in Ivan Wilson, who got hit with a pitch, stole second, and came home to score from there.

Rookie - GCL Mets (7-5)__________________________________


Gulf Coast League
East Division

Team Record
GCL Cardinals 12-2
GCL Mets 7-5
GCL Nationals 5-7
GCL Marlins 2-12

Star of the Night

Cesar Puello looked great at the plate, but Noah Syndergaard really set the tone of the game. He's our star.

Goat of the Night

Kyle Johnson and Dilson Herrera had one simple job: Get a ball out of the infield- hell, in Johnson's case, he could have even hit into a double play, and it would've been alright- and the game is tied. They both struck out. TRAID! Don't give me any of that "But they went a combined 6-11 with five runs scored and three doubles nonsense. TRAID!