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Mets Arizona Fall League Update: Week 1

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Catch up on all the Mets Arizona Fall League action from the past week!

Arizona Fall League
Tim Tebow and Gavin Cecchini
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

*All results from games played from Tuesday, October 11 to Saturday, October 15

Tuesday, October 11: Scottsdale 9, Glendale 6 (Box)

SS Gavin Cecchini: 2-3, R, 2B, 3 RBI, BB

1B Matt Oberste: 0-3, RBI

LF Tim Tebow: 0-3

RHP Corey Taylor: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 P (9S/3B), 1 FB-1 GB

RHP Corey Oswalt: 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, HR, 2 WP, 47 P (21 S/26B), 4 GB-0 FB

Wednesday, October 12: Salt River 6, Scottsdale 4 (Box)

CF Champ Stuart: 2-5, K, 2 SB

LF Tim Tebow: 0-3, RBI, BB, K

LHP David Roseboom: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 19P (13S/6B), 0 GB-1 FB

Thursday, October 13: Peoria 5, Scottsdale 2 (Box)

SS Gavin Cecchini: 0-3, BB, K; Started three DPs

LF Matt Oberste: 0-4, K, E (1)

DH Tim Tebow: 0-3, R, BB, 2 K

RHP Marcos Molina: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 38P (24S/14B), 2 GB-1 FB

Friday, October 14: Scottsdale 8, Glendale 7 (Box)

RHP Corey Taylor: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 20P (15S/5B), 2 GB-1 FB

Saturday, October 15: Surprise 8, Scottsdale 1 (Box)

2B Gavin Cecchini: 1-3, BB, K, E (1, Throw)

CF Champ Stuart: 1-3, R, HR (1), RBI

1B Matt Oberste: 0-4, 2 K

LHP David Roseboom: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, K, 25-11, 1-1 GB/FB

Week One Totals

2B/SS Gavin Cecchini: 3-9, R, 2B, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, E (1, Throwing)

At this point, I think it is pretty well established that Gavin Cecchini has a decent idea at the plate. He is currently hitting .333, notching three hits in nine at-bats. Two of his three hits were soft line drives into center/right-center, and his double was hit with more authority into deep center. His three walks came off of Austin Voth, Jason Jester, and Trey Ball, while he was struck out by Greg Harris and Michael Kopech.

While I thought it was likely that Cecchini would get more reps at second base rather than shortstop—especially with Yankee top prospect Gleybar Torres on the team—he has played two games at short and one at second base. He has been involved in a bunch of double plays, six in total. He began five and was the middle man in one. His one error so far came on what might have been another double play, with him acting as middleman. Shortstop Gleybar Torres passed him the ball and he tagged the bag to record one out, but he threw wide to first base, allowing Pirates farmhand Eric Wood to reach base.

1B/LF Matt Oberste: 0-11, RBI, 3 K

Matt Oberste has generally put up solid if uninspiring numbers over the last few years with Savannah, St. Lucie, and Binghamton, but he has never really been much of a prospect since his toolset is fairly limited. He has been spraying balls all over the field, but none have landed for hits, though he got on base once thanks to an error. In general, Oberste has struggled against top prospects, and the same thing seems to be happening in the AFL, where he’s faced more than a few organizational top prospects.

LF/DH Tim Tebow: 0-9, R, RBI, 2 BB, 3 K

I am not a Tim Tebow super fan, nor am I a detractor who has an irrational need to see him fail. Tim Tebow is just a guy with some special physical abilities that most of us can only dream of, who the Mets recently signed and are evaluating. He just happens to be a famous guy with a brand. As such, I’m going to be as objectively neutral as I can be.

Tebow didn’t exactly have the best week in his first trip down to the AFL. In three games, he went hitless at the plate. He struck out three times, swinging against Gabe Speier on Wednesday, swinging against Diego Castillo on Thursday, and on a check swing that went around against Jason Jester on Thursday. His swing was stiff, and as a result, when he did make contact, he rolled over the pitches, and as a result, he did not get a single ball through the infield, hitting virtually everything to first base. He showed average speed when legging out those ground balls, though not enough to reach base. He did get on base twice, drawing a walks against Javier Salas and Greg Harris, a pair of guys with solid fastball velocity in the low-to-mid 90s, but fringy breaking balls.

He played five innings in left field on Tuesday, recording a routine fly ball in the bottom of the third. In the bottom of the fifth, he had a little more trouble tracking down a line drive hit towards him, crashing into the outfield wall. On Wednesday, he played nine innings in left field. Three balls were hit into left, two of which dropped for hits and one of which Tebow was able to successfully turn into an out. The routes that he took were not the best, but that is to be expected from a guy who more recently was a quarterback than an outfielder.

Tebow’s lack of basic baseball instincts is a little concerning. On Tuesday, he hit a tapper in front of the plate that did not dribble even six inches away. He thought it was foul and did not run out of the box, allowing catcher Carson Kelly to tag him out in front of the plate. On Wednesday, after drawing a walk in the bottom of the second, he failed to slide to possibly break up a double play. Later, in the fourth, he hustled out of the box, turning a possible double play into a fielder’s choice. After he advanced to third on a double, he was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a ground ball to first base. The attempt to score was a bit eyebrow raising, and he did not do himself any favors by sliding foot first. On Thursday, after his check swing strikeout against Jason Jester, the ball got past catcher Nick Ciuffo and he did not run for a good five seconds. I don’t know if he would have been able to make it to first safely on the dropped catch, but he would have at least made it close.

CF Champ Stuart: 3-8, R, HR (1), RBI, K, 2/2 SB

Between the World Baseball Classic qualifiers, where he hit .467/.500/.733, and the first week of the AFL, Champ Stuart has had himself a nice couple of weeks. In the two games he has played, Stuart has reached base in almost every other at-bat, one of those hits being a solo home run off of John Curtiss—a guy who has, admittedly, had major home run problems, giving up a staggering ten in 46 innings in 2015.

The Bahamian outfielder has two stolen bases in eight trips to the plate, which not the most in the AFL so far—three other players are tied with three stolen bases—but Stuart has been the most effective and aggressive on the basepaths, as he is the only player thus far to record two or more stolen bases in fewer than double-digit at-bats.

C Tomas Nido: DNP

Nido has yet to get into a game, but given that he was named to the AFL taxi squad and thus only available to play on certain days, we knew that he wouldn’t be playing too much over the course of the season.

RHP Marcos Molina: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 38P (24S/14B), 2 GB-1 FB

Molina made one start for Scottsdale so far, his first start since August 17, 2015. His fastball sat in the low-90s and topped out at 93 MPH, which is a little on the low side of where he topped out before surgery, but this was his first time on the mound in a competitive fashion in a little over a year, so a small dip in max velocity is nothing to be concerned about. He appears to have increased his stride length a little, allowing him to utilize his lower half better for power. Molina’s mechanics prior to his surgery were such that he was almost short-arming the ball, putting a lot of stress on his arm- and follow through on every pitch.

RHP Corey Taylor: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 32 P (24 S/8B), 3 GB-2 FB

Through four games, manager Tom Goodwin has turned to Corey Taylor twice, and the right-hander has responded in turn. In his first AFL appearance, against an aggressive Glendale club on Tuesday, Taylor needed just twelve pitches in total to record five outs, two of which were strikeouts. When Goodwin called on him on Friday, against those same Glendale Desert Dogs, he was a bit more hittable, allowing a run on two hits. Results aside, the important thing is that Taylors is aggressive and throwing strikes. Of his 32 total pitches, 75% have been for strikes.

RHP Corey Oswalt: 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, HR, 2 WP, 47 P (21 S/26B), 4 GB-0 FB

Corey Oswalt got the “Opening Day” start for Scottsdale, pitching two innings on Tuesday. He seemed a bit a bit rusty, not having pitched in a competitive environment since the beginning of September in the St. Lucie Mets’ regular season finale. He threw more balls than strikes, walked three batters, and uncorked two consecutive wild pitches. In addition to not having his best command, the Glendale Desert Dogs knocked him around for four hits. Three of those hits were singles, but one was a home run, hit over the right field wall by DH Garrett Stubbs, who has some sneaky pull-side power despite being not much of a power threat. His ERA, which currently sits at an even 18.00, would be lower if Yankee prospect Dillon Tate hadn’t given up a home run to Cardinals catching prospect Carson Kelly, allowing the pair of runners he inherited from Oswalt to score.

LHP David Roseboom: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 44 P (24 S/20B), 1 GB-2 FB

Roseboom has been perfect in his two AFL outings so far, though the two walks in two innings and the high amount of balls he’s thrown is a little concerning. Both walks that he has allowed so far came in the same inning, back-to-back, against Twins top prospect Nick Gordon and Royals top prospect Ryan O’Hearn, a pair of lefties who have no problems taking a walk. The southpaw has been most effective when aggressive and going right after hitters, so if Roseboom is able to return to that mentality, he may cut down on the high level of balls thrown out of the zone and the free passes for the remainder of the AFL season.