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2017 Mets Minor League Review: Columbia Fireflies

Reviewing the 2017 Fireflies season

Minor League Baseball: Augusta GreenJackets at Columbia Fireflies
Spirit Communications Park
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Season Record: 40-28 (South Atlantic League Southern Division, 2nd place) / 28-42 (South Atlantic League Southern Division, 7th place)

The Columbia Fireflies began the 2017 season with just as much buzz about them as they did their inaugural 2016 season. Signed in September 2016, former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow had been assigned to the Columbia Fireflies, and both fans and detractors were eager to see how the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner would do. In typical Tebow fashion, the outfielder homered in his first at-bat, drilling a 2-1 pitch thrown by Domenic Mazza—the 666th player drafted in the 2015 amateur draft—into the wind and off the railing in left-center.

While Tebow’s first half can’t exactly be categorized as a success, Columbia’s certainly could be. Pitching was a strength of the club, as in just April alone, the team threw six shutouts. They added two more in May and one more in early June, giving them a total of nine in the first half. The Fireflies jockeyed with the Greenville Drive for first place all season but fell just short on the last day of the season, when a Columbia loss coupled with a come-from-behind Drive win dropped the Colaflies into second place by a half-game, knocking them out of the South Atlantic League playoff picture.

The Colaflies were not nearly as successful in the second half as they had been in the first. A combination of promotions, trades, and injuries gutted the lineup and pitching staff. Columbia was not completely terrible, but they lost more series than they won, eventually ending the second half with an almost inverted record as compared to their first half. Thanks to their 28-42 record in the second half, the Mets’ affiliate ended the 2017 season 68-70, the second consecutive season in the club’s two-year history they ended with a sub-.500 record overall.

TOP HITTER

Michael Paez

Games Plate Appearances AVG OBP SLG HR BB K SB BABIP
Games Plate Appearances AVG OBP SLG HR BB K SB BABIP
64 263 .290 .376 .509 8 27 56 8/13 .345

RUNNER-UP

Andres Gimenez

Games Plate Appearances AVG OBP SLG HR BB K SB BABIP
Games Plate Appearances AVG OBP SLG HR BB K SB BABIP
92 399 .265 .346 .349 4 28 61 14/22 .310

TOP PITCHER

Jordan Humphreys

Games/Games Started Innings Pitched ERA FIP Walks Strikeouts Hits HR BABIP
Games/Games Started Innings Pitched ERA FIP Walks Strikeouts Hits HR BABIP
11/11 69.2 1.42 2.16 9 80 41 2 .241

RUNNER-UP

Merandy Gonzalez

Games/Games Started Innings Pitched ERA FIP Walks Strikeouts Hits HR BABIP
Games/Games Started Innings Pitched ERA FIP Walks Strikeouts Hits HR BABIP
11/11 69.2 1.55 3.04 13 65 50 3 .253