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Mets Daily Prospect Report, 6/24/18: Alonso goes off, Kingsport remains undefeated, and Mets pitchers have trouble with the 3rd inning

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Catch up on all the Mets prospects in yesterday’s minor league action here!

Ben Sandstrom/MiLB.com

*All results from games played on Saturday, June 23rd

Triple-A: Las Vegas 51s (32-43)

LAS VEGAS 14, RENO 11 (BOX)

The 51s found themselves in a typical Pacific Coast League slugfest on Saturday night, and managed to come out on top, thanks to an otherworldly performance at the plate from Peter Alonso. The recently promoted first baseman made an impact in every area of the game, committing two errors that led to runs for Reno, but also going deep three times in the game (including a grand slam) and driving in an astonishing seven runs.

Alonso’s big day got started in the third, when he hit his first home run as a member of the 51s, a solo shot to tie the game at 2. Kristopher Negron launched a three run bomb to give the Aces the lead in the next frame, but Vegas would answer right back with a four run fourth: Colton Plaia and Patrick Biondi each produced run-scoring doubles, while Christian Colon went deep for another solo home run. After that, things got really wild.

In typical PCL fashion, the Aces had much more offense in them, answering the four Vegas runs with six of their own. They scored two in the fifth, helped out by an error from Alonso and more struggles from starting pitcher Cody Martin. Then they would add on four more in the sixth after Alonso committed his second error, and Kyle Regnault overshot a throw to first base, sending the ball skittering into the corner.

Not to be outdone, however, the 51s loaded the bases in the next frame, setting the stage for Alonso with a single, double, and a walk. Alonso would send one out for his second home run of the night, a grand slam to draw Las Vegas within a run. Colton Plaia would put them ahead for good in the next inning with a two run bomb that plated Ty Kelly. Finally, in the eighth, Alonso would hit yet another home run, this time a two run shot to put the finishing touches on both the game and his career night.

The two teams combined for 41 baserunners in the 14-11 slugfest, with four errors from the 51s helping Reno stay in the game. Kevin McGowan, Matt Purke, and Jacob Rhame combined for three scoreless innings of relief, nailing down a win once the dust finally settled.

Double-A: Binghamton Rumble Ponies (35-38)

HARTFORD 7, BINGHAMTON 2 (BOX)

Ever since losing their two biggest offensive threats in McNeil and Alonso, the Rumble Ponies have, understandably, struggled mightily to manufacture runs, and their pitching is surely not helping matters. Mickey Jannis got the start on Saturday, and his knuckleball seemed to betray him in the third inning, as ten Yard Goats would come to bat, with six of them scoring. Jannis would retire nine of the next ten hitters he faced, but at that point, the game was out of reach.

Daniel Zamora, David Roseboom, and Matt Blackham combined to throw 3.2 innings of hitless relief in the loss. On the offensive side, the top three hitters in the Binghamton lineup combined to go 7-for-15 with two runs scored and an RBI, but received little support from their teammates.

Advanced-A: St. Lucie Mets (27-40/0-3)

GAME 1

LAKELAND 4, ST. LUCIE 2 (BOX)

After the nightcap of Friday’s twin bill was washed out, the Flying Tigers and Mets attempted to play two again on Saturday, this time with more success. David Peterson took the mound in Game 1 for his second start with St. Lucie, and much like his counterpart from Binghamton, was done in by a slightly less than ideal third inning. Three Lakeland runs would score in the inning, and although Gene Cone would answer with a two-run double of his own in the bottom of the third, the Flying Tigers kept the Mets off the scoreboard for the remainder of the shortened game. Dash Winningham committed two errors at first base in the loss.

Peterson has gotten off to a solid start at the Advanced-A level, and while the result wasn’t what he wanted today, there were encouraging signs: he struck out five Flying Tigers, as compared to just two punchouts in his St. Lucie debut (although he was facing a Lakeland lineup which was second in the Florida State League in strikeouts coming into the game). He allowed just six hits in 6.1 innings, demonstrated excellent control as always, and outside of the third inning, was largely dominant, allowing just an unearned run.

GAME 2

LAKELAND 8, ST. LUCIE 3 (BOX)

Gary Cornish, who has struggled mightily all season, got the start for St. Lucie in the makeup of Friday’s game, and this start was no exception; he could never find his command, walking six batters on the night and allowing seven runs in all. The third inning was a problem for yet another Mets minor leaguer in this game: Cornish allowed three singles, a double, a walk, and hit a batter as four Flying Tigers came around to score. In all, Lakeland hitters reached base fifteen times in this game, seven times via the walk, on their way to eight runs. Stephen Nogosek pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Cornish, but his effort would be largely inconsequential.

Gene Cone continued his big day at the plate with yet another RBI double in the loss.

Low-A: Columbia Fireflies (34-33/1-2)

LAKEWOOD 2, COLUMBIA 0 (BOX)

The Fireflies’ offense has been sputtering in the month of June, and they dropped yet another low-scoring affair on Saturday. Joe Cavallaro, arguably the new ace of the Columbia staff, was his usual dominant self, allowing just a run in 5.1 innings despite collecting only four strikeouts. That would be enough for the BlueClaws’ pitching staff, however, as Damon Jones and two relievers held the Colaflies off the board for nine full innings, stranding the bases loaded in the third. Lakewood leads the South Atlantic League with a 2.59 team ERA.

The BlueClaws would add an insurance run against Taylor Henry in the eighth, as Quincy Nieporte tripled to plate Colby Fitch. No Firefly picked up more than one hit in the loss.

Short Season: Brooklyn Cyclones (7-2)

BROOKLYN 8, CONNECTICUT 4 (BOX):

The Cyclones stayed hot on Saturday, using a five run ninth inning to come from behind and beat the scuffling Connecticut Tigers, moving their record to a division-best 7-2. Nicolas Debora, who excelled in relief with Columbia and St. Lucie, struggled in his second start with Brooklyn, dealing with a steady stream of baserunners and allowing four runs in five shaky frames. The bullpen held the Tigers scoreless the rest of the way, though, and the Cyclones found themselves trailing 4-3 heading to the ninth, when Kevin Hall and Angel Manzanarez each singled to lead off the inning. After a failed bunt attempt, Jose Brizuela also singled to load up the bases, and Wagner Lagrange came through, driving in two runs and giving Brooklyn the lead with a single. After a throwing error and two walks, the Cyclones would pile on, adding on three more runs as they pulled away for the win.

Kevin Smith would pick up the win after striking out the side in the eighth inning.

Each of the top four hitters in the Brooklyn lineup boast a batting average above .340, powering the Cyclones’ offense to their hot start. Jose Brizuela leads the way with a 1.197 OPS out of the #2 slot in the batting order.

LF Wagner Lagrange: 3-4, R, 2 RBI, BB

Rookie-Advanced: Kingsport Mets (5-0)

KINGSPORT 12, JOHNSON CITY 2 (BOX)

The K-Mets ran away with this one, scoring three runs in the third inning and seven in the fourth, putting the game away early on the way to their fifth consecutive win. With Elizabethton’s loss to Bristol, Kingsport are now the only undefeated team in the Appalachian League.

Mets starter Garrison Bryant was effective, but he racked up a high pitch count and left after 4.1 innings, failing to qualify for a win despite the twelve runs of support. Ivan Jean would pick up the win instead after going 1.2 scoreless innings in relief. Mark Vientos and Raul Beracierta each hit their first home runs of the season in the win, while Luis Santana and Shervyen Newton stayed hot, combining for six hits on the day. Six Kingsport hitters enjoyed multi-hit games in the twelve run offensive onslaught.

Rookie: GCL Mets (3-2)

GCL METS 12, GCL ASTROS 3/ 5 (BOX)

Jarred Kelenic went 3-for-4 in his professional debut, and the GCL Mets piled up seven first inning runs on their way to a rain-shortened 12-3 win. With the game already out of hand at 12-0 in the fifth, Jurgen Jimenez did falter and let in three runs, but Malky Mena came out of the bullpen to bail him out, and the skies would open up at the end of the inning. With the game already official and the umpires not wanting to interfere with a scheduled doubleheader for St. Lucie later in the afternoon, they would stop play at that point.

Hero of the Night

1B Peter Alonso

Goats of the Night

RHP Gary Cornish and RHP Mickey Jannis