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Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Seventeen

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What minor league players put up the best numbers this past week, July 29th to August 4th?

Michael Gibbons
Chris McShane

Pitcher of the Week

Michael Gibbons

2018 Season: 16 G (15 GS), 74.1 IP, 71 H, 36 R, 30 ER (3.63 ERA), 30 BB, 55 K (High-A/Double-A)

Week: 1 G (1 GS), 7.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (High-A)

Michael Gibbons was signed as an undrafted free agent back in August 2014 out of Wheaton College, making him the third individual from the school to sign with a major league club. What made Gibbons’ signing unusual was that he was offered a contract as a college junior who had gone undrafted. After impressing J.P. Ricciardi while pitching in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, the Mets contacted him and made him and offer then and there, rather than leave it up to chance and possibly see him get drafted by another team in the 2015 MLB Draft. In his three years at Wheaton, a Division III school, Gibbons was primarily a starter and posted a 2.63 ERA in 106.0 innings, allowing 89 hits, walking 30, and striking out 62.

Gibbons returned to Wheaton to finish up his economics degree and began his professional career after school ended, in June 2015. He was initially assigned to the St. Lucie Mets but spent the season bouncing all around the system, making stops at Brooklyn, Savannah, St. Lucie, and Binghamton. All in all, he had a solid debut season, posting a 3.63 ERA in 69.1 innings, allowing 75 hits, walking 18, and striking out 47. The right-hander would not be able to build on his successful debut, as an elbow injury necessitated Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss all of the 2016 season.

Gibbons returned to the mound in mid-2017, making a handful of appearances with the GCL Mets, Brooklyn Cyclones, and St. Lucie Mets before having his season end in August. In his return from surgery, the right-hander posted an 8.78 ERA in 27.2 innings, allowing 42 hits, walking 12, and striking out 26. Another year removed from his surgery, Gibbons is having more success on the mound this season. In 74.1 innings split between St. Lucie and Binghamton, has posted a 3.63 ERA, allowing 71 hits, walking 30, and striking out 55.

Gibbons throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot, with simple and repeatable mechanics that really allow him to throw with above-average control. The right-hander is primarily a sinkerball pitcher, throwing a heavy fastball that averages around 90 MPH. Though he maintained a ground ball rate well above 50%- generally speaking, the minimum you want to see sinkerball pitchers posting- before his surgery, since returning from Tommy John, his ground ball rate has shrunk while his fly ball rate has spiked. In addition to the sinker, Gibbons throws a curveball and a changeup. Both are below-averages pitches, but play up a bit thanks to his ability to hit his spots.

Gibbons is something of a feel-good story, coming from a Division III college and pitching his way into a professional contract, but it seems very apparent that the right-hander is at or is near his pitching ceiling. The starts that he is making, the innings that he is logging, they could be going to pitchers down in Columbia that have higher upsides. Unless there is a specific reason for him remaining in Columbia, Tony Dibrell, a top 10 talent, should be pitching in St. Lucie. Yeizo Campos, who was just recently assigned to Brooklyn, has pitched well enough to earn a promotion to High-A. Marcel Renteria, who recently returned from the disabled list, arguably could have his developmental track hastened as well.

Hitter of the Week

Mark Vientos

2018 Season: 37 G, 145 AB, .297/.368/.538, 43 H, 8 2B, 0 3B, 9 HR, 16 BB, 24 K, 1/1 SB (Rookie)

Week: 6 G, 22 AB, .455/.500/.773, 10 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 2 BB, 5 K, 1/1 SB (Rookie)

That makes two weeks in a row now where Vientos has absolutely been on fire. Last week, he hit .385/.484/.923 and this week he hit .455/.500/.773, giving him a .417/.491/.854 batting line over the last two weeks. The power that we knew he had is manifesting, and he is not selling out for it: in these last two weeks, he has a 1:1 strikeout:walk ratio and for the season, he has a strong 16:24 ratio. Vientos’ development is exciting, and the 18-year-old is just getting started.

Amazin’ Avenue ranked Vientos the Mets’ fifth best prospect for the 2018. Based on his performance, the youngster has boosted his stock. Andres Gimenenz, who was ranked the Mets top prospect, will very likely be reprising his role as the Mets’ top prospect, but the case could be made that Vientos has forced his way into the second spot. Peter Alonso, Justin Dunn, and Jarred Kelenic are all making cases to be called the Mets second best prospect as well, but there are many arguments that with Vientos’ combination of performance and projection, that he should be ranked ahead of them.

Past Players of the Week

WEEK ONE 2018 (April 5-14): Justin Dunn/Ty Kelly

WEEK TWO 2018 (April 15-21): Chris Viall/Quinn Brodey

WEEK THREE 2018 (April 22-28): Chris Viall & Tony Dibrell/Peter Alonso

WEEK FOUR 2018 (April 29-May 5): Marcel Renteria/Jeff McNeil

WEEK FIVE 2018 (May 5-May 12): David Peterson/Jhoan Urena

WEEK SIX 2018 (May 13-May 19): Joe Cavallaro/Jeff McNeil

WEEK SEVEN 2018 (May 20-May 26): Mickey Jannis/Peter Alonso

WEEK EIGHT 2018 (May 27-JUNE 2): N/A

WEEK NINE 2018 (JUNE 3-JUNE 9): N/A

WEEK TEN 2018 (JUNE 10-JUNE 16): Justin Dunn/Wilmer Flores

WEEK ELEVEN 2018 (JUNE 17-JUNE 23): Nabil Crismatt/Peter Alonso

WEEK TWELVE 2018 (JUNE 24-JUNE 30): Drew Gagnon/Jeff McNeil

WEEK THIRTEEN 2018 (JULY 1-JUNE 7): Jaison Vilera/Jeff McNeil

WEEK FOURTEEN 2018 (JULY 8-JUNE 14): Jason Vargas/Blake Tiberi

WEEK FIFTEEN 2018 (JULY 15-JUNE 21): Tony Dibrell/Tomas Nido

WEEK SIXTEEN 2018 (JULY 22-JUNE 28): Luc Rennie/Mark Vientos