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Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Eight

What minor league players put up the best numbers this past week, May 26th to June 1st?

New York Mets v Washington Nationals
Travis Taijeron
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Hitter of the Week

Travis Taijeron

2019 Season: 45 G, 139 AB, .223/.351/.583, 31 H, 9 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR, 25 BB, 66 K, 2/2 SB, .295 BABIP

Week: 7 G, 25 AB, .280/.455/.800, 7 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 7 BB, 8 K, 1/1 SB, .286 BABIP

7 G, 26 AB, .346/.345/.538, 9 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 K, 0/0 SB, .333 BABIP

Travis Taijeron is having one of the best stretches of his career. Through 45 games, he has 13 home runs, which puts him on pace to beat his prior career high, 25, which he reached in 2015 and 2017 with the Las Vegas 51s. His batting average has taken a tumble- he hit .274 and .272 in those respective years- but he is hitting for slightly more power than he has in the past. His peripherals so far this season are in line with his minor league career norms over the last couple of years, meaning it may simply be some statistical noise and his batting line should increase, or that he may be selling out for power.

Like many veterans on the Syracuse Mets, it is hard to see a path to the major leagues for Taijeron. The Mets have a crowded infield, with Dominic Smith being his main competition as a left-handed bat off the bench. Taijeron has more power than Smith, but Smith’s age, current performance in limited time, and standing in the organization would make getting playing time over him difficult. Looking at the Mets’ outfield situation, Taijeron certainly possesses a more potent bat than Aaron Altherr and possibly Carlos Gomez, both of whom are filling in with Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil on the Injured List, as well as Juan Lagares, but all three of those players are better defenders than Taijeron.

Pitcher of the Week

Harol Gonzalez

2019 Season: 8 G (7 GS), 44.0 IP, 33 H, 15 R, 14 ER (2.86 ERA), 9 BB, 39 K, .223 BABIP

Week: 1 G (1 GS), 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER (0.00 ERA), 2 BB, 5 K

Harol Gonzalez began the 2018 season with the St. Lucie Mets, and after having success there was promoted to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. In his first exposure to Double-A, the right-hander looked terrible. In 52.0 innings, he posted a 7.79 ERA, allowing 79 hits, walking 17, and striking out 30. His stuff, which already is on the fringy side, was fooling nobody. We are reaching the point in the season which he has made just as many starts and thrown just about as many innings as his total workload in Binghamton last season, and the results are like night and day.

I am worried that the bubble will be popping soon. Harol Gonzalez hasn’t suddenly found some extra velocity in his back pocket and is throwing an above-average fastball. He hasn’t refined his various secondary pitches and is throwing a bunch of above-average off-speed pitches. While his walk rate is down a smidgen as compared to last season and his strikeout rate up a bit, his success seems to be artificially propped up on a BABIP that isn’t likely to continue being so small. Batters are currently hitting .209/.250/.392 against him, with a .223 BABIP. Last season, batters were hitting .359/.401/.632 against him, with a .375 BABIP. Both numbers seem were artificial in the opposite direction, but regressing to a mean somewhere between the two still results in average-at-best performance for Gonzalez.

Past Players of the Week

Week One (April 4-April 13): Travis Taijeron/Chris Flexen

Week Two (April 14-April 20): Ronny Mauricio/Harol Gonzalez

Week Three (April 21-April 27): Danny Espinosa/Anthony Kay

Week Four (April 28-May 4): Will Toffey/Tommy Wilson

Week Five (May 5-May 11): Carlos Gomez/Harol Gonzalez

Week Six (May 12-May 18): Patrick Mazeika/Anthony Kay

Week Seven (May 19-May 25): Mark Vientos/Anthony Kay