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Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Fifteen

What minor league players put up the best numbers this past week, July 14th to July 20th?

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals
Travis Taijeron
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Hitter of the Week

Travis Taijeron

2019 Season: 85 G, 266 AB, .241/.370/.568, 64 H, 18 2B, 3 3B, 21 HR, 5/8 SB, .347 BABIP

Week: 7 G, 25 AB, .360/.500/.960, 9 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 5 BB, 9 K, 1/1 SB, .417 BABIP

Travis Taijeron (7/17/19)

With 21 homers, Travis Taijeron is currently tied along with teammate Dilson Herrera for fifth in the International League in home runs, behind Brian O’Grady (26), Bobby Bradley (25), Aristides Aquino (23), and Brandon Barnes (22). He was able to maintain a high batting average in the Pacific Coast League, but this season, in the slightly less offensive-oriented International League, Taijeron’s batting average is south of .250, though he is drawing more than enough walks to augment it. His inability to hit for a high batting average against more advanced pitching is the biggest factor holding him back. Raw power does not matter much if making contact is a struggle.

Given the versatility of the Mets’ 25-man roster, it would be difficult to find playing time for Taijeron if he were promoted to the majors. Formerly an outfielder, the Oklahoma City Dodgers started giving him reps at first base last year and that transition continued. The 30-year-old has played the majority of his time at first base this season, playing 60 games there as opposed to 10 in right field, 8 as Syracuse’s DH, and 1 in left field. Dominic Smith, who is currently hitting .293/.370/.537 in limited at-bats, and J.D. Davis, who is currently hitting .287/.348/.457 in limited at-bats, both have the same positional versatility and would certainly be given any potential at-bats before Taijeron in a potential call-up situation.

Pitcher of the Week

Daison Acosta

2019 Season: 7 G (6 GS), 32.2 IP, 18 H, 10 R, 6 ER (1.65 ERA), 14 BB, 42 K, .232 BABIP

Week: 2 G (2 GS), 10.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER (0.87 ERA), 6 BB, 14 K, .190 BABIP

Daison Acosta (7/20/19)

Daison Acosta was signed as a minor league free agent out of Paraiso, Dominican Republic on July 2, 2016, receiving a $70,000 signing bonus. He made three starts in the Dominican Summer League later that year, and then was assigned to the GCL Mets in 2017, making his stateside debut. He posted a 3.27 ERA in 22.0 innings there, allowing 18 hits, walking 7, and striking out 19. He was assigned to the Kingsport Mets for the 2018 season and posted a 4.46 ERA in 42.1 innings in the Appalachian League, allowing 38 hits, walking 18, and striking out 46. He began the 2019 season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, but was promoted to the Columbia Fireflies after just a handful of starts.

Acosta throws from a high three-quarters arm slot, using a simple, effortless, whippy delivery. At 6’2”, 160 pounds, Acosta likely has a little more physical development left in him, though he will never be an especially physical specimen and will likely always be a bit tall and lanky.

His fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s, topping out at 95 MPH, though when I saw him last season pitching in Kingsport near the end of the season, the pitch was more 89-92. This is where the importance of Acosta filling in comes in; more important than him adding velocity to his fastball is his ability to maintain it throughout the course of individual games, and a full season. Complementing his fastball are a pair of secondary pitches, a curveball and a changeup. The curveball is the more advanced of the two, occasionally flashing above-average. Sitting 77-82, it often gets loose and slurvy, taking a more 11-5 shape, but when he is able to snap the pitch off with a more defined 12-6 shape, it can be knee buckling. His changeup, which sits in the mid-80s, featured some fade, especially when thrown down in the zone, but still needs more, and perhaps more velocity differential from his fastball, to be a more effective pitch.

In my observation, he prefers working down in the zone, especially with his secondary pitches. This has led to elevated pitch counts and walks, as his command is sometimes erratic and not pinpoint even when it is on. An increase in his ability to command his pitches would also help in letting the right-hander go deeper in games, and accrue more innings.

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

Week Eight (May 26-June 1): Travis Taijeron/Harol Gonzalez

Week Nine (June 2-June 8): N/A

Week Ten (June 9-June 15): Ronny Mauricio/Chris Mazza

Week Eleven (June 16-June 22): Dilson Herrera/Michel Otanez

Week Twelve:(June 23-June 29): Luke Ritter/Thomas Szapucki

Week Thirteen (June 30-July 6): Joe Genord/Kevin Smith

Week Fourteen (July 7-July 13): Hansel Moreno/Frank Valentino