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Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Sixteen

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What minor league players put up the best numbers this past week, August 17th to August 22nd?

Jose Peroza
Steve Sypa

Jose Peroza

Week: 5 G, 19 AB, .368/.429/.895, 7 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K, 0/0 SB (High-A)

2021 Season: 81 G, 283 AB, .269/.391/.442, 76 H, 17 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 54 RBI, 47 BB, 85 K, 5/5 SB (Low-A/High-A)

Prior to being promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones, Jose Peroza was hitting .274/.404/.442 in 64 games for the Low-A St. Lucie Mets. The batting average, while high, is not inconceivable for a player such as Peroza. While slow, he does use the entire field, has the ability to post high exit velocities when making solid contact, and did post 25.1% line drive rate in 2019.

His walk rate, on the other hand, is somewhat unexpected. In 2019, he posted a combined 5.7% walk rate with the GCL Mets and the Brooklyn Cyclones. The year prior, he posted a 8.4% walk rate with the GCL Mets. In 2017, he posted a 7.3% walk rate. At the time of his promotion to Brooklyn this season, he had a 14.7% walk rate with St. Lucie, nearly double his prior previous high. How much of this has been Peroza developing his sense of the strike zone and how much has been due to factors beyond his control? In the Low-A Southeast, the Hawk-Eye tracking system is being used to call balls and strikes.

Through 17 games with Brooklyn, Peroza is running a 9.1% walk rate, not as high as his rate with St. Lucie but still a highly encouraging number.

Cole Gordon

Week: 1 G (1 GS), 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (Double-A)

2021 Season: 19 G (12 GS), 76.0 IP, 46 H, 36 R, 34 ER (4.03 ERA), 34 BB, 79 K, .194 BABIP (Double-A)

A Tampa, Florida native, Cole Gordon attended George Steinbrenner High School, where he lettered three times as a hitter and pitcher, was named to various honorary teams, and won a variety of performance awards. After graduating, he chose to attend Mississippi State University over other baseball powerhouse schools, such as Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama and South Florida, Florida, Florida State, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

A lingering arm issue that bothered him in his senior year of high school forced him to redshirt in 2015, his first year at MSU, but he was able to play for the Lima Locos of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League after the NCAA season ended, hitting .400/.536/.773 in 75 at-bats and throwing a handful of innings on the mound. He finally made his MSU debut in 2016 with a pinch-hit appearance and ended up appearing in 21 games off the bench, going 6-18 with three doubles and a triple. He supplemented his playing time by playing with the Plymouth Pilgrims in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, hitting .269/.370/.577 in 35 games and throwing a few more innings.

In 2017, his redshirt sophomore year, Gordon began the year in contention for the Bulldogs starting first baseman role, but lost to Brent Rooker, who would go on to hit .387/.495/.810 and get drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 1st round of the 2017 MLB Draft, 35th overall. Unlike 2016, Gordon struggled in his limited plate appearances hitting .158/.258/.316 in 57 at-bats. While he struggled at the plate, he would end up having a major impact on the team. With injuries decimating the MSU pitching corps, Coach Cannizaro asked Gordon, who had limited experience pitching in high school and in the collegiate summer leagues he appeared in in 2015 and 2016, to fill in for those missing relievers. Cole, to his credit, did not embarrass himself, posting a 5.69 ERA in 55.1 innings over nine starts and ten relief appearances, allowing 47 hits, walking 30, and striking out 59. The right-hander filled in so well that his transition to pitching was permanent, and he spent the rest of his time at MSU as a pitcher. In 2018, his redshirt junior season, he posted a 4.26 ERA in 61.1 innings and in 2019, his redshirt senior season- Gordon was actually starting his master’s degree in business administration at this point- he posted a 3.80 ERA in 42.2 innings.

The Mets selected Gordon in the 32nd round of the 2019 MLB Draft, the 958th player selected overall, and the two sides agreed to a $1,000. He was assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones to begin his professional career but his time there was brief, appearing in a single game. He was promoted to the Low-A Columbia Fireflies and remained there for the rest of the 2019 season, posting a 2.76 ERA in 29.1 innings over 18 appearances, allowing 19 hits, walking 15, and striking out 36. After missing the 2020 season due to COVID-19, the Mets skipped the southpaw over High-A completely, assigning him to the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

Gordon throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a simple delivery consisting of a slight hip turn and leg lift, hiding the ball from hitters well. His fastball sits in the high-80s-to-low-90s, generally 88-90 MPH, with arm-side run and sink. He complements the pitch with a slider and curveball, both of which show flashes of being averages pitches. The slider, which sits in the low-80s, has tight spin that breaks late and his curveball, which sits in the mid-to-high-70s, features big, loopy 11-6 break. He is able to control all three pitches effectively and pounds the zone.

Players of the Week 2021

Week One (May 4-May 8): Francisco Alvarez/Tylor Megill

Week Two (May 9-May 15): Antoine Duplantis/Tylor Megill

Week Three (May 16-May 23): Francisco Alvarez/Franklin Parra

Week Four (May 24-May 30): Mason Williams/Franklyn Kilome

Week Five (June 1-June 6): Brett Baty/Alec Kisena

Week Six (June 8-June 13): Carlos Cortes/Josh Walker

Week Seven (June 15-June 20): Luke Ritter/ Justin Lasko

Week Eight (June 22-June 27): Mark Vientos/Oscar Rojas

Week Nine (June 29-July 4): Mark Vientos/David Griffin

Week Ten (July 6-July 11): Jaylen Palmer/J.T. Ginn

Week Eleven (July 13-July 18): Jaylen Palmer/Connor Grey

Week Twelve (July 20-July 25): Jose Peroza/Justin Lasko

Week Thirteen (July 27-August 1): Mark Vientos/Josh Walker

Week Fourteen (August 3-August 8): Jake Mangum/Adam Oller

Week Fifteen (August 10-August 15): Jake Mangum/Adam Oller