Week: 2 G, 8 AB, .500/.556/1.625, 4 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 2 BB, 0 K, 0/0 SB (Triple-A)
2023 Season: 11 G, 44 AB, .227/.261/.727, 10 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 7 HR, 3 BB, 12 K, 0/0 SB, .120 BABIP (Triple-A)
Abraham Almonte has dealt with injuries all season and has only played in 11 non-rehab games as a result. During spring training, he was removed from a game with left calf soreness and began the 2023 season on the injured list as a result. After a few weeks rehabbing in April with the St. Lucie Mets, he finally made his Syracuse debut, but returned to the IL after about a week. He returned to Syracuse following a second rehab assignment, this time with the Brooklyn Cyclones, on July 5 and since then has hit .360/.385/1.120. The outfielder has 10 hits at the Triple-A level so far this season because of the injuries, and of those 7 have been home runs.
Almonte hit minor league career-high 18 last season in 80 games, 48 with Triple-A Nashville and 32 with Triple-A Worcester but may break that personal record this season if he continues hitting the way he has been. With 60 games remaining in the Syracuse Mets schedule, Almonte is on pace to hit 66 more longballs if he continues at this pace. That is, of course, extremely unlikely, but it highlights how the hitting environment in the International League remains ridiculously supercharged.
Felipe De La Cruz
Week: 1 G (0 GS), 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (Single-A)
2023 Season: 16 G (14 GS), 68.2 IP, 68 H, 41 R, 36 ER (4.72 ERA), 28 BB, 81 K, .341 BABIP (Single-A)
Felipe De La Cruz was signed out of Yamasa, a municipality of the Monte Plata province in the Dominican Republic on March 17, 2021. A 19-year-old who would be turning 20 that May, he was not a high profile international free agent, signing for a relatively small sum. The left-hander was assigned to the Dominican Summer League Mets when their season began and despite going 0-4, had a solid season, posting a 3.13 ERA in 46.0 innings, allowing 38 hits, 16 walks, and striking out 46.
The left-hander was promoted stateside in 2022, assigned to the FCL Mets when their season began in June. He appeared in 10 games for them, throwing 31.2 innings, and posted a 4.83 ERA, allowing 32 hits, walking 16, and striking out 44. He got a late season promotion to the St. Lucie Mets, where he appeared in two games, and began the 2023 season there.
De La Cruz throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot, with a long action through the back. His slingy arm sometimes has a negative impact on his command, but the southpaw generally lives in the zone. The left-hander throws the occasional four-seam fastball, but mainly relies on a sinker. The pitch sits in the low-to-mid-90s, averaging 94 MPH and touching as high as 97 MPH earlier this season. The pitch has averaged 2240 RPM this season, with 14.9 inches of induced vertical break, which is roughly average, and 8.1 inches of horizontal movement. Of 622 recorded pitches, his sinker has induced 293 swings and 93 whiffs, while recording a 43.5% ground ball rate, 22.2% fly ball rate, 27.2 line drive rate, and 7.1 infield fly ball.
Felipe De La Cruz complements his sinker with a slider and a changeup, using his sinker roughly 60% of the time, followed by his slider at roughly 30% and his changeup 10%. His slider sits in the low-to-mid-80s, averaging 84 MPH and topping out at 85 MPH. The pitch does not have a particularly high spin rate, averaging 2250 RPM and has gyroscopic break, with very little horizontal break and 33.1 inches of induced vertical break. Of 303 recorded sliders, the southpaw has induced 150 swings and 56 whiffs. His changeup sits in the mid-to-high-80s, averaging 88 MPH and topping out at 89 MPH. Averaging 1925 RPM, it has roughly 8.6 inches of horizontal movement and 23.1 inches of induced vertical break. His changeup gets hit harder than this other offerings, with higher minimum, maximum, and average exit velocities versus his other pitches, as well as a higher batting average against, slugging against, and isolated power against.