Farm report II: Leaders, player notes
June, 27, 2012
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com
Long Island native Steve Matz, the Mets' top pick in 2009, finally has pitched in a minor league game.
Average: Eris Peguero, Kingsport, .406; Alexander Sanchez, Brooklyn, .394; Eric Campbell, Binghamton, .332; Jeyckol De Leon, Kingsport, .318; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .317; Matt den Dekker, Buffalo, .316; Branden Kaupe, Kingsport, .313; Cam Maron, Savannah, .299; Fred Lewis, Buffalo, .297; Josh Satin, Buffalo, .295.
Homers: Cory Vaughn, St. Lucie, 14; Travis Taijeron, St. Lucie, 14; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 13; Matt den Dekker, Buffalo, 11; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 11.
RBI: Travis Taijeron, St. Lucie, 51; Wilmer Flores, Binghamton, 48; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 45; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 44; T.J. Rivera, Savannah, 40.
Steals: Matt den Dekker, Buffalo, 14; Alonzo Harris Jr., St. Lucie, 14; Pedro Zapata, Binghamton, 13; Wilfredo Tovar, Binghamton, 12.
ERA: Luis Mateo, Brooklyn, 0.77; Gabriel Ynoa, Brooklyn, 1.50; Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 2.29; Tyler Pill, St. Lucie, 2.66; Rafael Montero, St. Lucie, 2.67; Luis Cessa, Brooklyn, 2.70; Angel Cuan, St. Lucie, 3.08; Collin McHugh, Buffalo, 3.08; Steven Matz, Kingsport, 3.24; Cory Mazzoni, Binghamton, 3.40.
Wins: Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 7; Gonzalez Germen, Binghamton, 7; Hamilton Bennett, St. Lucie, 7; Rafael Montero, St. Lucie, 7.
Saves: Fernando Cabrera, Buffalo, 15; Adrian Rosario, Binghamton, 13; T.J. Chism, Savannah, 12; Adam Kolarek, St. Lucie, 10; Robert Carson, Binghamton, 6.
Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 87; Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 77; Collin McHugh, Buffalo, 76; Garrett Olson, Buffalo, 69; Gonzalez Germen, Binghamton, 68.
• Right-hander Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores will represent the Mets in the July 8 Futures Game as part of the All-Star festivities in Kansas City. The game will be televised by ESPN2 at 5 p.m. ET. Former Mets farmhands who have participated in the game include David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matt Lindstrom and Fernando Martinez.
The educated speculation is that Wheeler’s promotion to Triple-A Buffalo will wait until at least after that game, to avoid further disrupting his schedule. Wheeler’s ERA swelled to 2.29, still third in the Eastern League, when he surrendered five earned runs at Erie Monday. It was the most runs Wheeler has allowed as a professional since his final game as a Giants farmhand, last July 22 with Class A San Jose at Bakersfield (5 ER in 5.1 IP). It was one earned run shy of the most allowed by Wheeler in a professional game. Wheeler nonetheless gutted through seven innings in Monday’s outing.
Flores, 20, is hitting .333 with six RBIs in six games since a promotion to Binghamton. After serving as a shortstop with the organization since signing on his 16th birthday, Flores began nearly exclusively playing third base with Class A St. Lucie this season. With fellow prospect Jefry Marte the incumbent third baseman with the B-Mets, Flores so far has played three games at third base, two at DH and one at second base. Flores also has taken pregame grounders at first base since the promotion, although a team official said there was no active plan to start him there. Marte should alternate between third base and DH to accommodate Flores, but probably will not be used on the right side of the infield right now.
• The B-Mets infield is about to get even a little more congested. First baseman Allan Dykstra, who suffered a fractured left forearm reaching into the runner for a throw on April 14, has now played six games with St. Lucie and should be ready to rejoin the B-Mets. The issue? Eric Campbell has taken off in Dykstra’s absence while manning first base. Campbell, a promotion candidate to Buffalo, is hitting .332 with five homers and 31 RBIs and has a .441 on-base percentage in 56 games. Campbell’s OBP is 27 points better than league runner-up Darin Ruf of Reading (.414). Campbell’s average ranks third in the league, behind Matt den Dekker (.340), who still has enough plate appearances to qualify despite a promotion to Buffalo, as well as No. 3 J.C. Linares (.333) of Portland.
• Left-hander Steven Matz’s long road back from May 18, 2010 Tommy John surgery appears to have a favorable resolution. Matz was the Mets’ top pick in the '09 draft out of Ward Melville High School on Long Island (second round, 72nd overall), but he did not throw an official professional pitch in a minor league game until this season because of a long recovery, which included microfiber tears in the elbow area last season while working his way back. Matz, now 21, has made two starts for Class A Kingsport. He has allowed a combined seven runs, but only three earned, in 8 1/3 innings. His fastball now sits at 92-93 mph, and touches 94-95. He also throws a curveball and changeup.
• Although the Mets have not announced either move, second-round pick Matt Reynolds, a third baseman from Arkansas, as well as sixth-round pick Jayce Boyd, a first baseman from Florida State, are on board pending physicals. Reynolds should join Savannah, while Boyd heads to Brooklyn. Right-hander Tim Peterson, the 20th-round pick from Kentucky, already has been assigned to Brooklyn but has yet to debut.
• The flurry of promotions last week included catcher Francisco Pena, shortstop Wilfredo Tovar and right-hander Cory Mazzoni joining Binghamton along with Flores.
Mazzoni, the second-round pick in 2011 from NC State, tossed his first career complete game in his Double-A debut, in a seven-inning effort against Akron that halted Binghamton’s five-game losing streak (including a suspended game’s completion).
The trickle-up then included outfielder Travis Taijeron, shortstop T.J. Rivera and right-handers Rafael Montero and Jeffrey Walters moving from Savannah to St. Lucie. Montero, who sports a low-90s fastball, had solid command while taking a scoreless effort into the seventh inning in his Florida State League debut. He departed with the bases loaded and Walters allowed all three inherited runners to score. Taijeron demonstrated power quickly, homering in his third and fourth games with St. Lucie.
• Craig Missigman, a high school right-hander selected in the 37th round in 2011 out of Olympic (N.C.) High, underwent Tommy John surgery.
• Jordany Valdespin returned to Buffalo’s lineup Tuesday and went 2-for-4 with a double and walk while manning second base. That will be his primary position with the Bisons, although he is expected to continue to dabble elsewhere.
• Top-pick Gavin Cecchini is hitting .276 through 29 at-bats at Kingsport, with two errors in seven games at shortstop. Former Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki, selected 35th overall in the supplemental first round, is hitting .191 (4-for-21) through six games with a homer and three RBIs. Plawecki has struck out twice. During his junior season he had eight Ks in 223 at-bats with the Boilermakers.
• 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo is one of only three New York-Penn League players to reach base in every game. Nimmo is hitting only .167 (5-for-30), but has walked 11 times for a .405 on-base percentage.
• The International League has announced its participants for the July 11 Triple-A All-Star Game to be played in Buffalo. Matt Harvey, Valentino Pascucci and closer Fernando Cabrera will represent the Bisons.
• Right-hander Collin McHugh allowed a career-high three homers while having trouble locating his fastball in his second Triple-A start. Left-hander Mark Cohoon also recently joined Buffalo’s rotation, with Dylan Owen landing on the DL with a right elbow impingement, although Jenrry Mejia could grab that spot with an expected return to starting work with Buffalo.
• Josh Satin, who cleared waivers and was removed from the 40-man roster, went 10-for-13 during Buffalo’s series at Durham. Satin is hitting .348 in June.
• Former New York-Penn League batting champ Darrell Ceciliani, who has been tormented by hamstring issues this year, returned from a third DL trip this season Friday with St. Lucie. He is hitless in nine at-bats since returning.
Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the regular season