Who plays where in AA? This became a question last week, when the Mets promoted Wilmer Flores, who had been playing thirdbase at advanced-A St. Lucie all year, and SS Wilfredo Tovar, the system’s best defensive shortstop, to join Binghamton incumbents 3B Jefry Marte and 2B Reese Havens.
Tovar’s easy. He plays short, as he did Thursday through Saturday before he got a day off Sunday in favor of back up Sean Kazmar.
And everyone else?
This all looks reasonable. Flores played third base twice, second once and DH’ed once. Marte played third twice and DH’ed twice while Reese Havens played three games at second and DH’ed once. Scouts who saw the 20-year old Flores at third in St. Lucie generally did not speak well of his defense in his first year at the position. More than one said, “he’s not a quick-twitch guy,” or some very close variant of the phrase, to describe why they were not fond of his work. Flores took an 0-for on Saturday, but bounced back with four hits and two doubles Sunday and is off to an 8-for-17 (.471) start with three doubles in his first four games at AA.
Havens picked up two hits and two walks Saturday and homered and walked on Sunday and struck out twice. The 25-year old is now up to .197/.332/.318 with 30 walks and 53 strikeouts in 48 games in AA this year. His days as the Mets’ “second baseman of the future” are just about over.
After a hitless weekend with a pair of walks Saturday, Marte is sitting at .269/.336/.401 in 66 games of AA.
The one thing that has not happened yet that I figured would be part of this rotation is that Marte has not played first base. In the Arizona Fall League in 2011, he played 11 games at first and 10 at third. I would wager it will happen soon enough for Binghamton, although he has never played first in a regular season minor league game.
One of the reasons that Marte has not yet played first has been the resurgent Eric Campbell. The 25-year old played first for Binghamton each of the last four games. He’s enjoyed a terrific bounce-back year in his third go-round in the Eastern League, hitting .330/.440/.503 with 33 walks against just 29 strikeouts in 54 games. He’s third in the Eastern League in batting and first in on-base percentage. Originally a thirdbaseman at Boston College, the right-handed hitting Campbell has also played 15-25 games in leftfield annually since he was drafted in the 8th round in 2008.
Campbell actually had two different 2011 campaigns with a markedly better second half than first half. He hit .210/.334/.272 in 257 AB before the AA All-Star Break in last year and .311/.364/.466 after. Anyway, it’s probably time for Campbell, who has played just three games in leftfield this year, to mix in some starts out there. That, and then see what he can do in Buffalo as a 1B/LF/3B, for a Bisons’ team that could use a little help.