Many of the Mets’ best prospects were promoted this weekend as the Mets added depth and a starter (hello, Dilson Herrera!) in the big leagues, and fortified the playoff rosters for their three affiliates headed to the post-season. Triple-A Las Vegas, Double-A Binghamton and Single-A Savannah are all going to the playoffs, so guys from advanced Single-A St. Lucie and short-season Single-A Brooklyn filled in gaps on those rosters.
It is basically against the rules for players to move down levels for the playoffs, but there is no prohibition on promoting players.
RHP Erik Goeddel
Goeddel walked over 10 percent of opposing hitters in Triple-A and his command has always been shaky as he’s moved up the minors. Of his two non-intentional walk batters he faced in his first MLB appearance, he walked one and fell behind the other.
INF Josh Satin
He can still stand at first, second or third, and provide a right-handed pinch-hitting option. His spot on the 40-man roster might be shaky this winter.
Backup catchers gonna back up catch.
2B Dilson Herrera
Herrera eliminated his leg kick this year, which helped him keep his swing short and cut down on his strikeout rate. Unlike Triple-A shortstop Matt Reynolds, Herrera was Rule 5 eligible this off-season, so he was going to need to be added to the 40-man roster before November. Bringing him up now saves a roster spot.
LHP Dario Alvarez
Alvarez is simply an amazing story. He was back in Savannah on August 2, so he went from the South Atlantic League to the big leagues in a month. That should not happen.
A former Phillies’ farmhand in the Dominican Summer League, he was out of affiliated baseball for three years (2010-2012). Then, this year, the Mets bounced him between the rotation and the bullpen in Savannah, where the team prioritized starts for youngsters like Miller Diaz, Robert Gsellman, John Michael Gant, Chris Flexen and Kevin McGowan over Alvarez, even sending him to the Brooklyn roster in May as part of a paper move. In all, this is a pitcher with 12 innings total above the SAL and 5 2/3 above Single-A. Through it all, Alvarez got stronger and put up video game-worthy numbers. He mostly works in the low 90s, but can get up to 94 with his fastball. He throws a big sweeping slider. MLB hitters should be able to pick it up fairly early, given its large break.
2B LJ Mazzilli
The Mets moved Mazzilli, their fourth-round pick in 2013 straight over Double-A to help the 51s field a viable infield for their playoff run. The team needed a second baseman with Wilmer Flores, Eric Campbell and Josh Satin all in the big leagues and Zach Lutz in Japan. Mazzilli, who will turn 24 later this week, walked less in the FSL (5.8 percent) than in the SAL (10.2 percent), but compensated with more doubles (a 9.5 percent extra-base hit rate versus 6.3 percent in the cavernous Historic Grayson Stadium). The 51s started Mazzilli at second, Matt Reynolds at short and Danny Muno at third on the final day of the regular season in a likely preview of their playoff infield. In a world in which Dilson Herrera is not the Mets’ second baseman on Opening Day 2015, and Daniel Murphy is still with the franchise, Mazzilli is still likelier than not ticketed for Double-A Binghamton to start 2015.
The 51s also activated Giancarlo Alvarado from the DL to give them an extra arm.
From: Advanced Single-A
With Dilson Herrera in the big leagues, the B-Mets needed another infielder. This is actually a very flexible roster, and it would not be a surprise if Cecchini does not start much in the playoffs. The B-Mets can run Wilfredo Tovar at shortstop, TJ Rivera at second or third, Dustin Lawley at third or left and Brian Burgamy at either infield corner. Will Cecchini break camp in 2015 in Double-A? He hit .236/.325/.352 in his 68 games in St. Lucie in the second half. His strike zone control numbers argue for a promotion: a 14.8 percent strikeout rate, and a 11.8 percent walk rate. However, his contact numbers, a 5.9 percent extra-base hit rate, a .259 BABIP and a .116 BABIP argue for a repeat in the FSL when he adds more strength.
Binghamton needed a backup catcher for Xorge Carillo after Juan Centeno was moved back to the big leagues. Offensively, Maron is all about contact and plate discipline after hitting .282/.387/.362 with 61 walks against 68 strikeouts in 98 games in the FSL in a repeat engagement as a 23-year-old.
RHP Tim Peterson
Someone had to start for the B-Mets on the final day of the regular season, while Steven Matz and Gabriel Ynoa and friends rested for the playoffs. The bad news? Peterson lasted only one third of an inning.
To: Single-A (Savannah)
From: Short-Season Single-A (Brooklyn)
The Cyclones were eliminated on the final day of the 2014 regular season, and so their three best position player prospects were promoted to Savannah to help out the Gnats.
OF Michael Conforto
The Mets first-round pick, at No. 10 overall, began his professional life with the Brooklyn Cyclones where he hit .331/.403/.448 with 13 extra-base hits, 16 walks (8.6 percent) and 29 strikeouts (15.6 percent) in his first 42 games. Conforto should step right in and play everyday in leftfield in the Gnats’ playoff run. We discussed his adjustment to keep his front elbow down to better handle inside pitches here. Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger has an almost hilarious adulatory profile of Conforto’s first few months in pro ball. Conforto’s stay in Savannah might be very brief as he could probably handle an assignment to advanced Single-A St. Lucie to start 2015.
SS Amed Rosario
The Mets sent Rosario to Savannah at the end of May. With Cecchini and Mazzilli’s promotions to advanced Single-A pending in two weeks at the end of the first half in the middle of June, I still believe it was an open audition for Rosario to prove he belonged in Savannah in the second half. He didn’t, as he hit .133/.161/.300 with 11 strikeouts against one walk in 31 plate appearances. Returned to Brooklyn, he hit .289/.337/.380 with a 16.2 percent strikeout rate, and a 5.9 percent walk rate in 68 games as an 18-year-old. He missed about a week of the season in the last two weeks of August with a sore shoulder.
It’s not clear to me that Rosario is an immediate upgrade over Ruiz offensively or defensively and Guillorme is the best defender of the trio right now. However, Rosario is the guy the organization is invested in long term. Regardless of whether he plays much in these playoffs, Rosario will open 2015 with Savannah.
3B Jhoan Urena
That’s pronounced Johan. Urena, who turned 20 on September 1, hit a healthy .300/.356/.431 in 75 games with Brooklyn. He’s a switch-hitter with bat-to-ball ability who will need to add power as he moves up the ladder to project as an impact guy. He’s a soft-bodied third baseman, who will also need to get serious about his fitness if he’s going to stay at third. Urena is probably an improvement offensively and defensively over converted catcher Nelfi Zapata, who played the most third base in the second half for the Gnats, hitting a modest .236/.314/.321 in 41 games in the SAL as a 23-year-old.
Urena, regardless of how well he plays in the playoffs, will open 2015 with Savannah.
From: Rookie (Kingsport)
SS Luis Guillorme
The Mets’ 10th-round pick a year ago, the team promoted Guillorme from the Appalachian League to the SAL with three days to play in the regular season. Installed at short, he was 3-for-9 with Savannah. He’s a slick defender who hit .282/.337/.324 in 57 games in the Appy League. He hits line drives, but has to put his whole body into one, just for a single. Guillorme is a pretty clear improvement defensively over Yeixon Ruiz, who had started nearly every game at shortstop for the Gnats in the second half of the season. Will he play over Ruiz and Rosario in the playoffs? Or was he just moved to Savannah to be an upgrade over Ruiz in case Brooklyn made the playoffs?