AA Sunday: Travis Taijeron Homers Bingo to Win

AA: Binghamton Mets 5, @ Altoona Curve (PIT) 2 

Taijeron St. Lucie HeadTravis Taijeron  (pictured) is enjoying his introduction to double-A baseball. Sunday, he broke a 2-2 tie in the 9th inning with a game-winning three-run home run. He finished 2-for-4 with the bomb and four RBI. The 24-year-old Taijeron is 5-for-9 with a doubles and two homers in his first two games in AA. Taijeron, who was born in January, nearly exactly matches the median age for the Eastern League.  Again, when it comes to prospects, younger is better.

For further reading, the simplest rule of thumb is that batters peak in their age 27 seasons. The odd of Taijeron making an impact at the MLB level are small. At Baseball Prospectus, the wonderful Russell Carlton added some nuance to this observation in a 2010 study which found that “Players who stay in the league longer have later peaks, roughly around the age of 29 or 30…” The finding that Taijeron fans should hang onto comes next, “Another surprising finding is that good-but-not-great players (those who made it to age 27, but not 31) and who debut later tend to peak later. There’s no such thing as one magical age where all forward motion stops. Some guys are later bloomers, and have the same sort of arc as others � they just do it later in life.” Phrased another way, there is a class of players who debut at 26 and 27, who are out of baseball by 31, but provide their peak seasons at age 27 and 29 respectively. All of this is premature with respect to Taijeron, who has played TWO games in double-A and is now 24 and a half years old.

On the hill, RHP Jacob deGrom finished seven innings for the second time this year. His line (7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 K) looks unremarkable until you add in the 14 (!) groundball outs he induced. The thing I really liked about deGrom was his ability to throw his sinker comfortably at 94 mph. Since a seven-run mess on May 21, deGrom has put together three solid outings for a combined line of 18.1 IP, 18 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 HR, 6 BB, 16 K; 2.45 ERA.

LHP Jack Leathersich lowered his ERA to 1.55 with a hit and a walk while striking out two in the eighth inning. Leathersich is striking out a remarkable 44.7% of the batters he’s faced and walked 13%.