AA: Binghamton Mets 3, @ New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 0
Rafael Montero (pictured) was effective again: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Once again, he threw lots of strikes – 68% (65 of 95).
His four-start line: 1.59 ERA, 22.2 IP, 15 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 27 K, .183 opponents’ average. He’s the owner of a 1% walk rate and a 32% strikeout rate. That’s a pretty remarkable four-start run for the 22-year old.
LHP Jack Leathersich followed Montero with two scoreless innings with two more walks and four more strikeouts. In 7.2 innings, he’s walked 7 and fanned 12. The more important number is the walks. That’s not going to work.
SS Wilfredo Tovar (.173/.232/.231 – 16 G) was 2-for-4 with two doubles, lifting his season doubles total to three, and coming up with his second two-hit game of the year.
RF Cory Vaughn homered for the second straight night, his third homer in his last six games to push his season line to .275/.351/.529 with six extra-base hits, six walks and 17 whiffs in 14 games. Vaughn’s buddy, LF Darrell Ceciliani reached base four times, going 2-for-2 with two walks, an stolen base. The free passes were numbers two and three for him in his 14th game and lifted his season average to .222/.276/.296.
AA: @ New Hampshire Fisher Cats 5, Binghamton Mets 2
Erik Goeddel was hittable on a night when the wind was blowing 20 mph out to left field if the box score is accurate. Goeddel’s line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR. He was in the strike zone plenty, throwing 65% of his pitches (57 of 88) for strikes, but he was hurt in the zone. Versus his 2012 performance in advanced-A St. Lucie, his strikeout rate is up a little, his walk rate is down a little, but he’s been hurt on contact. His BABIP has risen from .334 a year ago to .375 this year and his opponents’ isolated slugging is up from .079 to .160. In part, this is a reflection of allowing two homers in a game Friday – half the number he allowed in 22 games in 2012 at a point in the season where everything is still subject to small sample size warnings. But you know, that happened.
The B-Mets had six hits, no one had more than one, and five of the six were singles. RF Cory Vaughn (pictured) did hit his second homer of the year. The soon-to-be 24-year-old is hitting .277/.358/.489 in his first 13 games in AA.
There are still three regulars hitting under .200 in the Binghamton lineup all with some degree of prospecty-ness:
LF Darrell Ceciliani – .192/.222/.269, 3 XBH, 1 BB, 15 K, 52 AB – 13 G
2B Danny Muno – .156/.321/.222, 3 XBH, 10 BB, 14 K, 45 AB – 14 G
SS Wilfredo Tovar – .146/.212/.167, 1 XBH, 1 BB, 6 K, 48 AB – 15 G
AA: Binghamton Mets 4, @ New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 3
The B-Mets scored three times in the top of the sixth to come up with the win. 2B Danny Muno doubled home two runs to tie the game, and then CF Alonzo Harris doubled home Muno. Muno was 2-for-3 with a walk, his 10th (!) in 13 games to push his season line to .167/.340/.238. Three of his seven hits have been doubles.
LF Cory Vaughn added a couple of hits to take him up to .279/.367/.442. Vaughn will turn 24 on May 1, and has struck out 16 times in 12 games. At the moment, he’s running a .423 BABIP, so either he will strike out less, or his average will come down.
RHP Tyler Pill was ok, nothing more: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K.
After Pill, RHP Jeffrey Walters finished the game with a scoreless inning of relief for his fourth save. He allowed a hit and did not strike anyone out. He’s fanned eight of the 33 batters to face him (24%) which is nice, while walking just one (3%). He’s a fastball/slider guy who seems to have added a little life to his fastball. All of a sudden he’s a bullpen sleeper to pay attention to. He struggled with his command in college, but he seems to have that now well under control.
AA: Portland Sea Dogs 1, @ Binghamton Mets 0
Jacob deGrom was outstanding in his AA debut: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. He threw 68% of his pitches (69 of 101) for strikes, and induced 10 groundouts while allowing only three flyball outs.
deGrom had made a total of six starts in advanced-A with a 2.41 ERA and 31 strikeouts against eight walks in 33.2 innings. At 24 years old, and turning 25 in June, he’s done with the level and in AA for good. deGrom has great pitcher’s build at a lean 6’4″ and can run his fastball up to 95 with some sink. My pre-season #8 prospect, he’s absolutely an arm to watch.
This spot in the B-Mets’ rotation has been cursed early: first Cory Mazzoni came down with neuritis in his elbow and then his fill-in, Luis Mateo was diagnosed with a strained elbow with an MRI to come on Thursday.
The B-Mets had only six hits, and LF Darrell Ceciliani, who was 2-for-4 had the only multi hit game to raise his season line to .186/.222/.279 in 11 games.
@ Binghamton Mets 7, Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) 3
The Sea Dogs started lefty Drake Britton and LF Cory Vaughn responded with three hits in a 3-for-4 night to lift his season line to .278/.381/.444 in 10 games.
RF Cesar Puello (.250/.357/.361 – 11 games) was 1-for-3 with a triple and a walk, his fifth in 11 games. Puello walked seven (!) times in 66 games for St. Lucie last year. This is progress.
The combination of Alonzo Harris and Darrell Ceciliani were 0-for-9 at the top of the order.
Logan Verrett was fine: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR while throwing lots of strikes.
LHP Jack Leathersich fanned three of the five batters he faced while giving up two singles.
AA: Portland Sea Dogs 7, @ Binghamton Mets 5
The story here is Luis Mateo’s AA debut. It did not go well, and then it ended early. His line: 3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 Balks.
Mateo came out for the fourth, but after a visit from the trainer and manager Pedro Lopez, he left the game.
Baseball Prospectus’ Hudson Belinsky has more details and they are not good. Via twitter, “A little bit more detail on Luis Mateo: threw three pitches in the top of the fourth inning, all fastballs in the low 80s. This after running the FB up to 95 in the inning prior. Looked to be in pain, catcher walked out after third pitch, then he left the game.”
Mateo has a history of elbow problems: his original contract with the Giants in 2008 was voided when the team found bone chips in his elbow.
The B-Mets had only four hits, and none in the first six innings. Cesar Puello had one of ‘em, a double, his second extra-base hit in 10 games over which time he has hit .242/.342/.303 with four walks and 12 strikeouts.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats 6, @ Binghamton Mets 1
Erik Goeddel: 4.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K.
- Strikeouts good. Walks, bad. Goeddel walked two batters in the first and two in the second. After his second inning walks, he settled in and retired 10 in a row. According the B-Mets radio broadcast, he hit 94 with his fastball. Goeddel stands out to me as the top guy who really belonged in my Top 41 rankings, but who I left off. He has a better arm (fastball) than most of the pitchers in the back half of the list, and a sharp slider than. He had a solid, if not spectacular year in advanced-A in 2012. So, yeah, my bad. I don’t know that he has enough command consistently to start, but he has the arm and slider to pitch out of bullpen.
LF-CF Alonzo Harris was 1-for-4 with a stolen base and a caught stealing.
CF Darrell Ceciliani got himself ejected in the top of the sixth after an 0-for-2.
Goeddel photo via Donovan Gordon.
AA: @ Binghamton Mets 15, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 7
Lets get right to it. The Binghamton Mets equaled a club record, originally set in 1994, with an 11-run fourth inning.
LF Cory Vaughn, dropped down to #7 in the lineup had a big night, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and 4 RBI to lift his season line to .231/.333/.346 in seven games.
C Juan Centeno added three hit in five at bats and a triple.
CF Alonzo Harris (.306/.324/.472 – 8 gms) was 2-for-6 with 3 RBI from the top of the order.
New Hampshire actually ended up outhitting Binghamton in this one 18-13, but the B-Mets drew nine (!) walks and the ‘Cats committed two errors. To be fair, game time temperature on this game was listed at a pleasant 46 degrees.
RHP Tyler Pill was hittable in his four innings: 4 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.
Jeffrey Walters struck out two and allowed two hits in a scoreless ninth inning. According to Jeffrey Paternostro, he hit 96 mph on the stadium gun. This continues a steady velocity climb from 89-91 in Brooklyn a two years ago to 92-94 when he was a Sand Gnat last year. This kind of velocity gain is extremely unusual.
AAA: Las Vegas 51s 14, Fresno Grizzlies 3
An efficient Vegas offense, helped by four (!) Fresno errors scored 12 runs in the first three innings on their way to a two touchdown performance.
Perhaps more important than the 51s’ hit parade was Collin McHugh’s performance. McHugh (pictured) allowed two unearned runs thanks to a Juan Lagares error, on four hits in seven innings, did not walk a batter and struck out five. In 12.1 innings over two starts, McHugh has allowed eight hits and a walk while fanning 12. Remember, the Mets are asking both Aaron Laffey and Jeremy Hefner to hold down starting spots. McHugh will get his shot to stick at the back of the Mets’ rotation soon enough.
Back to the offense. CF Juan Lagares was 3-for-6 with a leadoff homer in the top of the first to get the party started. LF Zach Lutz was 2-for-5 with a grand slam. Lagares has used four multi-hit games in a row to lift his seven0game average to .333 (11 H/33 AB). 1B Josh Satin was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. With seven mutli-hit games in eight contests, Satin is hitting .500/.543/.906 (16-for-32).
C Travis d’Arnaud was 2-for-5 with two measly singles. By the way, he’s drawn seven walks in six games.
AA: New Hampshire Fisher Cats 3, @ Binghamton Mets 1
On a cold April night, the ‘Cats ruined the B-Mets’ home opener.
Logan Verrett: 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 WP. Amazin’ Avenue’s Jeffrey Paternostro braved the cold to report that Verrett was mostly working the high 80s, hit 90+ a “handful” and topped out at 92 and threw his slider a lot in the middle innings. That all sounds just about right. Verrett has fanned five of the 49 batters he has faced (10%) in his 13 innings this year. That’s not enough.
3B Josh Rodriguez had two of Binghamton’s three hits. LF Cory Vaughn off to a 3-for-22 start (.136) had the other.
AA: @ Erie SeaWolves 2, Binghamton Mets 1
Things can change quickly in a year. At this time in 2012, just a year ago, Rafael Montero was making his second start for Savannah, in a-ball after 11 starts in short season leagues – in the Gulf Coast League and the Appy League in 2011. Now, he’s rolling in AA. His line Tuesday: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. In two starts this year in AA, he’s fanned 15 and HAS NOT WALKED a batter while throwing 72% of his pitches (126 of 176) for strikes.
At the beginning of 2012, Montero was primarily a fastball/changeup guy. His slider improved over the year, and he was clearly working on it in spring training, although the action and location on the pitch is inconsistent.
Fans in last night’s game thread are already asking about a promotion (both to AAA and the big leagues). Hold on. The Mets have moved the now 22-year old Montero as quickly as any pitching prospect in the system. He made 12 starts in Savannah and eight in the Florida State League. This is essentially the same rate through as the “polished” collegiate arms the Mets have drafted in the first four rounds: Cory Mazzoni made 12 starts in St. Lucie at the start of the 2012 season; Logan Verrett made six and Tyler Pill made 10 starts at advanced-A at the end of 2012. Montero is not going anywhere for a while. He still needs to work on his slider. If he’s pitching lights out, there’s no reason he cannot earn a mid-season promotion to AAA, but that’s a problem for July – most likely after a dozen starts minimum in AA.
RF Cesar Puello was 2-for-3 with a strikeout and is now 5-for-16 (.313) with two walks and five strikeouts after five games.
CF Alonzo Harris extended his season-opening hitting streak to six games by going 1-for-4 with a stolen base, his first of 2013. Harris has four extra-base hits to Puello’s one.