Sunday in AA: Homers Carry B-Mets

Binghamton Mets 6, Erie Seawolves 1 

Taijeron B-Mets HeadLF Cory Vaughn (.293/.368/.480 – 53 gms): 2-5, HR, 4 RBI, 3 K
RF Travis Taijeron (.253/.328/.529 – 48 gms): 2-4, 2B, HR, RBI

Beyond batting average, those lines for the 24-year-olds are actually fairly similar. Vaughn has 15 more hits than Taijeron (pictured), who has six more doubles and two more homers in five fewer games. Vaughn has better strike zone control – 55 K/20 BB (2.75) – while Taijeron is a little worse at 58 K/17 BB (3.4).

Mark Cohoon gave the B-Mets a quality start: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Saturday in AA: THOR.

@ Erie Seawolves 6, Binghamton Mets 4

Syndergaard (Donovan)Some other guys did stuff, but Noah Syndergaard did this: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. He threw 73% (!!) of his pitches for strikes (41 of 56). Yes, the Mets are holding him to strict pitch counts to finish the year. And through it all, he’s finishing five inning on 56 pitches, an average of 11.2 pitches per inning.

His last three starts in AA: 16 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 16 K.

That is damn good.

Friday in AA: The B-Mets Finish Two and Win By Homers

@ Erie Seawolves 4, Binghamton Mets 2 (completion of April 10 game)
Binghamton Mets 7, @ Erie Seawolves (DET) 6  (7 innings)

Taijeron B-Mets HeadAfter dropping the opener, the BMets used a pair of homeruns – from 2B Danny Muno and from RF Travis Taijeron to win the nightcap. The 24-year-old Taijeron (pictured) was 2-for-3 with a double and a homer. He’s now hitting .253/.332/.519 in 46 games in Binghamton with 23 XBH and 56 strikeouts. His batting average suffered in a .183/.294/.338 July, but the Californian is off to a quick start in August (10-for-27; .370/.433/.741).

Danny Muno was 2-for-4 with a double and a homer in the nightcap as well. Also 24, he’s hit .256/.393/.402 in 106 games with 77 walks against 80 strikeouts. I asked a scout recently, who’d seen Muno what he thought of him. He grunted, and moved the conversation in another direction.

Logan Verrett in game two: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 HR. Verrett’s 4.40 ERA is above the Eastern League average of 4.03. He has thrown the second-most innings in the Eastern League, and thanks to the fourth-lowest walk rate among starters has the second-lowest WHIP (1.12) but is second in homers allowed (20).

AA Thursday: Gorski Leads Binghamton to Win

AA: @ Binghamton Mets 1, Altoona Curve 0 

Gorski Delivery ST 13 (Baron)Darin Gorski: 7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. In nine starts and one relief outing in AA, the 25-year-old is 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA and 47 K against 16 walks thanks to a .159 opponents’ batting average with just 28 hits allowed in 51 innings. He was given a chance in AAA earlier this year and the results were not pretty: 13.2 IP, 17 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 9 BB, 7 K. I suppose he’ll get another shot at the minors’ highest level in 2014. Instead, Gorski who’s velocity I am told is back in the mid-upper 80s regularly, looks like a guy like Mark Cohoon who can get outs in AA, but struggles in AAA.

Jeff Walters locked down his 33rd save of the year for the B-Mets striking out a batter in the ninth. Walters needs three more saves in the season’s final three weeks to equal Tim Lavigne’s Binghamton Mets record.

C Travis d’Arnaud, who was promoted to AAA Las Vegas after the game: 0-for-2, BB

Wednesday in AA: Wilfredo Tovar (!) Homers Twice

AA: Altoona Curve (PIT) 5, Binghamton Mets 4 

Tovar B-Mets HeadWait, wait, wait. SS Wilfredo Tovar (.262/.318/.343 – 111 games) had two home runs in this game. How surprising is this? Very. The 5’10″, 160 lber, had two home runs in his first 110 games with Binghamton this year. He had one in 122 games last year. He had two in Savannah in 131 games in 2011. He did not homer in 92 games across three levels in 2010. His offensive game is all about contact with a little bit of plate discipline. Since April 20, when his OPS bottomed out at .378, he’s hit .279/.333/.370 in 96 games in AA with 23 walks against 36 strikeouts in 351 PA. That’s a 6.5% walk rate and a 10.3% strikeout rate. In the field, Tovar, who turns 22 in three days, is probably the best defensive shortstop in the system. He’s not straight-line fast, but he possesses outstanding body control, plenty of arm and a quick release.

He’s going to play in the big leagues. The question remains whether he will hit enough to play everyday in the big leagues. As a group, MLB shortstops have hit .255/.307/.372 this year with a 6.5% walk rate and a 16.5% strikeout rate. He’s already on the Mets’ 40-man roster,  and will likely make his MLB debut at some point in 2014 with timing depending on injuries and performance in front of him (by Ruben Tejada, who turns 23 in October, and perhaps Omar Quintanilla). Mets shortstops have hit .218/.292/.281 this year with a 71 sOPS+ (29% below MLB average for the position), or 29th in the big leagues.

RF Cory Vaughn was 1-for-4 with a homer, his second longball in three games since returning to AA. He’s 5-for-10 with a double and those two jacks since returning to AA. Vaughn will be Rule 5 eligible for the first time this year and I think has work to do to solidify his case for a spot.

Rehabbing C Travis d’Arnaud was 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk and two whiffs. He’s 6-for-25 in six games in AA where four of his six hits have gone for extra-bases.

Erik Goeddel was ok but hurt by two of his own throwing errors: 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.

AA Tuesday: Jon Niese Rehabs

AA: @ Binghamton Mets 6, Altoona Curve (PIT) 2 (7 innings)
Binghamton Mets 6, Altoona Curve 1 (7 innings)

Jon Niese rehabbed in game one: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. He struck out the side in the fifth while throwing 51 of his 80 pitches for strikes (64%).

C Travis d’Arnaud doubled in four trips in game one and had the nightcap off.

RF Cory Vaughn who just rejoined Binghamton on Tuesday had a big day, going 2-for-3 in both games with a double and a homer in game one and six RBI overall. His big night pushed the 24-year-old’s AA line to .301/.377/.477 with 16 XBH, 19 walks and 49 strikeouts in 47 games.

These AA box scores are much less fun without Cesar Puello.

The Weekend in AA: Noah Syndergaard was “Electric” Sunday

We’ll do a few topics for each affiliate, starting in AA.

Noah Syndergaard is Dominating AA
Syndergaard (Donovan)Noah Syndergaard was terrific again on Sunday: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. He hit 96 a handful of times. The Mets are keeping  the big Texan on a very short leash these days as he threw just 66 pitches Sunday after 59 in his previous start. His total AA line: 41 IP, 32 H, 12 R, 9 ER, 9 BB, 49 K, 1.98 ERA. In terms of key ratios, that’s a 5.4 K/BB, a 31% strikeout rate and a 5.7% walk rate. That’s all just outstanding stuff from Thor. Even better, he’s started referring to himself as Thor on Twitter, which is hilarious. Syndergaard threw 103.2 innings last year for Lansing in the Midwest League and is sitting at 104.2 right now between St. Lucie and Binghamton. If the BMets keep his pitch count down in his next few outings, he should be clear to finish strong in the Eastern League Playoffs.

After the game, Travis d’Arnaud told that Syndergaard’s stuff was great:

“What can I say about an outing like that? … He had an absolutely electric fastball, his curveball was pretty devastating and his changeup — I didn’t even know he had a changeup like that. It just made his fastball look so much quicker and harder. The whole thing was effective.”

After throwing just one changeup in his previous start, which was hit out for a home run, Syndergaard used the pitch more regularly Sunday. Again, d’Arnaud:

“I think he threw it eight or 10 times today, and used it pretty effectively each time. If he’s having any trouble with it, I couldn’t tell. It works really well with the fastball and the curveball.”


Cesar Puello Has Not Played Since Thursday
MLB is planning on announcing the Biogenesis suspensions today, Monday, at 3 pm. However, according to Mets VP of Amateur Scouting and Player Development, Paul dePodesta, Puello’s sitting Friday-Sunday is unrelated to any forthcoming suspension. As he told Adam Rubin at ESPNNY, “Manager’s decision. Just giving him a break. He’s active and available.”
The New York Post claims that only one other player of the Biogenesis group, outside of Alex Rodriguez, is expected to appeal.


d’Arnaud At the Plate
In four games in AA, d’Arnaud is hitting .222/.263/.444 (4-for-18) with a double, a homer (Saturday) and a walk against six strikeouts.


Syndergaard photo courtesy Gordon Donovan. 

AA Thursday: Wilfredo Tovar and the System’s SS

AA: @ Altoona Curve 2, Binghamton Mets 1 (13 innings)

Travis d’Arnaud was 1-for-5 with a walk and two strikeouts and a throwing error on an attempted base stealer. The 24-year-old is 1-for-9 with a walk and three whiffs in his two rehab games in AA.

Tovar B-Mets HeadSS Wilfredo Tovar was 2-for-5 with an RBI to lift his season batting line to .265/.322/.333 with 23 walks against 41 strikeouts in 106 games. A slick defender, his offensive game is all about contact and BABIP.
A week shy of his 22nd birthday, Tovar has a higher batting average than all of the shortstops below him in the Mets system, all of whom were either high draft picks or major international signees. (H/T to @dshotlander)

The others:
A+Matt Reynolds – 2nd rd, 2012, age 22: .235/.313/.349 – 91 games
A – Philip Evans – 15th rd, 2011 (paid like a 2nd rder), age 20: .211/.277/.276 – 92 games
SSA – Gavin Cecchini – 1st rd, 2012, age 19: .215/.250/.253 – 21 games
R (APP) – Amed Rosario – $1.7 million, age 17: .221/.264/.359 – 33 games


Erik Goeddel was sharp: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

Sunday in AA: Thor Dominant; Cesar Puello Does Puello Things

AA: Trenton Thunder (NYY) 1, Binghamton Mets 0 (8 innings)
@ Binghamton Mets 6, Trenton Thunder 1 (7 innings)

Syndergaard Stl HeadNoah Syndergaard was just dominant in game two, facing one batter over the minimum in his six innings. His line: 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 HR, 47 of 57 pitches for strikes. After a rocky outing three starts ago, the 20-year-old has been especially sharp in his last two: 11 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 15 K.

Cesar Puello was 1-for-2 with a walk in game one, his fifth straight game with a walk. He was a modest 3-4 in game two with an RBI. Puello’s 12 walks in the month of July exceed his total of 10 from May and June combined (10). In the 22-year-old’s last 19 games, he’s drawn 12 walks and struck out just 10 times.

Logan Verrett was good in game one, but took a tough loss: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K.

Full-Season Ball Friday: Double-Headers All Over

AA: Trenton Thunder (NYY) 4, @ Binghamton Mets 1 (7 innings)
@ Binghamton Mets 4, Trenton Thunder 1 (7 innings)

This was a pretty quiet doubleheader for the BMets offense which collected eight hits over 14 innings. One of the hits in game two was a grand slam from 3B Richard Lucas, his 7th of the year. The 24-year-old is hitting .207/.268/.326 in 76 games for AA Binghamton this year.

Erik Goeddel (9-4, 3.99) again struggled with his control in game one: L, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 WP.

RF Cesar Puello was 1-for-5 with an infield single that drove home a run and two more walks. He’s drawn a walk in four straight games and is up to 11 in his last 17 games. It’s almost as though someone told him he needed to learn to walk to get to AAA. The 22-year-old is up to .328/.405/.557 overall and .438/.494/.877 (!!) in 73 AB vs. LHP.


A+: St. Lucie Mets 5, @ Lakeland Flying Tigers (DET) 1 (7 innings)
St. Lucie Mets 2, @ Lakeland Flying Tigers 0 (9 innings)

St. Lucie picked up a pair of nice starts and enough late offense to sweep a doubleheader.
Game 1, Matt Bowman: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K 10/3 GB/FB
Game 2, Hansel Robles: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Both guys attack the strike zone at 89-91 and can throw a breaking ball for a strike, or in Bowman’s case, a  variety of breaking balls for strikes.

Tim Byrdak made his 12th (!) rehab appearances with St. Lucie. Of course, in that time he’s mustered just 10.2 IP total.

Cory Vaughn, whose rehab has moved from the GCL to the FSL had a hit in game one, and two in game two and is 4-for-10 in the advanced-A portion of his rehab.


A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 9, Augusta GreenJackets (SF) 4 

The Gnats used three two-run doubles to score nine runs in the first three innings and give Gabriel Ynoa plenty of support.

Ynoa was not close to at his best. His command was wobbly, and he was up in the zone regularly. His line: 5 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. After 76.2 innings last year in Brooklyn, Ynoa has tossed 104 in Savannah this year, a new career-high. I wonder at age 20, how many starts the Mets will have him make.

SS Philip Evans was 3-for-5 with three singles, two to right field. He’s hitting .315/.398/.452 in 23 games in the second half with seven walks and nine strikeouts.

This game took 3:15 to play thanks to a first four innings that approached two hours.