SSA: Lowell Spinners (BOS) 9, @ Brooklyn Cyclones 1
Entering Tuesday, the Cyclones needed one win in their final two regular season games or a Batavia Muckdogs loss to clinch a playoff berth via the NYP Wild Card. Neither happened. The Cyclones lost by eight runs, and the Muckdogs were rained out at home and forced into a Wednesday doubleheader in Jamestown.
On the field, Gabriel Ynoa (5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) was solid, but the bullpen of Matt Bowman (the Tim Lincecum copy and Beck Wheeler) allowed seven runs in four combined innings to turn a close game into a laugher.
SS Philip Evans was 2-for-4 to lift his season line to .252/.328/.337 as a 19-year old in the NYP. Notably, Gavin Cecchini came in for Evans and played an inning in the field. It was the first time he’s played shortstop in a game since breaking his finger on August 1.
CF Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-4 with a strikeout to slip to .248/.372/.406. The 19-year old has now drawn 46 walks and struck out 78 times in 69 games. Walks are good, strikeouts are bad, and Nimmo has had a lot of both in his first professional season. In the coming years, watch carefully, how his approach evolves, and whether he makes enough contact.
SSA: Hudson Valley Renegades 3, @ Brooklyn Cyclones 1
RHP Luis Mateo was very good: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. In 12 games the 22-year old has run a 2.45 ERA with a 9.4 K/BB (85 K/9 BB).
SS Philip Evans (.245/.328/.337 – 68 games) had a pair of hits.
CF Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-4 with a walk.
With the Cyclones’ loss, and the Batavia Muckdogs’ win, the Cyclones’ lead in the wild card chase is down to one with six games to play.
SSA: Brooklyn Cyclones 7, @ Hudson Valley (TB) 4
The Cyclones won their third straight game to stay two games up in the NYP League wild card hunt with seven to play.
The suddenly red-hot 1B Jayce Boyd (pictured) led the way, going 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and four RBI. Boyd has homered in three straight games and hit safely in seven of his last eight improving from .214/.297/.310 in that span to his current line of .241/.327/.385. Nathan Weiss, who writes our gametime threads in the afternoon, reported that Boyd’s homer was “quite a shot.” Boyd is 21 right now, and should open next year as the starting first baseman in Savannah.
CF Brandon Nimmo (.260/.386/.413 – 63 games) was 0-for-3 with two walks. His 44 walks are second in the NYP.
Gavin Cecchini, this year’s first round pick, entered as a pinch-runner and then in a subsequent at-bat was hit by a pitch. According to Nathan Weiss, writes that he was plunked, “on the right wrist and seemed to be in a lot of discomfort. After a prolonged look by the trainer he stayed in as the baserunner and his
turn as DH never came back up.”
SS Philip Evans had a tough night in the box score (1-for-4, 2 K, 2 E) and apparently in person, it was worse. Nathan again: Evans had an awful night in the field. On the two plays where he would have had to make a strong big league throw to get the runner he flubbed the glovework on one and made an errant throw on the other. He also made two misplays that were not errors. Hate to judge a guy on his worst day, but yikes it was ugly.
RHP Gabriel Ynoa was good, if not great: 5 Ip, 5 H ,2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
SSA: Brooklyn Cyclones 2, @ Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) 1
The Cyclones stayed 2.5 games up on the Batavia Muckdogs with a win in which they picked up four hits Monday.
The star was RHP Rainy Lara. The 21-year old tossed six shutout innings with three hits, a walk and four strikeouts. In 61 innings, he now has a 6.9 K/BB ratio (69 K/10 BB). That’s good. At times this year, he has sat at 93 mph, so there’s some velocity in this 6’4″ package. I missed seeing Lara this summer, and I’m still fuzzy on what he can be.
1B Jayce Boyd was 1-for-3 with a homer, his third of the year, and a walk. The sixth rounder from Florida State has hit .230/.317/.339 with 22 walks against 27 strikeouts in 45 games.
R: Pulaski Mariners 5, @ Kingsport Mets 4
So, the Kingsport Mets played their penultimate game of their 2012 season Monday.
Robert Gsellman, a 13th round pick from 2011, finished with his best outing of the year: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. He’s a 6’4″ projectable RHP from Southern California.
With one hit in each game Friday through Sunday, 19-year old Brandon Nimmo extended his hitting streak to seven games. It’s not just that he’s hitting, but he’s showing real secondary skills: power and patience. He doubled Saturday (his 19th), homered on Sunday (his fifth) and walked three times Saturday and once on Sunday.
The 2011 first rounder is hitting .271/.394/.428 with 25 extra-base hits, 41 walks against 70 strikeouts in a league that averages .246/.319/.346. While playing as young for the NYP, he is second in doubles, tied for third in extra-base hits and tied for first in walks. The only negative: he’s third in strikeouts.
Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks was impressed:
An o-for-3 on Sunday, snapped fellow 19-year old SS Philip Evans’ six-game hitting streak. He’s sitting at .246/.329/.340 for the year with a solid 40/29 K/BB ratio in 64 games but, despite a pull-heavy approach, lacks the in-game power of Nimmo.
Saturday: Hansel Robles in an 11-0 win at home versus Staten Island: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K – 1.20 ERA
Friday: Luis Mateo on Friday in a 5-1 loss at Staten Island: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. That’s good. – 2.58 ERA
Sunday: RHP Julian Hilario in a 12-2 loss at Staten Island: .1 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 0 K – 3.65 ERA
All three 22-year olds have had very good seasons, but of this trio I’ll take Mateo, who has the best fastball, the best build (6’3″ to 6’1″ for Hilario and 5’11″ for Robles) highest strikeout rate, and the best K/BB.
Start reading a short-season box score by focusing on the best prospects.
A short-season box is a funny thing: the players are years away from the big leagues and their underlying skills and ability are much more important than their production. That is even more true on the level of a season over a single game. Nevertheless, good production beats the alternative.
To that end, I’ve re-ordered the top of the Mets’ 2012 draft class by signing bonus.
|| +/- Slot
The big movers upward are high school arms Corey Oswalt (7th round, 4th largest bonus) and Chris Flexen (14th round, 6th largest bonus).
Also take a look at the assignments: five of the eight players with the largest bonuses in the 2012 draft class have been assigned to Kingsport.
I haven’t written nearly enough about the Brooklyn Cyclones or the Kingsport Mets around here recently.
After a 1-for-3 effort with two walks and his first stolen base of 2012 on in the Cyclones 5-2 loss on Tuesday, Brandon Nimmo is hitting .327/.439/.473 in 14 games in August. His 18 doubles are tied for second in the New York-Penn League and his 23 extra-base hits are fourth.
1. At ESPNNY, Adam Rubin talks to Savannah catcher Cam Maron, who grew up admiring Mike Piazza, this week. The lefthanded hitting Maron’s game is structured very differently than Piazza’s as he relies on contact and plate discipline rather than power. Maron is 11th in the SAL in batting average at .303/.394/.410 in 81 games with the Gnats with 41 walks against 66 strikeouts.
2. At Amazin’ Avenue, Rob Castellano profiles the Brooklyn rotation. He writes:
The Brooklyn rotation is the rare staff that offers top tier stuff, long-term projection and last but not least excellent results from top to bottom. And they feature six starters to boot. This group of hard-throwing righthanders all fall within the NYPL top 21 in ERA while almost to a man featuring excellent K rates balanced with stellar command.
Here’s the thing. Rob is right, the Brooklyn rotation is very talented. It’s also just not as good as the group that was in Savannah in June that included RHP Jacob deGrom, RHP Rafael Montero, RHP Michael Fulmer, RHP Domingo Tapia, RHP Logan Verrett, RHP Tyler Pill and LHP Alex Panteliodis.
Four Brooklyn Cyclones pitchers appeared for the National League side in Tuesday’s New York-Penn League All-Star Game.
RHP Luis Mateo started, and struck out two of the three batters he faced in a spotless first inning.
LHP John Mincone got the call in the second with a man on base and struck out his only two batters while bouncing a wild pitch.
RHP Hansel Robles worked a scoreless third inning with a single.
Finally, the seventh inning belonged to Gabriel Ynoa who fanned two in the inning.
I discussed each pitcher’s stuff and potential here a week ago.
Saturday: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 10, Vermont Lake Monsters (WAS) 5
Sunday: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 6, Vermont Lake Monsters 3
CF Brandon Nimmo, who had been shelved for five days after getting hit by a pitch last Sunday returned on Saturday and was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a strikeout. He was 2-for-5 with another double on Sunday. He’s hit a robust .442/.500/.698 with eight doubles and a homerun in his last 10 games dating back to July 28 to lift his overall line to .273/.391/.432 as a 19-year old. Those numbers are much, much better than they look based on his age and the run environment of the NYP which hits a collective .247/.322/.349. Nimmo is second in the NYP in doubles and fourth in extra-base hits hits while playing in a park that traditionally has been tough on left-handed power.
After a slow start to the year, Kevin Plawecki has warmed up. He had multiple hits in each game over the weekend, and a homerun on Saturday. This year’s supplemental first rounder is hitting .333/.417/.600 in his last 10 games with five walks and three strikeouts and .264/.367/.396 with 17 walks against 11 strikeouts in 41 games this year.
Sunday, RHP Rainy Lara, who has a K/BB ratio above 10 (63 K/6 BB) in 50.2 innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, just the second time in nine starts he’s given up more than two earned runs. Mets pitching coordinator Ron Romanick broke down Lara’s successful 2012: “He’s a big tall guy, creates a lot of leverage. He’s got an exceptional changeup, a nice little breaking ball and a very good fastball. It’s hard to barrel him up. He’ll touch in the low 90s [with his fastball].” Lara is second behind teammate Luis Mateo in strikeouts (63), but edges him (barely) on strikeout rate, 31.6% to 31.2%.
Saturday was Julian Hilario’s turn. He was sharp again: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.