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.
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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.
SSA: @ Lowell Spinners 3, Brooklyn Cyclones 1
Not much exciting here on a night when the Cyclones were three-hit, Luis Cessa was ordinary (6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR) and Brandon Nimmo didn’t play.
Nimmo hasn’t played since Sunday after taking a ball off his shoulder.
Hey, if you’re jonesing for some Nimmo reading, there’s a story on him up at MiLB.com where he preaches patience for his own development.
Again, I think Nimmo is the best position player prospect the Mets have right now and if he becomes as good a hitter as he is a talker, the Mets will be very lucky.
SSA: Brooklyn Cyclones 1, @ Lowell Spinners (BOS) 0
We’ll start off the field, where Brandon Nimmo did not play for the second straight game. Nimmo was hit in the shoulder on Sunday and is considered “day-to-day.”
On the field, Gabriel Ynoa (pictured) was dominant: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. I saw Ynoa on Opening Night in Brookly, when he was mostly 90-91 with his fastball and touched 93. He had a below average slider, that he could spin up to the plate for a strike and showed a changeup. He has a sharp 6.4 K/BB ratio (45 K/7 BB) in nine starts in which he’s allowed just 39 hits in 55 innings. At this point, Ynoa seems like a safe bet for the back half of my off-season Top 41 Mets prospects.
Paul Sewald followed Ynoa with two shutout innings in which he struck out three batters. The Mets’ 10th round pick out of the University of San Diego, Sewald has eye-popping numbers: 19.2 IP, 12 H, 2 BB, 21 K. Again, college arms should dominate the New York Penn League. He’s a right-hander who works in the upper 80s.
The offense came from 6th rounder Jace Boyd, who’s had a quiet (.238/.322/.346 – 34 games) professional debut out of Florida State. he was 2-for-4 with a homer, his second of the year. Still, he’s shown good strike zone control with 17 walks against 19 strikeouts in 34 games.
SSA: Connecticut Tigers 11, @ Brooklyn Cyclones 3
RHP Luis Mateo (pictured): 5 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, 1 HBP. According to Dave Gershman of Marlins Daily, the 22-year old was throwing hard, sitting 94-95 with his fastball and working with a slider at 87 mph. Gershman explained over twitterthat Mateo’s “struggles tonight were mostly because of FB command. It’s hard to hit but when it’s served up hitters take advantage.” That’s consistent with the Mateo I saw early where I thought he was effectively wild.
LF Stefan Sabol (.263/.358/.397 – 41 games) was 3-for-5 with a double.
SS Philip Evans was 2-for-5 with a double. The 19-year old is hitting .233/.316/.343 with 19 walks against 26 strikeouts in 42 games.
R: Kingsport Mets 7, @ Greenville Astros 4
RHP John Gant: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Apparently he’s sitting around 89-90 mph these days.
SSA: @ Batavia Muckdogs 2, Brooklyn Cyclones 0
An 0-for-4 dropped CF Brandon Nimmo to 6-for-38 (.158) in his last nine games with two doubles, five walks and 17 strikeouts. He’s down to .221/.360/.350 with 27 walks against 44 whiffs in 38 games.
R: Bristol White Sox 3, @ Kingsport Mets 1
SS Gavin Cecchini was 2-for-4 with a triple. The 2012 first round pick is hitting .194/.278/.323 in his last 10 games, but has drawn four walks. He’s at .243/.316/.340 in 30 games in the Appy League.
There’s a lot about Cecchini here.
SSA: Staten Island Yankees 4, Brooklyn Cyclones 2
RHP Luis Mateo who began his Cyclones’ season by yielding just one run in 17.2 innings gave up four runs for the second time in his last three starts. His line: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 3 K. The Three walks were a new season-high.
C Kevin Plawecki was 3-for-3 with a double, his second three-hit game of the season and his second in his last three contests, lifting his season line to .234/.359/.338.
R: @ Kingsport Mets 2, Greeneville Astros 0
@ Kingsport Mets 2, Greeneville Astros 1
Steven Matz was very sharp in game one: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. His last two starts: 12 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 15 K. That’s good.
Persio Reyes was sharp in game two: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. I wrote about the rail-thin Reyes last week.