I wanted to point out the video above for Cory Vaughn’s swings. In particular, take a look at the swings from the angle just outside the cage.
Watch the end of Vaughn’s swings. He cuts his hands off. It’s very apparent from the 0:58 mark through 1:18 or so. It appears to me as though he’s stopping his hands early. In doing so, rather than accelerating through the ball which will give him more power to drive the thing, he’s decelerating early, and sapping power.
Maybe he’s just working on something in batting practice and this is some kind of bat control drill, but it sure looks odd to me.
He appears to do it in one of his swings captured in this Minor League Report from the 2013 season with Binghamton.
Vaughn popped 10 homers in 71 games in Binghamton in 2013. Were he to have played a full season, that’s about 16-18 hoemrs. Maybe he’s big and strong enough that he doesn’t need a full extension in his swing, and he’s working on other priorities. On the other hand, I think this answers a question that has nagged me (well, a little bit): can Vaughn, who is big, and strong and as John Mayo says in the embedded video “looks the part” hit for more power in games? Yup, let those hands go! Full extension and follow-through will tap into his natural strength.
As a 24-year-old, Vaughn hit .267/.346/.424 in 71 games in AA. An elbow strain kept him out of the AA lineup from June 2 through August 6.
I no longer view Vaughn as a potential everyday contributor for the Mets. The move to AA really exposed him. His strikeout rate of 26.5% in AA this year was his highest at any minor league stop, while his walk rate of 8.2% was his lowest. His .156 isolated slugging percentage was his lowest since Savannah and his 6.8% extra-base hit rate exceeded only Savannah (6.7%), and even at that by only one tenth of a percentage point. For reference, the Eastern League had an extra-base hit rate of 7.2%, a strikeout rate of 20.1% and a walk rate of 9%. So, Vaughn hit for below average power, walked at a below average rate and struck out way above AA average. His season line looks better thanks to a .345 batting average on balls in play, his best rate since Savannah, and one he seems unlikely to replicate with consistency against upper level competition.
Again, in 2013, Vaughn displayed extreme platoon splits that have been present in his performance in the last three years. In 2013, he hit .242/.327/.374 in 198 AB against righties and .344/.403/.578 in 64 AB against lefties. In the last three years, through the full-season minor league levels, he has bashed .296/.401/.528 in 409 PA against lefties and .231/.335/.383 in 1047 PA against righties. At this point, it seems extremely unlikely that Vaughn will magically figure out how to hit righties.
Can a Major League team afford to roster a corner outfielder who only hits lefties and does not play centerfield? Sure, straight platoons are possible, still, right? Oakland?
Binghamton Mets 6, Erie Seawolves 1
LF 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
@ Auburn Doubledays (TOR) 7, Brooklyn Cyclones 0
Brooklyn Cyclones 4, @ Auburn Doubledays 3 (7 innings)
In game one, the completion of Wednesday’s suspended game, the Cyclones had four hits, all singles to go with three errors. That’s not a good ratio. The offense rapped out 13 hits in a game two win.
R (APP): Kingsport – ppd by rain
They’ll play two on Friday.
GCL Cardinals 7, @ GCL Mets 6
@ GCL Cardinals 4, GCL Mets 3
Well, lookee here, a Cory Vaughn rehab appearance in game two. Vaughn, who has been on the shelf in AA with an elbow strain since June 2, was 0-for-4 as the DH.
CF Ivan Wilson had a couple of hits in game two. I had a Mets’ person praise the team’s third-rounder’s size and strength to me on Thursday. He’s listed at 6’3″, 220 lbs.
@ Binghamton Mets 9, Akron Aeros (CLE) 2
The B-Mets won despite committing five, count ‘em five, errors. Sure, that stuff happens in a-ball. It should happen less in double-A.
There are three performances worth discussing.
1. RHP Jacob deGrom (1-4, 4.86): 7 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. This was his second-longest outing of 2013, and his best since his AA debut on April 17. In 37 innings, he’s fanned 25 and walked 10, but given up 42 hits. I suspect that, while he was able to overpower a-ball hitters on his strength of his sinker, AA hitters are eliminating his breaking ball and timing his fastball better.
2. DH Cory Vaughn hit a grand slam in the B-Mets’ six-run fifth inning. It was the fifth homer, and fourth against a righty, for Vaughn who is now up to .294/.379/.500 in 28 games.
3. Cesar Puello was 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI. He’s up to .288/.357/.510 in 30 games, and is two years younger than Vaughn. Puello struck out 17 times in 15 games in April (too much) but has cut that back to eight whiffs in 15 games in May. On the other hand, fewer strikeouts have come with fewer walks – five in April and two in May. He remains very much a work in progress, but it is working now.
AA: @ Binghamton Mets 7, Akron Aeros (CLE) 3
Double-A is the first level where the baseball really starts to look like the big leagues sometimes. And often it does not. Such was the case in the eighth inning on Tuesday when the B-Mets scored four times on four walks, two infield singles, a passed ball and a wild pitch.
On the offensive side, LF Cory Vaughn (.299/.387/.485 – 27 gms) was 2-for-4 with two runs, an RBI and a strikeout. One of the hits was a grounder to short in the B-Mets big eighth inning. Vaughn’s making a run at .300 and is hitting .313/.436/.469 in his last 10 games. The 24-year-old still an extreme platoon split guy 1.321 OPS versus LHP in 24 AB and .723 vs. RHP in 73 AB. His overall line is supported by a .365 BABIP after back-to-back years in advanced-A of .247 and .274 BABIPs. My opinion on Vaughn has not changed: he could have big league value as a platoon outfielder/pinch-hitter, but he’s not an everyday guy.
Logan Verrett was solid: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.
LHP Jack Leathersich fanned four in his two innings for the win. Leathersich has struck out 33 of 69 (48%) of the batters he has faced while walking 15%. I certainly did not expect he would strike out this many hitters in AA.
Manager Pedro Lopez moved struggling CF Alonzo Harris (.230/.284/.345 – 37 G) down to the #8 spot while 2B Danny Muno (.228/.371/.342) moved up to the leadoff spot. The 24-year-old Muno is tied for second in the EL in walks (25) but has done relatively little when he has made contact (9 extra-base hits).
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: @ 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 6, @ Sacramento RiverCats (OAK) 1
Collin McHugh was sharp to help the 51s improve to 3-0. McHugh’s line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. He threw 60% of his pitches for strikes (56 of 93).
Offensively, the big names (Juan Lagares, Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores) were all o-for. Instead, the offense came from SS Brian Bixler (2B, 3B), DH Andrew Brown (3-for-4), Josh Satin (HR, 2 RBI) and Jamie Hoffman (3-for-3, BB). I got the feeling that Terry Collins really likes Hoffman during spring training. If the Mets’ outfield is unproductive, he’d be on Collins’ replacements list.
AA: Binghamton Mets 7, @ Akron Aeros (CLE) 5
Darrell Ceciliani played centerfield for the first time in three games, while Alonzo Harris shifted to left, Cory Vaughn played right, and Cesar Puello had the night off. All three starting outfielders were productive. Harris was 2-for-4 with a double, his second, and a walk. Ceciliani was 2-for-5 with a double and a triple, while Cory Vaughn was 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk and a stolen base.
Logan Verrett was ok in his AA debut: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR