AA: @ Binghamton Mets 8, Harrisburg Senators 4 (6.5 innings)
Rain cut this one short after the B-Mets used a pair of early homers – from 2B Danny Muno and 1B Alan Dykstra to take an 8-1 lead after two innings.
The homer was the first of the year for Muno who’s hitting .212/.364/.327 in 34 games. He’s walked a lot (24 times) but has done little else with the bat.
CF Darrell Ceciliani was 3-for-3 with a triple, a walk and two RBI. Ceciliani played center while Alonzo Harris slipped over to left. Ceciliani, who is a year and a half younger than Harris, now has a season line of .242/.292/.359, giving him an OPS five points better than Harris’ .646.
Erik Goeddel (3-2, 5.45) picked up the win, but his line was messy: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, WP.
AA: Binghamton Mets 8, @ Harrisburg Senators (WAS) 2
The B-Mets gave Erik Goeddel plenty of support in this one, outhitting Harrisburg 11-3.
LF Darrell Ceciliani (.248/.299/.367 – 27 G) was 3-for-5 with a homer, a stolen base (his eighth) and three RBI to lead the way. After a slow start, the 22-year-old (pictured at right) has had a nice last 10 games (.310/.341/.500) with five extra-base hits, but just one walk and 13 strikeouts.
RF Cesar Puello was 1-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, tied for the longest active streak in the Eastern League. In those 11 games, Puello is hitting .317/.349/.537 as he’s up to .284/.342/.433 in 19 games this year. Could this be real? He has the tools. Watch the extra-base hits and the walk rate.
Goeddel (2-2, 5.16) was solid: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, but the three-man bullpen of Adam Kolarek, Josh Edgin and Jeff Walters was perfect. Walters has given up one run in 13.1 innings (0.68 ERA) with 12 strikeouts against three walks. He’s a darkhorse bullpen candidate even by later this summer.
AAA: Las Vegas 51s 4, @ Fresno Grizzlies (SF) 3
Something good: C Travis d’Arnaud (pictured): 1-3 with a double and a walk. That’s three doubles and six walks in four games in AAA so far.
Something bad: LHP Darin Gorski’s control. Gorski walked four and threw two wild pitches in five innings of work while throwing 55% of his pitches (43 of 78) for strikes. In his five innings of work, he allowed three runs, two earned, while striking out three. Gorski can succeed with velocity in the upper 80s. He can’t while throwing under 60% of his pitches strikes.
Something good: Josh Satin was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He doubled in a tie game in the ninth and scored the winning run on a Jamie Hoffman single.
AA: Binghamton Mets 7, @ Erie Seawolves (DET) 2
The top two hitters in the B-Mets’ order, DH Alonzo Harris and CF Darrell Ceciliani combined on five of the team’s eight hits. Harris was 3-for-5 with a double and a homer. The 24-year old has hit safely in each of his five games with three doubles and a homer for a .364/.391/.636 line. At 1 BB/6 K, that’s obviously unsustainable, but yeah, that’s a good first week. Ceciliani, who is a year and a half younger – he’ll be 23 in June, has three straight two-hit games with two doubles and a triple.
Erik Goeddel was ok over six innings: 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.
Jack Leathersich fanned two in his two innings of work. More importantly, he did not walk a batter and threw 67% of his pitches (16 of 24) for strikes.
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
How does one end up in this basket? We’re still dealing with players who are some years or more away from contributing. There is speed in this group, but each player has at least one serious red flag of the group of age, injury and inexperience.
36 – OF Alonzo Harris
Height/Weight: 5’11”, 165 lbs
Acquired: 39th rd ’07 (McComb (MS) HS)
Born: 1/16/89 (McComb, MS)
2012 Rank: NR | Stats
Why Ranked Here: Harris has bounced in and out of the bottom half of the rankings the last few years, peaking at #26 prior to the 2010 season. At the time, he was a second baseman with excellent speed, surprising strength for his size, a free-swinging approach and questions about whether his hands worked at second. Now, he’s a fleet outfielder (the Mets moved him from second in 2011) who has improved his approach and still has surprising pop for his size. He laced 38 extra-base hits in 2012 while going 40-for-51 stealing bases. He can really, really run and is almost certainly the best base-stealer in the system.
Here, this is a pretty chart that sums up Harris’ development at the plate.
As Mets VP of Amateur Scouting and Player Development Paul dePodesta explained, “His at-bats, his approach were vastly improved from where they had been in the past.”
The Mets started Harris’ transition to the outfield by playing him in leftfield in 2011. By 2012, thanks to the injuries to other guys, he played more center than left, and did so well.
The downside: it’s taken Harris a little while. He is 24 now. Although many documents list his birthday In November 1989, he was really born in January.
2012: Harris started as the fourth outfielder in St. Lucie behind Cory Vaughn, Darrell Ceciliani and Cesar Puello. Ceciliani and Puello spent most of the season hurt, and Harris spent most of the year playing, and doing so very productively in center and left field. dePodesta again: “We were thrilled with his progress. He had a breakout year in 2012.”
Dr. Pangloss Says: In a perfect world, Harris is a late bloomer who becomes a solid defender in center and a pesky leadoff hitter at the top of the lineup. Much likelier, he will be a fourth outfielder/second division starter who provides speed and defensive ability off the bench and a little flexibility if he can bring his second base glove along too.
Debbie Downer Says: He makes his money in Japan
Projected 2013 Start: AA Binghamton
MLB Arrival: Late 2014
37 – OF Darrell Ceciliani
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 205 lbs
Acquired: 4th rd 2009 (Columbia Basin (OR) CC)
Born: 6/22/90 (Tracy, CA)
2012 Rank: 30 | Stats
Why Ranked Here: I had Ceciliani as high as #12 in the system two years ago, but he slipped to 30 last year and then to 37 this year. He’s hit when he has played, but injuries have hampered his last two seasons. I believe in the idea (I probably learned from reading Will Carroll) that staying healthy is a skill. Ceciliani is missing the skill.
Ceciliani is a little bit like Matt den Dekker in that he’s a shade above average speed wise, but will not turn in a plus-plus time running home to first, and can still play a capable or better centerfield. To be clear, he is not the defender den Dekker is. On the other hand, his swing is simpler than den Dekker’s – he’s a more natural hitter with solid gap power. Ceciliani will turn 23 in June and has 23 games of a-ball to his credit. He’s improved his approach in his professional seasons, and his 10% walk rate would play at the top of the order.
2012: He hit when he played, but he did not play enough.
Dr. Pangloss Says: A nice career as a fourth outfielder/second division starter.
Debbie Downer Says: Another injury or two or three keeps him from ever making a 40-man roster.
Projected 2013 Start: AA Binghamton although a tour through St. Lucie to begin the year is possible.
MLB Arrival: 2015
#38 – 2B Brenan Kaupe
Height/Weight: 5’7”/175 lbs
Acquired: 4th rd 2012 (Wailuku HS, HI)
Born: 4/10/94 (Wailuku, HI)
2012 Rank: NR | Stats
Why Ranked Here: Kaupe lands in the Top 41 as a top four-round pick with a plus tool or two – his speed is a little bit above average while his bat speed is plus. Kaupe is a thickly built 5’7” and I would be suspect that by the time he reaches the big leagues he will be no better than an average runner. He needs refinement at second base but that’s not surprising for a high school draftee. He has the tools for the position for now.
Can Kaupe hit? When I saw him in Kingsport, I thought he looked overmatched. He was passive early in the count and then later chased breaking balls, and got eaten up by fastballs. The Appalachian League is a tough league for high school kids, and Kaupe struggled some. Different strokes for different folks, but Mike Newman, who’s opinion I trust came away much more impressed by Kaupe when he saw him later in the season.
2012: On the face, .173/.358/.195 is pretty ugly. Also, Kaupe managed two extra-base hits in 50 games and struck out in 25.4% of his plate appearances. Almost the only productive thing he did offensively was walk 38 times, or 22% of his plate appearances. Is that a discerning plate eye or passivity?
Dr. Pangloss Says: Jose Altuve-light.
Debbie Downer Says: AA tops.
Projected 2013 Start: Extended Spring Training then off to Brooklyn in June
MLB Arrival: Late 2017
What were Mets’ farmhands up to in the Arizona Fall League this weekend? All of the Mets’ pitchers threw Thursday, and with the AFL taking Sunday off, there were just two games – Friday and Saturday – to talk about.
CF Darrell Ceciliani - Friday: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI. The hits were his first in three games for Surprise. At 22, he’s playing for an Opening Day assignment to AA Binghamton in 2013.
CF Cesar Puello - Saturday - 2-for-5, RBI, K. Puello has at least one hit in each of his three games in the AFL, going 5-for-14 (.357) but five strikeouts and zero walks to go along with one HBP. This would be a good time to start learning the more disciplined approach he will need in AA and the big leagues.
The Arizona Fall League has released preliminary rosters for the 2012 version of the circuit. Teams use the AFL for different players including: as a finishing school for top prospects, as preparation for the transition to a higher level, either AA or AAA, as extra-playing time for a guy who was injured during the season or as an extra audition for a spot on the team’s 40-man roster.
At the moment, the Mets are sending three position players: CF/RF Cesar Puello, CF/LF Darrell Ceciliani, INF Danny Muno and three pitchers: RHP Greg Peavey, RHP Ryan Fraser and LHP Chase Huchingson. In 2012, the Mets will be members of the Surprise Saguaros.
We’ll analyze the position players in this post, and take on the pitchers in part two tomorrow.
CF/RF Cesar Puello
What he is: Big, strong, fast and still incredibly raw. There’s upside here, but he’s still a long way from fulfilling it.
2012: A broken hammate bone has limited Puello, my #6 pre-season Mets prospect, to just 61 games this year. When he’s played he’s shown speed: he’s 17-for-19 stealing bases and some power – his second half isolated slugging percentage of .200 is very strong. However, his walk rate has disintegrated from 6.8% in the SAL in 2010 to 2.6% this year. His on-base percentage has been sustained by 15 hit-by-pitches.
Why He’s Going: Puello falls squarely into the category of an injured guy who needs more time this year. Also, he’s hit .293/.379/.552 in August, so this is a bid, or a chance to solidify his place in the Binghamton outfield on Opening Day 2013.
CF/LF Darrell Ceciliani
What he is: The Mets’ fourth-round pick in 2009, who has been held back by injuries in 2011 and 2012. Some scouts like the swing enough to see an everyday, while more other slide towards the fourth-outfielder side.
2012: Recurring hamstring injuries have limited Ceciliani, my #30 prospect pre-season to 19 games in 2012 after an off-season when he had a stress fracture in his foot. When he’s played, he’s hit, going .324/.388/.451 with six extra-base hits, eight walks and only 12 strikeouts.
Why He’s Going: He just needs to play more in a season in which he will fall short of 30 games during the regular season.
INF Danny Muno
What he is: The Mets’ 8th round pick in 2011 and my #36 prospect preseason, has hit since turning pro playing mostly playing the middle infield. At 23 in advanced-A, he might make it as a backup infielder.
2012: I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of pop in Muno’s swing in spring training 2012. Then, he was busted for PEDs and suspended for 50 games on May 18. He’s got a nearly 1:1 K/BB ratio (49 K/45 BB) this year.
Why He’s Going: He needs the reps.
St. Lucie only played on game this weekend as Sunday’s game was rained out. But the Saturday box score, in which the Mets beat the Twins’ affiliate, the Fort Myers Miracle 10-3 was awfully interesting. St. Lucie plays a double-dip Monday beginning at 4 pm.
1. Rafael Montero won his first advanced-A start. 6.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. (Edit: he left three runners aboard for LHP Adam Kolarek in the 7th inning, and they all scored.) The righthander sits 92 with his fastball, and knows he must improve his slider, but at 21-years old, he’s way ahead from a command perspective.
2. Darrell Ceciliani returned from the DL to play centerfield. He had been sidelined with hamstring problems since May 30. He turned 22 on the DL and has hit .304/.340/.500 in his 11 games in the FSL this year.
3. LF Travis Taijeron was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his first in St. Lucie. The 23-year old is up to 13 homers between Savannah and St. Lucie. He played left in deference to Ceciliani in center and Cory Vaughn in right. Taijeron did extensive speed work in the off-season, but I still think he’s destined for a corner as his primary position.
We’re two weeks into 2012, so keeping in mind that it’s still really early, we’ll take a look at some of the big picture things going on at each affiliate.
St. Lucie is third in the Florida State League in scoring averaging exactly four runs per game on a batting line of .242/.329/.369 in 12 games. The team FSL Mets are third in in walks and tops in stolen bases (17) and stolen base percentage 89% (17 of 19).
The team’s pitching leads the FSL in ERA (1.74) and is tied for the fewest walks allowed 27 and 2.24 BB/9.
Who are these pitchers?
Three of the five rotation regulars – Gonzalez Germen, Cory Mazzoni and Chase Huchingson – have ERAs under two after two and a half spins through the rotation.
The lanky lefty, Huchingson has not allowed a run (12.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K). He’s a three pitch guy – fastball, curveball and change – who can touch 90, out of a low arm slot with a whole lot of deception in his delivery. Scouts are starting to pay attention to the former non-drafted free agent as a potential lefty reliever.
RHP Mazzoni (16 IP, 13 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 11 K) was the Mets’s second round pick in June 2011, and my #10 Mets prospect coming into the year. He’s been sitting in the low 90s (91-93) with his fastball, but can reach back for 94. He works with a slightly unusual splitter/slider combo.
Gonzlez Germen (16.1 IP, 15 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 14 K) is a right-hander who works heavily with his changeup. He’s a lean 24-year old with a fastball that last year was 89-90ish – probably a tick below average. He can cut his changeup, or make it run. His slider is well below average. It’s a funny profile for a right-hander.
What’s Up with Wilmer Flores at 3B?
The Mets have altered course with the 20-year old this year, shifting Flores off shortstop to third base. He’s committed a couple errors and early in-person reviews of his work at the hot corner have been fairly indifferent. He has the hands and arm for third, it’s just a question of whether he will have the feet and reactions. At the plate, Flores is hitting .286/.341/.343 through 11 games. His OBP is supported a little by two HBP. At some point he’ll have to hit for power and draw walks, but the good news is that he’s still just 20.
And That Talented Outfield Has MIA
Cesar Puello missed a week after fouling a ball off the top of his foot. He’s played six games and hit .240/.321/.320 and played centerfield while Darrell Ceciliani recovers from his strained right hamstring, pulled while celebrating a game-winning home run. Ceciliani was 8-for-18 with three extra-base hits in the four games.
Meanwhile Cory Vaughn missed three games on the temporarily inactive list to attend to funeral after a death in the family. Vaughn, who will be 23 on May 1, was hitting .333/.450/.545 with four doubles and six walks in nine games. Vaughn will be activated for Thursday’s game. (Note: this paragraph has been edited.)
Some Mets guys have not been assigned to any particular roster.
In Erik Goeddel’s case, he has a groin strain. I labeled him as one of the two Mets with the most to prove in St. Lucie in 2011, starting with the fact that he needed to prove he can stay healthy. The good news here is that for a guy who’s had Tommy John surgery in college, and elbow and shoulder soreness as a professional that have kept him off the field in the last two years, it’s a leg thing this time.
Kyle Allen appears healthy. He’s throwing bullpens and traveling with St. Lucie, but is not on the active roster. I did not rank Allen in my Top 41 this year for the first time since 2009, as he’s stalled at advanced-A. In 2010 and 2011 in 207.1 IP with St. Lucie in 47 games and 39 starts he’s given up 237 hits, fanned 5.5 guys per nine and walked 4.9 per nine. I had him ranked highest at #13 in the system in 2010, #29 a year ago and #33 back in 2009. At this point, it seems the Mets are just more interested in giving innings in St. Lucie to other guys who have spent less, (or no) time in advanced-A.
Darrell Ceciliani has not played since Monday night when he strained his hamstring celebrating his game-winning homer. He strained the same hammy in April 2011 with the Gnats and missed almost four weeks. No word yet on the severity of this one.
Cesar Puello has not played since last Friday after fouling a ball off the top of his foot. He’s expected back in the lineup any day now.
In Savannah, 1B Sam Honeck has been placed on the DL and C Juan Torres has been activated.