Short-Season Sunday: Brandon Nimmo and Philip Evans Make Kingsport Debuts

Kingsport Mets 5, @ Bristol White Sox 3

The GCL season ended Saturday, so the Mets promoted two of the jewels of their 2011 draft class, first rounder Brandon Nimmo and 15th rounder Philip Evans to Kingsport for the final three games of the Appalachian League season.

Nimmo, batting ninth, and playing centerfield, was 1-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout. In eight games as a professional, Nimmo has hit .258/.361/.452 with five walks and 10 strikeouts.

Evans, batting eighth, and playing shortstop, was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a strikeout.

The K-Mets season ends Tuesday.  On Sunday, a commenter asked whether the Mets would promote Nimmo and Evans to Brooklyn to keep them playing competitive games for as long as possible or just send them back home for a few weeks until instructs start on the 17th.  The Cyclones, who were Irened out Sunday, play eight games in seven days to finish the NYP season starting Monday and lead the NYP wild card chase by one half game with eight to play.  I’d be surprised if it happened, but it’s really not a bad idea.

On the plus side, it would get two of the better prospects in the system more at-bats.  Their bags are already packed, and they’d get a taste of the big city.  On the other hand, it would turn the final few games of the Cyclones’ season into a circus with media attention.

Would it help the Cyclones on the field?

In the 10 days since the NYP All-Star break, Tillman Pugh has received the bulk of the playing time in centerfield.  The 22-year old Pugh is  off to a nice start with the Cyclones (.333/.448/.583 in 9 games) after hitting an unexceptional .252/.328/.398 in 39 games with Kingsport in the Appalachian League.  Pugh, last year’s 15th round pick out of Sonoma State played at Arizona State his freshman year, before transferring to Gateway Community College in Phoenix and then back to California for Sonoma State.  This article from the Daily News in Washington state, where Pugh was playing in a college summer league in 2010, praises his “blazing speed.”

Travis Taijeron (.299/.399/.551) had been playing three out of four games or so in center through the early part of August.  He missed two weeks after fouling a ball off his ankle, but returned as the Cyclones’ DH Friday.

Fitting Nimmo in at centerfield would not be a problem.  However, Evans might be a little trickier.  The Cyclones’ best player this year has been SS Danny Muno (.335/.441/.490 in 52 games) the team’s eight-round pick in 2011.  Muno did play two games at third this year for Brooklyn and in college.  Evans was a shortstop in high school.  While projections from our own Mike Diaz, Keith LawBaseball America and others see him as potentially moving to second base in future years, I can’t find any evidence that he’s ever actually played the position.   It seems like a stretch that with a playoff berth on the line, the Mets would move Muno to third in favor of Evans, who would be playing games 9-12 of his professional career.

I think it’s a long shot, but I kinda like the idea.  Lets see Nimmo and Evans play.

Short Season Thursday: Cyclones Playoff Run; Akeel Morris is Akeel Morris



SSA: Brooklyn Cyclones 7, @ Tri-City Valley Cats 4

With the win, the Cyclones move into a tie for the wild card lead.
Hey, guess who keeps hitting? SS Danny Muno, who was 2-4 with a double and a walk is up to: .333/.437/.492. He did commit a pair of errors and is now up to 11 in 50 games as a Cyclone.
CF Tillman Pugh, who began the season with Kingsport had a big night, going 3-4 with a triple, two RBI and two stolen bases. The Mets drafted Pugh, who’s now 22, in the 15th round last year out of Sonoma State. He played football and baseball in high school at the San Francisco Bay Area powerhouse La Salle.

Also, yes, that’s 24-year old Nick Carr, who has pitched in full-season ball since 2008, and in the Arizona Fall League last year, closing out the game for the Cyclones.


R- Kingsport Mets 9, Pulaski Rangers 2

Pick your own hitting star, but I’m more interesting in Akeel Morris (3-2, 3.86): 5 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB (!), 5 K, 1 HR.

He’s third in the Appy League in strikeouts (61) and leads the circuit in walks (38) while giving up just 30 hits in 51.1 innings pitched. That’s interesting.

No GCL game Thursday.

Short-Season Wednesday: Brandon Nimmo’s First Professional Homer, Another Nice Domingo Tapia Start

SSA: @ Tri-City Valley Cats 7, Brooklyn Cyclones 4

This was a gut-wrenching defeat for the Cyclones, who rallied from down 2-0 to take a 4-2 lead in the seventh and then watched the bullpen give up a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the eighth.

2011 39th rounder Charlie Thurber had a perfect night, going 3-3 with a double, two walks, a run and an RBI, reaching base in all five plate appearances.


R – App: @ Kingsport Mets 9, Danville Braves 4

One thing stands out: Domingo Tapia (5-5, 3.78) 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K.  Since a 0.2 inning implosion at the end of July, Tapia has been lights out in August: 3-1, 1.13 ERA, 24 H, 17 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 9 BB, 15 K with a go/ao of 2.06.


R- GCL: GCL Nationals 13, GCL Mets 2

Hey, look CF Brandon Nimmo hit his first professional home run and drew his first walk, going 1-3 with a bomb and a walk.
In his second professional game, SS Philip Evans was 2-for-4 with a double.

Tuesday in Short-Season Ball: Danny Muno Hits, Philip Evans Debuts, Juan Urbina’s Up and Down Start

SSA: @ Tri-City ValleyVats 7, Brooklyn Cyclones 4


SS Danny Muno just keeps hitting: 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  The Mets eight-round pick out of Fresno State, the 22-year old Muno is sitting at .332/.434/.492, tops in the NYP in on-base percentage and third in slugging.


Danville Braves 7, @ Kingsport Mets 5

LHP Juan Urbina, coming off one of his best outings of 2011 cruised through three innings, allowing just a single over the minimum before it fell apart on him in a six-run fourth inning. His final line: 4 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR.

@ GCL Mets 4, GCL Cardinals 2

SS Philip Evans, the Mets 15th round pick, who received the third-highest signing bonus in the Mets draft class, made his professional debut going 1-for-3 with a walk, a strikeout and two runs scored from the #3 spot in the batting order.
Hitting in front of Evans, CF Brandon Nimmo was 0-4 with three strikeouts. As people pointed out to me on both twitter and email, he’s now whiffed in seven of his last eight at bats. My response: chill. He’s played four games as a professional at age 18 without having played high school baseball.

Bob Gsellman, the Mets’ 13th rounder out of Santa Monica, made his first professional start, tossing three innings of one-run ball with no walks, two hits and a strikeout.

Short Season Saturday: Cyclones get shutout; Kingsport wins sluggfest

SS-A: Tri-City Valley Cats 3, @ Brooklyn Cyclones 0

The Cyclones offense was non-existent as they were limited to just one hit in the loss to Tri-City.  The Cyclones were held hitless through six innings.  T.J. Rivera ended the no-hit bid with a single in the bottom of the seventh.

Jeff Walters (5 1/3 IP, 5 hits, 2 er, 4 bb, 2k) took the loss for the Cyclones.

Nick Carr made a relief appearance: 1 IP, hit, o runs, 2 bb.


SS-R: @ Kingsport Mets 17, Burlington Royals 14

The two teams combined for 31 runs, 31 hits, 9 walks, and 10 errors.  What is more remarkable is the game only lasted 3 hours and 23 minutes.

With the win, Kingsport is now tied for the Wild Card with a 33-25 record.

The box score is something to behold:


Short Season Teams Thursday: Cyclones Playoff Push. Domingo Tapia’s Excellence

SSA: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 5, Jamestown Jammers (FLA) 2 

1B Cole Frenzel (.250/.346/.328), this year’s seventh round  pick out of Arizona was 3-4 with a double and an RBI.  After a slow start to his professional career and a .215/.315/.291 line in 20 games in July, Frenzel is rolling along at .324/.409/.405 in August.  He’s not hitting for much power yet, but at least he’s hitting for average.

Rain held Eduardo Aldama’s night to 2.2 so the bullpen had to pick up the slack.  Tyler Pill,  this year’s fourth-round pick out of Cal State Fullerton, tossed a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.

The Cyclones are now tied for the wild card lead (of course) and are three games out of first.


R- APP: @ Johnson City 1, Kingsport Mets 0

Yes. Domingo Tapia: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 WP.
Tapia’s three starts in August: 0.50 ERA (1 ER/18 IP), 12 H, 7 BB, 9 K.


R – GCL: @ GCL Cardinals 2, GCL Mets 1
Craig Missigman, this year’s 37th rounder out of HS in North Carolina: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
SS Chin-lung Hu had a couple of hits.


Short-Season Notes Wednesday: Juan Urbina’s Best Pro Start, Danny Muno Hits in Beautiful Cyclones Jerseys and Who’s Throwing in the GCL?

NYP: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 5, Jamestown Jammers 2

SS Danny Muno (.341/.448/.494) was 1-3 with a double and a walk.  In 44 games, the 22-year old has extra-base hits in 9.8% of his plate appearances with exactly the same number of walks and strikeouts 32, a rate of 15.7%.  He’s also rocking a .412 BABIP.  Some of these things are sustainable, one is not.

3B Richard Lucas (.313/.404/.487) was 2-4.  Mike wrote about the 22-year old Lucas yesterday and his desire to prove people wrong.

Meanwhile, out of the bullpen, Jack Leathersich struck out four and walked one in 1.2 innings pitched.  In 8.2 innings pitched in Brooklyn, the Mets’ 2011 fifth-rounder faced 34 batters and fanned 20.  That’s crazy good.

Also, I loved, the Cyclones Brooklyn Nite Jerseys with the image of the bridge, which you can see below.


APP: Kingsport Mets 6, @ Johnson City Cardinals 0

Probably the best thing to happen in the system Wednesday night: Juan Urbina put together his best professional start. He shutout Johnson City on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts. In 17 innings in Augusta, he’s fanned 12 and walked four and run a 2.12 ERA. Whether you want to look at ERA, K/BB ratio, opponents’ batting average, Urbina has improved in every month of the 2011 season.

DH Cam Maron was 2-3.  The 20-year old, the Mets 39th rounder in 2009, is hitting .309/.417/.383 in 46 games for Kingsport.


GCL: GCL Marlins 15, GCL Mets 6

Bunch of interesting notes here actually:
Chin-Lung Hu continues to rehab. In eight games in the GCL, he’s hit .138 (4-for-29) with seven walks and six strikeouts and zero extra-base hits. He also committed his second throwing error.
Zach Dotson made his second appearance since returning from a 50-game suspension and recorded one out: 0.1 iP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K. Dotson, who received the second-largest bonus in the Mets 2009 draft class, despite being selected in the 13th round, has thrown 1 inning this year and 17.1 in the GCL since signing.
Robert Gsellman, this year’s 13th rounder, tossed two scoreless innings.
CF Joe Tuschak, this year’s sixth rounder, was 2-3 with two walks to push his batting average back over .200 and up to .205/.333/.229.

Short Season Tuesday: NYPL All-Star Game; Kingsport wins; Nick Carr rehabs

SS-A: NL All-Stars 7, AL All-Stars 3

I will have more on this game later in the day.


SS-R: @ Kingsport Mets 7, Johnson City Cardinals 4

Jacob Lugo struck out six over 5 1/3 innings to lead Kingsport to the victory.  Lugo gave up three earned runs on six hits.

Brian Valenzuela came on to pitch 3 2/3 perfect innings for his first save of the season.

Yucarybert De La Cruz (2-3, HR, RBI) hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the 7th.


SS-R: @ GCL Astros 3, GCL Mets 2

Nick Carr made his second rehab appearance for the GCL Mets.  He pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, a walk, and striking out one.

The GCL Mets will soon be the talk of the town once Brandon Nimmo and Phillip Evans suit up.  I would suspect they will play in a handful of games before the end of the season.

Short Season Weekend: Cyclones win a pair; Kingsport sweep; Zach Dotson makes his 2011 debut

SS-A: Friday: Brooklyn Cyclones 10, @ Mahoning Valley Scrappers 6

     Saturday: Brooklyn Cyclones 2, @ Mahoning Valley Scrappers 1

 Sunday: PPD

The Cyclones (32-24) win a pair over the weekend, and now find themselves in a three-way tie for the Wild Card lead in the NYPL.  The Cyclones have now won seven out of their last nine games.


SS-R: Friday: Kingsport Mets 6, @ Princeton Rays 5

Saturday: Kingsport Mets 5, @ Princeton Rays 3

Sunday: Kingsport Mets 7, @ Princeton Rays 2

The Kingsport Mets are hot right now.  Over the weekend, they swept the Princeton Rays and now have enjoyed a 10-3 month of August.

Akeel Morris on Friday: 1/3 IP, 1 hit, 5 runs, 2 er, 4 bb, k.

Over the last 10 games:

Greg Pron: .400/.442/.575, 4 doubles, HR, 8 RBI

Dustin Lawley: .378/.404/.600, 5 doubles, 3B, HR, 5 RBI

Both Pron (42nd round) and Lawley (pictured) (19th round) were drafted this year out of the University of West Florida.


SS-R: Saturday: @ GCL Mets 4, GCL Cardinals 2

     Sunday: GCL Nationals 12, @ GCL Mets 10- Game 1

                GCL Mets 7, @ GCL Cardinals 1- Game 2

Zach Dotson, the Mets 13th round pick in 2009, made his first appearance of the 2011 season on Saturday.  Dotson faced seven hitters, retiring two of them while issuing three walks, two hits, a wild pitch, and two runs.

It’s good to see Dotson finally returning to the mound after serving a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball for testing positive for a banned substance.  Toby profiled Dotson here in his Top 41, and last year Dotson received high praise from then Mets Minor League pitching coordinator Rick Waits.

Michael Fulmer‘s second pro start was cut short due to rain on Sunday.  He gave up a hit then recorded an out before the rains came down and ended Fulmer’s day.