A+: St. Lucie Mets 9, @ Brevard County Manatees (MIL) 3
Hansel Robles(4-2, 4.04): 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. That’s 27 hits allowed in his last 14.1 innings since coming off the DL.
C Kevin Plawecki took an 0-for-3, but at least he walked twice.
A: @ West Virginia Power (PIT) 8, Savannah Sand Gnats 1
Gabriel Ynoa (10-4, 2.82) took this one on the chin: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K.
Ynoa has some significant home/road splits driven in part by pitcher-friendly Historic Grayson Stadium:
Home: a 1.99 ERA in 49.2 innings in which opponents hit .196/.224/.293 with a .239 BABIP
Road: a 3.65 ERA in 49.1 innings in which opponents hit .268/.287/.384 with a .308 BABIP
CF Brandon Nimmo: 0-for-4, BB, K. The 20-year-old is down to .252/.358/.339 with 84 strikeouts against 34 walks in 64 games. In 22 games in the second half, he’s hit .150/.261/.175 with 11 walks and 36 whiffs.
A+: @ St. Lucie Mets 4, Dunedin Blue Jays 3 (7 innings – Continued from Sunday)
@ St. Lucie Mets 4, Dunedin Blue Jays 2 (7 innings)
Game 1 was the suspended game from Sunday. Rainy Lara came on to replace Michael Fulmer and was ok (4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Fulmer, who threw on Sunday (3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K).
Oh, Domingo Tapia: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. That’s now 39 walks in 73 innings, a walk rate of 12.4%.
Kevin Plawecki (.365/.427/.486 – 21 gms; A+) caught game one and played first in game two.
A: Greenville Drive 2, @ Savannah Sand Gnats 1 (Continued from Saturday)
@ Savannah Sand Gnats 7, Greenville Drive (BOS) 4
The Greenville Drive scored in the top of the ninth off Jake Kuebler to win game one. I wasn’t on air (waiting for Hannity to finish on the terrestrial station), so I sat behind home plate for the first few innings of the resumption, six through eight. Kuebler was throwing 91-92 and touching 93. He was using his changeup (at 83) as his primary offspeed weapon. A converted infielder, he’s a big guy with an average arm and not much breaking ball at age 23. It’s sort of generic. Not generic? Francellis Montas who finished the game for the Drive. He has an electric arm. He was 94-98 mph with his fastball with a slider at 85-87. His line: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Listed at 6’2″, he has a sturdy frame and a big arm. Color me impressed.
Game two was odd. The Gnats were no-hit through five innings, and then took the lead with a three-run sixth before adding runs in the seventh and eighth.
The story for me however was Luis Cessa: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. All three runs he allowed came in the third inning that began with a bouncing ball over 1B Cole Frenzel’s shoulder for a hit and a bloop just beyond Philip Evans’ reach at short stop. Cessa (pictured) then got himself in trouble by fielding a bunt and throwing late, and wildly down the first base line for an error to allow an extra baserunner and a run to score. On another night, there are two outs and nobody on in the inning, and no runs score. Cessa was sitting 92-93 and held his velocity all the way into the seventh. He has feel for both a slider and a changeup. The fact that he’s the third-best prospect in the Gnats’ starting rotation right now, behind Steven Matz (who is LHP, and sitting 92-94) and Gabriel Ynoa (who is 20, and has a little more velocity than Cessa), speaks more to the other two’s strengths than anything else. The 21-year-old Cessa’s last eight starts: 53.2 innings, a 1.68 ERA and 54 strikeouts against eight walks and just one home run allowed while allowing a .232/.262/.288 opponents’ batting line.
CF Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his return from the Futures Game. The first three AB were against a LHP. He hit one ball sharply, to near 2B, that Drive 2B kicked for an error.
AA: @ Binghamton Mets 4, Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) 0
The Binghamton Mets improved to 58-34 behind six shutout inning from RHP Erik Goeddel Sunday.
Goedel’s (8-3, 3.94) line: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Goeddel is working on a 10% walk rate and a 22.6% strikeout rate for the year in AA Binghamton. I’m skeptical he will have the command to be a good starter, but he might well slot into a middle relief role.
RF Cesar Puello was 0-for-3 with a walk (!) that helped load up the bases.
A+: Dunedin Blue Jays 1, @ St. Lucie Mets 1 (suspended after three innings)
The rain curtailed a great prospect pitching matchup as Michael Fulmer took on a rehabbing Sergio Santos and then Aaron Sanchez, the Jays #1 prospect per BA heading into this year.
Fulmer’s line: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
A: Greenville Drive @ Savannah Sand Gnats – ppd by rain
The Gnats and Drive were rained out Friday and Sunday, and suspended mid-game on Saturday, so the two team have completed one half of their scheduled three games to this point in the series. They’ll complete the suspended game on Monday and then play the regularly scheduled game. The two missing games will be made up as part of back-to-back doubleheaders August 30 and 31, during the final week of the regular season, which, I promise, will be brutal.
On the plus side, all the rain gave me a chance to watch the first few innings of the Futures Game (more on that in a bit) and work on a musical mix for the ballpark about sunshine, which has been in short supply the last few days. Obviously, we will take songs that use sunshine as a metaphor and are not strictly about sunshine.
Bob Marley – The Sun is Shining
Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine
Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
Cream – Sunshine of Your Love
Beattles – Here Comes the Sun
Beatles – Good Day Sunshine
Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine when She’s Gone
Leslie Gore – Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows
Len – Steal My Sunshine
Matisyahu – Sunshine
Nirvana – Jesus Doesn’t Want me for a Sunbeam
Feel free to help with this project in the comments.
A+: Dunedin @ St. Lucie – ppd by rain.
A: Greenville Drive 1, @ Savannah Sand Gnats 1
This one started a half hour late to allow a storm to clear, and then was interupted by pouring rain twice more until it was called after the fifth inning with standing water on the warning track all the way around the field.
Before the game was called, Steven Matz and Luis Diaz hooked up in a nice pitchers’ duel.
Matz: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. The run he allowed came in the second. He gave up a chopper up the first base line that looked like it kicked foul – Gnats manager Luis Rojas discussed it at length with the umps – but it was ruled fair, and a double. Then he walked the next two batters, leaving pitches up and out of the zone. A sac fly gave the Drive a 1-0 lead before Matz recorded a strikeout to end the threat. Matz was mostly fastball/changeup and the changeup was keeping poor SAL hitters completely off-balance. That pitch has come a long, long way for Matz this year.
Matz’s last five starts: 30.1 IP, 13 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 11 BB, 37 K. That’s an opponents’ batting average of .129/.224/.158, a 32% strikeout rate and a 0.86 ERA. The only blemish, his control sometimes goes as he’s walked batters at a 9.5% rate.
AA: Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) 8, Binghamton Mets 5 (15 innings)
Considering these two are scheduled for a double-header and 14 innings on Saturday, 15 innings was a bad start to the weekend for the bullpens as position players finished the game for both teams.
RF Cesar Puello (.335/.397/.570 – 71 games): 4-for-7 with a walk, SB, CS
CF Alonzo Harris, (.242/.293/.336 – 59 g) who had been on the disabled list since a collision on June 21 returned with a 2-for-6 effort with a double. He took Cory Mazzoni’s spot on the roster after Mazzoni was placed on the Binghamton DL with a strained hamstring.
LHP Pedro Feliciano fanned three over a scoreless two-inning relief effort. He’s up to 11.1 innings in AA in which he’s fanned nine and walked one.
A+: @ St. Lucie Mets 3, Dunedin Blue Jays 0
LHP Alex Panteliodis (4-3, 4.11) put together his best start of 2013: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 HPB, 0 BB, 3 K. It was his longest outing and his first without allowing a run. I wonder if he bought himself some more time in the St. Lucie rotation and kept Steven Matz and Gabriel Ynoa in Savannah just a little longer.
Kevin Plawecki played first base again, for the second time in three games and the third time in the last seven games and was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run-scored. He’s hitting a batting-average powered .371/.421/.500 with seven extra-base hits and two walks in 19 games in advanced-A. I think Plawecki is a more aggressive than Mets’ fans generally understand. Even though he strikes out very little (10.5% in A+ in 76 PA), he’ll need to adjust his approach against higher-level pitchers.
Tim Byrdak worked the ninth for his third FSL save of the year.
Kyle Drabek, who I once had high hopes for, and owned in a Scoresheet fantasy format, started and went two innings for Dunedin in a rehab start.
A: Greenville @ Savannah – ppd by rain
There was an epic storm in Savannah on Friday afternoon that lasted nearly all evening. They’ll play two on Sunday beginning at noon. The Saturday forecast looks a little shaky by gametime too.
A+: St. Lucie Mets 7, @ Charlotte Stone Crabs (TB) 6
C Kevin Plawecki: 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI. The 22-year-old is now hitting .358/.403/.493 in 18 games in the FSL.
Matt Bowman: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. I wonder if he’s getting tired. After walking 9 batters in his first 50 innings in the FSL, he’s walked 11 in his last 18.2.
A: Augusta GreenJackets (SF) 9, @ Savannah Sand Gnats 1
The ‘Jackets scored seven times off RHP Matt Koch in the second, and the game was pretty much over from there. Koch’s line in his shortest start of the year: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 HBP. He hadn’t hit a batter all year (69.2 IP), and then plunked two in the same inning on Thursday night.
The 20-year-old was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and a bloop basehit to leftfield off a left-handed reliever. The basehit moved his batting average vs. lefties over .200 for the year to .208/.296/.229 in (10-for-48) vs. southpaws.
A – Hickory Crawdads (TEX) 5, @ Savannah Sand Gnats 0
This Hickory team is amazing and unusual. At the plate, they are young, athletic and they lead the SAL in strikeouts and homeruns, by a lot.
Jake Kuebler allowed a runner to at least second base in every single one of his innings. He had little to keep Hickory off his fastball: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
The Gnats’ offense had just four hits in the game, all singles, against tough lefty Luis Parra who fired eight shutout innings. No Gnat had more than one hit. SS Philip Evans was 1-for-3 with a strikeout and is up to .314/.415/.486 in his 11 games after the All-Star Break and .205/.274/.267 in 76 games.
AA – Ppd by rain
Erik Goeddel threw one inning before this was was called in the bottom of the first inning. They’ll finish today.
A+ – St. Lucie Mets @ Fort Myers Miracle – Ppd by rain
Saturday: @ Lexington Legends 2, Savannah Sand Gnats 0
Sunday: @ Lexington Legends 4, Savannah Sand Gnats 3
22-year-old Steven Matz on Saturday: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K. You want to know what it looks like when a pitching prospect starts to really get it? Maybe this. Matz’ last two starts: 11.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 19 K. He’s been throwing his fastball 92-96 mph to go along with a changeup at 83-86. I do not know how much he threw his slider on Saturday, but in his last start at home, he only threw the pitch four times. I’m a broken record on this, but he will need to throw the pitch more as he moves up. Matz has more than enough raw stuff to succeed in the big leagues someday. The most optimistic projection I have heard from a scout was a #2 level starter.
A 1-for-9 weekend, and a 2-for-18 in the first four games out of the All-Star Break have taken 20-year-old CF Brandon Nimmo to .285/.384/.391 in his 46 games in Savannah.
After two hits Saturday, and two walks Sunday, SS Philip Evans is up to .303/.368/.394 in his last 10 games spanning the All-Star Break. He’s still at .191/.262/.247 overall in 69 games, but it’s a long way back.
Advanced-A: St. Lucie Mets 5, Palm Beach Cardinals 3
1B Jayce Boyd had a solid night, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. C Kevin Plawecki added a 1-for-4 with a double.
Rehabbing CF Matt den Dekker was 1-for-5 and is now 4-for-20 (.200/.261/.200) over his five rehab games.
Little LHP Angel Cuan started.
A: @ Lexington Legends (KC) 6, Savannah Sand Gnats 2
Where are the Gnats’ runs going to come from in the second half? On this night, SS Philip Evans, who was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second longball of the year. The 20-year old is now hitting .188/.255/.245 in 67 games in one of the most disappointing performances by a Mets’ position player prospect this year.
Matt Koch was ok (5-3, 4.71): 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR
CF Brandon Nimmo (.294/.396/.406 – 44 games): 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. The walk was his 24th and the strikeout his 51st.
A+: St Lucie Mets 8, Palm Beach Cardinals 6
In his first at-bat at advanced-A, C Kevin Plawecki announced his arrival in nearly the best way possible: a three-run homerun. He finished 2-for-5 with 4 RBI. After the game, Plawecki told MiLB.com, “I’m glad to get my first one out of the way,” Plawecki said. “I was pretty nervous, just anxious, trying to get a pitch I could drive. It just happened to go out.
Batting in front of Plawecki in the #5 hole, 1B Jayce Boyd was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Not suprisingly, Plawecki likes having Boyd, who is always on base batting before of him, “Jayce and I have been batting back-to-back all season, so it was nice to have him tonight,” Plawecki said. “It’s nice to have him in front of me.”
Rehabbing CF Matt den Dekker was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored from the leadoff spot.
The dangers of pitching prospects part 8,510,926: Domingo Tapia, staked to a five-run lead, gave it all back in a five-run third inning. His line: 5.1 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. I think his sinker which is regularly 96 mph, and can touch 98 is worth more than a 4.08 ERA in the FSL, but he has walked 12% of the batters he has faced (12 of 224).
Cam Maron, working as the DH, was ejected in the sixth inning. He has good reason to be grumpy after hitting .228/.333/.302 in his first 53 games, he is about to lose almost all of his playing time to Plawecki.
No Aderlin Rodriguez who was placed on the disabled list with a strained right thumb sustained a week ago on a tag play. It sounds like he’s still at least a few days out, as he is not taking batting practice yet.
A: Savannah Sand Gnats 5, @ Lexington Legends (KC) 1
Logan Taylor is big (6’5″, 205+) and he throws hard and that is plenty in the South Atlantic League. His line: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. He’s allowed one run in 12 innings over his last two starts to drop his ERA to 2.83 ERA for the year. Taylor lasted four innings in two of his first three outings this year, so he has improved markedly. Like many Sand Gnats in the last two years, he has developed, and fairly quickly, under Frank Viola.
LF Stefan Sabol powered the Gnats’ offense, going 2-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and three strikeouts. Sabol is strong and has shown some range out in left field, but he is hitting just .219/.311/.362 with 65 whiffs in 59 games as a 21-year-old in the SAL.
Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, his 49th and 50th of the year in his 43rd game. Why is Nimmo still in Savannah and not St. Lucie with Boyd and Plawecki? Because the 20-year-old belongs in the SAL. He missed a month of time dealing with his hand bruise. Overall, he has struck out in 25% of his SAL plate appearances and is at 28% since his return to the lineup on May 28. Recently pitchers have been giving him fits working him inside. He knows it, and is working on getting to the pitch.