Hot or Not: 14-Game hit streaks, Herrera, Nimmo, Plawecki

Triple-A
Hot
Hitter
Zach Lutz

Zach Lutz has a 14-game hitting streak, over which time he is raking at .393/.448/.574 with six extra-base hits, six walks and 10 strikeouts. Lutz, who will turn 28 on June 3, is now up to .333/.436/.527 for the 51s, while playing third base exclusively.

Pitcher

Zack Thornton: Zero runs allowed in his last 8.1 innings over two weeks with 7K and zero walks. I have a longer piece about Thorton here.

Not
Pitchers
These three guys fall into the category of right-handed relievers an optimistic Mets fan might have hoped would help the big league bulllpen in the firt half of the 2014 season…

Vic Black has walked 17 batters in 18.2 innings this year. Is it getting better? Not really. He walked 20 percent (9-of-44) opposing hitters in April and 18 percent (7-of-38) in May.

Erik Goeddel: That whole move to the bullpen and promotion to Triple-A has been tough. He’s run a 6.00 ERA in May, which nearly matches his season ERA (6.06). He has almost the same number of walks (16) as strikeouts (17) in 16.1 innings.

Jeff Walters: Buried in the 51s bullpen, Walters has given up eight runs on 12 hits in five and a third innings in May. He allowed three runs on three hits in 1/3 of an inning on Thursday night. His season ERA stands at 9.39 with a 9/8 K/BB ratio.


Double-A
Hot
Hitter

Kevin Plawecki: Despite an 0-for-7 on Tuesday and Wednesday, Plawecki is hitting .362/.378/.536 in the month of May, with his first two home runs of the year. He’s also only drawn one walk while fanning nine times in 17 games. For the year, the 23-year-old is up to .312/.343/.432 in 31 games.

In terms of profile, he’s an extremely low strikeout (12.76 percent), low walk (3.7 percent), low power (.120 ISO) player. He attacks early in counts, but usually this is the batting profile of a plus defender, a replacement level player or both. This is a really dicey offensive profile. As of Thursday, there were eight players in baseball who qualify for a Major League batting title with a walk rate under 5% and an isolated slugging percentage under .120. Put simply, there are not any successful catcher in the big leagues with Plawecki’s current offensive approach. He must become more patient, and/or, (ideally and) hit for more power to look like a potential everyday answer.

Pitchers

Cody Satterwhite: The 27-year-old reliever has allowed four runs on 15 hits with a 22/11 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings this year, although he blew a save on Thursday night. Satterwhite is trying to come back from a pair of shoulder surgeries, including one on his labrum. (There are no good starting candidates.)

Not
Hitter 

Cory Vaughn: The 25-year-old is hitting .160/.200/.293 in 21 games in May and .168/.248/.266 in 41 games overall.

Matt Bowman: After allowing two runs in three starts for a 1.04 ERA in April, Bowman has allowed 24 runs, 17 earned in 21 innings over four games in May for a 7.29 ERA and 10.29 R/9.


Advanced Single-A
Hot

Hitters
Dilson HerreraDilson Herrera Futures Game: Hits in 12 of his last 13 games over which time he has hit .448/.450/.655 with ix doubles and two home runs, one walks and three strikeouts. The 20-year-old is up to .328/.368/.436 in 47 games this year and is 11-for-13 stealing bases. He leads the FSL in hits (tied with teammate TJ Rivera) and at-bats and is second in total bases and fifth in batting average. Oh, and he’s the seventh youngest player in the Florida State League, and were he to be promoted to double-A, this year, he would be among the 10 youngest players at the level. The little guy has the ceiling of an above-average offensive second baseman who contributes a well-rounded offensive profile with average, some power and some stolen base hits.

Brandon NimmoAfter a lull in early May, Nimmo is back at it, with hits in eight of his last nine games, bashing the FSL at a .400/.550/.733 rate with a double, three triples, a homer (this third of the year)and 10 (!) walks against five strikeouts in that time. At .341/.477/.474, the 21-year-old is second in the FSL in batting average, first in on-base percentage and walks. As I said on this week’s  Mostly Mets Podcast, he’s the position player in the system who has most improved his stock in the first third of the minor league season. And this came from someone who was high on Nimmo coming into the year, ranking him #6 in my preseason ranking, behind only guys who started the year in either AAA or the big leagues.

Pitchers

Michael FulmerAfter giving up 16 runs in his first three starts for a 11.08 ERA, he’s clearly heading in the right direction. In his last five starts, he’s run a 1.93 ERA with an 18% strikeout rate and a 7.4% walk rate in 28 innings while allowing opponents to hit .245/.308/.309.

Not
Hitters

Aderlin Rodriguez: At age 22, Aderlin Rodriguez has hit .200/.304/.275 in 12 games in May before landing on the disabled list on May 15. He’s sitting at .228/.294/.389 in 38 games while repeating the FSL.

Domingo Tapia: The 22-year old allowed eight runs on 10 hits in his start on May 15th, then walked four in his next outing on the 21st which lasted four innings. In 38.2 innings this year, he’s walked 19 and struck out 19 .


Single-A
Hot 

Jeff McNeilThe 22-year-old Southern Californian is hitting .429/.475/.500 over a 14-game hitting streak and is up to .347/.421/.500 in 39 games while going 11-for-13 stealing bases. His 14-game hitting streak is the longest active one in the SAL, and the fifth longest in the League this year. He’s had trouble with lefties and breaking balls, but he’s taken very nicely to third base while playing the position for the first time as a professional. The left-handed hitter has very nice bat control and works the left side of the field well. At the very least, he will play in AA, and there might be a MLB utility player in here considering he played second, shortand the outfield as an amateur. He’s fourth in the SAL in batting average and top in hit-by-pitches.

Pitchers

Kevin McGowanAfter a wobbly beginning to the year, McGowan has not allowed an earned run in his last 25.1innings pitched. In that time, the 6’6″ RHP has fanned 22 and walked five while allowing his opponents to hit .159/.245/.170 in 98 PA. Overall, he’s ninth in the SAL in ERA at 1.85 with 33 strikeouts against 16 walks. He’s 6’6″ and throws 91-94 with a slider and changeup. He’ll need to improve his secondary stuff to become a big league starter, but there’s a big league ceiling in here for last year’s 13th round draft pick.

Miller Diaz: In four May starts, Diaz has yielded just two runs, one earned in 23.1 innings for a 0.39 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .179/.274/.226 with a 27/10 K/BB ratio. Diaz, who will turn 22 in June, is fourth in the SAL in ERA at 1.45

Akeel Morris: Still has not allowed a run in 24.1 innings over 12 games and he’s struck out 42% (!) of opposing hitters. Before immediately pencilling him into the Mets’ bullpen in 2016, recognize that he has a 13% walk rate, so he’ll need to improve his control as he moves up the system otherwise he risks become a Jack Leathersich-type who put up big strikeout and walk numbers in the lower minors who stalls at double-A.

Not
Hitter

Stefan SabolHitting .095/.247/.175 with a .114 BABIP in his last 19 games with 13 walks and 19 strikeouts. He’s repeating the SAL and while his walk rate is up, little else seems to have improved much.

Pitcher

Chris FlexenAfter cutting his walk rate in Kingsport last year, he’s walked three or more batters in six of his seven starts while allowing opponents to hit .308/.401/.466 on the way to a 6.94 ERA.