Hot/Not on the Mets Farm

[sny-editorial userid=”tobyhyde”]Let’s skip the Tax Day jokes and get right to it: who’s had a hot first week and a half, and who’s had a lousy first week and a half in the Mets Farm System and prospect world. Remember, it’s early. Also, it’s really early.[/sny-editorial]

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Triple-A
Hitters
HOT
Bobby Abreu:
.478/.556/.609. He’s  11-for-23 with 4 2B, 4 BB and 3 K in his nine games. The opt out in his contract is April 30, so either the 40-year old will be a Met soon, or he will move on.
Eric Campbell: .295/.392/.545, 5 2B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 5 K – 11 gms. Despite a few games at second earlier this year, he’s not a second baseman. He played shortstop Monday night. He’s not a shortstop. Instead, he’s more of a LF/1B/3B type three corner reserve. This is not totally aberrant, he ran a .910 OPS in 120 games for Vegas last year.
28-year-old Zach Lutz has a .500 OBP in his first 12 games and 26-year-old.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a .500 slugging percentage thanks to two doubles and two homers. And is now headed to the big leagues to take Juan Lagares’ roster spot.

NOT
Cesar Puello has a .317 slugging percentage (thanks to two extra-base hits – both doubles) in his first 12 games.
In eight games, 22-year-old INF Wilmer Flores is hitting .184/.225/.184 with two walks against six strikeouts. Early on in past years, Flores has attacked early count fastballs and put them in play for hits. Later, as he got more comfortable, he would see more pitches. Not so much here, yet.

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Pitchers
HOT
LV_MonteroRafael Montero has a 18/3 K/BB ratio in his first three starts and took a no-hitter into the sixth his last time out.
Jacob deGrom allowed one earned run in his first two starts.
NOT
Josh Edgin: 4.1 innings of relief and 5 runs allowed with a 3/4 K/BB ratio
Erik Goeddel: 3.1 innings of relief and 6 runs allowed with a 2/8 (!) K/BB ratio

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Double-A
Hitters
Hot
OF Travis Taijeron:
.316/.458/.526 – 4 2B, 4 BB, 5 K  (6-for-19) – 6 G. The 25-year-old is fighting with Cory Vaughn, Darrell Ceciliani, Dustin Lawley and Kyle Johnson in the outfield, but he’s hit a bunch of doubles and drawn walks when he’s been in the lineup.
SS Wilfredo Tovar: .355/.382/.419, 1 3B, 1 BB, 0 K – 10 games. Tovar’s always been a low strikeout guy (10% in 2013), but this is what happens when a guy with no power doesn’t strike out once and runs a .344 BABIP for 10 games.

NOT
Cory Vaughn: .094/.211/.125, 3 BB, 19 K – 9 G. Vaughn is 25. A .130 BABIP makes this look worse, but he’s still striking out over 26% of the time, and has one extra-base hit in 10 games. Not a good start, but expect some bounce back. To some degree, in the minors, BABIP measures not just luck, but how much hard contact a batter makes.

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Pitchers
Hot
Hansel Robles: 2 GS, 10 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 14 K. No runs in two starts is nice, but there’s no much ceiling here.
Take it away, Mark Anderson of Baseball Prospectus:

With his fastball as the only pitch even touching average, Robles relied on his ability to throw strikes, change the hitters’ sight lines, and make the ball move. His fastball sat 89-91 with excellent arm-side life, and he had 92-93 mph when he needed a little extra. ….  Both his slider and changeup were consistently below average but he did enough with them to keep hitters off the fastball. Without progress from his secondary offerings, Robles doesn’t have a starters’ profile, but he could survive as a middle reliever who relies on a funky delivery with deception and possibly an extra tick on the heater when used in short bursts.

Not
Tyler Pill: 2 GS, 8.2 IP, 16 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. And this is what it looks like when a pitcher cannot command 89-91 in AA or keep hitters off his heat.

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Advanced-A
Hot 
Hitter
CF Brandon Nimmo: .381/.480/.524, 3 2B, 1 HR, 8 BB, 11 K – 11 G. At age 21, Nimmo has reached base in every single game in the Port St. Lucie Mets’ season. He’s running a .500 batting average on balls in play, which is not going to continue. On the plus side, his isolated slugging percentage of .143 is nearly sixty points above last season’s total of .086 with the Sand Gnats. He’s walking at a 16% clip, and striking out at a 22% rate. Nimmo is going to play at least almost all of the first half before the Mets promote him to double-A, so he’s not going anywhere for a while.

Not
3B/1B: Aderlin Rodriguez: .178/.213/.222, 2 2B, 0 HR, 2 BB, 7 K – 11 G. At age 22, Rodriguez is playing the FSL for the third time after a mid-season promotion in 2012. His combined Advanced-A line in 114 games is now .245/.285/.408. He’s no longer young for his league. It’s hit or be forgotten now for Aderlin.

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Pitchers
HOT
Steven Matz
– 11 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, 3.27 ERA. Two starts in, after an impressive spring training, Matz is fanning 23% of opposing batters.
Michael Fulmer – After a dreadful first start (3.2 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 1 HR), Fulmer bounced back with a seven-inning outing in his second appearance in which he fanned five and allowed just one run. So far, he’s fanned nine batters and walked none. His first start prompted this negative review from Jeff Moore at Baseball Prospectus:

Fastball sat 92-93, straight with erratic command. Featured two breaking pitches: a plus curveball from 73-76 that featured a hard downward break that he threw to hitters on both sides of the plate, and a wildly inconsistent slider that ranged anywhere from 80-86. When he threw it slower, it was extremely hittable; when he threw it harder, it lost its break and looked like a cutter. Changeup was non-existent.

Morris Savannah DeliveryNOT
Reliever Julian Hilario: 3 IP, 12 H, 15 R, 15 ER, 5 BB, 1 K – 45.00 ERA. The 23-year-old Hilario can run his fastball up to 96, but only occasionally knows where it’s going. That’s a problem.

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Savannah
Hitters
HOT
LF Stefan Sabol: .370/.485/.741, 4 2B, 2 HR, 6 BB, 5 K – 33 PA, 8 G. Oh, and he’s 2-for-2 stealing bases. He’s repeating the SAL at age 22, but that monster first week and a half is good enough to lead the league in OPS at 1.226.
CF Patrick Biondi: .355/.429/.548, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 BB, 7K. The 23-year-old from Michigan has played a nice centerfield too.
NOT
1B Dominic Smith: .184/.205/.184 (7-for-38), 0 XBH, 1 BB, 4 K – 10 gms. Playing against guys four and five years older than himself, it’s been tough sledding for Smith in the first week and a half.

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Pitchers
HOT
Akeel Morris: The 21-year-old reliever has fanned 14 of the first 25 batters to face him, a rate of 56%. He also earned the SAL Pitcher of the Week award.
Robert Gsellman: through two starts, at age 20, the Gnats’ Opening night starter has a 11/3 K/BB ratio and a 1.46 ERA (2 ER/12.1 IP).
NOT
There are four members of the Gnats’ starting rotation with an ERA above 5: Kevin McGowan, Chris Flexen, Miller Diaz and Ricky Knapp. McGowan, Diaz and Knapp have all made just one start, where Flexen has made two. 

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