A-Ball Monday: Robert Gsellman Fills in for Injured Hansel Robles in St. Lucie; Stetson Allie blasts Gnats

A+: St. Lucie Mets 7, @ Tampa Yankees 1 

The most interesting thing here is that Robert Gsellman made the spot start for St. Lucie with RHP Hansel Robles placed on the disabled list. The Mets picked Gsellman in the 13th round in the 2011 draft out of high school in southern California. He made five starts and six relief appearances for Kingsport last year and was likely headed for Brooklyn this season. I suspect he got the nod tonight because he was in extended spring training and the most ready of any of the XST guys to help St. Lucie out now and that he will last in the rotation only until reinforcements arrive either from the DL (Michael Fulmer) or from Savannah.

At the time of his selection, Mets’ scouting director Chad McDonald said:

We went Budgell, Montgomery, Matthews and Gsellman. We’re talking about four high school pitchers with upside. Body, athleticism, arm action, delivery, all the foundation to think these guys are going to be starters in the big leagues.

For what it’s worth, this has been a rough spring for this quartet. Budgell “retired” this spring and Christian Montgomery was busted for a drug of abuse and suspended for 50 games.

So Monday Gsellman was fine: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.

On the position side, SS Matt Reynolds was 2-for-4 with a walk. The 22-year old is hitting .274/.343/.358 in 24 games.

25-year-old utility man Rylan Sandoval launched grand slam as part of a 3-for-5 night with 5 RBI.

Pedro Feliciano got back on the hill for the Mets for the first time in 12 days and threw a scoreless inning. I suspect he could throw a scoreless inning in an advanced-A game at 75 mph, 84 mph let alone his normal upper 80s stuff.

 

A: West Virginia Power 10, @ Savannah Sand Gnats 1 

The Power and DH Stetson Allie snapped the Gnats’ six-game winning streak by becoming the first team to score 10 runs against the Gnats in 2013.

Luis Cessa was hittable: 5.2 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. He was up in the zone a lot and gave up plenty of loud contact. He got a few strikeouts on fastballs up too, but he cannot pitch off elevated heat.

C Kevin Plawecki (.391/.455/.667 – 23 games) was 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 10 straight games. “Pla” is leading the SAL in batting average and slugging and is second to teammate Jayce Boyd in OBP.

Daily Nimmo
CF Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-4 with a strikeout, a pop-out and two groundouts on the right side. He’s now 1-for-27 with 11 strikeouts in his last seven games. I thought Nimmo’s issue was primarily a timing question, when he was getting beaten by fastballs, but Gnats’ hitting coach Joel Fuentes thought it had more to do with Nimmo’s back side collapsing that was monkeying with his swing path. The scouts this week were concerned that he’s taking too many fastballs and not putting together good at-bats. I think it’s all symptomatic of a bad week for a 20-year-old.

Pirates’ Prospects
Power DH Stetson Allie, a failed pitching prospect blasted two homers and both were true blasts. The first, a three-run jack to left put West Virginia up 3-0 and then a very rare opposite-field drive to right made it 8-0. He was kinda all or nothing (he also fanned three times), but he’s tied for the SAL lead with eight homers as part of a .351/.409/.660 line and the power is very real.
RF Josh Bell, who the Pirates paid $5 million to sign two years ago put a pair of impressive swings on balls as well for doubles. As a left-handed batter, he drove a ball to the base of the wall in the left field corner that hopped over the wall and drilled on to the base of the wall in right-center that’s out of almost every other professional baseball stadium in America. The Gnats were able to beat Bell in on fastballs at times in the series, but he generated really impressive carry on both balls Monday.
I was impressed by RHP Tyler Glasnow (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K). He’s really long (6’7″)and lean and Gnats’ hitters could not catch up to his fastball. I suspect it was low-to-mid 90s based on the swings the hitters were taking. The 19-year-old showed a well defined curveball late in the outing. He bounced a whole bunch of pitches early. He’s a project, but it’s a good project.