Thursday in A-Ball: Tapia was Fine; Ynoa was Better. Boyd and Plawecki Homer

A+: Bradenton Marauders (PIT) 9, @ St. Lucie Mets 1 

The St. Lucie bullpen helped turn a 1-1 tie into a laugher. Domingo Tapia left in a 1-1 game in the sixth with a runner at third at two out. Wanel Mesa allowed that run to score and then the rout was on.

Tapia’s line: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. 7 GB/2 AO. That’s good if not great. His fastball will get him to the big leagues.

Offensive notes:
SS Matt Reynolds: 2-for-3 with a walk to push his 20-game line to .291/.349/.392 with five extra base knocks and six walks against 14 strikeouts in 20 games. I think there’s a big leaguer in there, but he’ll need to show more pop to profile as an everyday guy.
3B Aderlin Rodriguez: 1-for-3 with a walk. The walk was his first of the year in his 19th game. At age 21, he’s hitting .173/.190/.347 with one walk and 16 strikeouts. This one of the more disappointing (healthy) Aprils in the system.

This St. Lucie offense is hitting .225, one point above last in the FSL and is last in the League with a .327 slugging percentage.


A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 7, Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL) 2 

Ynoa Delivery (Devyatkin)Gabriel Ynoa was really very sharp for the Gnats: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K to go with 7 GO and 1 AO. He retired 12 in a row and 18 of 20 from the of the first through one out in the seventh. It would have been 20-of-20 but for some shaky Gnats’ defense up the middle. Guys were late on his fastball, which he spots well.  (I don’t have velo readings, but I suspect it was his standard 90-93 ish, sitting 91 ish.) As the night went on, he showed more sliders and some nice changeups. He has some feel for both. I like the changeup better right now, but he got a pair of swinging strikeouts with his slider in the fifth. Just 19, he will not turn 20 until late May. There’s something here. How much his slider develops will say a lot about his ceiling and eventual role, but for right now, just monitor his progress.

The 22-years are crushing the SAL.
DH Kevin Plawecki: 3-for-4, 2B, HR. The homer was a first pitch (fastball, I think) that he blasted to left. Plawecki is hitting .392/.447/.603. He’s leading the SAL, in doubles, extra-base hits, slugging and is second in batting average and fourth in OBP.
1B Jayce Boyd: 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI. Boyd came to the plate 14 times the Gnats’ three-game sweep of Delmarva and reached base safely 11 times, going 7-for-10 with four walks, two doubles and a jack. He’s leading the SAL in AVG and OBP as part of a .429/.516/.623 line in 20 games.

The key to understanding the difference in prospect status between the two players is all about position. Plawecki plays the premium position, while Boyd, the Mets’ sixth round pick last year is a first baseman, the position with the greatest offensive expectations.

In terms of offensive ability, both players could move to the Florida State League tomorrow and be productive. In the last two years, the Mets have been slow to move their position players, who started in Savannah to St. Lucie. However, Boyd and Plawecki’s performance might push the Mets’ plans. In 2011, the first Gnat regular to move to St. Lucie was Robbie Shields on June 15 (the same day as Josh Edgin). Cory Vaughn had to wait until the All-Star Break. Last year, the team did not promote any regulars until the All-Star Break (when TJ Rivera and Travis Taijeron earned the nod). Boyd and Plawecki are far more dominant than any of those guys were in their time in Savannah. I suspect they’ll be in Savannah for a few more weeks, but not much more.
The 20-year olds had a tough night.
CF Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-5 with a strikeout and four groundouts. He was 1-for-13 in the three games against Delmarva with six strikeouts. His timing, which was on point for the first two weeks of the season, has deserted him this week as he’s getting beat by fastballs regularly. All told though, he’s still bopping away at .367/.463/.494 good enough for seventh in the SAL in AVG and second in OBP.
SS Philip Evans was 1-for-4 with a single to center and two errors defensively, one on a ball in front of him, and one on a throw from behind the pitcher’s mound. He’s committed nine errors in 19 games while hitting .176/.250/.221.