Matt Fox ended up leading the 51s in wins and second in IP despite not making his first start until mid-May. Fox has been solid down the stretch with 5 wins in his last 8 starts, and 19 K to 1 BB over his last two starts, but is an interesting choice for game one in Salt Lake. On August 19th he allowed 8 runs on 9 hits and 4 walks in Salt Lake, and on July 10th he allowed 6 runs on 8 hits (2BB/4K) over 4.2 IP in Salt Lake. Back on June 24th Fox faced Salt Lake in Vegas and limited them to 2 runs on 9 hits over 6.1 IP. Fox has a 2.66 ERA in 8 home starts and a 6.02 ERA in 12 road starts.
Matt Shoemaker finished 4th in the PCL in wins, and tied for 4rd in losses, leading the league in starts (29), IP, hits, strike outs, and homers allowed (27). He's held the 51s to 5 runs total in three starts against them, striking out 22 and walking 2 over 20.2 IP. He's made 64 regular season starts for Salt Lake and allowed 55 homers, so he is not stranger to the hitter friendly environment in Salt Lake.
Starting the year in St Lucie Noah Syndergaard showed flashes of his top prospect status, striking out 7 or more four times, but mostly meandered his way through 12 starts on his way to a mid-season promotion to Binghamton. Instead of being tested by what might be the toughest jump in the minor leagues Thor exploded on the Eastern League. His K rate ballooned to 32.2% a career best and his walk rate dipped to a best of 5.6%. On August 16th he struck out 10 and allowed just 3 hits over 5 IP and at the time he had a 1.59 ERA through 10 EL starts, striking out 64 with 10 walks over 51 IP. After being skipped a turn to help extend his season into the playoffs he took the mound on August 26th and got smacked around for 9 ER on 9 hits (2BB/5K) over 3 IP. The 9 ER doubled his total in AA and nearly doubled his ERA. With the Mets concerns about his workload (which is 117.2 IP after 103.2 IP last year) was this start a sign that he is tiring, or just a rusty/low adrenaline performance for a team that had already clinched its playoff spot.
Bryan Mitchell is a curious choice for game one as he has made just 3 starts at the AA level, however he did finish up the year with a 10K/0BB 4 hit over 7.1 IP performance against New Britain. He spent most of 2013 pitching for Tampa (4-11, 5.12 ERA) with 104 strikeouts and 53 walks over 126.2 IP. He faced St. Lucie on July 29th in a game that included Cory Vaughn as well as Plawecki and Reynolds. Plawecki had the only hit of that trio, it was a double (of course), with each of Binghamton's late season additions walking once.
Gabriel Ynoa beat Augusta 3 times in the course of a month this summer. In the first two starts he gave up just 1 run on 11 hits and 1 walks while striking out 9 over 12.2 IP. However in the third match-up the Greenjackets figured him out to the tune of 10 hits and 4 ER over 5 IP, 0BB/3K. Is it a case of over-exposure, or just one poor start late in a long season...
Martin Agosta made the jump from low rookie ball to the SAL this year as a 22 year old and as a result saw a limited workload throughout the year. As a result he came up 20 IP short of qualifying for the ERA title which he otherwise would have won (leader was 2.25) He is a low contact pitcher having struck out 109 and walked 43 over 91.2 IP while batters hit just .180 against him. Against the Gnats he's had some trouble with walks, on April 10th he walked 3 and struck out 2 while allowing 6 hits over 3.2 IP. On May 19th he walked 5 and struck out 5 while allowing 4 hits in 3.1 IP, in a game that did NOT include Plawecki and Zurcher. His very next start he put it together against the Gnats going 7 shutout innings, striking out 8 and walking 2 on May 25th. He did not face the Gnats in the second half as the Giants began spacing out his starts to not run into innings limits.
Regular season finale for the Cyclones
The Cyclones led the NYPL in attendance for the 13th straight year.
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