The Mets' Single-A Savannah Sand Gnats may move to the new stadium, which wouldn't happen until at least 2016 >> Read more: WIS
Savannah Sand Gnats
Batting second, and playing CF, Brandon Nimmo was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a strikeout.
TJ Rivera's fifth inning grand slam snapped a 2-2 tie and put St. Lucie ahead for good. The 25-year-old Rivera played his first professional game at first base in this one, while going 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, and 5 RBI. This will be the third separate season Rivera has played at St. Lucie after earning a promotion from Savannah in 2012. I thought coming into this year, that Rivera had a chance to break spring training as a backup middle infielder in AA, but the BMets are only carrying two middle infielders: Wilfredo Tovar and Matt Reynolds. Rivera is probably a more productive hitter in advanced-A than Cole Frenzel or the recently released Chris Garcia.
Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Gavin Cecchini, Robert Gsellman, Savannah Sand Gnats, St. Lucie Mets, Toby Hyde
Steven Matz was not quite as good as he was in the Gnats' series clinching win over Augusta, but he was plenty tough enough Friday as the Gnats beat the Suns 2-0 to take the SAL Championship Series 3-1 for their first title in 17 years.
Gnats pitching did not allow a run in the final 19 innings of the championship series or in 27 innings at home in the playoffs. The Gnats allowed just two runs in the final 27 innings of the championship series, which turned into three wins.
Tags: Playoffs, Savannah Sand Gnats, Steve Matz, Toby Hyde
Ynoa was a little bit tentative early, poking around the edges of the strike zone. In the first inning, he threw first pitch strikes to only one of five batters and after a double and a walk, needed a strikeout to strand two runners. He needed 33 pitches to finish the frame. Then, after a leadoff double in the second, he really started to settle in. He needed just 63 pitches or less than twice his first inning total, to shut out the Suns,?in innings two through seven while retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced. After the first inning, he threw first pitch strikes to 15 of 21 batters. His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K - 96 pitches. He spotted his fastball beautifully, working down in the zone and to both edges of the plate. He threw his changeup and then followed with his heat to make the pitch play up for weak contact or strikeouts. He froze batters or induced weak contact with his slider.
Tags: Gabriel Ynoa, Playoffs, Savannah Sand Gnats, Toby Hyde
The Sand Gnats picked a great time, the best time, to play two of their most complete games of the year to finish off a two game sweep of the Augusta GreenJackets.
Savannah outscored Augusta 15-2 in the series in which Gnats' pitching struck out 19 batters and walked only one.
Tags: Playoffs, Savannah Sand Gnats, Toby Hyde
The Gnats scored their first three runs on two RBI singles from Maikis De La Cruz and a Brandon Nimmo RBI groundout. Then, with the bases loaded in the fifth, Stefan Sabol unloaded them with a booming double to the base of the centerfield wall. Augusta starter Martin Agosta just did not have his good stuff as he was down to 86-89 by the third inning and his slider flattened out in the upper 70s. He had made three starts since returning from the disabled list and looked like a guy just out of gas.
Tags: Gabriel Ynoa, Playoffs, Savannah Sand Gnats, Toby Hyde
The Gnats have beat up on the worst team in the SAL the last two days and have now won five in a row as the team tunes up for the playoffs, which begin on Wednesday.
Tags: Savannah Sand Gnats, Toby Hyde
This decisive loss eliminated St. Lucie from playoff contention.
Alex Panteliodis (6-6, 4.75): 4.2 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. The 23-year-old has fanned 56 in 102.1 innings this year. There's no way he can go to AA as a starter next year.
A day after clinching the Division Title, the B-Mets put together a performance that looked like a hangover with four hits and four errors leading to five unearned runs which the team's own official recap called "ugly."
CF Alonzo Harris had a nice night at the top of the order: 2-for-4, 3B. The 24-year-old has hit .219/.284/.306 overall, weighed down by a .170/.261/.245 line in the last 34 games after the All-Star Break.
The Gnats put up a five-spot in the top of the seventh in a rally started by a couple of walks from guys at the bottom of the order. Batting with the bases loaded, CF Brandon Nimmo then singled into left field to drive home two runs to give the Gnats a 2-1 lead at the time. Nimmo was 3-for-5 with a run scored of his own and a strikeout. A ridiculous August (.393/.543/.508 in 19 games with 18 BB and 18 K) has lifted the 20-year-old's his overall line to .282/.401/.374 with 22 extra-base hits, 61 walks, and 118 strikeouts in 95 games.
Gabriel Ynoa was good enough: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR. After a slight rough patch at the end of July, Ynoa (pictured) has bounced back to finish well, going 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his last four starts with 16 strikeouts against just one walk in his last 26 innings while holding opponents to a .200/.209/.278 batting line. His velocity has moved around a little bit this year, but while sitting 90-92 in his last start in Savannah, a scout told me he saw three major league pitches in Ynoa's fastball, changeup and slider. Just 20 years old, Ynoa the strike-throwing Ynoa, who has walked just 14 batters all year, a rate of 2.7%, is working towards a reasonable shot at a Major League rotation future.
Closer Jeff Walters walked in a run in the top of the ninth to blow his fourth save of the year, but C Blake Forsythe picked him up with a game winning homerun in the bottom of the tenth.
It was the 10th homerun of the year for the 24-year-old catcher and his third in his last four games. In 80 games this year, Forsythe has hit .197/.276/.376 with 28 extra-base hits, 29 walks and 91 strikeouts. He has more extra-base hits (28) than singles (27).
The Gnats and GreenJackets were rained out of a doubleheader on both Friday and Saturday nights, but settled for two games on Sunday. They'll try for two again on Monday with 60% chances of rain every hour beginning at 4 pm.
When they actually played baseball on Sunday, Brandon Nimmo continued his very strong August: he was 1-for-4 with an RBI single in game one with a pair of strikeouts and a perfect 2-for-2 with a double, two walks and two RBI (and no strikeouts) in game two. His 3-for-6 day raised his August line to .358/.514/.491 with 15 BB and 16 K in 16 games. His .358 batting average in August is his highest in any month this year. Moreover, his secondary skills are his best as well, with his close to 1:1 K/BB ratio, his lower strikeout rate, and .133 isolated slugging percentage, which would be his best in any month in 2013. Overall, his .760 OPS is the highest it has been since June 24th.
There's really very little in this box score that deserves special recognition, good or bad.
DH Jayce Boyd had a couple of knocks in a 2-for-5 evening. He's hitting .280/.358/.439 in 45 games in St. Lucie. The 22-year-old has hit for very little power in the last four weeks. Since homering four times in his first 26 games in St. Lucie, he's hit .231/.351/.292 in his last 19 games.
Better from Domingo Tapia: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.
Tapia is one of the most confounding prospects in the Mets' system. He has one of the best fastballs in the system, showing 95-96 mph with sink regularly with plenty of 98 and a few 100s mixed in. His changeup, when it's right, dives like a splitter out of the zone. ?He's struggled in years past to find a release point for his slider as it used to come out loopy from his low 3/4 arm slot and he basically stopped throwing it at the end of the 2012 season in Savannah.
For the second time this year, the B-Mets lost a game on a walk-off wild pitch. This time the offender was Jeff Walters who blew his first save in 21 attempts, dating back to June 6. A recent scout's pithy report on Walters, "He has a chance. Nice sinker." Walters (pictured) has run a 3.9 K/BB ratio in AA (51 K/13 BB) with over a strikeout an inning (49 innings). He's a fastball slider guy, who with a fastball in the low-mid 90s, certainly profiles as a middle reliever. Walters, like deGrom, who I wrote about in AAA today, seem like extremely strong bets to be added to the Mets' 40-man roster this off-season.
LF Cory Vaughn was 2-for-5. He's bopping along at .379/.406/.724 with a double, three homers, one walk and six whiffs in eight games since his return to AA at the beginning of August. He had six homers in his first 46 games in AA this year before this run. It's interesting too that Vaughn is playing left while Travis Taijeron plays right for the B-Mets.
Tags: Binghamton Mets, Brandon Nimmo, Gabriel Ynoa, Kevin Plawecki, Savannah Sand Gnats, St. Lucie Mets, Toby Hyde
Kyle Johnson, who the Mets acquired for Collin Cowgill, homered in the bottom of the 12th to give the Mets a walkoff win. The 23-year-old Johnson's best tool is his speed. He's hitting .279/.344/.387 with six double and two homers in 28 games in advanced-A. His speed will keep him employed for a few years.
LHP Alex Panteliodis: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. Yuck.
C Kevin Plawecki (.326/.429/.420 - 41 gms) doubled in the bottom of the tenth inning, and eventually scored the winning run on an infield single from Rylan Sandoval. Just another two-hit night for Plawecki: 2-for-4, 2B, BB, R.
Hansel Robles, meh: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
Kevin Plawecki just keeps on hitting. After going 2-for-4 with two RBI he's up to .321/.424/.410 in 40 games in Advanced-A with nine doubles, a homerun, 14 walks and 15 strikeouts. The batting average and on-base percentage are great, but note that Plawecki has hit for significantly less power in the FSL than the SAL as his isolated slugging percentage has dropped from .180 to .089. Whether that's fatigue, or adjusting to a new level, or just a hint of the kind of hitter Plawecki will be a the higher levels, it's something to watch for the duration of this year and to begin 2014. Again, MLB catchers as a group are hitting .248/.312/.388, with a .140 isolated slugging.
Matt Bowman, eh: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.
Oh, Domingo Tapia: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. That's three times in his last four starts he has not finished the second inning. In those four outings, he's fanned eight and walked 14 in 9.2 innings while allowing 16 runs on 13 hits. That's not good. As long as he's fully healthy there's just no reason to think, based on his season-long performance (5.00 ERA, 73/49 K/BB in 81 IP), and his recent work, that he's ever going to be a Major League starter. Instead, he should be ticketed for the AA bullpen to start 2014.
There were two stars in this one for the Gnats: RHP Luis Cessa and CF Brandon Nimmo.
Cessa's line: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K. He was every bit as good as that pitching line suggests. He did not allow a runner to second until the seventh inning. He ran four three-ball counts. He mostly worked off his fastball and changeup although he few a few solid breaking balls down in the zone. In recent outings, he had been sitting 92-93 and touching higher. I will confirm that he was working in that range on Monday. He threw his fastball up, he threw it down. He threw it in, he threw it out. Then he threw a few changups that had RiverDogs' hitters looking silly. He got a couple strikeouts with guys swinging over top of his curveball. Cessa, a former infielder who didn't hit much, converted to pitching for the 2011 season and is a lock to move up this off-season's rankings from his spot at #42 this past winter.
Top ProspectBrandon Nimmo had a hitless weekend, going 0-for-10 Friday-Sunday with seven strikeouts Saturday and Sunday, but he drew four walks Friday and one Saturday to get on base five times. The 20-year-old is now hitting .249/.367/.332 with an eye-popping 108 strikeouts in 80 games. The strikeouts have really become a problem in the second half: he fanned 48 times in 42 games in the first half, but 60 times (against 26 walks) as part of a .187/.323/.230 line in 38 games in the second half.
Ok, this is pretty bizarre. The official box score from Sunday's game shows Nimmo 0-for-5 with 4 K. The game video from Greenville clearly has him going 1-for-3 with a strikeout and two walks. The single was a liner into center. I do not have the slightest clue how that could happen.
Tags: Matt Koch, Savannah Sand Gnats, Toby Hyde
C Kevin Plawecki doubled and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as the two teams each scored two runs in their half of the final inning.
The 22-year-old Plawecki (.308/.408/.411 - 32 games in A+) was 1-for-3 with a walk.
Michael Fulmer: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP. The 20-year-old struggled with his command early, when I was listening to the game, leaving the bases loaded in the third and yielding a run in the fourth before retiring seven of the final eight batters he faced to finish his outing. At 6.1 innings, it was the first time he has pitched into the seventh inning in his four Florida State League starts.
st. Lucie picked up just one hit, a single by 3B Robbie Shields.
Matt Koch had a great Saturday night, but was three outs from perfect. Pitching the second game of the doubleheader, he retired the first 18 GreenJackets in a row. However, leading off the top of the seventh, on a full count fastball, Koch's first three-ball count all night, Augusta LF Rashawn Payne tripled up the left-centerfield gap on an elevated heater to halt Koch's effort at a perfect game. Koch then retired the next three batters in a row on a sac fly, a groundout and a fly out to face one over the minimum 21 for the seven inning game.
His reaction after recording the final out, and coming oh so close to a perfect game was classic. As the final out settled in third baseman Jeff Reynolds' glove, Koch walked off the mound towards catcher Albert Cordero and gave a big shrug with his hands skyward.
Tags: Matt Koch, Savannah Sand Gnats, Toby Hyde
This was a pretty quiet doubleheader for the BMets offense which collected eight hits over 14 innings. One of the hits in game two was a grand slam from 3B Richard Lucas, his 7th of the year. The 24-year-old is hitting .207/.268/.326 in 76 games for AA Binghamton this year.
Erik Goeddel (9-4, 3.99) again struggled with his control in game one: L, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 WP.
Game 1, Rainy Lara was fine: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. He's fanned 18% of his opponents in advanced-A, while walking 7% on his way to a 2.92 ERA. He gets his outs with his slider and has a chance to be a slider heavy middle reliever if he can tighten the pitch.
Game 2, Domingo Tapia was wild: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K. It's the third time in 17 starts this year that he has failed to finish the first inning with four walks. It's the second straight start in which he has not finished the second. He's up to 43 walks in 73.2 innings, a 13% walk rate. Major, major uh-ohs here.
C Kevin Plawecki took an 0-for-3, but at least he walked twice.
Oh, Domingo Tapia: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. That's now 39 walks in 73 innings, a walk rate of 12.4%.
The Binghamton Mets improved to 58-34 behind six shutout inning from RHP Erik Goeddel Sunday.
Goedel's (8-3, 3.94) line: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Goeddel is working on a 10% walk rate and a 22.6% strikeout rate for the year in AA Binghamton. I'm skeptical he will have the command to be a good starter, but he might well slot into a middle relief role.
Considering these two are scheduled for a double-header and 14 innings on Saturday, 15 innings was a bad start to the weekend for the bullpens as position players finished the game for both teams.
RF Cesar Puello?(.335/.397/.570 - 71 games): 4-for-7 with a walk, SB, CS
C Kevin Plawecki: 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI. The 22-year-old is now hitting .358/.403/.493 in 18 games in the FSL.
Matt Bowman: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. I wonder if he's getting tired. After walking 9 batters in his first 50 innings in the FSL, he's walked 11 in his last 18.2.
This Hickory team is amazing and unusual. At the plate, they are young, athletic and they lead the SAL in strikeouts and homeruns, by a lot.
Jake Kuebler allowed a runner to at least second base in every single one of his innings. He had little to keep Hickory off his fastball: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
Tags: Philip Evans, Savannah Sand Gnats, Toby Hyde
22-year-old Steven Matz on Saturday: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K. You want to know what it looks like when a pitching prospect starts to really get it? Maybe this. Matz' last two starts: 11.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 19 K. He's been throwing his fastball 92-96 mph to go along with a changeup at 83-86. I do not know how much he threw his slider on Saturday, but in his last start at home, he only threw the pitch four times. I'm a broken record on this, but he will need to throw the pitch more as he moves up. Matz has more than enough raw stuff to succeed in the big leagues someday. The most optimistic projection I have heard from a scout was a #2 level starter.
A 1-for-9 weekend, and a 2-for-18 in the first four games out of the All-Star Break have taken 20-year-old CF Brandon Nimmo to .285/.384/.391 in his 46 games in Savannah.
Tags: Savannah Sand Gnats, Steve Matz, Toby Hyde
Rehabbing CF Matt den Dekker was 1-for-5 and is now 4-for-20 (.200/.261/.200) over his five rehab games.
In his first at-bat at advanced-A, C Kevin Plawecki announced his arrival in nearly the best way possible: a three-run homerun. He finished 2-for-5 with 4 RBI. After the game, Plawecki told MiLB.com, "I'm glad to get my first one out of the way," Plawecki said. "I was pretty nervous, just anxious, trying to get a pitch I could drive. It just happened to go out.
Batting in front of Plawecki in the #5 hole, 1B Jayce Boyd was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Not suprisingly, Plawecki likes having Boyd, who is always on base batting before of him, "Jayce and I have been batting back-to-back all season, so it was nice to have him tonight," Plawecki said. "It's nice to have him in front of me."
RHP Gabriel Ynoa rolled through five innings. He allowed just three singles, did not allow a runner to third or a walk and fanned six. The Mets had Ynoa (pictured), who turned 20 at the end of May, on a 80-85 pitch count, and he was lifted after finishing five innings at 76 pitches. I was told there is "no way" he will throw in the SAL All-Star game, to which he was elected, on Tuesday in Lakewood. So, the Mets limited his workload. Why? Does this portend a promotion to St. Lucie in short order, or is the team just starting to manage his workload already? I was told by a scout that Ynoa was 92-95 and sitting 93-94 in his previous start, last Monday, but did not get velo on Sunday's outing. That increase in velocity from a year ago, combined with a slider and changeup will bring him a whole lot more attention by season's end. Ynoa's last six starts: 41.1 IP, 30 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 32 K. That's a 1.52 ERA and a .194 opponents' batting average (30 H/155 AB).
?1B Jayce Boyd finished up a ridiculous series against Greenville by going 2-for-2 with three walks. The 22-year-old has hit safely in his last eight games, but in the four games against the Drive, he reached base safely in 17 of 19 plate appearances as part of a 11-for-13 binge, with a triple, two homers and six walks to boost his season line to 361/.441/.494 in 65 games in the SAL. I would be shocked in Jayce Boyd did not fly directly from the SAL All-Star Game Tuesday to the Florida State League on Wednesday.
The Mets and the South won the FSL All-Star Game. Noah Syndergaard scooped up the win for a scoreless fourth inning in which he allowed a double, but nothing more. TJ Rivera was 0-for-5 at secondbase while LF Dustin Lawley was 3-for-4 with two runs scored while playing leftfield.
Minor league All-Star games are like their big league cousins, a fun exhibition. There's no sense in putting any special weight on the results of the game. Noah Syndergaard is one of the Mets' best young arms in the minors - like Top two once Zack Wheeler makes his MLB debut - but that status does not change based on one scoreless inning in the FSL All-Star Game.
The Mets scored the go-ahead run in the ninth when CF Gilbert Gomez walked and scored on T.J. Rivera's single into right field.
The most notable thing in this box score was ugly as Domingo Tapia walked five. His line: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. He induced four groundouts, but the bottom line is that he walked five of the 22 batters he faced. That's not good. Tapia has now walked 25 in 47.2 innings thus far and 12 in 15.1 since returning from his burned hand on May 24.
LF Dustin Lawley lifted a two-run homer, his 12th, in the top of the 10th inning to give St. Lucie the extra-inning win. The 24-year old Lawley is strong (33 XBH) but is hitting just .226/.288/.485 overall.
Alex Panteliodis was meh: 6.1 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR.