#29 ? C Juan Centeno
#29 ? C Juan Centeno
Tovar, who turned 22 in August, is a very gifted defender. He's a little dude, listed at 5'10, 160lbs, with outstanding body control. His reactions are quick and movements agile while his hands are fluid and arm strong enough to make plays from the hole. He's really, really fun to watch defensively. The errors I saw him make in a-ball were mostly of focus, where he kicked an easy play when he lost focus rather than anything he couldn't do.
Sure enough, his error totals, admittedly, a wildly imprecise metric for defense, have declined on an annual basis from 17 in 94 games in Savannah in 2011, to 18 in 118 games in A+/AA in 2012 to just nine in 128 games in 2013 in Binghamton. On a rate basis, that's one error every 5.5 games in 2011, every 6.6 games in 2012 and one every 14.2 games in 2013.
Wait, wait, wait. SS Wilfredo Tovar (.262/.318/.343 - 111 games) had two home runs in this game. How surprising is this? Very. The 5'10", 160 lber, had two home runs in his first 110 games with Binghamton this year. He had one in 122 games last year. He had two in Savannah in 131 games in 2011. He did not homer in 92 games across three levels in 2010. His offensive game is all about contact with a little bit of plate discipline. Since April 20, when his OPS bottomed out at .378, he's hit .279/.333/.370 in 96 games in AA with 23 walks against 36 strikeouts in 351 PA. That's a 6.5% walk rate and a 10.3% strikeout rate. In the field, Tovar, who turns 22 in three days, is probably the best defensive shortstop in the system. He's not straight-line fast, but he possesses outstanding body control, plenty of arm and a quick release.
He's going to play in the big leagues. The question remains whether he will hit enough to play everyday in the big leagues. As a group, MLB shortstops have hit .255/.307/.372 this year with a 6.5% walk rate and a 16.5% strikeout rate. He's already on the Mets' 40-man roster,??and will likely make his MLB debut at some point in 2014 with timing depending on injuries and performance in front of him (by Ruben Tejada, who turns 23 in October, and perhaps Omar Quintanilla). Mets shortstops have hit .218/.292/.281 this year with a 71 sOPS+ (29% below MLB average for the position), or 29th in the big leagues.
Rehabber:Travis d'Arnaud was 1-for-5 with a walk and two strikeouts and a throwing error on an attempted base stealer. The 24-year-old is 1-for-9 with a walk and three whiffs in his two rehab games in AA.
SS Wilfredo Tovar was 2-for-5 with an RBI to lift his season batting line to .265/.322/.333 with 23 walks against 41 strikeouts in 106 games. A slick defender, his offensive game is all about contact and BABIP.
Height/Weight:? 6?4?, 240 lbs
Tovar, who turns 21 on August 10 was 1-for-3 with a double, two walks and two RBI. He finished 2012 in the FSL at .284/.377/.385 with 19 extra-base hits, 29 walks and 17 strikeouts. He had the second-lowest strikeout rate (1 every 15.06 PA) in the FSL behind only 24-year old Mike O'Neill of Palm Beach. Oh, and he plays sweet shortstop defense.
St. Lucie turned a good pitching matchup of 2011 draftees Taylor Jungmann and Cory Mazzoni into a blowout late with nine runs in the final two innings against the Manatees' bullpen. The bottom of the order did much of the damage.
Once again, SS Wilfredo Tovar was 2-for-4 with a walk to push his line to .290/.356/.411 in 31 games. The tiny 20-year old has walked nine times and struck out just 10 times, making him the fifth-toughest player to strikeout in the Florida State League and gone 5-for-5 stealing bases.
The FSL Mets erased a 6-0 deficit and won it in the bottom of the ninth when DH Danny Muno doubled home SS Wilfredo Tovar who had singled to start the inning. The 20-year old Tovar was 2-for-3 with a walk and a double, his fifth of the year to push his season line to .347/.418/.449.
Mets hitting coordinator Lamar Johnson recently praised Tovar as one of the St. Lucie Mets who had taken the biggest strides in the last year, "He's starting to come along and do some of the things that we want him to do with the bat," Johnson said, "I liked what I saw when I was down in Port St. Lucie with him. It's all about the approach." Tovar has walked four times and fanned just three in 15 games. He's currently the toughest hitter in the FSL to strikeout with one whiff every 18.67 PA. The second-toughest hitter to strike out in the FSL? Wilmer Flores (.320/.356/.460 - 15 G), who was 1-for-4 with a double and three RBI Sunday.
A+Perhaps the Mets prospect who engenders the most passionate reactions, rightly or wrongly, is 20-year old shortstop Wilmer Flores, who manned the position for 129 of St. Lucie's 140 games in 2011. Flores hit a superficially unimpressive .269/.309/.380 in 133 games. The most impressive thing he did make contact: he fanned in just 12.2% of his at-bats. That was fifth in the Florida State League among all qualified batters. Also, he was the 11th youngest player in all of advanced-A at 19.92 years. That's the good stuff.
On the downside, his walk rate of 4.8% was the 9th-lowest in the FSL. His isolated slugging percentage was just .110 and his extra-base hit rate declined slightly from 8.4% overall in 2010 to 6.6% in 2011. Bottom line offensively: he can make contact, but he must develop his secondary skills - the ability to draw walks and hit for power.
SS Wilfredo Tovar, who was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, put together his sixth-straight multi-hit game to run his hitting streak to seven straight overall. Tovar, who turned 20 in the second week of August is up to .255/.322/.319 for the year and .276/.356/.347 in the second half. ?His 21 doubles are a new career-high.
Don't blame this one on Taylor Whitenton: 6 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. ?The Gnats committed four errors behind him, leading directly to the three runs he allowed. ?He's now leading the SAL in ERA (2.55) and opponents' batting average (.186).
SS Wilfredo Tovar: 2-4, 2B, BB, R. ?Recently 20, the defensive whiz is hitting .301/.384/.397 in 19 games in August and .242/.311/.300 for the year. ?He's become more selective as the year has gone on with 11 and 10 walks in July and August respectively, his only two months in double-figures this year.
- RF Rafael Fernandez drove home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh after the Tourists had tied the game at 2-2 with two runs off reliever Michael Hebert in the top of the inning. ?Fernandez poked an elevated 3-1 fastball the other way into left-center.
- SS Wilfredo Tovar reached base three times, doubling, walking and getting plunked. ?The little guy is up to .304/.393/.370 in 13 games in August which nearly matches his .319/.376/.385 June. ?The 19-year old's defense will keep him employed for a long time, but if he can get on base 38% of the time he's a big leaguer. ? ?His alert baserunning, tagging from second and going to third, helped produce a first inning run.
SS Wilfredo Tovar is on fire. ?The little guy was 3-5 with a double and a triple, two runs scored and two RBI. ?He laced an RBI triple over the head of the Rome rightfielder in the sixth to tie the game at 4-4 and then doubled home the tying run again at 5-5 with a liner down the left field line. ?Just 19, he's hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games going 20-48 (.417) with four doubles, a triple, three walks, two strikeouts and four RBI.? He had been batting ninth, but moved to second, Robbie Shields' old spot in the order on Wednesday.
The Gnats broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the eighth inning. ?The go-ahead run scored on a throwing error on the Braves' starter, and then Rafael Fernandez gave the Gnats a comfortable cushion by crushing triple into the right field gap.
Wilfredo Tovar was 1-2 with a walk ?and an RBI double to run his hitting streak to 11 games. ?In those 11 games, Tovar is hitting .432 (16-for-37) with three doubles. ?I don't know where the line drives were earlier this year, when he was popping everything up, but Tovar is squaring up more balls than he's missing right now, and showing much more plate discipline. ?Impressively, he's struck out just once in his 11-game hitting streak.
Nice night for the Gnats as every hitter in the lineup reached base safely, seven of nine had hits, and Greg Peavey kept on rolling. ?Savannah stayed 3.5 games ahead of Greenville, who won in extra innings, with nine games to play in the first half.
It was mostly about fastball command for Peavey who got stronger as the game went on and retired the final ten batters to face him. ?To my eyes, his slider was his most effective secondary pitch, although he threw both his curve and his changeup, including a couple good ones, as well. ?His line: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 7/2 go/ao. ?Since May 1: 48 IP, 39 H, 4 BB, 40 K. ?Dude's ready for the next level.
The St. Lucie offense was limited to five hits, and only got one?base-runner?past second-base all game. ?Juan Lagares collected two hits to raise his season totals to .329/.373/.482.
Armando Rodriguez was solid (4 IP, 3h, 2r, 1er, bb, 2k- 6GB), but took the loss for St. Lucie.
On the good news front, CF?Matt den Dekker (pictured) stayed red-hot going 3-5 with a pair of doubles. ?The 23-year old Den Dekker now owns a 10-game hitting streak over which time he's hitting .465/.477/.744 with eight doubles and two triples. ?A strong defensive CF, den Dekker is now hitting a batting average fueled .351/.383/.532 with three walks against 16 strikeouts in 18 games for St. Lucie. ?Surely, he'll see AA this summer, but before he did so, it would be a nice idea to learn to walk more than once a week.
At the big league level, with the team exercising Jose Reyes' $11 million option for 2011, and both sides expressing at least some interest in a longterm deal, the Mets have no immediate need as long as Reyes is healthy.? Given that he played 133 games in 2010 and will still be just 27 on Opening Day 2011, his risk level shouldn't be much higher than other shortstops of similar age.
Shortstop is the most demanding position defensively, so taking into account defense only, most of the guys playing the position in the minor leagues could not play everyday in the big leagues.? The same might not be true of say, centerfielders, right fielders or first basemen.
The Brooklyn Cyclones force a decisive game 3, as a Jamestown wild pitch allowed ZeErika McQueen (pictured, courtesy of brooklyncyclones.com) to score the game winning run in the bottom of the 12th.? The win puts the Cyclones one win away from the NYPL Championship series.?
Angel Cuan pitched?seven?solid innings, giving up?four hits,?three runs, walking three, and striking out five.? Cuan left the game up to the bullpen to hold a 6-3 lead, but?Jamestown pounced on Johan Figuereo (1/3 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 er) in the top of the eighth, scoring four times to take a 7-6 lead.? The Cyclones fought back in the bottom of the inning, with a two-out rally.? Darrell Ceciliani (2-3, 2 runs, 3 bb, 2 SB) walked, moved to second on a wild pitch, then scored on a J.B. Brown?(2-5, 2 RBI) infield single.? According to Josh Mevorach?(brooklyncyclones.com),?Brooklyn manager, Wally Backman took a chance in sending Ceciliani home, as the shortstop fielded the ball in short left-field but stumbled, giving Backman a small window to send the runner home.? The ball would beat Ceciliani home, but a wide slide allowed him to get his hand in safely to score the tying run.? Ceciliani would wreak havoc all night, reaching base safely five times, scoring two runs, and stealing two bases.?
The Brooklyn (45-22) offense racked up 14 singles in the 6-1 victory over Connecticut.? J.B. Brown (2-5, RBI), Cory Vaughn (2-5), Joe Bonfe (2-4), William Cherry (2-5, RBI), Blake Forsythe (2-4, RBI), and Wilfredo Tovar (3-4, RBI) all had multi-hit games for the Cyclones.? Jonathan Kountis picked up his first win of the season: (5 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 0 er, 3 bb, 5 K).
William Cherry (2-4, HR, 2RBI) hit a 2-run homerun to cap a 3-run fifth, to lead the Brooklyn Cyclones (41-21) to a 7-4 victory over Aberdeen.?The victory gives the Cyclones a league leading (23-6) home record, and opens up a 10 game lead in the McNamara Division.
?The Ironbirds jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, and knocked out Cyclones starter Jonathan Kountis (1/3 IP, 1h, 3 er, 4 bb) after recording only one out.? Kountis faced six hitters on the night: walk, double, walk, pop out, walk, walk.? To say that's a rough outing is an understatement.? Nelson Pereira?picked up?the win?in relief, as he held the Ironbirds scoreless over the next 3 2/3 innings (2 hits, 3bb, 4K).?Wes Wrenn was also solid in relief (4 IP, 1 hit, 1 er, 1 bb, 2 k), and ?Ryan Fraser (1bb, 2K) pitched a scoreless ninth for his team leading 11th save.
Wilfredo Tovar (2-5, 2SB, 2RBI) singled in two runs in the 7th inning, to lead the Brooklyn Cyclones (39-20) to a 7-6 victory over the Staten Island Yankees.? The Cyclones opened the game with a four-run 1st, highlighted by a J.B. Brown (1-4, HR, 3RBI) 3-run homerun. ??Staten Island then rallied in a 5-run 3rd inning, off of Brooklyn starter A.J. Pinera (4 1/3 IP, 7h, 5r, 3er, 2bb, 3K) to take a 5-4 lead. ?? Darrell Ceciliani (1-4, 2 runs, 2B, SB (19)), Joe Bonfe (2-5, 2RBI), and James Scroeder (2-4, run) helped the Cyclones attack.? Wes Wrenn (2 2/3 IP, 1h, 0r, 1bb, 2K) picked up the win in relief of Pinera, and Ryan Fraser (2/3 IP, K) notched his 10th save.
Notes: Cory Vaughn did not play for the second consecutive game.? I do not have any further information concerning Vaughn.? Also, C Juan Centeno was forced to leave the game after a 1st inning triple, and was replaced by Blake Forsythe.
The Brooklyn Cyclones (38-20) offense scored their only run in the 1st inning, then were stymied the rest of the way by Staten Island pitching.? The loss brings Brooklyn's home record to 22-6.? The Cyclones wasted a terrific effort from starter Jonathan Kountis.? In his first start of the season, Kountis pitched 5 shutout innings, giving up only 2 hits, while walking 4, and striking out 9.? Adam Koralek (2 IP, 2h, 2er, 0BB, 2K, HR) took the loss, giving up 2 runs in the 7th inning.
Playing in his first game for the Cyclones, Wilfredo Tovar (2-4, SB) scored the lone Brooklyn run after Jeff Flagg doubled him home in the first. The Cyclones offense was limited to only 5 hits, including 4 singles.
- Thursday, Juan Lagares was placed on the St. Lucie DL with a right ankle fracture.
- Also, in Savannah, 2B Alonzo Harris was placed on the DL with a right groin strain.
Today, I'll take a look at a few of my misses, guys who were in the system last winter, who have over-performed my expectations for them and generated some buzz this season.? We'll start with the hitters.? Pitchers should run tomorrow.
Feel free to use the comments section to tell me who I missed.? Remember, I'm not including 2010 draftees yet.
Have a day, Rafael Fernandez. The 21-year old OF (pictured) was 4-5 with a double, two home runs and three RBI.? The two homers matched his entire longball output with Savannah in 45 games.? In 57 games between the two a-ball levels, Fernandez is hitting .276/.323/.406 with 15 walks and 63 strikeouts.
SS Wilmer Flores (.376/.391/.471) followed up his 15-game hitting streak with his second straight 0-5.? Combining his work with Savannah with his time in St. Lucie, he's sitting at .301/.353/.442 overall at age 18.
This suspended game rule is dumb.? The two teams made it through 4.5 with the home team leading.? Let them call it a St. Lucie win and move on.
Carlos Beltran was 1-2 with a double out in CF.