Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Mets [Print without images]

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Farm report II: Leaders, player notes

By Adam Rubin

Organization leaders

Average: T.J. Rivera, Savannah, .327; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, .314; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, .310; Eric Campbell, Binghamton, .304; Wilfredo Tovar, St. Lucie, .294; Jefry Marte, Binghamton, .293; Matt Tuiasosopo, Buffalo, .284; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, .284; Danny Muno, St. Luice, .283; Omar Quintanilla, Buffalo, .282.

Homers: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 12; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 11; Cory Vaughn, St. Lucie, 10; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 10; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 10.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 40; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 40; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 37; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 35; Matt Tuiasosopo, Buffalo, 31.

Steals: Alonzo Harris Jr., St. Lucie, 12; Luis Nieves, Savannah, 11; Wilfredo Tovar, St. Lucie, 11; Fred Lewis, Buffalo, 10; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 10.

ERA: Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 1.88; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 2.17; Angel Cuan, St. Lucie, 2.40; Rafael Montero, Savannah, 2.43; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 2.59; Tyler Pill, St. Lucie, 2.68; Chase Huchingson, St. Lucie, 3.02; Cory Mazzoni, St. Lucie, 3.09; Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 3.69; Mark Cohoon, Binghamton, 3.92.

Wins: Hamilton Bennett, St. Lucie, 5; Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 5; Chase Huchingson, St. Lucie, 5; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 5, Yohan Almonte, St. Lucie, 5.

Saves: Adrian Rosario, Binghamton, 12; Fernando Cabrera, Buffalo, 12; T.J. Chism, Savannah, 9; Adam Kolarek, St. Lucie, 8.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 61; Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 60; Garrett Olson, Buffalo, 57; Tyler Pill, Savannah, 56; Jack Leathersich, St. Lucie, 54.

Short hops

Zack Wheeler has won five straight starts with Double-A Binghamton. In his past two outings, the ex-Giants farmhand combined to limit New Britain and Reading to two runs and five hits while striking out 15 and walking two in 15 innings. “That’s probably the best-pitched game against us this year,” Reading manager Dusty Wathan told Mike Drago in the Reading Eagle. “Obviously he’s got an overpowering fastball, and he can command the ball to both sides of the plate. Tonight he threw the ball where he wanted to, and he did what he was supposed to do against us. You’ve gotta give him a lot of credit. … He looks like a big leaguer to me. For sure.”

• Right-hander Rob Whalen, drafted by the Mets in the 12th round Tuesday out of high school in Haines City, Fla., actually has serious Mets ties. His entire family hails from Queens and are big Mets fans. Whalen lived in Pennsylvania until moving south for high school to maximize his chance of becoming a professional ballplayer. Whalen won The Tom Seaver Most Outstanding Pitcher award as an 8-year-old at a Mets-sponsored camp at Long Neck, N.Y., and recalled playing catch with then-Mets reliever Scott Strickland during the event. (View visual proof here.)

Paul DePodesta offered high praise for Princeton right-hander Matt Bowman, the organization’s 13th-round pick, who had wowed team officials at a pre-draft Mets workout. “He has a Tim Lincecum delivery,” DePodesta said. “He’s also a position player for Princeton. He’s very athletic, a very good strike thrower. At our workout he actually was up to 95 mph, but pitching mainly 93-94 with plus life on his fastball. We like the athletic package and think he has some upside there when he concentrates on pitching full time. … He was a guy ever since he came to our workout that we’ve targeted. We were just trying to figure out the best time to call his name. He’s a guy we were pretty intent on taking somewhere.”

• Amateur scouting director Tommy Tanous watched Hawaii prep shortstop Branden Kaupe (fourth round) hit an inside-the-park homer while scouting one game. Tanous praised Kaupe’s speed and said he can play anywhere in the infield, including the left side because of a strong arm.

• The Mets have raided the University of Arkansas for four high-round selections the past two drafts. The Mets’ top two picks last year, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Fulmer, were Arkansas commitments. Tuesday the Mets drafted Razorbacks third baseman Matt Reynolds in the second round and grabbed Hogs commitment Teddy Stankiewicz, a high school right-hander from Fort Worth, with their other pick in that round. “We’re thinking about hiring their recruiting coordinator. We love their players,” DePodesta quipped, before adding: “Purely coincidence.”

• Reliever Jack Egbert officially was designated for assignment Tuesday by the Mets to clear a 40-man roster spot for Chris Young, forcing the Rutgers product to be exposed to waivers. Still, Terry Collins believes the organization has a valuable piece provided Egbert clears and is able to return to Triple-A Buffalo’s bullpen. “Two years ago, this guy, he almost made this team,” Collins said about Egbert, who hails from Rutherford, N.J. “Then he hurt his elbow. I’m very impressed with his sinker. His arm strength is continuing to get better [post 2009 Tommy John surgery]. And Wally [Backman] told me, he said, ‘Look, this guy can get groundballs.’ I know we didn’t use him very much, but there’s a good chance he’s going to be back.”

• Right-hander Brandon Moore, who returned from a 50-game suspension resulting from being flagged for a “drug of abuse,” has settled into Binghamton’s bullpen after working as a starter pre-ban. Likely rusty, Moore has walked five, hit a batter and thrown a wild pitch while being charged with four runs in two appearances spanning 1 1/3 innings. He has a sharp slider and quality sinker when on. There is no room for Moore at this point in the B-Mets’ rotation, which already has six members. Fellow right-hander Scott Moviel, who also returned from a 50-game suspension, remains in extended spring training. Catcher Dock Doyle, the third player to receive that ban late last year, has been released, a team official said. Doyle was a fifth-round pick in 2008 from Coastal Carolina.

• Savannah third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez had gaudy offensive statistics in May. Rodriguez, 20, hit .315 with five homers and 20 RBIs for the month while making significant strides with his plate discipline. He had a .406 on-base percentage.

• Right-hander Tyler Pill, a fourth-round pick last June from Cal State Fullerton, had a VIP in attendance for his Florida State League debut on Tuesday night. Injured Justin Turner, who played earlier at Fullerton with Pill’s brother Brett, watched from a luxury box at Digital Domain Park. Pill, who had a 2.61 ERA with low-A Savannah before the promotion, allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings against Clearwater. His fastball sits at 90-92 mph. He also throws a curveball, slider and changeup. Brett Pill is hitting .208 as a first baseman and left fielder for the San Francisco Giants.

• St. Lucie, which clinched the FSL’s South Division first-half title Saturday, currently is 45-13. Among league leaders, Angel Cuan ranks second in ERA at 2.40, while Chase Huchingson ranks 10th at 3.02. Cory Vaughn and Wilmer Flores’ 10 homers apiece are tied for the league lead. Flores’ 104 total bases rank fourth.

One of the few downsides for the FSL club: St. Lucie’s outfield has taken on a different look of late. Darrell Ceciliani, the former New York-Penn League batting champ, has landed on the DL for a third time this season and was sent to New York to see team doctors about a balky hamstring. Rafael Fernandez, meanwhile, is dealing with a groin injury.

Chris Schwinden, lost by the Mets via waivers, made his Blue Jays organization debut Sunday with Triple-A Las Vegas. He allowed eight runs (seven earned) in three innings, including a three-run homer to ex-Met Mike Jacobs.

• The 21 runs allowed by Buffalo on Tuesday night at Columbus were the most by the Bisons since they surrendered 22 in 1987 as an Indians affiliate. Starter Dylan Owen was charged with 13 earned runs.

• Binghamton had a crazy game that began Sunday and still is not done. The game started three days ago and was suspended by rain. It continued Monday with stoppages before being suspended again. The game will be completed at Akron on June 19, with the B-Mets continuing as the home team.

Manny Acosta reported to Buffalo on Sunday, but has yet to see action in a game. Acosta, who cleared waivers, had not thrown for six days before arriving, so he needs a few bullpen sessions to get back into game shape.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the regular season