Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Farm report II: Leaders, player notes
By Adam Rubin
Average: Matt den Dekker, Buffalo, .339; T.J. Rivera, Savannah, .323; Eric Campbell, Binghamton, .321; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, .304; Jefry Marte, Binghamton, .296; Josh Rodriguez, Buffalo, .291; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, .289; Wilfredo Tovar, St. Luice, .286; Brian Harrison, Savannah, .282; Josh Satin, Buffalo, .279.
Homers: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 12; Cory Vaughn, St. Lucie, 12; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 11; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 10; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 10.
RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 41; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 40; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 40; Travis Taijeron, Savannah, 39; Jefry Marte, Binghamton, 33.
Steals: Alonzo Harris Jr., St. Lucie, 12; Wilfredo Tovar, St. Lucie, 12; Fred Lewis, Buffalo, 11; Luis Nieves, St. Lucie, 11; Pedro Zapata, Binghamton, 11.
ERA: Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 1.66; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 2.48; Rafael Montero, Savannah, 2.48; Angel Cuan, St. Lucie, 2.50; Chase Huchingson, St. Lucie, 2.83; Tyler Pill, St. Lucie, 3.03; Cory Mazzoni, St. Lucie, 3.25; Yohan Almonte, St. Lucie, 3.69; Gonzalez Germen, Binghamton, 3.86; Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 3.88.
Wins: Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 6; Hamilton Bennett, St. Lucie, 6; Yohan Almonte, St. Lucie, 6.
Saves: Fernando Cabrera, Buffalo, 15; Adrian Rosario, Binghamton, 13; T.J. Chism, Savannah, 10; Adam Kolarek, St. Lucie, 10.
Strikeouts: Zack Wheeler, Binghamton, 67; Matt Harvey, Buffalo, 64; Garrett Olson, Buffalo, 63; Jeurys Familia, Buffalo, 60.
• The Brooklyn Cyclones open play Monday against Staten Island, with Kingsport beginning its schedule the following day. Farmhands generally will break camp from Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Friday -- with high school prospects more likely to head to the Appalachian League and the college players to Coney Island.
First-round pick Gavin Cecchini, a prep shortstop from Louisiana, will play for manager Jose Leger with the K-Mets. 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo has been expected to be sent to Brooklyn, while 2009 top pick Steven Matz was expected to end up in Kingsport.
• The Mets on Tuesday confirmed the signing of their second overall selection, Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki (35th overall).
Other draftees already signed and working out in Port St. Lucie: right-hander Matt Koch (third round, Louisville), right-hander Brandon Welch (fifth, Palm Beach State), second baseman Richie Rodriguez (ninth, Eastern Kentucky), right-hander Paul Sewald (10th, San Diego), right-hander Matt Bowman (13th, Princeton), catcher Stefan Sabol (17th, Orange Coast Community College) and right-hander Tyler Vanderheiden (19th, Samford).
• After making seven starts across three levels of the minors, Jenrry Mejia is scheduled to make his bullpen debut with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday or Friday. The script calls for Mejia to face different types of situations -- mid-inning, back-to-back days -- over a two-week span. After that, Mejia could find himself in the major league bullpen.
• Observers continue to express concern about the lack of development of a changeup with 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey. In his most recent outing, Friday at Columbus with a bevy of scouts on hand, Harvey opened the first inning by throwing a changeup. He then served up a homer to former Mets farmhand Ezequiel Carrera later in the at-bat on that pitch. Afterward, Harvey threw the changeup only once or twice more the remainder of his 90-pitch, four-inning outing.
• Pedro Beato, who entered Tuesday having retired 17 straight batters in Triple-A, saw that streak end but nonetheless continued his dominance at Buffalo. Beato surrendered a hit but faced the minimum while recording five outs, three via strikeout. He has not allowed a run in his past 12 1/3 innings spanning seven games. Beato did not appear in a major league game during a cameo with the Mets last week. He was demoted to clear room for the return of Chris Young from paternity leave.
• Shortstop Sean Kazmar, who drew rave reviews for his glove while at Binghamton, has struggled significantly both in the field and at the plate since a promotion to Buffalo that coincided with Omar Quintanilla’s rise to the majors. Kazmar, who appeared in 19 games for the San Diego Padres in 2008, opened his stint with Buffalo hitless in his first 13 at-bats. He picked up his first two RBIs with the Bisons on Tuesday, but is hitting 4-for-29 (.138) with 10 strikeouts in Triple-A. Kazmar also has committed five errors in 11 games.
• Binghamton third baseman Jefry Marte left Saturday’s game with a bruised hand, below the pinkie, after a scorching groundball hit the lip of the infield and bounced toward his face. Joe Bonfe manned the hot corner Sunday. The B-Mets had Monday off and were rained out Tuesday. Marte should be back in the lineup when Binghamton resumes play.
• Perhaps with an eye toward moving St. Lucie’s Wilmer Flores to Double-A, where Marte has occupied third base, Flores has started at second base the past three games in the Florida State League. Originally a shortstop, Flores has played second and third base in winter ball in his native Venezuela.
• A scout who recently watched Binghamton said there were three definite major leaguers on the Double-A team -- prized pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, Matt den Dekker (who just was promoted to Buffalo) and right-hander Collin McHugh. McHugh (5-4, 2.48 ERA) was described as a “Dillon Gee type.” Said the scout: “He’s going to pitch in the big leagues. For sure.”
Wheeler took advantage of free-swinging Reading and Harrisburg teams to continue his Double-A dominance this week. Wheeler has won his past six starts and has not allowed more than two runs in any of his 10 Eastern League outings. Next up for Wheeler: A Thursday morning matchup with Phillies top prospect Travis May.
• Josh Satin, Manny Acosta and Jack Egbert -- all of whom cleared waivers after being removed from the 40-man roster -- have rejoined Buffalo.
• Sure-handed St. Lucie shortstop Wilfredo Tovar remains in the Florida State League, although Terry Collins recently indicated a promotion to Binghamton is imminent. Perhaps Tovar will move after Saturday’s Florida State League All-Star Game at Charlotte Sports Park. Tovar was one of seven St. Lucie selections. The others: right-hander Cory Mazzoni, left-handers Adam Kolarek and Chase Huchingson, catcher Blake Forsythe, Flores and outfielder Cory Vaughn.
• Bisons manager Wally Backman indicated on the team’s postgame show Monday that Jeurys Familia was tipping pitches in a five-run fifth inning against a veteran Norfolk team.
• Savannah right-hander Logan Verrett, a third-round pick out of Baylor last June, carried a no-hit bid through 5 1/3 innings in his first game since April 17. Verrett had been on the disabled list with a shoulder impingement.
• South Atlantic League All-Star selection Travis Taijeron will represent Savannah in the Home Run Derby. The first round will be held Monday morning on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown. The carrier is stationed in Charleston, S.C. Savannah’s T.J. Rivera and T.J. Chism also will play in the All-Star Game.
• 2008 eighth-round pick Eric Campbell, whose career looked on the ropes early last season, is enjoying a revival in his third season with Binghamton. Campbell, a Boston College product, had a two-homer, five-RBI game Saturday. He is hitting .321 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 137 at-bats while primarily manning first base in Allan Dykstra’s absence. Campbell’s .437 on-base percentage leads the Eastern League.
• Ex-Mets outfielder Jeff Duncan, who has not been in pro baseball since 2008, is eyeing a comeback in the Atlantic League, but has yet to sign with a club. Duncan, now 33, appeared with the Mets in '03 and '04.
• RIP Warner Fusselle, who served as Brooklyn’s radio broadcaster since the team’s inception in 2001. Fusselle, 68, died Sunday of an apparent heart attack.
Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the regular season