New York Mets: Brahiam Maldonado

Around the minors 4.22.12

April, 22, 2012
Two of the International League's closest rivals split a twinbill as Buffalo took the first game on the strength of a three-hit performance from Omar Quintanilla, then Corey Brown's fourth-inning homer accounted for the only scoring in the nightcap. In both games, the Bisons got solid starting pitching. Jeurys Familia (2-1) earned his second Triple-A win with eight strikeouts in five innings in the opener. In Game 2, Chris Schwinden (2-2) was the hard-luck loser with the team's first complete game of the season. Schwinden allowed one run on three hits and no walks. In the opener, Zach Lutz hit a no-doubt two-run homer to give the Herd a second-inning lead. Josh Satin singled home Jordany Valdespin in the third for a 3-1 advantage. Quintanilla's third hit of the game was a bases-loaded double in the sixth. The lone damage against Familia came on Bryce Harper's first Triple-A homer. Jack Egbert was also solid on the mound, pitching two scoreless innings in relief of Familia. The Bisons had just three hits in Game 2, two by Matt Tuiasosopo, but had their chances to score. Buffalo put the first two men on base in the fifth inning, but Vinny Rottino was thrown out at third on a double steal. Raul Reyes walked to lead off the sixth and reached third base with one out. Chiefs starter Tanner Roark then retired Satin and Lutz to escape that jam. In the seventh, Rottino walked and Tuiasosopo singled to lead off the frame. But a failed bunt attempt by Lucas May and a double play off the bat of Quintanilla ended the contest. Still, combined with the Bisons' win on Friday night, the club picked up its first series win of 2012. Now at 9-9, the Herd will travel to Lehigh Valley for Monday's start to a three-game series. Game 1, Game 2

BINGHAMTON 7, PORTLAND 2: Rylan Sandoval had four RBIs and Collin McHugh fired six strong innings as Binghamton swept the four-game series. It marked the third time in the series and fifth time in the last eight games the B-Mets have collected 10 or more hits. Juan Lagares started the onslaught in the second with a single off Portland starter Brock Huntzinger. Juan Centeno added a single and Joe Bonfe walked to load the bases. Sandoval then doubled off the right-center fence. The hit cleared the bases and gave Binghamton a 3-0 lead. Matt den Dekker doubled Sandoval home. From there, McHugh cruised to his third straight victory, tying him for the Eastern League lead. He racked up six strikeouts for the third straight game and allowed one unearned run on two hits. After putting up four scoreless innings, Portland finally scratched out a run in the fifth. Ronald Bermudez reached on a throwing error by Oswaldo Navarro at third. He moved to second on a wild pitch and scored two batters later when Jeremy Hazelbaker dumped a ball into left field. McHugh escaped the inning with no further damage and posted a perfect sixth to cap his day. The B-Mets added to their lead in the fourth. Pedro Zapata bunted his way aboard and stole second. After gaining third on a wild pitch, he scored when Sandoval tripled -- his second three-bagger as a B-Met. Den Dekker made it 6-1 with a sacrifice fly. Huntzinger was pulled after surrendering a single to Josh Rodriguez. Binghamton plated its final run on an RBI single by Rodriguez in the sixth. He became the first B-Met to collect four hits in a game since Brahiam Maldonado in August 2011. Armando Rodriguez took the mound and worked around a leadoff single to post a scoreless seventh. He then needed 12 pitches to work a perfect eighth. Edgar Ramirez surrendered a run in the ninth before retiring Hazelbaker on a groundout to first to end the game. The B-Mets (9-7) enjoy an off day on Monday before kicking off a three-game series against New Hampshire on Tuesday at NYSEG Stadium. Zack Wheeler takes the ball for Binghamton. Box

ST. LUCIE 9, FORT MYERS 8: Danny Muno's double scored Wilfredo Tovar in the bottom of the ninth for a walk-off win. St. Lucie overcame a 6-0 deficit. Muno had a two-run homer in a five-run fifth that pulled the Mets within a run. Robbie Shields and Muno had three hits apiece, while Tovar scored three times. Box

HICKORY 1, SAVANNAH 0 (5 innings): Hickory won in a game that was called after five innings due to wet grounds at Historic Grayson Stadium. The Crawdads (12-5) swept the four-game series from the Gnats (10-8). Savannah is off on Monday. It begins a seven-game road trip in Charleston, W.Va., Tuesday. The Crawdads scored the game’s only run in the third. With one out, Chris Grayson doubled. Ensuing batter Hanser Alberto lined a ball up the middle. Gnats pitcher Michael Fulmer snared the liner on a fly and threw to second base to attempt to complete a double play. However, second base was unoccupied, and the throw went into center field. Grayson headed to third, and scored when center fielder Tillman Pugh’s throw to third bounced away from Savannah third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez and went out of play. Fulmer worked one 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, but took his second loss of 2012 despite allowing only the unearned run. Box

Compiled from team reports

Farm report: Lagares a hit in outfield

August, 17, 2011
Binghamton Mets manager Wally Backman joined the organization last year, after Juan Lagares already had moved from shortstop to outfield. And Backman said it is undetectable that Lagares really is a relative novice experience-wise in the new position.

Courtesy of New York Mets
Juan Lagares

“I couldn’t tell a bit,” Backman said. “He can play in the outfield in the big leagues. I mean, defensively his skills are good enough to play in the big leagues.

“He’s a 22-year-old kid who can play all three outfield positions. He’s got speed. He’s a good outfielder. He throws to the right bases. And he can swing the bat a little bit.”

Lagares was leading the Florida State League in batting with a .339 average when he was promoted to the Double-A B-Mets on July 23. In 20 Eastern League games, he is hitting .414 with two homers and 15 RBIs.

One scout who recently watched Lagares compared him body-type-wise to Raul Mondesi.

“Compact,” the scout said. “Short, hitter’s legs.”

Backman said there’s a smoothness to Lagares at the plate.

“He has a very ‘quiet’ approach,” the manager said. “He has a knack for getting the barrel on the ball. He looks like he’s a real good hitter. I mean, if you just watch him, you say, ‘This kid is going to be able to hit.’ He’s got a lot of infield hits, which is why he’s up to .400 right now. But so be it. He’s driven in some big runs. My impression of him, having him for a couple of weeks, is I like him. I like what I’ve seen so far.”

Signed in 2006 out of the Dominican Republic, Lagares committed 40 errors in 82 games at shortstop the following season with Savannah, and had a .911 fielding percentage.

“My first year it’s a lot of errors,” Lagares said. “After that, I felt good.”

Still, in 2009, the organization moved him to the outfield, where he has shown an aptitude. Lagares said line drives were initially challenging, but the transition was relatively smooth.

“In the beginning, it was not that easy,” Lagares said. “But with time I learned how to play outfield comfortably.”

Injuries really have slowed Lagares more than anything in his career. He suffered a broken right ankle on July 28, 2010 while playing for St. Lucie, but did not require surgery. Lagares actually played two weeks in pain after initially getting hurt holding up at third base on a teammate’s hit. He eventually had to be shut down after he ran in pain to first base on a strikeout that eluded the catcher.

The previous season, Lagares was limited to 47 games by a wrist injury. In 2008, the start to his season was delayed by an arm issue.

A team official recently said Lagares’ 2010 ankle issue might not be completely healed yet and might be suppressing his steal totals -- 10 this season between the two levels, compared with 25 a year ago before being shut down.

But, Lagares said: “It’s over. I feel 100 percent.”

Organization leaders

Average: Juan Lagares, Binghamton, .355; Danny Muno, Brooklyn, .341; Josh Satin, Buffalo, .331; Greg Pron, Kingsport, .328; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .320; Dustin Lawley, Kingsport, .317; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .312; Richard Lucas, Brooklyn, .309; Travis Taijeron, Brooklyn, .303; Cam Maron, Kingsport, .302.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 22; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 18; Jordany Valdespin, Buffalo, 15; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 15; Stefan Welch, St. Lucie, 15.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 82; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 75; Josh Satin, Buffalo, 72; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 68; Juan Lagares, Binghamton, 64.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Buffalo, 33; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 30; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 21; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 19; Rafael Fernandez, Savannah, 17.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 2.27; Todd Weldon, Brooklyn, 2.56; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 2.81; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.97; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 3.08; Gabriel Ynoa, GCL Mets, 3.13; Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 3.36; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 3.37; Marcos Camarena, Brooklyn, 3.40; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 3.43.

Wins: Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 11; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 11; Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 11; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 10; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 9.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 24; Dale Thayer, Buffalo, 16; Hamilton Bennett, Savannah, 12; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 146; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 125; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 118; Collin McHugh, Binghamton, 114; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 113.

Short hops

• Oft-injured outfielder Fernando Martinez landed on the disabled Tuesday with Triple-A Buffalo with a left wrist strain. It is the third time Martinez has landed on the disabled list this season. He also had stints for a left hip flexor strain (July 16-30) and right hamstring strain (April 13-23). Scouts say the 22-year-old Martinez typically labors when running, the result of an arthritic knee and other nagging ailments. Martinez does have a minor league option remaining, meaning he can be sent to Buffalo again in 2012 without being exposed to waivers provided the organization decides to keep him on the 40-man roster and he does not make the Opening Day roster.

• Binghamton will play at Fenway Park at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday against Portland, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. It is part of a Sox affiliate doubleheader in which Triple-A Pawtucket and Syracuse also meet. Right-hander Collin McHugh starts at the classic ballpark for the B-Mets opposite Portland knuckleballer Charlie Haeger, who has appeared in 34 major league games (10 starts). Haeger’s MLB experience includes an April 27, 2010 start for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Mets at Citi Field, during which Haeger allowed five runs in four innings.

• The Mets signed Odessa, Texas, prep shortstop/wide receiver Bradley Marquez -- their 16th-round pick -- for a reported $325,000 … and with a catch. Marquez also will play college football at Texas Tech. Mets VP Paul DePodesta explains: “He’ll play football this fall and then report to us when the school year is over. And he’ll likely play football again in the fall of 2012. After that it’s a little more fluid in terms of how much time he spends with us versus football.”

• Through one week in Triple-A, middle infielder Jordany Valdespin is hitting .179 (5-for-28) with one RBI, two caught stealings and three errors. He has started five games at shortstop and two games at second base. Valdespin is 1-for-his-last-18.

• In his last 10 games, Buffalo reliever John Lujan is 2-1 with a save and 0.73 ERA. He has tossed 10 2/3 straight scoreless innings.

• Brooklyn’s representatives in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game on Tuesday in Lowell, Mass., came out on the winning side as the National League beat the American League, 7-3. Cyclones shortstop Danny Muno came off the bench to go 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs. Third baseman Richard Lucas was 0-for-2 and right fielder Charley Thurber went 0-for-4 with a run scored. T.J. Chism and Todd Weldon combined to record the final four outs for the NL, striking out three without allowing any baserunners. Travis Taijeron, who was selected, went unused.

Rylan Sandoval, who was signed by the Mets last year after going undrafted out of Long Beach State, has been named Florida State League player of the week. Sandoval hit .524 (11-for-21) with three homers, 11 RBIs and five walks from Aug. 8-14. Sandoval, who turned 24 last Wednesday, actually was drafted by the Mets in the 30th round in 2007, but did not sign.

• St. Lucie outfielder Cory Vaughn returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing five days with a bruised heel. Vaughn is hitting .130 in August. His average has dipped to .234 in 44 games since a promotion from Savannah to the Florida State League.

• Buffalo corner infielder Zach Lutz is hitting .314 with three homers in 10 games since returning from the disabled list for a second concussion. Lutz is a probable September call-up.

• Right fielder Raul Reyes, who may have been on the brink of getting released earlier this season, is on a tear with Binghamton. Reyes was hitting .165 entering June. Since July 31, he is hitting .477 (21-for-44) with four homers and 12 RBIs. Reyes also has 11 outfield assists this season, three shy of teammate Brahiam Maldonado’s team-high total.

• Maldonado produced his 22nd homer Sunday against Richmond, establishing a new career high. Maldonado combined to go deep 21 times last season between St. Lucie and Binghamton.

• The Mets are thin in terms of catching prospects in the minors, but Savannah’s Albert Cordero is opening eyes. Cordero, a 21-year-old Venezuelan, has a strong throwing arm. He also is hitting .426 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 14 games this month. One talent evaluator also believes St. Lucie backup Juan Centeno has potential.

• First-round pick Brandon Nimmo is expected to make his professional debut later this week in the Gulf Coast League.

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

Farm report: Whitenton a Star with Gnats

July, 27, 2011
Right-hander Taylor Whitenton’s second full professional season resulted in his first appearance in an All-Star Game. Whitenton was a starting pitcher in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, and is currently 4-2 with a 2.71 ERA and one save in 18 appearances (four starts) for Savannah. Four of Whitenton’s first five appearances came in relief, piggybacking starts by teammate Ryan Fraser, before he entered the rotation.

Courtesy of New York Mets
Taylor Whitenton

“I’m just trying to stay more in the zone this year, throw more strikes and force more contact with all of my pitches,” said Whitenton, who went 8-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 26 starts (18 appearances) with Savannah in 2010. “I’m working on commanding all of them. I don’t have complete command of them all yet. That’s what I work on -- throwing all of them for strikes. That’s probably the difference from last year to this year.”

Whitenton, 23, was drafted by the Mets in the 39th round in 2009 out of Darton College, a two-year school in Albany, Ga. He is from Conyers, Ga. -- “maybe a four-hour drive” from his current home with the Gnats.

Whitenton’s fastball sits at 90-92 mph. He also throws a curveball and changeup. He has missed two starts with a right-forearm strain, but is due to reenter the rotation Saturday at Greensboro.

He was drafted by the hometown Atlanta Braves out of high school in the 40th round, but instead signed with the junior college.

“I’m not sure if they were going to make me a shortstop, but I loved playing shortstop and they did draft me as a shortstop,” Whitenton said.

Those days in the infield are over. Whitenton became a full-time pitcher during his second college season, after playing shortstop and third base as a freshman at Darton.

“I thought that was the position where I would get the furthest in baseball,” he said.

Organization leaders

Average: Danny Muno, Brooklyn, .375; Richard Lucas, Brooklyn, .350; Juan Lagares, Binghamton, .349; Josh Satin, Buffalo, .322; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .320; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .314; Brandon Brown, Brooklyn, .308; Cam Maron, Kingsport, .307; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, .306; Greg Pron, Kingsport, .305.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 19; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 15; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 15; Allan Dykstra, Binghamton, 13.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 70; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 64; Josh Satin, Buffalo, 63; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 61; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 54.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 31; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 28; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 18; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 14; Rafael Fernandez, Savannah, 14.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 2.15; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.63; Erik Goeddel, GCL Mets, 2.86; Todd Weldon, Brooklyn, 2.88; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 3.02; Eduardo Aldama, Brooklyn, 3.16; Gabriel Ynoa, GCL Mets, 3.19; Brett Mitchell, Kingsport, 3.41; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 3.42; Jeffrey Walters, Brooklyn, 3.45.

Wins: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 10; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 9; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 9; Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 8; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 8.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 21; Dale Thayer, Buffalo, 11; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Hamilton Bennett, Savannah, 9.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 120; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 111; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 100; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 100.

Short hops

• Infielder Josh Satin made his Triple-A debut Friday, registering an infield single in four at-bats against Pawtucket. A sixth-round pick in 2008 from Cal, Satin hit .325 with 11 homers and 60 RBIs in 338 at-bats with Double-A Binghamton. He had a .423 on-base percentage, which still ranks second in the Eastern League, one point behind Portland’s Alex Hassan (.424). Satin has alternated between first base and third base with the Bisons. His natural position is second base.

Juan Lagares made his Double-A debut Saturday in left field for the B-Mets after hitting a Florida State League-best .339 with seven homers and 49 RBIs in 307 at-bats with St. Lucie. Lagares, 22, produced a five-hit game Sunday for Binghamton, relying on his compact swing. He should see the bulk of his outfield action in left field, with Matt den Dekker in center and Raul Reyes in right. That could diminish the playing time of Brahiam Maldonado, despite his long ball production (19 homers), since the B-Mets primarily play National League affiliates and will not have many DHing opportunities in the next several weeks.

• Maldonado was named Eastern League Player of the Week. He hit .450 with three homers and nine RBIs last week.

• Den Dekker -- known for speed, not power -- had four homers in a three-game stretch. The wind was blowing out, but the University of Florida product squared up the shots.

• In four professional innings with Brooklyn, fifth-round pick Jack Leathersich has struck out 10 of the 13 New York-Penn League batters he has faced. He has allowed one hit and no walks in four scoreless innings.

Ruben Tejada opened his latest Triple-A stint in an 0-for-13 rut while exclusively playing shortstop. He is hitting .125 (3-for-24) with one double and two walks in six games since rejoining the Bisons.

• After racing to a 10-0 start in the Florida State League, left-hander Darin Gorski suffered his first loss of the season Sunday in a 3-2, seven-inning defeat against Brevard County. Gorski allowed a one-out tiebreaking solo homer to Juan Sanchez in the top of the final frame. Gorski still leads the Florida State League with a 2.15 ERA. Dunedin’s Nestor Molina (9-3) ranks second at 2.56.

Nick Evans is expected to clear waivers on Wednesday and again accept assignment to Triple-A Buffalo rather than declare free agency.

• 2008 first-round pick Reese Havens returned last Wednesday after a month-long absence for a back injury. He is playing every other day at second base.

• 2011 first-round pick Matt Harvey is 0-3 with a 7.15 ERA in five Double-A starts. He has now logged 98 2/3 innings between the B-Mets and St. Lucie this season. He may be capped at 120-130 innings.

• Newly signed center fielder Fernando Perez made his organization debut last week with Buffalo and is hitting .259 with two RBIs in nine games. The speedy Perez, a Columbia University product who has major league experience with the Tampa Bay Rays, tripled Monday and scored on Mike Nickeas’ RBI to break a 7-all tie. He took over center field from Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who underwent season-ending surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.

• Outfielder Mike Baxter, a waiver claim from the San Diego Padres, a pick fueled by Paul DePodesta’s former association with that club, homered on the first pitch he saw as a Buffalo Bison on Tuesday night. Baxter, now on the 40-man roster, has multiple option years remaining, so he does not need to be on the major league roster next season. After hitting .301 with 18 homers, 72 RBIs and 22 steals in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League last season, Baxter was 1-for-8 with the Padres as a September call-up. He replaced right-handed reliever Jose De La Torre on the Bisons roster. De La Rosa was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement.

• Boston College product Eric Campbell lost a 10-game hitting streak Tuesday. It was the longest streak by a Binghamton player this season. Campbell nonetheless has struggled in 2011. He is hitting .227 with two homers in 299 at-bats.

• Former UCLA right-hander Erik Goeddel, who had been out since May 23 with Savannah because of a shoulder strain, returned to pitch an inning in the Gulf Coast League on Friday.

• Buffalo DH/first baseman Valentino Pascucci is hitting .360 with five homers and 20 RBIs and has a .406 on-base percentage in 22 games since the Triple-A All-Star break.

• Brooklyn’s Danny Muno leads the New York-Penn League with a .375 average. Teammate Travis Taijeron has 13 RBIs in his past five games, including a ninth-inning grand slam to lift the Cyclones to a victory. Brooklyn’s Richard Lucas ranks third in the league with a .350 average. He is hitting .500 (19-for-38) in his past 11 games.

• Catcher Kai Gronauer rejoined Binghamton after missing more than two months with a hamstring strain. He and Dusty Ryan will share the B-Mets’ duties behind the plate.

Miguel Batista’s fastball sat between 92-94 mph in his latest start for Buffalo. Gustavo Chacin, after a spot start in a doubleheader, has returned to bullpen duty with the Bisons.

• B-Mets left-hander Robert Carson earned his first win since June 17 on Monday. He had been 0-1 with five no-decisions in his previous six starts.

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

Farm report: Gorski still perfect in FSL

June, 29, 2011
Left-hander Darin Gorski’s 1.55 ERA not only is the best in the Florida State League, it leads by a wide margin. Former St. Lucie teammate Matt Harvey, already promoted to Double-A Binghamton, still qualifies innings-wise to rank No. 2 in the league, at 2.37. Palm Beach’s Joe Kelly ranks third at 2.59.

Courtesy of New York Mets
Darin Gorski

Gorski also is unbeaten at 6-0, while his 87 strikeouts rank third in the league, trailing only Clearwater’s Trevor May (108) and Harvey’s 92. The St. Lucie southpaw started the Florida State League’s All-Star game in Clearwater.

“It was a great honor,” Gorski said.

Not bad, especially considering the 23-year-old Gorski went 6-8 with a 4.58 ERA in 25 games (18 starts) at low-A Savannah in 2010.

“It’s great when you pitch with a little bit of confidence,” said Gorski, a seventh-round pick in 2009 out of Division II Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. “You get some good results and a little bit of confidence, it feels great. I’m very happy.”

As for the uptick in performance from last season in the South Atlantic League, Gorski said: “Consistency is the biggest thing. I’ve been working with the pitching coach here, Phil Regan, a lot. He helped me with some mechanical changes and just getting me more consistent with my off-speed pitches. It’s just translated into a lot of success from there.”

Gorski calls his slider “a work in progress.” As for the rest of his repertoire, he also likes to throw a changeup.

“The combination of those two have been progressing pretty well together,” said Gorski, whose fastball averages about 89 mph. “As far as the fastball goes, for me it was never really a big velocity thing. I’m not like one of those mid-90s guys. It’s more location when I’m throwing it. I’m not too worried about what the radar gun is reading, because it’s nowhere close to 95 mph. I just try to hit my spots and keep the ball down and pitch to contact basically.”

And yet, despite pitching to contact, Gorski does have the 87 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings.

“Last year I had quite a few walks (43 in 114 innings), so one of the biggest things coming into this season for me was trying to not walk a lot of guys -- trying to induce contact and get ahead in the count,” said Gorski, who has walked 15 in 75 2/3 innings this season. “It’s a lot easier to pitch when you’re ahead in the count.”

Farm director Adam Wogan said Gorski has added some fastball velocity since he joined the organization. And although averaging 89 mph is not eye-popping, it is now at a level to work well in contrast to his other pitches.

Organization leaders

Average: Gregory Pron, Kingsport, .423; Juan Carlos Gamboa, GCL Mets, .407; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .382; Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .344; Carlos Leyva, GCL Mets, .333; Nestor Moreno, Kingsport, .320; Cam Maron, Kingsport, .316; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .314; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .309; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, .298.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 14; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 10; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 10.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 49; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 48; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 47; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 42; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 40.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 22; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 21; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 14; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 12; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 12.

ERA: Miller Diaz, GCL Mets, 0.00; Ernesto Yanez, GCL Mets, 0.00; Hunter Carnevale, Brooklyn, 0.93; Jose De La Torre, GCL Mets, 1.42; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.55; Alberto Baldonado, GCL Mets, 1.80; Marcos Camarena, Brooklyn, 1.80; Edioglis Villasmil, GCL Mets, 1.80; Carlos Vazquez, Brooklyn, 1.88; Eduardo Aldama, Brooklyn, 2.45.

Wins: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 8; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 7; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 6.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 17; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Nick Carr, St. Lucie, 8; Hamilton Bennett, Savannah, 6.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 96; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 87; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 87; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 73.

Short hops

Nick Evans extended his hitting streak with Buffalo to 18 games Tuesday night. That is the longest active streak in the minors, matching Tony Abreu’s streak with Reno in the Pacific Coast League. Evans caught Abreu because Reno’s game was postponed Tuesday. In 13 games since returning to Triple-A after being designated for assignment, Evans has nine multi-hit games and is hitting .490 (24-for-49) with eight doubles, 12 RBIs and eight walks. In Bisons modern history, Evans’ 18-game hitting streak matches Brandon Phillips (2004), Jeromy Burnitz (1995) and Les Norman (1997) for eighth longest. The record is 28 straight games by Alex Ramirez in 1998.

• Right-hander Matt Harvey and third baseman Jefry Marte will represent the Mets at the Futures Game on July 10 at 6 p.m. ET at Chase Field in Arizona, two days before the All-Star Game. The event will be televised on ESPN2. Harvey, the organization’s 2010 first-round pick, struggled with his fastball command and was charged with four runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out four in 4 2/3 innings in his Double-A debut Sunday at Bowie. The 22-year-old UNC product went 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 14 Florida State League starts before the promotion. Marte, who turned 20 on June 21, is hitting .286 with five homers and 37 RBIs in 73 games with St. Lucie.

• Infielder Josh Satin became the first player in the Binghamton Mets’ 20-year history to hit for the cycle when he did so Friday at Bowie. Satin ranks seventh in the Eastern League with a .314 average and third in on-base percentage at .412.

• Buffalo outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.298, 6 HR) has been sidelined since June 9 because of an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder. He was due to attempt dry swinging and may progress to light cage work.

Zach Lutz’s rough Triple-A season injury-wise continued when the corner infielder landed on the disabled list Tuesday with a concussion, four days after being struck in the head with a curveball. Lutz had returned to the Bisons on June 10 after missing seven weeks with a hamstring injury and then a broken left index finger. The fractured occurred when Lutz was struck with a foul ball in the dugout while already on the disabled list. Lutz’s concussion triggered the promotion of Jon Malo to the Bisons from Binghamton, and Travis Ozga from St. Lucie to Binghamton.

Ryota Igarashi has put together a stellar stretch of relief appearances for the Bisons. Since surrendering a walk-off homer at Gwinett on June 6, Igarashi has limited opponents to four hits and three walks while tossing 13 1/3 straight scoreless innings. He has struck out 11 during that span. The key for Igarashi has been fastball command. Igarashi has a tendency to get in trouble when the pitch drifts up in the zone.

• Buffalo middle infielder Luis Hernandez, whose average was sitting at .196 on June 5, is hitting .310 (22-for-71) with 15 RBIs in his past 19 games.

Rhiner Cruz has more or less settled into the closer’s role with Binghamton, succeeding Erik Turgeon. The B-Mets’ bullpen had struggled, particularly at the back end, since John Lujan had been promoted to Buffalo in early May. It has now somewhat stabilized with Cruz closing, and with Josh Stinson assigned to the pen from the Triple-A rotation and Brad Holt from the Double-A rotation. The B-Mets, in fact, have won three straight series for the first time this season. Roy Merritt, the lone lefty in the pen, had a spot start with Jeurys Familia missing a turn. Merritt allowed one run in five innings. Familia threw a side session and is scheduled to be reinserted into the rotation by early next week.

• B-Mets second baseman Reese Havens, who has been tormented by oblique problems, has been out since last Thursday with an unrelated injury that the organization has not disclosed, but which has been described as short term.

• Center fielder Matt den Dekker is hitting .212, with 14 strikeouts in 33 at-bats, in eight games since a promotion from St. Lucie to Binghamton. The defensively solid den Dekker’s promotion has allowed Raul Reyes to move to right field from center. That has diminished Eric Campbell’s playing time, with Brahiam Maldonado getting the majority of the starts in left field.

Joe Bonfe, a 21st-round pick in 2009, who has an advocate in Savannah hitting coach Benny Distefano, went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored Monday as the Gnats put up a season-high 13 runs. Bonfe had only 77 at-bats in the first half, but is now seeing regular playing time in right field with teammates’ promotions to St. Lucie. A natural third baseman, he is boxed out there by the presence of Aderlin Rodriguez. Bonfe hit .326 with four homers and 28 RBIs in 270 at-bats with Brooklyn last season, also with Distefano as his hitting coach. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Bonfe can “run a little bit for is size,” according to Wogan.

Darrell Ceciliani returned from a three-day absence for an illness Tuesday in style with a ninth-inning two-run double in Savannah’s 5-3 win at Rome.

Rafael Fernandez, pushed off the St. Lucie roster because of outfield crowding, is seeing regular playing time with the Gnats and has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games. Fernandez is hitting .337 in June.

• Brooklyn left-hander T.J. Chism, a 32nd-round pick in 2009 out of La Salle, is 1-0 and 3-for-3 in save conversions in 6 2/3 scoreless innings for the Cyclones. Born in Phillies country, Chism has been particularly tough on lefty hitters, despite an average fastball. He combined to allow three runs (two earned) in 25 2/3 innings last season between Kingsport and Brooklyn.

• Right-hander Jose De La Torre pitched an inning in the Gulf Coast League on Tuesday as he works back from shoulder discomfort that dates to winter-ball activity in Puerto Rico. He went 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 36 relief appearances for Buffalo last season.

• N.C. State right-hander Cory Mazzoni, the Mets’ second-round pick earlier this month, should appear in a game with Brooklyn within a week, although his innings counts will be severely restricted.

• UCLA product Erik Goeddel, a right-hander, is on a throwing program in Port St. Lucie. He was shut down after a May 23 appearance with Savannah with a shoulder strain.

Adam Rubin's farm report appears Wednesdays during the season

Farm report: Muno gets Cyclone ride

June, 15, 2011
Danny Muno crossed paths with Ike Davis back in 2008, on the home turf of Davis’ Arizona State Sun Devils in an NCAA Regional.

“He was an awesome player,” Muno recalled. “Just to be on the field with all of those No. 1 draft picks, it was pretty intimidating. Then we beat them. It was a big thrill just to beat them in their own park.”

Icon SMI
Danny Muno, who will be Brooklyn's shortstop, scores against Nebraska while playing for Fresno State on March 11.

The thrill did not end there. Fresno State, with Muno as its true freshman shortstop and leadoff hitter, won that regional, despite being the lowest-seeded team of the four programs assigned to that site. Fresno State eventually won the entire College World Series, too, and became national champs.

“That was the experience of a lifetime, definitely something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” said Munno, who was drafted in the eighth round by the Mets last week. “We were the lowest seed ever to win the College World Series.”

Now, Muno and Davis are on the same team -- or, at least they have the same employer. Muno will open the season Friday as the shortstop for Brooklyn, which opens the 2011 campaign at Staten Island, the New York-Penn League affiliate of the Yankees.

Muno, 22, also played second base, third base and in the outfield during college, but the Mets will let him try to prove himself as a shortstop before having him dabble elsewhere.

Muno -- a natural left-handed hitter -- picked up switch-hitting his sophomore year of college, after facing a ton of tough southpaws as a freshman when the program reached the College World Series.

“I faced [current Oriole] Brian Matusz and a couple of top draft picks my freshman year that were throwing lefty, and left-on-left,” Muno said. “It was a pretty tough battle. So I just decided to hit right-handed.”

One facet of Muno’s game certainly is compatible with the Mets’ new front office. By his junior season, Muno already had broken Fresno State’s career walk record. Muno was drafted in the 26th round by the Chicago Cubs after that junior season but decided to return to Fresno State for his senior year.

“Getting on base is a big part of my game, and scoring runs,” Muno said.

As for the College World Series, Muno and Fresno State never did return to Omaha his following three years. His sophomore year he ended up in a regional at Irvine, which was Baseball America’s No. 1 team. San Diego State, with Stephen Strasburg, also was assigned there.

“It was an upset,” Muno said about his freshman-year CWS title. “Going there as a freshman, you can’t really top that the next couple of years. Anything less than that is considered a disappointment, I guess, because you won it your first year and you want to win it all the rest of the years.”

Organization leaders

Average: Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .326; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .319; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, .304; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, .298; Cory Vaughn, Savannah, .297; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .292; Jesus Feliciano, Buffalo, .281; Jefry Marte, St. Lucie, .277; Michael Fisher, Buffalo, .275; Robbie Shields, Savannah, .274.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 12; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 10; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 9; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 8; Stefan Welch, St. Lucie, 8.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 42; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 41; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 38; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 37; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 36.

Steals: Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 17; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 15; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 12; Darrell Ceciliani, Savannah, 11; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 11.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.72; Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 2.44; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.49; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 2.96; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 3.13; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 3.18; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 3.34; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 3.92; Robert Carson, Binghamton, 4.08; Brad Holt, Binghamton, 4.26.

Wins: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 8; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 6; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 5; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 5; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 5.

Saves: Josh Edgin, Savannah, 16; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Nick Carr, St. Lucie, 6; John Lujan, Buffalo, 5; Erik Turgeon, Binghamton, 5.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 88; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 77; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 76; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 67; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 65.

Short hops

• The Mets’ two Class A full-season affiliates may both be headed to the postseason. Savannah clinched its first-half division title in the South Atlantic League on Tuesday night, freeing the organization to start making some promotions from that squad to St. Lucie within the next 24 hours -- even before Tuesday’s SAL All-Star game in Salisbury, Md. The All-Star Game had been scheduled to include right-handers Taylor Whitenton and Greg Peavey, left-handers Chase Huchingson and Josh Edgin, infielder Robbie Shields and right fielder Cory Vaughn, but is now expected to take at least a modest hit in terms of Mets representation. St. Lucie leads its Florida State League division by two games over Fort Myers and three over Jupiter with five to play in the half.

St. Lucie is not expected to make promotions to Double-A Binghamton before the completion of the half. As a result, 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey is expected to make one more Florida State League start before joining the B-Mets. Center fielder Matt den Dekker’s promotion should wait a week, too. Harvey is 8-2 with a 2.44 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 70 innings with St. Lucie. The Florida State League has its All-Star game Saturday, before officially completing the first half with three more games next week. It is unlikely the Mets will allow Harvey to pitch in Saturday’s FSL All-Star Game and compromise his final St. Lucie start. Also selected with Harvey to represent the Mets in Clearwater, Fla., are fellow right-handers Scott Moviel and Jeffrey Kaplan, left-hander Darin Gorski and outfielders Pedro Zapata and den Dekker.

Savannah, which is a league-best 38-26 despite a slow start, has the SAL’s top ERA at 3.09. The Gnats clinched the division despite a .241 batting average, which is one point ahead of Augusta for worst in the 14-team league.

• The SAL All-Star Edgin, Savannah’s closer, has the league’s second-lowest batting average against among relievers at .135, trailing only Hagerstown’s Chris Manno (.117). Edgin, who is 16-for-17 in save opportunities, has converted 12 straight chances since his lone blemish April 26 at Delmarva. A 30th-round pick last year out of Francis Marion University by one of the Mets’ most accomplished scouts, Marlin McPhail, Edgin has not allowed an earned run since that blown save. In 16 straight scoreless appearances, he has tossed 20 2/3 run-free innings. Edgin began his college career at Ohio State before transferring to Francis Marion. He had fastball command and walk issues as a starter in college, but his control and velocity have improved as a professional while working exclusively in relief.

• Gorski, a seventh-round pick in 2009 out of Kutztown University, leads the Florida State League with a 1.72 ERA. Harvey ranks fifth.

• Brooklyn, managed by organization newcomer Rich Donnelly, opens its season Friday at Staten Island. Frank Viola is the pitching coach and ex-Mets farmhand Bobby Malek is the hitting coach. Donnelly coached third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006 and 2007, and had the same role with the Milwaukee Brewers the previous three seasons.

Four 2011 draftees will open with Brooklyn: outfielders Jonathan Clark (17th round, Lee University), Travis Taijeron (18th, Cal Poly Pomona) and Charley Thurber (39th, Tennessee) as well as Munno. Farm director Adam Wogan and then-minor league field coordinator Terry Collins a year ago resolved to now have most of the draftees begin in the Gulf Coast League rather than Brooklyn. That way, they could be monitored more closely at the team’s complex after having erratic workouts since their college seasons ended. Aside from the four Brooklyn assignments, Wogan said 21 draftees already are at the Florida complex and available for GCL duty when that season opens Monday, including second-round pick Cory Mazzoni, a right-hander from N.C. State.

• 2009 top pick Steve Matz, a left-hander from Long Island, will open his professional career in the Gulf Coast League but is not going to be ready for Monday’s Opening Day. Matz backed off throwing off a mound recently because of discomfort, possibly related to scar tissue, in his surgically repaired elbow. Matz underwent Tommy John surgery on May 18, 2010.

Eduardo Aldama, 21, is scheduled to start Friday’s Brooklyn opener against the Yankees. The Venezuelan right-hander went 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts last season at rookie-level Kingsport. Other players assigned to the Cyclones include outfielder Javier Rodriguez, infielders Brian Harrison and Luke Stewart, right-handers Marco Camarena and Jeff Walters and left-handers Chris Hilliard and Carlos Vazquez.

• Buffalo right-hander Jose De La Torre, who had not appeared in a game since May 3 because of a shoulder strain, is scheduled to work in a rehab game on Monday for the first time since the injury.

• Savannah middle infielder Wilfredo Tovar lost a 12-game hitting streak in Tuesday’s clincher. It matched Shields’ streak from May 10-22 for the longest by a Gnat this season.

• Buffalo center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had missed 10 days with a right shoulder injury suffered in a diving catch, returned for six games but is now out with a left shoulder strain. Nieuwenhuis (.298 BA, .403 OBP, 6 HR, 5 SB, 188 at-bats) suffered the more-recent injury on a swing. He also had an issue with the same shoulder last season, although this may be rotator-cuff related. Still, the Mets are hopeful Nieuwenhuis will return to the lineup soon.

• Buffalo’s Zach Lutz, a member of the 40-man roster, returned to the Bisons on Friday after missing seven weeks -- first with a hamstring injury, then because he was struck with a foul ball and broke the ring finger on his non-throwing hand while watching a game from the dugout while on the DL. Lutz primarily is playing third base, but also will DH and get some first-base time.

• St. Lucie third baseman Jefry Marte (.277, 5 HR, 30 RBI) was pulled from Tuesday’s game after getting hit in the hand by a pitch, but preliminary indications are the injury is not serious.

Nick Evans, who could have opted for free agency, instead will rejoin Buffalo on Thursday in Norfolk after a team off-day. Evans will get regular playing time between first base and corner outfield spots, and occasionally at third base.

• Binghamton manager Wally Backman was ejected from consecutive games Friday and Saturday, although he appeared to have legitimate beefs with the umpiring crew. In the latter instance, Trenton took the lead on what was ruled a double, although the shot appeared to be a foot foul. The same crew has tossed pitching coach Marc Valdes, slugger Brahiam Maldonado and infielder Jordany Valdespin this season.

• Second baseman Reese Havens is hitting .259 with two homers in 15 games since joining the B-Mets. Observers say his swing looks smoother than last season, which may make it easier on his previously troublesome oblique.

• Binghamton left-hander Robert Carson had experienced forearm stiffness, but has been throwing on the side and shoulder reenter the rotation this weekend at home against Trenton. That may bump Collin McHugh to the B-Mets’ bullpen. Carson (1-7, 4.08 ERA) last appeared May 31. Also on the injury front, Savannah hard-throwing reliever Luis Rojas, who has been out since May 25, is nearing a return from a shoulder strain.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the season



Bartolo Colon
12 3.82 130 167
BAD. Murphy .301
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .856
ERAJ. Niese 3.47
SOZ. Wheeler 148