New York Mets: Jeffrey Kaplan

Around the minors 4.16.12

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
11:32
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LEHIGH VALLEY 8, BUFFALO 2: Lehigh Valley scored four runs in the first inning against Jeurys Familia and rode the early advantage to their sixth straight win. Walks continue to be Buffalo's bugaboo. The Bisons issued 10 free passes, with four coming around to score. Andres Blanco was walked by Familia (1-1) in the first inning and came around on a throwing error from Adam Loewen for a 2-0 IronPigs advantage. Two batters later, Derrick Mitchell doubled in two more runs, including Joe Thurston, who was on via another free pass. Familia walked Hector Luna to lead off the fifth, and the former Bison scored as part of a two-run IronPigs rally. Reliever Dylan Owen issued a free pass to Scott Podsednik to begin another two-run Lehigh Valley inning in the sixth. After scoring 35 runs in the first five games of the homestand, the Bisons' bats were mostly held in check. Omar Quintanilla and Lucas May drove in the Herd's runs. A day after losing his nine-game hitting streak in a four-walk afternoon, Zach Lutz went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .341. Bobby Scales kept his streak of reaching base at least twice in every game he's started this season alive. The veteran went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks in the loss. A unique pitching match is set for Tuesday. The Bisons' 2011 Most Valuable Pitcher, Chris Schwinden, faces the Herd's top pitcher from 2010, Pat Misch. Box

NEW HAMPSHIRE 2, BINGHAMTON 1: The B-Mets left nine runners on base and went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. The B-Mets had a runner on base in each inning and at least one runner in scoring position in five different frames, but scratched out just one run in the first game of the three-game series. The Fisher Cats cracked the scoreboard in the third. B-Mets starter Mark Cohoon walked Jonathan Diaz, New Hampshire’s No. 9 hitter, to kick off the inning. Diaz advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw by Cohoon and scored when John Tolisano doubled. After Ryan Goins sacrificed Tolisano to third, Cohoon uncorked a wild pitch, allowing New Hampshire’s second run to come home. Binghamton finally broke through in the sixth. Matt den Dekker led off by ripping a single off the glove of Mark Sobolewski at third. That extended his hitting streak to eight games. After den Dekker stole second and Travis Ozga walked, Oswaldo Navarro dumped an RBI single into right field to cut New Hampshire’s lead in half. Binghamton loaded the bases later in the inning against reliever Matt Daly, but Pedro Zapata struck out on three pitches to end the threat. In the seventh, den Dekker doubled off Aaron Loup but was stranded on third when Juan Lagares grounded out. Binghamton’s last threat came in the eighth when Navarro singled and advanced to second on Justin Jackson’s fielding error in center field. With the potential game-tying run on second, Ronald Uviedo came out of the bullpen and induced Josh Rodriguez to ground out to third to end the threat. Uviedo returned in the ninth and worked a perfect frame to collect his third save. Cohoon went a season-high six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. The southpaw walked two and struck out one. Elvin Ramirez chipped in with two scoreless innings of relief, collecting four strikeouts along the way. The B-Mets (4-6) continue their three-game series Tuesday. Right-hander Collin McHugh makes his third start of the season for Binghamton. Box

ST. LUCIE 2, CHARLOTTE 0: Cory Mazzoni, Hamilton Bennett and Jeffrey Kaplan combined on the four-hit shutout. Box

SAVANNAH 6, ROME 5 (12 innings): Rome scored three ninth-inning runs against Jared West to force extra innings, but the Gnats won in the 12th on Dustin Lawley's leadoff homer. Travis Taijeron also went deep in the game for Savannah. Box

Compiled from team reports

Around the minors 4.14.12

April, 14, 2012
4/14/12
6:06
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PAWTUCKET 9, BUFFALO 6: Given new life in the fifth inning, the Red Sox scored five unearned runs to hand Buffalo its third straight loss and fifth in six games. The Herd was nursing a 2-1 advantage until Pawtucket loaded the bases with walks to Alex Hassan and Daniel Nava and an intentional free pass to Ryan Lavarnway. Two batters later, Lars Anderson hit a sharp grounder that made it through Herd first baseman Zach Lutz. The error allowed two runners to score as Pawtucket regained the lead. Two pitches later, top Red Sox prospect Will Middlebrook made the miscue really hurt with a three-run homer off reliever Jeff Stevens. After the Bisons cut the PawSox lead to 6-4, Pawtucket pulled away with three seventh-inning runs. All four hits in that rally were grounders that found their way through the infield. In defeat, Bobby Scales collected four hits for Buffalo and finished a triple away from the cycle. The veteran had a two-run homer in the seventh, during a failed comeback bid. Scales now leads all International League hitters with a .567 on-base percentage. Garrett Olson, who suffered the loss, was charged with four runs (one earned) in 4 1/3 innings. The Bisons bullpen allowed five runs (three earned) in 4 2/3 innings. Prior to the game, the Bisons activated catcher Jean Luc Blaquiere. Buffalo had a roster spot as infielder Josh Satin was placed on the Mets' 24-hour taxi-squad list. New in 2012, major league teams can place minor league players on a taxi squad for 24 hours as part of consideration for a promotion. That way, minor league teams can replace that player and play their game at full strength. Chuck James threw two scoreless relief innings to increase his season total to five scoreless frames spanning four appearances. Box

PORTLAND 5, BINGHAMTON 3: The Sea Dogs took advantage of seven walks -- three in the decisive sixth inning, during which Portland scored three runs and broke a tie. B-Mets starter Darin Gorski cruised through three innings. However, the southpaw ran into trouble in the fourth. Following a leadoff walk to Juan Carlos Linares and a wild pitch, Bryce Brentz laced an RBI double. Brentz scored on Oscar Tejeda’s double, giving Portland a 2-0 lead. Binghamton answered against Portland starter Billy Buckner in the fifth. Buckner walked Josh Rodriguez and Juan Centeno singled. Sean Kazmar then lined a two-run double off the left-center wall. The B-Mets nearly cracked a half-inning later. After Heiker Meneses was hit by Gorski, Derrik Gibson pushed a bunt up the third-base line. Gorski cleanly fielded the roller, but his throw to first tailed toward the runner. Gibson ran into Allan Dykstra’s left arm and the ball rolled down the line. When the dust settled, Portland had runners at second and third, Dykstra was pulled from the game and Gorski’s day was done. The southpaw struck out five while allowing two runs over four innings in a no-decision. Kevin Mulvey entered and escaped unscathed. After recording a strikeout, he walked Linares intentionally to load the bases. The gamble paid off when Brentz flied out and Reynaldo Rodriguez grounded out to end the inning. Binghamton threatened in the top of the sixth, but failed to come through against reliever Will Latimer. The lefty allowed the first two batters to reach, and move to second and third, but Latimer battled back to strand both. Mulvey (0-1) then walked the first three batters he faced on 14 pitches to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth. Edgar Ramirez entered and allowed a two-run double to Gibson to break the tie game. In the eighth, Juan Lagares greeted Josh Fields with a double and scored on Oswaldo Navarro’s single to cut Portland’s lead to two. The B-Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Fields caught Eric Campbell looking to end the game. The B-Mets (3-5) look for the series split Sunday. Greg Peavey gets the nod for Binghamton against right-hander Chris Balcom-Miller. Box

ST. LUCIE 2, PALM BEACH 1: Yohan Almonte limited Palm Beach to one run in 5 1/3 innings, while relievers Taylor Whitenton and Jeffrey Kaplan combined to strike out six and yield one hit the rest of the way. Wilmer Flores' sacrifice fly in the fifth broke a 1-all tie. Box

SAVANNAH 6, AUGUSTA 0: Domingo Tapia tossed seven scoreless innings and Marcos Camarena had two no-hit relief innings as the Gnats shut out Augusta for the second straight day. Savannah had a six-run fourth inning that included a two-run triple by T.J. Rivera as well as five walks, a passed ball and two wild pitches. Box

Compiled from team reports

Around the minors 4.5.12

April, 5, 2012
4/05/12
11:07
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PAWTUCKET 4, BUFFALO 2: In hit Triple-A debut, 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey (0-1) allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings . He threw 54 of his 95 pitches for strikes, walking four, striking out three and tossing two wild pitches. Both Bisons homers came in the fourth inning, as Josh Satin and Valentino Pascucci drove shots out to left field. While the Bisons left the yard, the Red Sox didn't need to leave the infield to deal the Herd their its loss of the season. Pawtucket collected five infield hits and benefited from a pair of Bisons errors to hand Buffalo a 4-2 Opening Night defeat from McCoy Stadium. All three times Pawtucket dented the scoreboard they benefited by a play in the infield. Pawtucket second baseman Pedro Ciriaco blooped a soft liner over the mound in the third inning and scored on Mauro Gomez's RBI single to give the PawSox a 1-0 lead. After the Bisons took a 2-1 lead in the fourth, the PawSox put two on in bottom of the inning and escaped a potential inning-ending double play, when Jordany Valdespin couldn't handle Alex Hassan's grounder. Ciriaco took advantage with a single to center field to plate two more runs. An insurance run for the PawSox came in the fifth after a pair of walks drove Harvey from the game. Infield singles from Will Middlebrooks and Jason Repko off reliever Jeff Stevens produced a fourth Pawtucket run. Justin Germano (1-0) was credited with the win for Pawtucket, allowing two runs in five innings. This is the fourth consecutive year the Bisons have begun the season with a loss. Their last Opening Day victory was a 9-4 win in Norfolk on April 3, 2008. Pascucci's home run was his 39th as a Bison. Buffalo went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position while Pawtucket was 4-for-16 in the same situation. Box

AKRON 4, BINGHAMTON 0: The B-Mets could only muster three hits, all singles, against four Akron Aeros pitchers in their season opener, at NYSEG Stadium. Binghamton only pushed one runner to second base and failed to reach third during the game. The Binghamton lineup was held hitless over the final four innings. Binghamton bounced into two double plays and had a pair of runners gunned down on steal attempts by Akron catcher Roberto Perez. Collin McHugh, last year’s B-Mets Pitcher of the Year, made the start and tossed two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the third. Leadoff hitter Ben Copeland walked on four pitches and scored two batters later on Tim Fedroff’s double to right-center. After a Juan Diaz single, Jared Goedert ripped an RBI single to left to give the Aeros a 2-0 lead. Akron starter Paolo Espino fired two scoreless innings before running into trouble of his own in the third. After allowing a leadoff single to Juan Centeno and working the count to 1-1 against Sean Kazmar, the Panamanian left the game with an injury. He was replaced by Kyle Landis, who induced Kazmar to bounce into a double play on his first pitch. Landis then struck out Pedro Zapata to end the inning. Landis’ frame started the bullpen dominance by the Aeros. Landis tossed a scoreless fourth and handed off to Jose De La Torre. A former B-Met, De La Torre worked around a two-out single to put up a scoreless fifth. McHugh’s night ended after five innings. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits and struck out four while walking three. Kevin Mulvey, in his return to the organization entered in the sixth and allowed a leadoff double to Ryan Rohlinger. With two runners aboard following a Chun Chen walk, Nick Weglarz bounced a potential double-play ball to second baseman Josh Rodriguez. The new B-Met flipped to second, but shortstop Kazmar at shortstop muffed the throw, allowing Rohlinger to score. Owning a 3-0 lead, De La Torre cruised through the sixth and worked around a one-out walk to toss a scoreless seventh. Matt Langwell took over in the eighth and struck out the side in order. The Aeros tacked on an run against Armando Rodriguez in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Juan Diaz. The B-Mets went in order in the ninth against Langwell, who secured his first save of the season. De La Torre earned the win, while McHugh was saddled with the loss. The Aeros bullpen combined for seven shutout innings. The B-Mets (0-1) continue their series against the Akron Aeros on Friday night at 7:05. Right-hander Zack Wheeler makes his Double-A debut for Binghamton against left-hander T.J. McFarland. Box

BRADENTON 3, ST. LUCIE 2 (11 innings): After allowing a leadoff single in the 11th and sacrifice bunt, Ryan Fraser walked two and had a throwing error to load the bases. Fraser then hit former Mets farmhand Stefan Welch with a pitch to force in the winning run. 2011 second-round pick Cory Mazzoni allowed two unearned runs in five innings in his first St. Lucie start. Hamilton Bennett, Adrian Rosario and Jeffrey Kaplan combined for five scoreless relief innings. Box

SAVANNAH 3, AUGUSTA 2: Charley Thurber's bases-loaded single scored Luis Nieves for the walk-off win. Starter Logan Verrett limited Augusta to one unearned run in five innings. Carlos Vazquez had 2 1/3 scoreless, no-hit relief innings with five strikeouts. Box

Compiled from team reports

Farm report: Muno gets Cyclone ride

June, 15, 2011
6/15/11
11:37
AM ET
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

Farm report: Havens back on path to Mets

June, 8, 2011
6/08/11
1:37
PM ET
Fourteen of the 21 first-round picks out of college programs in the 2008 draft have now appeared in the major leagues, including Buster Posey (fifth overall), Gordon Beckham (eighth), Brett Wallace (13th), Ike Davis (18th) and Daniel Schlereth (26th).


Courtesy of New York Mets
Reese Havens


Reese Havens -- taken 22nd overall that year, when the Mets had a pair of first-round picks because of losing Tom Glavine back to the Braves -- might be part of that group with major league experience as well had a persistent rib-cage injury not undermined the past year of his development.

But now, after 2010 oblique woes and then offseason surgery to remove an inch of a rib that was causing that area problems, Havens may finally have the issue behind him. He joined Double-A Binghamton on May 27. Scar tissue following the surgery had limited his activities during spring training and during the first month of the season, he suspects.

“The injuries, I’ve had a rough go with them,” Havens said. “But that’s part of it. There have been plenty of guys who have asked me the same question. My answer is: I hate being the woulda, coulda, shoulda guy. I know I could probably be in a different place right now, but I’m here. You know, I’m still in a good place. I’m just happy to be back on the field, to tell you the truth.”

A gifted hitter drafted out of the University of South Carolina, the 24-year-old Havens is hitting .278 with a homer and four RBIs through 36 at-bats with the B-Mets, where his Double-A season ended June 11 of last year because of the oblique woes. Havens is sitting roughly every fourth game with the B-Mets as the organization attempts to ease him back into action without further issue.

“They’ve got me on a schedule right now, for the time being,” Havens said.

A natural shortstop, the Mets moved Havens to second base a year ago. Given the recent major league issues at that position, Havens undoubtedly would have been prepared for a shot already at the major league level absent the injuries.

Havens said he is perfectly comfortable at second base despite injuries limiting his development time. He was working with Tim Teufel at second base with Binghamton last season. Now, Teufel has been promoted to Triple-A Buffalo’s helm, but fellow former second baseman Wally Backman has taken over managing Binghamton.

“I feel real comfortable over there,” Havens said about second base. “I’ve had plenty of time to get comfortable. I feel good turning a double play. I’ve had help from Wally. It’s made it a lot easier and sped up the process.”

Havens said there is no particular thing he needs to work on. Instead, it’s just about getting repetitions and back in a groove.

“Right now I’m getting at-bats back under my belt, and am trying to feel comfortable and make good contact,” he said. “That’s really the name of my game -- hitting early and hitting the fastball. I’m just working on getting timing back and the rhythm of being comfortable. And as far as second base goes, I’m just taking my groundballs every day. I’m just working back to being an everyday player and to where I was before I went down with this injury.”

Organization leaders

Average: Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .329; Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .323; Cory Vaughn, Savannah, .317; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, .306; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Buffalo, .301; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .298; Jesus Feliciano, Buffalo, .284; Michael Fisher, Buffalo, .277; Robbie Shields, Savannah, .274; Stefan Welch, St. Lucie, .273.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 10; Lucas Duda, Buffalo, 9; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 9; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 8.

RBI: Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 36; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 35; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 34; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 33; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 33.

Steals: Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 14; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 11; Cesar Puello, St. Lucie, 11; Matt den Dekker, St. Lucie, 9; Rafael Fernandez, Savannah, 9.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 1.62; Chase Huchingson, Savannah, 2.14; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.21; Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 2.44; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 3.03; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 3.25; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 3.27; Gonzalez Germen, Savannah, 3.63; Brad Holt, Binghamton, 3.67; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 3.78.

Wins: Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 6; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 5; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 5.

Saves: Josh Edgin, Savannah, 12; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 9; John Lujan, Buffalo, 5.

Strikeouts: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 73; Matt Harvey, St. Lucie, 71; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 66; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 60; Greg Peavey, Savannah, 58.

Short hops

• Left-hander Steve Matz, the Mets’ top pick in the 2009 draft (second round, 72nd overall), has been backed off throwing because of suspected scar tissue where he had May 18, 2010 Tommy John surgery. Players generally work through scar tissue to break it up, but the Mets proceeded more cautiously with the 20-year-old southpaw, who is a product of Ward Melville High on Long Island. Farm director Adam Wogan said Matz is due to resume throwing Friday, when the extended spring training group returns from a three-day break. Matz, who has yet to throw a professional pitch in a game, will initially be assigned to the Gulf Coast League, not Brooklyn, according to Wogan. That team starts play in Port St. Lucie on June 21.

• Full-season Class A teams had their All-Stars representatives announced, and both St. Lucie and Savannah were well-represented with six players apiece. Selected to the June 18 Florida State League All-Star Game at Clearwater, Fla.: right-handers Matt Harvey, Scott Moviel and Jeffrey Kaplan, left-hander Darin Gorski and outfielders Matt den Dekker and Pedro Zapata. Selected to the June 21 South Atlantic League game in Salisbury, Md.: right-handers Taylor Whitenton and Greg Peavey, left-handers Chase Huchingson and Josh Edgin, infielder Robbie Shields and right fielder Cory Vaughn. Sand Gnats manager Ryan Ellis and first base coach Jose Carreno also will participate.

• A pair of siblings of Mets farmhands were taken in the draft Tuesday. The Mets selected Binghamton right-hander Erik Turgeon’s brother Casey Turgeon, a high school shortstop from Dunedin, Fla., in the 22nd round. Savannah right-hander Erik Goeddel’s brother Tyler Goeddel was selected by the Rays with the 41st overall pick, which Tampa Bay received as compensation for losing Carl Crawford as a free agent to the Boston Red Sox. He is a high school third baseman from California. The Mets’ Goedell has not pitched in a game since May 23 because of a shoulder strain, but Wogan indicated he should be back for an inning or two soon -- perhaps at a lower level to ease back.

• Buffalo’s prospects are on the mend. Lucas Duda, who missed three weeks with a back injury, is hitting .410 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 12 games since a May 28 return while primarily splitting duty between left field and first base. Center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.301, 6 HR, 14 RBI, .405 OBP), who missed 10 days after landing on his right shoulder making a diving catch, returned Saturday. Third baseman Zach Lutz is poised to rejoin the Bisons after one more Florida State League game on Wednesday night. Lutz originally landed on the disabled list with Buffalo with a hamstring injury after an April 21 game. Then, while inactive and in the dugout, he was struck with a foul ball and broke the ring finger on his non-throwing hand. Lutz’s return to the Bisons will displace hot-hitting Michael Fisher from third base, but not from the lineup, because Fisher has experience at the other infield positions. Fisher, 26, originally was a Braves draft pick, and was signed as a minor league free agent last year.

• Left-hander Mike O’Connor returned to action for the Bisons on Sunday, allowing a homer to Brandon Hicks at Gwinnett. O’Connor had made nine relief appearances at the major league level before the demotion. Meanwhile, in his first start with Buffalo after clearing waivers and accepting a Triple-A assignment, Pat Misch allowed six runs in six innings Saturday against the Braves’ top affiliate. Misch pushed himself to 92 pitches, which was a feat since he had not logged more than 31 pitches in any appearance during a two-week stay in the majors.

• Binghamton infielder Josh Satin homered twice in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Harrisburg. The performance highlighted Satin’s return from a week-long absence, except for one game at DH, while he dealt with a thigh bruise. Satin is hitting .298 with eight homers and 35 RBIs in 178 at-bats with the B-Mets. A natural second baseman, he has assumed the third-base role since Havens’ arrival.

Oliver Perez, pitching for Double-A Harrisburg, a Washington Nationals affiliate, is due to face Binghamton in a Thursday morning game. Perez is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in four Eastern League starts. He has allowed 15 hits, walked three and hit two batters while striking out 14 in 19 innings.

• Savannah center fielder Darrell Ceciliani, the 2010 New York-Penn League batting champion with Brooklyn, has a seven-game hitting streak, during which he has lifted his average from .225 to .245. That spurt has coincided with a rare rough stretch for the SAL All-Star Vaughn. He is hitting .227 (10-for-44) with no homers and three RBIs in his past 11 games.

• Recent signee Bubba Bell, who began the season with Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate, was pushed off Buffalo’s roster to Binghamton with the recent return of prospects. Bell has manned center field in his four games with the B-Mets since arriving during the weekend. Carlos Guzman, a Brooklyn native who works out with Jose Reyes and Pedro Beato in Nassau County on Long Island during the offseason, was released. The 25-year-old outfielder was hitting .228 in 123 at-bats with Binghamton.

Chin-lung Hu continues to experience throwing yips with Buffalo. As a result, he is only being placed at second base, and not at shortstop. He also is being pulled late in games.

• Minor league baseball is not easy, especially when rising from high-A St. Lucie to Binghamton. Right-hander Collin McHugh, an 18th-round pick in 2008 out of Berry College, can attest. After allowing four runs on nine hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings at Akron in his second Double-A start on Sunday, McHugh (@Collin_McHugh) eloquently tweeted: “There seems to be a learning curve in AA. I'm hoping it's short and not too sharp. And that it has a guard rail.”

• The Brooklyn Cyclones’ season opens June 17 at Staten Island. Twenty-nine former Cyclones have reached the majors. The most recent: outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, who debuted with the Cleveland Indians on May 20. Carrera was one of seven players shipped out by the Mets in the J.J. Putz/Sean Green deal in December 2008. He subsequently was traded by Seattle to the Indians.

• Shortstop Wilmer Flores returned to St. Lucie’s lineup on Sunday after missing a couple of days with wrist soreness. The organization’s top position-player prospect is 0-for-his-last 11, and his average has slipped to .255 in 55 games.

• Harvey, the 2010 first-round pick from the University of North Carolina, takes the mound again for St. Lucie on Wednesday night. Since getting roughed up for a career-worst eight runs in 3 2/3 innings on May 10, Harvey has limited opponents to four runs while striking out 29 in four starts spanning 22 2/3 innings.

• When will a flurry of roster movement occur? Wogan said he never had been a big fan of tying promotions to the midpoints of seasons, after Class A leagues have determined first-half winners. But Wogan said he has now come around to the idea. After all, players get to experience extra incentive and pressure while trying to secure postseason berths for their teams -- even if they will be at a higher level when the playoff games occur in September. As a result, movement among top Mets prospects such as den Dekker and Vaughn may occur in just less than two weeks, after Savannah and St. Lucie complete their first halves. Savannah leads Greenville by 3 games in that South Atlantic League division, with the Gnats having 11 games remaining in the half. St. Lucie, after a torrid April, is one game over .500 and clinging to a one-game lead over Fort Myers with 12 games to go.

Adam Rubin’s farm report appears Wednesdays during the season

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.297 7 37 55
OTHER LEADERS
HRC. Granderson 14
RBIL. Duda 46
RD. Murphy 55
OPSL. Duda .835
WB. Colon 8
ERAJ. Niese 2.96
SOZ. Wheeler 99