New York Mets: Jonathan Johnson

Minors 7.13.14: Herrera homer trumps errors

July, 13, 2014
Jul 13
10:21
PM ET
BINGHAMTON 5, ERIE 4: Dilson Herrera launched a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh and Cody Satterwhite left the bases loaded in the ninth for his seventh save as

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the B-Mets won despite committing a season-high five errors. It marked the most errors committed by the B-Mets since a five-error game against Akron on May 15, 2013. Dustin Lawley matched a franchise record with four errors, last done by Ty Wiggington at New Hampshire on June 24, 2000. Marcus Lemon had a first-inning solo homer against B-Mets starter Hansel Robles. Binghamton struck back against Warwick Saupold in the third. Kyle Johnson produced a ground-rule double, moved to third on Brandon Nimmo’s infield single and scored when Herrera beat out a potential double play. Lawley capped the inning with an RBI single, giving the B-Mets a 2-1 lead.

In the bottom half, Lemon struck again, doubling off the fence. Robles then surrendered a game-tying two-out RBI single to Devon Travis. In the fourth, Corey Jones reached safely when B-Mets catcher Xorge Carrillo failed to grab his pop up in front of the plate. Jones took third on Dean Green's single and scored on Francisco Martinez’s two-out single. Binghamton made it 3-all in the sixth when Jayce Boyd used a fielder’s choice to plate Lawley. Erie retook the lead in the bottom half, though. Ryan Fraser walked Jones, who scored thanks to three errors by Lawley at third base in a two-batter span. Trailing for the third time in the game, Binghamton grabbed the lead in the seventh against reliever Guido Knudson. Following Nimmo's one-out single, Herrera lifted a 1-2 pitch into right field, barely clearing the fence for a go-ahead two-run homer.

Randy Fontanez preserved the lead with two scoreless innings. Satterwhite quickly registered two outs in the ninth. He then walked Daniel Fields on four pitches, surrendered a single to Travis and walked Ramon Cabrera to load the bases. With the tying run on third, Jones sent a bouncer up the middle. Shortstop T.J. Rivera dove to his left and smothered the grounder. While rolling onto the outfield grass, he flipped the ball to Herrera at second in time for the out. Fraser (2-1) allowed one unearned run without surrendering a hit in his lone inning. Robles gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits over five innings. Box

LAKELAND at ST. LUCIE (ppd.): The teams will play a doubleheader Monday at 4 p.m.

CHARLESTON 5, SAVANNAH 0: The Dogs chased Savannah starter John Gant with a four-run second inning during which he threw 37 pitches. Mike Ford led off the frame with a solo homer. Eduardo de Oleo contributed a sacrifice fly. Brandon Thomas and Mark Payton added RBI singles. The Dogs picked up another run in the fourth on Payton's RBI double against Savannah reliever Dario Alvarez. Savannah remained hitless until Jonathan Johnson's two-out single in the fifth. The Gnats finished the game with four hits. Box

BRISTOL 8, KINGSPORT 2: Starter Andrew Massie allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings. Reliever Ramon Estevez surrendered four runs (three earned) in 1 1/3 innings. Oswald Caraballo and Jose Figuera drove in the K-Mets' runs in the defeat. Box

CONNECTICUT 6, BROOKLYN 0: Starter Corey Oswalt allowed four runs on nine hits and a walk in four innings. The Cyclones mustered four hits. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 7.3.14: B-Met Johnson homers twice

July, 3, 2014
Jul 3
11:04
PM ET
LAS VEGAS 9, SALT LAKE 8: Trailing 7-4, Vegas scored five runs in the seventh. Salt Lake produced a run in the ninth and then loaded the bases against Buddy Carlyle, but he retired Luis Jimenez on a pop out to third baseman Josh Satin to end the game. Matt Reynolds finished 2-for-3 with a double, walk, RBI and two runs scored. Matt den Dekker swiped home on a double-steal with Reynolds. Box

BINGHAMTON 6, NEW BRITAIN 4 (9 innings)
BINGHAMTON at NEW BRITAIN (ppd.): Kyle Johnson belted a leadoff homer as well as a tiebreaking long ball in the ninth. Johnson deposited Tyler Duffey’s second pitch of the

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game over the left-field wall for his second leadoff homer this season. Dilson Herrera followed three pitches later with another homer, marking the first time the B-Mets have hit back-to-back shots this season. Binghamton added to its lead in the second on a run-scoring fielder’s choice from Herrera. Trailing by three, New Britain answered against Tyler Pill in the bottom half. Tony Thomas produced a sac fly. Mike Kvasnicka cut the deficit to one by flaring an RBI single. Aaron Hicks then gave New Britain the lead with one swing in the third. Following a two-out walk, Hicks launched a 3-1 pitch for a go-ahead two-run blast. Down 4-3, Binghamton found more power in the fifth. Brian Burgamy led off with his team-leading 14th homer. Pill settled down after Hicks’ blast to retire nine straight Rock Cats. In the seventh, Pill surrendered a one-out single to Stephen Wickens and handed off to Chase Huchingson, who promptly picked off the runner. Huchingson followed by retiring Eddie Rosario to force the seven-inning game into extras. Johnson struck again in the ninth. He took reliever Cole Johnson deep on a 1-2 pitch to start the inning, breaking the tie. Burgamy followed with a triple and scored when Dustin Lawley singled. Cody Satterwhite worked around a two-out single to post a scoreless ninth, securing his sixth save. Huchingson (1-0) also retired the heart of the Rock Cats order in a perfect eighth. Pill allowed four runs on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. Binghamton is 10-0 in Pill’s last 10 appearances.

The nightcap of the doubleheader, which was due to feature Gabriel Ynoa's Double-A debut, was postponed due to inclement weather. It will be made up in Binghamton when the Rock Cats visit in August. Box

ST. LUCIE 7, CHARLOTTE 4: Gavin Cecchini broke a 1-all tie with a sixth-inning grand slam against Zach Cooper as the Mets won their sixth straight game. It marked Cecchini's

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first homer since a June 19 promotion from Savannah. Albert Cordero followed Cecchini’s shot with a double and Jeff McNeil (3-for-4) drove Cordero in with a single to make it 6-1. The Crabs got a run back against Mets starter Luis Cessa in the bottom half, but the Mets responded in the seventh. L.J. Mazzilli doubled, moved to third on Aderlin Rodriguez's single and scored on catcher Justin O’Conner’s throwing error. Mets reliever Tim Peterson ran into trouble in the seventh. He walked three, gave up a hit and threw a wild pitch with a runner on third. However, he struck out Tyler Goeddel to limit the damage to two runs. Paul Sewald worked perfect eighth and ninth innings to earn his fifth save in his last six appearances. He sliced his ERA to 0.79. The Mets got on the board first on Phillip Evans’ two-out RBI single, which plated McNeil. The Crabs tied the score at 1 in the third on an infield hit by Goeddel that plated Patrick Leonard. The Crabs loaded the bases with one out later that inning, but Cessa got two flyouts to keep the score tied. Cessa (6-5) went six innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out two. Evans, who had two hits, played third base for the first time this season. He cleanly fielded all five balls hit to him and initiated two double plays. Box

SAVANNAH 10, CHARLESTON 5: Alex Panteliodis (2-1) limited the RiverDogs to one run on seven hits and two walks in seven innings as the Gnats raced to a 10-1 lead. Jonathan Johnson went 2-for-2 with two walks and four RBIs. Box

GREENEVILLE 12, KINGSPORT 6 (10 innings): Ramon Estevez and Bryce Beeler combined to surrender six runs (two earned) in the 10th. The K-Mets had forced extra innings on Ivan Wilson's one-out solo homer in the bottom of the ninth. Shortstop Luis Guillorme, who committed three of Kingsport's four errors, also went 4-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored. Box

BROOKLYN at HUDSON VALLEY (ppd.)

GCL METS 4, GCL METS 1: Milton Ramos had an RBI single and Raphael Ramirez had a run-scoring groundout in the third inning as the Mets took a 2-1 lead. Dash Winningham's ninth-inning solo homer capped the scoring. Starter Logan Taylor (2-0) allowed one run in five innings. Gabriel Feliz, Tyler Badamo and Waldo Rodriguez combined for four scoreless relief innings. Box

Compiled with team reports

Farm report: L.J. Maz reflects on O's days

June, 25, 2014
Jun 25
11:02
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- L.J. Mazzilli was born on Sept. 6, 1990, the year after his father Lee Mazzilli’s major league career ended in the American League Championship Series with Toronto’s loss to Oakland.

Still, L.J. eventually did enjoy the benefits of his father being in a major league uniform. Lee managed the Baltimore Orioles during the 2004 and part of the ’05 seasons. So L.J., during his early teenage years, spent plenty of time in the clubhouse. He grew particularly close to then-Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who now is with the Yankees at the twilight of his career.

L.J., the Mets’ fourth-round pick out of UConn in 2013, was part of last week’s wave of promotions throughout the organization. He hit .292 with seven homers, 45 RBIs and 11 steals in 250 at-bats with Savannah and played in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. He since has moved on to St. Lucie, where he is hitting .286 through six games and slugged his second homer in six Florida State League games on Tuesday night.


Courtesy of New York MetsL.J. Mazzilli


“That was the perfect year for any kid to be a manager’s son,” L.J. recalled about his days hanging out at Camden Yards. “I got there and I was bat boy and I lived with him for a year in Baltimore and I got to be around Brian Roberts, who is my favorite baseball player. He’s the coolest guy on earth. And I got to be around Miguel Tejada, Melvin Mora, who was a cool dude, Luis Matos, who I loved. I would be out there shagging with him as a little kid in center field. It was just really cool to experience.”

As for his particular affinity for Roberts, L.J. added: “He just took me under his wing. Every single day I would just hang out around him. He was an All-Star that year [’05]. And he was a little guy, a switch-hitting second baseman. And my dad gave him the starting nod for the first time in his career. He took him over Jerry Hairston Jr. that year and his hitting exploded.

“He and my dad had a really good connection. Every single day I would be around him. There would be days where my dad would have to go do something, because I was living with my dad, and he would just leave me with [Roberts], and I’d go to the field with him. He’d give me food and stuff like that. It was like he wasn’t a major league baseball player. He was just awesome.”

With Lee now a special advisor to Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost and around that ballclub, Roberts recently had the opportunity to ask for L.J.’s cell phone number.

“He sent me a text,” L.J. said. “He’s awesome.”

L.J., whose average was in the .220s with Savannah into mid-May, had received a piece of advice from Yogi Berra through Lee about that time this season: “If you see it, hit it. If you don’t see it, don’t hit it,” the 89-year-old Berra said.

The anecdote fanned through the media, even making a New York tabloid. L.J. said, in reality, the affect it had on his subsequent performance was considerably overblown.

“It was like headlines everywhere,” L.J. said. “But it did help, though, because I was struggling and I was thinking about a lot of things. And the fact that it simplified thinking about the process of hitting -- if you see it, hit it; if you don’t see it, don’t hit it -- it was like, ‘All right. It makes sense.’”

So what happened? L.J. suggested instruction from Savannah hitting coach Valentino Pascucci and one particular home run made all the difference.

“Something clicked. I hit a home run to dead-center in Savannah. It was the farthest ball I’ve ever hit. That’s a pretty far poke,” said L.J., referring to the 410-foot dimension in center at Historic Grayson Stadium, which also has a higher-than-average wall. “I didn’t really gear up for it or anything. It was a one-motion, smooth swing. It was on time and through it.

“Pascucci, he helped me so much. Basically what he stresses is being on time. And then, when you’re on time, just stay through it, no matter where it is, if it’s in your ‘box.’ I got a middle-in fastball and I was thinking away and I was on time and smooth through the ball and all of a sudden it just clicked from there -- that’s all it is, is being on time and staying through the baseball. If you’ve got two strikes, you’ve got to expand the zone a little bit. That was the big key.”

Lee has seen his son play twice this year, double-dipping on official Yankees business while playing dad, too. He was there for Savannah’s Opening Day and also a couple of weeks ago when the Gnats played at Charleston, the Yankees’ affiliate in the South Atlantic League.

A second baseman for the bulk of his pro career, L.J. also did appear in 14 games at shortstop during the first half with the Gnats.

“Just to expand my versatility out there,” he said. “I played short my whole life, until about my sophomore year of college. There was this kid Nick Ahmed [at UConn], who last year was the Gold Glove shortstop of all the minor leagues, so I had no chance in college then. But I definitely learned a lot from him.”

L.J. said one lesson he has learned as a pro is that while it’s a long year, every at-bat counts.

As L.J. spoke on Monday afternoon at Tradition Field, he was wearing a white bracelet on his left wrist that read: “Fred L. Mazzilli Foundation.” Named for Lee’s older brother, who passed away two years ago from lung cancer, the one-year-old foundation sponsors free screening tests for lung cancer at the New York Methodist Hospital.

“For just a first step it’s amazing,” L.J. said. “We’re trying to keep going with that into the future.”

Organization leaders

Average: Emmanuel Zabala, GCL Mets, .467; Dionis Rodriguez, GCL Mets, .444; Brandon Brosher, Kingsport, .421; Matt Reynolds, Vegas, .359; Jairo Perez, St. Lucie, .359; Alfredo Reyes, GCL Mets, .353; Oswald Caraballo, Kingsport, .350; T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, .340; Kevin Plawecki, Vegas; .326; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, .319.

Homers: Andrew Brown, Vegas, 13; Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 13; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 10; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 10; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Vegas, 10.

RBIs: Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 52; L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, 51; T.J. Rivera, Binghamton, 49; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 46; Aderlin Rodriguez, St. Lucie, 46.

Steals: Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 16; Jeff McNeil, St. Lucie, 15; Dilson Herrera, Binghamton, 15; L.J. Mazzilli, St. Lucie, 11; Stefan Sabol, Savannah, 10.

ERA: Kevin Canelon, GCL Mets, 0.00; Corey Oswalt, Brooklyn, 0.00; Blake Taylor, GCL Mets, 0.00; Marcos Molina, Brooklyn, 0.69; Octavio Acosta, Brooklyn, 0.84; Martires Arias, Kingsport, 1.04; Yoryi Nuez, Kingsport, 1.69; Logan Taylor, GCL Mets, 1.80; John Gant, Savannah, 2.13; Kevin McGowan, Savannah, 2.39.

Wins: Gabriel Ynoa, St. Lucie, 8; John Gant, Savannah, 7; Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 7.

Saves: Chasen Bradford, Vegas, 12; Robert Coles, St. Lucie, 12; Randy Fontanez, Binghamton, 10; Vic Black, Vegas, 7; Jeff Walters, Vegas, 6; Beck Wheeler, St. Lucie, 6.

Strikeouts: Darin Gorski, Vegas, 79; Dario Alvarez, Savannah, 70; Matt Bowman, Binghamton, 68; Noah Syndergaard, Vegas, 67; Steven Matz, Binghamton, 66.

Short hops

Brandon Brosher is not letting a conversion to full-time catching affect his production at the plate. Brosher, an outfielder and first baseman in high school in Florida who did not begin catching until last fall's instructional league, has slugged four homers through his opening five games with Kingsport, although four of the starts have come as DH. He is hitting .421 with four homers and seven RBIs through 19 at-bats and was recognized as the season’s first Appalachian League Player of the Week. In his lone start at catcher so far, Brosher did have one passed ball, and Kingsport’s starter was charged with two wild pitches. The 19-year-old Brosher was a 36th-round pick in 2013. He had committed to Oral Roberts, but was enticed to go pro with a $167,500 signing bonus. The Mets believed he would grow into power, and it has come quicker than expected.

• Left-hander Blake Taylor, the player to be named in the Ike Davis deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, made his organization debut Tuesday. After Dillon Gee handled the first two innings in a rehab start, Taylor entered and tossed four scoreless innings. He limited the Gulf Coast League Marlins to one hit and three walks while striking out seven in four innings. Taylor, 18, was drafted by the Pirates in the second round last year out of high school in Dana Point, Calif.

Noah Syndergaard is not having an exceptional year for a top prospect. He is 6-4 with a 4.98 ERA in 13 starts for Las Vegas and twice has been injured. So why is he joining catcher Kevin Plawecki at the Futures Game at Target Field? A Mets official said Futures Game organizers select the players, not the individual clubs, although an organization can nix someone for health or other legitimate reasons. Plawecki, newly promoted, is due to join Las Vegas on Thursday.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
8 4.12 95 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .288
HRL. Duda 14
RBID. Wright 50
RD. Murphy 57
OPSL. Duda .829
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 112