New York Mets: Jonathan Johnson

Minors 8.16.14: Lupo swipes home for win

August, 17, 2014
Aug 17
12:36
AM ET
OMAHA 3, LAS VEGAS 2: Taylor Teagarden's two-run homer in the top of the seventh against Blake Wood broke a scoreless tie. But 51s starter Logan Verrett surrendered a sacrifice fly to ex-Mets farmhand Francisco Pena in the bottom of that inning, then a game-deciding two-run homer to Brian Bocock in the eighth. Verrett (10-5) was credited with a complete game and allowed only four hits and two walks in the defeat. Box

BINGHAMTON 2, READING 1
BINGHAMTON 7, READING 3: Rehabbing Daisuke Matsuzaka tossed six strong innings and also contributed with a run-producing walk . Reading starter Jesse Biddle opened the fourth by issuing walks to Brian Burgamy and Jayce Boyd. Darrell Ceciliani followed with an RBI single. Three batters later, Biddle hit Wilfredo Tovar and walked Matsuzaka, forcing in another run. Mike Nesseth took over for Biddle and recorded the final out of the inning, defusing the threat. Matsuzaka cruised through four scoreless innings, needing only 38 pitches and facing one over the minimum. Reading’s first threat came in the fifth, when Brock Stassi pulled a one-out double down the right-field line. Matsuzaka stranded Stassi by retiring the next two batters. The Fightins cracked the scoreboard in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Peter Lavin doubled over right fielder Kyle Johnson’s head. He took third on a fly out and scampered home with Reading’s lone run when Matsuzaka uncorked a wild pitch. Jon Velasquez tossed a perfect seventh for his first save since 2010 as a Phillies farmhand at high-A Clearwater. Matsuzaka (1-0) allowed one run on three hits in six innings. He threw 69 pitches while walking none and collecting three strikeouts.

In Game 2, the B-Mets plated seven unanswered runs, highlighted by a go-ahead three-run homer from Tovar in the sixth. The Fightin Phils had blasted their way to the lead in the first inning on Aaron Altherr's three-run homer against Tyler Pill. Binghamton responded without needing a hit in the third against Reading starter Adam Loewen. Tovar walked and Pill reached safely when Loewen failed to cleanly field his drag bunt. After a walk loaded the bases, T.J. Rivera ripped a groundball through Jake Fox’s legs at third base, allowing Tovar to score. Burgamy followed with a fielder’s choice to third, plating Pill to cut the deficit to one run. Pill settled down after Altherr’s blast, retiring the final 13 batters he faced. The righty cruised through four perfect innings, striking out five additional batters, to cap his night. Loewen’s fortunes turned quickly when the B-Mets put together a two-out rally in the sixth. The lefty walked Dustin Lawley and hit Xorge Carrillo. Tovar then ripped a 1-0 pitch over the left-center wall. His second homer of the season put Binghamton ahead, 5-3. The B-Mets padded their lead in the ninth on Lawley's two-run double. Pill (8-5) struck out six while issuing no walks over five innings. He remains unbeaten in his last 15 games as a B-Met. Box 1, Box 2

BRADENTON 5, ST. LUCIE 2: In his first start since Aug. 3, Luis Cessa allowed one single

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and one walk in five scoreless innings. He struck out seven, but did not factor in the decision when the bullpen could not hold a 2-0 lead in the eighth. Beck Wheeler surrendered three straight singles to start the frame and was replaced by lefty T.J. Chism to face lefty Adam Frazier. Frazier singled to left to make it 2-1. After Chism struck out Walker Gourley, Jordan Steranka produced a three-run double to put the Marauders ahead, 4-2. Bradenton added one more run in the inning when Jose Osuna’s grounder went through second baseman Phillip Evans' legs and Steranka scored. Yhonathan Barrios pitched around a one-out double by Evans in the ninth to close out the game. Cessa retired the first 11 batters he faced. His no-hit bid ended with two outs in the fourth on a single by Steranka. The only other batter to reach against Cessa was on a walk in the fifth. Cam Maron singled to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Box

SAVANNAH 9, GREENVILLE 3: The Gnats used bases-loaded walks to Victor Cruzado and

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Nelfi Zapata to score twice in the first inning. The Drive pulled within 2-1 in the fourth against Savannah starter Alex Panteliodis as Kevin Mager singled to plate Tzu-Wei Lin. That was the only run Panteliodis allowed before the ninth inning. The Gnats blew the game open with a combined seven runs in the sixth and seventh innings against reliever Oscar Perez. Jeff Glenn and Patrick Biondi drew back-to-back walks to start a three-run rally in the sixth. In the seventh, consecutive singles from Cruzado, Zapata, Jonathan Johnson, Glenn and Biondi led to four runs and a 9-1 Savannah advantage. Cruzado finished 2-for-3 with two walks, a run scored and an RBI. Yeixon Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored. Biondi was 2-for-2 with two walks and a run scored. Savannah let Panteliodis begin the ninth with an eight-run lead, but he allowed three hits, including two doubles, and reached his pitch limit. He was removed one out shy of his second complete game of the season. He still earned the win to improve to 5-3 with a 3.80 ERA. Box

KINGSPORT 4, GREENEVILLE 3: The K-Mets scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth for the walk-off win, capped by Vicente Lupo's game-ending steal of home. Lupo's RBI double earlier in the frame had tied the score at 3. Kingsport starter Persio Reyes tossed six scoreless innings. Box

BROOKLYN 2, VERMONT 1: Amed Rosario's two-out double in the third plated John Mora and opened the scoring. The Cyclones opened a 2-0 lead an inning later. Michael Conforto was hit by a pitch and stole second. Tyler Moore followed with an RBI double. Brooklyn starter Alberto Baldonado departed after five scoreless innings. In the eighth, Gaither Bumgardner inherited a runner on first with two outs from Carlos Valdez. A passed ball by Adrian Abreu advanced Max Kuhn to second. Trent Gilbert's RBI single then pulled Vermont within 2-1. In the ninth, closer Shane Bay surrendered one hit but converted his 13th save. Box

GCL MARLINS 9, GCL METS 5: Starter Darwin Reyes surrendered eight runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings. Down 8-0, the Mets produced five fifth-inning runs, highlighted by Alvin Maracaro's two-run double. Maracaro, a third baseman, also committed two of the Mets' three errors. Adrian Almeida contributed three scoreless relief innings in the loss. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 8.11.14: Stuart plates winner

August, 11, 2014
Aug 11
11:29
PM ET
ALBUQUERQUE 8, LAS VEGAS 2: With Rafael Montero scratched because of a promotion, Giancarlo Alvarado allowed eight runs in five innings. Box

BRADENTON 5, ST. LUCIE 4: St. Lucie took a 4-0 lead in the third on two-run doubles by L.J. Mazzilli and Jared King, but could not hold on. After three scoreless innings from Daisuke Matsuzaka in a rehab start, the Marauders tied the score with a four-run fourth against Tim Peterson. He ultimately was charged with five runs in four relief innings. Box

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SAVANNAH 4, ASHEVILLE 3 (10 innings): Champ Stuart brought home Yeixon Ruiz with a game-winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th to cap a comeback win over division-leading Asheville. Ruiz had a big night. Leading off the bottom of the 10th, he tripled and scored the winning run in front of a laser throw from Asheville center fielder Ramiel Tapia. Ruiz's solo homer in the third inning had tied the score at 2. The Tourists took a 3-2 lead in the seventh when Dillon Thomas tripled and scored on Wilfredo Rodriguez's sacrifice fly. The Gnats evened the score at 3 in the bottom of the ninth when Victor Cruzado singled into right field to plate pinch runner Jonathan Johnson. Box

JOHNSON CITY 3, KINGSPORT 2: Starter Gaby Almonte (0-6) allowed three runs in three innings. The K-Mets pulled within 3-1 in the eighth on Eudor Garcia's run-scoring groundout. Luis Guillorme had an RBI single in the ninth. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on Jean Rodriguez's infield single. However, Guillorme was stranded there as the tying run when Oswald Caraballo grounded out. Yoan Gonzalez contributed three scoreless relief innings in the loss. Box

BATAVIA 4, BROOKLYN 3: Carlos Valdez and the Cyclones failed to hold a 3-2 lead over the final two innings. Second baseman Tyler Moore's two-out throwing error in the eighth allowed the tying run to score. Victor Castro had a two-out walk-off RBI single against Valdez in the bottom of the ninth. Box

GCL NATIONALS 3, GCL METS 0 (six innings): Kevin Canelon surrendered a three-run homer to Oliver Ortiz in the fifth inning of a rain-shortened game. Box

Compiled with team reports

Minors 7.23.14: Whalen wins in return

July, 24, 2014
Jul 24
12:14
AM ET
TACOMA 6, LAS VEGAS 4: Cory Mazzoni allowed six runs (four earned) on five hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings. Wilmer Flores and Allan Dykstra homered in a three-run third as the 51s took a 3-1 lead. Flores finished with three RBIs. With Vegas trailing by two runs, Danny Muno doubled with one out in the ninth and Juan Centeno singled. After Cesar Puello flied out, Matt den Dekker then walked to load the bases. However, Josh Satin flied out for the final out. Box

BINGHAMTON 4, PORTLAND 2: Steven Matz (4-1) limited the Sea Dogs to two runs on

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seven hits and a walk in seven innings and the B-Mets avoided a three-game sweep. Sean Coyle had a solo homer against Matz in the second inning, but the B-Mets responded a half-inning later against Binghamton University product Mike Augliera as Rylan Sandoval had a leadoff homer. It was Sandoval’s first long ball of the season. Binghamton took the lead in the fourth as T.J. Rivera doubled and eventually scored on Jayce Boyd's single. That advantage swelled to 4-1 in the fifth. Dilson Herrera singled and stole second. Brian Burgamy then singled to place runners on the corners. Travis Taijeron followed with a run-scoring double. Rivera skied a sacrifice fly to center to plate Burgamy. Portland cut the deficit to two runs in the sixth as rehabbing Ryan Lavarnway, Michael Almanzar and Dave Chester all singled. Randy Fontanez and Cody Satterwhite each contributed a scoreless frame in relief. Satterwhite notched his ninth save. Burgamy finished 4-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored. Portland won the season series over the B-Mets, 11-9. Box

TAMPA 13, ST. LUCIE 6: Gavin Cecchini blasted a three-run homer in a five-run first inning, but the Yankees overcame the deficit to complete a four-game sweep. Mets starter Michael Fulmer cruised through the first three innings, allowing one hit and striking out five. His outing unraveled in the fourth. Greg Bird singled, Dante Bichette Jr. reached on L.J. Mazzilli’s error and Fulmer hit Eric Jagielo on the foot with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. Fulmer threw a wild pitch that allowed Bird to score and walked Aaron Judge to reload the bases. Angelo Gumbs then singled to make it 5-2. With the bases again loaded, Trent Garrison had a two-run single. Jose Rosario followed with an RBI single to even the score. After Danny Oh struck out and Cito Culver walked, Fulmer was replaced by Jake Kuebler. Bird came up for the second time in the inning and produced a sac fly to put the Yankees ahead. Bichette followed with an RBI single to make it 7-5. Judge finally grounded out to end the fourth. Kuebler stayed in to pitch the fifth, but the Yankees got to him. Kuebler fielded Rosario’s bunt attempt with two runners on but threw the ball over the head of Mazzilli covering first base to allow a run to score. Later in the frame, Gilbert Gomez dropped a fly ball hit to center that allowed two more runs to score as the Yankees took a 12-5 lead. The Mets committed five errors in the game. Fulmer was charged with seven runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings. Box

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SAVANNAH 7, AUGUSTA 2: Rob Whalen (5-0) limited Augusta to two runs in 5 2/3 innings in his first South Atlantic League start since May 1. He missed more than two months recovering from an infection in his pitching hand that needed to be surgically cleaned. Miller Diaz tossed three scoreless innings and was credited with his second save. Matt Oberste extended his hitting streak to 21 games with a ninth-inning solo homer. Jonathan Johnson had two RBIs. Victor Cruzado went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. Box

GREENEVILLE 6, KINGSPORT 3 (10 innings): Jimmy Duff was charged with three runs (two earned) in the top of the 10th. Third baseman Eudor Garcia had a fielding error in the frame. Box

ABERDEEN 5, BROOKLYN 2: Starter Casey Meisner allowed three runs (two earned) in one inning. Amed Rosario went 3-for-4 with a triple and Michael Conforto went 2-for-4 with a double in the loss. Jhoan Urena drove in two runs. Box

GCL METS 9, GCL NATIONALS 6: Dale Burdick's eighth-inning sacrifice fly broke a 6-all tie. Hengelbert Rojas added a two-run single in the ninth. John Mora, Arnaldo Berrios, Rojas and Burdick had two RBIs apiece. Box

Compiled with team reports

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
14 4.02 143 190
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .295
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 83
RD. Murphy 75
OPSL. Duda .827
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173