New York Mets: Roy Merritt

Mets release 9 minor leaguers

March, 26, 2012
The Mets cut nine players from minor league camp Monday morning: Tobi Stoner, Eric Niesen, Nick Carr, Roy Merritt, Chris Hilliard, Ronny Morla, Steve Winnick, Lucas Stewart and Chase Greene.

Stoner, 27, appeared in five games in relief for the Mets between 2009 and '10.

Carr, 24, should latch on with another organization. He had been throwing 92-95 mph this spring training and had not allowed a hit in minor league spring-training games.

Farm report: Frenzel first for Cyclones

July, 20, 2011
Amateur scouting director Chad MacDonald predicts the best has yet to come from seventh-round pick Cole Frenzel, a first baseman from the University of Arizona.

Several factors, MacDonald suggests, point to that conclusion.

The 21-year-old Frenzel hails from Dickinson, N.D., a climate that limited his ability to play year-round. Frenzel also missed much of his freshman season in college after breaking the hamate bone at the base of his right hand while fouling off a fastball against Long Beach State in his second collegiate game, limiting his development time.

Courtesy of Brooklyn Cyclones
Cole Frenzel

Of course, it also was attractive to the organization that Frenzel had a .461 on-base percentage in the Pacific-10 Conference this season -- 35 points better than No. 2-ranked Danny Pulfer of Oregon, who became a 19th-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“We thought he was trending upward,” MacDonald said.

Frenzel, who bats left-handed and throws right-handed, is hitting .297 (11-for-37) with seven RBIs through 10 professional games as a Brooklyn Cyclone.

As is the case with still-unsigned first-round pick Brandon Nimmo, who hails from Wyoming, climate certainly restricted Frenzel from playing baseball year-round in North Dakota.

“Obviously you couldn’t go outside pretty much from the fall all the way until the spring,” Frenzel said. “I would hit indoors. We had a college baseball team there (NAIA Dickinson State), and they would have cages in the gymnasium. I’d go hit there with my dad all the time -- twice a week in my off-time -- play catch, take groundballs. I didn’t do much baseball throughout the winter and fall because I played football and hockey. But I’d still make time to hit just to stay in shape a little bit. We used wood bats in high school, too. So that helped out.

“The weather, I mean, winters get cold up there. You get 30-below-zero like nothing.”

Frenzel played inside linebacker and fullback/tailback in football and forward in hockey during high school. He had opportunities to play junior hockey and was also recruited by Division II college programs, but his father Doug and brother Tyler played college baseball -- Tyler at the University of North Dakota. Baseball seemed like the most promising path.

“Once I got into eighth grade, freshman year of high school, that’s when I realized I’m going to do hockey all summer or I’m going to play baseball,” Frenzel said. “Hockey would have turned into year-round. My dad played college baseball. My brother did too. I still loved baseball. And I was a little better at baseball. It was my best chance in athletics.”

Frenzel, because of his date of birth, actually was eligible for the draft this year, after his sophomore season at Arizona. Typically, a player at a four-year program is not eligible until after his junior season. Armed with the leverage of being able to be drafted for two more years, Frenzel received a $200,000 signing bonus, according to Baseball America -- the highest for that round this year.

MacDonald said he believes Frenzel will grow into power, too.

“I try to keep it simple and put the barrel on the ball,” Frenzel said. “I try to hit for average. Power usually comes.”

Organization leaders

Average: Juan Lagares, St. Lucie, .337; Julio Concepcion, Kingsport, .333; Josh Satin, Binghamton, .322; Richard Lucas, Brooklyn, .317; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, .316; Brandon Brown, Brooklyn, .310; Cam Maron, Kingsport, .304; Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, .299; Cory Vaughn, St. Lucie, .292; Jeff Glenn, Kingsport, .292.

Homers: Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 15; Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 13.

RBI: Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo, 61; Wilmer Flores, St. Lucie, 60; Josh Satin, Binghamton, 59; Aderlin Rodriguez, Savannah, 58; Brahiam Maldonado, Binghamton, 47.

Steals: Jordany Valdespin, Binghamton, 29; Pedro Zapata, St. Lucie, 27; Matt den Dekker, Binghamton, 16; Rafael Fernandez, Savannah, 14.

ERA: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 2.03; Carlos Vazquez, Brooklyn, 2.43; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 2.63; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 2.71; Eduardo Aldama, Brooklyn, 2.81; Gabriel Ynoa, GCL Mets, 3.00; Todd Weldon, Brooklyn, 3.09; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 3.18; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 3.21; Ryan Fraser, Savannah, 3.26.

Wins: Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 10; Greg Peavey, St. Lucie, 9; Angel Cuan, Savannah, 8; Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 8; Brandon Moore, Binghamton, 7.

Saves: Josh Edgin, St. Lucie, 20; Jeffrey Kaplan, St. Lucie, 10; Dale Thayer, Buffalo, 9.

Strikeouts: Matt Harvey, Binghamton, 115; Darin Gorski, St. Lucie, 107; Jeurys Familia, Binghamton, 100; Chris Schwinden, Buffalo, 93; Taylor Whitenton, Savannah, 87.

Short hops

• Right-hander Chris Schwinden tossed a perfect inning at Salt Lake City, requiring only seven pitches, in the Triple-A All-Star Game as Buffalo’s lone representative last Wednesday. Schwinden retired Albuquerque’s Trayvon Robinson, Reno’s Collin Cowgill and Sacramento’s Anthony Recker on groundouts. It marked the fourth straight year a Bison has tossed a scoreless relief inning in the All-Star Game, with Schwinden joining Rich Rundles (2008), Nelson Figueroa (2009) and Pat Misch (2010) in continuing that streak. Schwinden (6-4, 3.31 ERA) then opened the second half by suffering his first loss in eight starts. He allowed four runs while lasting a season-low 4 1/3 innings at Rochester.

• St. Lucie left-hander Darin Gorski improved to 10-0 on Monday against Clearwater. That win total is more impressive because Gorski did not enter the Florida State League team’s rotation until April 27, after making five relief appearances. Gorski’s 10 wins are tied for third in minor league baseball, trailing only the 11 victories by Julio Rodriguez (Class A Clearwater/Phillies) and Craig Westcott (Class A San Jose/Giants).

• Buffalo center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on his left, non-throwing shoulder to repair the labrum.

• Third-base prospect Zach Lutz’s hard-luck season injury-wise continued Tuesday when he was hit with a fastball in the head by Syracuse’s Chien-Ming Wang in the first inning and later experienced concussion symptoms that sent him to the hospital. Lutz remained in the game until Michael Fisher replaced him in the bottom of the third. Lutz already has suffered a concussion this season after getting hit with a curveball in the head on June 24 against Norfolk.

• Left-hander Gustavo Chacin is scheduled to make his Buffalo debut Wednesday, with fellow newcomer Miguel Batista starting the other game of a doubleheader at Syracuse. Chacin, 30, was released by the Houston Astros after going 3-6 with a 5.13 ERA in 18 relief appearances at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He allowed 81 hits and 24 walks in 66 2/3 innings. The right-handed Batista, 40, was released by the St. Louis Cardinals after a June 21 appearance against Philadelphia in which he walked consecutive batters with the bases loaded to force in runs. After two relief appearances with the Bisons, Batista made his first minor league start in 11 years on Thursday, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings while building his pitch count to 64. Jack Egbert, returning from Tommy John surgery this season, will move to the Double-A rotation to clear room with the Bisons.

• The Mets signed a pair of position players for the upper levels of the organization. Outfielder Fernando Perez, a Columbia University product and published poet, was assigned to Buffalo. Infielder Niuman Romero joined Binghamton. Perez, 28, hit .238 with three homers and 20 RBIs and had 17 steals in 19 attempts in 76 games with Triple-A Iowa in the Chicago Cubs organization. Perez once scored the game-winning run by tagging up on a shallow fly ball in Game 2 in the 2008 American League Championship Series for Tampa Bay against Boston. Romero, 26, hit .239 in 34 games in the Eastern League with Reading in the Phillies organization. He also appeared briefly in the Blue Jays minor league system this season.

• Romero has started his first three games at shortstop with the B-Mets, prompting middle infielder Jordany Valdespin to man second base. Valdespin, who has 27 errors this season, should return to shortstop, however, with 2008 first-round pick Reese Havens activated from the disabled list following a back injury that has sidelined the second baseman since June 23.

• A pair of the Mets’ more highly regarded prospects found themselves on the disabled list. Outfielder Fernando Martinez was placed on the Buffalo DL with a left hip flexor injury, while right-hander Jeurys Familia had been shut down with the B-Mets with a shoulder impingement, but has resumed throwing. Familia had been given more than two weeks off between starts before returning to the rotation July 4. Familia is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in Double-A this season. B-Mets left-hander Roy Merritt also landed on the DL with a bruised shin.

• Familia had been one of three B-Mets selections to last Wednesday’s Eastern League All-Star Game in Manchester, N.H., but was unable to attend. Josh Satin (0-for-1, walk) and Valdespin (0-for-2) started for the East, which lost, 8-3.

• Satin has now reached base in 43 straight games with the B-Mets. His .322 average ranks fifth in the Eastern League, while his .421 on-base percentage trails only Portland’s Alex Hassan (.430).

• Buffalo designated hitter/first baseman Valentino Pascucci was named the International League hitter of the week. In five games since the All-Star break, Pascucci is hitting .381 with three homers and 11 RBIs.

Jose De La Torre made his first Buffalo appearance since May 3 on Tuesday, recording four outs but issuing three walks. The right-handed reliever had been out with a shoulder strain.

• St. Lucie, and rehabbing David Wright, faced Tim Teufel’s son Shawn on Saturday. The 25-year-old southpaw, a 25th-round pick last year out of Liberty University by the Detroit Tigers, suffered his first career Florida State League loss. He allowed three runs on five hits and a walk in five innings and now sports a 2.50 ERA in the league in 36 innings (14 appearances/two starts).

• Right-hander Brad Holt, the 33rd overall pick in 2008, who was bounced from the rotation to bullpen because of wildness, had a recent run of success out of the B-Mets pen. Holt retired 16 straight batters until the streak ended Monday when he allowed three runs in an inning. Still, Holt has not allowed a walk in his past four appearances spanning six innings. He had walked 50 through 67 innings this season.

• 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out nine in five innings Monday at Portland. He is 0-2 with a 7.64 ERA through four Double-A starts.

• Thirteenth-round pick Robert Gsellman, a high school right-hander from California, made his professional debut Monday with a scoreless inning, with two strikeouts and two walks, in the Gulf Coast League. The Mets also signed ninth-round pick from Alex Panteliodis, a left-hander from the University of Florida. Panteliodis arrived with a hip injury the organization was aware of and will not pitch until next season.

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



Juan Lagares
.314 1 7 8
HRL. Duda 3
RBIL. Duda 7
RE. Young Jr. 9
OPSJ. Lagares .816
WC. Torres 2
ERAJ. Niese 3.46
SOZ. Wheeler 15