By: Stache Staff

Down On The Farm: April 2, 2013

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Back for year three of Down on the Farm, we’ll start things off slow since we don’t know who’s going where just yet. However, opening day for Las Vegas, Binghamton, St. Lucie and Savannah is Thursday and the team’s will look to get to the playoffs after only St. Lucie and Brooklyn made it a season ago.

Yes the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate is in Las Vegas after their contract had expired with the Buffalo Bisons, ownership of the Buffalo team no longer wanted to continue their relationship with the Mets and deservedly so after three of four losing seasons and missing the playoffs in all four years as the Mets’ top affiliate. So the Mets head to the Pacific Coast League for the first time since 2008 when they were affiliated with the New Orleans Zephyrs.

Binghamton is another team that is a bit surprising to see as the Mets Double-A affiliate. Depsite being with the Mets since 1992, it was expected that the Binghamton franchise was to be sold and moved to Ottawa, Ontario and become the the Blue Jays affiliate, leaving New Hampshire to become the Twins partner which in turn allowed New Britan (Conn.) as the Mets new Double-A team, but that didn’t happen so another year in Binghamton for the B-Mets.

St. Lucie also saw a bit of a renovation as the team debuted a new jersey and logo package that gives the team a “Florida look” according to reports. The team will feature a home white vest with an orange undershirt with a script orange Mets across the front. The road uniform will be all gray with a script St. Lucie across the chest in orange. The batting practice uniforms are the best in my opinion, it’s an all blue top with an orange “STL” on the upper left chest with white pants.

The logo itself saw a sunset added to a new look palm tree that had always been on the Mets’ logo, while the script Mets is across a piece of driftwood. Mr. Met is also a part of the St. Lucie Mets logo package now as Mr. Met is seen in his usual running position with a blue and orange cap with a blue Hawaiian shirt and surf shorts while wearing sandals and sunglasses.

The Savannah and Brooklyn organizations had little news about them this offseason with the exception of Hurricane Sandy causing some damage to MCU Park in Brooklyn. While the ballpark will be ready for opening day in mid-June, the renovations of the ballpark on Coney Island saw many of its Spring tenants displaced including many college and even some high school games. Another change that involves both Savannah and Brooklyn will be Brandon Nimmo, who will be moving up to Savannah in 2013, it will be interesting to see how one of the Mets’ prized prospects will do over the course of his first full season in the minors.

TO SAVANNAH:

While Nimmo expects to be the starting centerfielder for Savannah look for a few other prospects to make their way to South Georgia this season. Catcher Kevin Plawecki had over 200 at bats in Brooklyn last season and had a nice year with a .345 on base percentage to go along with seven homers and 27 RBI. Outfielder Eudy Pena and double play partners Phillip Evans and Jeff Reynolds are also expected to make the jump.

The strong Brooklyn pitching staff will also be bumped up to Savannah and maybe one or two guys will jump right up to St. Lucie in the Florida State League. Gabriel Ynoa (5-2, 2.23 ERA), Luis Mateo (4-5, 2.45), Luis Cessa (5-4, 2.49), Rainy Lara (8-3, 2.91) and Julian Hilario (4-4, 3.23) are all expected to take the next jump in their careers in 2013.

TO ST. LUCIE:

There was a late push last season with most of the Savannah roster getting pushed up to St. Lucie, so there isn’t much more to be moved up. Domingo Tapia (6-5, 3.98 ERA) and top-pithcing prospect Michael Fulmer (7-6, 2.74) will likely be headed to St. Lucie in 2013. Joining them will be outfielder Dustin Lawley (.261 AVG, 14 HR, 66 RBI), and possibly catcher Xorge Carillo, who was limited with injuries in 2012.

St. Lucie will gain Tapia, Fulmer and newly acquired Noah Syndergaard (8-5, 2.60 ERA) will headline the Mets staff in Florida. They’ll push along a few members of the staff up to Binghamton, including Erik Goeddel, who will be heading to Binghamton after a 5-6 season with a 3.41 ERA. Goeddel will join Cory Mazzoni and Gonzalez Germen, who both moved up to Binghamton last season.

TO BINGHAMTON:

On the offensive side, look for Darrell Ceciliani (.329 AVG, 1 HR, 10 RBI) to make the jump to Double-A, along with fellow outfielder Cesar Puello (.260, 4, 21) and infielder Aderlin Rodriguez (.242, 8, 24). Catcher Blake Forsythe (.244, 8, 42) may or may not be moving up to Binghamton, but has always been a favorite of mine as he projects to be a #2 or #3 catcher behind Travis d’Arnaud and Plawecki.

Making the move from Double-A to Triple-A is always an interesting move, especially now with Triple-A located a few time zones away. Wilmer Flores (.311 AVG, 8 HR, 33 RBI) may start the season in Binghamton but a move to Las Vegas will happen quickly for the middle infielder. Eric Campbell (.297, 9 HR, 50 RBI) led the team with his RBI total, while catcher Juan Centeno (.285, 0, 35) will project to be in Las Vegas at some point this year as well.

TO LAS VEGAS:

On the pitching side the name you have been waiting for will start the season in Las Vegas, yes, Zack Wheeler (2-2, 3.27 ERA) will be back at Triple-A and will likely be in the majors by June, or July at the latest. He’ll be joined by Dylan Owen (4-9, 6.28 ERA), Collin McHugh (2-4, 3.42 ERA), Mark Cohoon (8-11, 3.62 ERA) and Chris Schwinden (9-10, 3.63 ERA) in the Las Vegas rotation.

Offensively it will likely be Zach Lutz (.299 ERA, 10 HR, 35 RBI) to be the top hitter in Las Vegas this season. Lutz will play third base and will also get reps at 1st base and in the corner outfield spots. Omar Quintanilla, Michael Fisher and Josh Satin will also see time in the infield. Once Matt den Dekker is back from injury, he’ll reassume his spot in centerfield, the corner outfield spots will likely be a revolving door all season. Another piece to the offense will come from d’Arnaud behind the plate, like Wheeler he’ll be up at some point this season but he’s familiar with Las Vegas and knows his home run numbers like everyone else’s long ball numbers will be up in Vegas.

WRAP-UP:

Overall the minor leagues are getting deeper and deeper due to the knew scouting and management department. Sandy Alderson and his staff have put together a solid minor league core, and it will be fun once again to bring you updates on all the happenings in the Mets minor league system throughout the year.

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