By: Stache Staff

Down On The Farm: Savannah Sand Gnats Edition


Please note: This article was written before/during the games played on June 29th, 2013, and all statistics are through games played on June 28th.

Hello there, new people. For those who don’t know, I’m Tejesh Patel, the co-founder and writer for MetsProspectHub, where I post daily minor league reports, occasional commentary, and daily Gameday Links for every level in our system. I’ve agreed to do minor league recaps for The Daily Stache for the remainder of this season, so here goes.

The final stop on our tour of the minors takes us to Savannah, where the Gnats won the first half divisional title with a 43-26 record on the strength of amazing pitching from the aforementioned Bowman and Lara, and ridiculous offense from Jayce Boyd (.935) and Kevin Plawecki (.884), all 4 of whom have since been promoated to St. Lucie.

That doesn’t mean, however, there are a lack of prospects here. I think the only way to describe our first topic here is ‘disappointment’, and that, of course, is center fielder Brandon Nimmo, who is hitting .268/.371/.366/.757 in 194 ABs. His walk rate is a VERY solid 12.22%, but it comes with a high 28.51% strikeout rate, and absolutely no power (98 IsoP).

Keep in mind, though, he’s young, 20 years old, and was on fire before landing on the DL with first a finger, then glute, injury. Also Grayson Stadium is one of the biggest pitchers parks in minor league baseball.

he only other offensive prospect currently on the Gnats is shortstop Phillip Evans, taken in the 15th round and signed for $650,000, has been woefully disappointing with an overall .203/.274/.267 line, but, in his last 12 games, he’s 16 for 46 (.348) with 5 walks and 6 Ks, along with 3 doubles and a homer, so there might be some light there.

If you read Toby Hyde’s site ( there’ve been stories of adjustments that Phillip has made that’s led to the 46 AB hot streak. Here’s hoping he continues to have a good second half, because his first one was a disaster.

Aside from Nimmo and Evans, the story here in Savannah is all about the pitching, and there are still loads of quality pitchers left, starting with my personal favorite, Gabriel Ynoa, who I predicted preseason would breakout into the mainstream, and he’s done nothing but make me look smart (which is hard to do!) Ynoa, who turned 20 in late May, is 9-2 with a 2.68 era in 13 starts spanning 80.2 innings, he’s allowed 66 hits, and walked NINE.

As a 19/20 year old in the Sally League. NINE walks. Feast on that. He’s listed at 6’2/158, though I’ve been told he’s filled out considerably. His velocity, again from what I’ve heard, has bumped up into the 93-95 range from where it was to start the season, 91-93. He could very well be the next in line to experience a Harvey/Wheeler/Syndergaard esque prospect hype job. In addition to a fastball, Ynoa throws a slider/changeup combination.

Also in Savannah is Luis Cessa, who is older at 21, but also pitching very very well (4-2, 3.30, 73.2 ip, 77 h, 12/69 bb/k, 1.21 WHIP). Matt Koch, who is 22 1/2, is 5-3 with a 4.18 era in 64.2 innings, he’s allowed 73 hits, but a ridiculous 2 walks to go with 61 strikeouts, so while he has a 4.18 era, he’s got a 2.81 FIP, due to a below average 61.4% LOB and .337 BABIP.

And last, but not least, is Steven Matz, who, after battling numerous arm injuries, has returned with a vengeance, pitching to a 2.53 era in 64 innings, while allowing 54 hits and 20 walks for a 1.16 WHIP, and a 2.59 FIP.

From Savannah, I would like to see Gabriel Ynoa, Luis Cessa and Steven Matz promoted to St. Lucie. To fill the spots in Savannah, I would promote SP John Gant, and RPs David Wynn and Shawn Teufel. The new rotation in Savannah would be Matt Koch, Jake Kuebler, Julian Hilario (moved from the bullpen into the rotation), Marcos Camarena (moved from the bullpen into the rotation) and John Gant.

Don’t forget to check out my own site for daily minor league recaps and minor league Gameday links,

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