By: Stache Staff

@MetsProspectHub's Down On The Farm (July 15th to July 31st)


Hello and welcome to another edition of Down on the Farm, the Daily Stache's look at the Mets Minor League System.

I'm Tejesh Patel of, and for this article, I've decided to do a cursory look at the fullseason teams, and then a more in depth look at our short season teams (Brooklyn, Kingsport, GCL).

The short season teams have been playing games for about 6 weeks now, so there should be a decent enough sample size to take a glance. However, as usual, we'll start at the top with the Las Vegas 51s.

Las Vegas 51s

July 14th: 49-46

July 31st:  60-50

Games Played: 15

Record: 11-4

The two biggest reasons for the 51s success over the last two weeks have been the recently demoted Jordany Valdespin (who is a toolbag and we won't ever mention him again), and Matt den Dekker, who started off 1 for 25 in Vegas. However, in 14 games since the break, den Dekker is hitting a cool .364/.404/.568/.972 in 44 ABs, he's got 16 hits, 6 for extra bases, and only 9 Ks (19.15% K rate). If den Dekker can control his strikeouts, he, like Juan Lagares, could survive in the majors with a relatively low OPS in center field, just because of his defense.

Binghamton Mets

July 14th: 58-34

July 31st: 67-42

Games Played: 17

Record: 9-8

The most important thing to happen in the last 15 days in Binghamton is Cesar Puello drawing walks, virtually every game. In fact, in the 15 games Puello played in during these past 17 for Binghamton, he hit .333/.484/.521/1.005 in 48 ABs, with 6 doubles, a homer, and TEN walks, a ridiculous 16.12% walk rate, and the 20.97% strikeout rate isn't high at all, though he has seemed to sacrifice power for walks, which is an OK trade to make if he's actually learning how to walk.

The other big story has been the burst onto the scene from mostly-forgotten Darrell Ceciliani, who hit .357/.429/.411/.840 and sparked the offense with 7 steals without being caught. He was 20 for 56 in his 15 games, scoring 11 runs over that span.

St. Lucie Mets

July 14th: 11-10 (second half)

July 31st: 20-16

Games Played: 15

Record: 9-6

While I usually try to accentuate the positives in all my reports on TDS, sometimes you just cannot ignore it. Such is the case with Domingo Tapia, who's 3 starts during this period were horrendous, adding up to an ugly 8.63era/5.72 FIP in just 8.1 innings (yes, 3 starts, 8.1 innings). He allowed 9 hits and 10 walks for a 2.28 WHIP. Tapia, who only walked 32 in 108.2 innings last year, has already walked 45 in 79.2 innings this year. And while probably half of those walks have come in 4 or 5 starts (totalling 10 or 15 innings), you can't ignore the ramifications of that. He is prone to some HORRIBLE bouts of wildness. Nothing else of note occurred here over the period.

Savannah Sand Gnats

July 14th: 9-11 (second half)

July 31st: 18-17

Games Played: 15

Record: 9-6

There really wasn't a whole lot of anything notable that occurred here over the last 2 weeks or so. Brandon Nimmo is having a meh season, and had a meh 2 week stretch. Gabriel Ynoa had a couple of rough outings, and then a good one. Steven Matz had 2 starts and was skipped once in an effort to keep his innings down.

Brooklyn Cyclones

The Cyclones are 20-22 on the season, in 3rd place in the division, 3 games behind first place Hudson Valley. The story so far has been the pitching that's here, there are at least four very exciting pitching prospects here.

We'll start with Robert Gsellman, who was drafted in the 13th round of the 2011 draft out of high school, and pitched very well in his first two seasons in the minors (4.15 era in the GCL in 2011 in 13 innings), and then a 3.92 era in Kingsport over 43.2 innings. This season, he made cameo appearances in both St. Lucie (3 era, 2 gs, 9 ip, 5 h, 5/5 bb/k) , and Savannah (3.72 era, 5 gs, 29 ip, 35 h, 6/14 bb/k) before landing in Brooklyn as a 19 year old to be their staff ace, and he's excelled fiercely (1.74 era, 7 gs, 41.1 ip, 34 h, 5/33 bb/k). He's turned 20 already, and will pitch the first 3 1/2 months next season at age 20, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him open back in Savannah off what can only be described as a rousing success in his 3rd season in the Mets system.

Next up is John Gant, who was drafted in the same draft as Gsellman, 8 rounds later (21st). Gant had a decent 2012 season (4.55 era in Kingsport, then 1 start in Savannah where he got bombed), before this season's assignment to Brooklyn, where he is pitching extremely well (2.56 era in 38.2 ip, 28 h, hr, 14/49 bb/k). Gant is a bit older, he turns 21 in 5 days, so we may see him jumped to St. Lucie directly from Brooklyn, though it would be kind of neat for him and his family if he spent a month or 6 weeks pitching in his hometown of Savannah.

Miller Diaz is someone we've been keeping an eye on for a few years, ever since we heard reports of him touching triple digits as a starter in Kingsport. Diaz has always had a raw, high upside, highly wild arm, as evidenced by his 21 walks in 33.2 innings in the Appy League in 2011. Repeating the level in 2012, he walked 18 in 43 innings, cutting his walk rate from 5.6 to 3.75 in the league. This year, his walk rate is up slightly (3.75 to 4.21 per 9). However, his BAA is an absurd .194 this year, after a .220 last year.

The final prospect I'm going to highlight in Brooklyn is Akeel Morris, a high upside lotto ticket we took in the 10th round in 2010, armed with a mid 90s fastball and a mid 70s curve, he also has a ton of command issues, he walked 38 in 51.1 innings in Kingsport in 2011, and 22 in 38.1 innings in 2012 (6.66 to 5.17). This season, Morris has been pitching a semi-long relief role, throwing 3-4 innings at a time, and has 12 walks in 25 innings (4.32 per 9). I still have high hopes that Morris can be a starter in the future, but if not, he can be a HUGE arm out of the bullpen.

Kingsport Mets

The KMets are 24-15 on the season, on the back of their top two pitchers, Chris Flexen (14th round 2012), and Rob Whalen (12th round, 2012). Flexen has a 2.31 era thru 35 innings, with a 0.97 WHIP and a strikeout per inning. Flexen turned 19 on the first of July, so he will pitch next season at 19/20. I'm hoping he and fellow 2012 draftee Whalen will end up in Savannah. Flexen's last three starts are phenominal (21 ip, 12 h, 3 er, hr, 3/24 bb/k).

The second pitching prospect is Rob Whalen, a Mets fan who was taken in the same draft as Flexen. This is essentially his first pro season (he had 1 inning in 2012). He's been pitching great, with a 1.36 era in 7 starts (39.2 ip, 25 h, hr, 10/47 bb/k). Whalen and Flexen have pretty good upside, and I'm hopeful both will open the 2014 season in Savannah with the four pitchers I highlighted in Brooklyn. Of the two, I would say Flexen has more upside and more projection.

Offensively, Victor Cruzado (age 21: .340/.429/.450/.879, 34 for 100, 15 runs, 5 2b, 2 HR, 14/18 BB/K), Joe Tuschak (age 20: .301/.348/.455/.803, 37 for 123, 14 runs, 4 2b, 3 3b, 3 HR, 8/32 BB/K) and Champ Stuart (age 20: .260/.455/.397/.852, 19 for 73, 13 runs, 6 2b, 2 3b, 23/23 BB/K, 6/7 SBs) are leading the offense. All three are secondary type prospects, I would probably rank them between 25 and 40 on our internal list.

GCL Mets

This team has a ton of upside, but they are struggling mightily, but there's some individual lines that look good. Dom Smith has 18 walks in 29 games (95 ABs). Luis Guillorme only has 11 Ks in 69 ABs with 10 walks. Wuilmer Becerra (acquired in the Dickey deal) is hitting .220 with a .336 OBP (13 walks in 100 ABs). Pitching wise Marcos Molina has opened eyes with his stellar pitching (32.2 ip, 29 h, 9/30 bb/k), and then, of course, there are Andrew Church and Casey Meisner, the top 2 pitchers the Mets drafted this year.

And to close out my report this time around, I'll do something that I ordinairly would never do, and that's go down into the DSL. Ever since getting burned by the DSL Speed Squad in 2009 (Randoll Santana, Gilbert Gomez, Yucarybert dela Cruz and Eudy Pina), I've shied away from even keeping an eye on DSL stats, but the DSL Mets2 have a stringbean lefty, Jose Medina (6'2/180) who is 16 years old (born 8/25/96) pitching to a 0.41 era. Oh point forty one. In 10 starts, he's pitched 44 innings and given up 30 hits and 5 walks with 40 strikeouts. Now, this guy could turn out to not throw over 80 MPH, but… 0.41 is hard to ignore anywhere. So there's that. Just a name to maybe keep an eye on.

And so that's that. I'm Tejesh Patel of MetsProspectHub, please visit the site daily for minor league recaps and Gameday Links, follow me on Twitter (@metsprospecthub), and have a good day.


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