Down on the Farm: Binghamton
So my first day on the farm didn’t go as expected. Torrential rains delayed my pursuit of finding that gem in the weeds. So on Monday (for now), I am scheduled to have my first day as a farmhand.
So let’s dig up the interesting character named Matt den Dekker. A 5th round selection out of Florida in 2010, Den Dekker impressed immediately. In spring training, he had a pair of catches that we wished Angel Pagan could make. He even smashed a homerun.
In St. Lucie, Den Dekker was a huge part of the team’s success. After a hot May, Den Dekker cooled down and finished in High-A with 6 home runs and a .296 average. A mid-season promotion was Den Dekker’s gift from the Mets and he hasn’t exactly run away with his present.
In 51 games in Binghamton, Den Dekker’s average has dropped 62 points. He’s shown more pop in his bat with 7 home runs, but the biggest concern is his plate discipline. Den Dekker has 65 strikeouts, giving him a total of 130 between both leagues.
It’s a disappointment because it seemed that Den Dekker was going to be on the fast track. With Kirk Nieuwenhuis going down with an injury, Den Dekker is the only other pure centerfielder in the Mets system. His speed in center is intriguing, but he has to work on his patience at the plate if he expects to survive in Buffalo.
Moving to the mound, Jeurys Familia has performed well this season. The only problem is he hasn’t been all that healthy. Familia like many others started out in St. Lucie and dominated, going 1-1 with a 1.49 ERA, striking out 8.92 per 9 innings, while only surrendering 1.98 BB/9.
But the jump to Double-A is considered the most difficult in the minors. Familia’s strikeouts have gone up, striking out 10.40 per 9 — but so has his walks, walking 27 in 66.2 innings. It wouldn’t surprise me if Familia found his way into the bullpen sometime next year. He could even wind up like Jenrry Mejia in terms of starting in the bullpen and eventually moving to the rotation. I believe he is best suited for the bullpen because of his electric fastball. His secondary pitches aren’t MLB starter material yet, but he is still young enough to work out the kinks.
Both Familia and Den Dekker won’t be getting a September call up this season, but it would be interesting if the Mets gave Reese Havens a cup of coffee. I’ve spoken about Justin Turner and how I feel he really isn’t a starting second basemen in the majors. Reese Havens was supposed to be starting at second in Citi Field already, but injuries have completely derailed him from stardom.
Havens is now 24, turning 25 in October. And he’s finally healthy (hopefully I haven’t just jinxed that). He’s hitting .300 in 41 games in Binghamton. But he’s struck out 42 times in 150 at-bats. It’s a little alarming but with more work, Havens should his old self in no time. In a perfect world, the Mets should see Havens next season.
In other notes from Binghamton, Allan Dykstra is worth taking a flyer on. We traded the dud known as Eddie Kunz to the Padres for him. Like Kunz, Dykstra’s career has been disappointing. As a fan, it’d be nice to see him playing first in September, moving Duda to rightfield permanently. He could potentially become a solid pinch hitter as he has power and the approach to become successful.
Tune in later for the lower minors, including coverage from the Gulf Coast and Brooklyn.