Tag: binghamton

Link Roundup: Playoffs. Playoffs?

Minor Leaguers

Three Mets minor league affiliates made the playoffs this year, but none are faring too well.

The Rookie league Kingsport Mets were swept by the Greenville Astros. The ‘Stros have been 100% focused on building their minor league system from the bottom-up over the past 2 years, and it appears to be paying off.

At the higher levels, the Double-A Binghamton Mets are down 2 games to none to the Trenton Thunder, and the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s trail the Salt Lake City Bees by the same margin.

Here’s a look at Rafael Montero’s less-than-stellar start last night.

Despite their performance in the post season, it’s encouraging to see the affiliates playing well. Win-Loss records are not the ultimate measure of the health of a farm system, but there’s no doubt the system is in better shape than it was a few years ago. Having a deep farm system not only produces some players who will stick around and play for the major league team, but it also gives the organization trade chips.

Tonight, the Mets open a series with the Cleveland Indians. Game 1 will be a matchup of former and current Mets prospects, Scott Kazmir vs. Zack Wheeler.

Kazmir has struggled lately, but overall, has had a solid bounce-back season, pitching to a 4.36 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He’s also struck out an average of 8.2 batters per 9 innings. Most importantly, he’s been healthy enough to make 24 starts. Wheeler has been outstanding after struggling during his first three starts. Overall, he’s 7-3 with a 3.36 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.

Finally, with Ike Davis done for the year, Lucas Duda will get a good, hard look at first base. One can’t always trust what one sees in September, but you probably have to break it down to a more granular level – what kind of competition they’re facing, is the opposing team in contention, etc. The Mets must figure out what to do with first base going into 2014.

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Marte, McHugh Talk to Bloggers

Marte in last year's Future's Game.

On Friday, the Mets Media Relations department was kind enough to hold a conference call between Mets bloggers and B-Mets Jefry Marte and Collin McHugh.  Both players are off to prodigious starts for Binghamton.  Marte was named Mets minor league hitter of the month.  He’s hitting .326/.389/.442.  McHugh, the Mets minor league pitcher of the month, has a 4-2 record with a 2.05 ERA, and a K/BB ratio of 2.80.

During the conference call, they graciously answered one question apiece from each blogger.  Here were my questions:

MetsToday: Obviously you’ve made a smooth transition to AA, but what are the greatest differences you’ve found between A ball and AA, as far as the level of competition?

Marte: It’s the same game.  I try to stay focused, get good pitches to hit, and be confident in my approach at the plate.  Also, the umpire’s strikezones are better in AA, allowing me to get more consistent pitches to hit.

MetsToday: I’m not only a fan of yours as a pitcher, but also as a blogger.  What do your teammates think of your blog?

McHugh: I don’t think they know about my blog.  But I enjoy writing, especially on the road.  It’s a good outlet for my thoughts and perspectives.  Writing is something I’d like to do after my career is over, however many years down the line that is.

McHugh delivers.

Among other questions to Marte, he was asked what it was like to play third base in the Mets organization, knowing that David Wright may have the postition secured for many years into the future (about those contract talks…).  Marte said he will keep focusing on his game in the minors, and would be willing to change positions, or do whatever the Mets want him to, if and when he reaches the big club.

Throughout the call, Marte emphasized his approach at the plate and having confidence.  Marte spoke through a translator, but sounds like he’s focused on his game.

McHugh was asked if he felt the need to work harder to gain name recognition, like other players in the organization, such as Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and Jeurys Familia.  He said he has respect for those pitchers, and doesn’t feel slighted.  He likes playing with the current starting rotation in Binghamton, because they challenge each other, and they win ballgames.  He feels that winning is part of their development.

McHugh is very articulate which would make him a good fit for a big media market like New York.  He’s also a good writer, but hopefully, his primary career will take place on the mound for many years to come.

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