Tag: matt den dekker

Down on the Farm: Wheeler, den Dekker, Flores impress

Here are four questions/statements that you might be asking yourself two months into the minor league season.

Is there a true ace in the Mets system?

One of the biggest weaknesses within the Mets organization is the lack of a bonafide #1 starting pitcher. Many fans believe that Matt Harvey is going to be that ace. But the rest of the league looks at him differently. Most see Harvey as a 2/3 starter. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a true ace down in Binghamton. There’s the case of Zack Wheeler, the lone piece acquired for Carlos Beltran at the deadline last season.

Wheeler has dealt with control issues throughout his career and he’s dealing with them again. However, the walks tend to get lost behind the blazing fastball, and strikeout totals he pumps out in each start. After a rocky debut, Wheeler has really shined in Binghamton. He’s K’d 29% of the batters faced, keeping hitters in the Eastern League at a .189 AVG. He has a WHIP of 1.17 and his BABIP is .279, a huge improvement from last season (BABIP .361).

The negative part of Wheeler’s game is his inability to control all pitches. He walks 4.54 per game, a 3-walk increase from last season. Keep this in mind when you try to explain that he deserves a promotion to Queens. It’s one thing to have the shiny numbers, but real success is when you can locate and control all pitches. He’s starting to come into his own and Mets fans should be excited. Wheeler has dominated Double-A hitters and looks destined for a call-up. Get ready for Wheeler in 2013.

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Mets Spring Training Question 10: Who Will Be the Phenom?

With ten days before pitchers and Molinas report, let’s look at who might be the PSL “phenom”.

Nearly every spring training, there is one youngster who tears it up, or lights up the radar gun, and performs so overwhelmingly impressively that we fans are convinced we’ve seen the next Mets superstar … or at least, an All-Star. It’s that player who proves the philosophy of “hope springs eternal”, or “spring training hopes are eternal”, or something like that.

In the recent past, the “phenoms” of spring training have included Lastings Milledge, Fernando Martinez, Brian Bannister, and Ambiorix Burgos, among others. Sometimes — like Dwight Gooden — the phenoms pan out. Other times — like Gary Rajsich — things don’t quite work out so well once the regular season begins.

Considering that the Mets are entering a rebuilding year centered around their youth, one would think that this is a good opportunity for at least one “phenom” to emerge. Who might that be?

The best guesses are Jordany Valdespin, Reese Havens, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, and Zack Wheeler. But those are easy, right? OK, I’ll pick a few “no-names” to throw in the mix: Kai Gronauer, Zach Lutz, Matt Den Dekker, and Cesar Puello. Those last four have no pressure on them, not much in the way of expectations, and nothing to lose, so my bet is that they’ll be aggressive, feel loose, and as a result have a good shot at gaining spring training stardom.

What say you? Who do you think will establish himself as the “phenom” in Port St. Lucie this spring? And what phenoms do you remember from spring trainings past? Answer in the comments.

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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

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