It might not seem like it, but there is only a little over a month remaining in the minor league season. With the season winding down, let’s take a look at where each affiliate is in the standings and what their post-season prospects look like, as well as a few tidbits about how things have gone and what to keep an eye on the rest of the season:
Buffalo: The Bisons are 46-63, and 16 games out in the International League North Division. At the moment they are 2.5 games in front of Rochester, keeping them out of last place, which is really all there is left to play for. There aren’t too many reasons to keep up with the Bisons nowadays. Kirk Nieuwenhuis is out for the year, Zach Lutz is injured again, and most of the pitching staff is made up of washed out veterans. Mark Cohoon and Chris Schwinden are the only two pitchers worth watching. Josh Satin’s long overdue promotion is an intriguing new development. Fernando Martinez finally being healthy being in the lineup with Nick Evans and Ruben Tejada is something, but the Mets still lack big time prospects at the AAA level, at least those than can stay healthy.
Binghamton: The B-Mets are 44-65, and have the worst record in the Eastern League, as it’s been a long season for manager Wally Backman. It’s taken a while, but the B-Mets finally have a decent looking lineup. Matt Den Dekker has started to swing a good bat after struggling early on after his promotion. Juan Lagares finally got promoted, Reese Havens is finally healthy, Jordany Valdespin continues his great season, and Allan Dykstra is having a solid year as well. Those guys give them at least a 5-deep lineup that is pretty good, and they’ve played better of late, but not finishing in last place is really all they can hope to play for the rest of the year. Of course the highlight of the roster is pitcher Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia, if he returns from a shoulder issue.
St. Lucie: The Lucies have already clinched a playoff spot by winning the FSL South division in the first half, but they have a chance to do the same in the second half. A recent skid has put them 2 games behind Bradenton with Charlotte sandwiched in between. For the season, St. Lucie has a 57-49 record, which is the best in the South, but only 5th best in the entire FSL, although they are 2 games away from having the 2nd best overall record. Even after losing a few guys to promotions, the St. Lucie roster is loaded. The infield has top prospects Wilmer Flores, Jefry Marte, and Robbie Shields. The outfield is even better with Cesar Puello, Cory Vaughn, and Pedro Zapata. Catcher Francisco Pena could be just as intriguing if he can finish strong. Pitching wise, just about everybody on their roster is worth keeping an eye on, highlighted by Darin Gorski, Josh Edgin, Greg Peavey, and Armando Rodriguez
Savannah: Savannah is going to the playoffs after winning the SAL Southern division first half title, and they lead the division again in the second half, currently nursing a 3 game cushion against a surging Greenville team. For the overall season, Savannah is 62-43, which is a half game behind Hickory for best overall record in the SAL. The Gnats have plenty of talent left for their playoff run, which isn’t always the case for teams that win first half titles. The catching position is getting interesting with Albert Cordero and Blake Forsythe both surging as of late. Aderlin Rodriguez and Darell Ceciliani are also two guys to watch down the stretch. Most of the pitchers that carried Savannah in the first half of the season are still carrying the team now.
Brooklyn: The Cyclones have a 24-19 record. They sit in second place in their division, 7.5 games behind the hated Staten Island Yankees. However, Brooklyn is currently in a 4-way tie for the Wildcard spot, which will give them something to play for during the final month of the season. For the Cyclones this year, there have been plenty of draft picks making their mark early on like Daniel Muno, but some guys that have been in the organization for multiple years have stood out even more. Richard Lucas has been tearing the cover off the ball, although he should be at his age. The pitching staff has done well, although some of the Mets high draft picks like Cory Mazzoni and Jack Leathsitch only pitch 1 inning every 5 games, but they have been dominate in that limited role.
Kingsport: The K-Mets have been in the basement for much of the year, but they are making a move and now hold a 19-21 record, and are third in the Appalachian West division. The top 2 teams from each 5-team division make the playoffs, so Kingsport is just 1.5 games behind Elizabethton for a playoff spot, with Bristol also in contention just a half game behind Kingsport, which could make for an interesting playoff race. The three young stud pitching prospects in Kingsport (Juan Urbina, Akeel Morris, and Domingo Tapia) have not had the success the Mets were hoping for, which is one of the main reasons why the K-Mets have struggled, although the other pitchers on the staff have helped pick up the slack. Urbina has been awful despite a healthy amount of strikeouts, although at this stage, results are not that important. Morris has struck batters out at an incredible rate, but has struggled with control. Tapia has little polish on his secondary pitches to compliment his fastball. At the plate, a couple big (literally) guys have stuck out: Julio Concepcion (6’4’’, 194), and Greg Pron (6’6’’, 195).
GCL Mets: The GCL Mets are 18-16, in third place in the East division and 7 games out of first place. They are just 2 games back in a crowded wildcard race, so things could get interesting in the final few weeks. The GCL has too many young guys to sort out until the season is over; however, one player of note is Steven Matz, who likely won’t make his professional debut until next year.