Record – 72-68
Place in standings – 2nd place in FSL South Division
Overview – The Mets won the first half division title, which sent them to the playoffs. They didn’t fare as well in the second half, finishing tied for 3rd in the division. In the playoffs, the Mets topped Bradenton in a best 2-out-of-3 series to win the Florida State Division South championship. In the FSL finals, the Mets were swept away in 3 straight games by the Daytona Cubs, as their offense continued to be subpar as it was for much of the second half.
Top pitcher: Darin Gorski – There’s no doubt that the Florida State League pitcher of the year was also St. Lucie’s best pitcher. Gorski was flat out dominant, winning his first 10 decisions before ending with an 11-3 record, in part victimized by poor run support. The Mets should be ashamed of themselves for not finding room in the Binghamton rotation to promote him after how good he was. The 6’4’’ lefty added some velocity this year and it made a big difference for him after being a 7th round pick in 2009. If he can have similar success in AA next year he’ll be a guy to keep a close eye on.
Top position player: Pedro Zapata – Of the guys who spent all season in St. Lucie, Zapata was the best. He was an important catalyst at the top of the order hitting .292/.333/.389. He also stole 36 bases, only getting caught 6 times. If there were room for him in Binghamton and players behind him to take his place, he probably would have received a mid-season promotion, which would have been well deserved.
Biggest surprise: Juan Centeno – The undersized catcher has been in the Mets system since 2007, but struggled hitting for much of his first three years, hitting below the Mendoze line in 2007 in the GCL and in Brooklyn in 2009. He started to figure things out in 2010, hitting .371 in 32 games for Brooklyn. He was skipped all the way to St. Lucie in 2011 where he kept on hitting, finishing with a line of .318/.368/.382. He didn’t provide a lot of power but he did make a lot of contact and could continue to move up if he can keep hitting and prove to be a competent defensive catcher despite being just 5’9’’.
Biggest disappointment: Cory Vaughn – After being a 4th round pick in 2010, Vaughn is a prospect Mets fans are already well aware of and excited about, but he struggled unexpectedly in the second half of the season with St. Lucie after being promoted from Savannah. Vaughn ended up hitting .219/.308/.395 for the Mets. He did hit 9 homeruns and improved his strikeout rate during the second half, but for his age and his hype, he really disappointed in St. Lucie. He may have to repeat the level in 2012, at least for the first half of the year, which is not what the Mets expected or wanted out of the son of a former major leaguer.