Today we move onto Rookie ball and the Mets affiliate in Kingsport, Tennessee
Record – 39-29
Place in standings – 3rd of 5 teams in the Appalachian League West division, 6 games out of first place and 3 games out of a playoff spot.
Overview – The K-Mets started slow, but rebounded well and made a strong late-season push for a playoff spot that fell just a few games short. The 3 young stud pitchers the K-Mets had going into the year all struggled early but made strides as the season went on, some more than others. A few other promising young arms also emerged for the K-Mets, as did a number of good young hitters who have some promise to rise through the system in the coming years.
Top pitcher: Bret Mitchell – Mitchell was a 12th round pick in 2010 and spent his second season in Kingsport and had a lot of success. He finished with a 5-1 record and a 2.95 ERA averaging a strikeout per inning and a WHIP below 1. He did not have the hype nor does he have the ceiling of other K-Mets pitchers, but based on performance he was Kingsport’s best pitcher. Mitchell also made a brief appearance in Brooklyn.
Top position player: Dustin Lawley – Lawley was a 19th round pick this year that had a monster season, hitting .284 with a .500 slugging percentage, totaling 9 homeruns, 3 triples, and 17 doubles. Like most of the K-Mets, Lawley got better as the season went on and is one of several outfielders to watch coming out of this year’s draft.
Biggest surprise: Greg Pron – Pron was Lawley’s teammate at West Florida and again in Kingsport, although he was a little more of an afterthought being drafted in the 42nd round. Pron was second to Lawley on the team in homeruns and slugging percentage. He hit .318 with 7 homeruns and 14 doubles and a .389 on base percentage. What sticks out about Pron is his 6’6’’ frame gives him a lot to grow into and a lot of power potential.
Biggest disappointment: Alexander Sanchez – The 20-year old Sanchez was held to only 13 games because of injuries, which was disappointing to see. In those 13 games he had 5 extra base hits and 10 RBI’s, with only 4 strikeouts. He could become a young guy to watch, but 2011 was a lost year for him.