The Arizona Fall League ended yesterday, so it’s a fine time to take a look at how the Mets minor leaguers playing for the Surprise Saguaros fared during the six-week season.
Danny Muno – After missing 50 games due to a PED suspension, Muno needed some more playing time this year, but only ended up playing in 9 AFL games, hitting .226/.368/.290. Muno doesn’t have a lot of tools to get excited about, but he’s a scrappy and hard-working player who could have an MLB future as a utility man.
Darrell Ceciliani – Injuries limited Ceciliani to just 23 games with St. Lucie during the regular season, and the AFL allowed him to play in 18 more. When he was healthy during the regular season Ceciliani did nothing but hit; however, he cooled off a bit during the AFL season finishing with a line of .258/.342/.348. He did have 5 stolen bases in the AFL after just 2 during the season, which is a good sign that his legs are healthy. The extra at-bats were nice to have, but it probably won’t be enough to push Ceciliani to AA; he’ll likely to be back in St. Lucie with a mid-season promotion likely with a good first half.
Cesar Puello – Puello only played in 66 games during the regular season because of injury, so like Ceciliani he needed the extra reps in the AFL. He finished with a line of .247/.379/.282., as his slugging numbers way down from the regular season, but his OBP way up, as he finally started to show some patience and take some walks. Puello had more walks in the AFL than he did all regular season with St. Lucie; he also stole bases at a higher rate. The hope is that the extra time in the AFL and the improved plate discipline are enough to make Puello ready for a AA assignment on opening day next year, after spending two full seasons in St. Lucie. Puello is a five-tool player with a high ceiling whose prospect status took a big hit this year; however, his walk rate in the AFL is encouraging.
Dustin Lawley – Lawley was an odd choice for the AFL roster, but he only ended up playing in 10 games, hitting .268/.286/.439. He had 14 home runs and 35 doubles for Savannah this past season, but he’ll be 24 in April so he doesn’t have much of a big league future, although he is capable of playing first base, third base, and both corner outfield positions so he’s a nice guy to have in the organization.
Adam Kolarek – The Mets sent Kolarek to the AFL to prep him for the upper levels after he was lights out for much of the year in St. Lucie, but struggled in a short stint with Binghamton towards the end of the season. Kolaek’s WHIP was close to 2, as he gave up 19 hits in 12 innings of work, which is worrisome. He did manage to limit the damage and gave up just 4 runs in that time, but his strike out rate wasn’t even close to what it was during the regular season. Kolarek remains the best LOOGY the Mets have in the minors, but it doesn’t appear as if he’ll rise through the upper levels and get to the big leagues quite as fast as Josh Edgin did this past season.
Chase Huchingson – Huchingson really struggled with his control in Arizona, walking 10 in 11 innings of work. Batters hit .273 against him as he racked up a 5.73 ERA in a small sample size. He spent most of his time starting for St. Lucie this past season and had plenty of successful starts, but his long-term future is in the bullpen as a potential LOOGY. He has a nice 6’5’’ frame, but his control and his consistency will have to improve.
Ryan Fraser – A couple of rough outings towards the end ruined what was an otherwise solid AFL campaign for Fraser. Fraser doesn’t have the kind of stuff that will blow anybody away, but he did a lot of good things in 2012 between St. Lucie and Binghamton, which is why the Mets sent him to Arizona. It wouldn’t be crazy to think he could one day become an MLB middle reliever if he continue to progress.
Greg Peavey – Peavey moved from the rotation to the bullpen in the AFL, in what could become a permanent move next season. Peavey was a polished college pitcher when he was drafted in 2010, but he was far too hittable in AA this past year. The Mets hope that in the bullpen he’ll be able to add a little more velocity and become more effective in shorter outings. His WHIP was 1.29 and his ERA was 3.86 in the AFL, but he still wasn’t missing enough bats to indicate a likely future in the big leagues.
That’s it for the players, as for the team, Surprise finished 17-14, the third best record out of six teams in the AFL. Two more wins and they would have made it to the AFL championship game. You can click here: http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/org.jsp?id=nym to check out the winter league stats of every player in the Mets organization. Wilmer Flores is doing particularly well down in Venezuela and Francisco Pena is doing pretty good as well in the Dominican. Also, Tuesday is the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the rule-5 draft, so the Mets should be adding a few guys to the roster, including Zack Wheeler. Here is a preview of that from back in October: http://realdirtymets.com/2012/10/01/sneak-peak-at-rule-5-draft/.