Reviewing Initial Minors League Rosters for the Mets Affiliates: Las Vegas 51s | Astromets Mind

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Reviewing Initial Minors League Rosters for the Mets Affiliates: Las Vegas 51s

That had to be a great interview...

Reviewing the initial 2015 rosters announced for the Mets 4 full-season affiliates: Las Vegas 51s, Binghamton Mets, St. Lucie Mets, and Savannah Sand Gnats

            Good news everybody, Major League Baseball has begun and Minor League Baseball is on its way! Last season the Mets had 3 full-season teams make the playoffs: Las Vegas, Binghamton (won championship), and Savannah. This year, they might go 4/4, as these rosters are loaded – they’re not a consensus top-5 farm system for nothing. Considering the Mets are carrying an extra relief pitcher for now, with two strong relief options are on their way back from injures (Vic Black and Bobby Parnell, who can rehab with Las Vegas for a few weeks), there will likely be a lot of roster adjustments coming over the first few weeks. It seems unlikely the Mets would hold a top prospect down a level just for the first few weeks of the season – major prospects got their promotions in June during the 2014 season – so these roster adjustments are likely to be minor for now. With full-season minor league baseball set to debut Thursday, let’s take a look at the initial rosters that have been announced for the Mets affiliates. If you’re interested in following along at home this season on, you can find a summary of the games that will be available for each affiliate here – there are 249 scheduled, including nightly 51s games starting as Mets games end.

SavannahSt. LucieBinghamton

Note: I plan to update with official 25-man rosters by Thursday game times

UPDATE: Erik Goeddel has been promoted to take Jenrry Mejia's place in the bullpen - Mejia is backdated to Sunday. More roster updates to come.

UPDATE: Duane Below has stayed behind in XST to get stretched out into a long-man/spot starter role.

UPDATE: has Steven Matz listed as going for Las Vegas Thursday

            The 51s will be anchored by strong pitching this year, but they have plenty of guys to provide offense in the highest scoring environment in pro baseball. This roster will feature the Mets consensus top-5 prospects at the same time if Brandon Nimmo gets called up in time, and they will all play with Las Vegas at some point regardless. The outfield is currently the weakest link of the 51s, especially with the loss of Cesar Puello to the DL for now, but it should be one of their strengths by the end of the season. Here is the initial roster, let’s check it out.

Starting Pitchers

Noah Syndergaard (Las Vegas), Steven Matz (St. Lucie Binghamton), Matthew Bowman (Binghamton, Las Vegas), Tyler Pill (Binghamton), Darin Gorski (Binghamton, Las Vegas)

            This rotation has two studs, two interesting back of the rotation types, and a lefty that might finish the season in the 51s pen. Thor (22) finished the season strong with Las Vegas, so hopefully he can build on that and graduate from AAA soon. Matz (23) got better as the year went on, so it will be very exciting to watch every one of his starts on this season – while I don’t like the Vegas view, I want to track velocities for the interesting pitchers this season when the 51s are at home. Bowman (23) really broke out in 2014, now he has to do it again. Pill (24) came back strong from an injury that knocked him out for most of 2013, but ended up passed on the depth chart by Bowman. Still, he struck out ¼ of the batters faced in Binghamton over the last 4+ months, while walking only ~5%, and generally pitching very effectively. Also, he might hit some homeruns in the PCL. I’ve long been a fan of Gorski’s (27) – he’s generally had a surprisingly good K: BB ratio despite less than overwhelming stuff – but he walks a fine line as a starter.

Relief Pitchers

Jack Leathersich (Binghamton, Las Vegas), Erik Goeddel (Las Vegas), Chasen Bradford (Binghamton, Las Vegas), Zack Thornton (Las Vegas), Duane Below (Toledo), Scott Rice (Mets, injury), Hansel Robles (Binghamton), Cody Satterwhite (Binghamton), Jeff Walters (Las Vegas, TJS, not back yet)

            Any one of these relievers could be useful to the Mets in 2015 and beyond, but none of them have been dominant enough at AAA (with the Mets) to force the issue. Robles (24) and Satterwhite (28) haven’t previously pitched in AAA, and they both were very effective relievers for AA last season, so I’m curious to see how they adjust. Bradford (25) became one of the most reliable relievers in Wally’s pen by the end of last season, and didn’t allow a walk after the AAA All-Star break. Goeddel (26) could get inconsistent for Las Vegas during 2014, but perhaps his successes against big league talent will help his confidence as he starts the season back there again – I like his heat and breaking pitches. I’m glad Leathersich (24) gets to start the year with Las Vegas in 2015, because he’s better off facing the toughest competition (and pitching situations) in my opinion. Also, Frank Viola has been helpful for many young Mets pitchers, so maybe he can help something click for Leathersich. Thornton (26) was looking as good in Spring Training as he had at any point last year. Below is a lefty with a little major league experience and expendable, so he might see the Mets at some point in 2015 – he wasn’t on the initial tentative roster released, so we’ll have to see what happens with him. If Walters comes back pitching like he did in 2013, he might force his way back to the top of the relief depth charts, as there was talk of him being the first relief call up last season during spring training.


Kevin Plawecki (Binghamton, Las Vegas), Johnny Monell (Albuquerque, Norfolk), Nelfi Zapata (Savannah, Binghamton)

I’ve seen chatter online that Plawecki (24) should be in the lineup nearly everyday, either catching, playing 1B, or at DH. I expect a boost in power from Plawecki with Las Vegas this season, as he can generate more power than he is generally given credit for. Monell (29) will get the main backup duties here, but Zapata (24) allows Wally to use Plaw as a 1B/DH when desired.


Dilson Herrera (St. Lucie, Binghamton, NY, 2B), Matt Reynolds (SS/2B, Binghamton, Las Vegas), Eric Campbell (Las Vegas, NY, Super UT), Danny Muno (Las Vegas, INF), Wilfredo Tovar (Binghamton, MI), Brandon Allen (Las Vegas, 1B/LF/DH)

            The regular infield to start should be Muno (26) at 3B, Reynolds (24) at SS, Dilson (21) at 2B, and Campbell (27) at 1B, but we’ve all seen Wally use Allen (29) at unexpected times. Those four infielders should provide solid offense for the 51s while around, and Allen was solid in 2014 too. It’s likely either Campbell or Muno joins the bench when the Mets bullpen shrinks back to 7, so I think Lawley or Boyd will come up to take over the vacated starting infield spot. Castellanos is also an option anywhere on the infield.


Cesar Puello (Las Vegas, OF), Darrell Ceciliani (Binghamton, CF), Cory Vaughn (Binghamton, Las Vegas, OF), Alex Castellanos (El Paso, Super UT), Travis Taijeron (Binghamton, RF), Kyle Johnson (Binghamton)

            I am still a Puello (24) believer, so I’ll be annoyed if he’s not playing everyday with this lot. In an unexpected development, Puello had to be added back to the 40-man roster and retroactively placed on the DL. He should be eligible for some minor league rehab time when healthy, so the Mets might not have to risk losing him right away. But it’s likely they’ll eventually have to expose him to waivers again, although he cleared no problem the first time. I think Taijeron (26) is the most interesting bat of the rest, as I think he is an AAAA bat at minimum. Ceciliani (24) is likely the everyday centerfielder until Nimmo gets promoted. Vaughn (25) got a solid total of PA after joining Las Vegas last season, but he seemed to be more of the 4th outfielder, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens again. Castellanos (28) is sticking around after an underwhelming spring (.697 OPS, 35 K%), and we’ll see how much Wally wants to use him this season. Johnson (26) is listed on multiple rosters right now, but his twitter says Las Vegas. He can play all 3 OF positions well (but mostly plays CF/RF), has above average speed, and could be a 4th outfielder type at the next level – maybe more if he finds that gear that helped him go 44/55 on stolen bases in 2013.

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