Reviewing Initial Minors League Rosters for the Mets Affiliates: Binghamton Mets | Astromets Mind

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Reviewing Initial Minors League Rosters for the Mets Affiliates: Binghamton Mets

Image from @MetsFarmReport

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

UPDATE: Matt Koch has been named the opening day starter, story here. The link also suggests that Michael Fulmer might start the season on the inactive list.

UPDATE: Fulmer will stay down in XST for a few turns in the rotation as he stretches out. He finished 2014 injured, so it's probable he's just behind everyone else after recovering this offseason, as it's been confirmed on twitter that he pitched with full health in Spring Training.

            The league champion B-Mets start the season with a solid roster that should be anchored by a strong starting rotation. The roster is a mix of young talent with upside and solid AA depth players, including several who are ready for AAA, which should lead to another successful season in Binghamton. The team will have 61 games covered by this season, so I hope to get a lot of gif coverage :). Here is the initial roster.

Potential Starting Pitchers

Gabriel Ynoa (St. Lucie, Binghamton), Matthew Fulmer (St. Lucie, injury), John Gant (Savannah), Luis Cessa (St. Lucie), Matt Koch (St. Lucie), Jacob Lugo (St. Lucie), Rainy Lara (Binghamton)

            This rotation features an interesting quartet of young right-handed pitchers, and a couple of guys looking like spot fillers. Ynoa forced his way into the Bingo rotation for the 2nd half of 2014, but while he kept his razor sharp control in AA, he was less effective for the first time in his career. He’s still just 21 until May 26th, and his secondary stuff looked sharp in Spring Training, so I’d bet he’d be at AA for another 10-12 starts in 2015 before forcing his way into the AAA rotation, which should have room for him when ready. Fulmer (22) was on a roll with St. Lucie when he got the late season promo to Binghamton’s rotation, but things seemed wrong from the beginning of his start that night, as his velocity wasn’t near what had been reported on St. Lucie radio. He’s healthy again, and hopefully this will be the first year of many with no injury interruptions, as he’s got a great mid-90’s fastball, good breaking balls, and a fringe change. Gant (22) skips St. Lucie’s crowded rotation after a very dominant performance with Savannah last year. He doesn’t necessarily have top of the rotation stuff, but Gant has consistently gone deep into games with his solid stuff (I love his big curve) and smart approach. Cessa (nearly 23) didn’t look too special in his one spot start in AA last summer (it was on, but finished the season on fire over his last four starts for St. Lucie – 24.2 IP, 2.19 ERA, 16 H, .511 OPS, 24.5 K%: 4.3 BB%. Radio had him consistently reaching mid-90’s early in his starts, but losing speed throughout the starts. Koch did not have a standout performance for the 2014 St. Lucie rotation (4.64 ERA, 12 K%), so I don’t have high expectations for his 2015, but he was named the opening day starter, so obviously the Mets see something there. Lugo (25) was a long man and spot starter last year. Lara (24) struggled in his first season with Binghamton, and should not have a strong hold on his rotation spot. 

Relief Pitchers

Domingo Tapia (St. Lucie), Chasen Huchingson (Binghamton), Dario Alvarez (Savannah, St. Lucie, Binghamton, NY), John Church (Binghamton, Las Vegas), Jon Velasquez (Binghamton), Paul Sewald (St. Lucie, Binghamton), Adam Kolarek (Binghamton), Beck Wheeler (St. Lucie)

            Despite consistently high-rated stuff, Tapia (23) took a step backwards as a starter in his 2nd go with St. Lucie during 2014, so the Mets will try him in the pen from the start of this season. The Las Vegas pen is pretty stuffed, so Huchingson (nearly 26) will be in AA for a 3rd straight season, Alvarez (26) returns to the highest minor league level he pitched at in 2014, Church (28) will just have to pitch his way out of AA for a 3rd straight season, and Velasquez (29) will have to improve on his Eastern League All-Star quality season from 2014. Sewald (24) was very effective for St. Lucie before joining the Binghamton pen for the stretch run and playoffs, where he was a little wild in a very SSS. Kolarek (26) had a much better FIP (3.73) than ERA (6.07) last year with Bingo, but didn’t look very effective when I saw him, and is returning for a 4th straight season with Bingo. Wheeler (26) gets a lot of strikeouts (30+% the past 3 seasons), but could get wild with St. Lucie last year (12.9 BB%), which led to some big innings. 


Xorge Carrillo (Binghamton, Las Vegas), Albert Cordero (St. Lucie)

            The Bingo catching duo of Carrillo (nearly 26) and Cordero (25) is the least interesting group in this entire roster preview series, as neither figures to be much more than catching depth. Carrillo has provided AA league average offense in limited time the past two seasons with AA (only 336 PA), so he should get the majority playing time. Cordero’s offense has stalled the past few seasons, but he more than doubled his ISO up to .101 in 2014.


Dustin Lawley (Binghamton, 3B/LF), T.J. Rivera (St. Lucie, Binghamton, INF), Gavin Cecchini (Savannah, St. Lucie, SS), Josh Rodriguez (New Orleans, INF), Jairo Perez (St. Lucie, CI), Aderlin Rodriguez (St. Lucie, 1B)

Cecchini (21) is the stud of this group, as he finished the season showing mastery of the FSL after some initial struggles - .862 OPS over his final 124 PA is nice, but the 10 XBH (3 HR) and 11.3 BB%: 16.9 BB% are very nice. Lawley (nearly 26) is getting a little old for a prospect, but his power may prove useful in a bench role some day (he’s had back-to-back 20+ homerun seasons). Rivera (26) came out of nowhere to be a great utility infielder (.831 OPS) for the B-Mets down the stretch and in the playoffs, unexpectedly spending most of his time at SS. Perez (26) is a super utility player who busted out a nearly .200 ISO in 269 PA last season. Aderlin Rodriguez (23) is a former top prospect in the system who is probably on his last legs, but who still should have some of the best raw power in the system – he just hasn’t shown it off in games since 2012. Josh Rodriguez (30) bounced around the upper levels of the Mets system in 2012-13, but he’s just extreme depth at this point.


Brandon Nimmo (St. Lucie, Binghamton, OF), Jayce Boyd (Binghamton, LF/DH), Eudy Pina (St. Lucie, RF), Jared King (Savannah, St. Lucie, LF), Gilbert Gomez (OF, St. Lucie)

            Although Alderson suggested Nimmo (22) might start with AAA this year, he is back to show his dominance of AA first. Nimmo had some big L/R splits in 2014, especially at Binghamton, but he also showed improvement against lefties during his time in AA. I think Pina (nearly 24) has a lot of upside, he just needs to consistently deliver on his potential over a full season – he had a 1.058 OPS over his best 150 AB stretch in 2014, with 25 XBH (14 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR) during the stretch. Boyd (24) will split time between LF and DH with Bingo this season, but he’d traditionally need to provide at least a little more power to fill those spots – he did finish with a 1.000+ OPS after 7/7, and a .200+ ISO in August. King (23) has a nice approach from both sides of the plate, and is better than expected in the OF, but he hasn’t shown much power yet for a corners guy (hasn’t played the infield yet, but I could see him at 1B). Gomez (23) finally gets out of St. Lucie, after parts of 4 straight seasons there, but hasn’t shown enough of a hit tool in the minors to fulfill his potential. He does have a great approach at the plate, and can cover any spot in the outfield, but he will need to hit his way back into the discussion.

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