Reviewing Initial Minor League Rosters for the Mets Affiliates: Savannah Sand Gnats | Astromets Mind

Monday, April 6, 2015

Reviewing Initial Minor League Rosters for the Mets Affiliates: Savannah Sand Gnats

Image from SportsBizDaily

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. By the way, 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 these posts with any roster news I see break before Thursday

UPDATE: has Corey Oswalt listed as starting Thursday for Savannah.

Savannah Sand Gnats

            This might be the final season of Savannah baseball for a while, so hopefully they can make it memorable and win one last SAL title for the faithful locals. Their most recent SAL title came in 2013, with Steven Matz on the hill for the clincher for his first time – he’d do that again for Binghamton in 2014. It's not clear how much offense this team will get on a consistent basis, but the pitching staff is mostly an advanced group for this level (except for staff 'ace' Casey Meisner), so they should keep them in most games. I think the outfield can be pretty potent, but the infield was left pretty unproven when Amed Rosario and Jhoan Urena were skipped to A+. There might be a couple of prospects missing from this initial list still heading to Savannah: Octavio Acosta is a little older, but finished the season with some strong appearances for Savannah; Alfredo Reyes might be a more interesting 2B option than Johnson and Rodriguez, though I do want to see more of Rodriguez too; Michael Katz is a 2014 draftee who was having a strong season with Brooklyn before an injury; Dash Winningham is a teenage 1B prospect from the 2014 draft with some pop and some serious #want; Eudor Garcia is a nearly 21-year old 3B prospect (might be a future 1B prospect) from the 2014 draft who didn’t stand out in his pro debut, but has raw power and good plate discipline – Eudor and Dash could join the team after some time in XST (or sooner) to try and give a boost to the corner infield spots if needed. I’m not guaranteeing any of those players are with Savannah early this season, and there are likely less interesting depth options I haven’t considered, but I could see an argument for them making the roster, especially since the infield could be a potential weak spot. Also, although no catchers were mentioned, this roster is light on catching experience, so I wouldn't be surprised if some 'veteran' depth piece bounced on and off the roster.

Potential Starting Pitchers

Casey Meisner (Brooklyn), Corey Oswalt (Brookyln), Chris Flexen (Savannah, injury), Brad Wieck (Brooklyn), Scarlyn Reyes (Brooklyn), Josh Prevost (Brooklyn), Martires Arias (Kingsport, Brooklyn)

            Aside from Meisner, Oswalt, and, when healthy, Flexen, I am guessing right now as to which of these Savannah pitchers will be starters, or at least piggy back starters, this season – might be a starter or two from the relief pitchers group instead of someone here. The three definite starters are all interesting prospects, with Meisner the clear stud of the staff. Oswalt showed an advanced approach and an occasionally interesting breaking ball and changeup in 2014, so he should still be a strong pitcher in the SAL. Flexen will not be back right away, as his Tommy John Surgery was in the middle of last season, but he was well thought of at the start of 2014. Wieck and Prevost are tall 2014 draftees who spent their pro debuts relieving in Brooklyn, but were starters in college. Reyes and Arias spent most of their time either starting or piggybacking, but either could be headed for the pen to start 2015.

Relief Pitchers

Shane Bay (Brookyln), Gaither Bumgardner (Brooklyn), James Duff (Kingsport), Darwin Frias (Savannah), Cameron Griffin (Brooklyn), John Mincone (Savannah), Paul Paez (Savannah, Brooklyn, Savannah), David Roseboom (Brooklyn), Carlos Valdez (Brooklyn), Alberto Baldonado (Brooklyn)

            Not all of these guys are going to be on the active roster, as there is not enough room for all of this pitching in Savannah. Baldonado started most of the time in 2014, but the rotation is full of options. Bay was great as Brooklyn’s closer last season, a role he might fill for Savannah. Bumgardner was a long reliever for Brooklyn in 2014, but he was very wild. Duff is a tall 21-year old righty from the 2014 draft who had a strong debut with Kingsport, and there’s a chance he starts some with Savannah. Frias was pretty consistent for Savannah in 2014, so he might be getting a promotion to St. Lucie soon. Griffin has only thrown 41.2 IP since the Mets took him in the 34th round of the 2013 draft, but he’s managed a 2.16 ERA with decent K: BB rates, so the Mets will see when he can do in full season ball. Mincone is a lefty from Huntington who struggled at times with Savannah in 2014. Paez is a smaller lefty who was inconsistent with Savannah throughout 2014, which led to a suspension but who then finished the season with a strong little run. Roseboom is a lefty from the 2014 draft who had a great debut with Brooklyn, but who will be 23 on May 17. Valdez started some for Brooklyn in 2014, but he’s 24 and making his debut in full-season ball.


Tyler Moore (Brooklyn), Tomas Nido (Brooklyn)

            Moore is a lefty-hitting draft pick from 2014, but he doesn’t have a long catching resume, and played more at 2B with Brooklyn than catcher. He’s only 21, so if he hits, his unique defensive versatility could be interesting down the road. Nido (21 in a week) was an 8th round pick from 2012 out of high school, and he took some steps forward with Brooklyn in his second go around, but has yet to really fulfill the offensive promise that led the Mets to draft him. Neither have a high total of starts at catcher in the minors, so this will be a big increase in responsibility for both of them. Moore may see time on the infield while Nido catches to maximize their PA, as they are more interesting than some of the infielders initially announced for the Gnats. In that case, Leroux might be the backup catcher option, as he has some (minimal) catching experience in the minors.


Luis Guillorme (Kingsport, Savannah, SS), John Johnson (Savannah, 2B), Jon Leroux (Savannah, 3B/1B), Pedro Perez (Kingsport, Brooklyn, 3B/1B), J.C. Rodriguez (Kingsport, Brooklyn, INF)

            This is not the infield that was expected for Savannah, and their playoff chances take a hit without Rosario and Urena. Guillorme’s glove is tops in the system, but he needs to show more offensively. He has had excellent contact rates so far in the minors, but has shown little power to this point, is rated as an average runner, and hasn’t walked much. His floor is a better version of Wilfredo Tovar, so he should get as much time to start as available, and I think it’s a good think the 20-year old is skipping Brooklyn. Perez is only 20, but he hasn’t hit much yet in the minors. Rodriguez is 22, but he had a ‘breakout’ season for Kingsport in 2014, and looks like an athletic middle infielder. Johnson came to Savannah from independent ball in 2014 and showed excellent plate discipline, but he’ll be 26, and he showed little more than that. The 24-year old Leroux missed much of 2014, but he hit for power when around – .216 ISO over 107 PA.


Wuilmer Becerra (Kingsport, RF), Vicente Lupo (Kingsport, LF), John Mora (GCL, Brooklyn, CF), Patrick Biondi (Savannah, CF), Stefan Sabol (Savannah, LF)

            Becerra is obviously the stud of this group, but Lupo and Mora had strong 2014’s too. Those 3 make for an exciting outfield group from the start for Savannah, who didn’t always have a strong outfield in 2014. Becerra is only 20 and skipping Brooklyn, but he broke out to a slash line of .300/.351/.469, including 19 XBH (7 HR) over 228 PA with Kingsport in 2014. Between Becerra and Lupo, the Gnats lineup will have more power than they did at any point in 2014 also, and scouts don’t worry as much about right-handed power dying in Savannah. Mora (21 through May 31) showed strong contact skills in his first chance stateside with the GCL Mets and Brooklyn Cyclones in 2014, and he looked like a fast centerfielder in my few glimpses, so maybe he can take another step forward and become an interesting prospect. Biondi returns to be bench players, and might not get much playing time as a starter. Considering some of the alternatives, I think Sabol and Lupo could end up splitting between LF and the DH.

  • 0Blogger Comment
  • Facebook Comment
  • Disqus Comment

Leave your comment

Post a Comment

comments powered by Disqus
submit to reddit