Mets Minors Series Preview: Las Vegas 51s @ Tacoma Rainiers | Astromets Mind

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mets Minors Series Preview: Las Vegas 51s @ Tacoma Rainiers

Dates: May 16-19, 2015
Current Record: 24-12, 1st place, 4.5 Games ahead of El PAso


All times are EST

Saturday at 8:05 PM
Tyler Pill (1-0, 6.43 ERA, 5.53 FIP, 16.8 K%: 7.6 BB%, 1.61 HR/9)
@ Justin Germano (2-1, 5.09 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 19.2 K%: 5 BB%, 0.58 HR/9)

Sunday at 4:35 PM
Matthew Bowman (2-3, 8.13 ERA, 6.35 FIP, 15.2 K%: 7.6 BB%, 1.95 HR/9)
@ Sam Gaviglio (2-3, 5.09 ERA, 6.22 FIP, 19.6 K%, 12.2 B%, 1.78 HR/9)

Monday at 9:05 PM
Darin Gorski (3.2, 5.63 ERA, 6.33 FIP, 17.1 K%: 13 BB%, 1.69 HR/9)
@ Forrest Snow (1-2, 3.09 ERA, 5.69 FIP, 21.8 K%: 2.7 BB%, 2.30 HR/9)

Tuesday at 2:35 PM
Duane Below (2-2, 3.47 ERA, 4.92 FIP, 18.8 K%: 5 BB%, 1.54 HR/9)
@ Mike Montgomery (3-2, 3.19 ERA, 3.29 FIP, 20.6 K%: 7.3 BB%, 0.22 HR/9)

Last series for Las Vegas 51s

Split 4 against Sacramento: W 12-8, W 5-1, L 6-5, L 2-1

Top prospects of the Seattle Mariners playing for Tacoma

Organizational rankings are from the 2015 Baseball America Prospect Handbook

Ketel Marte, SH SS/2B, 21
Ranked #3, BA Grade: 50, Medium risk

Marte gets ranked this high because he’s a 21-year old, smooth fielding middle infield prospect who has already made it to AAA. His arm will likely limit him to 2B at the highest level, but his bat should make him interesting there. He has a ‘compact, line-drive stroke from both sides of the plate,’ and is a ‘difficult hitter to strike out,’ although he’s also ‘nearly impossible to walk.’ Because of that last comment, he’s going to have to hit for a high average and/or provide value with his glove and legs, but scouts are confident he can. He’s off to a hot start for Tacoma, hitting .352/.395/.421 over 145 AB.

Patrick Kivlehan, RH 1B/3B/OF, 25
Ranked #4, BA Grade: 50, Medium risk

            Kivlehan gets ranked here despite his older age because of his highly graded power tool from the right side. A football player for most of his time in college, Kivlehan made the move back to baseball for his senior year and finished 6th in SLG. He’ll punish mistakes, or hit line drives off good ‘pitchers pitches’ (per BA). He’s likely limited to 1B/LF because of his deficiencies as a defender, although BA still considered him to be athletic with average running speed. He hasn’t made much contact yet (27 K in 33 G), but 10 of his 27 hits have gone for extra bases (4 2B, 6 HR).

John Hicks, RHH C, 25
Ranked #13, BA Grade: 45, Medium risk

            BA considers Hicks one of the best defenders in the system, even though he ‘lacks any standout tool.’ He doesn’t impress much at the plate, but pitchers love throwing to him, and he’s a great pitch blocker. Just like Kivlehan, he hasn’t made that much contact yet (22 SO in 22 G), but 10 of his 20 hits have gone for extra bases (6 2B, 3B, 3 HR).

Mayckol Guaipe, RH RP, 24
Ranked #26, BA Grade: 45, High risk

            Guiape is back on the Mariners top-prospect list as a reliever after some serious patience from the Mariners (who signed him in 2006), and determination from Mayckol. He now consistently sits 91-93 MPH with his fastball, touching 95, and features a plus-slider. His career has found new life since being moved full-time to the pen in 2013, and he’s likely not far from a call-up to Seattle (he’s on their 40-man).

Recent Injuries/Transactions

            With Eric Campbell and Jack Leathersich recently promoted to the Mets to fill in for injuries to Dilson Herrera and Buddy Carlyle, the Mets have sent Jon Velasquez and T.J. Rivera to join the 51s in Tacoma. Alex Castellanos was hit in the hand and had to leave the game Friday night – this is the second time he’s had to leave mid-game this year.


            This is no longer the dominant rotation people joked was full of major league ready starters in Spring Training, and the Rainiers miss Steven Matz, so expect a lot of high scoring affairs. Tyler Pill had been looking better for stretches over his previous few starts, and then put it all together for his best AAA start yet, holding a strong El Paso offense to just one run on 3 hits and a walk through 7 IP, with 8 strikeouts. Duane Below has been a pleasant surprise so far for Las Vegas, but he tripled his runs allowed for the season in his last outing, a 6-inning start against Sacramento. Bowman again struggled against lefties in his return from the DL against the River Cats.

            Darrell Ceciliani has been one of the top PCL hitters so far, and has demonstrated solid CF defense and base running skills, so the rope on Kirk Nieuwenhuis can only be getting shorter. At this point, it doesn’t seem like there is a real threat of the Mets losing Kirk if they need to DFA him off the roster (he’s out of options), and he could really benefit from some everyday reps, so a move might be pending – honestly, who can guess what this front office will do? I’m guessing Ceciliani would do better than what Kirk has done, but if he does get called up soon, try to keep your expectations reasonable, as he’ll be a rookie debuting off the bench. Terry has a mixed track record with playing rookies, but if Ceciliani came up hot (aka, one big hit in his first week in Terry’s mind), we all know he’d get plenty of play.

            Matt Reynolds is only 4-25 over his last 6 games, as his batting average has dropped below .300. Right now, Reynolds numbers don’t look as impressive as some of the other 51s players, but were talking about ~100 PA sample sizes for everyone except Reynolds (who is at 158), and all of those guys have played well beyond expectations so far. Since joining the 51s, Reynolds has been extremely consistent at the plate and in the field. Also, his K%, BB%, and ISO have improved over his 2014 numbers, and he’s provided about the same overall production – he had a 124 wRC+ with Las Vegas last year, he’s dropped to 119 wRC+ after this little cold streak – with a much more sustainable .355 BABIP. As an added bonus, so far he’s 7-for-7 on stolen base attempts, after going 14-18 with Las Vegas last year.

League Leaders

Top-20 PCL, qualified only

R: Matt Reynolds, t-1st (27); Alex Castellanos, t-4th (25); Darrell Ceciliani, t-9th (23)
2B: Reynolds, 2nd (13); Castellanos, t-10th (9)
HR: Castellanos, t-4th (8); Ceciliani, t-16th (5); Travis Taijeron, t-16th (5)
RBI: Reynolds, 6th (26); Castellanos, 7th (25)
SB: Wilfredo Tovar, 4th (9); Reynolds, t-7th (7); Kyle Johnson, t-7th (7); Ceciliani, t-18th (6)
K%: Tovar, 4th (9.4%)
BB%: Brandon Allen, 11th (14.9%)
AVG: Ceciliani, t-5th (.340); Taijeron, 11th (.330); Castellanos, 20th (.316)
OBP: Taijeron, t-1st (.434); Castellanos, 7th (.409); Ceciliani, 17th (.389)
ISO: Castellanos, 1st (.389); Ceciliani, 9th (.260); Taijeron, 18th (.216)
wRC+: Castellanos, 1st (192); Taijeron, 4th (165); Ceciliani, t-7th (157)

W: Steven Matz, t-4th (4), Noah Syndergaard, t-9th (3); Darin Gorski, t-9th (3)
S: Chase Bradford, t-7th (4)
IP: Matz, 1st (50)
ERA: Matz, 4th (1.80); Syndergaard, 5th (1.82)
FIP: Matz, 1st (2.92); Syndergaard, 3rd (3.07)
K%: Syndergaard, 1st (30.1%); Matz, 2nd (27.6%)
AVG: Syndergaard, 2nd (.191); Matz, 3rd (.192)

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