Kingsport Mets Postseason Preview | Astromets Mind

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Kingsport Mets Postseason Preview

The Kingsport Mets are the 2015 winners of the Appy League West division.

            With a win over Danville on the final day of the regular season, the Kingsport Mets clinched a 40-win season for just the 6th time in 35 years as a Mets rookie-ball affiliate. This came just a few days after they had punched their ticket to the postseason by clinching the best record in the West. This Kingsport Mets team spent most of the season battling with the Greeneville Astros and Elizabethton Twins atop the West division, but they separated themselves from those two down the stretch to finish with a 5.5 game lead over Greeneville, and a 6 game lead over Elizabethton. After an off day Wednesday, the first round of the Appy League postseason begins Thursday, with the Kingsport Mets in Greeneville for a 7 PM matchup with the Astros. Below I review the Appy League playoff procedures and how the K-Mets finished in 1st place.

            First, let’s quickly review the Appy League playoff procedures. Round 1 is a best-of-3 series between the top two teams in each division. The 2nd place team is the home team for game one, and then the division winner hosts game 2 and, if necessary, game 3. Round 2 is also a best-of-3 series, with home field going to the ‘westernmost club’ this season. The Kingsport home field is further west than both the Pulaski Yankees and Princeton Rays home parks (they did just win the ‘West’ division), so they would face the winner of the first-round series between those two teams at home if they can beat Greeneville.
            While this Kingsport Mets roster has a handful of young pitchers that may prove interesting at the higher levels, they enter the postseason on the strength of their offense. Although they would get contributions from throughout their lineup, the offense was anchored by two of the leagues top hitters in 2015 draft picks Patrick Mazeika and Kevin Kaczmarski, and a slugging 1B with an 80-grade name (Dash Winningham!). The Mets were extremely conservative with both Kaczmarski and Mazeika by leaving them in the Appy league all season, but they appear to be more focused on letting their new players adapt to the minors than having them face tough competition right away – for example, Michael Conforto last summer in Brooklyn until the Cyclones were eliminated. The Cyclones and Sand Gnats have had plenty of catcher and 1B options, so I understand why both Dash and Mazeika were left in Kingsport, but I’m still surprised Kaczmarski was ever sent there.
In addition to those 3 players, Kingsport received breakout performances from 19-year old SS Milton Ramos (.756 OPS) and 17-year old 2B Luis Carpio (.731 OPS). Ramos was the Mets 3rd round pick from last season, and there were some concerns of maturity issues at the time. I only bring this up because Ramos was sent to the GCL for 3 weeks in July despite getting off to a very hot start: 15-44, 3 2B, 3B in his first 11 games of the season. He did not hit well while there (.479 OPS in 39 PA), spent half of his time at 2B, and then he was suddenly back with Kingsport and hitting again. After one season in the DSL as a 16-year old slashing .234/.347/.301, the Mets brought Carpio stateside this year and it was clear to those who saw him why – read Jeff Paternostro report from Amazin’ Avenue for full details.
On the mound, there were a few pitchers who stood out statistically for Kingsport and will be interesting to watch moving forward – unfortunately, I haven’t seen any of these guys live. Harol Gonzalez made his stateside debut after one year in the DSL and got off to a quick start for Kingsport. The K-Mets rode his hot hand as much as they could early, but they had to cut back on using him in August, as he was leading the league with 46.1 IP entering the month (he threw 50 in the DSL last year). He was less effective in his diminished role, but this season is not about statistics for Harol, it’s about building up the arm strength and stamina for future seasons, and those who saw him came away impressed. Harol may have been dubbed the unofficial ace of the staff early in the season, but Nabil Crismatt ended up performing like the Kingsport ace, finishing near the top of the league in most statistical categories (see below for a full list) in his second season stateside. Thomas McIlraith, the Mets 20th round pick from 2015, finished with an excellent 1.71 ERA, but his 34 K’s in 58 IP are less impressive. Merandy Gonzalez threw a no-hitter in the GCL on 7/9, and was then promoted to Kingsport for the rest of the season. Merandy would settle into a rotation spot down the stretch, finishing the season with a 2.82 ERA and 39 K’s in 44.2 IP.
Collectively, this young group became one of the most interesting Mets affiliates to follow by the end of the season (if not the most interesting). And while this season has already been successful for Kingsport, they have one more goal left on their mind: championship. Their path to that goal begins Thursday night at 7:00 in Greeneville, with Merandy Gonzalez scheduled to start for the K-Mets. I’ve included some additional notes below, including a Kingsport team and individual statistical wrap up. If you’re heading out to the games this weekend, have a blast! If you upload any video from the series, let me know because I’d love to help share it with #MetsTwitter! Let’s go K-Mets!

Kingsport Round 1 Probable’s

Game 1 – Gabriel Llanes: 2-2, 2.82 ERA, 44.2 IP, 40 H, 39 K: 19 BB, 5 HBP, HR
Game 2 – Nabil Crismatt: 6-1, 2.90 ERA, 62 IP, 52 H, 63 K: 12 BB, 5 HBP, 6 HR
Game 3 – Thomas McIlraith: 6-1, 1.71 ERA, 58 IP, 48 H, 34 K: 19 BB, 4 HBP, 2 HR

Season series with Greeneville (6-4 total): W 5-2, W 5-4, W 6-4, L 6-3, L 7-2, L 4-1, W 2-1, L 10-6, W 6-1, W 1-0

Potential Championship round matchups

Season series with Pulaski (3-3 total): W 5-2, L 6-5, W 5-2, L 14-9, W 10-4, L 4-2

Season series with Princeton (3-3 total): L 8-3, L 7-6, W 7-4, W 8-5, W 6-2, L 10-5

Team Stats


Home: 20-13            Away: 20-15
By Month
June: 5-3
July: 13-16
August: 21-8
September: 1-0

Offense (Ranks within the 10-team league)

AVG: .269 (t-1st with Pulaski)
OBP: .340 (2nd)
SLG: .392 (3rd)
OPS: .732 (2nd)
R: 361 – 5.31 R/G (2nd)
2B: 139 (1st)
3B: 19 (6th)
HR: 37 (7th)
BB: 205 (5th)
SO: 552 (3rd most)
SB 68 (2nd)


ERA: 4.23 (6th)
Shutouts: 5 (t-2nd)
IP: 595.2 (1st)
H: 572 (7th)
R: 331 (4th most)
HR: 46 (4th)
K: 534 (3rd)
BB: 247 (Most)
HBP: 61 (Most)
WHIP: 1.37 (5th)

Player Stats

Top-11 in the Appy League, qualified only


R: Kevin Kaczmarski, t-3rd (47); Patrick Mazeika, 6th (44); Luis Ortega, t-10th (39)
2B: Mazeika, 1st (27); Dash Winningham, 6th (19); Kaczmarski, 7th (18)
3B: Kaczmarski, t-3rd (5)
HR: Winningham, t-1st (12)
RBI: Winningham, 1st (51); Mazeika, 2nd (48); Kaczmarski, t-10th (34)
SB: Kaczmarski, 2nd (20); Luis Carpio, t-11th (9)
AVG: Kazmarski, 1st (.355); Mazeika, 2nd (.354); Carpio, 11th (.304)
OBP: Mazeika, 1st (.451); Kaczmarski, 6th (.415); Carpio, t-11th (.372)
ISO: Winningham, 7th (.213)
K%: Mazeika, t-2nd (9.7%); Kaczmarski, 5th (11.6%)
wRC+: Mazeika, t-1st (176); Kaczmarski, 5th (157)


IP: Harol Gonzalez, 2nd (65.1); Nabil Crismatt, 5th (62); Erik Manoah, 9th (59); Thomas McIlraith, 11th (58)
W: Crismatt, t-2nd (6); Audry German, t-2nd (6); McIlraith, t-2nd (6)
ERA: McIlraith, 2nd (1.71); Crismatt, 7th (2.90)
FIP: Crismatt, 5th (3.57); McIlraith, 10th (3.98)
K%: Crismatt, 2nd (24.8%); Harol, 7th (20.2%); Manoah, 8th (19.0%)
BB%: Harol, 1st (3.3%); Crismatt, 6th (4.7%)
AVG: Crismatt, 4th (.219); McIlraith, 6th (.221); Manoah, 7th (.242)
WHIP: Crismatt, 3rd (1.03); McIlraith, 5th (1.16); Harol, 6th (1.18)

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