2016 Initial Affiliate Roster: Binghamton Mets | Astromets Mind

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

2016 Initial Affiliate Roster: Binghamton Mets

A number of new faces on the B-Mets this year

Reviewing the initial roster expected to play in Binghamton

            The Binghamton Mets released a preliminary roster Tuesday afternoon, so let’s take a look at how things break down. This initial roster has 26 players, and they are generally not young, with an average age of just north of 25. There are a lot of new faces in the lineup, but the pitching situation hasn’t changed much since the end of 2015, and Pedro Lopez is back at the helm after nearly earning a bench coach job with the New York Mets this past offseason. Lopez addressed the Binghamton press for media day yesterday, and you can read the highlights here. Top prospect Dominic Smith is the main draw to start the year, and he also addressed the press yesterday. It hopefully won’t be long until he’s joined by another top prospect and potentially bigger fan draw in Amed Rosario, who is starting the year in the Florida State League. B-Mets locals may have to wait until midseason to see Rosario though, if bench coach Dick Scott’s opinion proves true.

*Average age does not consider birth date, I only considered age listed

UPDATE: Jared King and Raywilly Gomez start the year on the DL.

Pitchers (12, Average age = 25.6)

Starters (6, 25.8)

Andrew Barbosa, LHP, 28
Robert Gsellman, RHP, 22
Mickey Jannis, RHP, 28, @MickeyJannis
Rainy Lara, RHP, 25
Kyle Regnault, LHP, 27, @KyleRegnault
Tyler Pill, RHP, 25, @Dr_Pill10

            Considering Logan Taylor is on the roster, this isn’t the rotation I would go with, but it is the rotation that Lynn Worthy of Press Connects was given by Lopez to start the week. That said, while I’ve always liked Taylor on the mound, he probably would end up moving to the pen this year or next anyway. Pill and Lara already have some AAA experience, and are likely on call for any spot starts or rotation spots that open up in Las Vegas early. If so, there are several options from St. Lucie to join the rotation this year: Scarlyn Reyes had a nice 2015 between Savannah and St. Lucie, Michael Gibbons made a start with Binghamton during his 2015 tour of the affiliates, Casey Delgado is an older pitcher from the Indy leagues who could be moved quickly, and Kevin McGowan has also made a couple of appearances in AA.
Gsellman is the guy from this group, although he didn’t exactly stand out with Binghamton last year. He apparently really impressed Terry Collins during Spring Training this year, with Lopez suggesting he was using his breaking ball more than he had in the past. If so, expect his strikeout numbers to spike up, because that pitch has some serious swing-and-miss potential.
Mickey Jannis has already grown on me, and I only saw his knuckler for a few starts last year. He throws a hard (upper-70’s) knuckler and pairs it with a 90 MPH fastball, which is a nasty combo when he’s living around the plate.
Kyle Regnault is an interesting lefty out of Indy ball who spent last year relieving for St. Lucie. Surprised he’s in the rotation, so it might just be a temporary thing. He sits low 90’s with his heat, and mixes in a changeup and curveball. He was very good against RHB’s last year, so he shouldn’t be overmatched in a move to the rotation.
Finally, there’s big lefty Andrew Barbosa, who towers on the mound at 6’8”. Like Jannis, Barbosa played for the Long Island Ducks as he worked his way back to the minors last year, and then had his best minor league season after the Braves picked him up. He’s older, but he struck out 28.5% of batters faced over 43.2 IP at AA last year, so let’s see what he can do.
Other than the G-man (and maybe Jannis), this group isn’t going to excite Mets fans too much, but they should be reliable for Binghamton.

Relievers (6, 25.3)

Mike Hepple, RHP, 25, @Hepple5
Luis Mateo, RHP, 26,
Akeel Morris, RHP, 23, @AkeelMorris
David Roseboom, LHP, 23, @Roseboom_36
Kelly Secrest, LHP, 24, @kws8724
Logan Taylor, RHP, 24, @Loganreese36
Beck Wheeler, RHP, 27, @beck_wheelerr

            Just like the 51s bullpen, the B-Mets bullpen is going to be a huge team strength. Aside from the guys mentioned above (specifically Regnault and McGowan), expect to see Robert Coles, James Duff, and Alberto Baldonado in the B-Mets pen this year (maybe even Christian Montgomery!). I shared some 2015 GIFs of 4 of these relievers – Roseboom and Mateo, Morris and Wheeler – and have some 2014 GIFs of Taylor here.
            Akeel Morris is obviously the guy to watch, as he’s been a reliever making top-25 system lists for multiple years now. Lopez said he was less scattershot with his fastball during Spring Training this year, and that has always been his biggest problem, so he could really force his way up if that’s true.
            Beck Wheeler is the only other returning reliever, and I went into how dominant he was for Binghamton after mid-May last year in the post above.
            Luis Mateo made one forgettable appearance for the B-Mets before all off his arm issues started, but is back this time as a reliever. When healthy, his stuff was better than Akeel’s, so he could really break out this year.
            Morris is the main closer, but David Roseboom is likely the lefty/alternate closer – relievers rarely pitch on consecutive days in the minors.
            Hepple was an all-star for St. Lucie in 2015 and reportedly has a fastball that reaches the mid-90’s.
            Finally, Secrest is a hard throwing lefty who had a very strong season for St. Lucie last year.

Catchers (3, 25.7)

Xorge Carrillo, 26, @xorgecarrillo14
Raywilly Gomez, 26 – Switch-hitter, @RaywillyGomez (appears to be him)
Colton Plaia, 25, @cplaia24

            Catching depth is not the Mets strength, especially at the upper levels, and this is a group of potential backups/likely AAA backups. I took a closer look at Carrillo before the WBCQ, but he’s in his third season with Binghamton. Ray Willy and Gomez might be the only catcher who can handle Sean Gil and Martin, but this will be his 4th season in AA. Plaia is the youngest, a AA rookie, and coming off a FSL All-Star appearance, so he has the most room for growth as a prospect, but it’s not clear how the playing time will break down. Cuban catcher Lednier Ricardo could always switch places with Plaia, but he barely hit in his pro debut. Rene Rivera was also just signed by the franchise, so a catcher could trickle down from above, but I doubt Johnny Monell or Nevin Ashley is looking to play in AA after having crushed AAA pitching.

Infielders (6, 24.8)

Jeff McNeil, 23, @JeffMcNeil805
Matt Oberste, 24, @MattOberste
Niuman Romero, 31 – Switch-hitter, @niuman_romero4
Dominic Smith, 20, @TheRealSmith22

            This infield was so close to being very fun to watch from the start, but then the Mets chose to hold Rosario down in St. Lucie. Aside from Rosario, Jhoan Urena is likely to end up with Binghamton this year. After a mostly lost 2015, Urena is repeating in the FSL, but Eudor Garcia is due to come back after 80 games, and he should slide in at 3B for St. Lucie while Urena slides up to AA.
Jeff McNeil would make the more interesting shortstop option while the B-Mets wait for Rosario, but Lopez indicated that Gibson and Romero would split time there. Perhaps McNeil can no longer handle the position after adding either 25 or 35 pounds this offseason (B-Mets reported 25, Rubin reported 35), but that will be a worthwhile tradeoff if his ISO spikes.
As always, Oberste is the man without a position, but he’ll probably get plenty of action at DH and spell Smith at 1B once or twice a week.
Speaking of Smith, here’s a closer look at his 2015, but I’m tired of talking about Smith, I just want to see him play!
I don’t really know much about Romero or Gibson, except that Gibson used to be a marginal prospect within the Red Sox system. That leaves L.J., and I took a closer look at his 2015 recently too. Mazzilli and McNeil should split time between 2B and 3B, and either could see time in Las Vegas if that infield is ever in need.

Outfielders (5, 24.4)

Victor Cruzado, 23 – Switch-hitter
Kyle Johnson, 26, @Kyle_Johnson_KJ
Jared King, 24 – Switch-hitter, @leebs24
Stefan Sabol, 24, @SwinginSamoan22

            Finally we arrive at the outfield, which has two AA vets in Kyle Johnson and Jared King, two absolute noob’s to AA in Stefan Sabol and Maikis De La Cruz, and one potentially interesting Victor Cruzado, who spent a week with Binghamton to end 2015. There isn’t any OF help coming from below before the midway point, and Johnson is likely ticketed for AAA before too long, because there really isn’t a backup center fielder on that 51s roster. That said, Johnson is the best CF of this group, and if he goes, then De La Cruz and King will be splitting time in CF.
            Victor Cruzado is a switch-hitter with a great approach at the plate, but with average everything else – he’s like an outfield version of Daniel Muno. Lopez mentioned that Cruzado will likely bat second in the lineup, which is a nod to his approach and contact abilities. He probably won’t project to be a starter in the majors, but the package has bench upside. He should start daily in RF.
            When Stefan Sabol started 2015 with Savannah for a third straight season, I figured the Mets were getting ready to cut him, but he would quickly hit his way out of town, and then went on to have a nice season rotating in the St. Lucie outfield. He should be in the LF rotation, but we’ll see how the playing time shakes out.
            Jared King looks a little fitter than last year, when he didn’t do much at the plate, and he should rotate through all 3 OF positions.
            Maikis De La Cruz was a FSL All-Star during his second year in the league, but his production actually slid from 2014, and I’m not sure how much the B-Mets can expect from him this year. He’s great defensively, but don’t be surprised if he ends up with as much playing time as Gilbert Gomez received last year.

            Overall, Dominic Smith aside, it’s the least exciting B-Mets team in the three years I’ve covered the franchise, but there are enough potential fringe major leaguer’s in this group to stay interesting, and the team should get very exciting during the second half, when Rosario and (hopefully) Urena show up.

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