Travis Taijeron was selected on the 18th round of the 2011 Draft, which means he faces an uphill climb to be a major leaguer. To make the climb even harder, he was selected as a college senior, putting him a year older than most college draft picks. And if that wasn’t enough, Taijeron faces extra doubts because he came from a Division II school, Cal Poly Ponoma. While not quite the same as Kirk Nieuwenhuis and his climb from an NAIA school, Taijeron will not be given the same leash as someone who came from Florida State or Baylor. Fortunately, Taijeron does not need any extra leeway, as he is doing quite well on the field.
In 56 games at Brooklyn in 2011, Taijeron managed 27 extra base hits: 13 2B, 5 3B and 9 HR. He struck out a lot but really seemed like he might be a powerful righty bat for the Mets if he could continue his success in higher levels of the minors. In 28 games for Lo-A Savannah in 2012, he’s managed 14 extra base hits: 6 2B, 1 3B and 7 HR. Instead of merely staying on track, Taijeron has taken things up a notch.
At 6’2” and 200 pounds, Taijeron has the height to put on a little more muscle but already seems to have the power to play a corner outfield spot. Thus far his eye is greatly improved from 2011 where his K:BB rate was about 3:1. Now he has that rate in the much more respectable 3:2 range. I actually expect that to balloon up considering the power he should be striking out twice as often as he walks but we’ll see over the next few weeks.
Speed is not a part of his game but on a team rife with errors, Taijeron is a shining bastion of defense… well … he doesn’t have any errors.
With a triple slash of .313/.434/.606 and an OPS over 1.000 Travis Taijeron is definitely someone to watch.
Around the Minors:
What is Wrong with Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia? – Harvey is… sorta back on track. He’s holding his own in AAA but his K-rate is down a ton from 2011 and that is troubling. I need to get up to Buffalo to actually see if something has gone wonky with his stuff or if it’s simply an adjustment period. Zack Wheeler might sneak back ahead of him on the rankings at this rate. Meanwhile Familia is REALLY troubling. Familia’s K-Rate is okay, but he’s giving up tons of walks and he was a starkly different pitcher in 2011. I think that Familia has until the end of the year or he’ll be shifted into relief.
Where’s the Power, Jefry Marte? – He keeps on hitting and hitting in AA and that’s great but his SLG is only .404 and his BA is .315. He needs to hit a few with power to really have a place as a third baseman.
Why Don’t We Talk More About Darin Gorski? – For all the talk of promoting Harvey, Hefner or McHugh… I’m starting to wonder if Gorski is the best internal option to replace the injured Mike Pelfrey. He’s been really consistent through his promotion to AA and might be a reliable option to go out and make some starts.
Wilfredo Tovar is Worth Knowing About – He’s not got the biggest bat but he’s definitely a guy who can handle himself at the plate. He’s got a little speed and has hit a few homers here and there. I’d call him Ruben Tejada MKII if they weren’t essentially the same age.
Wilmer Flores is Looking Like the REAL DEAL – Hey Met Fans! Get ready for the bandwagon it’s about to leave the station!
Cesar Puello Showing his Wheels – 7 stolen bases in 7 attempted. He’s getting his batting average back on track and I’m hoping the power comes next.
CLOSER WATCH: Adam Kolarek – ERA: 0.00, IP: 16.1, H: 10, BB: 2, K: 24. That is pretty darn impressive. I have limited information but in 2011 his fastball was supposed to live in the 93-94 MPH range which is pretty good for a closer.
Dustin Lawley Showing Discipline – He’s hitting pretty well and might get more focus if he wasn’t on the same team as Taijeron, but he has 17 walks and only 18 K’s.
Tyler Pill Looks Sharp on the 4th – He threw 6 innings of no run baseball, giving up 8 hits 2 walks and striking out 8.