Mets Minors: Kirk Nieuwenhuis and other surprises

Triple-A Las Vegas has been an interesting place for the past 10 games or so.  Some players are putting on shows and it HAS to make some people wonder when they might be called up to help that team in Queens.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Omar Quintanilla, Josh Satin, Wilmer Flores and Francisco Pena all have made cases in the past week to be thought of for promotion.

Nieuwenhuis is a name we know.  He has been with the team before and even enjoyed some success in 2012 before he came crashing back to earth with K’s galore and limited peripheral stats.  In his past 6 games something seems to have clicked.  He has: only 7 hits, 8 runs, 7 RBI, 6 BB’s, 6 K’s and 5 HR’s.  He even managed to swipe a bag.  Now… I don’t pretend to think the Nieuwenhuis will suddenly be Richie Ashburn, but the upswing in power speaks to his swing being, for the time being, in line.

Quintanilla is another name you’ve heard.  He’s typically thought of as a backup and he spent time on the Mets in 2012 before the Mets sent him to Baltimore where he’d get more playing time.  Quintanilla is not a long-term solution but… if Ruben Tejada needs to regain his swing then the guy who is hitting .331/.415/.488 in AAA should get the call.  He’s also on a bit of a tear hitting .500 in his last 10 games.

People who have heard of Satin are fewer.  He’s not spent much time in the majors and he’s been condemned to AAAA status by a Met team who seems to not care how much a player hits in the minors.  Satin is the team offensive leader in AAA and he’s also an OBP machine.  As a first baseman he doesn’t have the power of an Ike Davis but with Zach Lutz banged up the choice for Davis’ replacement is clear.

Fans know Flores.  He’s another prospect who jumped onto people’s radar’s too early and has been soured by the impression he’ll never make it because he’s been around for so long.  At 21 he’s hitting .283/.330/.455 in AAA.  That doesn’t jump off the page, but it is also not too shabby.  Flores has been hitting all season but what he’s finally doing is stringing together multi-hit games (5 in his last 10 games) and his power is showing signs of emerging.  He’s the only player who is “blocked” right now as there is no reason to shift Daniel Murphy.

Why bring up Pena?  Good question!  He’s a former prospect at this point who never developed the potential that scouts thought he might.  On May 18th he was promoted to AAA.  In 8 games he’s hitting .385/.407/.885 in the highest league he’s seen.  Of his 10 hits he has a double and 4 HR’s.  I don’t expect this to last but it was too good not to add to the highlight reel.


Zack Wheeler isn’t – Since May 11th, Wheeler has not been sharp.  Part of this is the league but part of this is something more troublesome.  I’m not sure he’s ready for promotion.


Allan Dykstra is ready for AAA – Too bad there is no room.

Cesar Puello stays hot – Look for a AAA promotion for Puello on the heels of one for Nieuwenhuis.

Logan Verrett’s numbers looking really nice – He’s not a power pitcher but his K/9 is getting really close to 9.0.

Rafael Montero back to old tricks – His AAA outing went well and his first outing back in AA went better.  It’s only a matter of time.

Jack Leathersich has silly numbers – His K/9 is creeping up to 18.0 and that’s pretty sick.


Aderlin Rodriguez is a hitter – Conservative people who follow the minors are once more excited about this bat.

Noah Syndergaard stumbles – Nothing awful but a bad outing should be noted.

Matthew Bowman likes Florida – He’s been great since his promotion and will soon be welcoming a friend from Savannah.

Full Season A:

Jayce Boyd is nice, but where’s the power – He’s got 15 doubles and 3 HR’s in 45 games and that won’t cut it.

Kevin Plawecki not crashing back to earth – He’s not hitting like the crazy anymore but he’s certainly still hitting well.  Plenty to be pleased with.  Promotion will be soon.

Rainy Lara promoted – Expect to see Lara’s first A+ game in the next couple of days.

Steven Matz needs to keep pace – He’s got good numbers but Matz really needs to earn a promotion from Savannah before the year’s end to get me excited.

8 comments for “Mets Minors: Kirk Nieuwenhuis and other surprises

  1. steevy
    May 28, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Allan Dykstra is a guy I forgot about because he was hurt last year.He intrigues me with his ability to get on base and hit homeruns but he’s 26 and still at AA(though he belongs in AAA as you wrote).He was a first round pick too.

    • May 28, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Dykstra has low-upside but could be a solid 1B/DH/PH guy if he was given the chance. There is nowhere to move him to.

      Lutz and Satin are in AAA and if Satin goes up Davis comes down.

  2. Metsense
    May 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Imagine bringing up Kirk, Satin and Quintinilla and sending down JV1, Davis and Tejada? All three are playing below or equal to replacement level. I would then believe that the Mets are holding their players accountable. I realize it would be too drastic a move (especially with Q and Satin not on 40 man which presents other problems) but the reality is that the Mets seem to be satisfied with the players on the field, their “potential”, and the results. If the front office doesn’t start adjusting their plans then 2014 (and beyond) is going to be a rerun of 2013 only with better starting pitching.

  3. Jerry Grote
    May 28, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I’d give it up to Matt Bowman … the reviews at Metsblog have been reserved, talking up a “limited ceiling” because of his 89-91 volume and lack of physical sized.

    I’ll take a guy that can throw his off speed stuff for strikes/outs all day long.

    Sad to say, but my first read in the morning is MiLB. I just can’t believe the numbers I see out of Leathersich, Bowman, Rainey, Montero and Sondergaard. At some point, there aren’t going to be enough innings for all those guys plus Wheeler, Harvey, Niese, Hefner (YES) and Marcum.

    • May 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Bowman is making me scratch my head more and more… as long as it’s for the right reasons I’m happy to be confused.

  4. May 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Didnt Bowman get drafted because DEPO said publicly that he consistently hit 95 when the Mets brought him in for a pre-draft workout?

    Some players have had good months and come back to earth and vice a versas in April and May. Seems best to wait until after the All star games in each respective minor league, but you have got to be tempted to start thinking about bumping Puello and Vaughn with the lack of OFs in the upper minors and 2014 being “the year.”

    • May 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Vaughn is still just living on a really good two week swing. Puello has seen more steady improvement.

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